Attending MBA fairs will allow you to learn more about programs you are interested in, narrow down your schools and make a good impression on admissions representatives. Prepare yourself to get the most out of your experience!

Before you go
Research is a must: consider variables such as location, faculty, financial aid, completion time, etc. Asking questions at the fair that can easily be found on a school’s website is a waste of time. Ask yourself what a program can offer based on your post-MBA career goals, and think of a few direct and specific questions for schools you’re targeting. With the sheer volume of attendees, asking unusual, different or insightful questions can set you apart and work to your advantage.

The day of the fair
Dress and act professionally. Convey how serious you are as an applicant; MBA fairs are about finding a program that is a good fit for you, but they are also part of building a professional network. Dress like someone a representative (or another attendee) would like to be connected with.

Ask questions. You did your research, and you’re an interested candidate; now is the time to let these schools know how serious you are.

Get a feel for other attendees who are interested in the same programs you are. Are they a diverse group? Would you like to get to know these people? Do you feel comfortable around them? Remember, this is about you, and identifying a program that is right for your needs.

Get contact information! If things are going smoothly and you feel you’ve left a good impression, don’t leave without learning how to get in contact with the program’s representative.

After the fair
Following up is a crucial step for successful networking. Think about the top programs that the fair allowed you to narrow down. Which school felt right for you? Which representatives did you feel a connection with? When following up be sure to include:

  • Which event you interacted at.
  • A quick reiteration of your goals and key conversation points to jog their memory.
  • An indication of your interest in the program.

As an applicant, be sure to take advantage of MBA fairs. They provide a great opportunity to learn more about which programs are the best fit for you and allow you to demonstrate interest in these programs.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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