Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
As admissions decisions continue to be released, many candidates suddenly, and possibly unexpectedly, find themselves with options for the next year. How does one choose between two or more schools? Well, if you cannot determine a definitive winner based on specific academic or professional criteria, it may be time for a campus visit or, for some, another campus visit. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to visit your potential school(s), we strongly advise that you get to know those schools better before deciding where to invest two years and $100K+ in your education. However, even if you have visited your target campuses already, this may be a good time for a second, more focused visit.
Many candidates go on marathon tours of MBA campuses in the fall but only have limited windows in which to get to know each school they visit. Now that the MBA Admissions Committees have defined your choices and shifted the power into your hands, you have the opportunity to really spend some time getting to know your target schools and completing diligence that may not have been possible before. For example, as a nervous prospective student, you may not have truly pushed current students to define a program's weaknesses or may not have felt it appropriate to delve deeply into the recruiting situation on campus. Similarly, you may not have experienced the social environment on campus, preferring to maintain a profile that was strictly professional. While attending welcome weekends will help you get to know your potential future classmates, visiting campuses now-while classes are in session and the schools are operating as they will next year-will provide valuable insight that will facilitate one of the most important choices of your life.