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Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate

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Joined: 02 Feb 2012
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Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 09:42
So I applied to a bunch of schools last year without much luck. 6/7 ding w/o interview and one waitlist after interview.

I recently had an old app reviewed and got some great feedback. Some of it I knew but was built upon and some of it was completely eye opening. My essays didn't get across nearly enough. They focused on the wrong stories. I didn't show enough leadership.Also, my resume was confusing and made it look like I only had 1 position at my company over 4 years (I actually had 3, but only listed the most recent title). What really hit home was that I presented myself both as someone who sat in one role for the entire time and that I came off like an IT guy. Issue is, I work in finance. Primarily in financial planning and compensation.

My big question/worry is - Can I undo this damage? CBS is my top choice program. Unfortunately, they only ask for one essay discussing what you've done since the last app. That's no big deal since I got a promotion, but it doesn't give me a chance to undo my essays from last year. I worry they will read the old app and immediately either write me off or question my newer resume/app showing job growth and a totally different field. Other schools, like Booth, ask for full applications from reapplicants. I assume this means they put less focus on your past app. I may be wrong. I'm not sure.

Does anyone have any input on this? To go to school this coming year would be better for me, but I feel like I have two years (maybe 3, but that's a stretch - I'd be 27 at matriculation if I start in 2013) before I'm too old. If I apply this year, I need to do damage control for last years apps. Should that not work, and I don't get in, then I'm a reapplicant again the next year. The alternative is that I take a year off, lose the reapplicant status and everything that would carry with it, and apply fresh. If I go this route, I'd definitely change jobs to show even more growth, as well as (hopefully) do better on the GMAT and pick up some new hobbies. The other catch to this is that most jobs I'd get would be further up my current path, which is essentially a branch of Accounting. My Post-MBA goal is IBanking. I'm not sure whether schools would look negatively upon someone from that field trying to get into IBanking. Getting into an investment-side role now will be exceedingly difficult (thus why I want an MBA). The alternate is trying to transition more to an operations type role, maybe affiliated more with trade settlement, so I get some slight market exposure. The only other alternative would be, if I'm applying as a fresh applicant, to say my career goal is more to grow the accounting side and eventually become a CFO. I don't think I want to do this, but it may be seen as more likely and easier for schools to place.

What would you all recommend?
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Current Student
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Joined: 26 May 2010
Posts: 694
Location: United States (MA)
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Schools: MIT Sloan - Class of 2015
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 10:14
Quote:
Should that not work, and I don't get in, then I'm a reapplicant again the next year. The alternative is that I take a year off, lose the reapplicant status and everything that would carry with it, and apply fresh.

Just curious: why do you think you'd no longer be a reapplicant if you wait a year? You would still be reapplying and I would expect you'd still be considered a reapplicant.
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 10:50
kingfalcon wrote:
Quote:
Should that not work, and I don't get in, then I'm a reapplicant again the next year. The alternative is that I take a year off, lose the reapplicant status and everything that would carry with it, and apply fresh.

Just curious: why do you think you'd no longer be a reapplicant if you wait a year? You would still be reapplying and I would expect you'd still be considered a reapplicant.

Every program I looked at and will be reapplying to, with the exception of Booth, states specifically that you are only considered a reapplicant if you applied the previous year. Booth has a two year window.
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 11:05
If you know what went wrong and can fix it this year, then apply this year. There's no need to wait an additional year simply to avoid being a reapplicant. Yes, schools will look at your app from last year. However, since this year's will be much improved you would have already cleared that "reapplicant" hurdle. After that this year's app is judged on its own merits vs. the entire pool. Good luck!
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2012, 20:58
Tricky situation, I agree..

As hard as it is to continue in your current job when you have your sights set on an MBA, if I were you, I would not apply this year and take the risk of applying for Fall 2014 with a clean slate. Yes, you will be a year older and yes, you will not have any guarantee of getting in that year, but I look at it as a high risk - high gain move. It is unlikely that a reapplicant essay will help you do damage control at schools like CBS that only ask you for one essay and not the entire app. So, all in all, your best shot at getting into a top school of your choice would be to apply at a time when the priority of presenting your best application is not being shared with performing damage control.

If you can use the interim two years to crystallize your goals further, alter your work profile to make them a logical next step after and MBA and work on your overall profile and ECs, you should be in a great position to get into CBS in Fall '14!
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 08:53
Do schools typically preclude inclusion of anything other than the new essay for reapplicants? If not then submitting a full application might be another option.
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 09:22
Scorpionz - thanks for the advice!

Yeah I'm leaning more and more toward putting it off and applying fresh in a year. I really want to reapply this year, but I just don't feel like enough has changed. One of my worries is that since I was always young for my grade, if I put it off to start Fall '14, I'll be 28 (applying and at matriculation) but will be at ~80 months work experience. I think 28 is fine (though 30 at graduation sounds old to me), since many programs show 27-28 as the median and mean age, but 80 months of work experience sounds high. I don't think this should hurt me in any way, but I'm not sure. I also think getting experience somewhere else will be beneficial, as all I've known professionally is my current company. I know I should be a better applicant if I wait, which I think is ultimately the most important aspect.

imalawyer - I've asked about submitting a full application for schools that don't require it. It seems they prefer you only submit what they request. Also, they'll still be comparing it against my old app which I'm not happy with.
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Joined: 07 Feb 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 104 [0], given: 27

Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 10:22
Good luck sdd966! Let us know what direction you take finally..
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Re: Reapply or wait a year and apply as a new candidate   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2012, 10:22
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