Comprehensive Re-Applicant Guide : The B-School Application
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# Comprehensive Re-Applicant Guide

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01 May 2012, 07:20
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Comprehensive Re-Applicant Guide

Was last year a total dud? Did you put together your strongest application only to be denied from your top choices? Have you come back for another try? Let me first congratulate you for having the strength, commitment, and drive to give the application process another try. As a re-applicant, some may say that you face an uphill battle for the next application season. But, again and again we see success stories of re-applicants making it into their top schools! This post will serve as your guide to help you improve your chances as a re-applicant. This process requires a level of dedication and self-reflection that many people don’t possess. So go into this process with 110% commitment, and you might just be matriculating at your top choice this season!

This is where you should start. This step can be one of the most challenging steps because it requires self-reflection and an unbiased opinion of your total application. You should consider a professional ding analaysis, and also take a look at our Ding Analysis Thread. It’s easy to be angry when you get denied and say “I did everything I could! My application was perfect!” But remember, there was something missing or off about your application or profile that didn’t earn you a spot. Let’s look at every aspect of the actual online application component to show you what questions you should ask yourself. Once you find your weakest areas, it’s up to you fix them this year and make them PERFECT.

Essays - Your essays are one of the most important aspects of your application. You should review if you put everything you could into those essays. Did you stay within the word limits? Did you have a peer or professional review your essays? Did you make sure there were NO errors or omissions? Did you sell yourself? Did you make your essays engaging (aka enjoyable to read)? Did you take a certain level of risk? Did you make them personable? These are all questions you should ask yourself, and if any of the answers are “no” you didn’t have the best essays you could. Your essays are your chance to make yourself JUMP off the page. With weak essays, a strong profile can easily be overshadowed. GMAT Club recommends that at the very least you have a trusted colleague or friend review your essays, and quite honestly we recommend a professional review. Check out our marketplace for our partners and decide which company might be able to help you take those essays to the next level! Marketplace (http://gmatclub.com/marketplace/admissions.xhtml) Also, check out GMAT Club’s free essay tips here: essay-best-practices-58748.html#p422565 REMEMBER: Really sell yourself in your reapplicant essay, and show EVERYTHING you have done and improved on since last year. This will really show the Adcoms your dedication.

Resume - Business schools want to know that you are capable of landing a solid job out of their MBA program. One of the most important aspects of business school rankings is solely based on their ability to place their students in jobs. But placing students has more to do with the student themselves then the school. Your resume is your chance to sell your work experience, skills, and other aspects in 1 page. It can be extremely challenging, and should not be taken lightly. A weak resume can show low potential for top jobs. A weak resume gets tossed in the trash. So make sure that you spend the required time and effort to make the resume jump off the page. Some of the best ways to improve your resume are to have a trusted friend or colleague review this document, or again, have a professional review. Another way is to search our forums for “Resume tips" (search-results.xhtml?cx=009332468639467955845%3Ah-z9cduzcoi&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=resume+tips), or google “MBA Resume Books” to see what your competition looks like. And last, but not least, many colleges offer free resume reviews for their alumni. So contact your college and see if you can get some help!

Interview - So you did well enough on the application to land an interview. Great job! Now, I know it can be very disappointing knowing that you interview didn’t close the deal. But remember, there could have been many other aspects that factored into this decision. But you should definitely consider improving your interviewing skills if you’re able to get another interview. Check out our post here: rhyme-s-totally-fallible-guide-to-interviewing-55030.html for some of the top interview tips to earn yourself an admit. Also, practice in the mirror, on your webcam, or with a friend so you can get feedback.

Recommendation letters - Recommendation letters are a chance for the Adcoms to get a feeling for what others think about you. It’s a huge opportunity, because a strong recommendation can really make the Adcoms want you in their class. Check out my post here: how-to-pick-a-recommender-129379.html#p1061688 on our top ways to choose your recommenders. Make sure to tell them that you want the most glowing review they can offer, and make sure that you trust them to do that.

Were you really qualified for the program you applied for? Our initial advice is that you collect the “class profile” for your school’s website to really determine if you were within reasonable striking distance of the class. If you were way above the average in most areas, then you know that you should concentrate more on the application. If you were below the class profile, then you should consider trying to improve in the following areas.

GMAT Score – So there are two things to consider about your GMAT score. First, was your overall score ATLEAST within the 80% range. You want to make sure that your score was within that range otherwise your application might not even get the appropriate lookover. Second, was your quant score high enough? Typically, Adcoms want to see a quant score into the 75% + or preferably even higher. If you were able to get that great overall score, but the quant wasn’t very high, you might need to address this issue. Our advice, is retake it if you think this was a contributing factor. If you are considering retaking, check out our post here: should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html#p624689. And if you decide to retake, begin you studying again here: new-to-the-gmat-club-start-here-130870.html#p1075374 to revamp your GMAT studying.

Low GPA – If your GPA was significantly below the average GPA at your school of choice, the Adcoms may be concerned that you can’t handle the educational challenges of an MBA. If your GPA is low (below 3.1) you should consider an alternate transcript. An alternate transcript would be any classes that you’ve taken after college. You should consider taking some online or in-person classes at a reputable university to help offset your low GPA. Some of the best classes to take would be Calculus, Accounting, Micro/Macro Economics, Statistics, etc. MAKE SURE to get A- or better in all of these classes. The lower your GPA, the more classes you should consider taking. This can take LARGE amounts of time, so make sure that your return on investment of time is worth it. If you have other areas you believe you can improve with this time, then an alternate transcript isn’t always the best choice. If your GPA is below a 3.0, even just a class or two can help.

Work Experience – Work experience can be very challenging and timely to make any changes to. But you should consider a couple things, did I have too much or too little work experience? Applying with no work experience, or over 10 years of work experience, you may not fit into the typical business school profile. For a young applicant, you can definitely improve your profile by working more. For an older applicant, you may consider an executive or part-time MBA since these draw older applicants.

Extracurricular Activities – Bschools want to know that you aren’t just a book worm. That want to see that you have leadership potential, philanthropic mentality, and are involved in your community. Extracurriculars are a great way to show that you’re a normal person! Schools don’t only want the brightest and best students on paper, they want people that can succeed in the real world. If you are light on the extracurriculars, you should consider getting more involved. Most important, a leadership position would be the most beneficial. See what groups, clubs, and organization are in your community, and join them. It’s another way to improve your application. And if you’re so lucky to achieve a leadership position then it will be even stronger. This can take a long time, so start early!

Did you apply in round 3 or round 4? This alone could have put you at a big disadvantage. Those rounds are generally considered more competitive and more of a gamble. For many reasons, we would encourage you to apply round 1 and round 2 for your new application season. So this means that you should start improving yourself ASAP after you were dinged. Sometimes you won’t have much time. But remember, as a re-applicant, you have a lot to prove! So make sure that you make big strides everywhere you can to show the Adcoms how much better you are this year.

Not everyone is cut out for Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. In fact, even for the most qualified of applicants, these schools can be a long shot. You have to remember that no one will give you an admission to a top school. So one of the hardest steps in this process is to sometimes shoot lower or broaden the school list. If you are dead set on a top school and won’t attend a lesser school, then by all means don’t waste your time on applying to lesser schools. But if you just want to go to a school, then make sure that you don’t leave yourself with nothing at the end of the season. Apply to a wide range of schools! Look at our school rankings: 2011-mba-rankings-99812.html#p769630 to decide where you’re profile might fit best.

BONUS: Check out our list of Application Tips to really polish your application!

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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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28 May 2013, 09:28

I have a question about reapplying. Can you help me out?

All the points you mentioned was for people who got rejected and now want to reapply.
I got admitted to all my schools but I want to reapply for the scholarships. (I was told by adcom that because I applied in later rounds I didn't get much financial aid and if I apply earlier I have a better chance at getting scholarships)
What do you think I should do?

My profile/package did get me into the school. Now that I want to reapply, what should I do about my profile? What part of my profile can I change?
(Is it weird to reapply just for a chance at scholarships?)
Current Student
Joined: 04 Oct 2011
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28 May 2013, 11:21
mehrabounr wrote:

I have a question about reapplying. Can you help me out?

All the points you mentioned was for people who got rejected and now want to reapply.
I got admitted to all my schools but I want to reapply for the scholarships. (I was told by adcom that because I applied in later rounds I didn't get much financial aid and if I apply earlier I have a better chance at getting scholarships)
What do you think I should do?

My profile/package did get me into the school. Now that I want to reapply, what should I do about my profile? What part of my profile can I change?
(Is it weird to reapply just for a chance at scholarships?)

Are you sure you want to do this? I'm not familiar with any of the schools on your list but this seems very strange and like a pretty bad idea at first glance. I'm fairly certain the admissions person you talked to was just informing you that you would have had a better chance at scholarship money had you applied earlier. I don't think they were trying to tell you to re-apply in round 1 of next year. What are you going to write in your application? They will ask why you are re-applying and what you have done differently. You can't simply answer, well I got in before but I want you to give me more money to convince me to come to your school.
Intern
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 35
GMAT 1: 660 Q49 V31
GPA: 3.06
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Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 10

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28 May 2013, 11:42
mappleby wrote:
mehrabounr wrote:

I have a question about reapplying. Can you help me out?

All the points you mentioned was for people who got rejected and now want to reapply.
I got admitted to all my schools but I want to reapply for the scholarships. (I was told by adcom that because I applied in later rounds I didn't get much financial aid and if I apply earlier I have a better chance at getting scholarships)
What do you think I should do?

My profile/package did get me into the school. Now that I want to reapply, what should I do about my profile? What part of my profile can I change?
(Is it weird to reapply just for a chance at scholarships?)

Are you sure you want to do this? I'm not familiar with any of the schools on your list but this seems very strange and like a pretty bad idea at first glance. I'm fairly certain the admissions person you talked to was just informing you that you would have had a better chance at scholarship money had you applied earlier. I don't think they were trying to tell you to re-apply in round 1 of next year. What are you going to write in your application? They will ask why you are re-applying and what you have done differently. You can't simply answer, well I got in before but I want you to give me more money to convince me to come to your school.

Not in those words but you got the point.
I'm not saying convince me, I'm saying I love your school just help me a little more.
But how can I do that? Get a better GMAT may be part of it but what about the rest?
Current Student
Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 433
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 700 Q44 V41
GMAT 2: 750 Q48 V46
GPA: 3.03
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Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 115 [0], given: 150

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28 May 2013, 15:02
I'm a big believer in shooting high. I don't know much about Canadian school but I imiagine the process is pretty similar to the US. My honest opinion is that if you got accepted at every single school you applied to then you didn't aim high enough.

If for financial reasons you really cannot attend without the additional financial aid then I would try to re-take the GMAT and apply round 1. But I would add some schools from the next tier on a competitive basis. At least 1 or 2 reach schools because you never know. When I re-applied I was shooting for Columbia and Booth but adding in some safety schools as well. In your case I think you should do the opposite because you must have a decent profile to get 5 admits. You could try to make the case in your re-applications that you financially couldn't afford school but in the last year you've gotten your financial house in order so to speak. I can't really say how that will be viewed by the AdComm though.
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31 Mar 2015, 06:44
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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02 Dec 2016, 00:00
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Comprehensive Re-Applicant Guide   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2016, 00:00
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