Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Campus visits from across the globe

Basecamp has come and gone. And I am halfway through the first mini at Tepper School of Business. The past month and a half has gone by in a blink of an eye and it is now time for the much-dreaded midterms.  For the Admissions Office, September kicks off prospective student campus visits.

I recently received an email from the Admissions Office requesting current students to take prospective students to class/lunch. Campus visits are a great way to connect with current students and to establish your ‘fit’.  For many students who are not from the United States (like me), campus visits happen after you get admitted.

So, how do you build your own ‘campus visit’?  (I’ll share resources that helped me with finding my ‘fit’ at Tepper.)

Virtual campus visits – Leverage technology! A lot of business schools’ websites offer virtual campus visits, whereby you can have 360 degree views and photos of classrooms, campus, neighborhoods, etc. You can get a good feel of the campus/neighborhood.

Use the ‘Contact a Current Student’ or “Contact an Alum” resources – So what if you are not able to meet current students in person- get in touch with current students and alums virtually. Schools provide contact details of current and past students who can respond to your questions. In my experience, current students and alums are your best resources to answer those burning ‘fit’ questions. Tip: Ask to connect on Skype- a great platform to make that personal connection!

Attend webinars – Webinars are a great way to ask your questions live to admissions staff, current students and other prospective students. Most of my target schools had regular webinar sessions about various subjects ranging from curriculum to life in ‘x’ city. If you cannot attend them, make sure that you view the recordings. Webinars have a lot of useful information.

And just like at the end of a campus visit, do not forget to write down what stood out from your various interactions, what you liked and what you did not like as much. These notes are going to come handy when it is time to shortlist your schools.

Good luck with your application process!

Veenusha Santchurn, Forté Fellow
MBA 2014, Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon

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