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Contacting professors at prospective schools

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Contacting professors at prospective schools [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2014, 05:42
Hello,

I come from a field where MAs, MSs and PhDs are much more common than MBAs. I know it is common practice for Master's and PhD program applicants to contact professors at prospective schools and discuss research being done at those institutions. This also functions as a way to get your name floating around in the professor's head when it's time for admissions decisions. Is it appropriate to contact B-school professors before applying? If I was to contact a professor, would it even impact my chances of being admitted?

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Re: Contacting professors at prospective schools [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2014, 20:20
I don't see any harm as long as the nature of contact is somewhat within the research area of the professor - but if you have admission related questions adcomm might be more appropriate.
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Re: Contacting professors at prospective schools [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2014, 07:12
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Hey there psykins,

There are a couple of things to consider and, based on that, it'll determine if and how much impact speaking with a professor might have. First, why do you want to speak with them? For the sake of it? Or do you have an actual question? For example, if you're thinking about doing Finance and you reach out to just hear what's happening, that's not likely to win you over any points. However, if you're considering, say, Finance with an Energy slant and you're not sure if the school is the right school for you, you can (and should) reach out to professors to get to the heart of that question. Often times, adcoms can actually get you in touch with professors. They want to make sure you pick the right program!

The other thing to consider is how large is the program and how is their admissions structured? Certain schools take guidance from their parent institutions in that and some have no choice but to follow that path. Take for example MIT, select faculty members actually reside over the admissions process. On the other hand, take Emory. With ~160 kids in a class, professors can have a little more sway in things than, say, in a 700 person class where things run a little more structured.

The rule of thumb when contacting professors is the same as any sort of professional contact. Do not do it just for the sake of doing it. If you do, you run the risk of hurting more than helping and MBA programs don't work the same way as MA and PhD programs. If you're concerned about fit or want to know what projects their students work on or what they're teaching in class and how it enables your goals, absolutely reach out.

Hope that helps!

Bhavik
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Re: Contacting professors at prospective schools   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2014, 07:12
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