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How to Explain a Layoff During the MBA Admissions Process

These days applicants to MBA programs can face stiff competition from their peers, especially those that may have experienced a layoff during tough economic times. But, a layoff is not necessarily a deal breaker for getting into a top business school, according to Francesca Di Meglio in her Bloomberg Businessweek article "How to Address a Layoff in an Interview."

Honesty is the best policy when explaining layoffs while seeking entry to an MBA program

In her piece, Di Meglio provides a guide for explaining a layoff to MBA admissions counselors and recruiters.

"Those who want to send the right signals should be honest and forthright," she said.

Included in Di Meglio's guidelines are these details:

Business
    1. Describe what you have learned
    2. Tell your story
    3. Be honest
    4. Show grit and determination
    5. Refrain from dwelling

     

      Applicants should also practice reciting their explanations so they don't come across as wordy or misleading.

      "Everyone knows the last few years have been challenging," Wendy Tsung, associate dean and executive director of MBA Career Services at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, said in the piece. "State what happened, how you were impacted, what you learned, and then move on,"

      And, Di Meglio's last bit of advice: Realize that you're not alone. Business schools are finding out that more and more applicants have experienced layoffs before deciding to pursue an MBA program. It's what they learned and how they recovered that really matters.

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