Whether you have just started thinking about how an MBA can impact your career, or you’ve identified the schools to which you will apply, MBA Fairs are a great opportunity to stand out in a competitive applicant pool and get noticed by admissions committees. Here are some insider tips on how to make the most out of an MBA Fair and make a lasting impression on an admissions team.
- Treat an MBA Fair like a job interview. This is the first interaction you will have with an admissions committee member, and you want it to be positive. Be polite, be engaged, and smile! We read through hundreds of applications each year, and the face-to-face contact you make at an MBA Fair is memorable.
- Do some self-reflection. Ask yourself: Why are you interested in pursuing an MBA? Why is now the right time for you to go back to school? How does an MBA fit in with your short-term and long-term goals? Admissions teams will likely ask you these questions as a starting point to your conversation, and your answers reveal a lot.
- Bring an updated résumé. When having in-depth conversations about your career goals, it’s always helpful to have a résumé for reference. You will be asked to submit an up-to-date résumé with your application so this is a good exercise, regardless.
- Do research. Research the schools that will be attending the MBA Fair and become familiar with their programs. Are they a general management MBA or a specialized MBA program? Do they have international travel opportunities? Do they offer experiential learning opportunities to their students? This will set a solid knowledge base for future interactions with the programs.
- Come with questions. Prepare a set of questions to ask the admissions representative that cannot be easily answered on the website. While admissions team members don’t mind reiterating the application requirements or deadlines to you, the conversation will be more valuable overall if you ask questions that are meaningful to you.
- Interact with alumni. Alumni are a great resource for you as they can give you the student perspective on their MBA program. Come prepared with thoughtful questions to ask as well, such as: What is it like to live in the city or town where your MBA program was located? How did you successfully manage a work-life balance? How did your MBA program prepare you for your current job?
- Follow up. There’s nothing more memorable than a thoughtful thank you note or email.
MBA Fairs are often a free or low cost resource that you can utilize when moving through your MBA consideration process. Be sure to take advantage of the school presentations, admissions committee panels, and informational seminars. All can arm you with information and help you be intentional and efficient with your MBA search.
The Wisconsin MBA travels across the United States to meet prospective students in their home city. To view where we will be this summer, visit our events page.