Got laid off before B School Applications

Poseidon_'s picture
Rank: Orangutan | 349

Hi everyone,

I got laid off from my job a few months before I planned to apply to B School. I am thinking of applying R2, so that will be in Jan. I am not aiming for a HSW or anything. Would be happy with a Top 20 school.

It was definitely not due to performance issues as the company I work for is struggling and has been laying off tons of people, including many in my group. In fact, I plan to get a recommendation from my boss at this job as he thinks very highly of me. He got cut as well.

My question is, all other things being equal, how will B Schools look at being laid off. How should I spin this in my applications, and any other advice you monkeys have for me would be great.

Thank you,

Comments (2)

Most Helpful
Jul 20, 2018

I have a few tips for you:

  1. I think apply R2 may be a better idea because you will hopefully have a job by then.
  2. Have your boss from this job make clear that it was a layoff and not a firing for cause.
  3. In the additional info area, say that you were laid off because the company was struggling and also say how you are using the time. Hopefully you'll only be out of work for a short period. But how you use the time (travel, volunteering, learning new skills, etc. in addition to finding a job) will be what the schools are looking at, especially if the layoff is more than a few weeks. Perhaps also say what you learned from the experience of working a company that is struggling at a time when the economy is overall doing well.
  4. At the same time, don't let the layoff dominate your application. Highlight your strengths as if there was no layoff. Make a case for your acceptance based on your achievements, fit, and all the strengths that you had and have without the layoff.

In terms of your overall question, how do schools look at layoffs, they aren't badges of pride, but the do happen. Schools are going to look a little more closely at your rec, and if it comes from your boss at your previous job and is positive that should allay any concerns on their part. They know layoffs happen and don't usually reflect on applicant quality

in other words, don't stress over this. Go out, find another job, and apply.

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Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

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Jul 20, 2018
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