Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 12pm

Online Resources Help You Connect with MBA Students & Alumni

Online resources for MBA

One of the most valuable benefits of attending business school is making connections with MBA students and alumni who can help you get to the next level in your career. There are millions like you, on the path to an MBA. There are many others who have completed their degree and are working in various career fields. You don’t have to wait until you’re in your first class to start building relationships with these students and alumni. Whether you’re looking for advice on the GMAT, tips on getting into your target school, or just want to learn more about a particular industry, use these online resources to start conversations with business school students and alumni.

Join MBA and GMAT forums

There are several active online communities, like a GMAT forum, where you can interact with current students and alumni to get answers and advice. Whether you’re just getting started or you know which school and industry you want to be in, there’s an MBA or GMAT forum with plenty of online resources out there for you.

GMAT forums that are best for tips:

MBA forums from business school ranking authorities:

MBA forums for specific questions about schools or just to network with MBAs:

Industry and region-specific forums:

Start by searching within these sites for your questions because it’s very likely that others have already asked it. When you find someone who has provided thoughtful answers in a GMAT forum, private message them to improve your chances of getting a response from them as some users may not see your reply if the post you’re responding to was added a long time ago.

Read MBA students’ blogs

Other types of valuable online resources include blogs where MBA students share journey from start to finish. Reading their stories can inspire and guide you on your path as well as help you find the right connections to reach your desired destination. I’ll assume you have already discovered your target school’s blog(s), which is a great place to start – but you should also check these sites stories and interviews from MBA students all over the world:

These MBAs have taken their time to share already, so it is likely that they would be willing to do so again with you. And there’s no reason to limit your networking to one school. Connecting with more people will expand your opportunity for learning, and you will be able to add more value to your classmates’ business school experience. Much of the learning during your MBA journey comes from working with your classmates and hearing about their experiences.

Connect with MBA students on social media

So now you have a list of forums and blogs to find potential business school connections. What should you do when you find a story that particularly piques your interest as you’re reading the writer’s contact information isn’t listed? Connect with them on social media, one of the best online resources.

First, search for them on LinkedIn. If they’re in your LinkedIn network (meaning you have directly added them as a ‘connection’ or one of your connections has added them to his or her network) or if you have a paid LinkedIn account you should be able to message them.

If you don’t have the ability to message them, consider using Discover.ly to help you find their other social media profiles. This is a Chrome browser extension that will show you the person’s Facebook and any mutual friends as well as their Twitter profile.

Although the likelihood of having common Facebook friends might be slim, finding a writer’s Twitter handle is very useful because unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, there are no restrictions on who you can connect with on Twitter.

Let’s say you already have the MBA student’s email address, but now you want to connect or follow them on social media before reaching out. Add Rapportive to your Gmail account. This tool automatically displays the person’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts on the side of your message when you insert their email address in the ‘to’ field.

If you’re not using Gmail or want access to even more profiles than just Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter try Connect6. Connect6 displays more social media profiles such as YouTube, WordPress, Quora and the user’s email address, too.

Use these powerful social discovery tools, forums and blogs to help you make the connections you need with MBA students and alumni to help you get into your desired MBA program, be successful there and get to the next level in your career.

About Pathik Bhatt

Pathik Bhatt is the associate director of interactive recruiting at the Kelley School of Business where he is also pursuing his online MBA and MS in Business Analytics. Pathik has 6 years of online, social media, and content marketing experience, and enjoys writing about his MBA journey when he’s not studying or attending classes. You can follow him on twitter: @pathik_bhatt, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Pathik Bhatt is the Associate Director of Interactive Recruiting at the Kelley School of Business where he is also pursuing his online MBA and MS in Business Analytics. Pathik has 6 years of online, social media, and content marketing experience, and enjoys writing about his MBA journey when he’s not studying or attending classes: http://bit.ly/TyvD09. You can follow him on twitter: @Pathik_Bhatt, or connect with him on LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1wdvpgM.

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