Mission Admission: Schedule a Class Visit and Behave Yourself

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

In the next week or two, most business schools will open up their classrooms to class visits (for example, Kellogg’s class visits begin on October 8th, Harvard Business School’s on October 9th). We always encourage MBA candidates to visit their target schools, because it makes a positive impression on the Admissions Committee, gives the candidate an opportunity to personalize his/her essays and it may even help them select their schools. This latter point should not be taken for granted; each year, we hear from a few surprised candidates who visit Harvard Business School and realize that the school is not for them, as though Harvard Business School must be for everyone!

With a surge in applicants this year, we recommend that you schedule your class visits soon, before all sessions are full. Remember, the first semester is short, with classes ending in early December at most schools. So, your window of opportunity will close quickly.

As you visit campuses, you should definitely be on your best behavior. While the receptionists in the Admissions Office is not a “spy” and your tour guide is not there to inform the MBA admissions committee, both will probably feel it important to tell the Admissions Office about any bad behavior. We spoke with one former receptionist (now an AdCom member) at a top-ten school, who said that she would encounter rudeness, make a note and tell the Admissions Director, who would strike the candidate’s name from their list. While most candidates are on their best behavior anyway, we nevertheless offer this reminder.

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