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Wharton or Reapply HBS (waitlisted) in 9 months?

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 10:48
Hi,

I interviewed with HBS this year and was wailtisted post interview. HBS is definitely my number 1 choice and dream school. I thinking about not going to Wharton this year and just reapply to HBS next year, either with a new job or same job but in a different country/ continent. Since I was waitlisted R1 and released in R2, I think applying R1 next year is too soon, hence I will be applying R2, or Jan 2020.

Do you think this makes sense? Is 9 months too soon for reapplication? Does this warrant enough change/ improvement for adcom to consider my application? Since I was waitlisted in R1, I assume nothing was very wrong with my application, and that it just came down to luck (HBS rounding their class via their different metrics). I was thinking if I can signify growth in my career (my promotion is coming up), risk in moving to a new environment, and that I will be placed in a different cohort from last year, that might warrant me trying for another year.

What you think?
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New post 03 Apr 2019, 21:08
It's a bit tough to say without knowing more about you & seeing your HBS application but I would caution you against taking an entirely new job right now if you plan to reapply this year. The will be a red flag to the adcom - it's unlikely that any hiring manager will hire you knowing you plan to leave for b-school next year, so the adcom will worry that either you were not honest with your new manager OR that you are not that serious about b-school (since you just took the new job). If you can manage an internal transfer within your company & gain some international experience that would be great, but again I'd be realistic about whether you think you can honestly rack up any meaningful accomplishments between now & when applications are due. You may have been dinged due to class mix like you said, and class mix is a reason why it's ideal to apply R1 if you can. At R1 it's a clean slate: they haven't accepted anyone yet who "looks like" you (as they evaluate you across different filters of demographics, work experience, post-MBA goals, etc). By R2 they have filled some of those spots. Many schools say that there is not much difference between R1 & R2 - but I always encourage applicants to apply R1 if they can. That said, if there's some amazing accomplishment that you expect to be able to list on your resume if you wait for the R2 deadline then yes - it may be worth waiting. That's something you'll need to weigh. I'd also consider how much experience you have in total - the sweet spot is 3-5 years upon starting school. When you have more years of experience than that it becomes more challenging to get in, so that is one risk in reapplying depending on where you are in that range.

Another possible shift you can make is in your post-MBA goals. That's another filter they use to evaluate you, and if you had common goals or just goals that were not as strong & clear as you'd ideally like to be that could be another reason for the WL - and also an opportunity to improve your application next year.

All of that said, I do think there's a lot of risk in saying no to Wharton - it's an amazing school & one of the best in the world. And there is no guarantee that you'll end up getting into HBS even if you do reapply. If you end up with a ding & have also lost Wharton that would suck, to put it bluntly.

All of this is a bit hard to talk about in theory - it would be ideal to know more about you, more about the specific opportunities you might want to take to improve your candidacy, the post-MBA goals you used this year, etc. But hopefully those tips provide some help - and if you would like to speak in more detail definitely reach out to us. We offer waitlist support & could also take a look at last year's application to let you know what the weak points were & what you could do differently next time if you do decide to reapply. Reach out to Claudia at claudia@admissionado.com if that's of interest to you & she can set you up!
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Re: Wharton or Reapply HBS (waitlisted) in 9 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 10:35
Admissionado wrote:
It's a bit tough to say without knowing more about you & seeing your HBS application but I would caution you against taking an entirely new job right now if you plan to reapply this year. The will be a red flag to the adcom - it's unlikely that any hiring manager will hire you knowing you plan to leave for b-school next year, so the adcom will worry that either you were not honest with your new manager OR that you are not that serious about b-school (since you just took the new job). If you can manage an internal transfer within your company & gain some international experience that would be great, but again I'd be realistic about whether you think you can honestly rack up any meaningful accomplishments between now & when applications are due. You may have been dinged due to class mix like you said, and class mix is a reason why it's ideal to apply R1 if you can. At R1 it's a clean slate: they haven't accepted anyone yet who "looks like" you (as they evaluate you across different filters of demographics, work experience, post-MBA goals, etc). By R2 they have filled some of those spots. Many schools say that there is not much difference between R1 & R2 - but I always encourage applicants to apply R1 if they can. That said, if there's some amazing accomplishment that you expect to be able to list on your resume if you wait for the R2 deadline then yes - it may be worth waiting. That's something you'll need to weigh. I'd also consider how much experience you have in total - the sweet spot is 3-5 years upon starting school. When you have more years of experience than that it becomes more challenging to get in, so that is one risk in reapplying depending on where you are in that range.

Another possible shift you can make is in your post-MBA goals. That's another filter they use to evaluate you, and if you had common goals or just goals that were not as strong & clear as you'd ideally like to be that could be another reason for the WL - and also an opportunity to improve your application next year.

All of that said, I do think there's a lot of risk in saying no to Wharton - it's an amazing school & one of the best in the world. And there is no guarantee that you'll end up getting into HBS even if you do reapply. If you end up with a ding & have also lost Wharton that would suck, to put it bluntly.

All of this is a bit hard to talk about in theory - it would be ideal to know more about you, more about the specific opportunities you might want to take to improve your candidacy, the post-MBA goals you used this year, etc. But hopefully those tips provide some help - and if you would like to speak in more detail definitely reach out to us. We offer waitlist support & could also take a look at last year's application to let you know what the weak points were & what you could do differently next time if you do decide to reapply. Reach out to Claudia at claudia@admissionado.com if that's of interest to you & she can set you up!


Thanks,

I think it would be hard to change my post-MBA goals since that was a huge theme across my application and I possibly can't change in 1 year to make the goals sound genuine.

I have seen a lot of HBS students that started a new job in September and then started at HBS August a year later - which means they started a new job when they were applying as well? Which means that HBS understands that this happens?

In terms of applying R2, it is because I think even with moving to a new department in an international setting with the same company, it would be hard to have done meaningful projects or have a manager there write a letter if I just work there for 3 months (assuming I move in June so 3 months by September).

I was told that getting waitlisted means you get pretty close? Since if they did not like me after the interview, they would have rejected me without having to put me on the waitlist.
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Re: Wharton or Reapply HBS (waitlisted) in 9 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2019, 14:44
It's hard to speak to the applicants you've seen who've started a new job in Sept & then joined HBS the following Aug but in all of my years of experience working with MBA applicants I feel confident in telling you that starting a new job at a new company right before you apply to b-school can be a red flag.

Put yourself in both the adcom's shoes: they know that it's extremely unlikely that a hiring manager at a new company (outside your current co I mean) will hire you knowing you plan to leave in a year. The exception is if you plan to return to that company following graduation - then you'll come back with the skills you gained in b-school, ready to make an even bigger impact. So, the adcom's concern will typically be that you were not honest with the new hiring manager/new company, which then raises red flags about your integrity. Generally speaking it takes about a year at a new company before they really start to see a ROI on you.

On the flip side, the adcom will also worry that if you just took a new job you may not be serious about b-school. I think the 1st issue (worrying that you were not honest with the hiring manager) is generally the bigger concern though. And since it's generally impossible to get an LOR from that new manager it's hard to refute that concern.

Like I said, there are some exceptions: saying your post-MBA goal is to return to that company (which it sounds like is not an option in your case given what you mentioned about your goals) or potentially taking some sort of contract position that has a definite end (which can be hard to find), although generally speaking the adcom prefers applicants in full time, permanent positions.

Aside from these challenges there's just the reality of the fact that if you take a new job in you're not going to be able to say anything about it in an essay or an interview (as you point out - and I totally agree), so the adcom will just be taking your word for it that it "will" make a positive contribution to your overall candidacy, but the truth is that's sort of a leap of faith since you most likely will be too new to have DONE anything yet.

I do think that if you at least make a move within your current company you can get up to speed more quickly & it also just shows more continuity - and then the integrity thing is more of a non-issue. You've already put in your time at this company & shown them a return, so making an internal move is not going to be seen as a decision lacking in integrity. To put it bluntly, you won't seem as if you're screwing your company over the way you might if you take a new job at a new company with a plan to leave in a year. And since it's an internal move there's more chance you can have an impact more quickly (since you don't need as much time to get up to speed) & could possibly have something to speak to at least in an interview if not in an essay. I think your strongest move would be to get that internal transfer.

In your case I think the Wharton admit is part of what makes this tricky. You can certainly reapply to HBS & see if the new international experience helps differentiate you but of course there's no guarantee & it would mean walking away from Wharton. It sounds like you will have a good shot at other top 5-10 schools since you got the Wharton admit & the HBS WL but of course there are no guarantees there either. An important factor will also be how many years of work experience you have already. If you're already at the top of the average that will make it more difficult to reapply.

Have you already sent updates to HBS? A new LOR can help as can any updates on any new accomplishments you've had since you applied. How was your GMAT score? Increasing that could help as well - both because a higher score is always better & also because it shows that you are serious & doing everything you can to improve your candidacy. I'd recommend another visit (or a first visit) to HBS as well again to show your continued commitment.

Hope that helps! Unfortunately there's no black & white answer here & it's a bit hard to speak to all of this in theory without having seen your original application, but hopefully these pointers will be helpful! Good luck to you!
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Re: Wharton or Reapply HBS (waitlisted) in 9 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2019, 07:09
Admissionado wrote:
It's hard to speak to the applicants you've seen who've started a new job in Sept & then joined HBS the following Aug but in all of my years of experience working with MBA applicants I feel confident in telling you that starting a new job at a new company right before you apply to b-school can be a red flag.

Put yourself in both the adcom's shoes: they know that it's extremely unlikely that a hiring manager at a new company (outside your current co I mean) will hire you knowing you plan to leave in a year. The exception is if you plan to return to that company following graduation - then you'll come back with the skills you gained in b-school, ready to make an even bigger impact. So, the adcom's concern will typically be that you were not honest with the new hiring manager/new company, which then raises red flags about your integrity. Generally speaking it takes about a year at a new company before they really start to see a ROI on you.

On the flip side, the adcom will also worry that if you just took a new job you may not be serious about b-school. I think the 1st issue (worrying that you were not honest with the hiring manager) is generally the bigger concern though. And since it's generally impossible to get an LOR from that new manager it's hard to refute that concern.

Like I said, there are some exceptions: saying your post-MBA goal is to return to that company (which it sounds like is not an option in your case given what you mentioned about your goals) or potentially taking some sort of contract position that has a definite end (which can be hard to find), although generally speaking the adcom prefers applicants in full time, permanent positions.

Aside from these challenges there's just the reality of the fact that if you take a new job in you're not going to be able to say anything about it in an essay or an interview (as you point out - and I totally agree), so the adcom will just be taking your word for it that it "will" make a positive contribution to your overall candidacy, but the truth is that's sort of a leap of faith since you most likely will be too new to have DONE anything yet.

I do think that if you at least make a move within your current company you can get up to speed more quickly & it also just shows more continuity - and then the integrity thing is more of a non-issue. You've already put in your time at this company & shown them a return, so making an internal move is not going to be seen as a decision lacking in integrity. To put it bluntly, you won't seem as if you're screwing your company over the way you might if you take a new job at a new company with a plan to leave in a year. And since it's an internal move there's more chance you can have an impact more quickly (since you don't need as much time to get up to speed) & could possibly have something to speak to at least in an interview if not in an essay. I think your strongest move would be to get that internal transfer.

In your case I think the Wharton admit is part of what makes this tricky. You can certainly reapply to HBS & see if the new international experience helps differentiate you but of course there's no guarantee & it would mean walking away from Wharton. It sounds like you will have a good shot at other top 5-10 schools since you got the Wharton admit & the HBS WL but of course there are no guarantees there either. An important factor will also be how many years of work experience you have already. If you're already at the top of the average that will make it more difficult to reapply.

Have you already sent updates to HBS? A new LOR can help as can any updates on any new accomplishments you've had since you applied. How was your GMAT score? Increasing that could help as well - both because a higher score is always better & also because it shows that you are serious & doing everything you can to improve your candidacy. I'd recommend another visit (or a first visit) to HBS as well again to show your continued commitment.

Hope that helps! Unfortunately there's no black & white answer here & it's a bit hard to speak to all of this in theory without having seen your original application, but hopefully these pointers will be helpful! Good luck to you!


Thank you Jon,

I think if I move to a new job, it sounds like it will have to be at least 2 years, or if I want to reapply in a year, it should be the internal international move within my company.

My GMAT is 720, not stellar but I think within the average of HBS.

I already sent in updates to HBS with campus visits and professional update at work of a new promotion and just got released in R2 last month. I did not send in an LOR as I already sent in 2 updates.

A lot of students drop out in the first or second week of school. Have you ever seen HBS tried to fill those spots or they just not fill those spots with previously waitlisted candidates at all?
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New post 09 Apr 2019, 20:37
Yes, I agree - if you take an entirely new job, give it two years - but there may be some risk in this depending on how many years of experience you have already. You want to stay in that sweet spot of 3-5 years upon matriculation.

I honestly don't think all that many people drop out of HBS in the first week or two. People have worked HARD to get there & they're usually pretty committed. That said, I think it's really unlikely HBS will accept anyone off the WL at that point since you will have already missed orientation, etc.

Good luck to you! I'd honestly still think hard about whether you really want to turn Wharton down. :) Maybe make one more visit to Wharton before you decide for sure unless you've given that spot up already! HBS is a great school for sure, but so is Wharton!
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Re: Wharton or Reapply HBS (waitlisted) in 9 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 06:53
Admissionado wrote:
Yes, I agree - if you take an entirely new job, give it two years - but there may be some risk in this depending on how many years of experience you have already. You want to stay in that sweet spot of 3-5 years upon matriculation.

I honestly don't think all that many people drop out of HBS in the first week or two. People have worked HARD to get there & they're usually pretty committed. That said, I think it's really unlikely HBS will accept anyone off the WL at that point since you will have already missed orientation, etc.

Good luck to you! I'd honestly still think hard about whether you really want to turn Wharton down. :) Maybe make one more visit to Wharton before you decide for sure unless you've given that spot up already! HBS is a great school for sure, but so is Wharton!


Thanks I agree Jon,

If I do a new job, it should be 2 years, but might be pushing it since I already have 5.5 years of work experience atm. So sounds like if I want to reapply, should just be internal transfer within the company so I will have 6.5 years of work experience.

I personally know at least 2 people who dropped out in the 1st or 2nd week at HBS last year due to new jobs that they got. HBS won't fill those spots at all? I also know several who will drop out/ defer in July or August due to personal reasons, and there is no more waitlist in July or August since I believe they will either release or admit everyone by June/ July. I wonder why they would not go back into the previously waitlist pool then since that is still pre orientation.
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New post 10 Apr 2019, 12:53
Honestly, I know is probably not what you want to hear, but my advice is to take the spot at Wharton. I know HBS is your dream school, but it starts to get quite a bit tougher to get in the older you become. Even entering at 6.5 years of experience is on the older side. The sweet spot is 3-5 years.

Honestly, I'm just speculating based on my own experience. (In years of doing this work I don't know anyone who's dropped out of HBS after school starts) At MOST I'd say guess maybe 1-2 people probably drop out at the start of school but I'm sure there are plenty of years when no one drops out at all. At that point most people are pretty invested - and it is HBS after all. Either way though, the chances of getting one of those spots can be pretty slim even if they were to pull from the WL (and likeI said, when it gets super late they often do not), so I think it's a gamble.

If you had 3 years of work experience at this point I'd say go for it & try reapplying, but I think it's risky given how many years you already have. Especially if you already are a strong candidate (and you must be if you got into Wharton & were WLed at HBS) it can actually make things HARDER because they start to worry that you no longer need the degree.
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