Stay connected with social media: LinkedIn for EMBA professionals | TopMBA.com

Stay connected with social media: LinkedIn for EMBA professionals

By Ann Graham

Updated June 2, 2015 Updated June 2, 2015

Social media has become an integral means of communication for all of us, both in our professional and personal lives. Having a Twitter handle, a Facebook profile and possibly even an Instagram account is now seemingly as common as having a postcode. The appropriate use of each online channel is an ongoing debate but the purpose of one social media tool in particular seems to have most people in agreement.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is the ‘must-have’ account for professionals, particularly those with an ambition to embark on an Executive MBA. And the value of LinkedIn is now more apparent than ever as business schools tap into the platform’s expanding functionalities.

Maintaining a social media presence

While it’s important for individuals to maintain – and control – their online profile, social media presence is no longer just for the individual. Companies, brands, organizations and indeed business schools have their own pages, groups and established networks courtesy of social media. And, just like individuals, business schools cannot afford to neglect their online presence. After all, an effective social media strategy can be worth its weight in gold for both business schools and students alike.

Business schools with a presence on LinkedIn use the platform to promote their offline activities, share information with past and current students, and to offer expert advice. Most business schools also use groups to build and maintain their alumni networks and to connect current students with graduates. But, more recently, a growing number of business schools are endeavoring to cultivate a greater presence on the professional online platform than ever before.

If it is good enough for Harvard Business School…

Harvard Business School has a well-established alumni network, but the school also manages the Harvard Business School Executive Education group on LinkedIn. This is open to past participants and alumni of its Executive Education programs. It’s a group where former students and participants can share their experiences, tips and ideas in a private group setting. Harvard Business School also operates the Friends of Harvard Business School Executive Education LinkedIn group, which is open to the public and allows those interested in Executive Education to get updates on programs, get in touch with other executives and generally find information relevant to their interests.

Similarly, Cass Business School in London, has developed an integrated social media strategy using the platform. In addition to the school’s online profile page, it manages an official group page which students are eligible to join once they start their program. The platform serves a number of purposes: it aims to connect faculty, students, former students and Cass partners to create a comprehensive and effective online network on which participants can exchange ideas, expertise, experiences and news. It also serves to convey information about class modules, coursework, career opportunities and events. In short, it aims to create a global Cass Business School community in one virtual place.

LinkedIn admission application

Elsewhere in the UK, Leeds University Business School has made a LinkedIn group available for prospective students who can use the private group to ask questions or simply chat. This gives the business school not only an opportunity to connect directly with prospective candidates and build relationships, but also provides an insight into the level of interest and specific areas prospective students might be keen on.

Perhaps the most innovative use by a business school is that of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management atCornell University. The school now allows for its admission application to be sent via a LinkedIn interface if they wish. This gives the school an ideal opportunity to learn more about their prospective candidates’ work experience, educational background and interests via LinkedIn profiles and activities. Such an initiative means it is now more important than ever for EMBA candidates to manage and maintain an impeccable online profile.

Your online profile

LinkedIn is a highly effective platform for professional networking. Users can create their online profile by uploading their work history, noting their skillsets and connecting with like-minded individuals. In this sense, it works well as an online CV. But this is also a catch because it requires the profile holder to ensure he or she maintains their public online persona. And as new features such as admission applications develop, so too must users.

For Executive MBA candidates, the increasing use of the platform by business schools is good news as it’s another means of keeping up to date with b-school activities, admission application deadlines and connecting with alumni.

But it also means business schools can draw on LinkedIn to get a better picture of their students and prospective students, see where a candidate might excel, or where his or her weaknesses may lie. EMBA candidates should therefore think of their LinkedIn profile as their admission application pack – an open-access résumé. A complete employment and education history, as well as good information on experience, achievements, profile picture and meaningful participation in group discussions on LinkedIn can make all the difference for success – before, during and after their EMBA experience.

This article was originally published in November 2014 . It was last updated in June 2015

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Written by

Ann Graham - TopMBA.com blogger and author

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