We’ve had to be Doom-And-Gloom Snark with a few BSers recently, only based on the realities of the admissions environment we’re in and the challenges of getting in with flaws on the profile. Sucks, but better to be straightforward so you know what you’re up against, right? That way, at least you have a chance to redirect efforts and either buckle down for another try at the GMAT, or to adjust strategy for school targets.
And then on the other end of the spectrum, we end up being Negative Snancy on some BSers who are all excited about their progress so far in Round 1. They got some adcoms to bite, and they are flying high on the endorphin rush of the interview invites, and they’re starting to clap their hands and dream even bigger for Round 2.
“Woo-hoo, I’m a hot commodity! I got a Booth invite and a Berkeley invite – I’m gonna go for Harvard in Round 2!!”
And then the ‘Snark comes along and pisses all over that parade.
Here’s the deal, Chipmunk:
Round 2 is a different calculus, and schools like Harvard and Wharton are practically in different universes.
We really don’t hear too often about applicants who do the less-competitive schools in the first round and then leapfrog off the backs of those admits into the upper tier of program in Round 2.
Sure, it must happen for some people; after all, H/S/W are admitting big numbers of folks in Round 2 and it’s not like all of those people sat on their hands entirely in Round 1. A large chunk of them must have also gotten in somewhere in Round 1.
Or, probably at least as common: A large chunk of them got REJECTED everywhere in Round 1, and that wake-up call led them to redoubling effort and putting in the work of introspection and strategy that’s needed for an admit to a top MBA program.
We also know that every year, Round 2 brings a bunch of reapplicants who, for whatever reason, sat out all of Round 1 and all their reapps go in at this stage. And some of them do make it.
Regardless. Our point today is only a caution:
If you’ve got your confidence up now based on progress to date in Round 1, then GREAT! It’s truly awesome that things are going well for you so far.
But, please do not count those admits before they are hatched. Do not assume ANYTHING in this process. An invite to interview and a fun day on campus do not an acceptance make. Most schools admit only around 50% of those that they interview, so clearly you’re in a very good position if you’ve gotten to that stage at least with one of your apps, but we can’t start the dance party until December, when you will know that you’re in.
Every season, we hear of some BSers who raked in three or four interviews, and then come December, then end up shortchanged, with literally no admits in hand. That’s not the typical experience of anyone who manages multiple interview invites, but it does on occasion occur.
If you’re feeling all aglow from the buzz of the interviews and feeling like an in-demand candidate, then that’s awesome, you deserve to be optimistic, since it’s no small feat to make it to that place. Competition is fierce and there are many others who’ve not yet managed to score even a single invite. So definitely feel proud!
But if you’re currently dreaming of trading in your MIT admit (that hasn’t happened yet, but you just know that it will) for one at Harvard in Round 2…. Well, we won’t tell you not to try, but we’ll also say, let’s see what happens in a month’s time when the decisions come out, and hopefully you end up with at least one big win, and then you’ll need to do some planning around when deposits are due versus when you’ll be hearing back from those Round 2 schools.
Trying to scale up? It just really hardly ever works. If you thought you could make it into Harvard why didn’t you try in the first round? BSers sometimes get a little too big for their britches after getting in to a good school in Round 1. Should you not even try? No, of course not. But don’t let the bird in hand get away, either.
Here's what others have said about this:
I went 6/6 on interviews and conducted 5 on campus, and one with an admissions director at a career conference.
I’m going to be in the opposite boat if I get into one. I will be so relieved that the process is over and couldn’t imagine putting together another app in 2-3 weeks especially at a school whose essay is tough.
Congrats! I feel the same way. One could argue that since you went 6/6 you potentially were qualified for a higher ranked school, but I think that it’s equally likely that you just did a really good job of researching the schools and understanding where your profile stood.