Grad Chat — January 11, 2000

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Chat Transcript: 
Wait Listed??? What Now!

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:01:56 PM) 
First I want to welcome you all to's waitlist chat,'s first chat of the year. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:02:11 PM) 
Thanks for joining. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:02:18 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: 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:02:33 PM) 
If you would like to ask a question, please type a '?' and then your question. Another guest 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 '?'. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:02:57 PM) 
At the end of my brief presentation I will open the floor to your questions First of all, have any of you received a wait-list letter or are you here just in case? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:03:14 PM) 
I'm on the wait list at both Fuqua and Darden. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:04:06 PM) 
Ron, are you wait-listed? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:04:15 PM) 
Was it just an uninformative form letter or did it ask you for particular information? 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:04:44 PM) 
Not yet. I'm here just in case. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:04:53 PM) 
Darden's was the uninformative form letter; Fuqua asked me to submit anything that might sway the adcoms, so to speak. However, I'd figure that Fuqua asked everyone the same thing. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:04:57 PM) 
We're glad to have you, Ron. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:05:18 PM) 
OK. First of all realize that the letter means you qualified for admission. You passed. 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 found your qualifications impressive, but found someone else's even more so. 

Dac (11-Jan-00 9:05:31 PM) 
(This user has entered Wait List Chat) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:05:34 PM) 
Now what do you do? That's why you're here. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:05:54 PM) 
I figure that I fall into a demographic that they want to wait and see if someone my better comes along. I applied ED, so that might be why they're putting me in the hold status. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:06:09 PM) 
That's possible, rackingguy. 

cj2002 (11-Jan-00 9:06:15 PM) 
(This user has entered Wait List Chat) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:06:23 PM) 
Well you can do nothing and hope for the best. Or you can try to improve the chances of your being picked off the wait list and sent a letter of acceptance. You have little to lose — and a lot to gain. 

Dac (11-Jan-00 9:06:30 PM) 
Hi! I've applied to a few schools & can't wait to hear from 'em. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:06:47 PM) 
Obviously I recommend the latter course of action. To improve your chances of moving onto the accepted list, I suggest you write a letter, not more than two pages, containing as much of the following as possible: 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:00 PM) 
1. Interest in the school's program. Briefly thank the school for considering your application and mention how the school's philosophy and approach fit in with your outlook and goals. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:09 PM) 
2. Recent developments. Did you have a 4.0 during the last quarter? Have you led a group project or organization? Volunteered? Have you taken your department, business, or school club in a new direction? Have you had an article published? Earned a patent? Received a promotion or additional responsibility? Launched a business? Succeeded in a particularly demanding class or research project? You should bring out any recent accomplishments not discussed in your application and ideally tie them back to some of the themes or experiences you raised in your essay(s). 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:19 PM) 
3. If applicable, agree to take any additional courses recommended in the letter informing you that you are on the wait-list. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:25 PM) 
4. Finally, I suggest you send in an additional letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well and can comment on your qualifications. The letter of recommendation can be submitted a few weeks after your letter. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:36 PM) 
You may also want to plan to write them every four to six weeks until you wait-list tenure ends. Again the point of the letters should be your continued interest in their program, the match between your goals and the school's mission, and recent developments in your life that would be of interest to the school. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:47 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. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:07:54 PM) 
I also have a request for the Q&A: I would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify for a particular school." All I will be able to say is "You seem to have a competitive profile" or "Your chances are slim." 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:08:07 PM) 
Your turns... 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:08:16 PM) 
I retake the GMAT tomorrow. If I score higher, then I obviously send them a letter and the scores saying that I have improved my scores. I do worry, though, that there's not much new in my life. I don't consider starting to volunteer at the humane society too intriguing. Furthermore, I don't want to lie and say that I'd go if they accepted me, because I haven't heard from all of the schools yet. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:08:54 PM) 
Well it sounds like your strategy is sound. What are you doing at the humane society and how long have you been doing it? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:09:25 PM) 
In your previous GMAT was there a discrepancy between your verbal and quant scores? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:09:31 PM) 
I'm the odd job guy. Pet dogs, clean stalls, whatever needs to be done. I wanted to do it because I like animals and they needed help. It's just been recent--no more than a month. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:09:46 PM) 
Hmm. If I remember correctly, it was V43, Q44, 700 total. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:09:58 PM) 
That's a very good score. Why are you retaking? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:10:07 PM) 
Do you have other community service? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:10:31 PM) 
Well, I've got to do something to show improvement. There was a reason that they waitlisted me as opposed to accepting or denying outright. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:10:45 PM) 
Well, I guess you could say that I live it since I'm an Army officer. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:10:46 PM) 
How about at work? Anything new? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:11:13 PM) 
Continuation of projects. The one new project that I could talk about the impact I'm having is classified. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:11:47 PM) 
Can you say you're involved in a classified project and discuss increased responsibilities in permissible terms? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:12:25 PM) 
Very limited terms at best. Since a lot of it is close hold, stuff that could be inferred might not be safe to talk about. 

Dac (11-Jan-00 9:13:06 PM) 
LA - I haven't heard from any of the schools I've applied to (it's still early), but I'm worried I may be wait listed. Is there anything one should Immediately do if he/she receives a wait list? Do most wait list letters specify a course of action? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:13:10 PM) 
I would go as far as you reasonably can go with the classified project. It a least indicates growth and that someone has confidence in you. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:13:47 PM) 
Dac, most do not specify a course of action. You need to give them reasons to admit you. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:14:19 PM) 
That can be a new project a work, additional community service, or a new hobby — even Rackingguy, the humane society. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:14:36 PM) 
You don't want to show stagnation or complacency. You want to show growth. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:14:55 PM) 
? So how do you show the school that you're really interested in them assuming that you don't get accepted into schools a, b, and c? I don't want to wait too long and make them think that I'm uninterested, but saying that unequivocal desire to attend wouldn't be truthful. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:15:14 PM) 
You can show how your goals fit their strengths. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:15:44 PM) 
But you don't have to make a commitment to attend. I agree that you shouldn't make an empty commitment. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:15:51 PM) 
...and if you're unsure of what your lifelong goals are and are trying to attend school for the discovery learning? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:16:11 PM) 
B-school is not a great venue for self-discovery or generalized learning. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:16:31 PM) 
OK. I think that I can live with myself and my honor if I say that I am truly, deeply, interested without being committal. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:16:46 PM) 
Remember that from Day 1 you are going to be gunning for a summer internship position that may lead to full-time employment. You have to know where you want to go. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:17:02 PM) 
Not even an ethical dilemma! 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:17:17 PM) 
When your experience in the corporate world is zero, then you have to learn something somewhere. Sure, I have ideas of where I want to be and what I want to do, but until I go, I would like some validation. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:17:29 PM) 
What are you inclined to? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:17:55 PM) 
Venture cap, investment banking, international business, or supplanting Joe Kernen in his job on CNBC. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:18:13 PM) 
That's pretty diverse. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:18:28 PM) 
You are waitlisted at Dartmouth and where? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:18:32 PM) 
Bingo. That's the goal of going: to try to narrow down some of those things. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:18:39 PM) 
Not Dartmouth. Fuqua and Darden. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:18:50 PM) 
Did you apply to CBS or Wharton? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:19:22 PM) 
Anybody else here who has been wait-listed? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:19:23 PM) 
No and no. I applied to HBS, Stanford, Kellogg (out), Darden (wait), Fuqua (wait), Kenan-Flagler (out), Owen (out), and Emory. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:19:49 PM) 
I mentioned both those schools because they are excellent in finance and int'l. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:20:13 PM) 
Yes, but I didn't think that I had the scores to get there. HBS and Stanford were my reaches. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:20:40 PM) 
Do you mind my asking your GPA and how long you have been in the military? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:20:51 PM) 
3.37 from West Point, 5 years in the military. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:21:37 PM) 
Considering your interests and numbers, perhaps you should think about them again. I gather that HBS and Stanford dinged you. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:21:41 PM) 
I also applied to the abovementioned schools for their law schools (in UNC, out N'western) as well as G'town and UT-Austin. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:21:48 PM) 
No word from either, but I expect a ding. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:22:56 PM) 
I'm almost to the point where I feel like I'd be only garnering diminishing returns. After 18 applications, you tend to be essayed out (and checkbooked out!). 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:23:08 PM) 
Going back to your initial question, make as much as you can of your new project. Also do mention the work at the humane society. Also, try to focus your interests as much as possible so that you can best match the schools strengths. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:23:13 PM) 
18 applications! 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:23:19 PM) 
you should be brain-dead! 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:23:26 PM) 
I think I was that BEFORE the applications! :) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:23:44 PM) 
Any other questions? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:24:28 PM) 
One of you mentioned that you had applied to many schools, though I hope not as much as rackingguy. 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:24:46 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat) 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:24:47 PM) 
? OK. Since nobody else will ask questions...:) How much does strength of undergrad school help/hinder you? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:25:13 PM) 
You went to West Point right? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:25:15 PM) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:25:35 PM) 
That is a highly regarded school and it will help you. Your GPA will be considered a little more solid. 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:25:45 PM) 
(This user has entered Wait List Chat) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:26:03 PM) 
The schools are looking for evidence you can compete in an academic environment. Your GMAT and GPA from a good school show them that. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:26:36 PM) 
Any of you still filling out applications? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:27:36 PM) 
I assume not. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:27:40 PM) 
Any other questions? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:27:50 PM) 
This is just a thought, Linda, but this forum might be more germane in about April. I bet a lot of other people will be sweating on the wait-list by then. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:28:01 PM) 
You are probably right. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:28:07 PM) 
I will probably do this again later. 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:28:12 PM) 
? Should your response to a letter indicating wait-list status be the same for medical schools as it is for business schools? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:28:12 PM) 
Have you found it helpful? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:28:23 PM) 
Ron, pretty much. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:28:32 PM) 
Are you wait-listed at a medical school? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:28:54 PM) 
Yes. Quite. It's nice to get the advice of a professional instead of the peanut gallery of PR's bulletin board! :-) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:29:08 PM) 
r-guy, I am glad you find it useful. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:29:38 PM) 
? One more question: how do I keep from strangling the mailman every time he leaves my mailbox empty? I'm dying to know the statuses! :-) 

Dac (11-Jan-00 9:29:45 PM) 
Is it to an applicant's advantage to be enrolled or have completed a graduate course of study at the institution where they would like to earn an MBA? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:29:54 PM) 
r-guy, I can't help you with that one. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:30:07 PM) 
Dac, I don't think it can help, and it may hurt. 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:30:10 PM) 
Not yet. I'm just wondering how I should respond, if I end up receiving such a letter. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:30:20 PM) 
They like people from different institutions. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:30:40 PM) 
Ron, as I said earlier, talk about growth. Write about new achievements. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:30:53 PM) 
Re-confirm your goals and interest in their program 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:31:00 PM) 
? would taking a graduate course from the local college in something like accounting help at all? 

Dac (11-Jan-00 9:31:00 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:31:18 PM) 
You could talk about academic achievements or extra-curricular ones, or something in research. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:31:49 PM) 
Yes, that is definitely the kind of thing that would show commitment to business. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:32:09 PM) 
Even if the caliber of school is nowhere near where you're applying? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:32:42 PM) 
I wouldn't worry about that if you are talking about a basic accounting course. You are getting your feet wet in the business world and taking the initiative to begin studying it. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:32:50 PM) 
Do the best you can. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:32:51 PM) 
OK. Fair enough. 

Ron (11-Jan-00 9:32:57 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat) 

cj2002 (11-Jan-00 9:33:01 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat) 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:33:13 PM) 
Thanks a lot for the help. This has been great! 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:33:32 PM) 
r-guy, I am glad that you came and found it helpful. Are there other topics you would like the chats to cover? 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:33:38 PM) 
Other than protecting the mailman. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:34:45 PM) 
Hehe. Since I'm already so far into the process, it wouldn't help me much, but I would guess that the process of actually selecting schools would be a good one (don't remember if you've covered that or not). I was just throwing cats at the wall to see which one stuck when I was doing it. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:35:11 PM) 
LOL. Yes that would be a good one, probably in the summer or early fall. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:35:50 PM) 
I don't know if you have one on interviews, but that would probably be a good pre-Christmas/early New Year one. Not just what questions to expect/ask, but also etiquette. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:36:01 PM) 
Thank you again for participating this evening. I want to mention that ( has been extremely busy. We are booking up. If you are interested in our services, please contact us well before your deadlines. 

Finally, I would really appreciate feedback on tonight's chat. Please send your comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future chats to

Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications! 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:36:19 PM) 
Thanks also for the interview suggestion. Have you used our interview database? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:38:14 PM) 
Yes. I left my Darden, K-F, and Northwestern interviews on there. I hope someone learns from my successes/mistakes. I do have one question: I was interviewed by a N'western alum for law school. We met for lunch. She is a married woman, but I've always been brought up that I should pay for a woman's meal. Furthermore, I was thankful that she took time out of her busy schedule to interview me. So, I paid for lunch, not with any intention of bribe or anything, but because I felt like that was the right thing to do. Was I wrong? 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:38:59 PM) 
I got dinged subsequently from there (165 LSAT), and I wonder if that had something to do with it. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:39:17 PM) 
Thanks for filling out our questionnaire. Regarding your interview question, I really don't know the answer to that. I doubt if that is why you were dinged, though. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:39:29 PM) 
Some things in admission cannot be explained. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:39:54 PM) 
Interesting question though. If you e-mail me, I will ask someone I know who should have the answer so you will know for the future. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:40:06 PM) 
OK. Well, I'm not going to lose sleep over it, because I thought I was in the moral right. Just wanted to make sure that I hadn't ignorantly committed some social faux pas. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:40:14 PM)

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:40:20 PM) 
You got it. 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:40:46 PM) 
Thanks again for coming and participating so actively. Good luck with your applications! 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:40:51 PM) 
OK. Will do. Thanks. I'll resend it in the morning, because I doubt I could string 3 coherent sentences together right now! 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:40:59 PM) 
OK. Good night. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:41:09 PM) 
Shoot. I just asked questions. I appreciate you taking your time out to do this for us! Thanks again! I'd buy your lunch! :-) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:41:21 PM) 
And I wouldn't ding you for doing so. 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:41:25 PM) 

rackingguy (11-Jan-00 9:41:33 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat) 

LAbraham (11-Jan-00 9:41:35 PM) 
(This user has left DigiChat)

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