It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, which means time to get a little more organized about the admissions process. It’s a wonderful time to learn about schools. A little counter-intuitive, when students are out of classes and campuses are an empty husk of their former fall-to-springtime selves. But guess what! Many students are taking summer jobs and may be coming to your neighborhood. You can meet them for coffee, or just call them up and gab.
I could lecture you on the benefits of talking to students and recent grads about their experiences, but instead I will just repost this paragraph from a classic Tuck student’s contribution to the Tuck Admissions Blog. He’s closer to the ground than I am, and he says it probably more articulately.
Students are your greatest resource to find out more about the schools you are thinking about applying to or attending. MBA students are busy but almost everyone loves to talk about themselves and their experiences, and to feel helpful. So many of my classmates frequently have conversations with prospective students about life at Tuck, career planning, academics, etc. I pursued the ‘official’ route of visiting campuses (which, by the way, was the single most effective way of determining where I wanted to be) but didn’t make anywhere near as much use of current students, or even alums and faculty, as I should have through informal routes. If you have an idea of what you want to do after school, or what kind of clubs you want to get involved with while you are at business school, get in touch with people at your target schools to discuss their experiences. And feel free to ask them almost any questions, within reason.
Students and recent grads can help you get the feel for a school in a way that an admissions committee member cannot. They can tell it to you straight, and they can give you the good with the bad. You can see the fire in their eyes, or passion in their voices. You can tell if you want to sit next to them in class.
They won’t tell you what to write in your application, but knowing more about the school from real people will help you in figuring out whether you are the right fit. If all goes well, these conversations will inspire your campaign to get into the right place for you.
Ready? Set? Make the call.