1. Take a deep breath
You’re not alone; many other successful, strong and ambitious individual didn’t make it into Harvard / Stanford / Wharton and other
top-20 schools. This is a highly competitive process and not everybody can get in to their dream schools; that’s life.
2. Don’t compare yourself with others
Maybe you have friends that got into top b-schools this year or in the past, and you think that your profile is as good as (or maybe better
than) theirs. You will never know why your friends got in (or didn’t get in). Even if you think you know them, that doesn’t mean you can evaluate them as an outsider, the way schools do. Focus on friends who can offer you support at this time.
3. Take a break (even if you’re applying for the second or third round).
Take at least a day or two to go MBA-less. Do other things. Meet up with friends. Read a book, Go to the gym or finish the arts and
crafts project you started before your GMAT. Give yourself a much-deserved break from all this pressure and do something fun.
4. Get an honest profile evaluation
Did you ask someone about your chances of admission to your target schools? Did you compare your profile with that of an admitted
student? Looking at some of the school’s statistics is a good way to start. To get beyond these superficial numbers, get an honest
evaluation from someone who doesn’t know you and will be able to deliver difficult and honest news on how you stand, in comparison with
the rest of the applicant pool.
5. Move on.
Now that you know where you stand and what your chances are, decide what you want to do. Is it more important for you to start school next
year, or would you rather wait a year or two to improve your profile? Waiting can help (if you are a younger candidate, or need time to improve your GMAT) but it’s not always a benefit. Maybe you can move on with your career without an MBA, for the time being or in general.
6. Create a positive plan for this year.
If you still want to get your MBA, make sure you’ve got a solid plan for this year. Don’t wait for the summer to get started on your
application, school research or profile evaluation. Leverage the momentum you’ve had and channel your frustration and disappointment
into action and a tactical plan that will improve your chances next time around.