NYU Stern and INSEAD: Eight MBA Waitlist Tips

NYU Stern and INSEAD: Eight MBA Waitlist Tips main image

After spending what feels like countless hours engaged in the rigors of the MBA admissions process, the day eventually comes; the letter or the email has arrived, with your dream school’s insignia and name appended to it.

Will it be good news or bad, you wonder? You open the missive to find…you’re on the MBA waitlist. Well, you’ve not been rejected outright – that is a start, but then you’re left in the no-man’s land of uncertainty. So how can you give yourself the best chance at getting in? Here are eight tips, from MBA admissions directors from two schools that might just fit into that dream schools bracket – NYU Stern and INSEAD.

Rabia Ahmed, director of MBA admissions at NYU Stern  

Learn more about the supply chain management MBA at NYU Stern >

1. Be self-aware

The MBA admissions committee has seen strengths in your application, but there may be ways to improve your candidacy. We are looking for people who have the personal initiative to improve themselves. We provide detailed information about what we evaluate and why on our website. We are looking for the kind of person who can take that information, do a self-assessment and take appropriate action.

2. Be proactive

Provide us with updates to your application. New information about employment, updated test scores, as well as supplemental recommendation letters or essays can all potentially enhance your qualifications. New information is most effective when it provides a different or updated perspective to the committee.

3. Be appropriate

Each school has different policies for how to interact while on the waitlist. At NYU Stern, we are open to communication and welcome updates, but not all schools are. We want to know that you continue to remain interested in our program, but we don’t need daily or weekly updates.

4. Be considerate

…to your fellow applicants on the waitlist. If you have made other plans, graciously give up your spot for others.

5. Be encouraged

The NYU Stern committee feels that your application has some real strengths and therefore has offered you a place on the MBA waitlist. At the same time, please understand that we do have many more qualified applicants than spots, so if things don’t go your way, take heart and consider reapplying next year.

Pejay Belland, director of admissions, marketing and financial aid for degree programs, at INSEAD

Learn more about getting in to INSEAD >

6. Be happy you made it this far!

Being put on the MBA waitlist at INSEAD indicates that the admissions committee saw potential in the application, but would like to consider the entire pool of applicants before making an offer.   

7. Be patient

An applicant will certainly need to be patient, but offers can be made at any point in time during the selection process, for either of our two campuses. When making offers to candidates on the MBA waitlist we take into account diversity and contribution so we don’t necessarily release the slots on a first-come, first-served basis. 

8. Be informative

If the candidate does wish to send additional information to the school, he or she may want to elaborate on their contribution to the program. If at any point the candidate wishes to share a time constraint related to the final decision, such as a job offer, or an offer from another school, we encourage he or she to contact the admissions office.

More on MBA admissions >

Written by Mansoor Iqbal

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.

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