Recently I bumped into a prospective student and her mother, as I was on my way out of the building. They were both milling in the lobby, looking at the list of floors, and generally had that look about them that most people have when they are looking for information but are unsure whether they are in the right place. So we chatted for a bit and I tried to answer some of their questions – it turns out the student's interview would be the next day and they were just trying to get a sense of where the building was and where to go once they got there.
I figured I’d post a few of the tidbits that came up, as I know there are a lot of nerves around interviewing at schools.
Checking the school out beforehand is definitely a good idea. You want to know how long it might typically take you to get there and back during the week. Get a sense of the parking situation (MSPP has tons of it). Get a feel for the atmosphere – MSPP has more of a “corporate” feel and look than most schools, I think. It’s also pretty tough to take in anything when they do tours of the building on interview day, since nerves are pretty much in control then. It is also a good idea to know what is nearby – for example, in nicer weather I love taking a break between classes to sit outside with friends or walk through some of the trails outside.
I cannot stress enough just how beneficial it is to talk to a current student! Perhaps a first year and someone who is further along in the program. That way you get an idea of what it was like to transition back to being a student or into this new atmosphere, and you get an idea of what possible challenges/benefits/surprises/realizations might come your way as you go along.
I know it’s easier said than done, but there really isn’t too much need to get overly anxious on interview day. I think a lot of the pressure comes from being in an atmosphere where there are so many other anxious people. You know what you should do? See if you can bump into a current student in the first floor open area on your interview day, and get some real info on what your experience at MSPP might be like!
That’s all I’ve got for now. Best of luck to all the students interviewing for next year, and maybe I’ll see you around next year!