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Contacting Alumni in your Area -

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Director
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Detroit, MI
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Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 05:59
Hello all,

Curious about experiences contacting Alumni in your local area regarding the school you wish to attend. Is it appropriate to contact the alumni association and inquire about the school?

Any specific questions that you have found helpful beyond the usual, how did you like the school, etc?

I have not had the chance to visit all the schools I will be applying to, and would like to receive some first-hand insight into the school. Has anyone here reached out to local Alumni associations?

Thanks!

~Sam
Director
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Joined: 18 Sep 2006
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Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Chicago Booth 2010
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 06:13
i cold called several people within my firm at each of the schools i applied to. worked very well, but im not sure about those you have no affiliation with, but id be inclined to say alumni are usually very welcoming to promoting their alma mater. go for it.
Director
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Detroit, MI
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 06:21
I work for a very small company in a very scalable business, and there are not any alumni for the schools I wish to apply to within my business. Did you have the opportunity to contact any of the alumni associations in your area?

Thanks for the response!

~Sam
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 09:07
I contacted the alums in my area by either using my engineering degree school's alumni society, or contacted students first and asked them to refer me to alums. Both worked quite well for Stanford, Haas, and Kellogg. UCLA was harder, but zakk helped me find a UCLA part-time alum who referred me to a full time alum who I could speak with.

all of them have been very friendly and helpful to an applicant.
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 09:17
I actually used linkedin (google search the school name and linkedin) to find targeted alumni in the specific industry I was interested in. I just sent them an email and pretty much 100% of them replied to me.
Director
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 10:29
Out of curiosity, what kinds of questions are you asking the alums?
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 12:10
One of my most important criteria when applying was that I wanted a school that would give me a strong chance of coming back and being successful in Cali (preferably SoCal). I asked a lot of alumni in LA what they thought about networks and likelihood/difficulty in specifically targeting coming back to the area.

I was surprised and found that the alumni were super honest (probably because I wasn't contacting them through a formal school channel). Local alums from the Chicago GSB and MIT Sloan talked about the extra difficulty and hustle required to find a job in LA (of course, it's a lot easier if you're following the trad'l IB/MC route) and complained about the lack of a deep local alumni network and breadth of industries alumni were in. HBS people mentioned that there was a significant alumni presence in socal..so I guess it depends on the school
Director
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Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area - [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 14:21
I contacted the alumni of all schools I applied to (i.e. Stan, Wharton, Chico, MIT Sloan) and almost all of them were very friendly and eager to help me get through the admissions' hurdles. Many kudos to Stan's and Wharton's :)

Ask them about their application experiences, about your chances to get into this particular school, about pros and cons of your background (you want to mitigate those cons).

If they are recent alumni, they may advise you on the most efficient strategies for applying to b-schools (R1 vs R2, 4 schools vs 6 schools etc. etc.) and current b-schools' trends.
Re: Contacting Alumni in your Area -   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2008, 14:21
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