MBA Applicants: You Should Definitely Attend School Recruiting Events. Here’s Why

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Today’s MBA candidates have so many resources to learn about schools they’re interested in, it’s downright overwhelming! But one of the resources that seems to have proliferated in the last few years are school-specific recruiting events.

The days of MBA fairs where candidates could meet many school reps at once - whether to learn about the school or to “make a good impression” - have been supplemented with dozens of events around the world from individual schools. For candidates considering, say, three to five schools, that could mean a lot of events, not to mention school visits.

So - should you attend? What will it “get” you?

I mean, let’s be honest - we know your time is limited, and your main goal, as an applicant, is to get in. And when AdComms tell you attending an event isn’t part of the evaluation process, and virtually all of the info you need about a school is available online, should you spend the time attending various events?

My answer is, “Yes!” and here are three reasons why you should attend MBA recruiting events (and Ross events, specifically -wink- ):

  1. To validate claims:
    All schools make claims about themselves. Our websites promote the great things you can do at our schools. They feature shiny, happy people in their photos. At events, you can talk with alumni who’ve been through the program. They can tell you about their time at the school - the unique experiences they had, the classes they took, what the culture is like, what it’s like to live there for two years.

  2. To ask questions about the admissions process - to an actual admissions officer:
    We frequently see MBA candidates ask and answer each other’s admissions questions on MBA forums. Or they ask MBA students or alums, thinking that they must know the answer since they got in themselves. The blind leading the blind, or even the partially blind, isn’t a method I’d recommend. Ask us. We’re experts and that’s why we’re there.

  3. To make a good impression:
    Our evaluation of applicants involves a qualitative component - the part where we’re assessing fit. The interview is one piece of the assessment, but so are all of the other interactions we have with a candidate - from email exchanges to in-person conversations with us and with other members of the community. Many candidates we meet become ones we advocate for around the committee table. Of course, this begs the question - “What are you looking for when you meet candidates?” The answer is the same as it is for the rest of the application - authenticity. Be human. Be real.

The team and I are already on the road (see our event schedule here). We’ve met many great folks and look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming months. We encourage you to talk with us. Ask questions. Have a conversation. Don’t think of it as an interview. Think of it as a chance to meet someone who loves meeting new people and finding a connection.

We hope to connect with you in person soon.

And if you haven’t already - be sure to check out my latest video on How to Explore MBA Programs: