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Applying To Business School With Gratitude

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, an important American holiday that brings friends and families together. I want to remind applicants to stay positive and thankful as they go through the application process regardless of the outcome.

Here are a few reminders of this.


Were you rejected from your round one schools? This is a blow. But it isn’t the end of your B-School dream. If you didn’t get into any of the schools you applied to in the first round, take heart, round two provides another chance. But before you rush off and send out your applications, you should pause and get in the right mindset.

Applying with a negative mindset will come through in your application. And adcom members can smell bitterness a mile away.

Take a moment to process your emotions. Ok, so you got rejected. Accept that it isn’t the end of the world! Your future success won’t be limited by this decision but by what choices you make going forward.

–  Find out from a seasoned professional what was missing in the first application

– Take proactive steps to address them

– Make sure to choose the right set of schools in the second round (avoid applying only to stretch schools)

– Stay positive. Try and see the rejection as a blessing. There are countless applicants who got rejected who ended up at a different school and had a phenomenal MBA experience. Some even met their business partners or life partners there!


While it is tough to get off the waitlist, it isn’t impossible. And a positive mindset can go a long way in helping you navigate this process. Avoid making comparisons and being bitter about who got in and how they are not as strong a candidate as you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you go through this process while staying thankful:

– Send a thank you note to the adcom for considering your application and placing you on the waitlist. Remember that thousands of other MBA hopefuls didn’t get this far.

– Assess what was missing from your current application and take the necessary steps to address them. Have an expert help you figure this out and get help crafting a follow up letter. Retake the GMAT/GRE and let the school know your improved score.

– Invest in deeper research of the school. If you didn’t research the school thoroughly before, it’s never too late to do so. Speak to as many students and alumni. Get to know the school. Find out if students will be visiting your part of the world and do everything you can to connect with them. Let them know you are waitlisted, you never know who may go to bat for you.


Congratulations on getting into your target Business School. But this isn’t the time to gloat. Stay thankful for this incredible opportunity and don’t take it for granted. Don’t assume it’s because you are superior to anyone. A dose of humility will always go a long way. Keep in mind that there’s an element of luck in the application process and this will help you stay grounded as you savor your admissions fortune.

Now that you have been admitted, it’s not time to sit on your laurels. You still have commitments at work and it is important that you don’t burn any bridges there. Here are a few reminders:

– Let your supporters know that you got admitted. Thank everyone who was part of your MBA application team. Send a gift to your recommenders to thank them for their role in your positive outcome.

– Fulfill your Pre-MBA requirements.

– Be proactive in strengthening any areas that you have a weakness. For example, you could take finance and accounting classes if you haven’t taken them before. You can use the time before you enroll in business school to explore a new career.

We wish you success with your business school plans.