Make the Most of Your Campus Visit

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When selecting a business school, a university’s rank and reputation are important, but they shouldn’t be the only factors you consider when deciding where to pursue your MBA. There are many high-quality programs out there, but how do you truly know which is the right fit for you?

“One of the best ways to measure a program’s ‘fit’ is to visit campus,” says Peggy Conway, director of MBA admissions at TCU’s Neeley School of Business. “Meeting students, faculty and staff and observing how they interact can tell you a lot about a program’s culture.”

Taking time to visit the campuses of the schools in which you have an interest can help you narrow your list. TCU offers an Admissions Ambassadors program for the Neeley School of Business, which helps coordinate campus visits, ensuring each prospective student has an experience personalized to their interests and situation, including attending a class and meeting students with whom they have things in common.

The point of the Ambassadors program is to give visiting students exposure to a day in the life of Neeley. Prospective students can choose between two campus visit formats:

  • Admissions Meetings – This option is designed for candidates who are in the early stages of their decision process. An admissions meeting includes an individual or small group session with an admissions counselor, campus tour and lunch with a current student. 
  • Full-Day Campus Visits – These visits cater to MBA applicants and include a comprehensive campus tour, class visit, admission interview, lunch with current students and meetings with senior administrators and the Graduate Career Services team. Travel grants may be available for exceptional candidates to help defer costs.

Learn more about visit options and schedule your visit.

Once your visit is scheduled, take a moment to think about how to maximize your time on campus. You’ll want to get a feel for the environment as well as the dynamics of the program, including how the students and faculty interact. So before you go, here are a few tips from our students:

Get to know the faculty. If you attend a class during your visit, pay attention to the relationship between students and faculty before, during and after class. Once you're a student, you’ll spend a lot of time in class, so having an idea of what the typical class looks like and how faculty get along with students will help you determine if it’s the right fit for you. Ask for a meeting with a professor or faculty member in your area of study to gain a better understanding of how the faculty will help you achieve your goals.

Meet other students. This may be the best way to learn about a program. Talking to current students provides a firsthand look at the day-to-day life of an MBA student. The Admissions Ambassadors team pays careful attention to a prospective student’s interests, experience and personal situation (married, veteran, kids, etc.) in determining whom they will meet with once they’re on campus. Make sure and ask questions. Current students generally love talking about the things they're going to school for. These discussions should also give you an idea of the workload and time commitment necessary, as well as the quality of the relationships with faculty and staff.

Explore the community. While getting a feel for the campus itself is important, you should also check out the surrounding community. Do you enjoy the arts? What venues for arts and music are nearby? Perhaps you prefer spending downtime outside. Are there local parks and trails for catching some fresh air? Visiting a campus and its surrounding community also helps you decide if you can picture yourself there.

Do your research. Come with an idea about what you're interested in about the program, as well as companies and industries you might wish to pursue. Neeley's full-day campus visits include a meeting with the Graduate Career Services staff, and they do more than just outline employment stats. They take time to discuss internships and job placements and explore the ways in which Neeley is positioned to support students in their career transitions.  

A campus visit is not a requirement for admission, but taking the time to tour the business schools you might want to attend is the only way to get an insider’s perspective on the program. School cultures vary widely from campus to campus, and while a school may seem like a good fit for you on paper, an in-person visit will help you decide which program is most suitable for your personality and goals.

Not able to come to campus? You can schedule a one-on-one Skype interview with an admissions counselor, or join students and staff for one of our monthly Google Hangouts. Details on all of these opportunities can be found here

Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate programs or apply now.
Learn more about campus visits.

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