I’ve been invited to interview at Cornell! And I’ve decided to fly to Ithaca to do the interview in person. I haven’t flown anywhere yet to interview on campus for business school, but I decided to do so for Johnson for a few reasons:
Skype = Blech
The only alternative to interviewing on campus was interviewing via Skype. So far, I’ve been able to do all my off-campus interviews in person with an adcom member or alum in my city, so I haven’t had to face the prospect of interviewing on my computer, which is pretty unappealing. So, in my back of my mind, I knew that if this situation ever came up, I’d look into flying out.
It’s actually affordable
I looked up flights with the full expectation of seeing a $500+ price tag and was shocked to find a flight from California to Syracuse, NY for $250. $250!! And this was with less than two weeks until the flight! When I saw that, I knew that I needed to take that option.
Things are different
I’m in a different position now compared to when I started this whole application process last fall. I have one solid admit under my belt (Anderson), but I want more options, and those options have greatly dwindled. Johnson, Fuqua and Ross are all I have left–literally. There’s no round 3 or reapplication for me. For round 1 apps,I was blundering around and really unsure of my chances at various schools. I was basically taking stabs in the dark. But now I have a much better understanding of my candidacy, so my path is much clearer and I can make more distinct decisions.
I need $$
Since I have a good scholarship offer from UCLA, I’d really need a fellowship offer from another school for me to be fully able to consider taking it. I know Cornell especially wants applicants to come to campus (I think it might be similar to Tuck’s stance–since they’re a small community in the middle of nowhere, they want people to know what they’re getting themselves into, perhaps?) and I really need to make as strong a showing as I can, not just for admission, but for scholarship consideration.
Ithaca: I need to know!
This trip has added value for me for reasons unrelated to business school. I picture myself living in the New England area for the long term. I’ve always been attracted to cities like Ithaca and other spots including Burlington (Vermont), Portland (Maine) and Providence (Rhode Island). But I actually know very little about them, and it’s time I started finding out. I’m sure I’ll be stressed out about my interview during my short time in Ithaca, but I’m going to do my best to get to know what I can of the town while I’m there.