Current Chicago Booth Student Provides Pointers for Prospective Applicants Attending Admissions Events
A recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek suggests that more top U.S. business schools are sending their admissions teams out on the road to more cities across the country in an effort to combat flagging applicant volume. But just as they provide important recruiting opportunities for schools, admissions events also give prospective applicants a valuable means of getting to know more about programs they are interested in while obtaining a first-hand impression of the people and culture that make each school unique.
A current student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who has worked with that school’s admissions office since matriculating suggests that prospective applicants shouldn’t worry too much about how they are being evaluated during these events. “As a student who has been very involved with admissions events for the past year, I now know that these events are for you, the prospective students,” wrote Beth McNamee in a recent post to the Booth Experience student blog. “We want to give you a chance to get to know the school, ask questions and figure out if Booth is the right fit for you. The best thing you can do is relax, learn, enjoy the free food and yourself,” she continued.
In her post, McNamee revealed that she was so nervous attending her first admissions event that she almost missed it entirely. After several minutes of small talk with two friendly women at the bar where the event was supposed to take place, she asked if they had just finished their first year, only to be met with blank stares. “Turns out, they were just two random friendly young women at the bar. In my nervousness, I had not even made it to the event, which was just across the room,” McNamee said.
Her greatest regret looking back at the application process was not having more fun during this part of it. To prospective applicants just getting started she made some useful suggestions. For one, make some notes after the event of things that were interesting and relevant to you – they could be subjects to discuss with your interviewer. Second, if you connect with someone during the event, don’t hesitate to ask for their email and follow up. “Generally, I find that students and alumni are happy to talk offline,” she wrote. “I’m even meeting up this weekend with an alum I met during the application process!”