MBA fairs provide b-school applicants a chance to speak with school reps and learn more about their program options. If you attend a fair well prepared and with the right attitude, then the experience will prove extremely valuable –it will offer you your first glimpse into the concept of "school fit."
How do you make the most of those few hours at an MBA fair?
- Do some quality school research BEFORE you attend. You want to arrive at the venue prepared and ready to ask the school representative thoughtful questions. The answer to "Where is your school located?" is available on the homepage of any school site, and therefore, not an impressive question. Make sure you've done your research and know the basics so that you can spend your time at the fair asking intelligent questions.
- Dress to impress. While a tux may be a bit over the top, looking like you just came from the beach is too extreme in the other direction. Stick with professional or business casual attire to make the best impression.
- Bring your resume and business card. You probably won't have more than just a few minutes to speak with a representative, and you certainly don't want to spend what little time you have reeling off a list of your accomplishments. Hand your resume to reps that you feel you connected with and you'll have given them a nice and informative way to remember who you are. (Note, however, that some schools have policies against accepting such materials.)
- Be polite. An obvious tip, yet still worth mentioning. Don't be rude to the school rep (like demanding that he or she spend more time talking to you) and don't be rude to your fellow applicants (like pushing your way to the front of a line or monopolizing a conversation).
- Send a succinct thank you email if a school rep was helpful. Follow up with reps at your target programs, especially those with whom you shared your resume or other application materials. You made a connection with someone of influence…now stay in touch.
Make the most of MBA fairs and business school receptions. Read Accepted's free, instantly downloadable special report, MBA Fairs: Advancing Your MBA Ambitions.
Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best