We’re hard at work on our next new applicant resource—the Clear Admit VisitArchive—which is designed to help MBA candidates learn more about their target schools by reading about the campus visit experience of others.
Though VisitArchive is still only in beta testing—look for an official launch later in the 2018-2019 admissions cycle—we have already received great responses from early users sharing tips guaranteed to inform future visits.
For example, one visitor who took an Uber to Georgetown’s McDonough School campus offered this advice: “On a hot day, do not let them drop you at the main gate. It’s a solid five-minute walk to the business school building.” Good to know, especially if you’re looking to arrive without sweat stains.
Resource for Those Planning Visits—and for Those Who Can’t Visit
Like the Clear Admit Interview Archive, the VisitArchive will be a repository of data submitted by applicants following their visits to leading business schools. By sharing details of their own visits, applicants provide a resource to one another and to future years’ applicants. In designing VisitArchive, our goal has been to create a tool that will provide valuable information not only to candidates who are gearing up to head to campus(es), but also to those who many not be able to visit some or all their target schools.
“Visiting campus is an important aspect of MBA program research,” notes Clear Admit’s Alex Brown, who has been involved in development of the new VisitArchive. “We hope to help candidates who are planning business school campus visits get the most out of their trips by learning from the experiences of their peers,” he says.
“We also hope that those who are unable to visit can learn more about their target MBA programs by gleaning insights from those who have visited.” As with the Interview Archive, the success of this new VisitArchive will depend on members of the Clear Admit MBA applicant community supporting each other, Brown notes.
Great Advice Already, Add Yours!
With continued submissions from current applicants, VisitArchive promises to become a robust tool where candidates can learn everything from the best places to stay near campus to transportation details and restaurant recommendations. Even though we’re still in the early phases, the tips already have been rolling in.
Wrote one recent visitor to the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School: “Magnolia’s Deli and Cafe is such a nice spot with delicious food.” Another recommended Party Fowl near Nashville’s Owen Graduate School of Management for its “excellent hot chicken mac n’ cheese.” And a recent visitor to UVA’s Darden School ventured off campus to check out the Virginian, Charlottesville’s oldest restaurant.
But for as useful as specific places to grab a bite certainly are, some of the very best advice we’ve seen so far has come in the more general comments about the overall visit experience. One early submission praised the “fantastic energy” at NYU Stern School of Business. “Tons of smart and diverse students who like learning, networking, and having fun. Love the feeling of a top business school in the heart of Greenwich Village, Manhattan.”
Another candidate shared details of a recent visit to London Business School (LBS), when everything from good weather to useful tours to high-energy students seemed to impress. “There are so many events happening that you can never get bored,” the candidate wrote, including tours of the athletics facilities, guest lectures, and informal interactions with current students over drinks.
“LBS Cricket Club practices at the Lords, which is holy ground for a cricket enthusiast,” the candidate wrote. “Next was a guest lecture on Corporate Strategy and in that one lecture, I gained more practical knowledge on mergers and acquisitions than I had through all my years in consulting.”
And then, over drinks, details about the student experience really emerged. “I could see the passion about oozing about them, they talked about the opportunities they get in London, the travel to different counties over weekends and the casual interactions with someone of the most top executives in the industry. I would suggest all interested candidates to visit the campus and they would definitely bias you towards LBS.”
Tips on how to make the most out of future visits have also been plentiful, with many candidates advising peers to plan ahead, including reaching out to students in advance and signing up to attend a class. And, of course, beware of the hard sell. Writes one: “Go into your visit objectively. Every admitted student weekend is a “sell weekend,” but stay objective in your observations so that you can make a well-informed decision on what type of institution you want to spend your time, money, and energy on.”
Keep ‘em Coming
We’re grateful to those who have already participated, and we welcome more submissions as we continue to refine the VisitArchive tool. Did you visit a top MBA program this season? If so, won’t you share your experiences? Click here to take part. The process is simple and takes only a couple of minutes, and all information you share will be kept anonymous.