The business school selection process has moved almost exclusively online amid social distancing and lockdown measures. A range of online options are now available to help prospective students make an informed choice.
Webinars for everything
Most schools now host regular webinars offering insight into what they look for in an applicant and how they evaluate applications. There are also webinars providing detailed presentations of specific programmes. For those who want to “test-drive” a programme, open online classes or masterclasses can be very useful. Many of these sessions are typically hosted by admissions teams and enable applicants to get details about the application and selection process, financing, visa, etc.
Schools are aware of the difficulties applicants face. That is why they are taking all kind of measures such as extending deadlines and conduction admission interviews online, to name a few. Do not hesitate to contact them if you can’t find the information you need. They will be more than happy to help you.
Individual advice from admissions directors
Prospective MBA applicants can meet admission directors individually from the comfort of their home for free, ask their questions and receive the latest and most reliable information. A leader in personalised MBA events for over 15 years now, Access MBA offers its highly personalised One-to-One events around the world online, in addition to in-person where possible, to enable MBA-bound prospects continue their search for business schools despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Once you sign up for an event, the Access MBA school selection consultants assess your professional background and MBA preferences. After this evaluation, you may be invited to meet representatives of those programmes deemed the best match for you. In addition, online One-to-One events are quite efficient because you meet a number of business schools in just a couple of hours, all presheduled and confirmed.
Virtual campus tours
Campus tours have become increasingly important in recent years. Aspirants have realised that they have no match when it comes to tasting the atmosphere of a school and determining how well it suits their needs and personality. Now that touring the grounds is impossible, along with other accompanying advantages such as talking to students and professors and attending open classes, schools have tried to offer an online version of this experience.
The length of virtual campus tours varies from two minutes to an hour. They are often led by students who, in addition to showing the premises, discuss daily student activities, academics, commuting, and more. The methods of delivery also vary. Some institutions are using drone images to offer 360-degree online tours. At Vanderbilt University (US), for instance, current students are hosting virtual coffee meetings. Harvard Business School (US) offers a gallery of their campuses depending on the programme an aspirant is interested in. For example, MBA applicants can view the places frequented by MBA students – halls, cafeterias, dining rooms, courtyards, libraries etc.
Of course, online tours cannot replace their physical counterparts, but when done right they can be extremely useful. Emily Bauer, vice president for agency services at EAB, a school management services company, told Times Higher Education that indeed "nothing can match the impact of walking through a beautiful college campus on a sunlit day in spring with flowers blooming and birds chirping.” But virtual tours can "help build affinity with those students and give them direct and indirect information they might not be able to get any other way. These tours help schools tell their unique stories in a virtual environment, but they also signify to a student that this school is going that extra mile to help them make a difficult decision during a really difficult time."
Those on the lookout for the best programme and business school can carry on with their search despite the unusual circumstances. Right now, there are many uncertainties arising from the pandemic, but one thing is certain -- now is not the time to delay your education and career plans.