I Overview

Last year you applied to business school…but all didn’t go as planned. Perhaps you got into an MBA program but declined the offer. Maybe you’re still on the wait list at a school you would love to attend…but as time passes, the likelihood of being offered a place is dwindling. Whatever the case, it’s a new application season and you’re looking to make a fresh start.

The explanation for why a past application didn’t result in admission is usually due to a weak point (or weak points).

II Troubleshooting

Weak points are objective areas of your application that you could improve upon. The most common areas of weakness include:

  • Problem: Spotty academic performance. Remedy: Show better academic potential by increasing your GMAT score, getting an A in a master’s-level course
  • Problem: Work experience that doesn’t stand out. Remedy: Use the time between your first and second application to demonstrate professional advancement. Take on more responsibility at work (i.e. volunteer for special projects within your team/department or volunteer to help out in other teams/departments), get a promotion, change employers (only if you plan to remain in the position for 24 months).
  • Problem: Unrealistic professional goals or goals that weren’t specific enough. Remedy: Re-evaluate the professional goals you presented to the admissions committee. Remedy: Ensure that when you craft your short-term goal statement you include the position you will pursue (i.e., Management Consulting Associate or Senior Product Manager) and one or two organizations you are interested in (Bain and McKinsey or Apple and Google).
  • Problem: Shoddy recommendations. Remedy: Analyze whether other recommenders might be more effective communicators or be in a better position to speak to your most recent achievements.

III What Business Schools Say

Reapplications make up 10% of Booth’s applicant pool in any given year. Reapplicants must demonstrate through their essays, career growth, and/or academic preparation that they are now a stronger candidate who will add to the Booth community.
– Booth Adcom

If a student applied in a previous year, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We love that you love Tuck and want to attend.  Each year, we offer admission to some reapplicants who present a great case for why them and why Tuck.
– Tuck Adcom

We are expecting a significant change in the applicant’s profile. Perhaps it is a promotion, international assignment or change in job. An improved GMAT score is not sufficient however.
– INSEAD Adcom