Doing school research can be fun & social!

For MBA candidates, doing thorough research is one of the crucial steps in the quest for the best business school. We all know how time consuming this phase could be. One can think simply browsing the school’s website is enough, but judging the school by the website alone is like evaluating a person by only his or her resume.

All top tier business schools have now incorporated Social Media into their marketing strategy and regularly publish Facebook updates, blogs, Twitter feeds and YouTube videos to make your virtual visit more interactive.

Social Media is a great platform for doing school research, especially if you’re overseas and can’t easily visit the campus. If you tap into Social Media channels, you can access YouTube videos of current students and alumni, clips from events held at the b-school, and videos from influencers. Some business schools have even started using vblogs done by current students and admissions representatives.

However, YouTube is only one of the big 4 Social Media platforms. If you’re interested in applying to a specific MBA program, make sure to not only watch the school’s YouTube videos, but also connect on Facebook (where you could see updates and ask questions), follow the school on Twitter to keep yourself updated about the events, guest speakers and case competitions, and check out the school’s LinkedIn page.

LinkedIn is a medium that candidates frequently overlook when doing a school research. LinkedIn is a credible professional network that, among its features, has an awesome tool to help you in your school research: the Groups. As LinkedIn Groups become more and more popular, more people are comfortable sharing ideas and speaking their minds. As a result, LinkedIn Groups have now become a de-facto knowledge depository.

If you take the time to join the right group(s), you can interact not only with business schools, but also with other candidates, as well as with current students and recent alumni. This is a great way to learn what studying at the school is all about, and what kinds of careers the school’s graduates are building – a sure to way to see if the school provides the right “fit” for YOUR career.

Some business schools have even started using their LinkedIn alumni groups as a recruiting tool. If you’re serious about applying to top business schools, make sure to have an updated profile, publish valuable updates, and ask smart questions that can demonstrate your great communication skills to the decision-makers at your dream business school.

LinkedIn can be a very effective virtual networking tool if you’re an international candidate. Some business schools have regional networks for alumni and allow prospective students to participate in the group discussions. What a great resource to use if you’re thinking of applying to a school outside of your country! You can learn from the first-hand experience of the alumni and expand your professional network long before you even start the program.

Thanks to Social Media, doing school research has become easy & fun!

Are we LinkedIn yet?

P.S. You may have heard that school selection is SO important because you only have one shot of doing an MBA degree (most business schools will only allow you to do an MBA once in your life). Pick the “right” school – and you could catapult your career to awesome heights. Pick the “wrong” one, and you could drag your career for years…

Because MBA is a major investment (degrees from some universities could set you back by up to $250,000), picking the right business school for your career is one of the most important decisions of your life. We’ll be coming back to this topic again and again throughout this year. Whatever your favourite Social Media network is – make sure to follow us: on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to get the updates as they’re published!