Relationships to partnerships: How to apply to B-Schools as a couple
Few are lucky enough to end up with a partner who shares the same ambitions as them, and for such future power couples, success often demands mutual hard work in the direction of a common goal. If you and your partner have been thinking of applying to a Business school together but have been skeptical about how to go through the admissions process, take this as a sign from the universe and keep reading.
WHY APPLY AS A COUPLE?
Provided you choose to disclose that you are applying to given b-school as a couple (most schools ask for this information, but for those that don’t, you can mention it in the optional essay or bring it up in the interview) it could turn out to be a blessing if one partner is a stronger candidate and the other partner is waitlisted. The school might let the waitlisted partner in since it increases the probability of the stronger partner attending. However, this does not work in the case of weak candidates, and both the partners need to be realistic candidates for said school.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE APPLYING AS A COUPLE
1. Choosing the right school
We know that having the same preferences and goals sounds utopian, but we also know that opposites attract and it is more than likely that you and your partner have your unique set of goals, skillsets, and experiences. This is to say that there are chances you both might not find the ideal program. The trick is to find a common middle ground- in terms of assets, choices, resources, environment, and geographical location. It is, hence, recommended that you take the time to go for campus visits and interact with fellow students who have applied as a couple too.
2. Timing your applications
Should you apply together in R1 or apply in different rounds? Well, we’d suggest applying together in the same round so it makes the decision much easier when you know whether you both have been admitted. However, even if one of the partners is applying in a later round and the other partner has successfully secured admission to a school, then this situation can also be played to the advantage of the couple as the uncertainty factor would be much low and the one applying in the subsequent round can have a razor focus.
3. Convince the admissions committee that you both are a right fit for the school
Maintain individuality and uniqueness in your application. Ad coms evaluate each applicant on a one-to-one basis and in most of the cases, your destiny lies in your own hands. So, grab it with open arms. Do a lot of primary and secondary research about the school and align all aspects of your application in such a way that it shows that you are an academic, professional, and cultural fit to the school. In case, your better half has influenced/been part of any of these aspects of your profile, it’s worth mentioning, else not.
4. Things NOT to do
As mentioned before, the school will only admit a borderline applicant if their spouse is a strong candidate. However, it goes without saying that that won’t always be the case. Sometimes, a candidate might just not be the right fit for a school. In that case, it is expected of the couple to not make it a “they get in or I don’t” situation, rather handle it maturely and look for another school in the same geographical location.
It must also be kept in mind that your candidature is entirely your own and your spouse is just an added bonus. You will still have to talk about your own experiences, academics, test scores, goals, and abilities. Ninety-nine percent of your interaction will be about your individual candidature, so make sure to emphasize that, while also mentioning your spouse’s application. Always remember, it’s the MBA program that you are there to derive value from.
Attending a B-School with your partner can be an enriching experience. But do remember that each of you is individually investing a lot of time and money in this journey, and the decision you make now will impact your long-term career prospects. So we strongly urge you to not make any compromises (ex. Applying to a school, which both of you consider “safe”) in order to spend the next 1–2 years together.
Please feel free to reach out to us at CrackAdmission for a pro-bono profile evaluation session.