Impress MBA Admissions Officers: Master the Art of Making an Impact

**Tips for Enhancing Your MBA Application through Socializing**

The stress of applying to MBA programs skyrockets as deadlines approach. MBA admissions officers can seem like imposing guardians at the gates of the prestigious business schools at which you long to be accepted. You may wonder if they will even read your application, or just reject you out of hand.

But here’s a tip that will help defuse your anxiety and also enhance your application. Get out and socialize at events organized by the MBA programs you are considering. Whether you attend a fair, such as The MBA Tour, or a smaller event hosted by a single school, consider this your chance to practice the social skills that are so important in business school. You may even have fun!

**Meeting MBA Admissions Officers and Alumni**

If you are nervous about meeting actual members of the admissions committee, remember that MBA programs spend a lot of time and energy traveling all over the world looking to recruit great candidates. They are hoping to meet you! You will see that they are real people who sincerely welcome your interest in their programs.

Another perk of attending these events is the opportunity to meet local alumni, who will be glad to tell you how much they loved their MBA years and how the MBA helped them get ahead. Their experience and advice can be especially useful if you are considering doing your MBA in a different region, or even outside your home country. If you do graduate from their school, they may well become part of your local network.

**Making Connections with Other Applicants**

At these events, you will also meet other applicants. Don’t think of them as competition, but as people with whom you might soon find yourself in a study group, or even sharing an apartment!

**Practicing Good Social Skills**

This is definitely not the moment to act like The Wolf of Wall Street. Be sure to practice your best social skills. Remember that some business schools place such great importance on your ability to work together with others that interviews are conducted in groups.

So do not treat this as an occasion to corner the admissions officer and brag about your personal triumphs or grandiose plans.

**Impressing Admissions Officers: Advice from Rodrigo Malta**

What should you do instead? Rodrigo Malta, the managing director of MBA Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, spends almost a third of his work life on the road, meeting prospective applicants. He was happy to answer the question, “What is the most favorable impression that you, as someone who may be reading the application of someone you meet, can take away from a brief meeting with an applicant at a public event?”

According to Malta, “Prospective students that stand out at a public event are courteous, have done their research and recognize and can relate well with other candidates in the public event. A great way to stand out at an MBA fair setting is to build on another prospective student’s question and ensuring everyone interacting with the admissions officer is invited, and welcomed in the conversation.”

**Demonstrating Collaborative Spirit**

By being the person who creates a sense of shared interests and purpose, you will be demonstrating the spirit of collaboration that is prized by business schools today. Team spirit will become something more than an empty claim on your application. This is a chance for admissions officers to see your character in action.

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