It is an exciting time in Durham. After a bout of damp weather, the summer is in full swing here, and more notably with the recent orientation for Fuqua’s Daytime class of 2015, the city has seen the addition of over 400 new eager residents.

As I sit reminiscing about how excited I felt when I moved to Durham last July, my thoughts wander back to a year earlier to July of 2011. That was when I had decided to apply to business school, a decision that set in motion a chain of events culminating into an admit to Fuqua.

Admissions is a grueling process — I remember spending almost 6 months looking at different schools trying to identify the ones best suited to me and then writing out my applications. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources that are helpful during the process. Here are a few that I recommend:

1. The Usual Suspects

The school website, independent articles and rankings, student and staff blogs, social media channels, etc. There are a lot of resources available on the Internet that you can turn to and learn more about the schools you are interested in.

2. Visit

One of the best ways to find out about a school is to visit. Schools tend to host a number of events for prospective students to make sure they experience and understand the school’s culture. As an international applicant, I couldn’t visit any school campuses but I have heard numerous stories of people making that instant connection with a school. Learn about visiting Fuqua.

3. Attend Admissions Events Near You

Most business schools host events in several major cities across the globe to provide a unique window into the school. Fuqua, for example, is very active on this front. I attended two such events in Santiago, Chile, that helped me understand the school’s key strengths, and I connected with more than half a dozen alumni. See a list of upcoming events to learn more about Fuqua’s Daytime MBA program.

4. Reach Out to the Community

Fuqua has thousands of alumni and hundreds of current students, and most of them are very happy to share their experiences with prospective students. The best way to connect with our community is by attending an admissions event in your area or by visiting our campus.

I’ve personally spoken with a few prospective students in the last few weeks and often their questions tend to focus on one aspect of the application — the GMAT score and GPA. In my opinion (and just mine), no one data point on your application is the determining factor for your fate. It is natural to feel anxious about how your application will be perceived. At least at Fuqua, the admissions committee looks at applications in a very holistic and well-rounded manner. Learn more about admission requirements and criteria for Fuqua’s Daytime program.

Before you get too far along in the admissions process, don’t underestimate the need to know/understand the school(s) that you’re applying to. The above-mentioned resources help you do just that. After all, you will spend two years in the school you eventually decide to join, and it is essential that you make an informed choice.