Since I wrote about applying to business school here, and getting waitlisted, a lot of folks have inquired as to the follow-up. I took the GMAT again (scores barely increased) and hoped for the best, but around Christmas I gave up hope that I was getting in. Well, classes started today, but just in case I was still delusional, NYU officially denied me late last week.
In what may be the nicest rejection letter on earth, they invited me to reapply in the future, helpfully adding a list of qualities they look for in applicants. Below, that list reproduced, with my personal assessment of my own application against each criterion:
While the Committee saw positive qualities in your application, there were also some areas that could be strengthened. In order to maximize class participation and the overall learning experience, we have found that our successful candidates have the following characteristics:
- A strong record of professional success and leadership, with recommendation letters that support these qualities; [I know that 2 of my 3 recommendations were outstanding; while I can’t say I’ve had much “success”, I think my quirky China background was a unique plus]
- Demonstrated potential for academic success, as shown through impressive undergraduate work and standardized test scores; [Here the admissions committee would have been decidedly underwhelmed.]
- Focused and well-defined professional aspirations that match our program offerings; [Ditto. I wish this were not the first time I had seen “focused” and “well-defined” on the list of desirables. I would have been much less vague about future business objectives.]
- Well-written and insightful essays and excellent communication skills; [Zero modesty on this one. I know I drilled those essays.]
- Overall personal and professional maturity and motivation. [No comment.]
There ya have it. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Truthfully, I’m not disappointed. The more I think about it, the more I think the right decision was made. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I’m sure I’ll find something useful to do.