Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Crazy Week of Info Sessions

This week has been a crazy week of info sessions. I have done two campus visits with info sessions and two off campus info sessions. Let me give you a short recap of all of them.

Monday, I went to Stanford's GSB campus for an info session. I was also supposed to go on a campus tour but given what happened to the GSB community the weekend before the admissions office canceled all student related admissions events. The info session was a great reminder of the curriculum layout and some of the global experiences that are required as part of the Stanford program. Also, the admissions couselor gave some good insight into the essay question "What's most important to you and why?" which I've been struggling with lately. (ClearAdmit also had some great advice on this one. Check it out.)

Tuesday brought another info session. This time it was for Wharton at the Wharton West campus in San Francisco. The associate dean of admissions did a quick overview of the program and what can be expected and then let about 15 or so alumni come up and talk and take questions. That was probably the most valuable part of the program overall and helped me target who I would like to talk to more after the event. She also did a quick overview on the application process which was helpful because I really haven't looked at the application yet. She provided some great insight into what they were looking for.

Thursday's info session was probably the most interesting at all. It was a small gathering of Chicago GSB alumni in a person's house in San Carlos. There were 3 prospective students and 3 alumni. It was a great chat about their experiences at Chicago. I got a totally different perspective than I would have gotten from the traditional info session. We talked about issues that women face at business school, the support system for partners and spouses as well as the academics of the program. All in all, it was probably the most insightful discussion I've had with a room full of women in a long time.

Saturday brought a day long session at Haas in Berkeley. I was actually anticipating that this day would just be really long and partially informative, but I was really pleasantly surprised. The day started with a keynote from a successful alumni and an alumni panel. There was definitely some good application information sprinkled throughout the day. It was also interesting to hear a panel of current students from all of the different MBA programs at Haas. Also, I got to meet another 100 or so people also considering applying to Haas which was awesome. It was nice to chat with other like-minded women. Though I must say that after 8 hours, I was ready to talk to boys.

Well, all in all, it's been a long week of lots of info sessions. For the most part, they've been very informative. I'm going to have to let all of this information simmer a bit while I decide which schools I will apply to in the second round.

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