THE MBA TOUR CONFERENCE SURVIVAL GUIDE, PART 3: Making the most of panels and school presentations

Posted by TheMBATour on 20 June 2012 / 0 Comments

The Fair

The MBA fair portion of the event is your time to personally meet with school and admission representatives and alumni. Get answers directly from the source to any questions you have about school programs, student life, and everything in-between, and make a strong impression while doing so to make yourself a memorable candidate.

1. Have a pitch

When you first meet an admission representative or alumni, you want to clearly articulate your current position and future goals so the rep/alum knows how to best answer your questions. use a rehearsed, 30-45 second pitch to introduce yourself to these representatives, explaining where you’re currently employed, your future goals in terms of an MBA and employment, and any other distinguishing background facts about yourself.

2. Meet everyone

It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to meet with dozens of admissions officers and school representatives, so take advantage of the fair! Have your pitch ready and try to meet with as many reps as you can. Speaking with representatives from a school you never heard about can uncover appealing details you didn't know where available.

3. Focus on the important questions

By having prepared, thoughtful questions (meaning you can’t find the answers online), your conversation with a school representative can be concise and to the point. Monopolizing a representative’s time does not help. Instead, try be mindful of the fact that school rep’s speak with hundreds of students; by asking only a few insightful questions and then thanking them for their time, representatives will be impressed with your professionalism and understanding of their program.

4. Following up

Meeting with a school representative, admissions officer, or alum only marks the beginning of your relationship with them. After you introduce yourself, give your pitch, and ask your questions, you must ALWAYS thank them for their time and ask for their business card. Once you have their contact information, the rule of thumb is to send a “thank you” email within 24 hours. Your email should identify who you are (i.e. “I’m the candidate you asked you about [insert specific question here]”), thank them again for their time, and tell them you forward to staying in touch. Your next step is to maintain a conversation with the representative up through the application process.

Here's a great video featuring Kim Janulewicz, IE Business School talking about the importance of following up after a tour event:

Before you set foot on the MBA fair floor, make sure you review the Survival Guide Parts 1 and 2 so you’re prepared for some face time with representatives. If you follow this 3-part guide you will leave the tour event with a clear understanding of the programs you’re interested, have the names and contact information of people who can help position you to get into the school of your choice, and you’ll be ready to spearhead the application process when the time comes.

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