You know you want an MBA, you’ve taken the GMAT, you’ve done most of the hard stuff, BUT, you aren’t sure which program is the program for you. Or maybe you’re working backwards — you’re still on the fence about getting that MBA and you feel like if you found the perfect match, you’d be swayed (is it just us or is this starting to sound a lot like dating?)
Anyway, this is where campus visits come in.
Most schools, all schools, any school worth its salt, allow you to do a campus visit. We’re here to help you get the most out of that roadtrip you didn’t quite plan into you 2018/2019 vacation schedule.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you go on your campus visit:
#1 Don’t turn into a wallflower, but also don’t be so pushy that no one else gets a chance to speak.
Some schools do group tours during your visits, others pair you one-on-one with a student. Either way, remember that this is like getting a chance to tour or visit an office while your application is still being considered.
#2 Use this visit as an opportunity to learn more about the school beyond the brochure.
Look for the interesting and unique things about this school compared to others — kick the tires some and get those unique insights so, depending on where you are in the application process, you can put them into your essay or bring them up in your interview.
Example: I know HBS is the place for me because students really connect with their section, and making lasting friendships is a part of the MBA journey I’m really looking forward to!
#3 Don’t be afraid to ask for connections.
Perhaps during your class visit or tour, you realize that the student taking the lead is focused on fin tech, and you want to do luxury retail. Don’t be afraid to go up to that student during a down moment and ask if they have a friend, peer, section or cluster-mate that is in your desired field that you can connect with later.
Perhaps you are super passionate about skiing, ask if they are, or know someone, that is in the Winter Sports Club. Maybe they don’t even have a Winter Sports Club, but they know about this one kid that takes off to Big Bear for Spring Break and is legendary like Johnny Tsunami.
What we’re trying to say is you don’t need to tune out if you are paired with someone you don’t connect with, you gotta stay on your toes and look for those dots to connect.
#4 DO NOT HAND YOUR RESUME AND BUSINESS CARD TO EVERYONE YOU SEE.
We covered this in the MBA event post, but I cannot stress this enough. No one is keeping up with your sh!t. Seriously, the adcomm will not read it, the student who politely takes it like you handed them a used tissue will not read it, the professor you accost will politely toss it in the nearest paper recycling. Save the handouts for your application. And if you want to get in touch with someone later, take down their information. It is not their job to take your info and follow up with you. You are pursuing their institution, you need to get their info and follow up with them. Now is not the time to play #hardtoget (that time comes post admission - more on that later…). It’s about as a$$ backward as going on a date, really vibing with the other person, and handing them a calling card at the end of the night…they will literally be standing on a street corner thinking “what a self indulgent jerk.” (Again, is this dating?)
#5 Campus visits are not the time to revisit your keg stands of college days.
People can see you! You are still being evaluated, so act like it. I’ve seen many a finance bro or MRS pursuer use their visit to make friends, find out about the best parties, get the *deets* on the club scene or whatever. Once you get in, feel free to ask all the sEx, dRuGs and rOcK and rOlL questions you want…but while you are still trying to get in, keep your head on straight and focus on learning more about the school and leaving the campus with some sort of connection.
#6 Have fun…in moderation.
Don’t feel like you have to be the stiffest, saddest version of yourself (unless you are stiff, then party on, my friend). Allow your personality to shine through. No school wants a million robots on their student roster, they want individuals who bring a new energy to the class.
#7 Come hang out with us
Can’t attend a school visit? Or already did the visits pre-learning about all of the #knowledge that was just dropped? You can always reach out to current students and alums for an informational. And if you aren’t sure how to do that, feel free to head over to thelighthouse and get connected with a current student or recent grad at one of the top 10 MBA programs for an MBA Q&A, resume review, personal statement review or mock interview prep.
We promise we don’t bite!
Article written by MacKenzie Green
A start-up connecting you to young professionals in the industries and graduate programs you want to be in. We make it easy to be smart about your career.