the business school tour

so a couple of weeks ago, i spent 10 days visiting 5 different business schools in hopes that seeing the schools would help me narrow down which ones i’d like to apply to.  while i was surprised by my reaction to some, i’m still confused and will continue to think it over.

because of the high-cost of money, time, and effort associated with each application, i can realistically only apply to around 4 schools per round.  i was hoping to only apply in round 1, but if i can’t narrow it down, i may draw out my misery longer and apply in round 2 as well.

in this order, i visited university of chicago booth, northwestern kellogg, columbia business school, new york university stern, and university of pennsylvania wharton.

since i was visiting 5 schools, in about 10 days, in 3 different cities, i didn’t have much time to sight see.  pretty much the only things i had planned during my trip were food-related so i have dubbed this “the business school and food tour”.  i will be following this mba-dedicated post with my food experiences.


the harper center is the main building where booth students take their classes.  there’s also the gleacher center in downtown.  the harper center’s located in hyde park and pretty new, i think it opened in 2006 or so and it has big glass windows to allow a lot of sunlight in–much needed in chicago.  the winter garden is the “quad” i guess, where people can socialize and hang out.

chicago booth, mba, harper center, winter garden

winter garden @ the harper center

i sat in on one of the marketing strategy classes…the classroom looked pretty modern.  all the students displayed name tags in front of them–i guess so the professor can cold-call people.  even us visitors had our own, but ours said “visitor”–i guess so the professor won’t call on us.

one of the classrooms @ the harper center

these green apples are free for students to snack on


kellogg is located just outside of chicago in evanston…about a 60-minute “l” ride away from my hotel located near the magnificent mile, i think (somewhere between 45 to 90 min…i know that’s a big gap).  because of its close proximity to a big city, the campus is a hybrid between the large, urban schools and college towns (like dartmouth tuck).

i sat in on an operations class with one of kellogg’s most popular professors.

a typical kellogg classroom


ok, so unfortunately, i have absolutely no photos of columbia even though i was on the campus on three separate occasions!  i was waiting until the information session to take photos (didn’t even bring my camera the other times) because i assumed it’d include a tour, but it didn’t and it was in the evening.

this is really too bad because the columbia campus is quite beautiful.  especially the second day i went because the weather was so warm–students were lying out on the grassy lawn surrounded by flowering trees, it felt so peaceful and summer-like.  columbia is located uptown in manhattan, on the edge of harlem and provides a real campus feel because it’s sort of isolated in a bubble, despite its urban setting.


stern’s campus is almost the opposite of columbia’s–located in greenwich village, it’s amidst the bustling city life of new york.  there isn’t a centralized campus the way columbia is setup; nyu’s various buildings are located near each other but not necessarily immediately identifiable.

and where columbia’s architecture is more classical and traditional, stern’s building is newer and more modern.

outside of stern

i was unable to sit in on any classes during my stern visit because they were reserved for admitted students.  so if anyone is planning on visiting–you have to wait until fall.  i only did an information session, which included a quick tour.

the building is actually a little confusing because i think it’s actually three inter-connected buildings so the room numbering can throw you off.

an atypical stern classroom--it's the largest

a student lounge

i spy kegs


my wharton/philadelphia visit was extremely short-lived–i spent about 8 hours total on a bus for about 1.5 hours of actual time there, including lunch.  the facilities are also pretty new and modern.

the main building @ wharton


i know my post leaves much to be desired and i’m surprised by my lack of photos.  i had initially planned on writing a detailed review of my experiences at each school but for any prospective applicants out there, i don’t want to sway your opinions since fit is so personal…you should visit the schools for yourself and decide from there.

next up…the slightly-more-fun food tour post…!


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