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Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU

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Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 14:02
Hey GMAT Clubbers--

I've been watching this forum from afar for a while, but after getting my third waitlist decision in a row (out of only applying to three schools), I figured I would reach out to the forum and see if anyone had any insight as to what may have kept me off the definite yes list. My stats:

28, 6 years w/e in public relations hoping to transition to marketing, MS in Journalism
3.6, Top 3 Ivy, English...
720 GMAT (94%); 48Q (83%) 40V (89%), 6.0 AWA
Heavy E/C in college theater w/leadership, not much since graduating but am involved with a charity and cultural causes, plus I interview applicants for my university

The only thing I can think of is that I applied kind of late. 2/2 to Columbia, 2/9 to Stern, 3/9 to Wharton.

What do you think my chances are of getting into at least one of these schools? Any insight would be appreciated.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 14:15
PRtoMBA wrote:
Hey GMAT Clubbers--

I've been watching this forum from afar for a while, but after getting my third waitlist decision in a row (out of only applying to three schools), I figured I would reach out to the forum and see if anyone had any insight as to what may have kept me off the definite yes list. My stats:

28, 6 years w/e in public relations hoping to transition to marketing, MS in Journalism
3.6, Top 3 Ivy, English...
720 GMAT (94%); 48Q (83%) 40V (89%), 6.0 AWA
Heavy E/C in college theater w/leadership, not much since graduating but am involved with a charity and cultural causes, plus I interview applicants for my university

The only thing I can think of is that I applied kind of late. 2/2 to Columbia, 2/9 to Stern, 3/9 to Wharton.

What do you think my chances are of getting into at least one of these schools? Any insight would be appreciated.


I would make 2 comments... 1) is that your stats are there so it's definitely not there.. 2) Is that, my first question would be WHY are you going for MBA. Being that you applied late i would assume that you were not thinking about this for years and year and year.. So was this like a last minute, I wanna get out of here thing? cuz if that's the case you probably would have a hard time getting in R3. Stern albeit a hard school, is far easier to get into than the other two, so I assume there is some question of motivation.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 14:21
Thanks for weighing in...I did fear motivation would be a question due to the late application. However, it really was more like my job for the first time (I started last February) exposed me to CPG marketing teams and watching them in action, a light bulb went off that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Problem is the light bulb didn't start flickering until November and I basically decided that I didn't want to wait a year to apply because I was so sure that this was what I wanted.

I thought I communicated that in my apps and in my interviews but maybe not enough?? How do I convince a school that doesn't ask for any additional material to understand this? And if they've decided I wasn't motivated, why didn't they flat out reject me? Why keep me around?
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 14:36
PRtoMBA wrote:
Thanks for weighing in...I did fear motivation would be a question due to the late application. However, it really was more like my job for the first time (I started last February) exposed me to CPG marketing teams and watching them in action, a light bulb went off that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Problem is the light bulb didn't start flickering until November and I basically decided that I didn't want to wait a year to apply because I was so sure that this was what I wanted.

I thought I communicated that in my apps and in my interviews but maybe not enough?? How do I convince a school that doesn't ask for any additional material to understand this? And if they've decided I wasn't motivated, why didn't they flat out reject me? Why keep me around?


Being that it is May, there's probably not much you can do about it. Although application season starts in like a month again which would be all too bad. But with waitlist, this year seems to be a very stagnent year. PM me if you have any questions.

As for communicated in your apps, you need to decide 1 did you address why, secondly #2 did you overly stress why and didn't show the multiple dimensions of yourself.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 14:52
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Welcome to GMAT Club!
Number one - congratulations on the waitlists - much better than dings. Indeed, the R3 applications are usually considered tougher than R1 and R2. I think the chances are good with 3 schools.

While you are in agony waiting, take a look at this resource for waitlist options: waitlist-best-practices-58801.html
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 16:49
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Also, even if you've discussed the "why," maybe schools are looking for more of a commitment to your career switch. 3 months isn't very long to show what you've already done to move in the direction you want to go. Have you done anything tangible to demonstrate your interest beyond your lightbulb moment? You've watched these marketing teams, but have you participated? Taken on extra responsibilities, ECs, etc.? If so, you may want to highlight that stuff in your updates to schools.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 19:07
I think you probably need to re-take the GMAT to aim at a 750. 720 is a little bit low given that you majored in English. my 2 cents.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 23:41
lawgonebusiness wrote:
I think you probably need to re-take the GMAT to aim at a 750. 720 is a little bit low given that you majored in English. my 2 cents.



I couldn't put a percentage on your chances of getting off the wait list, but I don't agree with this post above. 720 should be sufficient. The 48 on the math is good enough that I wouldn't question your math ability. If anything, I'd have a harder time understanding the 40 on the verbal (given that you're english major from HYP). In any case, there's no reason to question your verbal ability given your background, so I don't think the GMAT is a problem at all.

I think the timing of the application is likely your biggest pitfall, and it's hard to make a strong case that you want to switch to a new career (something you'd want to do for the majority of your working life) just because a lightbulb went off in your head a few months ago. To that effect, I think you should do something to show to the adcoms just how serious you are about changing to that career. If it's possible to get an internship for the summer, I think I would do that (and make sure that the adcom's know about it). All that being said, it might just be a tough year to get off a wait list.

Good luck.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 05:46
Thanks everyone for your feedback...since Columbia and Wharton both don't want to hear from you I think I will just have to keep my fingers crossed that they realize I am dead serious about making a career switch and just because I didn't know my whole life that I wanted to work in marketing doesn't mean I want it any less than someone who has been dreaming about going to b-school since he or she was a little kid!

I also think that if I don't get in this year, I would have a good shot at acceptance if I reapply R1 next year. Do you agree with that assessment?
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 05:58
PRtoMBA wrote:
The only thing I can think of is that I applied kind of late. 2/2 to Columbia, 2/9 to Stern, 3/9 to Wharton.

What do you think my chances are of getting into at least one of these schools? Any insight would be appreciated.


Personally, I think the main reason is because you applied late. All those dates look like R3. Given that the yield is exceptionally high at most schools this year, even if they think you're a qualified candidate, there's just no room, hence the waitlist. One other thing may be because you seem like a non-traditional candidate, and they may have already filled their quota for non-traditional candidates.

My understanding is that getting in off a waitlist is very hard, but anything's possible. Right now, you have nothing to lose by staying on them. Each school is different in terms of how they manage their waitlists. Some schools like to keep a large one; some schools like to keep a small one; most schools use it to manage their yield. It's possible you will have to wait till the first day of the semester. In summary, the waitlist is not a good place to be, as you've probably already found out. Basically, you're their back-up. But hey, like I said, anything's possible.

Best of luck!
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 06:01
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I agree with LetsGoMets, 720/3.6 is a good enough stats where it will not keep your out of the running.

IMO, your waitlist woos may come from:
1) late application, especially for Wharton.
2) fit. Stern, CBS, Wharton are known for finance, but you are trying to change into marketing? My suggestion for next year is to research the schools, apply to marketing schools (maybe use Kellogg as a reach).
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 06:38
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asimov wrote:
I agree with LetsGoMets, 720/3.6 is a good enough stats where it will not keep your out of the running.

IMO, your waitlist woos may come from:
1) late application, especially for Wharton.
2) fit. Stern, CBS, Wharton are known for finance, but you are trying to change into marketing? My suggestion for next year is to research the schools, apply to marketing schools (maybe use Kellogg as a reach).


I respectfully disagree with asimov on the last point. Those 3 schools are, indeed, "known" for finance, but, for example, Wharton is considered the #2 marketing school in the country according to USNews and its marketing program is very highly regarded. I know of several CPG companies who consider some combination of these three schools in their "core" for MBA recruiting. in full disclosure, i applied to all 3 and i'm not in finance nor am i going into finance and i found the programs to be very robust across disciplines. also, these schools are all trying to diversify their classes and move away from a lot of finance people since there are simply fewer jobs there. however, i do agree that if you do end up applying again in the fall, it's worth looking at a few other schools with heavier marketing/cpg reputations, including kellogg, fuqua, ross.

I do agree with asimov and others that it's probably the late application that hurt you, unfortunately. a lot of schools warn people not to apply R3 because it's much more competitive since the first 2 rounds have filled a majority of the class. that being said, if you *don't* get off any of the waitlists, i would definitely try to sharpen/clarify your career vision, revisit how you presented yourself etc.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 06:53
LB20 wrote:
asimov wrote:
I agree with LetsGoMets, 720/3.6 is a good enough stats where it will not keep your out of the running.

IMO, your waitlist woos may come from:
1) late application, especially for Wharton.
2) fit. Stern, CBS, Wharton are known for finance, but you are trying to change into marketing? My suggestion for next year is to research the schools, apply to marketing schools (maybe use Kellogg as a reach).


I respectfully disagree with asimov on the last point. Those 3 schools are, indeed, "known" for finance, but, for example, Wharton is considered the #2 marketing school in the country according to USNews and its marketing program is very highly regarded. I know of several CPG companies who consider some combination of these three schools in their "core" for MBA recruiting. in full disclosure, i applied to all 3 and i'm not in finance nor am i going into finance and i found the programs to be very robust across disciplines. also, these schools are all trying to diversify their classes and move away from a lot of finance people since there are simply fewer jobs there. however, i do agree that if you do end up applying again in the fall, it's worth looking at a few other schools with heavier marketing/cpg reputations, including kellogg, fuqua, ross.

I do agree with asimov and others that it's probably the late application that hurt you, unfortunately. a lot of schools warn people not to apply R3 because it's much more competitive since the first 2 rounds have filled a majority of the class. that being said, if you *don't* get off any of the waitlists, i would definitely try to sharpen/clarify your career vision, revisit how you presented yourself etc.


I agree with LB20. I think that if you're good enough to be waitlisted (instead of dinged) this late in the game, you will likely be a very strong candidate if you apply again early next year.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 12:47
My biggest concern and it seems like for other people as well is this quote.

"Problem is the light bulb didn't start flickering until November and I basically decided that I didn't want to wait a year to apply because I was so sure that this was what I wanted."

I know people address the first part, but I also have the second part. You didn't want to wait a year because you are so sure this is what you want. Which is fine, but that makes it seem that you were just rushing through the process. Most people here probably planned on this for upwards of 2 years positioning themselves for the right position career wise to apply.

I think being said that, it might have been better that you go WL'ed by NYU since now you can reapp and take a look a more schools and probably end up at better schools. Take some time to think about it. This is something that you're investing 200-300K.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 13:03
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Thanks everyone; I really appreciate the constructive criticism.

Before I ask my lingering question, I just want to reassure everyone that I am not taking this process for granted. Just because my timeline was a bit more rushed than others does not mean I didn't do my research or apply to schools I thought were a good fit with my career aspirations and personality. I always knew I wanted to change careers, it just took some time for me to fine tune EXACTLY what it was that I wanted...and now I know: CPG marketing. I really don't want anyone here to think that I feel I'm somehow entitled to an education that other people seek out for years and years.

So the lingering question is this: If I didn't articulate my career goals properly and I didn't make a compelling argument for wanting to attend NOW, why on earth wouldn't they have just dinged me and told me to go back to the drawing board? Why keep me waiting around with the possibility of acceptance? And why would EVERYWHERE make the same decision? I have to believe the only reason is because of the late application dates. Am I wrong for sustaining hope that I'll get into at least one of these programs for September 2010?
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 13:24
PRtoMBA wrote:
Am I wrong for sustaining hope that I'll get into at least one of these programs for September 2010?


Well, let's do some math. Let's say that there's a 5% chance you'll get into any single one of those schools off the waitlist, which is pretty optimistic, actually, and school decisions are independent. There're 3 schools, so 1 - 0.95 * 0.95 * 0.95 = 0.142625 or roughly 15% chance of getting into at least one of them.
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 14:04
PRtoMBA wrote:
So the lingering question is this: If I didn't articulate my career goals properly and I didn't make a compelling argument for wanting to attend NOW, why on earth wouldn't they have just dinged me and told me to go back to the drawing board? Why keep me waiting around with the possibility of acceptance? And why would EVERYWHERE make the same decision? I have to believe the only reason is because of the late application dates. Am I wrong for sustaining hope that I'll get into at least one of these programs for September 2010?



I'm obviously not an adcom, so this is just a guess, but: I assume you did put forth a good application. I'm sure your argument was compelling, and you have a good profile otherwise. So you made it that far. The thing is, to get in in the last round, you can't just be good, or even great. You have to be borderline miraculous. You're good enough to be admitted, that's why you're on the waitlist. They wouldn't give you that if they didn't think you'd be a contribution to their school. But maybe their quotas are full, their ranks are full, etc. So you're stuck there until they've received all their acceptances and they know exactly what the incoming class looks like and whether there's a spot for you in it. If any of them accept updates, you've got to show them that you're the one they should give that spot to.

And if that doesn't happen, I'm sure you'll be fine next year. Take the time to refine your application and make sure next year's adcom doesn't ask the same question that each of us asked, apply in early rounds, and you'll be better than admitted.

Best of luck!
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 21:40
Keep in mind too that these are three strong schools. It's not like you're waitlisted at Hult or USF.

An R3 waitlist is a pretty good feather in your cap, which I doubt is anything of value since essentially you're in somewhere or you're not.

Why didn't you wanna try for a January entry at Columbia? Can you still make R1 for that?
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 23:01
I strongly disagree with the view that you need to touch your GMAT - you broke the 80/80 threshhold, you got a 3.6 at H/Y/P, and your goals are CPG marketing - I honestly see no reason why a 790 would make you a more compelling candidate for your career goals and academic aptitude in a b-school setting. I mean, your quantitative score is in line with that of many engineers.

Further, you got wait-listed at schools that aren't considered to have the exact same selectivity profile (most would say that Wharton is more selective than NYU); it's not like you were waitlisted at NYU, Ross and Yale (schools of a more similar competitiveness profile). All three of them want you in the running (waitlist). To me, this says that there is nothing wrong with the competitiveness of your profile.

You're most likely caught up in a situation in which there are few spots left, and it's a high-yield environment.

Best of luck, you're clearly just as qualified as many people who got in R1 and R2 (your essays kept you there, too), but it seems like you might get squeezed out. I hope you get at least one conversion; you've proven your suitability, so let's see if the universe is a fair place!
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Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU [#permalink] New post 20 May 2010, 05:42
Thanks OsbourneCox!

I certainly hope that at least one person just like me in terms of background has been accepted at two of the three schools and chooses one so a spot opens up for me at the other. That said, I've reached a fairly zen place when it comes to embracing the reality that I might just reapply, which will hopefully be enough to a. get me into the running earlier and b. convince these schools that I am, in fact committed.

I just got a fairly significant pay bump at work which will make working another year more tolerable. :) The only downside is paying at least three more application fees and writing some new essays...oh, and being past 30 when I graduate.
Re: Waitlisted EVERYWHERE--Wharton, CBS, and NYU   [#permalink] 20 May 2010, 05:42
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