1 Air your goals
Make a wish but keep it quiet otherwise it won't come true. However, the opposite should be said for your goals and ambitions in life. Say them out loud and let others hear what you have to say. That way they can also hold you to it. When it comes to your career and educational goals, telling admissions officers of some of the world's top business schools about your five year plan, where you see yourself in ten years time and how their EMBA program is going to help you get there, will show them you're a candidate committed to studying for this prestigious business degree.
2 Keep in touch
The business school application process doesn't happen overnight. From your initial research to sitting in the classroom and finally graduating often takes a number of years - but we know it's worth it in the end. When you're well and truly in the midst of the admissions process let the schools and programs you're applying to know how you're getting on with your application. Keep them in the loop with periodic emails - it lets them know that you're committed to their program. Just make sure you do keep it to the occasional email though - daily correspondence is simply over the top.
3 Invest wisely
Applying to do your Executive MBA is a serious financial commitment. You're potentially going to be handing over thousands of dollars, pounds or euros to achieve this qualification. Chances are, with many companies tightening up on corporate sponsorship, which may previously have helped fund your business school experience, you need to make sure that you're investing your money in the right place. Do your research before, during and after you attend the QS World Executive MBA Tour to make sure you have chosen to enrol in an EMBA degree with a school that is the right fit for you.
4 Start networking
Look around you, while at the fair. Not only are you surrounded by admissions officers and alumni from some of the world's top business schools, you are also in the company of hundreds of other Executive MBA candidates in the same situation as you are - so start networking. The QS World Executive MBA Tour is designed to help candidates with their business school research, but you may find you can get just as much advice from those likeminded individuals also waiting in line to ask that admissions officer a question. Find out which program they're looking at, ask them about their research so far, discuss your different approaches to applying for EMBA funding, and swap business cards. It's never too early to start networking, and we all know how important that can be in the business world.
5 Is it an EMBA you're after?
If you're looking for a qualification that will enable you to continue working, while learning a variety of skills from accounting to corporate finance and marketing to personal development, then start researching Executive MBA programs. Chances are, with such a wish list in hand, this business school qualification is right for you. If you're looking for more specific skills to progress your career however, as opposed to a general overview or a qualification that is going to look deeper into the world of subjects such as finance, accounting, economics or management, then don't be afraid to pursue a specialist masters program. It all comes back to doing what is right for you - and doing what it takes to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
We also asked some of the business schools travelling with us this fall to tell us their piece of advice for candidates
Get the information you really need
IE Business School
We would recommend that candidates do their homework before coming to the fair. Almost all schools have information on their websites and it is worth studying this and preparing your key questions for the fair. Not only does this give a better impression to the school's representative, but it also means you will get the information you really need.
Make yourself known
Arizona State University (ASU)
Be an active participant in the recruiting and application process. Our recruiting team appreciates applicants who make themselves known and conduct personal outreach. You should tell us about your professional strengths and areas of development. Know about the W. P. Carey MBA program and have a vision of how the experience will develop and maintain your career trajectory after graduation.
Preparation is key
Columbia Business School
Our one piece of advice is to come prepared. You want to make the most of your time with the admissions officer and the best way to do that is to be able to ask him or her questions on which you would like further clarification or to discuss what you learned at a class visit, information session etc. By researching and learning about the program ahead of time, you can use your conversation with the admissions officer to shed more light on particular areas of interest to you, rather than information you can find more broadly on the website.
Do your research
Fuqua School of Business
Candidates would be well advised to research the schools in which they're interested before the fair, so they are not using valuable face time to ask questions that could be answered with a cursory perusal of a website, eg. Do you have a minimum GMAT requirement? Do you offer scholarships? Resumes are welcome, but candidates should not ask an admissions officer to review a resume and provide a judgement on the likelihood of admission.
Attend as many information sessions as possible with other schools and sit in on a class at each institution. We tell prospective students that there is no better way to 'taste' the Fordham 'EMBA product' than to sit in and witness it firsthand. Upon sitting in on a class they will know if this school is the right fit or not and they can move forward from there.
The top 10 rules of fair etiquette
1. Don't ask questions that can be found in FAQs
2. Come with a resume if you have one handy
3. Don't ask whether the GMAT is absolutely necessary at the first meeting
4. Don't wear sandals - first impressions count
5. Don't be a brochure -napper
6. Try and attend the panel discussion and seminars
7. Ask whether you can meet alumni
8. Do your homework
9. Trust your instincts
10. Have fun