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What not to do during a class visit...

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What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 20:11
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So I feel this is valuable to pass along...I assumed this would be common knowledge but this has happened more than once over the last few weeks.

When you are a visitor in a class do not raise your hand to participate...even worse don't blurt out comments. I have been shocked recently at how many people seem to feel this is acceptable behavior. Why this is poor form for a visitor:
1) usually the comments are rather weak especially in higher level electives where without completing previous courses or attending classes all quarter its tough to make relevant comments. Instead of impressing it often makes the visitor look foolish.
2) you aren't paying an obscene amount of money to participate.
3) you aren't getting graded on participating.
4) current students find it obnoxious...when we audit classes we typically don’t participate due to reason #3, unless specifically asked to answer a question by the professor.
5) its not uncommon for students to talk to student adcoms or even admissions people about egregious instances.

The ultimate example of this was a few days ago, we had 6 visitors in one of my classes. One visitor blurted out a comment and that opened the flood gates and more than half by the end of class had made comments or asked questions...not a single one of them were insightful and only one kid even bothered to raise his hand and the professor tried to ignore him but his hand just kept waving until the prof gave in. A student actually said something to a few visitors sitting near him about observing but not actively taking part...5 minutes later one of them just couldn’t help himself and made yet another comment. Unfortunately, the visitors did not know the student who hinted they should shut up is a student adcom and had a sit down meeting with the dean of admissions about the episode and the list of visitors for that class was reviewed.

I did not notice this last year but I have seen this on numerous occasion where visitors raise hands but then have to be informed by the professor that he does not allow visitors to participate in his class or ignored by the professor.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 21:36
Wow. Just wow.

I'm glad the matter was brought to the adcom's attention. I would not want d-bags like that as my classmates.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 21:58
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Ha ha!

I just got reminded of some asses in my school. They used to raise their hands for things right from 'having to go pee' to 'letting us know who slept with whom yesterday' to 'asking a genuine doubt on pythogoras theorem'
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 22:20
interesting... ive never observed this at booth myself. prospectives almost always sit quietly in the back during class. i have had some professors invite them to participate in group breakout sessions.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 22:49
dabots wrote:
interesting... ive never observed this at booth myself. prospectives almost always sit quietly in the back during class. i have had some professors invite them to participate in group breakout sessions.


Me neither. Today during my PE class, there were around 10 prospective students and we were debating interesting things such as bribery and political risks for funds in Emerging Markets and they behaved well :lol:

I agree with River's points.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 05:34
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riverripper wrote:
So I feel this is valuable to pass along...I assumed this would be common knowledge but this has happened more than once over the last few weeks.

The Kellogg class visit materials they give you explicitly state not to participate during class.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 06:14
omg ... never thought applicants can be so crazy!!!
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 06:24
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rao_1857 wrote:
omg ... never thought applicants can be so crazy!!!


Do you not read these forums and see how people wig out?

But this thread is good in putting everything in perspective - what might seem to be "proactive" could just be seen as "annoying"...
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 06:29
xpiano1978 wrote:
rao_1857 wrote:
omg ... never thought applicants can be so crazy!!!


Do you not read these forums and see how people wig out?

But this thread is good in putting everything in perspective - what might seem to be "proactive" could just be seen as "annoying"...


yeah I've heard several stories but this one is little too much.
well ... hope no perspective from GC was in that group.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 06:42
This is why I never put down my name on the sign-in sheet at any of the classes I sat in on. Of course, I was perfectly behaved, too, regardless.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 08:30
Over-enthusiasm is always too annoying.

All said, visitor class participation is subjective to school guidelines. During my Kellogg visit, I remember, visitors instructions specificaly mentioned not to in class discussions. But at Ross, the professor encouraged us to participate in the class. Subjective to these rules, it's upto us prospectives to decide whether to throw something informative into the class or make an ass of ourselves by saying something totally worthless.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 09:32
At Fuqua, the professor said to "feel free to participate." However, I still found it weird when someone actually did. There really is no good reason to if you are a prospective student.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 09:43
If participating makes you feel more at home in the classroom, gives you a better impression of the school, makes you more likely to attend and is encouraged by the professor, I'd say there's no reason not to participate judiciously. For example, I've attended marketing classes where the students were brainstorming silly product ideas using whatever new box/chart/grid thought-organization system the professor was teaching that day. While I didn't participate myself, I saw no reason why throwing another fun idea into the hat would disadvantage the current students.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 11:22
Haha. Yeah, I can see how that would be annoying. The day I interviewed at Wharton I went to sit in on an afternoon class, and it turned out my interviewer was a student in the class as well. It totally caught me off guard, which is probably why I ended up getting dinged. But the whole time I was thinking "so am I still supposed to be in interview mode? Should I try to say something to prove what a great student I would be here??" Fortunately I never did, but I was resisting the urge none the less.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 12:44
I know during my Fuqua visit I was in an MBA2 class and was free to participate. I didn't bring up my points during class but discussed it privately with two students (one adcom member) during the break. Of course I also got dinged.... :evil:
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 13:17
From a sample size 2, what's the confidence that we have that if you attend the same class as your interviewer, you'll get dinged?

(Someone here must have brushed up on stats)...
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2010, 11:55
My case may be a complete exception, but during a visit to Emory's evening program class I was the last visitor to stay for the second half of the class (classes last 3 hrs and visitors are allowed to exit during intermission). The professor knew about my job from a quick intro in the beginning and actually asked me a question during class that was very pertinent to the class subject and my work in Media. I answered and got a reply that "I would definitely do well in that program." in front of the entire class. At the end the students asked for my "verbal commitment" to join the program and one asked for my business card because he was looking to transition to my company.

I have visited classes at other schools before, but this was the first time I actually spoke in an MBA class. I think this was a very rare exception.

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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2010, 03:51
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Obviously I didn't read this before going up for my interviews, but I asked a few questions when I visited a class at UNC. I was legitimately interested and engaged in the class, so I participated. There were probably only 5 people the entire class that spoke, so it wasn't like I was stealing time from anyone else. I thanked the professor after class and apologized if I asked any rudimentary questions. He said I had asked good questions and thanked me for sitting in on the class. Is it really that much of a faux pas?
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2010, 07:29
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I think its a matter of personal judgement. I do think its inappropriate to ask questions or make comments in the class if you have not been explicitly encouraged to do so. If you're not sure, I would definitely err on the side of not participating. As people have correctly addressed in earlier posts, the students have spent a lot of money to learn from these courses. If there's a class visit every week, and there are questions from visitors every week, it will be very annoying for these students and might ruin the learning experience.

On my Berkeley visit, I met an applicant who was quite obnoxious. We went to separate class visits, and I briefly asked him how his went and he said. "I think class visits are so bloody useless. I raised my hand and asked some questions and then I just got up and left halfway because I was getting bored". I could not believe what I was hearing. I really hope I don't meet him again!

I did speak during class on my visit, but I feel my situation was very different. I had a relationship with the Professor and he explicitly asked me to present something at the start of the class.

Unless you are encouraged to speak, I really wouldn't recommend active participation in the classroom.
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Re: What not to do during a class visit... [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2010, 07:56
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I look at this topic in the same one should behave when invited to someone's home. Unless the host offers you a drink or a meal you would not go through the fridge and start grabbing stuff. Same way, unless explicitly asked to participate, one should not become a hindrance to the classroom activities.

During my visit to one school, I introduced myself to the Prof. in the beginning of the class. He asked me if I would not mind introducing myself before he began the lecture which I gladly did. But for the rest of the class just watched, no participation.

In summary, unless explicitly asked to participate one should not. Limit the display of excitement through your facial expressions only.
Re: What not to do during a class visit...   [#permalink] 25 Feb 2010, 07:56
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