MBA Life: Admit Weekend

Admit Weekend is seared into memory forever like the birth of my children. It was a pretty miserable weekend for me. My daughter was about seven months old and my son was 21 months. The three of us has awful colds (interestingly enough almost a year to the date we do once again). We probably should've stayed home but I wanted to support my husband. I was proud and excited and happily tagged along for the four hour ride. Unfortunately sick and cranky babies don't like hanging out at panels, breakfasts, or parties so I spent a lot of time alone in a hotel room with the kids. It was not a good time. This year I signed up as a volunteer so I could pitch in and keep an eye out for any frazzled parents who might need a hand (or drink). Now that I've been on both sides of the process I want to share some advice.


How to make the most of admit weekend as a significant other

Don't bring your kids unless you also bring a helper.

The Johnson school goes to pretty extraordinary lengths to cater to kids. It's impressive and so appreciated. However there is only so much they can do. During admit weekend there will be night time social events you should attend. If you have your kids with you you'll be left out. It might not sound like a big deal, I'm not much of a partier myself, but by skipping events you're missing out on interacting with the people who will essentially be your friends, family, and lifeline during the next two years.

If you have to bring your kids try to bring a relative, friend, or nanny as well. If you can't find anyone to help out at least you now know in advance you'll miss some events (which is okay) and plan accordingly. Do some research and find nearby kid friendly activities so your little ones get a much needed break from the hoopla. It can be overwhelming.

Attend panel sessions and ask honest questions.

I cannot stress this enough. The panels do an excellent job of presenting information that is helpful to most people but you may have some important unique circumstances. You don't have to ask questions publicly if you don't feel comfortable but make sure you get answers before a final decision is made. If you have a medical, religious, or personal need that cannot be fulfilled at your school location then you need to know this information immediately so that you can weigh this factor into you and your partner's decision making process. If not having your temple, hair stylist, beef patty vendor or whatever makes you happy nearby will be an issue it's best to confront the issue early.

Do not get crunk, jiggy, or anything else that is as embarrassing as it sounds.

I know how tempting it is. You see the second years dancing wildly with their shirts unbuttoned and it looks like a good time. I'm sure it is. For them. Not you. They graduate in a month. You do not. You may have that admission letter in your hands but why risk your reputation before your future community has had an opportunity to get to know you? There are no upsides to public drunkenness and tomfoolery during admit weekend. Some people might think you're cool/hilarious/laid back but some won't. You can't tell who is who so steer clear. Admissions Office staff may not be in attendance at that Saturday night party but word travels quickyl and they are sure to hear all about you doing the worm topless across the dance floor. Don't be that guy (or girl). Save it for your second year if you must. it won't kill you. Time flies. I promise.

If you're a fellow member of the MBA community with anything to add please do so in the comments. Feel free to check out last week's post too.

Next week: Student Housing & Beyond