The MBA Tour will reach the four corners of the globe this fall, having four separate tours in Asia, India, Europe, and the United States, followed by tours to Latin America (October) and Canada (November). The tour events provide you with great opportunities to meet with school representatives and learn more about the schools. However, fairs also can devolve into mind-numbing circuits of big, crowded halls where you collect shiny brochures that will gather dust and nothing more.
We asked MBA expert, Peter von Loesecke, CEO and Managing Director of The MBA Tour LLC a few questions about the MBA scene and about making the most of your attendance at The MBA Tour events.
Here is our short interview. I think you will find Peter’s responses thought-provoking.
A: What key 3 trends do you see affecting MBA education today?
PVL: The three key trends I see facing MBA education today are:
1. A soft market for full time MBA education: Challenged by the current economic realities in the developed world, many students in North America (The US in particular) and Europe are having a hard time justifying the tuition and opportunity costs of a full time MBA.
2. Part-time and weekend programs are becoming popular: As a result of 1, some schools recognize that students want to remain employed so they are offering weekend programs. University of Michigan and University of Chicago both offer weekend programs that broaden their appeal beyond the local part-time market.
3. In some countries rankings are becoming absurdly influential: Parents and students in the developing world place too much credence in rankings. By way of example, I was asked by an agent if I used school rankings to select schools for my son who is applying to undergraduate schools. I had to explain to him that school choice for parents who are involved in their kid’s application cycle use rankings to validate a particular school’s reputation. The remaining factors for selecting a school involve researching what the school offers for my son in terms of major, lifestyle, learning environment, and extra- curricular activities, which the rankings do not consider in much detail other than a check list. The same is true for MBA programs although the scope of education is much narrower.
LA: What are your 3 top tips for applicants participating in The MBA Tour events?
PVL: 1. Come prepared; research the schools in the event ahead of time. We post them. And bring your resume.
2. Dress appropriately; don’t look like you just came from the beach.
3. Take the MBA Spotlight survey to do a little self discovery on what is important to you. If you match to a school, great, if you do not match, no big deal.
LA: How can applicants appropriately follow up after attending The MBA Fair?
PVL: After the event I recommend students follow up with a personal message to school representatives assuming you have their email. Never call a representative you met at an MBA Tour event unless invited to do so.