While Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business doesn’t require a campus visit for prospective candidates, it’s highly recommended. A campus visit can give you an idea of what life will be like as a student and allow you to pick up on the intangible aspects of the school that you can’t get in any other way. A campus visit also shows the admissions team that you’re serious about the school.
So, how do you make sure that your campus visit goes off without a hitch? Allison Jamison, the Assistant Dean of Admissions, believes in being prepared.
- How do you make sure that the school knows you visited campus?
Duke offers prospective students the opportunity to schedule your campus visit online, and you are able to choose your date and activities: class visit, campus tour, various panels or speaker events, admissions office hours, or even scheduling your official admissions interview. Going through the campus visit program will ensure we have a record of your visit—we like to know that you have invested time on campus.
A visit gives you a fully immersive experience that allows you to pick up on the intangible aspects of Fuqua—you should definitely include what you learned in your essays! If you have a particular academic or career interest, reach out to our student clubs or Admissions Ambassadors in advance to see if you can connect with a student or staff member involved in that area. And don’t be afraid to speak to students you see around campus—these unplanned conversations can sometimes be the best sources of information and can result in lasting connections.
- What should you prepare for your upcoming campus visit, and how should applicants go about this preparation?
You should come to campus with an idea of what you want to get out of your visit; do you want to learn about academic areas, career paths, living in Durham, student activities, or something else? Explore the resources available on our YouTube page, in information sessions held around the world, on student blogs, etc. Then, identify those things that really interest you: student organizations, research centers, international opportunities, specific courses, and others.
Connect with student organizations to find out recommendations on things to do or people to meet during your visit and create a list of questions before you arrive. Your time will be much better spent if you are able to ask specific, directive questions during your visit. For example, you’ll learn a lot more from asking a student, “How has your involvement in the Finance Club impacted your career search?” than you will from asking, “What’s Fuqua like?”
- When is the best time to visit a campus? Are there times to avoid and when visiting during the best time, how do you put your best foot forward?
The best time to visit will be when classes are in session and student activities are in full swing, which will typically be September through November and February through March. Ask current students what activities may be going on and see if there is something that you’d be interested in attending (basketball, anyone?). If you are visiting outside of the organized campus visit program, make sure that our campus will be open at the time you plan to visit. Also, remember that there will be times that students and faculty are less available, such as during exams and break times. While you can still visit at those times, you will miss the opportunity to meet more students and see the campus in its natural busy state.
If you can visit before you submit your application, you’ll be able to integrate all that you learn during your campus visit into your application and your story. But remember, if you visit after you’ve submitted your application, you can always send in a note sharing your campus visit experience. To put your best foot forward, you should come prepared, rested, and ready to take it all in. Dress professionally and be prepared to share your personal story and your interest in the school in a clear and succinct way. And most of all, relax and enjoy yourself!
Duke Fuqua wasn’t the only school to answer these questions. If you’d like to see what the admissions teams at Berkeley Haas, Cornell Johnson, Michigan Ross, NYU Stern, UVA Darden, and Yale SOM had to say, head here.