If you're a reapplicant, that’s great that you are giving it another shot! I've worked with quite a few reapplicants, who by bolstering their profile from a prior year, were successful in gaining admittance to an MBA program of their choice.
Reapplying is looked upon positively by business schools. By reapplying, you are demonstrating a strong, continued interest in an MBA program as well as your ability to be self-reflective and grow (a highly valued quality). If you are a reapplicant, below are some ways in which to strengthen your candidacy.
Retake the GMAT/GRE
If your GMAT/GRE score was below a school's threshold, retake it and aim to submit a higher score when you reapply. More and more, I am seeing those with weaker GMAT/GRE scores from oversubscribed demographics and/or industries (such as consulting and finance) having a harder time getting accepted to the top schools. Business schools gauge a candidate's ability to handle the rigor of the curriculum through the GMAT/GRE score. By retaking it and scoring higher, you are showing your commitment to self-improvement as well as your true potential.
Refine your post-MBA goals
Take some time to reflect on your prior accomplishments and what you aspire to do post-MBA. Sometimes there is a disconnect. For instance, if you currently work in finance but want to move to the entertainment industry post-MBA, it's difficult to see how they relate to one another. The onus is on you to help the Admissions Committee "connect the dots."
The other mistake I often see are goals that are very generic; one such example of this would be saying that you would like to start a company without specifying what kind of company. It is important to formulate post-MBA goals that are specific, credible, and achievable.
In short, how can you make your goals clearer?
Progress in professional role
Take on increased levels of responsibility in the workplace; this could be shown through a promotion or by leading important/meaningful projects. By doing so, you will be demonstrating your leadership potential. Also, make sure that what you are doing professionally makes sense given your post-MBA goals; in other words, your current professional role should be getting you closer to what you ultimately aspire to do.
Engage in extracurricular activities
Continue to pursue extracurricular activities - remember that schools gauge how you will give back as a student by assessing your contributions to the communities you have already been a member of, both during college and post-college. If you have the opportunity to engage in new initiatives and/or take on more meaningful roles in organizations that you are currently involved with, I would encourage you to do so.
Many reapplicants are successful; by following these tips, you can be too!
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Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.