The Sound of Silence…You Hit Submit, Now What?

Phew…you just hit submit on your last Round 1 MBA application! At first it’s a huge relief, as pulling double duty with a full time job and seemingly endless versions of your essays (not to mention all of the stress and uncertainty with the current state of the world) were enough to make your hair fall out. But then, if you’re like me (back in the day) and many of my admissions consulting clients, a new type of panic sets in – the one created by SILENCE. You suddenly realize that you’ve done all you can and…just…have…to…wait.  

Should I Tell the Adcom About My Recent Promotion?

Or do you? Every year, I get emails from clients around this time informing me that they secured an awesome promotion or took the lead on an impressive new project at work and ruing that it didn’t happen before the application deadline. Should they inform the admissions committee, they ask? I completely get how this is tempting – what if it’s the ‘difference maker’ that secures you an interview? However, my answer is to proceed with caution. While it depends on your specific circumstances, it’s most often best to leave well enough alone.

Remember that the admissions committee is looking at the holistic picture you’ve painted of yourself in your application, from the formative experiences you had early in life to your academic success in undergrad to the notable achievements you’ve had at work in the last 3+ years. While one more accomplishment is great, it likely won’t make or break their decision.

Furthermore, remember that the school sets its deadline for a reason; the admissions committee knows that your life isn’t static, but asks you to present your qualifications as of a particular point in time. Respect this. Be conscious of the fact that the admissions committee has thousands of applications on the docket to review; if everyone were to keep submitting updates, it would be a nightmare for them.

That said, if you truly feel like the update you’d like to share is noteworthy enough to sway their decision, it is fair game to call the admissions office and ask how they’d like you to handle it. Please note this important step – it is critical to follow each school’s stated protocol or you risk appearing self-absorbed and disrespectful of their policies. If they suggest that you send an email with the update, keep it brief but share what happened and, importantly, why they should care. How does this accomplishment better prove that you would be a powerful contributor to their class? Draw this connection for them.

The One Thing You Definitely Can Do While You Wait

Regardless of whether you choose to reach out to your schools post-submission, I would recommend keeping a running list of the awesome things you’ve done since you finalized your application.  In addition to promotions or new projects at work, perhaps you organized a socially distant fundraiser for a non-profit with which you’re involved or completed the virtual NYC marathon. Best case, you can highlight these things in your interview (Sloan is known to ask what has happened since you applied).  Less optimally, you are waitlisted and can leverage your list for a compelling ‘waitlist update’ letter.

Aside from maintaining this list, my best advice is to turn your attention elsewhere. When I submitted my last application, I traveled through Europe for a few weeks and it was just the escape I needed. Sadly, that’s not reality at the moment so I know it will be nearly impossible to disconnect. Please try anyway – enjoy the fleeting summer weather, catch up on bad reality TV, or find a new hobby to fill the time.

Please trust me that you don’t need to shift into full interview prep mode quite yet. However, based on the experience of some of our early decision clients, we are noticing a slightly shorter turnaround between interview invites and available interview slots this year. As such, it might make sense to start bulleting out your answers to some of the most common interview questions, continuing to research ‘why school X’, and practicing your story / pitch.

Using previous years as a guide, Round 1 interview invitations will likely be released in October or early November (depending on the school). ClearAdmit is a good place to keep tabs on what and when people are hearing. If you’re curious what happens to your applications once you hit submit, here is an article that will shed some light on the process for you.

As always, we’re here if you need help with interview prep, waitlist strategy, or Round 2 applications! Click here to schedule a free consultation.   

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