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  • Scott Edinburgh

MBA Admissions Events Dos and Don'ts



MBA admissions representatives want you to get to know and like their schools! Sometimes this interaction is an overlooked step in the MBA application process. Yet for many schools, it is a critical one.


Over the next few months, there are a number of national and international MBA informational events planned to provide you with such opportunities. Personal MBA Coach has been and will continue to attend and present at such events with The MBA Tour, Forté Foundation, the QS World MBA Tour and more.


While these events can be extremely beneficial, it is easy for prospective students to interact the WRONG way. To ensure you do not make this mistake, please read these key DOs and DON’Ts from Personal MBA Coach.


DO NOT speak just for the sake of speaking. In an effort to be noticed, many candidates will speak just to say something. This can actually do more harm than good. It is easy to remember candidates who wasted their time and did not say or ask something intelligent or insightful. Think carefully about whether what you say is painting you in the best light or not.


DO NOT ask a question that can be easily answered online. This a classic example of speaking for the sake of speaking. If you can easily find the answer to a question on a school’s website or in a brochure, why use precious face time asking it?


DO NOT interrupt. At busy events, it can be tempting to “push” your way to the front or “interrupt” to be heard. Proper etiquette is crucial here as it can be surprisingly easy to make a bad impression. Remember, admissions directors interview lots of candidates and subtle moves could be evaluated.


DO NOT say anything negative. This may seem obvious, but I am surprised by how often admissions representatives come up to me after events to share stories of students who asked negative questions or made negative comments such as “Why did your school make Y change? It was better beforehand.”


DO NOT try to get someone to sell you on her school. In a similar vein, questions such as “Why should I go to X school?” are also deal breakers. While you may be lucky enough to be in a position to ask this question one day, MBA events are not the time for this.


DO considerable research in advance. If you are not prepared (more on how below) you will easily make one of the above mistakes.


DO plan which schools you want to speak to before you arrive. You cannot speak to everyone. First of all, it is an open room and it is easy for other schools to see who you are talking to. If you proclaim your love for each school for unique reasons, it will seem a bit obvious after time. Second, you cannot do enough research to have intelligent conversations with 27 different schools.


DO keep an open mind when making your school lists. As a follow-up to #7, while you cannot speak to everyone, you should develop a broad list which includes both reach schools and safety schools. Keep an open mind. Many of my candidates are surprised at how well they would fit at a school they never intended on applying to (and vice versa).


DO dress the part. These are business events and you should dress appropriately. Take the time to change (if you are coming from a casual workplace) and freshen up before you enter the event.


DO bring memorable questions. Your goal here is for admissions representatives to remember you. Arrive prepared with personal questions that show you have done your research and are truly passionate about the school. An example of this would include probing on specific programs related to your field of interest.


Need help? Personal MBA Coach is willing to be your guide. Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, we regularly help applicants navigate their applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews with former M7 interviewers on our team.


Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for over 13 years with a 96% success rate. Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email scott@personalmbacoach.com for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

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