The B-School Waiting Game: 4 Ways to Preserve Your Sanity While Waiting for Admissions Decisions

Penguin_Suit's picture
Rank: Baboon | 172

The application deadline has been fast approaching and the pressure is on. It's fine, you've dealt with high-pressure situations before. Hell, you practically live for this. You eat pressure for breakfast and shit out greatness.

For the past couple months, you have lived and breathed business school applications. After months of researching MBA programs, attending open houses and sitting in on classes, filling out applications, networking with current students and alumni, composing admissions essays, communicating with recommenders, studying like crazy for the GMAT, and balancing all of that with your responsibilities at work (you've got to keep up appearances because, let's face it, you haven't told them you're leaving yet), you have finally finished your business school applications.

You've quadruple-checked everything, and are completely confident with the product you're putting out there. Now all that's left to do is press that magic little button labeled "SUBMIT". And you do. And there it is, the first sigh of relief you've breathed in five months.

You are rewarded for your hard work and diligence with the following message.

"Congratulations! You've submitted your application. We will release our final admissions decisions in two and a half months."

WTF?! Two and a half months!?

To just sit around and wait? In our high-octane, on-demand, instantly gratified society, two and a half months may as well be an eternity. And after running on overdrive for so long, turning it down and a notch and "waiting" could very well drive a sane person bonkers. Fear not. Here are some surefire ways to make it to the decision release date without completely losing your shit.

  1. 1. Find a hobby. During application season, you had no problems carving out spare time from your personal schedule to do all things business-school related. It's time to pay yourself back for some of those hard-earned hours you can never have back. You figure you would spend AT LEAST a couple hours a week working on applications. Take some of that time you've regained and put it towards something on your bucket list.
  2. 2. Find someone else to pay for it. As you await your admissions fate, you are also probably waiting for your financial aid notifications to come through as well. Now is a perfect time to start looking for scholarships or fellowships scholarship search engine. You could also check out the websites of some of the companies that you may want to work and see what programs they have for pre-MBA's as well.
  3. 3. Build Your Network. While the science of who gets in and who gets dinged is the subject of another post altogether, the odds are that you will get in somewhere you've applied, and if not this time then you will you will eventually. In either case, it's a great time to start reaching out and meeting people who will soon be part of your network (maybe). Learn about the programs that you could be deciding between within a few months. Ask people about different careers and functions within the finance industry or the many others out there. Learn about the people who went to these schools and what their experience was like while they were a student there.
  4. 4. Study up. If you're a career-switcher like me and you come from a non-finance background, it's probably time to start hitting the books. How else are we supposed to compete with monkeys who have already been in investment banking or private equity for the past couple of years? At the very least, it's probably a good time to re-familiarize yourself with some basic accounting principles, excel functions, and some good Wall Street literature.
    1. And if all else fails, you could probably just keep refreshing that email inbox, hoping for any good word. I mean hey, you've waited this long, right?

      Comments (7)

      Mar 14, 2013

      What school are you at?

      Mar 14, 2013
      STIBOR:

      What school are you at?

      I'm currently still working, but will be starting (hopefully) in the fall. I will start hearing back from schools on Friday, and then every couple of days until the last decision on March 26th. Fingers are crossed!

      "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
      -John Wooden


      See my WSO Blog

      Mar 14, 2013

      waiting is driving me crazy!

      Mar 14, 2013
      suchislife:

      waiting is driving me crazy!

      Agreed, best of luck!

      "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
      -John Wooden


      See my WSO Blog

      Mar 15, 2013

      In at Tuck!

        • 1
      Mar 16, 2013
      suchislife:

      In at Tuck!

      Great school, congrats!

      Here are some upcoming R2 decision dates, so you know when to congratulate/console your fellow applicants or co-workers:

      MAR 18: Fuqua (Duke)
      MAR 20: Darden (UVA)
      MAR 21: Kellogg (Northwestern)
      MAR 26: Wharton
      MAR 26: McCombs (University of Texas - Austin)
      MAR 27: Harvard Business School
      MAR 27: Stanford GSB
      MAR 27: Harvard Business School 2+2
      MAR 28: London Business School
      MAR 28: Yale
      MAR 28: Booth (Chicago)
      MAR 28: Haas (UC Berkeley) EWMBA
      MAR 29: Broad (Michigan State)
      MAR 29: Smeal (Pennsylvania State University)
      MAR 29: Anderson (UCLA) FEMBA

      "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
      -John Wooden


      See my WSO Blog

      Mar 18, 2013
      Comment

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