MBA admissions representatives want you to get to know and like their schools! This interaction is a step in the MBA application process that is often overlooked. Yet for many schools, it is a critical one. When and how to interact with business school students, staff and in some cases faculty should be top of mind throughout the entire MBA application process and something that you should start planning for, NOW!
Check out Personal MBA Coach’s 6 tips for courting your target schools:
1) Attend individual school networking events: Once the 2017-2018 application season wraps up, MBA admissions staff hit the road, scheduling events throughout the world to target perspective candidates. Now is the time to schedule these into your summer travel plans. This does not mean you have to fly halfway across the world to attend, but be on the lookout for opportunities near you and plan accordingly.
2) Look for affinity group events: Similarly, there are many targeted MBA events for students of various affinities and nationalities. If applicable to you, these specialized events will provide you with a more intimate setting to show your interest and ask questions about particular programs. The more your questions show your research, the better.
3) Attend MBA fairs. Throughout the year organizations, such as The MBA Tour and Forte Foundation, run events that allow candidates to connect with admissions representatives from top schools. These events are generally free and held in multiple locations, globally. Each has a unique format and all provide great opportunities to meet with admissions representatives, ask specific questions and most importantly, express your interest in your target schools. Now is a great time to get these events on your calendar for this coming application season.
4) Seek out professors doing research in an area of interest. While this may not be possible for all candidates (nor is it by any means required), if you have a unique area of interest, reach out to a professor in this area and let her know you would be interested in learning more about her research. Not only is this another great way to show your specific interest in a school, but this can also help you to expand your network on campus.
5) Network with alumni. Naturally, look for alumni from your target schools within your network and ask them for a brief 15 min chat, or in some cases out for coffee or to lunch. They will likely be happy to share their experiences and may connect you with other alumni or have targeted advice for you. It is best to start with your personal and professional networks, but undergraduate alumni databases can be another great source for identifying alumni.
6) Visit campuses. Making the trip to campus and scheduling a class visit can be an easy way to express interest. Visiting the campus before you apply is more important for some schools than others, but if you can make this trip work, it is never a bad idea. Not only will this confirm your interest in the target school, but it will be a good source to gather information to use in your application essays.
Keep in mind, it is possible to do too much of a good thing, so be sure to find a balance. In addition, schools vary widely in terms of which communication vehicles they find most effective and the importance they place on such communication.
Personal MBA Coach provides clients with personal advice on when and how often to connect with their target schools. If you would like individual and personal support with any aspect of the MBA Application process, include early planning, school selection, GMAT/GRE tutoring, essay editing or interview preparation, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help!
As an MIT Sloan BS graduate and Wharton MBA grad, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Email me today at: firstname.lastname@example.org