It’s that time of year when those of you who were not accepted contemplate reapplication. If your target schools offer feedback and you are remotely interested in reapplying, take advantage of the opportunity and listen to the feedback.
Frequently at this time of year I receive questions about the feedback sessions. I decided to post an excerpt from Create A Better Sequel: How to Reapply Right to Business School with suggestions for your feedback session:
Questions for Your Feedback Sessions
The feedback session is not a good time to be shy or bashful. And it certainly isn’t an opportunity to express your frustration and resentment at being rejected. It is an opportunity for constructive feedback, and you should be prepared to make the most of it.
Before your feedback session ends, make sure you know the answer to these critical five questions:
- Could you point out areas of weakness in my application that contributed to the rejection?
- Were my academic stats competitive?
- Was my work experience MBA quality? If not, what can I do to make it more competitive?
- Did my essays convey the personal qualities you value? If not, how can I do better?
- Did I show why I want to attend your school?
In addition, if you have a particular concern — for example about your TOEFL or a C- your freshman year or your GMAT quant score — ask if that weakness played a role in your rejection.
Usually the adcom member takes the lead during the session and provides you with feedback on your application. When finished, he or she will give you a chance to ask questions. If you don’t know the answer to the above five, then ask any that are unanswered. If they have all be answered, then you should have some additional queries that you prepared ahead of time. Don’t go into the session without knowing the information you want to have at the end. Obviously, issues may also come to mind during the session, and you can raise those too if you have the time.
Sometimes applicants complain that the sessions are very general or not productive. They can be. But, if you want to reapply, the possibility of receiving real direction and constructive feedback makes the sessions a must when offered. Furthermore, if you are prepared before the session, you are more likely to learn what you need to know to work successfully towards a different outcome next year.