MBA students and applicants live and breathe through social media, which is a good thing, considering the growing demand in the business world for employees with honed social media skills. According to a recent Financial Times article—which quotes me—this relatively new form of social dialogue is revolutionizing the way business schools interact with applicants, students, companies and alumni.
Social media is a topic that interests me greatly, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube make up a huge part of my company’s communication efforts and help reinforce my brand reputation. Last year, I wrote a post for my U.S. News blog in which I discussed some of the courses in social media now available at business schools. In it, I explain that familiarity with the various forms of social media communication is no longer enough; graduates have to be able to transfer this experience into the commercial landscape.
Harvard Business School professor Misiek Psikorski, who teaches a course called Competing with Social Networks, agrees, telling FT that social media presents a new way of approaching markets, and “It is critical for our students to understand these media.”
One important point that I make in the FT article concerns managing one’s online presence, particularly where b-school applicants are concerned. MBA admissions committees are increasingly tech-savvy, and often research applicants’ Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to confirm information on an application and generally check for appropriateness in his or her online persona.
If you have concerns about how you might be perceived by AdCom, read this SBC Scoop on Matching Your Face(book) to Your Name, which explains in detail how one client handled this situation.
Today’s students don’t see social media as a trend; rather, this is a generation that has grown up with the Internet. Business schools, like any enterprise, must adapt and evolve to this new reality in order to prepare graduates who can develop and manage marketing strategies that address the nuances of the online world.