Before I created my business to help ambitious professionals differentiate themselves in the job search, I was an MBA admissions recruiter for top Canadian schools. I interviewed hundreds of candidates and I can truly tell you what it means to stand out during MBA Recruiting.
Here’s my top tip: if you really want to get an MBA, it’s up to you to put in the effort that it takes to get accepted. Depending on the school you’re applying to, this may not be an easy feat.
Here are my top six strategies to help you stand out during MBA recruiting:
1. Attend an MBA Tour or Conference.
You might think that there’s no way an MBA program representative would remember you at an event like this, but you’d be surprised how important it is to make a face to face impression with your recruiters. Come prepared with key questions to ask school representatives and be sure to follow up with everyone you meet.
2. Attend info sessions at your targeted schools.
Again, this is all about getting more face time with the people who will be deciding your future. My top tip: attend an info session hosted by your target school. This is a great way to show your interest and, more importantly, your commitment to your MBA journey.
3. Visit the school.
One of the easiest ways to put yourself on the map is to visit your target schools. While you’re there, ask if you can arrange a visit to a class and a tour of the campus. Not only will this give you time to ask key questions, you’ll also get the opportunity to see what it would really be like to attend your target school.
4. Schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with the Admissions Manager.
This is something that you can absolutely do as a candidate. I recommend setting up at least a 20-30 minute informational interview. While you’re talking to them, see if you can find out more about how they recruit for their incoming class, what they look for in candidates, and what you can personally do to increase your chances of acceptance.
5. Talk to students and alumni.
This is your chance to think critically about your first and second degree network. Ask yourself: do I know anyone who went or is going to my target school? A great way to get your foot in the door, especially if you don’t meet the minimum admission requirements, is to get a reference from an alumni.
6. Talk to your target school’s career management.
These are the people who will help you land a job as you’re finishing your MBA, so it’s important that you get to know who they are and what they can do for you. A strong career management department can mean the difference between landing the job of your dreams or getting stuck in a tough job search.
Are you thinking about getting your MBA and have questions about MBA recruiting? Let me know in the comments section!