Yesterday we announced that MIT Sloan earned the first-ever Radcom Award for the 2016 admissions season.
But the REAL reason why Sloan gets the 2016 Radcom Award from EssaySnark?
It’s because of this:
— Essay Snark (@EssaySnark) August 11, 2016
None of you Round 2 BSers would’ve cared about that, but those mock classes were a huge gift for wanna-be Sloanies trying in Round 1 last fall.
The thing is, if you’re a plan-ahead type — say, a new Brave Supplicant who’s just now thinking about applications for the MBA Class of 2020 — then right about now, you’re busy with first steps of the process like the GMAT. You’re eating up the bandwidth on those applicant forums, learning about data sufficiency problems, and getting googly-eyed with dreams of applying to Harvard. You might be kicking the tires on specific schools but probably your research is currently limited to only the schools you’ve heard of – HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia. You maybe haven’t yet gotten your feet wet with schools like Tuck or Darden. That won’t come till later, after you’ve become a near-obsessive on all this bschool stuff, and you have heard about the concept of “school fit” so many times that you try to figure out what they’re talking about when they say it.
But again, if you’re like most BSers, you’re not worried about actually starting on your apps for months and months – not till maybe July, when everyone on the forums is discussing essay questions after the new app information is released. And that’s when you roll up your sleeves to figure out which schools to apply to, and that’s when you find EssaySnark after some serious Googling, and that’s when you actually READ the essay questions and realize that the schools are asking you to tell them why you belong there. And that’s when you discover the truth behind our near-constant advice, that visiting the school is the best way to find out about them.
And by then, in mid-summer, with Round 1 deadlines looming in early September, if you visit campus, you get only half the experience. Because the campus visits in summer, in the months before Round 1 hits, are missing the important element: The students.
The reason we’re going through all of this today is not only to acknowledge the innovation that MIT Sloan displayed by having these mock class visits for interested applicants to experience the MBA community outside the standard academic calendar. But it’s also to serve as your official reminder:
If you’re going to be applying to bschool in the Fall, then NOW is the time to be planning your VISITS to the bschools, which you’ll want to do in the Spring.
In January, springtime feels very far away, however it’ll be here soon enough and that’s when you should be putting your butt on a plane and getting to campus. An ideal time to do your bschool tour and experience these schools for yourself is end of March through April. After that, class will let out and all those second-years will be graduating, and the first-years will be off to their internships. There won’t be many students around campus and there won’t be any classes to sit in on (at least, not at most schools; places like Columbia have class visits available even in summer based on their J-Term format).
So. Kudos to MIT Sloan for coming up with this new way to offer prospective students a chance to experience the MBA class, even when classes are not in session. We hope they’ll do it again this summer. For this innovation, along with the other applicant-friendly policies, they have earned our Radcom Award for 2016.
For all of you:
If you do not currently have an admit to an MBA program locked up from Round 1, there’s a chance that you might end up a reapplicant in the Fall (we hope you get in this year of course! but just staying on the prudent side of things, if you’re not in yet, you can’t assume you will be, no matter how many apps you crammed in two weeks ago). Or, if you’re one of those forward-thinking BSers who’s planning ahead for Class of 2020, who’s on the early side of your research project, then kudos to you too for getting started so soon.
In both cases, we would like to suggest that you flip a few pages ahead in your 2017 calendar, to see about getting a few days’ vacation and booking a flight or two, to get out to these schools that you’d like to be applying to in the Fall.
No, it’s not mandatory to visit before applying, but it ALWAYS is beneficial to your process.