Access MBA TourIt’s MBA tour season again. And along with it comes our advice for using these events to your benefit in the admissions process.

First, the what

MBA tours, or fairs, are like job fairs for business school candidates.  Traveling city to city, they offer a great opportunity for you to attend panels, accumulate admissions and GMAT advice, speak 1×1 with admissions officers from your target schools, pick up brochures, and evaluate which programs are the best fits for you. In addition, it gives the admissions officers a chance to hear questions directly from the front lines, and make connections with prospective applicants.

Why bother?

I can just do my school research online, can’t I?  Yes, and you absolutely should.  However, attending an MBA fair can expose you to programs you may not have considered.  It enables you to hear diverse panelist perspectives on topics that will help you in the admissions process. And it gives you the unique chance to get your questions answered firsthand, demonstrate your passion for your target programs, and make a favorable impression on the admissions representatives well before you even apply. (And they will remember you.)

How to get it right

Knowing this, it’s important to put your best foot forward and use these events to your advantage.  Here are 5 tips to ensure you make the most of your MBA fair experience:

  • Remember that every touch point with the school reflects you as a candidate, be it with the head of admissions or the receptionist.  Smile, offer a confident hand shake, show your enthusiasm, and be professional with whomever you speak.
  • Do your homework.  Nothing shows your interest like coming armed with thoughtful questions, beyond what can be found on the website.  Ask about a topic that intrigues you, an aspect of the curriculum, campus initiatives.  Show your sincere curiosity about the MBA program, rather than simply a desire for face time.
  • Book 1×1 sessions when possible.  Some offer a chance to reserve a time slot to meet with the admissions team privately or in a small group.  If you’re genuinely interested in an MBA program, don’t miss this chance to leave your mark and build a relationship with the school in advance of applying.
  • Bring your business cards and resume.  It is a perfectly appropriate gesture, and it can offer a nice touch that will help the admissions officers remember you.
  • Be open-minded.  One of the best aspects of an MBA fair is the chance to learn more about programs that may be a fit for you.  Walk around, engage others, and gather insights.

Upcoming MBA Tours:

If you’re considering applying to business school, the following upcoming events are not to be missed:
The Access MBA Tour: May 22, 2013 (New York City) + additional dates overseas
The Access MBA Tour, held on 5 continents and 65 locations, is the worldwide leader in one-to-one MBA recruitment events.  Coming to NYC on May 22, the tour brings together elite US and international business schools and high-caliber MBA candidates.  Its unique format matches candidates with MBA programs that meet their needs and criteria.  Candidates then meet one-on-one with MBA admissions directors in 20-minute intervals.  At no charge, event participants can also benefit from individual MBA consulting sessions and GMAT advising.  To learn more or register now, CLICK HERE.

The Economist Which MBA? Online Fair: May 29-June 2, 2013 (via Internet)

This premier online event enables MBA hopefuls to meet business schools from around the world from the comfort of their own homes.  They can chat with admissions officers, join webinars, watch videos, and find out which MBA programs are right for them.  It’s free to attend, but space is limited, so CLICK HERE to learn more or sign up today.

The MBA Tour: July 18-30, 2013 (8 US cities) + additional dates overseas

Traveling to 8 major US cities this summer, the MBA Tour emphasizes personal interaction between prospective MBA students, business school admissions representatives, alumni and other like-minded education enthusiasts. Established in 1993, they have built their reputation based on representing the top business schools from North America and overseas.  To find your nearest city and register, CLICK HERE.

The QS MBA Tour: Sept. 9-Nov.2 2013 (21 N. American cities) + additional dates overseas

Taking place in 21 major North American cities this fall, the QS World MBA Tour is the world’s largest MBA fair.  Throughout the fall, these distinguished MBA events offer panel discussions on the latest MBA topics and trends, presentations from elite admissions and GMAT experts, school matching, and the chance to speak face to face with admissions committee members.  To find your nearest city and register, CLICK HERE.  (Bring a copy of this blog post and mention Shine for free admission).  Note: a second NYC event is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2013; more info will be posted shortly.

[For personalized advice on assessing your candidacy for your target business schools, please contact us at]

© Hillary Schubach, May 8, 2013, 10:13am MT

With content adapted from our blog post originally published on June 5, 2012