Reston, Virginia (21 December 2010)—A virtual business school information fair hosted last month by the sponsor of the GMAT exam gave 1,750 prospective MBAs from 136 countries a unique chance to meet with representatives from dozens of the world’s top business schools.
The global online event, known as the GMATCH Virtual MBA Fair, tapped the power of the Internet to enable people to converse with admissions officers from 56 schools and attend interactive panel sessions with current students, alumni, and admission staff—regardless of their location.
These sessions gave business schools an opportunity to directly engage with potential candidates for their programs with whom they might otherwise never have been able to communicate. Panel topics included preparing an effective business school application, studying for the GMAT exam and gaining an edge in the job market with an MBA.
“We’re excited to take part in the GMATCH fair to interact with potential students we wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in a live setting,” said Stacey Dorang, assistant MBA admissions director at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. “The virtual environment literally opens up a world of information to prospective MBAs and gives them access to schools that could be a great fit for them that they might not otherwise even know exist.”
The GMATCH fair (www.g-match.com) was organized by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an international nonprofit association of business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by thousands of graduate management education programs as part of the admissions process.
Students and school officials who participated in the GMATCH fair indicated in surveys that they found the event worthwhile and were particularly pleased with the way GMAC applied multimedia technology to foster the exchange of information. More than a third of the prospective students who participated in GMATCH during its two-day run in late November spent at least two hours at the fair. Many commended the convenience of the event and said they were impressed with the wide range and high quality of schools they encountered at GMATCH.
“The fair accomplished exactly what we were hoping it would,” said Rebecca Loades, GMAC’s director of market development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It allowed students to virtually go places they otherwise wouldn’t have gone and to meet schools they otherwise would not have met. One student, from Saudi Arabia, went so far as to tell us that the whole experience felt ‘real,’ and that the fair connected him with programs that he would never have imagined were accessible or available to him.”
Business schools told GMAC they found the GMATCH event an excellent and cost- effective way to access and market to international students. School officials praised the high caliber of candidates and remarked that the traffic they received at their booths compared favorably with traditional fairs where people meet face to face. Nearly all said they would likely participate in future GMATCH events.
About GMAC and the GMAT
The Graduate Management Admission Council (www.gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization based in Reston, Virginia, and with regional offices in London and Hong Kong. GMAC administers the GMAT® exam, which was created in 1954 and is now used by nearly 5,000 graduate management programs at approximately 1,900 business schools worldwide. More information about the GMAT exam is available at www.mba.com.