Choosing schools – Start your research now

The first step to creating successful applications is doing your homework on which schools are the best fit for you. Here are a few suggestions on how to start the school selection process:

1. Read school websites – Learn about the curriculums, teaching methods, professional clubs, extra-curricular offerings, and student life at each school of interest. You can also sign up on many school websites to receive email announcements with admissions updates and information. Visit the HBS sign up here.

2. Visit the schools – Visits not only show your interest to schools but also provide you with a lot of personal details you can then include in your essays to bolster your argument that you and the school are a perfect fit. Be sure to attend a class and try to speak with students informally during lunch or between classes. To schedule school visits, you can call admissions offices or visit the websites. HBS has a specific Class Visit web sign up.

3. Attend information sessions – If you can’t make it to campus, be sure to find school information sessions in your area. You will have the chance to ask questions and also meet current students and/or alums. Speaking with students and alums is a wonderful way to learn about a school. However, as Glamour girl’s guide to MBA points out be careful not to base your entire impression of a school on a single alum’s experience. You want to speak to as many students and alums as possible because each person’s experience is different. Again, the websites will ltell you when schools are coming to your area. Check out the HBS Off campus information sessions as an example.

4. Stay updated – Many schools put out publications with their current research and events. You can check out the Columbia magazine here. These can help you see what is important on that campus right now. There may be specific research or programs that are of interest to you and could help further your career goals.

5. Consult outside research – In addition to speaking with students and alums, you can read details on schools in rankings such as the US News and World Report or pick up books on the schools. MBA with a side of classical guitar has a specific book suggestion that could be helpful in choosing a school.

You can also speak with one of our consultants by requesting information if you have more questions about how to start the school selection and application process.

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