As a dedicated professional applying to grad school, it can be difficult to find time to visit business schools. We know you’re busy. We’ve been there. Honestly, it can be a royal pain to take time off work for campus visits. BUT if you truly want to find the program that is the best fit for you, it’s an absolute must.
But when is the right time to visit business schools?
Make the most of your business school visits with these three tips:
1. Visit when class is in session.
2. Ask questions.
- How often do students interact with professors outside the classroom?
- What activities are offered to students outside of class?
- How does career services help students find jobs?
- Is there a way for students to connect with alumni?
- What resources does the school offer to students launching ventures?
- What is the social scene like?
- What would you change about the program?
- Where else did you apply? Why did you choose this school?
- How easy has it been for you to get the classes you want?
- Do you know where you will be working after graduation?
3. Take a tour.
I did not have the luxury of time to visit schools before I submitted my applications. I had a very demanding job and wanted to save my limited vacation time to travel for interviews on campus. I knew I had to visit the schools before I made my admissions decision and if it wasn’t for these visits, I could have made a huge mistake and picked the wrong program for me.
The campus visits gave me an opportunity to get a glimpse of each school’s culture. I was able to see how students interact with each other and their faculty. I got a feel for what life was like beyond the classroom. I was able to understand the energy and pace of a typical day. The visits let me experience the intangibles that are so critical to your time in graduate school.
For example, there was a school very high on my interest list that I spent four days visiting. I met with faculty, students, alumni, and even the admissions director. Though I loved the physical campus, all of my personal interactions left me feeling deflated. I instantly knew this wasn’t the place for me. On the contrary, when I visited another school high on my list, I felt energized after each personal meeting. I could see myself easily joining and contributing to this community. It made my final school selection an incredibly simple process.
My only regret is that I didn’t get to complete my visits earlier in the admissions process, as I could have saved myself a lot of time not applying to a program that was not right for me. But in the end, I found the perfect fit for me and in return I was able to begin my graduate school experience with the best possible energy and excitement!