Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tips for Campus Visits

I can’t believe it was just over a year ago that I was submitting my Round 1 applications! I am now busier than I ever imagined; studying for my 1st round of midterms, joining various student groups on campus and looking at summer internship opportunities (and of course finding time to have a little fun).

Last week I attended a “Booth Live” breakfast as a member of the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee (DSAC) and was able meet several prospective students. It was nice to be on this side of the application process, but I remember so clearly what I was going through at this time last year.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few key things I think you, as a prospective student, should think about if you are able to visit the schools you are applying to.

Take a tour. See what the lecture halls look like, the study rooms, dining options and any other facilities the school may offer. Also check out where the students live – be it on campus, in a neighborhood nearby, etc.

Sit in on a class lecture. This will give you a better understanding of the learning environment and how the students interact with each other and the Professor. Is it case-based? Lecture only? A mixture? Find out if this class structure is the norm for the school or what you can expect once you are on campus.

And finally, the most important thing, in my mind, is to talk to students about their backgrounds and career goals. Every school is diverse, so it is nice to see what similarities and differences there are amongst your possible future classmates. Be sure to get contact information from students you would like to stay in touch with. I always found that students were more than willing to answer my questions or give me more details on things I was interested in which was very helpful in my application and interview process.

I still remember the people I met when I visited campuses and have stayed in touch with many of them – including students at schools I did not end up attending. Business school is all about networking, and you never know who you will meet that may be a connection to a job you are looking for at some point.

Good luck in the application process and I look forward to meeting those of you who visit Chicago Booth!

Jaime Streem, Class of 2013
Forté Fellow & MBA Candidate
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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