Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tuck Visit

Schedule we were provided was something like this

9:45 AM - Arrive at Tuck
10:15 AM - Class Visit
12:00 PM - Lunch with students
12:45 PM - Tour of Campus
1:30 PM - Q&A Session with member of the admissions committee
3:00 PM - Interview

We registered at the admission office and met quite a few others visiting and interview on the same day. I think by the end of the day I realized that there were at least 2 groups of 20 each and majority of those were interviewing as well. The staff at the admission office coordinating the visit was very cordial and efficient and ensured the comfort and well being of all the visitors.

Class Visit
Around 10 am our first year student host picked us up directed us towards the class. He was very friendly and open. He let us know that Financial accounting class, which we were heading to, was not his favorite by any stretch of imagination. Also that it could be a bit boring. I was a little surprised as I had never heard of Tuck students speak anything but superlatives about the Tuck school and the program in any of the forums. He wasn’t critical, but I guess I was expecting to hear only praises that day. So we settled in the class and were introduced to other students around us and our host even took the initiative to introduce us to the professor taking the class. That pleased me no bounds. We were about to cover Cash flow statements in today’s session and case kicked off with a case and a cold call. The class moved from discussion to lecturing and back to analysis and critique of certain items on case. I certainly found the discussion interesting but every once in a while a comment was out of context. Through the case the professor then covered some theoretical aspects of the topic and then got down to preparing a cash flow statement with an example. Towards the end I felt myself losing concentration. I guess too much information being covered in one session. Surprisingly I found some students more distracted than me. At the end, I still felt very impressed by the session and the aptitude of students and medium of instruction used by professor.

Lunch with students
After the class our host escorted us to the dining hall but had to leave us to attend a company briefing. The visit coordinator was there to help us out and directed us to a different group of students. However we were not able to find the group she directed us to and landed on a different table. That worked for us fine as we were soon joined by another first year student who gave us good insight into his experiences thus far. We grilled him with our questions and he freely offered all information we sought. We decided to walk back to the admission office but as we roamed unescorted, we lost our way. As we roamed around the corridor and absorbed whatever we saw, we were already beginning to get familiar and were easily able to get back to the admissions office without seeking directions.

Tour of the campus
Guided tour of the campus was very interesting and filled with anecdotes about the school and experiences of the guide who was a second year student. We, however, were sweating it out in our suits and did not appreciate the sun as much. The tour us through the halls and corridors of Tuck and we covered, classrooms, offices, meeting and discussion rooms, gym, library. We had a slightly longer stop at the CDC where the staff gave some additional information of Tucks CDC and how it stood out from other schools. We finally ended at the Tuck hall and headed back to the admission office.

Q and A with admission committee
This was taken up by an admission director and the questions were the usual that you would expect in any information session. Some of the applicants thought that they could probably extract some insider information but the director was way too clever and tactful for that. The only question I had was “how can I get in” but I refrained from asking that. One important answer that we did get was the selection process. Apparently each file is independently reviewed by two staff member who prepare a brief write up with recommendation. This is reviewed by an admission director who only skims through the file and makes a decision of accept/reject or undecided. Only top 5-10 % applicants are clear ‘accept or reject’ and rest make it to a committee of 10. These are then discussed at depth and debated on before making a decision. How I wish I knew what goes in that room.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wake me up when September comes

Oh! Its September already! I have been too busy enjoying the summer to notice the time fly by. My Harvard essays are at 5% complete and Tuck still rock steady on the starting line. Too my defense, I have progressed little more on things little less under my control such as the recommendations and the transcripts. All said and done I am still way behind in race and its time to start the engines. The only problem seems to be that I just moved into a real fun neighborhood filled with cafes, Bars and restaurants and am having a hard time staying in the apartment.

Another big event I need to plan and prepare for is my coming visit to Tuck and Darden. I cant afford to relax as I have scheduled my interviews there too. After all I thought this was good way to not only assess the schools but also boost my chances. I did mail a couple of guys (you know who you are) to get some tips.

So this is where I am at and its time to get moving.

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