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MBA Showcase - North America

Choosing a B-school in a Virtual World

Personal contact still provides invaluable information

Applying to business school is inevitably stressful. Just narrowing your list of MBA programs to apply to can be overwhelming on its own. An MBA is a critical building block of many career paths, but also a serious investment of time and resources so you need chose carefully!

First Impressions are Ever-lasting. We know from business schools that most MBA applicants begin the process with a detailed Internet search. B-schools have made considerable investments into their websites, offering an outstanding resource for program details including on-line chats with MBA students and admission directors, admissions requirements, and curriculum details. Evaluate how the school presents itself: What is emphasized? What is missing? Was it easy to navigate? What were your overall impressions? This information is subjective, so tap into your other business and personal networks to gain greater insight.

As a prospective MBA student, consider your professional objectives post-MBA. During your web research, pay special attention to complementary opportunities such as internships, consulting projects, and mentor programs and how they will help you achieve your personal goals.

High Touch ... Big Impact. The opportunity costs of attending business school are great but so are the payoffs for your post-MBA career. Take time to meet representatives of the schools and visit the campuses. Investing this time upfront will ensure a good fit. MBA fairs, organized in cities throughout the world, are a truly valuable source of information to solidify your impressions. Peter von Loesecke, CEO of The MBA Tour, notes, "One of the important characteristics that distinguishes one MBA program from another is the actual b-school culture - it is impossible to feel that solely from the web or brochures. Meeting B-school representatives and alumni at an MBA fair provide invaluable insights and information."

Prepare Yourself. Get maximum benefit from the MBA fairs by preparing in advance. Know the basic program information and take your questions to the next level. Ask the alumni, "Why did you select this b-school over others?" "What did you value most about your MBA experience?" "How has the MBA shaped your post-graduate career?" "What was your favorite course?”

Ask the B-school representative to describe the ideal candidates for their programs. Give them a chance to differentiate themselves by asking, "What qualities are essential to success in the MBA program?" "What is the biggest challenge for new students?" "Describe one of their favorite current students" "Who do they see as their competition?" "What are the unique strengths the MBA program?"

The Perfect Match. Both you and the MBA admissions directors have the same goal - find the best MBA program to meet your professional objectives and personal style. Investing time up-front will reap great results. B-schools are interested in a long-term relationship with you, not only as a student but a member of their alumni.

The MBA Tour offers MBA Conferences and Fairs for admissions directors to connect with applicants. To find out more about the 30 events offered in Asia, Latin America and North America, please visit

Editorial submitted by:
The MBA Tour

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