How to Strengthen Your MBA Application

After putting so much time and dedication into completing their applications, the thought of trying again the next year can be overwhelming

For the past few weeks, many M.B.A. applicants have been sleeping fitfully, biting their nails, and checking their email with trepidation. Why? Because it's the time of year when b-schools are letting applicants know whether they are admitted, waitlisted, or denied a seat in next year's class.

With so many applicants and so few seats available at top b-schools, many aspiring M.B.A.s find themselves shut out during their first application season. After putting so much time and dedication into completing their applications, the thought of trying again the next year can be overwhelming. The good news, however, is that reapplying is often easier. You've already done the bulk of your school research, GMAT test prep, and essay writing. As a re-applicant, you simply need to refine your application.

[Get more admissions advice from b-school officials.]

The tricky part can be figuring out how, exactly, your application needs refining. B-schools generally don't give explanations to rejected candidates, so you can't call the admissions office to find out what was lacking. I would encourage you instead to distance yourself from those rejected b-school applications by putting them away for a few weeks. Then try to look at them as objectively as you can. This can be difficult, so it's a good idea to have someone help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your applications, be it a professional consultant, current b-school student, or colleague who holds an M.B.A. degree.

To get you started, here are a few strategies commonly used for strengthening b-school applications...


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