Tag Archives: social media

3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com With the availability of the Internet and social media, it’s possible to get a head start on developing your business school network as early …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

With the availability of the Internet and social media, it’s possible to get a head start on developing your business school network as early as the application phase.

That network can help you research schools, decide where to apply and support you throughout your candidacy. As most incoming MBA students know, the network you cultivate during business school is likely the most valuable part of the experience. In addition to making those two years a whole lot of fun, these relationships will become a lasting set of connections that have the potential to change the course of your professional life forever.

Here are three ways to build your business school network before you even set foot on campus.

1. Be social media savvy: Business schools want to expand their follower base in order to share school news, application deadlines and admissions events with prospective students. Follow your target MBA programs on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and through school-sponsored student blogs, such as the first-rate blog Booth Experience blog from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Use these online vehicles to learn about the school and to personally connect. Friend people who can be your peers – it’s an easy way to stay in touch once you’re admitted and can take all of this social networking one step further. Don’t attempt to friend any of the admissions folks on Facebook, but do feel free to follow them on Twitter, engage by asking thoughtful questions about the admissions process and learn all you can from them.

Another way to get on the admissions team’s radar is by keeping them apprised of your progress with a tweet. For example, you could write something like: “Submitted my Round 1 application to @MichiganRoss? ?today. Super excited for a chance to participate in the team-based interview.”

If you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

2. Ask to be introduced to current students who share your interests: Visit campus and go out of your way to meet specific students in person whenever possible. If you’re interested in finance, ask someone to introduce you to the head of the finance club. Find out who is running the women’s association if you’re a female candidate targeting that school.

Call the admissions office and ask to be connected to a student who is doing something you want to do, such as pursuing your dream entrepreneurial goals, focusing on a mix of statistics and management? or concentrating on green business practices?. Admissions should be able to hook you up with like-minded individuals who can help you understand how the school can serve your goals.

Once you’ve made contact, these are great people to stay loosely in touch with as you make up your final list of schools. Sometimes, you can even name drop a bit in your essays? to show you have really done personal research and gotten to know the program and its student body.

Now is also a great time to reach out to alumni and current students that you already know. Reinvest in those relationships and talk to them about their experiences and how an MBA degree has enhanced their careers.

3. Work MBA admissions events to your advantage: Go to as many business school admissions events as you possibly can. This is a great way to decide if a certain program is legitimately the right place for you by hearing students and alums speak, and by sizing up the way a school markets itself.

As a ?bonus, attending an event shows you are interested and have done your homework. It makes a school feel loved. Everyone likes to feel loved, even admissions committee members.

While it can be hard to stand out at these events swarming with people hoping to make a good impression, sometimes you will have that meaningful conversation that can make a world of difference. Business schools often recruit local alumni to attend these events and help sell their program to prospective students, and you may encounter people working in the same industry you hope to after earning an MBA degree.

Try to find two or three people who match up with your experience and goals, and learn how their business school experience transformed them personally or professionally. If you establish a rapport and the person is willing to continue speaking with you outside of the event, ask for an informational interview over coffee or even email to learn more about how he or she successfully transitioned to their current career.

It truly is the people, not the brochure bullet points, that bring a school to life, so the more person-to-person contact you have the more informed you will be when it comes time to apply – and when you finally set foot on campus.

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Before You Post That Selfie…

Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make …

Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make sure your online presence won’t derail your MBA application efforts.

If an admissions team is leaning toward admitting you to their program, it’s possible that they could do a quick Google search on your name before making their final decision. If you’ve demonstrated bad judgment by posting pictures of yourself doing not-so-upstanding things or making offensive or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you’ve given them a reason to move your application to the ding pile.

You may remember when The New York Times reported on a high school senior who caused a stir at Bowdoin College after posting disparaging tweets about other attendees at the school’s information session. If some undergraduate admissions committees are using teenagers’ social media behavior against them, it’s possible that business schools won’t be any more forgiving with young adults who should know better.

It doesn’t end with the admissions committee, either. Let’s say you are invited to interview with a local alum. You can be sure that person will try to find out as much information about you as possible before your chat. Once you’re at school, potential internship and full-time employers could perform an even more extensive online background check. Your fellow classmates might do some digging, too!

So while you may believe it’s funny and harmless to post that selfie after you’ve tipped back one too many, think again. There’s a chance you could compromise your MBA candidacy because of a fleeting moment of indiscretion. If an admissions committee member comes across something that raises a red flag, they’ll likely move on to the next candidate.

Remember:

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Social Media Will Change the B-School Landscape

Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior …

Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be hazy, while members of Generation X have perfect recall of the pre-Internet days.

John T. Delaney, dean of Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, writes about the irony of rising loneliness in our connected world, and how the social media disconnect will affect business schools.  This disconnect relates to a growing inability among the youngest professionals to interact face-to-face and to collaborate in an era of truncated communication.

“Because this dynamic affects human interactions and society, it will affect business schools,” Delaney writes. “I see it exacerbating the existing trend of students coming to school with higher test scores but having a growing need for the development of emotional intelligence and social graces.”

One of the best ways to combat those deficiencies, and one that’s already in play at many top MBA programs, is to shift greater focus on experiential learning and soft skills in tandem with the typical foundation courses.

The dean points to ways technology has already disrupted the classroom experience and altered professor/student relationships, but he also recognizes the numerous advantages of social media—including its ability to democratize and increase transparency in the academic setting.

It may be too soon to fully grasp the effects social media will have on management education even ten years from now, but Delaney is grappling with these issues now, and his article offers much food for thought.

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Last-Minute Checklist for Round 1 Applicants

Are you planning on applying in Round 1, which at many schools is just weeks (or September 9th, in the case of HBS) away? There are several reasons to apply in the first round, from …

Are you planning on applying in Round 1, which at many schools is just weeks (or September 9th, in the case of HBS) away? There are several reasons to apply in the first round, from demonstrating your strong interest and preparation, improving your chances of landing a spot while every possible seat is available, to having first crack at financial aid opportunities.

Bloomberg Businessweek just ran a story discussing what to do to prepare for round 1 deadlines, and I shared some of my thoughts with Katy Finneran, author of the piece. One important thing I stress to clients, and mentioned to Finneran, is the importance of managing your social media presence and beefing up your online persona.

If you can demonstrate you’re social media savvy, and perhaps show that side of yourself through a blog, Twitter feed, or even through Instagram if you’ve touched on an interest such as photography in your application, these factors can really work to your advantage.

By now, you should also have your recommenders firmly on board in support of your candidacy. If you’re aiming at round 2, make sure they have their instructions and hard deadlines about 12 weeks before you want their letters.

Another thing to remember is to adapt your resume for an MBA application, which should have a greater emphasis on your general accomplishments and anything that would showcase your leadership qualities.

Finally, I would urge applicants to apply a few days ahead of the deadline just to ease some of the last-minute pressure, as well as congestion on the programs’ servers. Do a thorough review, hit submit, and take comfort in knowing that you did your very best.

You may also be interested in:

5 Last-Minute Tips for Round 1 Applicants

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MBA Grads Still Need to Master Social Media

While we all know social media use has exploded over the past decade, some MBA graduates are still operating like its 1999 when it comes to maximizing its benefits from a professional standpoint. In BusinessWeek’s …

While we all know social media use has exploded over the past decade, some MBA graduates are still operating like its 1999 when it comes to maximizing its benefits from a professional standpoint.

In BusinessWeek’s latest article on working social media at the beginning of your career, Katy Finneran writes about why recent graduates must create social accounts as well as maintain and clean up existing accounts, and how to network successfully in the social media age.

Stacy Blackman Consulting conducted an MBA applicant survey earlier in the spring, where we learned just how social media savvy current applicants are when it comes to the b-school admissions process. The results are somewhat surprising: only about half of those polled planned to review and clean up their online profile.

I chatted with Finneran about this topic at length, and I invite you to read her article for some of my tips on proper social media etiquette as it relates both to applying to business school and navigating the job search after graduation.

In the end, the goal is to develop a personal brand and make sure your social media sites promote brand “You.” Put your best foot forward by keeping your social media presence clean, mature and presentable, and have faith that you can do so without scrubbing away your entire personality.

You may also be interested in:
How Does Social Media Fit Into Your MBA Application Strategy?

Will Your Social Media Profile Help or Hurt Your MBA Application?

Give Yourself a Social Media Makeover

 

 

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