Improv Specialist Spills Her #1 Tip On Networking With MBA Schools

Here’s some leftfield MBA advice for applying to business school: one of those small MBA tips that transforms your MBA application journey as you network with your school. Angela Guido introduces Louise Loeb, our improv and storytelling expert, to help transform your interactions with target MBA schools for the better, build up that all-important MBA network, and build a foundation for the rest of your career.

You’re going to have to watch the video to find out what the tip is, but it’s a good one. 

#MBAMondays #TheUltimateGuidetoBusinessSchool

YouTube video

Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

It is so simple and it is the key to building any type of relationship in any part of your life, especially in the MBA process. Welcome back to MBA Monday. I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol. And in case you're new to MBA Monday's what we're doing here is helping you understand how to submit your best application to business school. It's a long and involved process with so many moving parts, which is why we're here, literally, every Monday.

The Struggle Is Real, When Networking With Target MBA Schools

One of the most important parts of your MBA application process is networking with your target schools. It's getting to know the programs that you're applying to and building real, genuine relationships with your future fellow alumni, professors, the other members of the community, such as the admissions committee and current students. A lot of people really struggle with this process for a couple of reasons.

  • First of all, they're nervous. They worry. “What am I going to say? How am I going to ask intelligent questions? How am I going to make a good impression on the people that I'm talking to and not shoot myself in the foot before I even submit my application?
  • The second way people struggle with this process is very much related to the first way, which is they approach it as a researching transaction. So they get a current student on the phone. They ask a couple of questions. Boom, boom, boom. Thank you very much. And then they hang up. While this may be very useful in garnering information, it's not all that great at helping you build a real meaningful relationship with people who may well be part of your future alumni network.

So, while you're networking with schools and getting to know them, you want to take full advantage of the opportunity to get in front of members of those communities to really form friendships. Luckily, I have with me today Louise Loeb, our storytelling and improv expert who's going to give you one very small, very powerful tip to make the most of your networking conversations with MBA program students, alumni and admissions committee members.

Louise’s #1 Piece of MBA Advice For Networking

Hi, I'm Louise. I am an attorney, a Writer and a Comedian and Senior Instructor at Career Protocol. I have eight years of improv experience. I studied at the Second City Conservatory and Professional School of Improvisation at Comedy Sportz Chicago. I also studied at iO Theater and I was on an improv house team at iO called Buttermilk. My number one tip is listening. It is so simple and it is the key to building any type of relationship in any part of your life, especially in the MBA process. Usually when we are in a conversation, we can anticipate what the other person is going to say, and we listen up to a certain point, like one third of their sentence, and we start to formulate our response to that while they continue to speak towards the end. And subconsciously, people pick up on whether you're truly listening to them. Whether you're present or whether you're truly listening and – Angela, listen! – when you feel like someone else is not listening to you subconsciously, that doesn't feel good. It feels like they think their ideas are more important than yours. And whether you're really aware of it, it just doesn't it doesn't vibe well. So, you want to make the other person in the conversation feel wonderful and fantastic and you want to make them feel like what they have to say is meaningful and that you value that. So listen to the entirety of what they're saying. Really give that some space before you respond to them with a very thoughtful answer of your own.

Thank you so much, Louise. That was awesome. I really enjoyed listening to what you had to say today. If you enjoyed Louise's advice and found it useful, please leave her a thank you comment down below. We really appreciate it. We'll be back next week with more #MBAMonday. In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe. Thank you. Bye.

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Career Protocol Team

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