You’ve attended an MBA event; great! Now what? You might have prepared a set of questions, comments, and thoughts before the event and that was great, but you can’t stop there if you want to get the most out of the situation. Whenever you attend an event, meet-and-greet, or fair, there’s some necessary follow-up post attendance that you need to do.
For UVA Darden School of Business that follow-up is incredibly important if you want to make the best impression possible. It’s not about throwing yourself in front of the admissions team, but about ensuring that the event was able to inform your decision about whether or not UVA Darden is for you. To gain insight into what an MBA candidate should do post-MBA event, we spoke with Dawna Clarke, the Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. Here’s what she had to say.
- Should they write thank you notes to any school reps or alums they engage with? Why or why not?
While sending a thank you note is definitely not a requirement or something you should feel obligated to do, we always enjoy hearing from someone we met at an event who has resonated or connected with any particular discussion. Sending a note can be a great way to reiterate your interest in our program. Specifically, while very gracious, handwritten notes can be slightly more challenging in this technologically-advanced day! We love attaching notes we receive to a candidate’s file; doing this is a little easier with an electronic note than it is with a physical note.
- Should they follow up on any advice given by the admissions reps or alums about things to research, and then let those individuals know that they did so? Why or why not?
When an admissions representative gives a prospective student advice, we are generally doing so for the student’s benefit. While we can understand that you might want us to know that you followed up on this advice, there are other ways throughout the application process that you can show us this trait.
As an admissions representative, our primary concern is that you fully experience and get to know what life will be like as a member of our community, and whether Darden is an environment in which you can see yourself growing, developing, and engaging. We encourage prospective students to spend time connecting with current students, alumni, faculty members and other members of our community to really get to know us. Many of our events—whether a class visit or showcase on grounds or an admissions and alumni reception in your city—are aimed at providing you with the opportunity to do this.
- Should they follow up an info session or fair with a visit to the school itself to meet once again with the rep(s) they encountered? Why or why not?
We encourage prospective students to visit any school you’re seriously considering, and we offer lots of opportunities for class visits throughout the year. If you can reconnect with an admissions representative you met at an event, that’s wonderful, but we understand it might not be possible with the busy travel season we plan for ourselves. We would love to hear that you are planning to visit Darden, and if we are here, we will enjoy coming to meet you!
When you do come visit Darden, it’s most important to focus on getting to know our community rather than any particular admissions representative. So, talk to the current students you will meet, talk to the faculty you will meet and schedule a meeting in advance with any individual or group that might be beneficial to you.
UVA Darden wasn’t the only school to answer these questions. If you’d like to see what the admissions teams at Berkeley Haas, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, Michigan Ross, NYU Stern, and Yale SOM had to say, head here.