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hi folks, I'm planning on applying this fall for admission in 2009 and was wondering: how important is it to visit the schools I'm applying to? Is interviewing on campus better than doing an alumni interview? Does it help your application at all?
Would appreciate any thoughts on this! thanks, ac.
Visiting schools is very important when it comes to learning about the schools. That said if you dont visit it isnt going to mean an automatic ding. Some schools definitely put more emphasis on visits than others, these are typically more rural settings. The one way it looks very bad is if you live within driving distance but never go to the campus.
Interviews on and off campus are pretty close to equal at most schools. I am of the opinion that at most schools interviews are not very important, the majority of decisions are made regardless of interviews. Look at how many people here get in despite having terrible interviews but get dinged after having a great interview. _________________
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I didn't visit any of the schools before interviewing (I did all my research on schools for essays on the internet and talking with students/alums). My theory was that I'd visit the schools for interviews and that would show commitment to seeing the school and allow me to get a more detailed view for the interview (since your essays can only be so detailed anyway).
That being said - I think if you have the means and perhaps more importantly the time, visiting schools definitely helps gain information, provide specifics for essays and interviews, and allow you to get a better feel for schools before applying (both to determine where to apply and how to frame your application). I might equate it to taking a GMAT course - its not going to hurt, but its not a requirement for doing well (or in this case getting into schools or figuring out which schools are right for you)
Do schools generally schedule prospective student visits on weekend? Is it possible to have a class visit on weekends and sit in part time and executive programs. My former supervisor, PT MBA @ Kellogs, mentioned that evening classes have quite a few full time students. Will I miss out on class visit if I attend an evening class to get a feel of school. Any input from people doing FT MBA? Just trying to save some vacation days for I'm sure I will get burned out working and thinking/planning for MBA.
I think this has been discussed before, but generally UE's don't care about visits as much, while Elites generally do.
Elites that explicitly ask how you "learned about the school" include Haas, UCLA, and Stern. I'm pretty sure you need to visit Tuck, Cornell, and Duke to really learn about them. Not sure about Yale, Michigan, or Darden.
Kellogg is the only school I was looking at that had a Saturday program, but it's just a tour and infosession, no class visits. Kellogg also does not have classes on Wednesdays. _________________
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Also very curious about this. I am going to be in Chi-town the first weekend in March and would love to visit GSB. Anybody have experience visiting GSB, and perhaps a little feedback on how to plan / what to expect?
sam77sam7 - I would definitely recommend that you visit the GSB. Fit is everything. Try to take advantage of the campus tour, the class visit and the student lunch. All of these are incredibly valuable. GSB students are very friendly and love to talk about their school so feel free to ask lots of questions. Note: The school is located on the south side of Chicago. I recommend either taking a cab or riding the Metra to Hyde Park. You may want to also spend some time enjoying the city most of the events (parties, recruiting, etc.) take place in the city since a large number of students live either downtown or on the north side.
this is a bit off the point, but i visited 2 schools i didn't actually apply to. it was early in the process and i was in the area. it was helpful just to learn about the process in general and what to expect. those big info sessions can be very informative, even if they don't give you a very good idea of fit.
lots of schools have saturday visit programs. you generally can't sit in on a class, but you can meet students and look around and interview.