Considering Booth? There are a ton of events to help you get to know us better coming up in cities around the world. We are particularly excited about the Booth Women Connect Conference that will take place here in Chicago on September 21. Hosted by the Full-Time, Evening, Weekend, and Executive MBA Programs, Booth Women Connect offers an opportunity to meet with female business leaders and learn from Booth faculty and alumni. With all of these events on the horizon, I decided to share my thoughts on admissions events, now that I’m on the other side of the application process.
Last week I was one of several rising (I’m still in denial that my first year is over) second years to participate in a Summer Student-Hosted Event in Chicago. During the happy hour, one attendee asked me “What’s something you wish you had known when you were applying to business school?” I almost jumped to respond back with a canned Miss America answer, “Well, nothing really. Part of the joy of applying to school is learning throughout the process so I wouldn’t have wanted to know anything more than I did going in.”
But instead, I paused and thought back to two years ago when I attended a Booth Student- Hosted event in DC. It was the first MBA admissions event I had ever attended and I was all nerves going into it. I had no idea what to expect, what was expected of me, or who I would meet. I cautiously approached the bar at the Clyde’s in Chinatown and struck up a conversation with two friendly young women. After a bit of small talk, I asked them if they had just finished up their first year. Blank stares. Turns out, they were just two random friendly young women at the bar. In my nervousness, I had not even made it to the event, which was just across the room. I graciously excused myself from the conversation and walked over to the Booth crowd. The students were relaxed and friendly, but I was still tense. Everything seemed low key, but I wondered, “Are they evaluating me? Am I putting my best foot forward?” The answer to both questions…probably not.
As a student who has been very involved with admissions events for the past year, I now know that these events are for you, the prospective students. We want to give you a chance to get to know the school, ask questions, and figure out if Booth is the right fit for you. The best thing you can do is relax, learn, enjoy the free food and yourself. Looking back, I wish I had known to have a little more fun during this part of the process. (Don’t worry, I’ve made up for it by having extra fun during my time at Booth).
Some other advice for making the most of admissions events:
* Jot down a few things that you thought were interesting and relevant to you. Some of the tidbits I picked up during info sessions were things I ended up discussing with my interviewer.
* If you connect with someone, or they are pursuing a path you want to know more about, don’t be afraid to ask them if you can follow up with an email. Generally, I find that students and alumni are happy to talk offline. I’m even meeting up this weekend with an alum I met during the application process!
* If you can’t make an event or visit campus, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like I said, the events are for you! If you can’t make one, we’ll put you in touch with current students. And, of course (shameless plug), keep checking back on The Booth Experience to hear what students have to say about their time at Booth.
I hope you’ll make it to one of our admissions events this summer/fall. And just remember, have fun, because before you know it, you’ll be an actual second year wondering where the time went!