Mission Admission: Keep Your Parents Out of It

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

When you apply to business school, leave your parents out of the process! Although we hope this tip will be obvious to most candidates, those who are a part of “Gen Y” or “The Millennials” may have parents who are accustomed to helping guide their children’s choices, having done so throughout the candidates’ high school and college years. These parents naturally want to be involved in the MBA application process as well and are now leaving many admissions officers across the country shaking their heads.

Of course, having a parent call to confirm whether an important document was received when an applicant is perhaps traveling or working abroad and/or cannot personally make such a call during work hours is certainly not the same as having a parent call to ask why his/her son or daughter has not received an interview invitation yet. Unless the matter at hand is an entirely practical one, candidates have nothing to gain by having their parents act as their agents—quite the contrary. An aggressive parent can reflect badly on an applicant for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being that the parent’s interference suggests that the candidate lacks maturity and perhaps even the ability to make independent judgments and decisions.

Think very carefully before you involve your parents in any aspect of the application process except sitting at home and waiting for great news—successful applicants do it all the time!

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