Gotta love 10-12 inches of snow falling in 24 hours. I love Ohio.
Early Saturday morning I woke up and made the 90 minute drive from Charlotte to Winston-Salem for Showcase Saturday and my Done-In-A-Day interview at Wake Forest. I gotta say, it felt odd to be back on campus, but in a very good way. It was like I had never left. Checking in was interesting, as there was no folder with my name on it! I was scheduled to attend the Seat At The Table event Friday evening but wasn't able to make it; talking to the AdCom apparently the miscommunication led to me name being removed. A quick bagel and orange juice later, we were ushered into a room to start the festivities.
First up, a welcome speech by the new dean, formerly the CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo, Steve Reinemund. He told us why he decided on coming to Wake Forest after retiring, his vision for the school, his background, etc. He opened it up to Q&A, and before you knew it we were thirty minutes behind schedule! I loved what he had to say in regards to the future of the program and I think it's on the right track to gain in prominence. Wake doesn't need to get better at what it does, it just needs to let people know how good it is.
After Dean Reinemund left, we had quick overviews with the AdCom, financial aid and career management center (CMC). These were very brief as we were running out of time. We then had a mock class, given by Kenny Herbst, marketing professor. Kenny is a former WFU basketball player (played with Tim Duncan) and he is awesome! I think his class sold most of the applicants on why Wake Forest rules. Very engaging, humorous, yet managed to foster some discussion amongst 30 or so wide-eyed and nervous applicants. We didn't want class to end, but had to keep moving on to other things.
We had a quick Q&A with current students, learning more about the program from the student perspective. After this, we picked up a boxed lunch and went into concentration-specific classrooms to learn more intimately about them. I was one of two guys that went into the marketing room and ate lunch with Kenny, a CMC guy devoted to marketing and a current marketing student. I liked what they had to say and the time went by too quickly. We learned just how receptive faculty are to their students. We had a quick tour (the Worrell Center isn't exactly up to par with other schools' MBA building, probably a big downside for some), then had time to relax before interviews.
Sixteen people were scheduled for Done-In-A-Day interviews. Essays are waived for those participating, though we are expected to answer them. Each interview lasts between 40 and 60 minutes with three people simultaneously. In my room I had two faculty and a CMC person. Some might find it odd that an AdCom wasn't present, but thing...faculty and students spend more time with actual students. They asked some tough questions but I felt I was prepared. Before I knew it, time was up. They said they'd start sending out status updates around 9PM. Prior to my interview I spent over an hour talking to some current students and other perspectives, just shooting the shit. It was awesome.
6:40PM, I get a call from an unknown number so I didn't answer it. I listen to the voicemail from Stacy, she says congrats and that she has more good news. She calls back a few minutes later and tells me I was awarded a Dean's Scholarship. Full-tuition scholarship, $10k stipend each year and my international trip taken care of. Awesome! I felt bad that my phone died in the middle of this conversation though! I was ecstatic and went celebrating afterwards! Woo!
Overall, I loved the visit and it'd be hard for another school to match that offer. Wake is a fairly unknown power, one I feel will climb the ranking soon.