Many students wander what could make an ex-factor for them in order to get admitted to a top MBA program.
So, you decided to apply for a top MBA program. You have a 700+ gmat a great GPA and recommendations that will blow any admission’s mind, but what else? here you can find few options on how to improve your odds and in this article we will focus on how to maximize the visit to your desired MBA campus.
It is a great option, especially for international student, to visit campuses. Visiting campuses brings two great benefits:
- Gets the admission familiar with you.
- Gives you some real first hand points to put on your application.
Plan in advance
After you have decided on your list of schools open a map of the united states and mark them geographically. Understanding the location is a first great step of understanding the school.
After the schools are matched build your trip around the schools. We recommend spending at least 2-3 days at one school (see below on how to spend your time there). Go to every school’s website and look for “visit the campus for prospective students”. Every school offers daily visit for prospective students in those visits you will be able to attend class and talk to the admissions and students. Those visits should be booked in advance so make sure you do that and receive a confirmation. Plan your visits accordingly to the geographical location of your school. Notice that some schools are located in the same city so make sure you schedule your campus visit close for those. Examples of schools that are located in the same cities: Columbia and NYU, Harvard and MIT, Chicago and Northeastern. We would recommend spending 5-6 in days a city that has a few of your choice schools.
After you have planned and scheduled the school visits it is time to order your flight tickets. We recommend and especially for international students to look for flights to New York. NY flights are usually cheaper, and it is a great connection point to almost all of the schools in the East Coast.
How to plan your stay
As we mentioned before, we recommend spending a least 2-3 days at each school. One day should be devoted to the school’s campus visit program e.g., MIT ambassador’s program. The other days should be spent on talking to current students and visiting school’s events.
School campus visit
Usually most of the schools offer a full day program for prospective students. The program includes meeting the admission, a student forum, a class visit and a campus tour. We recommend completing the program and stay throughout the whole day. It is especially important to be noticed by the admission members. Our suggestion is to prepare questions in advanced and ask them on the admissions forum. You should write their answers to those questions and mention that in the application. While vising class we recommend taking notes of the parts that were especially interesting to you.
Talking to current students and visiting events
Again, preparing in advance will be your best option. Use LinkedIn and find students who attend the schools you would like to visit. Write to those students and tell them your story. Be kind and honest, these people were in your situation a year or so ago they know your position. They mostly would like to help. Schedule a phone conversation with them on a time that is convenient to them and explain that you would like to meet them on campus and ask question. Try to schedule with a least two students at each school. While at school be kind and be a good listener. Write down everything that is important and ask good questions. You should mention to the students that you would like to attend some school’s events current students will be able to tell you about such events.
Thank you letters
It is important to thank anyone we met on our trip and to thank them for their time. You should take contact information from all the admission members and students that you met and thank them formally. You can find a template of such a letter on our website.