Today’s topic is…..housing!
One of the most important factors for me in choosing an MBA program was picking one with a very strong community. I was drawn by schools with relatively small programs where the students live close together and have lots of opportunities to engage outside of the classroom- schools like Tuck, Yale SOM, and the GSB. I find the idea of joining this type of community much more exciting than going to a mostly commuter campus.
At the GSB, Schwab seems to be a central part of this tight-knit community. It’s a dorm right across the street from the new GSB campus (talk about convenient for when it rains!!!) that houses about 200 first year GSBers. The best part is that you get to apply through a separate GSB lottery instead of dealing with the campus-wide lottery which can be a bit confusing. Most of the spots are filled up with round 1 applicants to the GSB (the numbers this year are: 164 rooms for round 1, 25 for round 2, and 5 for round 3), so if you think Schwab will be an important part of your GSB experience you should make sure you get your application in before the round 1 deadline.
I entered the Schwab lottery in round 1, ended up on the waitlist, and then got an email a few days later informing me that I had been pulled off the waitlist and had 24 hours to send in a deposit. Of course, I didn’t see that email until about 23 hours after it had arrived in my inbox, which created a slightly panicked hour of me filling out the roommate survey and trying to click me way through the website to the correct payment portal. The roommate survey was sort of fun- a throwback to freshman year of college when I had to fill out the survey and rank music genres and levels of cleanliness. But it also seemed a bit silly. Schwab is set up in two-person suites. Each person has their own bathroom and bedroom, so the only shared space is a little kitchen between the two rooms. I can’t imagine any serious issues developing between two adults who only have to share a kitchen.
As you can guess, I’m pretty excited about living in Schwab with half of my classmates next year. The other half will be a bit more spread out. Most of them entered the on-campus housing lottery and got their results a few weeks ago. Some will be in Munger, which is a group of new buildings with fancy 2-4 person apartments and studios filled by students from all of the different grad schools on campus. A bunch more will be EV which is a bunch of small shared condos and highrises (that’s about 10 stories tall, by California standards). From what I’ve heard, that’s the most family-friendly option. And the rest, those who don’t like the campus options or who got bad numbers in the lottery, will be off-campus somewhere. There have been lots of facebook posts creating small groups to search for off-campus housing together. A couple current students have also mentioned houses near campus that are historically rented by GSB students. The downside of all the off-campus options is that it makes getting by without a car a lot harder. If you live on-campus, a bike should suffice.
And that’s my take on housing. Schwab for the win!