2003 MBA Admissions Wait-list Chat

2003 MBA Admissions Wait-list Chat

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:05:51 PM)
Let's start.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:01 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's waitlist chat.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:20 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining. Special thanks to Cindy Tokumitsu, an Accepted.com editor, who will be helping me out this evening.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:27 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:37 PM)
I encourage dialogue and discussion, but I would like to suggest a structure to make it easier to follow the threads of conversation. So here is the protocol: We will post material to the chat. If you have a question on that material, please type a '?' and then your question. The other participants or I will reply. If one of you wants to comment on the current topic, please jump right in. If you want to start a different topic, please type '?'.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:45 PM)
If the crowd this evening grows and a moderated chat would be more beneficial, we'll switch to that format to avoid the chaotic feel that some other chats have had. When we switch to a moderated chat, all your questions will come to me. I will choose the questions that have the broadest application and those questions will appear in the main window for our guests to reply to. If and when we switch to a moderated format, you will only see your question in the main window if and when it is chosen. You will not see it if it is not chosen.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:06:52 PM)
OK, let's get started. I'm going to review some material that I provided at last year's wait-list chat and then open the floor to questions.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:07:00 PM)
First of all realize that receipt of a wait-list letter means you qualify for admission. You pass. You are probably on the wait-list (and not admitted) because they have already admitted applicants with your profile and want diversity in the class. Or they find your qualifications impressive, but find someone else's even more so.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:07:07 PM)
Second, read the letter for any hints of deficiency in your profile. If the school encourages contact, do so as I will outline in a moment.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:07:16 PM)
Third and most important, if the school encourages contact, give them more reasons to admit you and demonstrate your serious interest in the program. This implies developing a sales campaign or schedule of contact. The exact particulars may vary depending on your school and specialty, but here are suggested components:

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:07:24 PM)
1) Regular updates from you informing the school of new achievements, initiatives, and developments in your life. These should consist of concise 1-2 page letters that provide the schools with additional reasons to admit you and reinforce the idea of a fit between you and the school. 

2) Additional letter(s) of recommendation. 

3) Visit the school if possible and offer to meet with adcom members if appropriate for your school and field. 

4) Ask if there is anything you can do to improve your candidacy. (There usually isn't, but if there is, you want to know about it and do it.)

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:08:00 PM)
For tips on the letters' content, please see http://www.accepted.com/newsletter/2002/0202news.aspx#tip . I am planning another wait-list letter article, which will appear in the March edition of Odds 'N Ends.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:08:20 PM)
I would now like to open the floor to questions. You can ask your questions about responding to a wait list letter or other aspects of writing and graduate admissions.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:08:34 PM)
? What if the school refuses to give any individual info?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:08:46 PM)
pp, I don't understand what you mean.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:08:59 PM)
Stanford only sends a general email and tells people not to contact them.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:09:18 PM)
That's hard.

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 9:09:23 PM)
UCLA does that too.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:09:27 PM)
HBS and UCLA are the same.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:09:35 PM)
They tell people to be patient, but send out standardized emails, no info that relates specifically to a candidate.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:09:37 PM)
For these schools, I think you need to 

A.) Make the most of the one e-mail or response that you send them telling them you're interested. 

B.) Try to visit the school if possible. Take a tour. Offer to meet with the adcom. (They probably won't want to come.) 

C.) Utilize your fan club. If you know people with connections to the school, especially the adcom, ask them to put in a good work for you. They should focus on why you are right for the school.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:10:48 PM)
They only make people fill out a protocol to confirm waitlist status.

az (Feb 10, 2003 9:10:51 PM)
Can getting a good word from a major benefactor make a difference, or would it be considered obnoxious?

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:10:57 PM)
Do schools allow wait listed candidates to visit the adcom?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:11:24 PM)
az, if the benefactor knows you, it may help. It is not obnoxious.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:11:37 PM)
mohican, that depends on the school.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:11:45 PM)

az (Feb 10, 2003 9:11:54 PM)
What do you think about contacting faculty?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:11:58 PM)
S also wrote that they won't even take a look at my file until May - so I am not sure if regular updates would do any good.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:12:11 PM)
I haven't got any answers from the emails that I have been sending.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:12:17 PM)
mohican, CMU has a generally friendly and open adcom, I think you can contact them and offer to meet with them, but don't be surprised if they say no, and even if they do, visit and go on a tour or meet with students or ask if you can attend a class.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:12:29 PM)
Thanks, Linda.

jessica (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:02 PM)
What about K?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:03 PM)
az, if you know the faculty, definitely contact them. If you don't know them, then it's harder to pull off. You probably could if you had a strong interest in their area of research.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:12 PM)
?How in practice are the percentages of people admitted from the WL? for example the BW page states that 10% were admitted, but in reality as the process goes on, do your chances increase?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:14 PM)
From what you know, what would recommend to a Berkeley waitlist?

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:16 PM)
Mohican, then after your visit, you can write a follow-up letter, showing what you got out of the visit, which also reinforces your interest.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:26 PM)
Any suggestions for people who live on the east coast, still go to college and cannot afford to fly across the country?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:46 PM)
I'm not sure how open Kellogg is. If they don't specifically discourage, then launch your campaign.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:49 PM)
Thanks, Cindy.

az (Feb 10, 2003 9:13:51 PM)
Linda, do you have any insight on how many people in reality (i.e. pursue waitlist and not attend other programs) actually get off the waitlist at UCLA and how big a chunk of the class is made up of WL people?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:00 PM)
Let's hold the questions.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:04 PM)
ABCD, it varies so much school to school and year to year for each school that the figures (e.g. 10%) aren't that meaningful, in my view.

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:07 PM)
Linda, I interviewed at Anderson (UCLA) in the fall during "Super Saturday", so I wasn't able to sit in on a class. How important do you think it is that I go up and sit in on a class?

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:25 PM)
Linda: any stats on CMU wait list stat acceptance, etc.?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:33 PM)
Abcd, as the process continues, your chances decrease because the number of spots are more likely to decrease than the number of people removing themselves from the waitlist.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:54 PM)
pp, then you need to rely on your fan club.

az (Feb 10, 2003 9:14:59 PM)
Do you advise visiting and sitting in on a class even if I've already done it, or is it overkill?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:15:01 PM)
That is? recs?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:15:14 PM)
Do you know historical data for WL entrances off Stanford and Wharton WL? Any ideas how the process works at either place?

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:15:19 PM)
So that means the earlier one shows the full interest, the better.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:15:20 PM)
AnnieBanani, it can only help if you visit a class, and then write in your next letter something insightful about the experience.

jessica (Feb 10, 2003 9:15:39 PM)
K doesn't encourage contacting the adcom. I have no new information to provide. What else can I do now? I have already visited their campus.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:16:16 PM)
Annie, if you are in LA, I think it is important, not so much because you NEED to attend the class, but because you will interface with people at Anderson, and as Cindy said, can then relate why you want to attend Anderson. It will also be taken as an indication of seriousness.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:16:25 PM)
Is any one on CMU wait list here?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:16:28 PM)
If you live on the other side of the world, then don't do it. It's not worth it.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:16:35 PM)
We're switching to a moderated format.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:17:18 PM)
help75, we have had clients accepted off the waitlist at both Stanford and Wharton. At both schools they use the wait-list to ensure both that there class is fully enrolled and that it is diverse. It is not first-come-first-serve or ranked.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:18:37 PM)
Jessica, can you have alumni or current students send in additional recommendations? put in a good word for you?

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 9:18:42 PM)
Linda and Cindy: you confirmed what I had been thinking...thanks! I am in California and am planning to visit again next month.

mohican (Feb 10, 2003 9:18:44 PM)
Linda: in case my question was missed: any stats on CMU waitlist that you could offer from your exp?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:19:00 PM)
Did they do anything special to get off? Or, actually what did they do? Additional letters, just wait?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:19:10 PM)
I don't have stats, but I also agree with Cindy, that they don't help that much. It varies year to year.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:19:16 PM)
help75, from my experience working with waitlisted applicants at both schools, I suggest following the overall process described earlier. The waitlists are competitive, so it's important to go "all out."

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 9:19:18 PM)
?I am on a few waitlists. If I have not been accepted by May 1, it would be best for me to remove my name from the lists because I need to make an employment decision by May 1. Should I inform the b-schools that I need to have an answer on my status by May 1? If I did, would schools view this in a negative way if I reapply next year?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:20:26 PM)
Iwantin, that is a very dicey move. I wouldn't let them know now. But perhaps around mid-April, if you have not been accepted, you should tell them that you need to make an employment move by May 1. If accepted, you will attend, but you need to know by that date. At that point in time, it seems to me that your downside of ticking them off is quite low, because you will genuinely simply need an answer.

jeff (Feb 10, 2003 9:20:54 PM)
Hi, Linda, may I ask a question? if I've got an offer from a b-school, is it possible to ask for a one year deferral of registration?

jessica (Feb 10, 2003 9:20:56 PM)
But K doesn't encourage additional recs, either. Their letter specifically states that. Do you know % accepts from WL at K?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:21:26 PM)
Jeff, you can ask for a deferral, but the schools are usually fairly stingy about giving those out because applicants usually use them to shop for a "better" school.

az (Feb 10, 2003 9:21:32 PM)
Linda, do you recommend visiting campus and sitting in on class even if I already did before I applied?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:21:34 PM)
Hi, Cindy, the overall process from Accepted.com or from the schools themselves? W does not want any contact at all this year, not even a reconfirmation letter. I'm concerned about alienating Adcom by going "all out", but also don't want to be passive.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:22:14 PM)
az, if it is close to you, then yes, especially if yours is a school that discourages contact. This is one way of demonstrating commitment. Actually, even if your school allows contact and correspondence, a visit could give you content for one of your "Hey remember me!" letters.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:23:38 PM)
help75, that is a change with Wharton. Again, turn to your fan club. Wharton can't hold you responsible if your enthusiastic fans send in fan mail.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:24:05 PM)
? S tells people that they won't look at their files again until May - do you think it makes sense to send them new material every couple of weeks or do you suggest that I send in everything at once?

Guest (Feb 10, 2003 9:24:06 PM)
?Hi Linda, I read somewhere that you should update now, send recommendations 3 weeks later, and another update 3 weeks after. How do I go all out if this is the case?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:24:40 PM)
pp, we know that they sometimes do. Cindy, you had a client who successfully got into Stanford off the wait list.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:24:52 PM)
help75, it's the quality of the letters and recommendations, and the clear persistence and passion of the applicants, that made the difference.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:25:49 PM)
Guest, that IS going all out.

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:25:57 PM)
Linda, what schools historically take the most people off the wait list?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:25:59 PM)
What's your experience with Berkeley?

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:26:05 PM)
pp, I still recommend sending in periodically. Also, it won't be coming just from you, ideally, but perhaps another recommender or students you know.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:26:28 PM)
malibu, I don't have any reliable statistics on that question.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:26:36 PM)
? Linda, in your consulting work (unfortunately, I cannot afford the Accepted.com service - let me know if you offer any financial aid arrangements!), have you come across any particularities in connection with the Stanford waitlist? For example, is there anything that they consider especially diversity-enhancing?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:27:50 PM)
pp, in general for Stanford, involvement in community, initiative, the ability to demonstrate that when you have seen a need you have acted, all are major factors in admission. A great personal story is frequently key, but you must have had a good one to make it to the waitlist.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:27:55 PM)
? You probably hear a lot of these, but...Would sending a higher GMAT raise your chances?

jessica (Feb 10, 2003 9:27:59 PM)
Linda, what is your experience with K?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:28:35 PM)
Abcd, what is your GMAT?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:29:09 PM)
Jessica, Kellogg definitely considers and accepts people from the wait-list. Again, unfortunately, I don't have stats because the schools don't supply stats.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:29:14 PM)

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:29:21 PM)
Should additional letters of reference from our "fan clubs" be similar to initial recommendations, or should they address specific issues such as being on the WL or having a fit with particular school? Is a call better than a letter?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:29:43 PM)
Abcd, was the quantitative and verbal fairly even? If lopsided, what were they?

Scans (Feb 10, 2003 9:29:55 PM)
Any thoughts on the UNC waitlist? Seems like a lot of people were annoyed with the delay in first round decisions and are talking about not choosing to attend that Program. Seems childish to me, but, hey, I'll take their spot!

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:31:02 PM)
Scans, their childishness may help you. Keep demonstrating your interest in and fit with UNC.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:31:09 PM)
help75, they should be shorter. They should add something substantive. I have seen great additional SHORT recommendation letters that describe a person's performance on one project in detail, and show the exceptional impact the person had.

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 9:31:11 PM)
?At many schools, the rate of acceptance for those reapplying is higher than for those applying for the first time. Some schools provide stats for this. Do you have any acceptance stats for students that are reapplying AND were on the waitlist the year before? From your experience, is the "waitlist" acceptance rate much higher than the rate for those simply applying the first time?

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:31:15 PM)
V39 (89%) and Q43 (74%) , I am international

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:32:23 PM)
Abcd, I'm sorry, but could you tell me again where you are waitlisted?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:32:28 PM)
? Regarding Stanford: what do you think about a candidate's "academic initiative", such as working on an actual acad. publication, etc.? They pride themselves for being the "most academic" MBA program in the world.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:33:31 PM)
Iwantin, yes, the rate of acceptance for those wait-listed and reapplying the following year is higher at most schools. I don't have the exact numbers, but most adcom members that I have spoken with indicate that wait-listed applicants have a better chance the following year. They also emphasize no guarantees.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:33:42 PM)
Hi, Linda, I didn't get an answer on my Berkeley question.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:33:45 PM)
pp, it's a good experience to discuss -- but don't just present the fact of having done it. Rather, show what you gained/learned from the process and how that will help you contribute to and/or utilize the resources of the program.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:33:47 PM)
At Darden.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:34:05 PM)
For Darden your score is just a little below average. I think a higher GMAT may help. If you think you can raise it, particularly the quantitative score, which is slightly less than their usual comfort level, you should try. At the same time, if you have a lot of other evidence of quantitative skills, it probably won't make a difference.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:35:09 PM)
Blaster, we have had clients admitted to UCB off the wait-list.

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:35:15 PM)
For S and W, when did your clients hear of their decisions? What were their backgrounds? I've heard that by now, I am placed in a bucket and unless someone from that bucket denies an admit, then I don't have a chance. Any truth to that??

Gforce (Feb 10, 2003 9:35:32 PM)
Cindy--Hello. You helped me with my HBS round 2 essays (I have a very non-traditional background). Anyway, I have interview invites from S and W so far. Any thoughts on appropriate subject matter to address when I have the opportunity to query my S alumnus?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:36:11 PM)
help75, there is some truth to it. As I mentioned above, the wait-list is used to ensure that a class is fully enrolled and diverse. If all of your "type" enroll, they won't want you. The converse is true too.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:36:36 PM)
help75, I've had clients hear decisions at all points from spring through mid to late August.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:36:40 PM)
?Can you give me an idea of what a good Berkeley WL strategy would be?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:36:58 PM)
blaster, if you have a weakness, show how you have been working to lessen it. Also, get Berkeley alumni and students to put in a good word for you. Finally, make sure you send in a letter informing Haas of your continued interest, recent promotions, accomplishments, initiatives or whatever, and why you think Haas is the right school for you.

kenny (Feb 10, 2003 9:38:01 PM)
Hi, is there anyone here who applied for Ivy?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:38:30 PM)
? Cindy, I read on your site that you should update immediately, reco 3 weeks after, another update 3 weeks after that. How can I go all out with this strategy?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:39:37 PM)
Blaster, I don't understand why a program of regular contact isn't going "all out." It allows you to demonstrate your commitment, show fit, and keep your name before the adcom on a regular basis. It IS going all out.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:40:07 PM)
Gforce -- great about the interviews. Do you mean questions to ask the interviewers? If so, I suggest examining the programs and finding qualitative issues to ask about that would utilize their experience at the school.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 9:40:10 PM)
?Can US schools offer you admission for the next year's class? My friend has been offered admission for LBS for the next year.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:40:24 PM)
Kenny, I don't have specific information on Ivy's wait-list policies.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:40:55 PM)
Linda, I was thinking that all out would be recommendations + update + visit all at the same time.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:40:59 PM)
? Concerning S again: in the general email to waitlist applicants, they mentioned a "brief" but optional letter reconfirming interest - how "brief" can that be in order not to be considered obtrusive?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:41:30 PM)
blaster, that means, they would receive a nice big packet and then???? I think it is more effective if you keep your face in front of them over a period of time. BTW, if someone were wait-listed later, I would shorten the interval between contacts.

Guest (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:11 PM)
This chat is only about wait-list stuff ... ?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:15 PM)
Question: over New Years, I went on a trip to Cuba. As part of that trip I brought humanitarian aid (medical supplies) and went through the process of receiving a special license to do so. Do you think this, in addition to professional and personal accomplishments, is a reasonable thing to include?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:17 PM)
Linda, great advice. Noted. : )

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:20 PM)
Kenny, yes.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:45 PM)
help75, absolutely!

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:42:49 PM)
Advice on UCLA, top choice, already visited campus and class during application process. I am planning on writing a letter just stating it is my #1 choice. Any additional advice besides praying? I'm a local candidate, as well.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:43:55 PM)
malibu, hello fellow, Angelino! Since you live on the Westside, I still suggest you make the attempt to attend a class and visit with students. In addition, ask current students and alumni to put in a good word for you.

Guest (Feb 10, 2003 9:44:06 PM)
Linda: CMU wait list. I got a 690 - q 51, v 31- on the GMAT. Should I retake it? Help.

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:44:25 PM)
Are your chances any better being waitlisted in R1 than later in the process?

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:44:27 PM)
help75 -- it is, but again, don't just state that you've done it. It's important to show some learning/growth/insight from the experience, and to clarify how it makes you a stronger candidate.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:45:22 PM)
malibu, I'm not sure, but I think so. I am sure that being wait-listed 3rd round makes it difficult to get accepted.

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:45:42 PM)
So you wouldn't consider it overkill doing the visit thing twice?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:45:44 PM)
Hi Linda, on Berkeley: I plan on doing the interview + update them on current events. Maybe a recommendation three weeks later (outside of work--to balance it out). What do you think? Is this enough?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:45:49 PM)
Malibu, no.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:46:37 PM)
blaster, that's a great start. I would also plan a follow up letter to your interview, letting them know how the discussion confirmed your interest in and fit with Haas.

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:00 PM)
Thanks, Linda, you're awesome!

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:06 PM)
You're welcome.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:11 PM)
Thank you!

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:16 PM)
? What's your opinion on a second, more detailed interview with the person that has already interviewed me for the school? We got along pretty well - do you think that might help? (Also, please note my question above concerning the length of Stanford's "brief" confirmation letter.)

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:18 PM)
?Great idea! How long should the letter be?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:27 PM)
blaster, 1-2 pages.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:47:54 PM)

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:48:11 PM)
pp, single spaced and double spaced between paragraph. Normal business letter format.

ron (Feb 10, 2003 9:48:24 PM)
Linda, Cindy, which strategies have proved helpful to Darden and NYU wait-listed applicants?

malibu (Feb 10, 2003 9:48:26 PM)
How long should the brief letter of interest be for UCLA, 2-3 paragraphs max? Any advice on how to structure it? I honestly don't have much new material on the work front to add.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:49:29 PM)
In general your first (or only) letter should thank the school for its continued consideration of your application, inform them of recent positive and relevant developments in your life, and discuss why you and the school are a match made in heaven. Close by offering to discuss any question they may have. I also want to suggest again that you review the article at http://www.accepted.com/newsletter/2002/0202news.aspx#tip .

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:50:52 PM)
? So, I should do an update letter (2 pages) then another (after interview letter- 2 pages)? Should it be informal or well-thought out (ala essay)?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:51:01 PM)
For S, do WL candidates get reconsidered during R2 and get offered admission, or is it just one pool at the end like the email states? I've heard stories of students getting off way before May.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:51:13 PM)
blaster, basically yes. I suspect the second letter should stay on one page and not go into a second page... unless you have something vital to say. All correspondence with the adcom should be well-written. You are trying to impress.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:52:04 PM)
help75, in my experience with S waitlisted applicants, they've had a decision later.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:52:14 PM)
?Linda, when you say letter, do you mean e-mail or formal letter (through the post)?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:53:21 PM)
blaster, if they contacted you via e-mail, send an e-mail. If they contacted you via the mail, then send a letter. But whether a physical letter or the virtual kind, write it well. No chat spelling.

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:54:03 PM)
As part of my application, I wrote about a non-profit I plan to start. Since then I have continued to work on it by talking to executives, corporations, those in non-profit to help shape and refine my idea. I've written a short summary of the idea (which has changed since it's original incarnation that I wrote about). Would it be reasonable to include this 1 to 2 page overview of my idea as part of the letter?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:54:06 PM)
It works - thanks.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:54:07 PM)
Linda, Great advice! Thanks!!!

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:54:56 PM)
help75, I think it would be better to discuss the steps you have taken to refine your idea and summarize the 1-2 page overview.... almost like an elevator pitch.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:55:26 PM)
You're welcome, pp and blaster.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:55:32 PM)
? Cindy: a quick one about your S experience - can you think of anything else that worked for S?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:55:47 PM)
Any questions?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 9:56:29 PM)
? Would it appear too obvious if I started community work now?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 9:56:30 PM)
Wharton chat room specifically says to not do anything. I've asked a number of times. Given that, do you still advise that we give it our all and send additional info?

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 9:56:33 PM)
Hard to be more specific in terms of things done -- we've mentioned them all. But the quality and passion are what stood out, and the persistence.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:57:05 PM)
pp, NO! You can then write about this new initiative of yours. It may help your cause. If it doesn't, then when you reapply in the Fall, you will have over six months of participation - not six weeks. ( I was hoping someone would ask that question. )

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:58:01 PM)
help75, actually I advise that when the school discourages contact, you should let your Wharton friends do the contacting. You can't be held responsible for their enthusiasm.

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 9:58:14 PM)
?Have any of your clients been accepted off Columbia's waitlist? If so, is there any advice that you can give that is specific to Columbia?

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 9:58:16 PM)
?I don't think there are weaknesses in my application--they're just average e.g. 3.4 GPA, 690 GMAT, etc. So I don't really know what weakness to address. What do you suggest?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:59:10 PM)
Yes, we have had applicants accepted off the CBS wait list.... Cindy, you have worked with a lot of CBS applicants, please jump in.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 9:59:33 PM)
While the advice we have given has overall been general, the specific part of it must reflect your reasons for choosing to apply to Columbia or your specific school. What are the school's strengths that best support your goals? Is it CBS' proximity to Wall Street, the internationalism of its program? The specifics depend on you.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:00:28 PM)
For Columbia, sometimes an improved GMAT has helped. Often a letter, plus a relevant recommendation. Columbia has in the past given waitlisted applicants feedback, too, so ask for that.

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 10:00:34 PM)
I am trying not to overanalyze my situation...but how big of an impact do you think taking a college-level class has on getting accepted off the waitlist? I wrote in my essays that I am taking calculus this spring (took it in college but didn't do as well as I had hoped).

YNMIN (Feb 10, 2003 10:00:36 PM)
Linda/Cindy... I suspect I may have been waitlisted at Yale because I used 1 former supervisor and 2 academic recs. I just can't let me employer know that I plan to leave. Any advice on handling the situation?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:01:16 PM)
blaster, do you have community service? have you taken up a hobby?

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 10:01:24 PM)
? Besides the topics mentioned here, are there any special tips on the Darden WL strategy?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:01:51 PM)
Abcd, for Darden, make sure you bring out teamwork and interpersonal skills. That doesn't have to be on the job, but show that you are someone who knows how to work with people.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:02:16 PM)
YNMIN, I'm sure you mentioned this in your application. Schools generally understand that situation; it's not uncommon (especially in this economic climate). So I wouldn't necessarily assume that's why you were waitlisted -- as long as you mentioned the issue in the application.

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 10:02:22 PM)
I am trying to gauge whether that is part of why I was waitlisted...obviously I will try my best to get an "A" in the class...But I am wondering if you have any experience with waitlistees who took classes in the spring. I am wondering how much it might help me.

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 10:02:23 PM)
Thank you, Linda and Cindy.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:03:09 PM)
Annie, if they are concerned about your quantitative skills, then that class is very important.

ron (Feb 10, 2003 10:03:27 PM)
Linda, what kind of experiences at work and outside of work have worked for applicants on the Darden or NYU wait list?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:04:39 PM)
Ron, for Darden, it's interpersonal skills and teamwork. Cindy, I'm going to let you answer for NYU.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 10:04:49 PM)
Linda, I have plenty of uniqueness to go around (both in job and in extra) but my stats are just normal. I was thinking of ways to strengthen my application, though I'm pretty happy it.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 10:04:51 PM)
?Can I ask them for feedback why I am on the WL? Does this work?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:05:20 PM)
blaster, then just let them know what you've been doing lately and why you are perfect for their school.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:05:57 PM)
Abcd, some schools, Chicago for example, provide feedback, but relatively few do. Don't even bother if your schools discourages contact. If it's open, I see little harm in trying. As I mentioned, the close of any letter should express willingness to answer any questions they may have.

pp (Feb 10, 2003 10:06:24 PM)
? Could I hint to S that I am about to take a job, and ask them if there's any chance to get a decision before May? I have to leave the country if neither of those options (MBA, job) work out. Given the current economy, I cannot afford to decline jobs in order to wait for a S decision in May.

YNMIN (Feb 10, 2003 10:06:26 PM)
Cindy, thanks... I did mention the recommendation situation in the optional essay ... I'd just like to be able to say - IF you GUARANTEE me admission, I'll let you talk to my current supervisor :)... doesn't quite work that way, does it :))

Harry (Feb 10, 2003 10:06:28 PM)
Linda, any suggestions for getting off the waitlist at Chicago GSB? I am still awaiting feedback from the Adcom. I am sorry if this was addressed earlier.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:06:33 PM)
AnnieBanani, being proactive in addressing weaknesses always can help. I can't say whether such things are THE deciding factor, however, when a waitlisted applicant is admitted. Obviously, it can only help.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:07:44 PM)
pp, you are in a tough spot. For now, I wouldn't contact them because I would be afraid that they would simply reject you. They may see your situation as a lack of interest. But, at the latest moment you can, tell them of your situation. At that point, as I said earlier, there is little downside.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:08:20 PM)
For NYU, I just can't say a certain kind of experience "worked." Everything is in context -- of the school's needs for its class, of the applicant's overall profile and application. NYU loves people who are intellectually curious and creative, bold.

AnnieBanani (Feb 10, 2003 10:08:22 PM)
Thanks for the help, Cindy and Linda. Goodbye and good luck everyone! :)

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:08:24 PM)
YNMIN, no, you're right, it doesn't. Oh well.... Good luck with Yale!

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 10:08:29 PM)
Observationally, and obviously imperfect information, almost all of the people I know who have gotten off the WL have been diverse in some way (gender, race, WE, geography). For a male, consultant/VC/PE, I've almost never heard of it? Do you agree with that "observation"?

pp (Feb 10, 2003 10:08:35 PM)
? Please answer the same question (type of work) for S (apart for community involvement). Thanks.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:09:19 PM)
Harry, in general terms we have addressed steps you can take to increase your chance of getting off the wait-list in the right direction. ;-) For Chicago, definitely get feedback. Then cater your correspondence to the feedback you get. Beyond that, we have discussed it quite a bit, but to summarize, show that you are an improved applicant, that you fit the schools well, and that you will go if accepted.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:10:48 PM)
help75, I've known numerous white male investment analysts who have been accepted off waitlists (sorry for the split message)!

Harry (Feb 10, 2003 10:11:37 PM)
Thanks, Linda! great suggestions.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:11:51 PM)
Last 3 questions...

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 10:12:35 PM)
?Do you expect those on waitlists this year to have more luck than those on waitlists last year?

help75 (Feb 10, 2003 10:12:45 PM)
Any idea if the Adcom accepted less people this year, expecting record high yields?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:13:38 PM)
Iwantin, actually yes, I do expect slightly higher wait-list acceptance this year... because I suspect that some int'l applicants will decide they don't want to go through the hassle and expense of attending a US MBA program this year. (Note Wharton's changed financial aid program, increased visa problems, and questions about the value of the US MBA abroad.)

Harry (Feb 10, 2003 10:14:18 PM)
?Should I send a recommendation from my supervisor at the non-profit organization (charity) to Chicago GSB or does GSB not place too much emphasis on community work? Thanks again.

cindy tokumitsu (Feb 10, 2003 10:14:20 PM)
Iwantin and help75, in my view, it's just too early to tell yet.

blaster (Feb 10, 2003 10:14:33 PM)
?Linda, why would people not go? Is it because of the chance of war and a depressed economy?

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:14:58 PM)
help75, I don't know the answer to that question, but I doubt it.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:15:23 PM)
Harry, you should definitely send in the recommendation from your NFP supervisor.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:15:47 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:16:14 PM)
I want to mention that Accepted.com's editors are available to advise on and edit wait-list letters. If you are interested, please visit http://www.accepted.com/services .

Iwantin (Feb 10, 2003 10:16:19 PM)
Thank you again, Linda and Cindy.

Abcd (Feb 10, 2003 10:16:20 PM)
Thanks a lot for the advice - Linda and Cindy. Goodnight everybody. It is 4 AM here.

Harry (Feb 10, 2003 10:16:24 PM)
Thanks, Linda. I appreciate your time and suggestions. Have a Good Night.

Linda Abraham (Feb 10, 2003 10:16:40 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

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