MBA Tour for Beginners

by Vault Education Editors | September 24, 2009

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Today kicks off the fall/winter leg of the QS World MBA Tour.    Admissions officers and alumni from more than 120 top MBA programs will visit six major cities in the U.S. throughout September and October, and then continent hop until mid December.  Although most attendees will be knee deep in their application process for fall 2010, it’s also a good idea to drop by even if you are just considering B-school sometime in the future.  You can sit in on panels to get an idea of what different schools will be like, and being in the thick of type-A’ers is a good indication in itself of how life in B-school will differ from life as an undergrad.

If you’re in the very first steps of the application/decision process (don’t know if B-school is right for you, haven’t started studying for the GMAT, considering an MBA sometime down the road), this is the time to listen and learn.  Many admissions officers have waiting lines for one-on-one conversations, and don’t have time to answer questions that are easily found on the school’s website.  Here are a few tips on how to navigate through your few hours without wasting anyone’s time.

-          Research the panels ahead of time: Some panels are held at the same time, so it’s important to know beforehand which would best pertain to you.  E.g., if it’s between “how to study for your GMAT” and “how to get accepted,” you’ll want to tackle the one that’s most applicable to you right now. 

-          Form a cluster: If there is a line forming around the table of a certain school that you would like more information about, try to create a forum atmosphere.  You can learn a lot from the answers to the questions your peers are asking.

-          Utilize the beginner’s tools:  A lot of test prep companies attend the fairs, and many offer valuable coupons or drawings to win a free class. 

-          Make a friend: If you get to talking to a friendly alumnus or prospective student further along in the process, exchange business cards.  Most will be flattered to be asked to impart their wisdom.

MBA fairs are busy, loud and information-crammed.  But if business school is right for you, this will only pump you up for the road ahead.  

See the schedule below to see when the tour will be near you.

QS World MBA Tour                                       

September 24- Washington DC

September 26- New York

September 29- Seattle

October 1- Houston

October 3- Los Angeles

October 4- San Francisco

Posted by Megan Cassidy

Filed Under: Education

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