Tips for writing an effective reapplicant essay for MBA applications

Couldn’t get through to your dream school last year and wondering if you should apply again this year? You definitely shouldn’t shy away from it, and know that being a reapplicant doesn’t work against you in any way! However, you must use the reapplicant essay to highlight how you have improved as a candidate and are a better fit for the school.

The application process for reapplicants mostly has only 1 difference – an additional essay to be written showing how your profile has improved since you applied last. Most colleges will require you to write the main essay in the application as well, but some colleges (such as Columbia) require you to just submit the essay meant only for reapplicants. Usually, you get 300 words or so to put your points across.

We strongly encourage you to reach out to the Admissions team for feedback on your application. Some colleges are very open and honest in telling you why you were rejected, and this is the best-case scenario. It gives you a clear and actionable plan to improve. In case you don’t get feedback, we suggest speaking to students, alums and counsellors, and discussing your profile to asses where it lacks. Identify the 2 or 3 main areas you think you didn’t match up and start working on improving the profile. The earlier you do this, the more time you will actually have to build your profile.

Also, please don’t be in a hurry to reapply if the particular school is your dream! 1 year is often not enough to really show significant growth. Take your time and figure out how you can really build a profile they can’t refuse.

You can show improvement in one of these ways:

  1. Promotion and/or increase in managerial responsibilities
    While a promotion might be great, its important to show the impact you have made in the time since your last application. Speak about 1 or 2 projects that highlight significant achievements. Remember to quantify your contribution and take credit for it. Leaders take initiatives and drive them to fruition.
  2. New or more refined goals
    We understand that goals are fluid. It could be that the Admissions team just couldn’t see the connection between your work experience and your goals to feel confident enough that they’ll be able to help you achieve them. Understand that Admissions team won’t accept you if they think they won’t be able to help you get a job!
  3. Higher GMAT Score
    Colleges use GMAT as a proxy for your quantitative and critical-thinking aptitude. In case you have great professional profile, but are 1 or 2 standard deviations away from their class’s mean score, they might not feel confident that you will be able to come with the rigorous curriculum successfully. So, a higher score, even if it’s 30-40 points, could make a world of a difference. Average experience and GMAT for top MBA programs are around 4.5 year and 710.
  4. International Experience
    Having international professional exposure carries a lot of weight in your application, especially for colleges that stress a lot on diversity and a strong community. If you didn’t have any experience earlier, and now you’ve had a chance to spend 6-9 months working in an international setting, your profile now read stronger. International experience helps candidates gain a wider business perspective and cultural adaptability. They work better in teams and can contribute more to the community.
  5. Increased contribution to co-curricular or community service activities
    Colleges are looking for candidates that work proactively on their development and are involved with extra-professional activities. In case your profile lacked here, take up some activities with organizations that work in areas you feel passionate about. In case you can take an initiative, do it! Nothing looks better than the impact you have been able to create.
  6. Upskilling through online/offline certificate courses
    This can show that you are motivated to achieve your goals and are looking to improve continuously. It can also help making your profile better connected with your goals.

We hope this helps you think about the reapplicant essay in a structure way and utilize your time effectively. If you do wish to speak with our experts about your profile and reapplying to your dream school, schedule a free session below!

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