Much of the MBA application process is a “long game.” Earning your desired GMAT score could require a year or more, and building a professional profile or enhancing your community activities takes even longer. We rarely encourage urgency, but this year’s Round 1 applicants need to do one thing now—visit their target programs!
The class visit deadlines for some programs are just a few weeks away, and others just a few days! And you may not realize that the visit periods will not reopen until after next season’s Round 1 deadlines. So if you want to visit before applying, time is running out!
|MBA Program||Date of Last Class Visit|
|Cornell Johnson||March 29, 2018|
|Michigan Ross||April 16, 2018|
|Wharton||April 16, 2018|
|Duke Fuqua||April 24, 2018|
|Columbia Business School||April 26, 2018|
|Berkeley-Haas||May 1, 2018|
|MIT Sloan||May 3, 2018|
|Yale School of Management||May 3, 2018|
|Dartmouth Tuck||May 14, 2018|
|Stanford GSB||June 1, 2018|
|Harvard Business School||Late April|
Is a class visit really that important? Let us assure you it most definitely is—particularly for these reasons:
A. Invaluable Knowledge: Do not just assume that one top school would be just as good a fit for you as the next. Applicants may view a program positively based on what they have heard and read, but once they visit, they discover that certain elements of the environment would not be good for them, or might even be outright terrible. By observing a class, meeting students, touring campus, checking out the surrounding area, and possibly even talking directly with admissions staff, you will get a holistic, firsthand understanding of what your MBA experience would be like there. This is invaluable information you simply cannot obtain from a website or an alumnus. The added depth will ensure you make a more fully informed choice.
B. Personalized Application: Some schools, such as Harvard Business School, explicitly state that a class visit does not factor into admissions decisions. Although this may be true in that you will not win extra points simply for doing so (or be disadvantaged for not), the experience will give you information and stories that will help you better establish and argue your fit with the program in your application. Plus, discussing your firsthand experience of a class or learning team meeting in an interview can make you a more compelling applicant. And some programs do note which applicants have made the effort to visit. A candidate living in New York, for example, who has not visited Columbia will likely be rejected. Why admit someone not motivated enough to visit? Finally, some schools appreciate the respect—if you travel a long distance to visit a school, be assured the admissions committee will notice!
C. Fortuity: On campus, you can network directly with others at the program. We do not mean you should walk around handing out business cards, but register for an admissions session or connect with students/professors with similar interests by reaching out politely. You just might find an advocate for your candidacy, and that can make a world of difference.
Now is also a great time to schedule a free consultation with an mbaMission admissions advisor to learn additional ways of rounding out your candidacy for this application season or next! Click here to sign up!