Contributed by Maxwell Gocala-Nguyen, Director, Undergraduate Recruitment and Engagement | GMU School of Business
Planning for college can be both scary and exciting. New beginnings, the opportunity to follow your passions and the prospect of entering a world all your own can generate many positive emotions. However, figuring out how to begin your search can bring an onslaught of anxiety and uncertainty as the questions of where to look, where to turn and what is needed to make the best decision run through your mind. Since there is so much to think about, use these tips to help you choose the program that’s right for you.
Tip 1: University websites are your friends
With the pivot to a virtual/ hybrid environment, many schools have amped up their websites to create the most user-friendly experience possible. Be sure to search every school you are interested in and spend some time digging. Look at scholarships and deadlines, watch videos and pay attention to what they highlight in their photos.
Tip 2: Take a campus tour
The campus tour is the best way to “find your fit”. It should help clear up any uncertainty as to whether or not you can see yourself roaming campus in between classes. If you enjoy the buildings, the residence halls and the paths to and from your potential classes, then you might be interested in this school. But, if you hate every second on campus, that is probably a good sign to keep searching.
Currently, many schools are providing digital tours of their campus. These are a great substitute if an in-person visit does not work for your schedule. Watching the tour should still elicit the same feelings and intrigue as a walk around campus.
Tip 3: Talk to everyone you can
When I say talk to people, I do not mean just your friends. This is a significant decision that is ultimately your personal choice to make. Talk to current students, professors, alumni and admissions counselors. Get their perspectives and hear what they have to say. Ask questions like:
- Why did you choose this school?
- What do you do after class/on the weekends?
- What has been the best experience on campus?
- What do you wish you knew when searching colleges that you know now?
- How does this school prepare you for after graduation?
These questions are only the beginning, but they should help start a conversation and maybe spark more questions for you to ask.
Tip 4: Try the food
Whether you are living on campus or commuting, chances are, eventually you will eat something on campus. Try the food, explore the options and look at what others are eating and/or where they are going. This may sound minor, but no one wants to have to eat at the same disappointing burger bar for the duration of their degree.
College is a big decision. You have all the tools you need to make it the best experience possible, but the research you do now is crucial. As a recruiter, it is my job to help answer your questions. Whether you reach out to me or someone like me at another school, please make the connection and let us help you find your perfect fit.
The George Mason University School of Business creates career-ready business graduates through rigorous, stimulating business programs based on a global perspective, industry demand, and leadership. Dedicated to excellence in teaching and research, we prepare the next generation of business leaders through a range of innovative academic degree programs, executive education programs, and international alliances.Our school welcomes all to engage in the growth of our programs, offerings, and educational outreach. Through competitive internships, strong alumni networks, and globally connected educational programs, we continually work to provide an innovative experience to all we encounter.