How an HBS Re-Applicant Made Sure That She Got In This Year
Putting in the time and effort to apply to top tier schools only to be rejected across the board is extremely disappointing. For many people, this defeat leads them to give up on business school completely. However, with hard work and a good strategy, in many cases it’s worth it to reapply. To illustrate how it works (and provide some inspiration!), in this post we’re providing a case study on a client who came to us this past year after she had been rejected from several top schools the year before.
From our initial conversations with Callie, we could tell that she was a compelling candidate with a decent shot at the top tier programs: her test scores were below the average but in range, her GPA was in-line with the average for the top tier schools, and she had both interesting goals and strong work experience. Of course, like most applicants, she did have some hurdles to overcome: her quant score on the GMAT was significantly under the threshold you’d want to see, and she was quite a bit older than the average candidate for most top programs (especially HBS). However, what really struck us as a selling point for her was her personal story as well as the articulate and inspiring way that she explained her goals and the story behind them. A good story can overcome almost anything else, so we recommended that she go ahead and reapply to HBS among other top programs.
After reviewing Callie’s previous applications, Callie’s VP consultant, Katherine, guided her through the process of approaching the applications differently this year; and through Callie’s hard work and a new application strategy, she was accepted to not only HBS but also several other top programs including Haas and MIT.
So, how did she do it:
Her scores didn’t change; neither did her industry or goals. However, the way that she positioned herself changed dramatically as Callie was able to connect the dots for the adcom so that they could see her full story and get a feel for the type of person that she is (motivated, passionate and out to change the world!) In addition, the promotion and extracurricular leadership opportunities were vital – in the year between her application decisions and starting the process again, she made great use of her time and was able to gain great leadership experience, which is the backbone of any great application.
We’re very excited for Callie and hope that her story inspires others who are wondering if reapplying is truly worth all of the effort!
As always, we’re happy to chat if you have questions about how you could use a similar strategy: www.vantagepointmba.com.
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