Self-Care Series Part 2: How to Reduce Stress When Waiting for MBA Admissions Decisions: VIDEO

Waiting for MBA Admissions Decisions

So, you’ve applied to your dream business school(s), and now you’re waiting to learn if you were accepted. We know the wait for MBA Admissions Decisions can be painful.

“Waiting is so difficult,” says Shannon Demko, a mindfulness coach for MBA students. She’s also spent more than a decade as an admissions director at American University’s Kogod School of Business.  “It’s perhaps the most difficult part of the entire process when applying to business school. And for whatever reason I think waiting in Round 2 is harder than waiting in Round 1.” 

Demko says we lose our sense of control during the admissions waiting game. After spending months filling out the applications, taking the tests, and writing the admissions essays. 

“Eventually, you get to the point where they’re all uploaded, and you hit submit,” she says. “And from that moment forward, there’s nothing left to do.”

While the MBA process is out of your hands, there are several things you can do to reduce your anxiety around waiting. 

How to Reduce Stress When Waiting for MBA Admissions Decisions

Do the activities that bring you joy but you de-prioritized during the application process. Whether it’s a vacation, dinner with friends, or just a good night’s sleep. You can even make a list of all the things you want to do during this time.

Don’t get us wrong, you may feel a little guilty about doing this.  

“There may be a little voice in the head that says, but I’m not allowed to binge watch because I need to prep for the GMAT, right,” says Demko. “So, you just have to give yourself some grace for letting go of that habit. And getting into the habit of remembering how to relax.”

MBA Admissions Decisions: A Waiting Game Meditation Technique

To ease your mind, here’s a mindfulness technique. Start by imagining the admissions committee at your top school. 

“Acknowledge that they’re doing a lot of really hard work right now,” says Demko. “They’re reading a lot of files. They’re making difficult decisions; they’re trying really hard to learn as much as they can about these applicants. And I want you to just send them gratitude. I want you to send them gratitude for doing all that hard work and doing as much as they can to get to know you and working through so many files, you know, and that’s going to be your meditation. And I want you to do that every day. 

“Every time you feel that sense of lack of control and nervousness, I want you to recognize that something is happening right now. Work is being done. Progress is being made. It’s just not on you to do it.” 

She says ultimately, the only thing you can control about this waiting game is how you feel during that period of uncertainty.

Waiting for MBA Admissions Decisions; waiting for decisions

Photo from Guilherme Stecanella

About the author

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Shernay is a mom, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner who's been fortunate to spend her entire professional career telling stories. She has more than a decade of experience as a TV, print, and radio journalist for local and national news outlets. In 2016, she launched a content firm to help nonprofits and businesses tell their stories more strategically. Her passions: mom empowerment, entrepreneurship, and self-development.

She lives outside of Baltimore with her two sons.

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