Anyone working in the Marketing or Admissions team at a Business School will recognise that a primary driver for any professional embarking on an MBA is to enhance their network of peers and industry connections.
Indeed, AMBA accreditation relies in part upon an institution actively facilitating connections between peers.
At Unibuddy, we strongly identify with this approach. Our effortless technology enables prospective students and those that are applying to network with current students all through your institution website. In doing so Business Schools benefit from new leads and improved applicant conversion.
In this blog post I’m going to highlight how facilitating social connections through Unibuddy compliments AMBA accreditation principles and benefits your students.
The image below shows how Imperial College Business School are facilitating MBA networking right from enquiry stage:
1. Be collaborative and social
Interaction between the faculty and cohort group is the key to knowledge, skills and values development. Why? Well, in addition to provision of private study and reflection space, AMBA recognises that this relationship is at the core of effective learning. If you think back to your own studies, being able to discuss ideas, concepts and points of disagreement only furthers your understanding. It’s a win-win situation for all involved really. The faculty get to strengthen their research through robust questioning, and students are able to consolidate their learning.
At Unibuddy, I’ve seen first hand how reinforcing this approach from the outset pays dividends. By networking their students from the very point of application, our partners foster engagement and curiosity even before learners join the course.
We understand that the people we meet when studying create an invaluable life experience - a melting pot of cultures, experience, knowledge and passion.
2. Be transparent and confident
The world is changing fast and we need to adapt and evolve the way we engage with students. Honesty and authenticity are crucial so that we increase trust.
AMBA’s accreditation criteria aligns with this, focusing on the quality of the delivery of postgraduate programmes. In particular, there’s an emphasis on institutional integrity, sustainability and distinctiveness.
By letting your students build trust in your institution, you provide an outlet for your authentic voice, and allow prospects to get to know the ‘real’ you.
And that’s not all. AMBA quite rightly assert the importance of faculty quality and sufficiency too. But how do you get this across to future students? Here too, your current students are ideally placed to communicate on your behalf. After all, there’s no greater indication of confidence than a willingness to connect prospective students with your current or previous students. And a happy student is the perfect demonstration of quality.
3. Focus recruitment on best fit students from diverse backgrounds
The MBA is designed to be a postgraduate, post-experience qualification for high-level potential leaders. As a consequence, AMBA stresses that the admissions process must be rigorous in ensuring that an appropriate, sustainable and diverse cohort is recruited and maintained.
When you have a cohort of best-fit students with a variety of backgrounds and experience, you foster a positive student experience for that intake. Essentially, it comes back to being inspired and having your mindset challenged by different cultures and outlooks.
Here, I’d suggest nurturing aspirational role models within the cohort. Ideally, these role models represent the areas of diversity that you want to recruit. In other words, allow students to see that ‘people like me can pursue this path’ and by speaking to those students they can find out how.
And finally, allow prospects to set their own expectations to make the right choice for them when they embark on their MBA journeys. At Unibuddy, we’ve seen that when prospects are able to find the right path for them, they thrive and give back to their institution - making the learning environment richer for everyone.
Unibuddy is working with over 80 institutions around the world with some impressive results - but don't just take our word for it. Have a look at www.unibuddy.com and find out what some of our partners say.
If you’d like to know more about Unibuddy’s peer-to-peer platform get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo.
Jamie is a pioneer in UK education technology, having co-founded the world’s largest online student community - The Student Room. He has worked as EMEA Product Director for a leading CRM and application management provider, and more recently joined Unibuddy as Director of Strategic Development.
He is passionate about levelling the playing field in education and the role peer-to-peer communication can play in inspiring and supporting that goal.