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Reapplication Question: Deferred MBA App (e.g. HBS 2+2) to Regular App

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Reapplication Question: Deferred MBA App (e.g. HBS 2+2) to Regular App  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2019, 10:09
Hello,

I have already applied to the deferred MBA programs at HBS, Columbia, GSB, MIT, and Booth (e.g. HBS 2+2), and I was wondering whether this fact harms my chances when reapplying to these schools in 2-4 years. My main concerns are as follows:

1.) I was dinged at all five of the schools without an interview (and some of the schools have you indicate "Have you previously applied" and "Did you have an interview")

2.) I now have a different approach I want to take with my application: I applied to the programs laying out my post-MBA goals to be in investment management, but (after reconsidering my strengths as an engineer at a Fortune 100 engineering firm) I have decided that a more realistic path is to pursue a post-MBA job at a management consulting firm, then transition into more finance related roles. Because the schools will have my previous application in favor of investment management, my concern is that by switching my goals, it seems that I do not know what I want or that I am simply trying to boost my chances (even though the change was due to my realization that the path I had chosen for my previous application was unrealistic and now chose a more plausible path).

3.) I have read that the deferred MBA programs are more competitive than the regular MBA programs, but I don't imagine that it is that stark of a difference in competitiveness. Although misguided, part of the reason I applied is because I majored in Mechanical Engineering and I heard that many deferred programs favor STEM. But since I did not even get an interview, I am not sure whether I should apply to those schools again since I was not competitive despite all of the advantages I had for the deferred MBA application.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Reapplication Question: Deferred MBA App (e.g. HBS 2+2) to Regular App  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2019, 23:02
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SimbaJSK

I'm sorry to hear that you were doing that all 5 schools, that has to be quite deflating. I will say, that normally it is extremely ill advised to switch your goals for the standard applicant. It does come across as though you don't know what you are trying to do with the MBA.

However, in the case of a deferred applicant, who was applying at least 2 years later I think this would be OK. If you feel that there is a greater degree of connected dots between management consulting and your education/experience so far, and there is a passion/legacy story in there, then go that direction.

Make note of the switch in the additional information section.

I do not think you should make the assumption that you were dinged because your goals were not realistic enough. I don't have all the context, but as a deferred applicant that's little bit less important than for someone seasoned.

I strongly strongly recommend that you get feedback on your application from a professional. There's something going on that is a greater explanatory variable as to why you were dinged and I don't want you to start making changes without knowing what that is.

That's a lot of schools to avoid in your next attempt, and it could be that your stem background was helpful but there were other things that overwhelmed that. So again I just don't think you should start making half informed attempts thinking about what the problem was and how you should fix it.

Also, I think chemical engineering or something in the sciences is more of the STEM candidate HBS is looking for. Not sure if you are Indian, but Indian Mechanical Engineers is a pretty massive applicant pool and it would be tough to stand out. In this case, being an engineer would be more of a negative than a positive based on your profile group.

HBS wants to help scientific breakthroughs get to market. That is kind of the thrust of their preference for STEM.

I do think you should apply to fresh schools….definitely…but you may find that there were other factors in your application that you could remedy in your next go around. Most likely application execution (essays/CV/recs/app boxes.)

As a note, if you don’t have a strong “habit of leadership” – volunteering – contribution – you should really focus on that and develop a track record of leadership with that organization.

SimbaJSK wrote:
Hello,

I have already applied to the deferred MBA programs at HBS, Columbia, GSB, MIT, and Booth (e.g. HBS 2+2), and I was wondering whether this fact harms my chances when reapplying to these schools in 2-4 years. My main concerns are as follows:

1.) I was dinged at all five of the schools without an interview (and some of the schools have you indicate "Have you previously applied" and "Did you have an interview")

2.) I now have a different approach I want to take with my application: I applied to the programs laying out my post-MBA goals to be in investment management, but (after reconsidering my strengths as an engineer at a Fortune 100 engineering firm) I have decided that a more realistic path is to pursue a post-MBA job at a management consulting firm, then transition into more finance related roles. Because the schools will have my previous application in favor of investment management, my concern is that by switching my goals, it seems that I do not know what I want or that I am simply trying to boost my chances (even though the change was due to my realization that the path I had chosen for my previous application was unrealistic and now chose a more plausible path).

3.) I have read that the deferred MBA programs are more competitive than the regular MBA programs, but I don't imagine that it is that stark of a difference in competitiveness. Although misguided, part of the reason I applied is because I majored in Mechanical Engineering and I heard that many deferred programs favor STEM. But since I did not even get an interview, I am not sure whether I should apply to those schools again since I was not competitive despite all of the advantages I had for the deferred MBA application.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Reapplication Question: Deferred MBA App (e.g. HBS 2+2) to Regular App  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 13:07
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Hi SimbaJSK,

I am so sorry that your application to the deferred program was not successful this time around. When that happens, it is absolutely normal to think that we didn't do this or that right. Remember that you have applied to programs with single-digit acceptance rates, and it's difficult for everyone. I recommend you not allow this experience to deter you from applying to these and other programs in the future should they be the right fit for you and your goals.

To answer your questions:

1. People often assume that because you are rejected once, you can no longer apply to the program. That is a myth! Universities have to make really difficult decisions when they accept/reject applicants. They want to see growth, and when you re-apply and can demonstrate your strength in candidacy, they will view your persistence and perseverance as a strength of character. If you choose to re-apply to these schools, I recommend you write a statement that addresses your growth since your last application.

2. If your re-application took place this coming year (application season 2019-2020), I would agree with your statement. However, because you are not re-applying immediately, you are absolutely allowed to carve out a new path. Again, be sure to include this in your re-application. If you are certain that an MBA is in your future, I recommend you evaluate your profile holistically and identify weaker areas. Then, prepare a strategy to address those weaknesses so that when you re-apply, your candidacy is even stronger.

3. The schools you have applied to are top-ranked institutions and with a limited number of "seats" in the deferred program, it will indeed be very competitive. Harvard 2+2, for example, has an 8% admissions rate. These are competitive programs, and while they may favor STEM, that doesn't make acceptance easier - you have to differentiate from other STEM applicants with a similar background. I recommend you not rule these programs out in your next application round. Instead, focus on strengthening your profile, and clearly defining your professional goals.

I am happy to continue this conversation offline. If interested, please reach out.

Good luck!




SimbaJSK wrote:
Hello,

I have already applied to the deferred MBA programs at HBS, Columbia, GSB, MIT, and Booth (e.g. HBS 2+2), and I was wondering whether this fact harms my chances when reapplying to these schools in 2-4 years. My main concerns are as follows:

1.) I was dinged at all five of the schools without an interview (and some of the schools have you indicate "Have you previously applied" and "Did you have an interview")

2.) I now have a different approach I want to take with my application: I applied to the programs laying out my post-MBA goals to be in investment management, but (after reconsidering my strengths as an engineer at a Fortune 100 engineering firm) I have decided that a more realistic path is to pursue a post-MBA job at a management consulting firm, then transition into more finance related roles. Because the schools will have my previous application in favor of investment management, my concern is that by switching my goals, it seems that I do not know what I want or that I am simply trying to boost my chances (even though the change was due to my realization that the path I had chosen for my previous application was unrealistic and now chose a more plausible path).

3.) I have read that the deferred MBA programs are more competitive than the regular MBA programs, but I don't imagine that it is that stark of a difference in competitiveness. Although misguided, part of the reason I applied is because I majored in Mechanical Engineering and I heard that many deferred programs favor STEM. But since I did not even get an interview, I am not sure whether I should apply to those schools again since I was not competitive despite all of the advantages I had for the deferred MBA application.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Reapplication Question: Deferred MBA App (e.g. HBS 2+2) to Regular App   [#permalink] 16 May 2019, 13:07
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