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Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools?

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Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2013, 18:55
I know similar topics have been discussed ad nauseam, but, I wanted to make sure I asked here, since I couldn't find the exact answer to my question.

I live in a Mid-west town and if I need to visit the schools I apply to (except Booth and Kellogg), I'll have to take at least two days off work and spend at least $800 on each school visit. I know most adcoms explicitly mention that a campus visit is not going to be considered when making admission decisions, but many of them - to my understanding - nonetheless ask if I visited or talked to students (Columbia/Stern do, if I remember right). So, I'd like to make sure I leave no stone unturned.

Would adcoms understand my situation without my mentioning it, if I don't make a visit? Would that in any way affect my admit chances in lets say any of the M7 schools?

Thanks in advance for answering.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 16:37
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I think they would be understanding. All schools say they don't care but a handful do ask explicitly about visits and people met (CBS being one of them). If you can't go to the schools I highly recommend that you contact current students. Find a few clubs that interest you at each school, they should list contact information somewhere online for the club officers. Shoot them an email and if they don't have time to respond they should at least pass you to somebody in the club you can talk to. They will give you much better information than the website or blogs. I would not mention your situation in the essays if you don't visit schools, it would just highlight a negative. Instead you should mention the people (by name and year) who you spoke to and some details they told you about the school that you liked.

All that being said, if you are from the mid-west and went to undergrad in the mid-west it might be worth the time/money to visit a few schools. Specifically if you are applying to Booth, Columbia and NYU those would be good schools to visit. Obviously you can visit both CBS and NYU in one trip. These schools are very urban campuses and if you are used to a traditional college you may not like the feel. Obviously since I applied to both Booth and CBS it didn't bother me but there are definitely some people who are put off by the location.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 08:30
Mappleby, Thanks a bunch for the response. I actually will be visiting Booth and Kellogg in the summer - I will be in the Chicago area visiting relatives.

But the problem I have with visiting other schools is that class visits won't start until September and I plan to apply in Round 1 to all my schools. So, is it worth visiting in the summer when there are not many students on campus? (I make this statement with CBS in mind - it's the only NY school I'm applying to). Also, are there other M7 schools that value campus visits as much CBS?

Also, does any one have any experience with the QS World MBA Tour? http://www.topmba.com/mba-events.


Thanks.


mappleby wrote:
I think they would be understanding. All schools say they don't care but a handful do ask explicitly about visits and people met (CBS being one of them). If you can't go to the schools I highly recommend that you contact current students. Find a few clubs that interest you at each school, they should list contact information somewhere online for the club officers. Shoot them an email and if they don't have time to respond they should at least pass you to somebody in the club you can talk to. They will give you much better information than the website or blogs. I would not mention your situation in the essays if you don't visit schools, it would just highlight a negative. Instead you should mention the people (by name and year) who you spoke to and some details they told you about the school that you liked.

All that being said, if you are from the mid-west and went to undergrad in the mid-west it might be worth the time/money to visit a few schools. Specifically if you are applying to Booth, Columbia and NYU those would be good schools to visit. Obviously you can visit both CBS and NYU in one trip. These schools are very urban campuses and if you are used to a traditional college you may not like the feel. Obviously since I applied to both Booth and CBS it didn't bother me but there are definitely some people who are put off by the location.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 11:09
Bump. Anyone?

kommitted wrote:
Mappleby, Thanks a bunch for the response. I actually will be visiting Booth and Kellogg in the summer - I will be in the Chicago area visiting relatives.

But the problem I have with visiting other schools is that class visits won't start until September and I plan to apply in Round 1 to all my schools. So, is it worth visiting in the summer when there are not many students on campus? (I make this statement with CBS in mind - it's the only NY school I'm applying to). Also, are there other M7 schools that value campus visits as much CBS?

Also, does any one have any experience with the QS World MBA Tour? http://www.topmba.com/mba-events.


Thanks.


mappleby wrote:
I think they would be understanding. All schools say they don't care but a handful do ask explicitly about visits and people met (CBS being one of them). If you can't go to the schools I highly recommend that you contact current students. Find a few clubs that interest you at each school, they should list contact information somewhere online for the club officers. Shoot them an email and if they don't have time to respond they should at least pass you to somebody in the club you can talk to. They will give you much better information than the website or blogs. I would not mention your situation in the essays if you don't visit schools, it would just highlight a negative. Instead you should mention the people (by name and year) who you spoke to and some details they told you about the school that you liked.

All that being said, if you are from the mid-west and went to undergrad in the mid-west it might be worth the time/money to visit a few schools. Specifically if you are applying to Booth, Columbia and NYU those would be good schools to visit. Obviously you can visit both CBS and NYU in one trip. These schools are very urban campuses and if you are used to a traditional college you may not like the feel. Obviously since I applied to both Booth and CBS it didn't bother me but there are definitely some people who are put off by the location.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 11:38
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kommitted wrote:
Mappleby, Thanks a bunch for the response. I actually will be visiting Booth and Kellogg in the summer - I will be in the Chicago area visiting relatives.

But the problem I have with visiting other schools is that class visits won't start until September and I plan to apply in Round 1 to all my schools. So, is it worth visiting in the summer when there are not many students on campus? (I make this statement with CBS in mind - it's the only NY school I'm applying to). Also, are there other M7 schools that value campus visits as much CBS?

Also, does any one have any experience with the QS World MBA Tour? http://www.topmba.com/mba-events.


Thanks.


mappleby wrote:
I think they would be understanding. All schools say they don't care but a handful do ask explicitly about visits and people met (CBS being one of them). If you can't go to the schools I highly recommend that you contact current students. Find a few clubs that interest you at each school, they should list contact information somewhere online for the club officers. Shoot them an email and if they don't have time to respond they should at least pass you to somebody in the club you can talk to. They will give you much better information than the website or blogs. I would not mention your situation in the essays if you don't visit schools, it would just highlight a negative. Instead you should mention the people (by name and year) who you spoke to and some details they told you about the school that you liked.

All that being said, if you are from the mid-west and went to undergrad in the mid-west it might be worth the time/money to visit a few schools. Specifically if you are applying to Booth, Columbia and NYU those would be good schools to visit. Obviously you can visit both CBS and NYU in one trip. These schools are very urban campuses and if you are used to a traditional college you may not like the feel. Obviously since I applied to both Booth and CBS it didn't bother me but there are definitely some people who are put off by the location.


MBA fairs in general are pretty much a waste of time... but, at least you can show that you made an effort to connect with current students from the area. What would be more helpful is a few school information sessions. How far away are you from chicago? Most of these info sessions are during week days, but if you're only a few hours outside of the city, it may be worth leaving early a few times to connect with them. Also, there will be students interning in Chicago, so maybe you'll have a chance to connect with them there.

I don't think it is necessary to visit each school (especially in the M7) but you need to show that you understand each school's culture, and what makes them unique. Do everything possible to connect with the school through admission events and current students/alumni locally, but dont worry about visiting if you have a legit excuse.(I received interview invites from both Duke and Cornell without visiting beforehand, but I did attend adcom events)
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 12:26
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Agreed, I don't think the schools will penalize you given they see you live in the midwest. Just be sure to make as much effort as you can to reach out to people and understand what the schools values and what makes it unique. Anything that shows why the program is a good fit for you or why you fit for that program. You might have to spend that money when it comes time to interview (if they don't offer alum interviews in your area) so definitely factor that into your budget. Kellogg I would choose an on campus interview and just visit when you go to interview. Sounds like you're mainly interested in M7, but I took advantage of Duke's self initiated interview in October to visit the campus and interview in one shot.

Regarding the QS MBA Tour. After the barrage of spam I received after expressing interest I chose not to go. I am still trying to unsubscribe to all of the spam emails I received in relation to that. I did go to a few other fairs. I don't think they are helpful in your admissions chances, these people meet so many students that I doubt they will remember you. But it is helpful to speak to current students/adcom. If there is one near you, sure go, but I wouldn't fly somewhere or drive an excessive distance to go to one. You pretty much just walk around, pick up school pamphlets, and ask generic questions along with hundreds of other people who are trying get their face in front of the adcom. Agreed with Highwyre, going to info sessions and especially receptions are a better use of time if they have any nearby. Some schools (like Duke) even offer an application reduction waiver if you attend one of their events.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 13:34
Highwyre, Dakells - Thanks a lot, appreciate the responses.

Dakells wrote:
You might have to spend that money when it comes time to interview (if they don't offer alum interviews in your area) so definitely factor that into your budget. Kellogg I would choose an on campus interview and just visit when you go to interview. Sounds like you're mainly interested in M7, but I took advantage of Duke's self initiated interview in October to visit the campus and interview in one shot.


Exactly. I've already made up my mind that I might have to do on-campus interviews given my location, in case I'm given the opportunity. So, I really don't want to spend twice on visits.

Dakells wrote:
Regarding the QS MBA Tour. After the barrage of spam I received after expressing interest I chose not to go. I am still trying to unsubscribe to all of the spam emails I received in relation to that. I did go to a few other fairs. I don't think they are helpful in your admissions chances, these people meet so many students that I doubt they will remember you. But it is helpful to speak to current students/adcom. If there is one near you, sure go, but I wouldn't fly somewhere or drive an excessive distance to go to one. You pretty much just walk around, pick up school pamphlets, and ask generic questions along with hundreds of other people who are trying get their face in front of the adcom. Agreed with Highwyre, going to info sessions and especially receptions are a better use of time if they have any nearby. Some schools (like Duke) even offer an application reduction waiver if you attend one of their events.


The issue I have with attending info sessions is that the nearest big-city is a ~6 hour drive from where I live. I hope to attend some of those sessions even if it means driving a total of 12 hours, but the paradoxical problem I have is that I know what each school can offer me. A school visit at this point is mostly to show 'my commitment' to the schools and I'm suffering from FOMO from that perspective.


I see that you guys have applied to some of my target schools, did any of them during the interview give you an impression that your attending a reception/info session helped?

Thanks.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 14:26
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For what it's worth, IMO you will be spending a lot of money -and a lot of time- through this project, so you might as well spend that extra bit in understanding your investment. Would you not like to see first the house that you are considering to buy? ;)

I do not think that "ticking the campus visit box" helped my applications per se, but it definitely helped me to understand a lot about the different schools that I was considering. I made two separate trips in North America (7 schools in the East Coast of the US, and then 4 in Canada) before deciding to not apply to any of them!!! Given how expensive applications are, I probably would have ended up spending the same by visiting all these schools than I would have by applying :) At the end, I narrowed my shortlist to only two schools that were a perfect fit, both of which accepted me.
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Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 11:15
Ducksworth wrote:
For what it's worth, IMO you will be spending a lot of money -and a lot of time- through this project, so you might as well spend that extra bit in understanding your investment. Would you not like to see first the house that you are considering to buy? ;)

I completely agree with this logic. I don't think visiting would make a big difference at all in your admissions chances (as long as you had done your research and talked to current students, as mentioned above), but it would be kind of a drag to write all the essays, spend the money for the application fee, pay for a flight out to interview, and THEN discover that you didn't really like the school after all.

Talking to students on the phone is helpful, but it's really tough to get a sense of the campus vibe without visiting. I don't have a ton of money saved up and I probably threw down over $1,000 on campus visits (I visited 10 schools--a little more economical since they were all on the East Coast, but I still had a few flights/hotels). It was very literally my only "vacation" last year, but totally worth it in retrospect. My advice is to wait until classes start, and then make that visit to NYC. You can always do airbub to save on lodging, but particularly since you currently live far from a big city, I agree that you really want to see if it's right for you before committing to the time and expense of an application.
Re: Midwest Candidate - Visiting Schools?   [#permalink] 21 May 2013, 11:15
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