How to view a rejection or a ding from business school

How to handle a rejection or a ding from business school and prepare for reapplication

Warren Buffet (rejected by HBS) and Scott McNealy (Once from HBS and Stanford), co-founder of Sun Microsystems were not spared, you might experience the same. This trek to your dream school is often long and arduous, and the odds are daunting. Stanford GSB turns down 94% of the applicants, MIT and Haas would accept only 14 out of 100 and only half of all who apply to Rotman, actually get in. It would be interesting to see a compilation by Poets and Quants that picks up profiles that got rejected by HBS in round-2 last year.

Yes, a ding will sting. When you slave for months – filling out ‘n’ application forms, penning down essays, chasing supervisors and professors for recommendation letters, requesting friends for reviewing those essays and shelling out high application fees – only to end up getting rejected! Disbelief and devastation can set in when your friends, even those who scored less, get accepted at more than one university, while you are dinged everywhere.

So what to do? Either break down, or take a break. Take our words and go with latter to give yourself some time to check and regroup your thoughts and energy. Seek comfort in friends or a long-lost hobby. Moving on, make introspection your priority. A post mortem of your application can reveal much about your aspiration, where all you went wrong, should you reapply to the same program or another, and how to go about it.

Ask yourself these tough questions, among others:
1. Are you sure that you want to do an MBA? What are your reasons?
2. What are you willing to let go to pursue your MBA dream?
3. Your GMAT falls within the preferred score range?
4. Do you have stellar recommendations?
5. Do you shine out as a leader/team player/initiator or innovator?
6. Do you work for a renowned company or you have a position of responsibility at a smaller firm?
7. Do you have the required work experience to benefit the most during your time at b-school?
8. Did you opt for the right programs?
9. Were you able to do the best you could while preparing your applications?

This is also the time to ask yourself if an MBA is a ‘must’ in your scheme of things? Are the best performing CEOs in the business all MBAs? Are successful entrepreneurs MBA graduates or they just spent hundreds of hours perfecting their art like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? If you conclude that an MBA is not just the thing for you, your uniqueness, your passion and your success, this is okay. Get going.


However, if the little voice in your head confirms an MBA dream, know that you should re-apply with the confidence, credentials and conviction of a winner. Re-crafting your MBA application without considering all the reasons for previous rejections can be disastrous. Your MBA admissions partners would be right here with a comprehensive and focused Application Rejection Analysis to analyze each component of your application in detail to ensure that you have an admission committee perspective to your last application.

Connect with us today to discuss how can we support your Re-application. Schedule your free consultation