The Ultimate Guide for Crushing an MBA Fair — The Admit Lab

Philippe Barr, PhD
7 min readApr 29, 2023

Attending an MBA Fair can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re still trying to decide which program is right for you. With hundreds of business schools in attendance and lots of hard-sell tactics from recruiters, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget about the key aspects that can help make or break your success at these events. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide for crushing an MBA fair — because once you learn a few insider tips and tricks, all that intimidation will disappear!

What is an MBA fair?

MBA fairs are events designed to assist prospective students in understanding the nuances of different MBA programs and making informed decisions. The event typically involves one-on-one meetings with admissions officers, faculty members, and alumni representatives from various universities. Participants can learn about the program’s curriculum, its strengths and weaknesses, extracurricular activities, career prospects, and more.

Additionally, many MBA fairs also host seminars by subject matter experts on topics such as financing options for business school, interviewing tips, and resume-building advice. Attendees might even have the opportunity to apply for scholarships or get early acceptances. MBA fairs are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in pursuing a master of business administration degree.

5 Reasons Why Prospective MBA Students Should Attend MBA Fairs.

MBA fairs are a great opportunity for you to gain valuable insight into the MBA program of your choice.

Here are five reasons why attending an MBA fair can be beneficial:

  1. It gives you access to current and former MBA students who can provide valuable advice about the admissions process and what to expect in an MBA program.
  2. It allows you to network with faculty and alumni from different business schools and learn more about the culture of each school.
  3. You get a chance to ask questions directly to admissions directors and reps from top business schools around the world.
  4. Attending an MBA fair is a great way to compare different programs side-by-side and make sure that you have chosen the right one.
  5. MBA fairs provide the opportunity to gain access to exclusive scholarships and other funding opportunities that may not be available through traditional channels.

How Can An MBA Fair Help You in the Admissions Process?

Interacting with MBA admissions officers before submitting an application can provide you with a distinct advantage over other candidates. By engaging in conversations with the admissions team, you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about their prospective program and get an insider’s perspective of what it takes to stand out among a vast pool of applicants.

In addition, engaging directly with admissions officers can help demonstrate a sincere interest in pursuing an MBA from that particular school which is often viewed favorably by the selection committee.

Finally, being able to discuss experiences and goals face-to-face gives you an avenue for showcasing your unique personality and ambitions, which will be beneficial when considering more selective programs where competition is high.

What Are the Top MBA Fairs in the U.S. and Abroad?

MBA fairs are an ideal opportunity to meet with representatives from top universities and business schools in the US and abroad. The five most popular MBA fairs in the US are Access MBA, MBA Tour, Forte Foundation Fair, The Consortium, and QS World MBA Tour. These events provide students with information about different university programs, tuition costs, and other specifics related to pursuing an MBA degree. Some of these events also include presentations by experienced professionals and alumni who can provide valuable insight into their respective industries or field.

Additionally, representatives from each school will be on hand to answer questions about their program offerings. These events provide an invaluable opportunity to network with business school representatives, alumni, and potential employers. You should take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about your desired MBA program and make the most informed decision possible when selecting a university or business school.

Plan your conversations

Before you put on your suit and tie, do some research on the schools attending the fair. Create a list of your top schools and prioritize which booths you want to visit first. Familiarize yourself with the programs offered, their rankings, and what makes them unique. This will not only save you time at the fair but also show that you’re serious and have done your homework.

Attending an MBA fair can be overwhelming, as you’ll likely be bombarded with information from various schools. To avoid getting lost in the sea of information, it’s best to plan out the conversations you want to have beforehand. Research the schools that will be in attendance, and create a list of questions you want to ask each representative. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you gather all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Have a Game Plan for Talking to Admissions Representatives

Admissions representatives are there to answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process. Be prepared with a few questions that demonstrate your interest and knowledge about the school. This can include questions about the curriculum, faculty, student life, networking opportunities, scholarships, and anything else that matters to you. Don’t be afraid to ask about the areas where you need more clarity.

Dress to impress

Attending an MBA fair is a chance to make a great first impression with admissions representatives from your dream schools. Dress professionally, and bring copies of your resume to hand out to the admissions reps you speak with. You never know when an impromptu opportunity will arise to chat with someone from your target school, so be ready to sell yourself at all times. You don’t have to wear a full-blown suit or an evening gown but dress appropriately and professionally. Keep in mind that you’re representing yourself as a potential candidate for their school, so make sure your appearance reflects that.

Network, network, network

Attending an MBA fair is a fantastic opportunity to network with other prospective students, alumni, and admissions representatives. Not only can you learn more about the programs you’re interested in, but you may also make valuable connections that could come in handy down the road. Exchange contact information with anyone you meet at the fair, and follow up with them afterward to keep the conversation going.

Attend the presentations

Most MBA fairs offer presentations and workshops throughout the day, covering everything from application tips to program overviews. These sessions are a great way to learn more about the schools you’re interested in and gain valuable insights into the application process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during these sessions, and make note of any information that may be relevant to your application.

Many MBA fairs offer panel discussions that bring together current students, alumni, and admissions officers. This is a great opportunity to gain insights from people who are living and breathing the business school experience. Listen carefully to their stories and ask relevant questions. This will show that you’re curious and engaged, and it might also help you get a sense of the school culture.

Follow up

After the MBA fair is over, take some time to reflect on the experience and the information you gathered. Send thank-you notes to anyone you met at the fair who provided you with valuable information or assistance. Thank them for their time and express your continued interest in their school. This is also an opportunity to ask any additional questions that you might have thought of after the fair. This courtesy can leave a good impression and help you keep in touch with the school. This is also a great time to update your target schools on your continued interest in their programs and to express your gratitude for the opportunity to attend the fair.

Parting words…

Attending MBA fairs is an excellent way to further your education and your career. You can meet potential employers, network with peers, and obtain invaluable knowledge about the field. It’s important to properly prepare before attending an MBA fair, as doing so will help maximize your experience. Additionally, attending multiple MBA fairs is a great way to gain more exposure and open up a diverse array of job opportunities. All in all, it’s essential to take advantage of these events — use all the resources available to you! Don’t let this incredible opportunity pass you by; reach out now and get started! If you need assistance with MBA application services, check out our page and see what we have to offer. With the right preparation, attending an MBA fair can be an immensely rewarding experience that can set you up for success in the future.

With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Philippe spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Philippe has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.

Originally published at https://admit-lab.com on April 29, 2023.

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Philippe Barr, PhD

I am Philippe Barr, founder of The Admit Lab, a graduate school admissions consultancy that helps students get admitted into grad school: https://admit-lab.com/