Get the Feel of an MBA Classroom Experience Before You Apply

A few years back I put up this link to a Darden class (particularly it shows “the case method” in action) to make the point that applicants should make themselves aware of what it is like to be part of it. I you’re going to talk about your great affinity for case-method learning, make sure you are informed about what it is really like.

By extension, watch a generous sampling of videos that are freely and plentifully available on the Web to give yourself an overall sense of what the MBA experience and MBA life is like. This mini-immersion will allow you to better express what you hope to get out of the classroom and what you will contribute to it.

I say all this because applicants sometimes come to me with an unrealistic idea of what goes on in the classroom and outside of it: what the instructor does, how instruction occurs, what students do, what MBA students are like, and so on. With the wrong perception, essays start to sound ill-informed, if not downright naive. This is an admissions red flag.

Videos can be found on schools’ Web sites, or MBA information sites, or more generally for example by searching for MBA classroom on YouTube. And don’t just watch the serious ones — the goofy or playful ones like this, below, are just as relevant for getting a sense of what the real MBA experience is all about.