Posted by Kofi Kankam in MBA
MBA tours are a great way to learn about multiple business schools all in one place. Unfortunately, we often see way too many candidates squander this opportunity. The tours are an efficient way to make an impression on lots of business schools in a single day. It would cost you quite a bit in travel costs alone to make those campus visits yourself so make sure to take full advantage of the tours by keeping these key thoughts in mind.
Study the business schools that will be there. Take notes on each school. Formulate questions. Prioritize the business schools that you want to see (pay particular attention to the MBA programs that aren’t physically located in close proximity). If the full schedule is not online, plan to get there early, register, and finalize your game plan based on the schedule. Not sure what your game plan should be? Have questions about how to position yourself? Build your profile on Admit.me and we can give you some feedback!
Treat it like an interview
Because it is! Admissions officers will notice you and remember you. It’s amazing how much a business school representative can remember about people. “Oh, that’s the girl with the XYZ” or “Did you meet the guy that had XYZ”. I’ve never seen an overdressed or over-prepared candidate, but I certainly have seen the opposite. A little cliché, but first impressions really do matter. Take the time to dress in business attire, bring resumes, and take notes. Prepare your pitch in advance so you are ready to go at the tour. You can also prepare with a mock interview from an Admit.me coach.
Setup 1:1 meetings
A number of the tours have 1:1 meeting opportunities, so definitely take advantage. Set up meetings with as many business schools as you can. It helps you practice your pitch and you may actually find a diamond-in-the-rough school that you weren’t anticipating. Make sure to fill out as much of your background as you can so the schools can get to know you in advance.
Use your ears in proportion with your mouth
Just like in the business school classroom, how much you say is not impressive—it’s what you say. Take the time to listen to what the presenters are saying, be fair and let other applicants have a chance to speak, and be thoughtful about what you say.
Start with the low-hanging fruit
This may not apply to everyone, but it could be helpful to "get warmed up" on the day of the tour. It can be very beneficial to meet with school representatives from programs that are a bit lower on your list first. That gives you time to get into the flow of the day, work on your pitch, and build confidence for your higher-tier schools. Maybe you were just born ready, but it certainly works for many.
Stay open minded about schools
The MBA tours are an exploratory opportunity for you to learn more about different schools. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you just went to the tour to see XYZ school(s). Certainly that should be part of what you do at the tour, but you should really approach the tours with an open mind and figure out what you don’t know about the other schools. Business school is an experience and you will thrive in a school that is a good fit for you – rankings can’t tell you that, nor can other people. You need to experience the schools for yourself so go in with an open mind.
September 19, 2017, Kofi Kankam