At The MBA Tour in NYC on July 20th, you will get the chance to further evaluate the offerings of the schools on your list. But, don’t forget, admissions directors, will be assessing you too. Come prepared. Conduct thorough school research, compile a list of questions that will show your knowledge of and enthusiasm for specific programs, and be prepared to speak eloquently about yourself and your experiences.
Prior to the event, consider also the following tips:
1. Update your resume. Ensure it is up to date with your latest professional accomplishments and includes specific results you’ve achieved as well as impact you’ve had on the organization. Try to avoid a resume full of job descriptions or industry specific/technical language a reader from a different field won’t be able to understand. Admissions directors will be looking for your ability to translate complexities effectively because business school classes are diverse. Your classmates will hail from a wide array of industries and educational backgrounds. Finally, when registering for the event, upload your resume into The MBA Tour system so schools are able to review it prior to meeting you.
2. Refine your post-MBA goals. The MBA Tour will provide schools opportunities to make pitches and they will likely speak to the newest and most popular offerings. This can be distracting. While you want to keep an open-mind, remain focused on your goals and those program specifics that will best get you there.
3. Craft an elevator pitch. This should be an introductory speech of about three minutes, which will provide admissions officers a high-level view of your current state and future goals. Spend some time to ensure it feels friendly, informative and natural. Practice it aloud to a friend. And be sure to include:
a. Who I am (unique facts and current state professionally): What is your name and where are you from? Where are you currently working and what do you do? How many years of experience will you have at matriculation?
b. What I’m looking for: When would you like to start an MBA program? What MBA concentrations are you interested in learning more about and why?
c. Where I want to go: What type of job are you looking for post-MBA? Are there specific companies you are particularly interested in? What are your long-term goals?
4. Review the schools who will be attending the fair and select your top ten. You may have time to speak with more, but this will help you to allocate your time wisely. It will also be helpful to prioritize your top three to five schools because you will want to spend the most time speaking with their admissions directors. Research these programs and prepare relevant, school-specific questions that show your knowledge of and enthusiasm for their offerings. Avoid questions that could be answered with a few clicks on their website, as well as those regarding your odds of admittance.
5. Review the list of attending partner organizations, which will include test-tutors and admissions consulting companies. Consider your interest in these services and do some research on the various firms so you can target those that will best suit your needs. Many will provide deals to MBA Tour attendees, so lookout for event promotions.
Most importantly, have fun at The MBA Tour. It will likely be a meaningful and informative experience that could inspire one of your most significant professional decisions.