Power of a Handshake Still Reigns Supreme

handshakeNo matter how sophisticated online communication has become these days, there’s still no substitute for a good ol’ fashioned handshake, many admissions directors say.

“We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way people communicate with one another. Interaction is increasingly channeled through social media ”“ Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and others,” says Mae Jennifer Shores (UCLA, Anderson) in an article covering a recent MBA Tour event posted here. “Yet when it comes to the critical decision as to who to admit to our MBA programs, we still largely rely on face-to-face interaction wherever possible. There is no substitute for the live, real-time exchange of ideas and energy that occur when people meet in person.”

The MBA Tour offers prospective students one-on-one time offline with top business school representatives. The final decision makers, the admissions directors, travel with the tour and take part in events around the world. As Randall Sawyer from Cornell’s Johnson School notes in the piece, “We enjoy meeting potential future students in person and those who make a great first impression will definitely stay in our minds. The internet may be a great tool for information, but you still can’t shake someone’s hand through a computer screen.”

Without a doubt, universities and The MBA Tour recognize the power of social networking to reach out to potential students, but face to face interaction gives students the chance to not only have their questions answered but also to make a lasting impression and one that will come to mind when the these same key decision makers read their application letters later on.

So how can potential students make a lasting first impression? The MBA Tour advises event visitors to come fully prepared by first conducting background research on the schools they would like to meet and coming with a list of questions ready. Using websites, blogs and key social networking groups can help students to carry those online conversations into a personal exchange with the directors.

(handshake image courtesy of Flickr user Andyrob, CC 2.0)


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