Tag Archives: social media

Develop a Smart Social Media Strategy for MBA Applications

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com When applying to business school, your MBA essays and interviews are the primary way to market yourself and generate positive attention from the …

working woman with phone and laptop

Being active on LinkedIn is especially critical to anyone embarking on an MBA career.

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

When applying to business school, your MBA essays and interviews are the primary way to market yourself and generate positive attention from the admissions committee. But the way you present your personal brand on social media should also be a part of the equation. Your social profile needs to match the persona you will present to the admissions team, so start thinking of it as an opportunity to better tell the story of you.

Every applicant should have a baseline social presence to reinforce and enhance their candidacy. Some admissions committee members proactively search for information about applicants online, so you’ll want to link to your social profiles within the application to make it easy for them to have another touch point by which to assess you.

Define Your Shareable Story

This application strategy involves fine-tuning a story that you can leverage through social media. This is a clear and purposeful narrative of how you want people to talk about you. The articles and thoughts you share, the comments you make and the professional affiliations you display will provide schools with a multidimensional view of who you are, as well as support your expertise and passion for a particular industry or activity.

Some examples of shareable stories might be:

• “I am a driven finance professional with a passion for improving education systems. Through lobbying, recruiting and fundraising, I have affected thousands of children by improving their educational experience.”

• “My passion for people extends beyond U.S. borders. My love of travel has connected me with individuals around the world. I nurture and maintain these relationships and learn and grow through these connections.”

• “In my free time I eat. And cook. And entertain. I love bringing people together over a great meal. Exploring unusual recipes, experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my culinary successes is an important hobby of mine.”

Weave Your Story Into Social Media Platforms 

I recommend students initially focus on three key platforms. Most of us are on Facebook, so this is one area to clean up, make sure your privacy settings are in order  and develop a content strategy that positively reflects your personal interests. LinkedIn is also a must-have, as it is the professional social network. Twitter is a great option to start if you haven’t already since you can use it to expand and build your brand.

For Facebook, choose a cover photo that represents your shareable story. For example, the avid traveler would highlight a photo from a recent trip. A candidate who is passionate about mentoring disadvantaged children should select a photo that highlights those efforts. Then, make sure the things you like reflect the personal and professional interests you have shared in your essays.

LinkedIn is critical as you embark on your MBA career and is an excellent place to network, gather information and build your brand by communicating details that support your shareable story. Follow influencers who interest you and share their content, too. What you update on LinkedIn helps to reinforce your brand, and actively developing a strategy now can help tell your story now and later.

Twitter is a great platform to stay up to date and engage with people who share similar interests. Make sure your bio is filled in with information that reflects your shareable story. A profile photo is a must, and the background photo should also support some element of your story.

Follow relevant users, publications or brands on Twitter based on how you want to present yourself. Look at their followers to discover more people with similar interests. You can express your story through original and curated content by sharing articles, adding commentary and tweeting your thoughts on the topics that appeal to you. Make sure to follow the business schools you are interested in as well.

Social media is a time investment. You can blog, tweet and post all day long, but you will get lost in the jungle of the Internet if you do not reach out and link and connect with others. Make sure that you work to forge connections, on and offline.

Build your content and your audience based on your passions and you will attract an audience of like-minded people. They will inspire you with questions and theories and unique points of view that will spawn completely new thoughts of your own. This in turn becomes the idea factory that will help you consistently generate lots of great, share-worthy content.

Posted in Application Tips | Tagged , , , ,

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.

Posted in Application Tips | Tagged , , , , , ,

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:

social media persona

 

 

 

 

***
Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll receive our expert advice straight in your mailbox before it appears on the blog, plus special offers, promotions, discounts, invitations to events, and more.

Posted in Application Tips, General | Tagged , , , ,

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.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Posted in General | Tagged , , , ,