The Business School Elevator Pitch
July 30, 2012
Imagine, if you will, that you are standing in the lobby of a large building right now and have just pushed the button to go up to the 30th floor for an appointment you have in a few minutes. As you are waiting for the elevator to arrive, you strike up a conversation with the person waiting with you. To your amazement, you find that your companion for the elevator ride will be none other than an MBA admissions officer from your top b-school – the very b-school that you are applying to this fall! First of all, this very scenario is not outside the realm of possibility if you attend our Road to Business School events in August. Second, what will you say in the 30-45 seconds you have to make a great impression and potentially secure your dream?
Before you meet the admissions officers that you will meet at the Road to Business School and before you send in that application to your programs of choice, it is essential that you refine and define your elevator pitch! This is the synopsis, in under one minute, of what qualifies you as a candidate and why they should be interested in admitting you. There are three vital questions to answer in your elevator pitch.
1) Why do you want to go to business school?
2) Why our business school rather than others?
3) Why is now the right time for you to go to business school?
These three questions are the heart of any good application, and if you can’t answer them, you need to spend some time refining your answers to them in order to present a compelling case in person and in your b-school application. You will want to answer these questions in long form in your personal statement, but you will also want a short form for your interview and for events in which you have the opportunity to meet these officers such as our Road to Business School fairs.
When you are answering these questions, you want to make sure that you are authentic. The rationale behind your answers needs to come from a place and a desire within you. Also, admissions officers want to know that you have taken the time to do your research about the differences between schools. Know the specifics of the program you’re interested in. Get specific about why you would choose their specific program over others. What classes interest you, what groups will you join, and how will you fit the culture of the school?
Finally, before you attend a Road to Business School event where you will meet these admissions officers, practice your elevator pitch. Present your pitch to friends, family, your dog, etc. until it feels natural and polished. Remember to get to the point and make every word count — just like tweeting. This process will also set you up nicely to write your personal statement and prepare for your interview. Get started now because you never know when you’ll get that short elevator ride that could change the trajectory of your future, and plan to join us for the Road to Business School in August to make that meeting definitely happen!