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Information Sessions

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bluementor Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Information Sessions

Post Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:48 am
First of all, welcome on board!

I'll be attending a couple of MBA fairs and information sessions very soon. I'd like to know how could one reap the most benefit from such sessions.

Are there any specific questions to be asked during these sessions?

Why do schools have these info sessions when most information relevant to admissions and the academic life in those schools are already available on the web? Is this just suppose to be an advertising exercise for them?

BlueMentor

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Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
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Top Reply
Post Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:36 am
bluementor wrote:
First of all, welcome on board!

I'll be attending a couple of MBA fairs and information sessions very soon. I'd like to know how could one reap the most benefit from such sessions.

Are there any specific questions to be asked during these sessions?

Why do schools have these info sessions when most information relevant to admissions and the academic life in those schools are already available on the web? Is this just suppose to be an advertising exercise for them?

BlueMentor
Hi BlueMentor,

Thanks for your post! MBA fairs and info sessions are a nice way to pick up the latest literature from a school, hear from the adcom about admissions policies, chat with alumni and generally understand a school's marketing pitch. In other words, you should view these events as fact-finding/knowledge-gathering trips. There are three reasons that this can be helpful:

1) You may pick up some data/facts/tid-bits that you can then mention in your essays - when answering the 'why school X' question. This will allow you to go beyond the general stereotypes and show the schools that you know a little something about what they offer.

2) You may learn something that helps you in an MBA interview. For example, when an interviewer asks you what you like about their program, you might point to an info session you attended where you had a nice conversation with an alum working in your target field and how that alum highlighted some of the key coursework you're enthusiastic about, etc.

3) You may be able to narrow your school selection. It's very possible that by attending these sessions or speaking with schools at the MBA fairs, you end up learning that a school may not be for you. This is valuable information to have - since you should never apply to a program that you would not be perfectly happy to attend.

One final thought on info sessions and fairs:

Applicants should never approach these events as a chance to "talk their way in" to a school. Admissions officers and alums typically have a lot of folks to speak with, and the last thing they like is the candidate who is constantly lurking and monopolizing their time. While it's almost impossible to say something to an adcom or alum that will get you into a school - it's actually possible to talk yourself out of admission (by being a pest who asks too many questions, wants extensive personal/profile feedback, is obnoxious, etc). This is not to say that you shouldn't engage the adcom members and alums in discussion - you just need for the aim to be fact-gathering and the approach to be polite, etc.

Best of luck,

Graham

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