Takeaways from our conversation (both of them have gone through the app process once already):
- You don't learn much if you've already done thorough research of the school you're interested in.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- One school did mention they looked for specific things (such as a B average in calculus) and that was an excellent takeaway.
- 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 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!