Waitlisted in MBA admissions
What to do to enhance your chances of getting into an MBA program when you are waitlisted
You are ready for the MBA deadline, anxiously awaiting the response. The day arrives and it’s a… Maybe?!?
Do not get too flustered, if you are waitlisted for an MBA program, this actually means that you are qualified for admission. The admissions committee could be saying that your application has been assessed and your background and experience have been found suitable for the program. But a decision has not been made on your application. However you like it, this IS an opportunity; a door is still open.
The admission office of the Ross School of Business states: “If you have some information regarding updated grades or test scores, leadership, any teamwork or community involvement, you can send it to the admission office of the school. Additionally, you must submit the copy of your most recent grades to the Office of Admissions”.
Another way of presenting relevant information for admissions is through an updated and revamped résumé. Put your best face out there, once again. Provide information on achievements you have had in the last few months, after submitting your application. Make a creative cover letter that conveys your interest in the program.
This is a time to take a moment and do introspection – assess your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and think of creative ways to communicate to the admissions department how you plan to overcome those weaknesses. Focus also on how your strengths can enhance the class experience for all and how you can become an asset to the school.
A way to highlight your strengths would be through a letter or a special project that denotes your innovation skills. Schools are eager to hear about your true interest – after all, questioning your intention to attend the institution might be one of the decision-stoppers for the MBA program. Make sure to let them know that their program is your top choice (if it is). You can send a brief note to your interviewer, an admissions counselor or the director of admissions to let them know that you truly plan to attend. You can also try contacting them once over the phone. However, do not become a pest! Make sure you do not make too many calls, as this can play to your disadvantage.
Don’t quit! You need only to be patient and persevere. If you can, visit the school and conduct a campus tour. You can also announce your visit to the admissions officers and ask if there could be an opportunity to meet any of them personally. Be ready to make a great impression.
If you have friends attending the MBA program specifically, ask them to send an email on your behalf, communicating to the admissions committee your true interest in attending. Seek a letter of recommendation from a member of the alumni of the program, ask them to send it to the director of admissions. Find as many voices that speak well of you and have some liaison with the school.
Keeping open communication channels with the school can work on your behalf. A bold move is to ask the school directly what you need to do to improve your chances of gaining admission. Be prepared to fully follow their advice. If your test scores need to be improved, for example, be prepared to take the GMAT once again, and earn a higher grade. Demonstrate with facts and not fiction that you are willing to go the extra mile to earn your spot.
Always remember: follow the rules and instructions of the school, as you did during the application process. Make sure you read what they allow or not regarding waitlisted students before you take any step to support your candidacy. Read thoroughly any material the school sends you when you are contacted with the waitlist decision, as some schools welcome extra correspondence but others simply have other expectations regarding waitlisted students.
And finally, support your candidacy by briefly contacting the admissions office every few weeks, to ensure they know of your continued interest in their program.
So, what are you waiting for? The opportunity is yours to act upon – seize the moment! And good luck!