Time on the Waitlist

Being placed on a waitlist is a common occurrence among many applicants to MBA programs. Schools often need extra time to appropriately consider each and every application. While the waitlist can seem like an opaque world, many Boothies navigate the maze successfully. Read what two members of the Class of 2019 have to say about their time on the waitlist below!

Colin Scanlon

As a Round 3 applicant, you can imagine the concerns I had about being placed on the waitlist. How would I move my belongings?  What if I don’t go on Random Walk? What about the deposit I need to put down for another program? Can my girlfriend move on such short notice? Bottom line: can I make this happen?

Take it from me (the last admit that I know of in the Class of 2019), you’ll be fine! Your initial focus should be figuring out why you may be on the waitlist and what can you do to address the potential shortcomings in your application. Often times, the shortcomings that we as applicants can control may be a test score, a lack of demonstrated quantitative skills or perhaps we failed to fully convey why we need the MBA, why now is the right time to pursue the MBA and why we should be pursuing this MBA at Booth. Ask someone who you know and trust to read your full application, as sometimes we aren’t the most objective self-assessors.

Once you do what you can to improve your application, take a breath! Map out a game plan based on the possible outcomes and have faith in the process. It’s important to know that once you arrive on campus, it doesn’t matter when you were admitted. Orientation and your cohorts will bring you up to speed, and every social, academic and professional opportunity is wide open, whether you were the first admit or the last!

Ashley Lee

After many conversations with waitlisted candidates, I’ve realized that the most encouraging thing I can say is that plenty of people (including myself) who were waitlisted get into Booth.

In terms of the waitlist process, I tried to address areas through the video that I didn’t cover in my original application. For example, my essays were primarily about my experiences, the clubs I wanted to join, and how attending Booth would benefit me. On the other hand, my one-minute video was about how I wanted to “pay it forward” during my time at Booth and as an alum. I was living in Hong Kong at the time, so I heavily relied on The Booth Experience blog (so you’re in the right place!) to learn more about student life.

Outside of the admissions process, I spent a lot of time assessing my options and determining concrete next steps. Developing a plan for the next year helped distract me from waitlist anxiety. Ultimately, that exercise was surprisingly helpful. We spend a lot of time thinking about leadership at Booth (whether through LEAD or in courses like Power & Influence). Those reflections didn’t simply disappear after I received the call from Booth; in fact, the exercise of considering exactly what I wanted from business school and my career has continued to guide me through my MBA experience.

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