“Should I visit campus?”
I have been asked this question several times by applicants and the answer is, “Yes, definitely.”
The weight of a campus visit varies depending on the school. For example, HBS clearly states that visiting campus has absolutely no impact on how an application is assessed. On the other hand, other schools, such as Columbia and Tuck tend to place value on an applicants’ campus visit.
However, I highly recommend that applicants visit campus in order to:
Draw on the experience of current students
When I visited the schools I applied to, with no exception, all current students accepted my offer of a visit. They kindly set up a lunch with their classmates, and answered every question I asked.
Such an opportunity was helpful because they had been through the admission process just a year or two ago. As a result they know what it takes to get through the application process and earn a place in the next year’s class. As well, they are eager to transfer this knowledge and experience to the next generation. After reflecting on my campus visit experience, I revised my essays and they became far better than the earlier drafts.
Enrich your interview response
HBS doesn’t care about your campus visit record. This is true. However, the experience of your campus visit definitely enriches your responses in the interview process. My interview is a good example. When I was interviewed, the interviewer asked me what I thought about HBS’ case method. I answered:…so, I think the case method is the best way to hone my decision making skills. By the way, I visited the Strategic Marketing class. I can’t forget that experience. The class was much more dynamic and energetic than any actual company’s board meeting I have ever attended. I was also astonished to see the students’ decisiveness and insights. When the professor threw out the next question, I almost raised my hand…
Without the campus visit experience, the response would have been superficial. Because I had seen the inside of the case study method, I could respond in a very real manner.
Of course, a campus visit is not always feasible (especially for international students), but it is highly recommended as long as it’s affordable. In my case, I visited all schools I applied to.
If you want to visit HBS, don’t hesitate to send me an email.