Greetings from Hyde Park! It’s now November, and the Booth Admissions team is in full swing of the Round 1 interview season. As an Admissions Fellow, I am one of several second-year students responsible for conducting on-campus interviews with Full-Time MBA applicants. Short of revealing the secrets to how our admissions team evaluates applications, I’m going to provide you with five pieces of advice that will not only help you during your interview, but also help you evaluate whether Booth is the right school for you.
1. Visit Campus
Yes, I know this is obvious. While MBA programs love when prospective applicants show interest by visiting campus, you shouldn’t deem this simply a “check-the-box” component of the application process. Visit Booth to see if our culture is for you. Take a class at the Harper Center. Have a coffee in the Winter Garden to see how students interact with one another. Immerse yourself in the resources offered at the Polsky Center, Kilts Center, and Rustandy Center. Don’t just choose Booth because of its ranking or mere anecdote. Choose Booth because you can envision yourself here.
2. Look in the Mirror
It is human nature to think about molding one’s application to what you think the admissions committee may like to hear. However, I would strongly urge you to take a step back and look in the mirror. Who are you? What are your goals? Why do you think Booth will help you achieve those goals? This may sound deep and soul-searching, but far too often do we try to create a false image of ourselves and in the process lose touch of what we truly believe in.
3. Attend a Booth-Sponsored Professional Conference
When I was applying to business school, I considered alternate career paths. By attending professional conferences, and speaking to alumni in my desired industry functions, I was able to garner a holistic view of trends within those areas as well as job opportunities available for MBAs. Upcoming conferences include: Marketing Group Conference (11/7), Health Care Conference (11/9), and the Corporate Finance Symposium (11/14).
4. Read The Booth Experience blog!
The Booth Experience team consists of second year students who document our own first person perspectives with respect to our lives at Booth. The blog is as authentic as it gets, and we try to be open books as to what we write about. Reflecting back on my own application process, reading The Booth Experience excited me about the Full-Time MBA program and provided me with a better understanding of Booth and student culture.
5. Why Booth?
Now that you have these tools—is Booth actually the right school for you? As much as the application process is meant to evaluate you as a candidate for Booth’s MBA, it is equally important for you to undergo a process of self-discovery and have confidence that our program is also the right one for you. Think about where you are in your professional career, what your short- and long-term goals are, and how Booth’s academics, career programming, and global network will help you achieve them.