What You Need To Know About B-School Campus Visits
Visiting a b-school can be overwhelming. Often times, you may leave with more questions than you came in with.
Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently discussed how applicants can make the most of their b-school visit when deciding which MBA program to pursue.
“The average total cost of an MBA education at the most elite business schools has crept upwards of $200,000,” Blackman writes. “Therefore, it makes good sense to visit the campus to get to know a program beyond its ranking.”
Spring Is The Best Time To Visit
Blackman recommends applicants to check out a school during the Spring semester.
“It makes little sense to check out the campus during summer,” she writes. “When classes aren’t in session, you can’t assess the one key characteristic you want to observe: the interaction between students and faculty.”
Talk With Current Students
Generally, a visit to a b-school will include an information session with the option of sitting in on a class or even chatting individually with current students.
Talking with current students, Blackman says, is a huge opportunity to learn more about whether a program is right for you.
“During the class visit, take note of the dynamic between the students and professor before and after class,” Blackman writes. “This can be an indicator of how close-knit and collaborative the community is. In some cases, the admissions office may put you in contact with a student with similar career goals. This provides an ideal way to learn more specifics about the program as it relates to your professional needs.”
Prior to your conversation, it’s important to draft up a few questions you’ll want to ask.
Here’s a list of common questions for current students, according to US News:
- What surprised you most about business school?
- How accessible are professors?
- Is the culture of the school more collaborative or competitive?
Blackman recommends MBA applicants to try and speak with as many students as possible.
“This is too big a decision to make without first experiencing a variety of conversations and points of view,” she writes. “Explain that you’re trying to get a feel for the community. Find out more about why they chose this particular school. Chances are excellent they will gladly share their insights with you.”