The challenges of social distancing have forever changed the MBA program research process; there are now significantly more virtual research options. This has essentially leveled the playing field, as someone across the globe has just as much access to conduct school research as someone who lives five miles away from an MBA program.
Although we hope that in-person school visits resume in the future, everyone should be taking advantage of new ways to engage with MBA programs virtually. Here are five ways to stay on track in your virtual MBA research:
1. Check out all the newly improved school websites.
Most MBA programs have added a ton of new content to make the virtual research process easier than ever. You can go on virtual tours and listen to short videos about everything from courses to concentrations to case competitions. Although nothing could quite compare to seeing Kellogg’s Global Hub in person, the next best thing is to watch the school’s impressive virtual tour that allows you to explore not just the Evanston location but also all of Kellogg’s campuses around the world.
2. Contact MBA student ambassadors to find students with similar career interests.
Almost every MBA program has a student ambassador page where you can reach out to ask students about various clubs and classes. Find someone with similar career goals, and then learn about the clubs and courses they found most helpful. Reach out directly to the president or officers of clubs that interest you, such as the consulting and private equity clubs, and do not overlook affinity groups including veteran, pride, and women’s clubs—and even outdoor adventure clubs. One of my clients this past year made a real connection with an MBA student over their shared interest in hiking and camping.
3. Schedule time each week to do MBA school research.
Set aside regular time to watch MBA program webinars, and schedule calls with MBA students and alumni. If you reach out to five people each week with the goal of scheduling two MBA research calls per week, you could talk to 20 students in just 10 weeks! These conversations can be extremely helpful not just in helping you narrow down your favorite programs; they can also provide insight to draw upon in your essays when you describe why a program helps meet your needs or how you can add value to a club using your own unique skills.
4. Utilize other web resources, webinars, and podcasts to help you learn more.
You can also bookmark this link to watch our Stratus Admissions webinars, where we offer advice on school selection, essays, career goals, and many other topics related to the MBA admissions process. GMAT Club regularly schedules webinars hosted by both MBA programs and admissions consultants including our Stratus team. Poets&Quants has an MBA Watch service where you can anonymously submit your profile and get advice from top admissions consultants including our Stratus counselors. Read Poets&Quants’ articles and attend its online events as well. YouTube and Quora provide more places to learn and ask questions. Many MBA programs also produce podcasts where you can listen to professors and students being interviewed about various resources, so be sure to subscribe to podcasts hosted by schools on your radar. You can learn about MBA programs on walks and car drives just by tuning into MBA content podcasts.
5. Find a trusted advisor to help you stay focused during the MBA admissions process.
Our Stratus team offers free 30-minute consultations to answer any questions you have about the MBA admissions process. Reach out for a free consultation to get an idea of where you stand with your profile.
Donna Bauman is a Senior MBA Admissions Counselor at Stratus Admissions Counseling. She has over 15 years of experience working in MBA admissions at UNC Kenan-Flagler and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Her clients have received scholarship offers totaling over $2.5 million and she has conducted thousands of MBA interviews. Donna loves helping applicants present themselves in the most compelling way, and even has a certification in business storytelling.