Etiquette After Submitting Your MBA Application

MBA Etiquette: After you’ve submitted your MBA applications and are waiting to hear back from programs, it’s normal to have a moment of panic—either immediately, or at some point a little later on. You’ve been agonizing over your materials for months, and now you just want to know where you’re going to end up already!

When that moment of panic hits, try to remind yourself that you pulled together the absolute best set of materials that you could. Everyone feels extremely anxious in the weeks between due dates and interview invitations, so if there’s anything you can do to keep your mind off of “The Wait”—do it.

What you shouldn’t do, however, is contact the school with “updates” on your candidacy. There are deadlines for a reason. If each of the thousands of hopefuls kept emailing and calling their dream programs after their materials were submitted, the admissions committee would never have time to actually read through those materials and make decisions. The best thing you can do is sit tight and let them do their jobs.

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“But what if I just got an unexpected promotion?” you might say.

“What if I just singlehandedly brought in $2 million of new business to my firm?”

“What if I was let go two days after the deadline?”

“What if…”

We’ve heard every type of scenario, but the reality is that it’s extremely rare for anything to happen to someone post-deadline (personally or professionally) that would actually change the AdCom’s ultimate decision on his or her candidacy. They’re judging your fit with their program based on a lot of different factors—one new accomplishment probably wouldn’t be enough to sway their decision.

So please, resist the urge to call or email the admissions office after you’ve submitted your materials. Instead, plan to share any exciting updates with them during your interview.

And try not to stress out in the meantime. Remember:

“Students ask me how to find their purpose.  My advice is simple: stop looking for a purpose and start noticing when you get excited by what you are doing.  When you enjoy your work, your purpose usually finds you,” Professor Richard Shell, Wharton School.

See other inspiring quotes like this one in our “Words of Wisdom” series! Make sure you’re following all of Stacy Blackman Consulting’s social media channels for daily inspiration from our partners at top MBA programs.


Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Follow our discussion group.

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