If you wanted to boil down your goal in writing the reapplication essay to four words, they would be: Show how you’ve grown.
The adcoms may compare this year’s application with the past dinged one – or at least with the notes from reviewers. And they’ll be looking for improvement, plain and simple.
To show that you’ve grown and that you’re a more impressive applicant this year than you were last, you’ll need to answer the following questions in your reapplication essay:
Have you made a concerted effort to mitigate your weaknesses? Did you retake the GMAT or enroll in an Econ 101 course to prove that you’re willing and capable of excelling in a demanding business school?
Have you clarified your goals? Sometimes applicants are rejected simply because the adcoms get the sense that they’re not sure why they want an MBA and don’t have clear post-MBA goals. In your reapplicant essay you should show that the past year has helped reshape and reaffirm your goals and that you do in fact have a clear sense of why you want an MBA and why now is the best time for you to pursue one.
Have you demonstrated “fit”? Do you show there is a match made in Heaven between your professional and educational needs and the school’s strengths and values.
Have you internalized and utilized school feedback? If you were lucky enough to receive feedback on your dinged application, make sure you put it to good use. If the feedback suggested that your leadership skills were on the weak side and in response you worked hard to increase your leadership responsibilities at work, make sure you highlight your advances and what you’ve learned from the experience.
By Linda Abraham, CEO and founder of Accepted.comand co-author of the soon-to released book, MBA Admissions for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. Linda has been helping MBA applicants gain acceptance to top MBA programs since 1994.
DON’T MISS: SMART NOTE TAKING FOR SMART MBA ESSAYS or HOW TO REAPPLY TO BUSINESS SCHOOL
A year ago you put together what you thought was the perfect application at your dream school and when the smoke cleared things did not quite work out as you expected. So you’re back at it again, a year has past since your last application, and you’re ready for another shot at admissions glory at your dream school. Of course you spent the year wisely improving your profile and now its time to tackle the re-applicant essay, but what should you include?
The optional essay should be all about showing admissions how you have changed (and hopefully improved) in the interim time between applications. The first step should be conducting a personal year in review. Take inventory of all the great things you accomplished over the year and frame them for admissions. Let’s look at the ideal areas candidates can mark improvement in their profiles in the re-applicant essay.
Did you suffer from a low GPA or poor performance in analytical classes? Show the admissions team how you improved or counteracted past poor performance. If you took additional coursework or gained another degree in between applications this is a great place to showcase all of your hard work.
The GMAT tends to be one of the biggest reasons students believe they are denied admission. If you made a major improvement on your GMAT, share it in this essay. But don’t stop there. Share your hard work and how this score is a more accurate reflection of your aptitude and watch as potential red flags disappear in your profile.
Were you really ready for business school? Some applicants suffer from lack of work-related accomplishments, impact, and management experience resulting in tough news come decision day. If you have received a promotion, more responsibility, led others, closed big deals or otherwise made a major impact at your company – the school wants to know. Don’t waste this opportunity to highlight the great work you did during the year. Additionally, changing jobs or careers warrants a mention as well. New roles can really show growth, round out a candidate’s profile, and eliminate skill gaps for the applicant.
Have your career goals changed or even simply been refined? Lack of clarity with regards to career steps post-MBA can signal lack of research and immaturity when it comes to the process. Schools want to admit candidates they feel can be placed in their careers of interest. If in the past you have identified goals that don’t sync up well with your background or the specialties of that particular school, this may have been a reason for being denied. Re-evaluate your goals and make sure they are well aligned with your background and your target school. Don’t let this opportunity to explain any changes in your career trajectory pass you by.
If you’ve done your job in between your last application, writing the re-applicant essay should be the final piece in helping you claim a spot on decision day.
Want to craft a strong application? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants.