UPDATE 7/15/20: DUKE HAS CHANGED ITS INTERVIEW POLICY - ALL INTERVIEWS WILL NOW BE CONDUCTED VIRTUALLY.
For the Class of 2023 — unless their website has only gotten a partial update and some of the information available there is still from last season, which is possible — Duke Fuqua are apparently REQUIRING some candidates to come to campus to interview.
Well, not “requiring” in that if you want to apply, you have to come to campus. But, if you want to apply in their Early Action round, which basically is the candidates who really really really like Duke because they’re agreeing in advance to go there if admitted, and you live in the Eastern part of the U.S., then, just like every year, Duke is requiring you come to campus to interview.
If you are applying in Early Action from the West Coast of the U.S., or from any other country, then no, you don’t have to come visit. But if you’re gung ho for Duke and you’re in their geographic region…
That requirement made total sense in a non-pandemic time. Getting applicants to put forth the effort of getting on a plane and coming for a visit helped tremendously with their process in deciding who to accept for their binding Early Decision round.
But this year? It seems like they’re not offering any virtual interview experiences. So, Open Interview means “interview here with us on campus.”
Again, we could be misunderstanding? But that’s what it seems like their website is saying. And, the dates of the Open Interview period are reflecting the current season — October 12 to October 28, 2020. <-- UPDATE 7/15/20: NOW THE OPEN INTERVIEW PERIOD WILL GO FOR A FULL MONTH LONGER - STARTS SEPTEMBER 10, GOES TO OCTOBER 28, 2020 - AND ALL INTERVIEWS ARE VIRTUAL. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN EARLY ACTION APPLICANT, EITHER! IF YOU WANT TO GO TO DUKE, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPEN INTERVIEW!!! OH HEY HERE'S A PRO TIP: HAVE AT LEAST THE FIRST DRAFTS OF YOUR DUKE ESSAYS DONE BEFORE YOU INTERVIEW; YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW WHY YOU WANT AN MBA IN ORDER TO DO WELL IN THE INTERVIEW, SO WORKING THROUGH THE TASK OF FORMULATING ANSWERS TO THOSE ESSAY PROMPTS WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT!!! /END-ALL-CAPS-SHOUTING-AT-YOU.
It actually seems like Duke is saying that ALL interviews must be in person. Really???
The bonus of the Open Interview process is that Duke allows anyone to interview then, not only those who are applying in Early Action. So on the whole, it’s quite the positive. It’s a real opportunity for folks to experience the school and it is an excellent way for an applicant to demonstrate motivation and initiative.
But in coronavirus?
Keeping it REQUIRED for any part of the candidate pool just makes no sense. And not making Skype/Zoom interviews an easy option for candidates is not sending a great message.
Except of course as a deterrent: It means that those candidates who might feel uncomfortable with travel right now will forego the Early Action round completely.
Most states in the U.S. are experiencing increases in coronavirus counts. Whether it’s characterized as an “uptick” or a “surge” depends on what state you are asking about, and who is doing the asking.
The United States is basically FAILING at containing the virus. We’re like one of the worst countries on the planet in terms of mitigation efforts. Coronavirus has killed more than 120,000 Americans in only three months.
Yesterday, June 18, 2020, North Carolina reported 857 people hospitalized for coronavirus — which is 100 more people than one week ago. Experts are saying that hospitalization rates are the data to track if you’re concerned about impact of the virus in a community. North Caroline reported about 1,300 new cases that same day, which isn’t a high but is pretty close to it (see below). Durham County, where Duke is located, also has the highest per-capita rate of infections in the state, at 88.4 infected per 100,000 residents.
Aren’t public health experts recommending that we limit travel under such conditions?
Are you comfortable getting on a plane right now?
Maybe you feel differently about coronavirus. Maybe you feel it’s not a huge risk for you. But shouldn’t the schools be making more options available, given the range of responses and personal levels of comfort to the current situation?
What if a candidate has a vulnerable person in their home? Duke is requiring they interview in person anyway?
It will likely be a little awkward to interview wearing masks, but maybe we’ll all be used to that by October when these interviews will happen. Maybe Duke is worth it to you, and this is something you want to take on despite the risks. It can surely be valuable to experience a school firsthand, it’s just that “school” is going to be a different experience entirely right now only because of all the restrictions that society must put in place to protect everyone.
Doing your interview remotely is absolutely acceptable in this time, and you may want to take advantage of the Open Interview opportunity to do so, regardless of when you are considering submitting your app.
What if you go to all this trouble, jump through all these hoops, travel to campus, interview through a mask sitting six feet apart and everything else… and then you don’t get in?
And what if you contract coronavirus on that trip?
Most schools are putting in place practices to PREVENT people from unnecessarily traveling in to their area. Duke University’s President even stated about three weeks ago that they will have a policy for Fall term that students cannot leave the Durham area for the duration of the semester.
WTF Fuqua? WHY ARE YOU REQUIRING APPLICANTS COME TO CAMPUS AT ALL?
In addition, they are apparently also preserving their in-person interview practices where the Fuqua admissions team will be fanning out across the globe in Rounds 1 and 2 to visit far-flung cities and conduct interviews for invited candidates.
Sure, by the time those interview periods come around in October and November and February, maybe — HOPEFULLY — the infection rate in North Carolina will have moderated and even dropped significantly.
We get it, the schools want to be putting on a “business as usual!” front. Lots and lots of schools are plowing full speed ahead into their Fall plans of bringing students back.
However, in the United States, in many places, the first wave never actually rolled all the way through. It stalled out for some weeks, and dropped down from the initial peak, but then picked up steam again, and now appears to be roaring back. Which is not at all surprising, given how impatient members of the American public seem to have gotten with the requirements for safety around masks and social distancing.
But being impatient with the virus and being frustrated with the restrictions on our lives does not mean anything has changed. The virus does not care if we’re impatient.
This is such a charade that it’s hard to watch.
Yes, it’s true, people truly need to get back to work, they are suffering. Unemployment is getting worse and that worsening is likely to continue in lockstep with infections. We’re all in for a world of hurt.
Yes they have found success with a low-cost widely-available steroid (steroids reduce inflammation, so it makes total sense that this would be effective — unlike a malaria medicine, seeing as malaria is a totally different disease, caused by a completely different class of pathogen from a virus).
Yes the hospitals have capacity now, and PPE is not in short supply. There are beds and ventilators available.
But shouldn’t we still be trying to limit the spread and prevent it?
WHY IS DUKE PRETENDING THAT CORONAVIRUS IS NO LONGER A THING?
More than perhaps any other admissions source out there, for years and years, EssaySnark has pushed the importance of the school visit as integral to researching an MBA program. It can be incredibly helpful for an applicant to experience the school firsthand. In the past, we’ve applauded Duke for this Open Interview policy, and encouraged all applicants interested in Fuqua to hustle their butts out to North Carolina to see for themselves what a great place it is.
But this? What is going on with this policy?
We truly hope that this is only a matter of a not-well-updated website, and that this “required” in-person interview thing will be clarified, with options for remote interviews too. C’mon Duke. What’s the deal?
And oh yeah while we’re on the soap box: All schools should publish full data on race of applicants and accepted students.