unfortunately, I got pretty sick Friday after I arrived, so Saturday was mostly shot. Sunday I did get to check out Evanston/Kellogg a little bit and did a tour of the Harper Center with a 2nd year student who was nice enough to meet up with me. Monday I wasn't feeling well enough to wake up for the 8am class, so just met rhyme for 20 minutes to chat before I had to run off to Kellogg for a 1:30pm class (took me 2 full hours to get up there, stupid "El" trains... grrr!) and then to O'Hare (another 2+ hours) back to California.
As for my impressions? Here are some general ones (I'll repost each section to the Kellogg and Chicago threads too).
- AMAZING Harper Center. I mean, I know it's awesome, I've seen pictures, but you have to be IN it to believe it! Just this building alone is tempting me to apply, haha!
- It seems that the curriculum is awesome/flexible, the career center goes above and beyond for its students (if you do MC/IB/GM), and of course, the school's reputation is great!
- Polsky Entrepreneurship Center is well funded, there are excellent entrepreneurship faculty, good competitions (business plan/venture), and support for starting businesses. Still researching how well it translates to the West Coast startup scene.
- There definitely is a slightly lower amount of "team" oriented projects/work than schools such as Stanford/Berkeley/Kellogg. The 2nd year I talked with said that in some classes you can do everything yourself, and others you form teams (optional). It seems more like a "do your own thing" type school.
- I observed less of a "cohesive" feeling between the students compared to Kellogg or the Cali schools.
- "Commuter School" feel. Many people live farther away from GSB than at Kellogg, mainly because of the parent school and local area.
Overall: I liked my visit, I loved the building, and I did find a few more items that would make me want to apply. Right now I'm just debating whether I want it bad enough to justify writing 2 more essays and a powerpoint package. I will have to do more website research and call a few more students to decide.
- The students were SO friendly and welcoming there. A group of students I contacted separately online over the summer got some of their friends and met up with me for a late lunch (30 minutes before classes started) instead of the official "lunch with students" thing. They introduced me to tons of other random friends of theirs, showed me around the building, and took me to a good class to attend.
- The school culture of teamwork and super-collaborative culture fits what I'm looking for. Similar to Stanford, Haas, and UCLA.
- Their entrepreneurship program is pretty strong too, with connections and VC/Entrepreneurship treks to the Silicon Valley, each once a year over 3-4 days.
- Evanston is a nice, quaint town, similar to Palo Alto but less "snobby"
- The building definitely needs a makeover, especially after my morning in Harper.
- Evanston takes FOREVER to get to on the Red El line. with the Purple express, it was a bit better, but getting there and back to downtown Chicago is a pain.
Overall: I'm definitely going to apply to Kellogg, especially since I already paid my $225 deposit. The cold/windy Monday was a deterrent, but let's see if I get in first before I make a decision!