As future MBA applicants launch their admissions campaigns, one key aspect to keep in mind is how to best engage with “influencers” who can make a difference in the outcome of the campaign. These individuals include students and administrators at targeted schools, local alumni, and potential recommenders. It’s important to convey the personal attributes and behaviors that MBA programs value most in a candidate.
There’s no second chance to make a good first impression. So here are 10 timely tips from The MBA Exchange to help you present yourself in the most positive light when meeting influencers:
2. "Break the ice" with a friendly, positive observation about the setting you’re in.
3. Ask for and use the other person’s name naturally throughout the conversation.
4. Inject a little humor now and then, especially if the joke is about yourself.
5. Ask sincere questions on relevant topics and express appreciation for the answers.
6. Find some "common ground" – a mutual interest or experience — as quickly as possible.
7. Share something about yourself about which the other person would be unlikely to ask.
8. Offer to follow up with some information or an introduction that could benefit the other person.
9. Be respectful of the other person’s time and priorities by ending the conversation graciously with sincere thanks when it begins to slow down.
10. Follow up the next day with a brief email of appreciation for the conversation and suggestion to sustain this new connection.
With a bit of practice, these tips will become second nature. And the maturity, professionalism and authenticity of your MBA candidacy will shine through to everyone you meet throughout your admissions campaign.
Looking for more expert guidance and support to discover your strengths and mitigate your vulnerabilities? We’d like to get to know you through a free evaluation of your MBA candidacy, providing feedback to help you make even better first impressions.