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4 Best Practices for Preparing and Asking questions during an MBA Tour

MBA Tour Questions to AskMBA Tour sessions will generally be divided into three sections: Business School presentation, Q&A with Admissions Officer (and Alumni) & Networking. As you might have read in the post – Tips during MBA Tour, asking questions is a critical aspect of MBA Tours. Here are the four Best practices about preparing and asking questions during an MBA Tour.

1) Categorize Questions

When you are researching about Business Schools and MBA programs, categorize the questions into four sections – Business School (reputation among recruiters), MBA Program (Curriculum, Teaching Methodology, Funding, and Flexibility), Career Opportunities (Post MBA Career Opportunities & Job Placement Trends among Alumni), and Experience (Class Environment, Exchange, Professors, City, People, Job Search, Recruiters and Alumni Network). Make sure that you write down the questions in your notepad, and categorize them accordingly. If the Business School presentation has covered a question, don’t ask a question just for the sake of it. If you have a genuine follow-up questions, then ask, otherwise, cut them off from your list, and focus on other ones.

2) Question Context

This is a tough advice to follow. MBA Tour environment is such that the Admissions Officers and Alumni are expecting questions to flow from the aspirants. But you can be different, and strike up a conversation before going into Q&A mode. You don’t have to go into an extensive introduction, but building rapport is important to get answers to some of the tough questions. Context is important when you ask a question. Don’t just ask questions like “What is the Salary increase in Consulting.” It is always better to give a context by giving your background and your post-MBA goals. If you are switching an industry or function, share what you would do after an MBA, and ask whether the plans are feasible. When you give context, and build a rapport, Alumni can be surprisingly honest. Ask the Alumni about some of the goals that they have achieved with an MBA. Listen carefully how they answer this question. If you have a good B.S detector, you will understand whether they are exaggerating or being genuine.

3) Ask Tough Questions

If you are stuck with the questions that you can easily find answers through Business School website and other research articles, then you will have very little opportunity to ask the tough questions. Cut off all the easy questions from your list. Remember - although MBA Tours are a great opportunity to meet Alumni and Admissions Officers, time is limited, and if you are planning to meet 5-6 Business School representatives and Alumni, then focus on the tough questions. So what exactly are the tough questions? Don’t ask the Business School team about the drop in ranking, unless the drop is substantial. The ranking methodology and criteria are different across MBA Ranking publications. Expect some fluctuation in ranking (3-10 positions). Tough questions should be related to post-MBA Job trends and achievement of career goals. If you have seen a shift in recruiting trends, ask the alumni about their experience. Don’t just ask them about the numbers. They might probably have not researched the employment reports like how you might have done. But if you ask them about their experience, they might give you some insights that cannot be found in a report. Numbers in itself give very little context. Context comes through experience, and alumni, are the best group of people to give you that.

4) Ask about Experience

What are the questions that can be categorized under “Experience Questions”? The answer is simple – whatever is important to you. For most aspirants, achievement of post-MBA Goals are important while for others, the learning environment is crucial, while for a certain section - the diversity of the class and the competence of professors has more value. Whatever it is – note them down.

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