MBA Student Ambassadors: The Secret Resource for MBA Networking
Gathering as much information as possible about your target MBA programs is an essential step to submitting the strongest applications possible and ultimately deciding where to attend. While researching online and attending information sessions are valuable, nothing beats getting insights directly from an insider. This is where MBA student ambassadors come into play.
MBA student ambassadors can provide invaluable information about the nuanced aspects of an MBA program and answer questions specific to your goals (and, if they can’t do the latter, they can typically connect you with someone who can). MBA student ambassadors take the spotlight in our article today as we explore why networking with them is helpful.
What is an MBA Student Ambassador?
MBA student ambassadors are current students or alums chosen by a business school to represent it to prospective students, applicants, and visitors. These ambassadors play an important role in showcasing the school’s culture, values, and what it can offer in terms of education.
MBA student ambassadors are typically selected based on their academic achievements, leadership skills, and enthusiasm for their educational experience. Schools also seek a diversity in backgrounds and perspectives to mirror their applicant pool. MBA student ambassadors are well-versed in the program, curriculum, and extracurricular activities offered by their institution. And they possess in-depth knowledge of the student experience, campus life, and resources available to students.
Essentially, ambassadors serve as a bridge between the institution and potential students, providing a friendly and relatable point of contact for inquiries and networking opportunities. Their primary responsibility is to engage with prospective students and answer any questions they may have about the school, including academics, career services, student clubs, and more.
Is Networking with MBA Student Ambassadors a ‘Must Do’?
The straight answer is no, it’s not absolutely necessary to speak with MBA student ambassadors. If you have people in your network who attend your target programs (or have recently graduated), speaking with them can provide many of the same benefits as MBA student ambassadors. That said, many applicants – particularly those from non-traditional or diverse backgrounds – do not have current students or alums in their network so MBA student ambassador programs help level the playing field.
Why You Should Consider Connecting with MBA Student Ambassadors
Here are a few reasons why networking with MBA student ambassadors is beneficial:
Student ambassadors generally provide candid information about their experiences which will give you a real sense of what to expect. They can share both the highlights and challenges of the program, giving you a holistic view. That said, they have been handpicked by their program so it’s unlikely you’ll get someone who didn’t have a great experience – however, we find that most students/alums are very positive on their school, so this limitation often applies to your personal network as well.
MBA student ambassadors have intimate knowledge of the curriculum, courses, faculty, and extracurricular activities. They can shed light on specific areas of interest or help you understand the program’s unique features. As mentioned earlier, if you are pursuing a less common focus area with which your ambassador is unfamiliar, it is likely they can connect you with a similarly minded peer.
Each business school has its own distinct culture. By connecting with student ambassadors, you can assess whether the program’s values, environment, and community align with your personal and professional aspirations. You can ask direct questions about what student life is like – how social it is, whether students are competitive with one another, the logistics of where to live, just to name a few.
Student ambassadors can offer insights into the school’s career services and opportunities. They can provide information on internships, networking events, alumni connections, and recruitment processes, helping you gauge the program’s effectiveness in enabling students’ career goals.
We would be remiss not to mention that schools (some more so than others) like to see that you’ve made the effort to learn about their program. They often have application questions around how you’ve engaged with their school before applying. Beyond ‘checking the box’, insider insights can be great material for your essays and creating a convincing narrative around why ‘school X’ is a fit for you and your goals.
Student Ambassador Resources at Top MBA Programs
Below is a list of student ambassador resources of some of the top US business schools as well as London Business School and INSEAD:
1) Chicago Booth
The admissions team at Chicago Booth has curated a diverse group of students who are readily available for you to connect with. They even offer a convenient directory where you can find a match based on career interests and other criteria.
Wharton has a dedicated team of Admissions Fellows consisting of 55 second-year students who come from diverse backgrounds, pursue various careers, and have a wide range of interests. Like Booth, Wharton provides bios and a searchable database to help you find the best fit for your needs.
3) Northwestern Kellogg
While Kellogg does not provide the opportunity to directly connect with student ambassadors, it does offer a wide variety of in-person and virtual admissions events, some of which involve Q&A with alums or current students.
4) Stanford GSB
Similar to Kellogg, the GSB offers opportunities to connect with MBA student ambassadors within the context of its virtual and in-person admissions events.
5) Harvard HBS
HBS invites local alums to join in-person admissions events in a variety of cities and also occasionally hosts Q&A sessions with current students.
6) MIT Sloan
‘Sloan on the Road’ events are designed to offer an immersive experience that provides valuable insights into the program and are joined by MIT Sloan alumni, who make themselves available for 1:1 networking sessions.
7) Yale SOM
Yale School of Management (SOM) takes pride in its dedicated MBA Student Ambassadors who are current students that play a crucial role as contacts for various clubs, interest groups, and programs within the school. Connecting with these ambassadors will give you a deeper understanding of the Yale SOM experience.
8) Columbia Business School
Columbia’s MBA Student Ambassadors represent diverse clubs, careers, and interests, with the mission to offer a student perspective on the vibrant life at CBS, both on and off campus. CBS also offers a convenient searchable directory.
9) University of California-Berkeley (Haas)
Haas Student Ambassadors are passionate current students who provide prospective students with firsthand information and help them dive into the distinctive culture and collaborative community that defines Haas.
10) University of Michigan (Ross)
Ross takes pride in its extensive network of student ambassadors, which it claims surpasses that of any other MBA program. With such a robust group of ambassadors, it’s easy to find individuals who share your interests, backgrounds, and goals.
11) London Business School
To provide new students with a glimpse into the LBS ecosystem, the school has thoughtfully compiled a collection of profiles featuring students, alumni, and ambassadors. To connect with an ambassador, simply review the profile and contact them through their email.
INSEAD offers the opportunity to connect with an INSEAD Ambassador by request through admissions. You can also view profiles of INSEAD MBA Alumni to learn more about their experiences.
MBA student ambassadors are valuable resources when exploring different business school programs. Their insights can provide you with a deeper understanding of the curriculum, culture, campus life, career resources, and more. By leveraging their experiences, you can make a more informed decision about which MBA program aligns best with your goals. We think they are a secret resource for MBA networking!
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