School Interaction in a Post-Pandemic World
Personal MBA Coach’s founder, Scott Edinburgh, attended the annual Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) conference this May. Along with general upcoming application themes, we gained insight into how schools are engaging with prospective students.
More than two years after the start of the pandemic, top business schools are finally beginning to invite visitors back to campus in small numbers. While not required, visiting business schools is a great tool during the school selection process. By exploring a campus, MBA hopefuls will gain a sense of life on campus and a school’s overall culture, helping them determine whether a particular program will provide them with a fulfilling MBA experience.
That said, virtual events are still a strong option for folks who are unable to get to campus (admissions committee members will not hold it against you if you cannot visit in person). For those who are interested in visiting their target business schools in person, sign up early! There are limited spaces, so the sooner you schedule a visit, the better.
Below, Personal MBA Coach has shared some insights on school interaction in a post-pandemic world.
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is offering several in-person campus tours this spring and summer, expressing their excitement to bring back in-person outreach events. The school has also recently announced that admissions representatives will be hosting information sessions in Israel, London, Frankfurt, Nashville, Milan, San Diego, and other major cities. Naturally, virtual tours and events remain an option as well.
If you are interested in a Wharton MBA visit, the school currently has virtual options. These include virtual tours, class visits, and information sessions. These online offerings provide a closer look at Wharton’s academics, student life, and the MBA admissions process.
Currently, Stanford GSB’s on-campus information sessions and campus tours are on hold. That said, Personal MBA Coach learned at the latest AIGAC conference that on-campus sessions will likely begin again shortly. In the meantime, applicants are encouraged to visit the school’s online event schedule.
Chicago Booth representatives at this year’s AIGAC conference emphasized that engagement is not the most important, though it is still beneficial to attend some events to demonstrate interest. Booth has announced that they are very excited to invite visitors back to campus after a long hiatus. Of course, virtual visits also remain an option for those who prefer this format.
Right now, MIT Sloan welcomes visitors in outdoor spaces and nonresidential campus buildings (while escorted). The school also offers an in-depth virtual tour and a handful of virtual and in-person admissions events.
As of now, Kellogg has yet to resume in-person tours. However, the school assures students that their virtual tours will give those hoping to visit Kellogg business school a close look into what they can expect from the Kellogg community. The school’s new video series not only features a tour of their flagship building but also features student, faculty, and staff perspectives.
Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School shared that some on-campus events will begin to resume in small groups. For the time being, however, the school continues to offer online campus tours, information sessions, and more. Additionally, the MBA program will launch a Class Visit Program this summer, a monthly virtual series featuring different topics and faculty members, to give prospective students a closer look at the student experience.
Berkeley Haas offers a number of options for those interested in exploring the campus. These include virtual admissions Q&As, prerecorded class sessions, self-guided tours, and student-led virtual events. While most of these offerings remain online, students can choose between an in-person and online tour.
At Yale SOM, on-campus visits are available, though visitors must confirm their vaccination status when registering. While the school is offering some domestic events, Personal MBA Coach was told that they are continuing to restrict international travel for the time being.
NYU Stern shared that they are planning to introduce shorter virtual events and Zooms. Given the busy lives of business school applicants, we imagine these offerings will be well received by attendees. Stern’s office is currently closed to visitors, but the school is offering virtual tours of the campus as well.
Dartmouth Tuck is open to campus visits, though they emphasized at the AIGAC conference that prospective students do not need to visit. For those who do want to come on campus, spots will be available to a small group of visitors. The school also currently offers a 360° virtual tour, along with a number of online admissions events.
Michigan Ross will not offer campus visits until the fall. For now, the school has in-depth virtual tours. The Ross website also has a text-based tour, which describes the school’s physical spaces and facilities in detail.
Following the release of the UVA Darden application, the school announced various new outreach events, including in-person admissions chats, coffee chats, and “office hours.” Darden also encourages prospective students to tour the campus virtually if an online event best fits their needs.
Duke Fuqua is among the business schools allowing in-person visits and open houses. Those looking to further acquaint themselves with the school are encouraged to stay tuned as these Duke MBA campus visit details are released. Visitors are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus and, of course, virtual formats remain an option for those who cannot get to Durham.
Those looking to get a closer glimpse of the UCLA Anderson experience have several options. From virtual information sessions to Q&As, there are many ways to learn more about Anderson’s MBA program. The school also has in-person coffee chats, campus tours, and general information sessions, though it notes that in-person class visits are not currently available.
Texas McCombs is offering virtual information sessions and in-person interest sessions this summer. Virtual and in-person self-guided tours are also an option for those interested in seeing the campus.
Cornell Johnson has limited on-campus visits and admissions events. However, the school continues to offer virtual event series, webinars, and more. Connected Conversations are a virtual offering that Cornell Johnson highlighted at this year’s AIGAC conference. This is a free virtual webinar series that delves into conversations regarding family, business, and leadership. As an example, a recent recording explores navigating the MBA admissions process for those coming from a family business.
CMU Tepper continues to hold off on on-campus visits for now. That said, the school offers virtual tours, online class visits, webinars, faculty lectures, and “Ask Me Anything” events hosted by Tepper students.
Applying to business school this fall? Personal MBA Coach is already beginning to work with many round 1 candidates on their applications. Find out how we can maximize your chances of success here!
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