If you haven’t yet made it into the school of your dreams, or if you’re just starting the process of applying to bschool, either way, you know that you have a date with destiny in October. (For the uninitiated, October is when Round 1 deadlines hit for most top schools. UPDATE 2015: WELL ACTUALLY, THAT’S HAPPENING IN SEPTEMBER THESE DAYS.) If you’re serious about getting into one of these schools, then you need to learn all you can about them — and what better way than to get off your duff get on a plane and go visit?
Maybe you were planning on doing that at some point. Well guess what? If you’re going for a Round 1 app in the Fall, NOW is the time that you need to visit campus.
Most schools do not have class visits in the summertime because most schools do not have class. Most bschool students are out in the world working their summer internship in the summer between the first and second year. The exceptions are schools like Columbia and Cornell, which have accelerated MBA tracks where students skip the internship and instead take classes during the summertime in order to get through the entire process quicker. Or schools like INSEAD that have multiple intakes.
Then, when Fall rolls around and school starts up again, most programs will open up the class visit schedule, but usually not till the new students have been on campus for a month or so and gotten into the groove. What this means is, for most schools in the U.S., there’s no opportunity for Fall class visits until AFTER the Round 1 deadlines have come and gone.
But, sitting here right now in mid-April, there is indeed still a chance to go schmooze with some students. Sure, you could visit the campus of your choice in the summer, and get a sense of the place by looking at the buildings and seeing where it sits within the overall university and the metropolis where it’s located — but those buildings will be echoing empty of students. The best bang for your buck in a campus visit is when you can meet people, ask questions, see the classroom experience for yourself.
This week, Wharton announced final availability of class visits (through the end of April).
Other schools have other offerings; be sure to stalk their websites thoroughly to see what’s available — but be sure to do your stalking sooner rather than later, as there will be fewer chances to partake of the in-person learning a short month or two from now.