1 . Don't ask questions that can be found in FAQs
Stand out from the crowd. You don't always have long when meeting admissions officers, particularly at education fairs such as the QS World Executive MBA Tour. The answers to most FAQs can usually be found on business school websites so make sure you do your research first. Write down a list of questions to ask the directors that are unique to you and leave a lasting impression.
2. Come with a resumé if you have one handy
Registering for the QS World Executive MBA Tour isn't enough - you need to be prepared. Do your research into which schools are attending, focus your energies on your preferred programs and have your resumé handy. Most admissions directors are there for that initial meeting of prospective candidates, so don't expect to be handing out your resumé to everyone you meet, but in case you're asked, it always pays to be prepared.
3. Don't ask whether the GMAT is absolutely necessary at the first meeting
Almost all EMBA programs will require applicants to sit the GMAT. Some may waive them if they feel a candidate has the right skills, but that's something to be discussed further down the track. The GMAT requires time, commitment and focus - much like the EMBA itself, so having the GMAT shows admissions directors you have the motivation to pursue this qualification. However, if the first thing you ask is: do I really need the GMAT? - how will that reflect on your motivation?
4. Don't wear sandals
It may sound like a cliché, but that age-old saying first impressions last remains true. An ironed shirt and polished shoes will go a long way to letting the admissions directors know you're serious about pursuing their qualification. The QS World Executive MBA Tour does provide you with a relaxed atmosphere in which to meet with directors - but consider your appearance. It could make all the difference.
5. Don't be a brochure-napper
Business school websites will have all the information you need when researching your EMBA program - for starters anyway. But no amount of time in front of the computer can replace the value of being able to meet with admissions directors of top international EMBA programs face to face. Don't spend all your time at the fair browsing tables and filling your bag with brochures and school prospectuses, engage in conversation with the admissions directors and alumni.
6. Try and attend the panel discussion, seminars
The QS World Executive MBA Tour has an extensive range of panel discussions and seminars available at each of its fairs - so make the most of them. This is your opportunity to listen to the admissions directors and alumni from some of the world's top EMBA programs discuss topics such as the full time versus the Executive MBA. Some panel discussions also include industry recruiters.
7. Ask whether you can meet alumni
You'll find out just as much, if not more, about business school life from those who have lived to tell the tale. Ask to speak with the alumni of the EMBA programs you are most interested in to find out what advice and recommendations they'd give you as a prospective EMBA candidate. They'll be able to tell you about course workload, time management, specializations on offer and perhaps most importantly about that work/life/study balance.
8. Do your homework
Start your business school search by using a personalized ranking such as Scorecard at www.topmba.com. Draw up a list of the EMBA programs which suit your individual criteria, whether that be program type, specialization, funding availability or location. You're now one step closer to choosing your school. Next, map out the questions you need to ask to decide between these schools and focus on talking to them at the fair.
9. Trust your instincts
You're considering investing a lot of time, energy and money into an Executive MBA program so make sure it's the right one for you. Trust your instincts when you meet officers and alumni. Each school has a unique culture and you want to enjoy your time there. Selecting a school is a two way process and you have to feel motivated by the people you meet.
10. Party time - well have fun at least
The QS World Executive MBA Tour is a fabulous opportunity to meet with some of the world's top EMBA programs so enjoy the experience. Don't get nervous and uptight about it - simply relax and take things as they come. If you have to wait to speak with one of your chosen schools, use the time to listen in on the conversation next to you - you never know what you might find out. So, sign up to the QS World Executive MBA Tour today!