In lieu of in-person events, more recruitment events are going online. And while there are some commonalities with in-person events, there are some important differences too. Read on for 10 tips that will help you get the most from a virtual business master’s event.
Before: Prep for virtual business master’s event success
Take these steps in the time leading up to the event to be sure you’re ready for the big day.
1. Think about your business school story
“Tell me about yourself” is a question you’ll be asked many times. Take time before the event to think about how you want to present yourself to the programs you’re interested in so that you have something ready to paste into the chat box or share over video. Your ‘elevator pitch’ needs to convey who you are and why you’re considering business school – in short, your personal brand.
Mba.com’s free guide, How to Get Started: Applying to Business School as an Undergrad or Recent Graduate, gives you insider advice on how to develop your personal brand and tell a compelling story to stand out in the admissions process and get into one of your top choice business master’s programs.
2. Read all the pre-event content
In advance of an event expect to receive emails about it. They are likely to be a mix of logistical information and helpful tips and advice. Yes, it’s tempting to hit delete but read it all to be sure you’re up-to-date and ready to go.
And don’t overlook school emails. These are a great way to discover schools and programs you may not have initially considered but can meet at the event.
3. Make your personal event schedule
Building your personal agenda in advance helps you maximize your time and get the most out of what’s offered. And don’t forget to block the space in your personal calendar!
4. Prepare questions
Schools love to be asked questions that you couldn’t have used Google to answer! Research the schools taking part and think of questions you have for them. Keep these best practices in mind:
- Do your homework. Look at the websites of the schools and programs taking part and make notes of questions that pop into your mind that you can’t find answers to.
- Ask good questions. Good questions are ones that help you and apply to other attendees as well. Pro tips: ask open-ended vs. yes or no questions, and don’t ask questions that are answered on schools’ websites or with a simple Google search.
- Topics to ask about. There are lots of topics you could ask about such as the curriculum or pedagogy, student life, and career support and outcomes. Read this article for some ideas.
During: Be your best self
Keep these tips in mind for showtime!
5. Dress the part (on your top half, at least)
It can be tempting to dress casually for an event that you won’t leave the house for, but don’t make that mistake! Dressing the part signals to the schools you’ll interact with that you’re taking the event seriously and value their time. Looking your best will also boost your confidence and help you get in the right mindset to have professional interactions. Dress smart, be smart!
6. Check your tech before things get started
Plan to log in to the event a few minutes early to be sure your video and audio are working properly. Not only should you be able to see the presentation and the presenters, but you’ll also want to make sure that if there is time to ask questions or get any one-on-one facetime with a school representative, that you can do so without difficulty and not miss your opportunity.
Bonus tip: Make sure you have a quiet space in your home to use during the event. If you live with family or roommates, let them know in advance if you’re going to be using a common space. Minimize distractions as best you can and be present.
7. Virtual etiquette and best practices
Let’s be honest: virtual interactions can be awkward. Without the benefit of being face-to-face, it’s easy to accidentally talk over someone or miss unsaid social cues, like facial expressions or body language. Here are some simple things to keep in mind:
- Stay positive. Keep things upbeat and you’ll make a better impression. Be patient and remember that everyone is doing their best to manage the virtual environment.
- Be on time. Always arrive on time to sessions, or even a little in advance if you can.
- Try to not speak over others. It’s sometimes easier said than done but be courteous about jumping in to speak. If you and someone else try to speak simultaneously, a good approach is to allow them to speak, and make clear that you would like to speak next.
- Don’t stress. Understand going into the event that you may not get the opportunity to speak as much as you would like to. Rest assured that you will have plenty of other opportunities to engage directly with admissions staff in the future.
8. Don’t be afraid to engage—be active!
Maximize what you get out of the event by engaging as much as possible. Post questions in the chat, explore the environment, and don’t be afraid to connect with other attendees. Schools are eager to engage with you, so come into the event ready to reciprocate.
After: Position yourself for your business master’s applications
You’re not done yet! Here’s two tips for post-event success.
9. Follow-up with schools
Meeting a school representative at an event is only the beginning of your interactions and relationship with them. After you’ve had a chance to introduce and “pitch” yourself, ask for their contact information.
The rule of thumb is to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of meeting. In your email you can identify yourself, thank them again for their time, and tell them you want to stay in touch. After that you’ll want to maintain the conversation through the application process.
10. Create an mba.com account and opt-in to GMASS
Continue your engagement with your target schools and help them find you by creating an mba.com account and opting into the Graduate Management Admission Search Service (GMASS). Answer just a few simple questions to complete your profile so the schools you’re interested in can send you details about their programs, scholarship opportunities, and more!