Thursday, May 20, 2010

My views on Informational interviews - A smart way of outreaching community

Though I didn’t get a chance to conduct any informational interviews in my last application year, but I did a lot during my waitlist period, and to my amazement they really helped me a lot.

So as the MBA fresh season begins, starting the MBA application process with informational interviews would be a good idea. The only key is to craft them in a smart way. Here I would like to put in some points from my experiences:

1. Why Informational interviews: In simple words, it is just outreaching smart people in smart way to become a little smarter. Informational interviews would take you beyond the school’s website, and make you well informed about the insights and perspectives of those people who have already been through what you are planning. It would clear your doubts and give you a better picture of your goals and that school.

2. What first – Short listing schools or conducting Informational interviews: I believe you could start with one or two schools which clearly fit with your goals, research them from the website or other available sources, and conduct informational interviews for them. This would give you a head start. During those interviews with currents student or alumnis, you could manage to gather data points about other schools which could fit your goals and interests. In that way you would keep progessing.

3. Whom to interview:

a. Current students or schools’ ambassadors
b. Schools Alumni. (Great, it you could find some alumni from your company or university)
c. Faculty – If you are razor sharp in your goals and that faculty’s subject, else it might give a wrong impression.
d. Entering students – This is a good idea at this point in time, as you might get a chance to meet them face to face in your city and it would be more informal. They might not be best to know the inside of a school, but they might devote more time, might tell you about their mistakes and learning, and might provide you fresh perspectives on how to approach application process of that particular school. So just invite them for a coffee!

Below are some useful articles, which could help you prepare your set of interview questions:

All the best and please comment your experiences.

Happy interviewing,

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