Making the Most of MBA Fairs

For many who are just embarking on their B-school journey, attending an MBA fair is a stellar way to meet admissions representatives from several programs and impress them with your thoughtfulness and preparation…in other words, stand out from the crowd.

QS Top MBA posted some advice yesterday for successfully navigating this invaluable MBA networking opportunity. Here are some key takeaways, whether you’re planning on attending  The MBA Tour, or any other geared toward aspiring B-school applicants.

The top 10 Rules of Fair Etiquette

1. Don’t ask questions that can be found in FAQs
2. Come with a resume if you have one handy
3. Don’t ask whether the GMAT is absolutely necessary at the first meeting
4. Don’t wear sandals ”“ first impressions count
5. Don’t be a brochure ”“napper
6. Try and attend the panel discussion and seminars
7. Ask whether you can meet alumni
8. Do your homework
9. Trust your instincts
10. Have fun

Lack of preparation is the kiss of death at MBA fairs. A small amount of time researching a school can ensure that representatives are intrigued with applicants, rather than bored by questions that can easily be found on an institution’s website. Naturally, this means that coming up with queries that are fresh and original will be vital in making sure that you stand out amid a sea of would-be applicants.

Another bit of advice: try to narrow your choices down to a few business schools. This allows you to focus your research and prevents you from wasting your time talking to schools that you may later find out cost too much, don’t offer your preferred electives, or expect a higher GMAT score than you can deliver.

Finally, in the words of Christie St John, senior associate director of recruiting and enrollment at Tuck School of Business,  “The most memorable candidates are those who have done some research on what an MBA is and is not.”

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