World Class Faculty & Research / March 9, 2016

Three Ways to Bounce Back from a Rejection Letter

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — A recent post at ShareAmerica, a blog hosted by the U.S. Department of State, points to a time when Warren Buffett — as a “19-year-old whiz kid” — needed to gather himself and rediscover his mojo. The trigger: A rejection letter crushing well-laid expectations to capitalize on a Harvard Business School education. The piece shares three tips from Washington Post Career Coach columnist and Senior Associate Dean Joyce E.A. Russell at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School for how anyone, including future billionaire investors, can bounce back from such rejection: 

  • Don’t gloss over your disappointment: “It’s natural to be disappointed,” Russell says. Upon receiving a setback, she recommends getting outside for physical activity. “Even if it’s just a walk or a run, it’ll free up your brain. You’re not going to immediately start action-planning. Separate from it, then find when to come back to it and say, ‘Can I learn something from this?’”
  • Assess the setback: “You should try to identify for yourself the reasons you weren’t successful,” Russell says. “But you should also get feedback from people in the field you’re applying to.” If you don’t have access to the decisionmakers to find out why your application wasn’t successful, try to contact people who have been accepted to the program you’re applying to for advice.
  • Keep training: “There are a lot of parallels between people who are successful as athletes and people who are successful in business,” Russell says. Not only are they persistent, but they are continually working to get better. “If you keep applying, but your resume doesn’t look any different, that’s not going to get you there. People who are successful in business or as athletes are constantly training, constantly trying to improve themselves.”



Media Contact

Greg Muraski
Media Relations Manager
301-892-0973 Mobile 

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Back to Top