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Tips for Campus Visits

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Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Schools: NYU Stern Class of 2012
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Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2009, 18:23
Well, the wife and I are starting to plan a little week long road trip to visit some schools before applying next year. I know a lot of you went through this process already, and probably have some great advice to give from your own personal experiences. Right now, our own trip looks like this:

Leave Saturday April 18th – arrive in New York
Sunday – play in New York
Monday – visit NYU and Columbia
Tuesday –Drive to Ann Arbor (yes, this is like 10 hours, should be great fun)
Wednesday – visit Ross, drive to Chicago in afternoon.
Thursday night – Visit Booth and Kellogg
Friday – Party in Chi-town
Saturday – play in Chicago
Sunday – return home

I had a few questions to ask before we booked anything -

1) When is the best time to visit schools? I obviously don't want to be trying to visit in the middle of recruiting/midterms/summer. Does mid-April work?
2) I seem to remember reading that B-schools don't typically have classes on Friday, which is why we booked Booth/Kellogg on Thursday. Is it possible to fit 2 schools in one day? I'd like to sit in on a class and maybe have an informal meeting with an adcom member.
3) I'm from the southwest, and have only been to the northeast once a few years ago. Aside from the drive from NY to Ann Arbor, do we need a rental car, or will mass transit/taxis be a more cost effective method?
4) Any tips on where to stay while visiting would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Nick

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Re: Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2009, 18:50
NickTW wrote:

I had a few questions to ask before we booked anything -

1) When is the best time to visit schools? I obviously don't want to be trying to visit in the middle of recruiting/midterms/summer. Does mid-April work?


The best time is when classes are in session. I think mid-April might be getting kind of late depending on the school. If it's during finals, you might not have a lot of students around or classes to visit. Check with the school.

Quote:
2) I seem to remember reading that B-schools don't typically have classes on Friday, which is why we booked Booth/Kellogg on Thursday. Is it possible to fit 2 schools in one day? I'd like to sit in on a class and maybe have an informal meeting with an adcom member.


Most schools have set schedules for each visit. You might be able to swing doing two in one day (one class in the morning at Chicago, then another class in the afternoon at Kellogg). However, one of the more useful aspects of a visit is talking to students and a really valuable time to do that is during lunch. I doubt you could swing doing two lunches.

Quote:
3) I'm from the southwest, and have only been to the northeast once a few years ago. Aside from the drive from NY to Ann Arbor, do we need a rental car, or will mass transit/taxis be a more cost effective method?


Around NYC? Mass transit. Drive to Ann Arbor by car, then onto Chicago by car (you can take a train from Ann Arbor, but it's not very quick or convenient). Around Chicago by mass transit, but from what I've heard it's not that easy to go from Booth to Kellogg (2 h by transit?).

Quote:
4) Any tips on where to stay while visiting would be greatly appreciated.


Check out the individual threads on each school. Lots of suggestions for hotels there, although many of them trade $$$ for convenience.

Good luck!! I think it's a really smart move to visit early on. It will really help you in school selection.

RF
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Re: Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2009, 19:00
I think it might be difficult for you to visit two schools in one day. Usually the schools have a fairly formal process for admissions visits with a somewhat rigid schedule. Some schools split it up between morning and afternoon and others don't. If you encounter the latter, then you will probably have overlap between the two schools' programs. Check out the visit pages for each school and they should have info on how their visits are structured. This will help you determine if two in a day is problematic, besides any fatigue associated with multiple school visits on top of lots of driving (and the partying of course!). For example, I wanted to visit MIT and HBS on the same day but it was next to impossible with how they structure their schedules. Also, it's kind of nice to allow some flexibility to hang around in case you find yourself chatting with some students, professors or adcoms longer than expected or want to explore the campus or surrounding neighborhood in more detail.

Regarding time of year, I would probably opt for a little earlier than you are planning, but you should be fine as planned (assuming you check online to make sure schools offer visits at that time). I think being there in the midst of recruiting might be ideal - you'll really see things in action.

If budget is a big issue, check out The Pod hotel in New York. You can get pretty cheap deals and the place is nice and clean (note: not all rooms have their own bathrooms - confirm this before booking). It's not in the best location for NYU or Columbia, but you'll be fine on the subway.

In Chicago, assuming you have a car while you're there (which others will have to advise on, but - DO NOT HAVE YOUR CAR WHILE YOU ARE IN NEW YORK), maybe it's better to stay in Evanston (Northwestern's town) so that parking is easier.

I'm not sure what the best method is between the cities because the Ross visit really throws a monkey wrench in things. If it were New York and Chicago only then flying and taking public transportation would be ideal.
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Re: Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2009, 07:59
I would strongly suggest not trying to do both Booth and Kellogg in one day. They are not close to each other - Booth is in Hyde Park which is on the south side of Chicago, and Kellogg is in Evanston which is 12 miles north of Chicago. Depending on time of day and how you travel (taxi, train, etc) it could easily take over an hour to get from one to the other.

I echo other's comments about cars in NYC - the subway and bus system is excellent and parking is outrageously expensive.
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Re: Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2009, 08:11
Man I love this forum. Some great advice above, definitely appreciated. None of the schools appear to have updated their visiting schedules for the spring, so I'll be making calls later this week to set a few things up. It also looks like we'll be dropping Ross to get the most of out of our time in NY and Chicago. Probably looking at flying and taking mass transit/taxis instead of renting a car. Neither of us has ever been to Chicago, and we'll have atleast 2 nights there. Should we rent a car in the interest of seeing the city, or will we be able to manage just fine without one?

Again, thanks for the advice!

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Re: Tips for Campus Visits [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2009, 08:33
Last spring I visited Wharton in early April and Booth/Kellogg in early May. So I think the timeframe you mentioned is fine. Call to confirm though. I also agree with everyone that you should commit one day per school. I can't comment on the car situation in Chicago, but their mass transit is pretty good. Plus, you could take taxi's as needed.

I stayed at the Marghartia European Inn in Evanston and it was nice. I imagine any of these hotels are nice though:
http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Pro ... vents.aspx

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Re: Tips for Campus Visits   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2009, 08:33
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