With the current application season winding down and attention turning to R1 applications due later this year, I’ve been contacted by a number of aspiring MBA students to discuss strategy and whether to even bother applying given the tough competition out there.
While I often don’t feel qualified to give advice, I’m always happy to share my experiences with a good ol’ dose of reality thrown in from time to time. With that in mind I decided to share some of the Admissions letters I’ve received during the past two seasons.
Wharton was my third and final application in the 2014/15 season. With the success of being invited to interview at all three schools (INSEAD, MIT Sloan and Wharton) I’d applied to, I focused on acing those interviews rather than applying to more b schools in R2.
To a large degree, Wharton was also my number one choice. The one b school that, deep down in my heart, I’d be most excited about getting an offer from.
As it turned out, I wasn’t quite good enough to make it into the Class of 2017 in the round I applied in. Yep, that’s right, I was offered a place on the waitlist. Having not received a call from Wharton on R1 decision day I was actually surprised and excited to be put on the waitlist. It felt like a second prize but, hey, I was still in the game, right!?
Unfortunately this situation has continued to this day, with no offer being made on the R2 decision date and instead I was offered a place on the summer waitlist. There’s still hope but I’m in deep with MIT Sloan and, if I’m honest with myself, there’s now an element of pride riding on my decision to stay on Wharton’s waitlist.
There’s no doubt that being on the waitlist is 100 times better than getting dinged, and I can console myself with my other offers and the knowledge that I did my absolute best to get an offer from Wharton. Nobody should expect to get offers from all the schools they apply to!
And it would be a totally different feeling now if I didn’t have those other offers or hadn’t submitted the best version of myself to Wharton. Do everything you can to avoid being in that position!
So, that’s it in terms of my Admission letters. I hope they gave you a little insight into the feelings and emotions I’ve experienced the past two years, and gave you some clarity and motivation on how you want to proceed with your MBA journey.
Best of luck whatever you decide!