On being waitlisted

15 Jan

The sad part of being waitlisted is that the struggle for admission is not over.

The happy part of being waitlisted is that the struggle for admission is not over.

Yes, you read right. No I did not make a mistake.

When you’re waitlisted, first feeling is “Thank God it’s not a ding”, followed shortly by “Sh*t, I didn’t get in” then by “what do I do now?”

At least that’s how my thoughts went. In quick succession. While I was happy that I still have a chance to get in, I was concerned about having put my best foot forward, what I would do to increase my chance of getting in.

I’m not a fan of the whole waitlist thing. I think schools should tell applicants if they want them or if they do not. I don’t like being the spare tyre to be called in if the school doesn’t get application from people they want or if those thy want don’t want them. It’s a frustrating experience as you can probably tell. I don’t know if I should be optimistic or not (Sloan has about 200 of us on the waitlist, with  class size of 400 and a yield that’s greater than 50%, it’s certain that quite a number of us on the waitlist will not get in). While I hope to get in, I’m beginning to ask myself what else I can do to make the adcom love me.

I’ve got one more thing I wish to tell the adcom, which is not an improvement on my candidacy as much as it is me trying to explain a point to them that I think was not well communicated in my application.

But this post is not to gripe and whine. I have been reading up on things to do while waitlisted and I’d like to share my action plan in hopes that it will help someone:

  1. Review your application (including the interview, if you had one). Look for any points that need to be clarified especially as relates to – Why MBA?, Why Now?, Why school X?, What in my career has prepared me for th MBA? What do I have to offer my potential classmates? How will school  X help my goal? You may also have to do an update research on the school.
  2. Fill in the gap from the review you just did. Straight to the point, don’t beat around the bush and don’t clog the mailbox.
  3. Inform the adcom of adcom of any updates in your life that make ou a better candidate.
  4. Wait and hope for the best.

To all my fellow waitlisters, I wish you the best.

Meanwhile, someone asked me recently if I’ve decided on Sloan: I took the waitlist offer and I’m following the action plan I set out for myself but I am not considering whether or not I will attend if admitted. I’m not going to make that decision until it is mine to make. 🙂

Also, Booth is turning out to be all that I expected and much more (with the exception of the issues I talked about earlier, all of which are still valid). I can really see myself going there later this year and enjoying it.

P.S: I got this two links from a couple of readers and I thought they were good, you should see them too. Especially if you’re applying for an MBA

  • Livewire: A live feed of anonymous admission results. It would have helped my school research if this was available when I was researching schools. I do have a slight problem with anonymous MBA-related-admissions stat but not enough to completely ignore it.
  • Introduction to GMAT: An infographic for people just starting the journey and need to learn about the GMAT

On a final note – Can anyone link me up with an African Booth admit from round one? I’d like to chat and it doesn’t seem like a nice thing to ask the adcom about.


Posted by on January 15, 2015 in School preparation


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6 responses to “On being waitlisted

  1. Vandana

    January 16, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Hi Naija,

    Good luck with the Sloan WL – as you mentioned, I think if you address any perceived gaps in the application and communicate your enthusiasm for the school, in addition to any recent promotions/achievements, I think you’ll be in a good place.

    As for connecting with others who got in – all the schools I was admitted to had admitted students Facebook groups, if Booth has an admitted students Facebook page as well, you can check there if there are any other African admits to Booth. It’s not unusual to want to connect with fellow country[wo]men admitted to the same school – so don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m already getting to know fellow Kellogg admits, and it’s awesome!

    • NaijaMBAgal

      January 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Thanks. I didn’t see any on Facebook but I’ll just post a comment and see if anyone responds.

  2. pullingthatmbatrigger

    January 17, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I think my reaction to a waitlist would be identical to yours. But you’re definitely going about it the right way. Flooding the adcom with updates is only going to be detrimental. I’m so excited that Booth is everything you expected so far and I hope you iron out the rest of the issues. I have my fingers crossed for a Sloan admit!

  3. John Thunder

    January 21, 2015 at 3:51 am

    i’m working on my Booth waitlist just to put the best foot forward too! funny how we have switched positions.


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