Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday Tips

June 11, 2019

Tuesday Tips: Five Things to Do at MBA Fairs

MBA fairs are an early opportunity for you to get in front of admissions officers from schools across the globe, many whom travel to your city in the hopes of meeting well-prepared MBA prospects.

Don’t quite know how to get the most out of an MBA fair? Here is a list of five things to do:

1. Be generous with the programs you will consider early on in the process.

Remember, there are a number of programs that may be a good fit for you. Be careful not to limit yourself early in the process.

Take time to think about what you are looking for in an MBA program. Are you looking for a full-time or part-time program? Would having the best of both worlds — an online hybrid program — fit the bill? Is there a world region that best suits your needs?

2. Prepare for the event.

Review the website of your priority list of schools. Have a basic understanding of how the unique selling proposition for a school fits with your wish list.

For instance, when reading the Tepper School’s website, you will come away knowing that we focus on leadership and analytics, have a small community that is a little different than others, and that we offer a full-time, part-time, and online hybrid option for delivering our MBA program.

3. Dress the part.

Experts say that first impressions are formed within seconds of meeting someone. To be sure that you are making a good first impression with admissions officers, dress appropriately for the event. There is no dress code, per se. However, you don’t want to be remembered for wearing inappropriate attire. That doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit; most often, a pair of slacks or skirt for women and a collared shirt for men will be just fine.

4. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with alumni at recruiting events.

Alumni have unique perspectives. Not only have they gone through the MBA program, they have moved on to the next stage of their career and have a real appreciation for the impact their program has had on their professional journey.

They will have insights into not only their experience but the experience of their classmates and they are happy to share the information with you. Don’t be surprised if an alum hands you their business card and invites you to stay in touch with them. Remember, they are part of our recruiting team and are invested in each MBA class the follows them.

5. Engage in a conversation and let the admissions officer know why you are targeting their school.

A polished introduction that clearly states why you want to attend B-school, what skill gaps you are looking to fill, and how you believe their program will help you to be successful will get the conversation started.

From an admissions officer’s perspective, we take particular note of candidates who arrive prepared, are knowledgeable about our program, and are able to articulate why they are interested in the Tepper School. This approach signals that you are serious about your MBA search and we’ll remember you for this reason.

My colleagues and I look for you on the road this summer and throughout the fall!

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