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On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help!

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On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2011, 22:11
Hi all, I just received a Booth interview invitation couple days ago. It seems like I could choose between on campus interview or off campus alumni interview. I live in the west coast, so personally I would not prefer to fly all the way to Chicago. However, I heard some alumni may not be as professional as adcom people and they tend to have big variability from person to person. Did anyone have similar experience? Do these 2 kinds of interviews have different acceptance rate on statistics?

For the on campus interview, the applicant needs to be responsible for all travel expenses and accommodation arrangements, right?

Please help. Thank you so much!!!! :P
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 04:52
First of all, congrats on getting an interview.

Whether you interview on campus with an adcom (2nd year student) or locally with an alum really shouldn't make any difference to your chances. Booth keep repeating that message and if you look through the Booth applicants thread there doesn't appear to be any correlation between on campus interviews and successful applications.

In my case, I flew from India to interview on campus because I wanted to visit the school and compare it to other top b-schools. You do have to pick up all your own costs but if you book far enough in advance it's not horribly expensive. I feel that it helped my interview because I was able to talk about "why Booth" in much more detail (I had an afternoon interview so everything was still fresh in my mind). On other other hand, I know several people who interviewed with an alum having never visited the campus and got in as well.

I think that if you're really confident about what Booth is looking for in its students and you're clear about "why Booth", then perhaps you don't need to visit the campus. On the other hand, if there is any doubt in your mind then this is your last chance to research the school.
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 13:07
Thank you so much! That really helps.
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 14:12
mjb's points are good. Every school says they don't weight on-campus vs. off-campus any differently, so it's more a matter of whether you want to roll the interview in with a visit to the campus, class visit, etc.

FWIW, I interviewed off campus with alums for Haas and UCLA and got accepted by both with scholarships, so neither one penalized me too much for being relatively close yet still choosing off campus. I interviewed off campus with an alum for Kellogg--I'm still waiting to hear results from their adcom, but I don't see it as hurting me at all. I don't plan to travel to HBS if offered an interview there either. A pre-application visit would have been helpful for my "why HBS/why Kellogg" essays, but since I wasn't able to visit before R2 deadlines I didn't see much use in trying to plan visits around interviews.

I'll save my money in case I get accepted by HBS/Kellogg and want to visit the campuses (campii?) before making a decision on where I'm going, but I don't see any reason to visit either school right now.
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 14:39
I interviewed off campus since I had already previously visited Booth for a Booth Live event. My alumni interviewer was friendly and professional. It was a really great conversation and I did end up being accepted with a scholarship. The campus made a big impression on me so if you want to see a beautiful building with friendly people, interview on campus. Otherwise, hopefully you'll get a chance to see it at an admit weekend! Good luck!
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help! [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 16:00
You won't be penalized for interviewing with an alum, but alumni interviews are a bigger gamble. I had a pretty unorthodox interview with a private equity alum (not my background), and I believe that was by far the weakest part of my application (I was waitlisted). If I could do it over again, I would definitely interview on campus.

You can obviously be successful with either option - I was admitted to Ross with an off-campus interview. If flying in/out of Detroit wasn't so expensive and inconvenient, I would have interviewed on campus. I was comfortable with the risk of interviewing with a Ross alum, because Ross has a reputation of attracting highly collaborative students with a diverse employment profile. Although Booth has been working to tame its stereotype as a nerdy quant school, an overwhelming majority of Booth alums graduated before they shifted their focus (and class profile) around 2005 or so. Your interview experience will be largely driven by your ability to connect with your interviewer. If you come from a finance background or you're seeking a career in that industry, no one will question your reasons for applying to Booth. If your background and goals are somewhat non-traditional, it might be easier to make your case to a 2nd year student or adcom.

You should choose whichever interview option you think is most reasonable for your situation. Good luck and congrats on the invite!
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Re: On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help!   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2011, 16:00
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On campus interview or off campus alumni intervew? Plz help!

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