- Look professional. This doesn't just mean dressing appropriately, but also looking clean and well put together. For example, you should make sure your hair is combed and that your clothes aren't wrinkled. Anything that looks sloppy may send the message that you don't pay attention to detail.
- Check the schedule once you get to an event. For events where you are meeting one-on-one with MBA admissions officers, like QS Connect 1-2-1, you should go over which schools you are meeting with and when. If you are attending a larger MBA event, like the World MBA Tour, you should have a look at the map as well as the panel schedule.
- Smile. Make sure you greet each admissions director with a smile. According to Scientific American, smiling makes you happier and this may put you more at ease when speaking with admissions officers.
- Give a firm handshake. Limp handshakes are awkward and can sometimes make the other person feel like they are holding a dead fish.
- Make eye contact. You don't have to look at the MBA admissions officer the entire time, but gazing at the floor may make it appear like you have something to hide.
- Remember the admissions officer's name. If you are attending a smaller MBA event, you may be given this information ahead of time. When in doubt, you can look at the person's name tag. If you want to become better at remembering names, however, here are ten tips from Forbes magazine.
- Build rapport with the MBA admissions officers. Try to be an active participant in the conversation, not only through talking but also by being a good listener. Listen closely to their questions and make sure you give them the information they asked for. Before you leave, let them know you enjoyed speaking with them.
- Ask informed questions. Research the business schools ahead of time so you can come to the event with a list of informed questions. At a one-on-one event, there may be a designated question and answer time. At MBA fair, however, you may have to find ways to work your questions into the conversation.
- Make sure you sound confident. Avoid words such as "um" and "like". If you are worried about how you will sound, you can practice in front of the mirror or by doing mock interviews with a friend.
- Take notes. Not only will this help you after the event, but it can also be a good way to make sure that you pay attention to what the MBA admissions officer is saying.
- Be sure to take a business card before you leave. This will allow you to have follow-up conversations.
- Speak to students or alumni if they are available. They have experienced the MBA program first hand, and can give you the best idea of what it's like to be a student at that particular school. Try to prepare your questions in advance, just like you would for admissions officers.
- Keep an open mind. While it's important to have a plan of what schools to talk to, it's also a good idea to explore all the options that are available to you. Try to speak to MBA admissions officers from programs that you may not have considered before.
What to Do at An MBA EventWritten by Nicole Willson
MBA events are a great way to meet admissions officers and learn more about all of the options that are available to you. Preparing for an MBA event will make the process less stressful, but you there are also things you can do at the event that will help you make a great impression. Here are some tips for MBA event success.