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Reapplications are tough but Angela Guido is here to help! First, you’re going to need to pick yourself up and take stock of what went wrong in your last application – this is what we call an MBA ding analysis. Then it’s time to get to work on a reapplicant strategy with specific reapplicant MBA essays in order to improve your chances of MBA admission.
MBA reapplicants need determination, but you can do it! Watch our advice for reapplicants to improve your MBA chances the second time around, this week on MBA Monday.
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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Welcome back to MBA Monday. I'm Angela Guido, and today I'm wearing black. Because it's a somber occasion, we're talking about bouncing back from a failed MBA application attempt.
Don’t Worry, Schools Love MBA Reapplicants!
All right, if you applied to business school before and got the ding, the first thing you need to know is that you are no worse off than when you started. That's the best news. Schools actually love reapplicants. On average, across the top programs, the acceptance rate among reapplicants is the same as the acceptance rate among first time applicants. So you're not at a disadvantage because you applied before. And in fact, there are some advantages to applying again, because you're showing the school genuine commitment to their program, genuine commitment to your future, and a willingness to address weaknesses, work hard and improve. So, across the board, schools actually love applicants. That said, reapplications entail a couple of unique challenges that you're definitely going to want to address.
Reapplicant Strategy: Dissecting Your Original MBA Application
First thing you want to do is a complete deep dive debrief postmortem, ding review on last year's application. There are a lot of reasons why people that are otherwise a great fit for a school or very strong candidates might get rejected the first time around. The three biggest reasons that I've seen are:
- Number one, clear weaknesses. And this, unfortunately for a lot of people, frequently relates to their test score. So, pay particular attention to your GMAT or GRE score and see how that lines up with the school’s average and make sure that if at all possible, if your score was on the weak side, that you get it up before you reapply. Find out how with our How To Get Your Highest GMAT Score Possible post. Two other really common weaknesses in MBA applications that could lead to a ding when you otherwise would have been a strong candidate are goals that aren't well thought through well formulated, that don't necessitate an MBA and that don't show a clear, logical progression from where you're coming from, and school fit. If you're not showing a clear sense of fit with the program that you're applying to and really giving them the sense that that's where you want and need to get your MBA, they're going to have lukewarm feelings about you and likely give you the ding, even if you otherwise would have been a great fit for their community. They just couldn't see it. So be sure to pay particularly close attention in your ding review to your weaknesses, your career goals and the degree to which you've demonstrated school fit in your application. Did you get dinged? Planning to apply again this year? Want to get a free ding review with a member of the Career Protocol team? We're giving away five free ding reviews to our YouTube subscribers this week. So, first step, subscribe to our channel and turn notifications on. Step number two, fill out the link below in the description that says free ding review, submit all of your information and then wait to hear from a member of our team. We'll let you know either way. But the deadline is this Friday.
- Step number two is to show something new. So you're reapplying, you're coming back to the school and you're saying “Hey! You didn't let me in last year. Look at me now. I'm new and improved.”, and you really want to make sure that there is something new and different about you. The first thing is to address any and all weaknesses you identified in your degree. Take the test again, think more about your career goals, do more work to research the school, get to know the community and be able to demonstrate school fit unequivocally. But the second thing you want to do is ideally be a better candidate. So that might mean getting a promotion at work, taking on new hobbies, achieving new accomplishments in your community service or in anything that you do in your life. Show them that you're not just the same person who's applying with a better application. You're actually a stronger candidate this year. That's step number two.
- Step three is to construct new essays for the application that show them something new and interesting about yourself, including everything that's changed and improved, but that also addresses whatever you said last year. One of the most common things I see among our reapplicant clients is that their goals have changed, sometimes really dramatically. They've done a lot of soul searching and a lot of thinking about who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, so to speak, and so their goals have shifted. And that's perfectly fine. That's normal. In every step of our career, we're growing and changing and learning more about what we genuinely want. So if your goals have changed, that's perfectly fine. Just make sure that somewhere in the story, in your essays, you're addressing the reason for that change, how it changed and why and how the current set of goals is really the path that you're going to carry forward.
If you implement my three-step process to reapplication, you're much more likely to get a “Yes” your second time around. Good luck, I know you can do it!