As usual, Rose Martinelli, the articulate head of admissions at the Chicago Booth School of Business posted an insightful series of articles on reapplying. I like the fact that she is so specific. She talks about filling out data forms carefully and rounds it up with: “Be thoughtful about your responses and make sure that you balance your desire to give us everything, with our desire to limit the amount you provide. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself – why is this information important for the admissions committee to know about me? If you can answer this, be sure to make your responses concise and relevant.”
There are fewer and fewer secrets about the admissions process in the age of blogs, Twitter, and other forms of accelerated communications. I would recommend taking her words to heart. I’ve reproduced her most recent post below. I encourage potential MBA candidates to read some of her other posts. She is terrific.
Reapplying Part II – What’s the process?
The Rose Report
Now that you’ve had a chance to review and reflect on last year’s application experience, it’s time to start thinking about the process of putting together your new application. It’s important to approach this as if you are writing your personal business plan for the future. Know what messages you want to convey and map them into the different components of the application before you begin writing.
Every part of the application should be considered as “precious real estate”, with each question having a specific purpose, so take the time to be clear and concise in your answers. Let’s look at the different components.
Data forms: Take the time and effort to carefully complete the data forms – do not rely on last year’s application to provide us with that information since the forms change a little bit each year. Be thoughtful about your responses and make sure that you balance your desire to give us everything, with our desire to limit the amount you provide. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself – why is this information important for the admissions committee to know about me? If you can answer this, be sure to make your responses concise and relevant.
Resume: Follow the instructions we provide. Your resume should be one that you would use for any job search, highlighting your role and accomplishments. Again, if you are wondering if you should include particular information, use the relevance factor in making your decision.
Recommendations: While we know you may choose to use the same recommenders as in your prior application, ask your recommenders to update the information with your progression. It might also be helpful for you to take the time to meet with them to review your progress during this period and to highlight areas they might use as examples within the recommendation.
Essays: As I mentioned in my earlier blog, avoid regurgitating information you used last year – whether essays or elements of your presentation. Be bold and start from scratch. Our newest Admissions Insider spends time explaining the purpose of each of the essays, so check out that resource. Essay question 1, part B is the only essay specifically for reapplicants which asks what has changed since you last applied. This could be anything from work experience, new goals or a greater self awareness. Here’s your chance to help us understand your growth from last year.
The Evaluation Process: Each application will be evaluated in this year’s applicant pool. One caveat for you to consider: Don’t expect to be invited to interview this year just because you were last year. Your success in the admissions process this year will be solely dependent upon how you approach your application this year. So take the time and make the effort to put your best foot forward in the process. The ball is in your court now!