At AdmissionsConsultants, we encourage MBA applicants to visit every b-school they’re thinking of applying to if it’s at all possible.
MBA programs often have a very different feel from the rest of a university, and although their websites try to show their unique features, nothing compares to experiencing it in person.
Obviously, summers and holidays are not ideal times for campus visits because classes are not in session. However, if these are the only times that you can get away to visit a school, these times are still better than not visiting at all.
So even though classes may have already started, we recommend that now is the time to start planning to get to know your target schools better. It’s probably not realistic to visit every place you are considering applying to, but a school visit can really immerse you into the hustle and bustle of the MBA atmosphere on campus.
One way to get a good feel of the school is to sign up for a tour and information session. The schools do track attendance – and you want them to know that you visited! Though the sessions are often from a marketing angle, the info they provide is helpful and you can learn some things from the other people with you on the tour.
What if you can’t get to campus? Schools understand that not everyone can manage a visit. That’s why they do extensive outreach, holding presentations in major cities around the world and attending MBA fairs. Though MBA fairs aren’t the best way to get a solid picture of the school (due to the volume of attendees), they are a great way to learn about several different schools at once.
If your best option is to follow the MBA fair route, try to attend their presentations – you can hear their pitch firsthand, you’ll learn some new things about he program, and you might even meet students and alumni.
If you know that you will only be able to visit a school one time due to distance or time restrictions, save the trip for an interview, in case you’re invited to one. It is much better to interview on campus!
If you are applying to a school were you can self-initiate an interview, don’t schedule your interview until you’ve worked on your essays. You want to have your story pulled together so that you don’t say one thing in your interview and another in your application.