Monday, September 21, 2009

Reviewing an MBA Tour Event

On Sunday I attended an MBA Tour Event, and had mixed reactions. Two of my peers who are currently applying attended as well, and we met up for lunch to compare notes.

Takeaways from our conversation (both of them have gone through the app process once already):
  1. You don't learn much if you've already done thorough research of the school you're interested in.
  2. Unlike some other panels (apparently a HBS/Wharton/Stanford GSB panel a friend had attended) no school gave much explanation as to how they went through an application; essays first, transcript last, resume first, essays last, etc - pretty much every school said 'holistically' and left it at that.
  3. In general, the presenters didn't sell us on anything. If I hadn't already done my research and talked to current students and alums at the schools I'm applying to, I might have been disincented.
I'm not trying to convey that the event didn't have value:
  1. If I was just beginning my search, it would have been a solid way to learn about the process. I say solid because I think I got far more information in less time over the internet.
  2. One school did mention they looked for specific things (such as a B average in calculus) and that was an excellent takeaway.
  3. Overall, chatting with the adcom reps was useful more for getting a feel for their personalities and thought processes than it was for the information they provide. That was, by far, the biggest takeaway - how they think, and therefore how to position some of my statements. ( This made the event very worthwhile )
I'm staring at my checklist... the schools with the furthest out deadlines were done first (? not sure how that happened, guess I got more excited about them) and the October 1st deadlines are, well, in progress. I finalized my resume and moved from a 56 line 10pt font to a 50 line 11pt font. It still might be a bit too much information, but I have done a lot of work in my time at my company, and it has sufficient white space and readability not to confound an interviewer.

I held off on any submissions due to the MBA Tour, and I'm glad I did - I'm going to do a little rewording and work in the optional essays section to better target the adcom mindset. 11 days to freedom, I hope!

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