As a prospective business school student, you may be curious about the admissions receptions that many schools hold, both domestically and abroad. Here are some tips about how to make a great impression at MBA admissions receptions.
- Don’t feel obligated to ask questions.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to the presentation. Please don’t feel like you have to raise your hand just for the sake of speaking.
- If you do ask questions, be thoughtful.
The best questions cover information that you can’t just find on the website. Inquiries about the culture, favorite aspects of the school, new programs and how to connect with students and alums can all be appropriate.
- Don’t ask for a profile evaluation.
It is rarely (if ever) appropriate to ask an admissions officer to assess your chances of admission. Receptions are an especially poor place to ask for feedback about your individual candidacy, so please refrain.
- Don’t ask the admissions officer to sell you on their school.
While hosting receptions around the globe, I was often asked to explain why Tuck was the best MBA program, or why this applicant should choose Tuck over other schools. This is not a good tactic – there is no one “best” MBA program, and while most representatives are very positive about the schools they represent they are not going to denigrate other programs.
- Be polite.
Admissions officers notice people, and they remember behavior. It does not look good to arrive late, talking on your cell phone, or to sit in the front row texting and watching you tube videos. The admissions officer hosting the reception may well interview you at a later date, or lead an on campus information session, and you want them to have a positive association with you.
- Keep it simple.
If you feel comfortable approaching the admissions representative, but don’t have anything in particular to say, consider introducing yourself and thanking them for the presentation. Be positive about the school and gracious – and bring business cards in case the officer asks you for your contact information.