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  • Malvika Patil

Here’s Why You Should Attend MBA Admissions Events

Updated: 1 hour ago



MBA admissions events are a great way for prospective candidates to meet with business schools. Sometimes, they’re the only opportunity to meet school representatives in person. 


Meeting with schools is an important, but often overlooked, part of the application process. Schools want you to like them, too! At an in-person event, you can meet school representatives to ask about information you wouldn’t find online, assess if you’d be a good fit with the school’s culture, and match your goals to the school’s resources and career outcomes. 


But don’t just expect to sign up and show up. This is also your opportunity to make a good impression and network with school staff, alumni, and other applicants, so you’ll want to be prepared. 


We spoke with Magdalena Bozhinova, Process Manager and International Project Manager at Advent Group, to understand what prospective students should do to prepare for an admissions event. Advent Group organizes the global Access MBA events and MBA tours where applicants can meet top schools and learn more about their MBA programs.



Why should you attend an MBA admissions event?


Admissions events are typically free to attend. They require candidates to sign up and submit their updated resumes and profiles, and then help them match with universities that are a good fit. 


Here’s what you can expect at an MBA admissions event:


  • One-to-one and group meetings: Applicants get to meet with schools from different geographies in one place and learn about their MBA programs. They can then compare schools to make informed decisions about where they want to apply. This is also a good place to connect with admissions officers whom you can reach out to later in the application process.


  • Panel discussions: Admissions events often include presentations and Q&A sessions on business school programs and the MBA application process. These may consist of school representatives and alumni who offer valuable insights into the MBA journey and help applicants understand different post-MBA career paths. 


  • Resume reviews: You can also get your resume reviewed by admissions consultants at the event, like our “Roast My Resume” sessions where we give constructive, no-BS feedback on your CV. 


  • Network: Admissions event mixers are a great place to network with school representatives, fellow applicants, alumni, and event organizers. This is your opportunity to make a lasting impression on school staff, and sets the groundwork for your MBA. The discussions you will have at these events will likely become key talking points in your application essays. 



What should you do at an MBA admissions event?


If you’ve signed up for an admissions event, here are a list of things you should keep in mind before, during, and after the event:


Research: It’s important to research the participating schools and programs at the admissions event. Reflect on what you’re looking for in a school and learn what their program’s curriculum includes, life on campus, and any other basic information that you can obtain online. The schools want to meet with prepared candidates who are serious about applying, so make sure you know which schools you want to speak to and what you’re going to ask them. 


Prepare questions: Don’t ask questions you can easily find the answers for on the program website, like “where is your campus?”! You have limited time with the school, and candidates who aren’t prepared leave a bad impression. Schools prefer it when candidates ask about their culture, alumni, career outcomes and resources, internships and recruiting, international exposure opportunities, and scholarship support. Remember that you may also be interacting with students and alumni, so tailor your questions to them. Ask them about the classes and faculty they liked best, what surprised them about the program, how they’ve leveraged the school’s network, and how the MBA will develop/has developed their career. These questions are quite similar to those you would ask an MBA interviewer - here’s a list to get you started.


Develop your MBA narrative: When you meet with a school representative, be ready to tell them about your background and goals. Having a short, clear elevator pitch ready helps differentiate you from other candidates and tells the school what you stand for. This helps them assess your fit with their school. 


Dress to impress: This is a business event, so dress the part! Pantsuit or formal dress for women, and suit/jacket and tie for men. Conduct yourself confidently and courteously to make a good first impression. Being presentable also means having your resume, business cards, and LinkedIn profiles updated accurately. 


Network: An MBA event is a great opportunity to meet other applicants (and maybe future classmates) and grow your professional network. Compare notes and research, build connections, and get your name out there.


Have meaningful conversations: Don’t speak just to be noticed! Sometimes, it’s better to listen in group discussions and panel events to understand what other candidates prioritize and bring to the table. Don’t interrupt them or say something negative about the school; good etiquette goes a long way. Remember that there are a lot of people who are also waiting to speak with the school, so only add to the conversation if you have something insightful to say. 


Follow up with the school: Once you have spoken with the school, ask for their contact information. Send a thank-you note to the representative the same day or the day after, where you re-introduce yourself, thank them for their time and insights, and keep the door open for future conversations. This is a good way to build relationships with your target schools. You should also think about other ways you can build connections with the school, whether it is through current students, alumni, or other points of contact within the school.


Are there any basic requirements to attend an MBA admissions event?


Basic eligibility requirements to attend an MBA admissions event differ from one organizer to another. For AccessMBA events, candidates are typically required to fulfill the following criteria when they sign up:


  • At least 3 years of professional experience

  • English language proficiency

  • A Bachelor’s degree 4-5 years prior to their planned year of application to the MBA

  • Managerial experience for EMBAs


Admissions events are strictly managed to help students maximize their time with schools. That’s why this information is important for the event team to evaluate the candidate’s profile, match them with business schools, and make sure that both schools and candidates have a positive experience at the event. 


 

Thinking of applying to business school in 2024? Book a free chat with our expert consultants to get started.



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