By betsy On Saturday, March 15 th, 2014 · no Comments · In

You might think that it’s early for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions cycle, but it’s actually the best time to start thinking about things. Aside from the fact that I’ve never, ever, in my life met someone who said, “I wish I had started later on my business school quest,”  I’ve also seen that those who start early have a high correlation with success.

Get Out and Visit Schools — Now

There’s also a high correlation between school research and success.  Those students who plan ahead feel less stressed when they are making their decisions where to apply, and they have more fun too.

There’s really no downside to starting your research now. This part is actually quite fun.  You get to surf the Internet and read websites, blogs, tweets, watch YouTube channels, figure out what mailing lists to get on… the list is endless.    Admissions committee members and students blog, tweet, and give talks about the benefits of the MBA and of their own school. As a potential student, YOU are the target market and are the beneficiary of all this social and traditional networking.

So why not start early?  I would recommend that you visit a campus while it is in session.  You want to sit in on a class, have lunch with students, and get the feel of a program. The only cost is time – but I like to think of it as an investment.  It’s such a personal decision, that you owe it to yourself to visit as many campuses as you can.  Your application will be so much richer for having met each school “in person.” Those visits will inform your thinking about business school, your career, and your overall future.

Tuck, way up there in New Hampshire, which is getting warmer even as I type, welcomes you with open arms:  here’s what they say on the Tuck admissions website.

Even if you aren’t sure about applying to Tuck, visit us anyway!

Plus, there’s the added benefit of being able to kick back a little:

In the spring, we encourage you to come and get a feel for life at Tuck without participating in an evaluative interview.

You’ll also get to see students feeling more relaxed and natural, and maybe get a chance to see them making fun of themselves at a talent show. or b-school follies
One more thing — when you do go, try to schedule it when class is in session. That may require a little more coordination, and taking time off work, but you’ll be able to really see what the heart and soul of the b-school experience is all about, particularly at HBS:

Remember, this admissions process doesn’t have to be a horrible grind. Give yourself a chance enjoy the journey.