This blog post is part of our weekly "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.
APPLICATION INSIDER TOPIC:
If you were unsuccessful in getting admitted into our MBA program, do not be discouraged! Sometimes there is just not enough room for all of the qualified candidates, or perhaps you needed a bit more time to strengthen the competitiveness of your profile. The good news is that the applicant pool changes every year and you have additional time to improve your candidacy, so we highly encourage individuals to re-apply to our program. Every year, we accept a group of highly qualified re-applicants to our program, who go on to be very successful throughout the MBA program and into their post-MBA careers.
When the Admissions Committee reviews re-applicant profiles, we want to see that you have taken this additional time to strengthen your candidacy. To do so, we recommend that you take an honest look at your prior application and reflect on where you can strengthen your profile. Some areas you may want to evaluate include:
- Academics: While you cannot change your undergraduate GPA, if you feel your academic performance was sub par or that you didn't demonstrate your ability to handle quantitative work, you may want to consider taking additional course(s)...and perform well in those courses! The Admissions Committee will still be evaluating your undergraduate performance as a part of your profile, but additional coursework may help demonstrate your ability to handle the academic rigor of our program.
- Test Scores: Many of our re-applicants use the additional time to re-take the GMAT/GRE to help improve their candidacy. The higher the score, the better, but look at our class profile GMAT averages and 80% range to help you evaluate whether or not you should take the test again -- also remember that we admit individuals below (and above) these averages every year. Ultimately, if you believe you can do better on the exam, you may want to consider re-taking it if you believe it will improve your candidacy and is worth your time, energy, and money. Note that your standardized test scores (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS) remain on file if previously reported, though scores are still subject to expiration dates.
- Professional & Extracurricular Experiences: In the the time since your prior application, you should have had sufficient time to build upon your professional experiences (i.e., new skillsets, accomplishments, projects, etc.) and extracurricular activities (i.e., new leadership opportunities, volunteering, etc.). Make sure to highlight these in your application.
- Self-reflection & Research: Take the time to think about what you communicated in your previous application (especially in your essay) and ask yourself some of these questions: Have my post-MBA goals changed? Did I demonstrate why now is the right time in my career path to get an MBA? Do I have a better understanding of what UCLA Anderson's program has to offer me? Was I clear in my goals and why I want to go to UCLA Anderson? Your re-application will be a fresh start for you, meaning it is definitely OK to have new goals if you feel they have changed.
The good news is that the process to re-apply is streamlined for those who submitted a completed UCLA Anderson full-time MBA application within the previous two years (i.e., who applied for the MBA program start in 2015 or 2016 -- if you applied prior to the previous two years, you are considered a "new" applicant). You will only need to submit one new recommendation and you will be asked to respond to a different essay question, which is the following for this application season:
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
Here's an insider tip to consider as you respond to this re-applicant essay question and put together your application: The Admissions Committee member may reference your entire previous application to provide context, but do not assume that they will necessarily do so. This is a positive for you because you're essentially starting with a fresh slate. But this also does mean you need to communicate everything you want the Admissions Committee to know that you may have covered in your prior application, in addition to highlighting any updates and progress you have made.
Ultimately, your reapplication gives you a fresh start and puts you on the same evaluation standards as first-time applicants, giving you absolutely no disadvantage to reapplying.
Make sure to check back next week for the next "Application Insider" blog post about EXTRACURRICULARS