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Turning Down an offer

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New post 20 Feb 2012, 14:24
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?

I know its a business and its all about fit, but after working with admissions people for two months, meeting them at various events and really getting their personal attention, turning down an offer was actually one of the hardest parts of this process for me so far. I guess I'm kind of a sap.
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 16:31
I am looking forward to turning down many offers. :)
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 16:41
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sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?

I know its a business and its all about fit, but after working with admissions people for two months, meeting them at various events and really getting their personal attention, turning down an offer was actually one of the hardest parts of this process for me so far. I guess I'm kind of a sap.



it's much better to turn down spots and free those up for people who would like to matriculate, than to delay the decision in order to boost one's ego
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 17:17
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pacostacos wrote:
sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?

I know its a business and its all about fit, but after working with admissions people for two months, meeting them at various events and really getting their personal attention, turning down an offer was actually one of the hardest parts of this process for me so far. I guess I'm kind of a sap.



it's much better to turn down spots and free those up for people who would like to matriculate, than to delay the decision in order to boost one's ego


I don't think the OP was boosting her ego. You do build semi-personal connections with staff, and if they admit you and/or provide funding, then you know they believe in your promise. You wanted them, they wanted you, but at some point something better came along and its time to say goodbye. We all know the deal, but that doesn't mean there isn't some emotional investment.
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 17:22
Yeah, I can pretty much promise you I am not trying to "boost my ego" by denying other people access to admissions. My ego is nice and healthy just the way it is.
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 17:38
Did you apply to more than one undergrad? If so, did you have similar feelings then?
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 17:58
Actually I did only apply to one undergrad, and I really feel like the grad admission process is much more personal. I guess maybe its because for the most part my schools are looking for smaller class sizes and spend more time getting to know your personality.
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 19:02
When I turned down my other offer, their response was "Thanks, good luck!"

I wouldn't worry about the adcom's feelings. They deal with this kind of thing all the time.

As much as it may feel personal, this is their job. turning them down is an inevitability for both them and you. When you let them know, they'll cross your name out, and give your spot to someone else. end of story.

Don't sweat it.
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New post 20 Feb 2012, 23:02
Yea, I wouldn't worry about it too much. They are professionals, and people turn them down all the time. Congrats on getting multiple offers though!
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New post 21 Feb 2012, 09:48
sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?

I know its a business and its all about fit, but after working with admissions people for two months, meeting them at various events and really getting their personal attention, turning down an offer was actually one of the hardest parts of this process for me so far. I guess I'm kind of a sap.


Yeah I know exactly what you mean. I took time to build relationships with students, alum and adcom for all the schools I applied to for a while, so I will feel bad saying 'thanks, but no thanks' to them. I guess I'm a sap as well, haha!

But the other posters are right - they deal with this all the time and its not as big a deal as we think. If you see them in the future say hi and keep in touch if it makes sense. (I plan on staying in touch with students and alum of the other schools). Congrats on being in such a predicament!
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New post 21 Feb 2012, 15:47
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mbalady wrote:
sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?

I know its a business and its all about fit, but after working with admissions people for two months, meeting them at various events and really getting their personal attention, turning down an offer was actually one of the hardest parts of this process for me so far. I guess I'm kind of a sap.


Yeah I know exactly what you mean. I took time to build relationships with students, alum and adcom for all the schools I applied to for a while, so I will feel bad saying 'thanks, but no thanks' to them. I guess I'm a sap as well, haha!

But the other posters are right - they deal with this all the time and its not as big a deal as we think. If you see them in the future say hi and keep in touch if it makes sense. (I plan on staying in touch with students and alum of the other schools). Congrats on being in such a predicament!


Thanks! When I was telling some of my friends who are in law school about it they laughed at my "terrible problem."

I kind of feel that the way I feel/handle situations like this are just another dimension of who I am that sets me apart from standard b-school applicants, and that's definitely something I plan to leverage in the future :)
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New post Updated on: 22 Feb 2012, 13:13
I think it depends on what kind of a program you are applying for, and how many applicants apply and the philosophy of the admissions staff. If they believe that this is a personal process, you will feel that way too. Other programs don't give that impression and it doesn't make the applicants feel that way either.

Originally posted by novanative on 21 Feb 2012, 19:37.
Last edited by novanative on 22 Feb 2012, 13:13, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 22 Feb 2012, 12:26
as someone who's very personable and keeps in close contact with the adcoms, yes I'd feel terrible. The fact is, the more you interact with the adcom, the more familiar they become with your character and potential-and that makes them more willing to go to bat for you when push comes to shove. If you develop a personal relationship with them, obviously you'd feel bad at ending what is basically a potential friendship when it comes time to reject their offer. That is the cost of doing business though-you can be rest assured if they didn't think you were the right fit for them, they wouldn't give you a second look. So we're all mercenaries here, in the end.
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New post 22 Feb 2012, 14:14
I don't think you are seeing the big picture. Schools have thousands of applicants and honestly they probably don't even remember you past your profile. They reject 80+% of their applicants and don't lose any sleep over it, so why should you?
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New post 22 Feb 2012, 15:49
fcvald01 wrote:
I don't think you are seeing the big picture. Schools have thousands of applicants and honestly they probably don't even remember you past your profile. They reject 80+% of their applicants and don't lose any sleep over it, so why should you?


Lol, I actually think the OP is seeing the reeeally big picture that many often don't.

sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
mbalady wrote:
sometimesitsnows01 wrote:
Does anyone else feel terrible after turning down an offer?


I kind of feel that the way I feel/handle situations like this are just another dimension of who I am that sets me apart from standard b-school applicants, and that's definitely something I plan to leverage in the future :)


I completely agree - this empathetic reaction and perspective is valuable and it is something you should totally leverage as you proceed in your career. All the best!
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New post 23 Feb 2012, 08:22
Mbalady, I think you completely misunderstood my point. My point is that no empathy is needed when they aren't even going to remember you. This isn't like college basketball where the coach comes to your games and sits in your living room and trys to talk you into coming to their school. Like I said, they talk to thousands of students every year and won't remember most of them. I also wasn't saying you should have a kill first attitude in the business world. If you have to cut business ties or leave a job, sure you should feel kind of bad. That reaction will get you far.

Sometimesitsnow, if you really feel bad then send them a fruit basket and some Christmas cards. If your going to come on here and brag about turning down an offer and at the same time try to get some pity from people who can't even get into schools, well then I have no empathy for you. Also, I know your in law school, but this isn't a jury so you don't need to talk yourself up here. That stuff won't set you apart from the rest of the b-school applicants because people can cut right through that BS. Everyone here for the most part probably has that "dimension" but doesn't need to come on here to display it.
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New post Updated on: 23 Feb 2012, 09:20
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fcvald01 wrote:
Sometimesitsnow, if you really feel bad then send them a fruit basket and some Christmas cards. If your going to come on here and brag about turning down an offer and at the same time try to get some pity from people who can't even get into schools, well then I have no empathy for you. Also, I know your in law school, but this isn't a jury so you don't need to talk yourself up here. That stuff won't set you apart from the rest of the b-school applicants because people can cut right through that BS. Everyone here for the most part probably has that "dimension" but doesn't need to come on here to display it.


If there was a way to thumbs down this post, I would mash the button 20 times.

Originally posted by method on 23 Feb 2012, 08:34.
Last edited by method on 23 Feb 2012, 09:20, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 23 Feb 2012, 08:44
Well sorry if you didn't feel as insulted as I did. To me it sounded like an immature rant about getting an offer and telling everyone that she has some unique quality that other b-school applicants don't because she felt sorry for turning down the offer.
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New post 23 Feb 2012, 09:19
I don't think the OP was meant to be a humblebrag or anything. I'm not in anywhere yet, but have liked all the schools that offered me interviews. I don't know how there can't be a sense of regret or a wondering of "what if" as you turn down an offer. The feeling is manifested when you think of the people that took the time and energy to sell their school to you.

Hopefully people that have been rejected everywhere (and I may end up being one of them) either are thick skinned enough to not be offended when someone mentions that they were accepted into more than one place (I would assume most people get in more than one school; these places aren't that unique in what they are looking for) or they refrain from clicking on a thread where the subject is "Turing Down an Offer."
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New post 23 Feb 2012, 09:37
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First rule of business - it's business, not personal. Adcoms create these relationships with everyone they possibly can or want to. They are marketing their school, their brand, and want YOUR money and intelectual capital.

Trust me, with every top school having 100s of students, each one of them rejecting atleast an average of a couple schools, it is something they are used to. They see this 100s of times every year! And they would not have felt bad about dinging you.

If you can't make the tough decissions-easy and can't have the tough conversations in the right way, you will not make a strong business person. We all face these challenges on a daily basis. This is just part of life and the business world. You might be feeling this way, but I guarantee that the Adcoms you've been on contact with seriously couldn't care less where you go.

There are 100s of students on this website pulling their hair out, waiting for admits, hoping for their top school. Then we've got you that is like "how do I let down all these great admits?" we just had such a great relationship. Sounds like privaleged people problems. Don't let worry keep you from doing the right thing. Especially since there is someone else out there, not as fortunate as you, on the waiting list, that will get an admit b/c you decided not to go. Think about them, not about yourself.
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