SOURCE: Stacy Blackman Consulting

July 15, 2008 12:44 ET

Four Tips for Scouting Business Schools This Summer

Consultant Stacy Blackman Provides the Roadmap for Researching Business Schools

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - Packing for the beach? Don't forget to pack your homework. Though school may be out, with many business school application deadlines in October, the hazy days of summer are a good time to begin researching business schools. Here are four tips from business school consultant Stacy Blackman (www.stacyblackman.com) on finding the right programs for every student.

1) Book your trip. Visit the campus and surrounding areas, and sit in on a class. Seeing the school will help eliminate stereotypes and enable applicants to get a good feel for the true culture of the school.

2) Talk to students and alumni. Ask them what they like and don't like about the school. Applicants may learn that what others love about a school -- a large, urban campus, for example, may be unappealing to them. From students and alumni, applicants can capture informal snapshots of daily life, culture and classes.

3) Go online. Review school websites and the plethora of information available in blogs (such as www.stacyblackman.com/blog), forums and more. Of course, prospective applicants need to be wary of trusting the advice of anonymous posters; always keep the source in mind.

4) Attend information sessions. These sessions are where business schools market themselves to potential applicants. They provide an opportunity to sit back, listen, ask questions and learn. The sessions help reveal what the school views as its strengths. It's a great opportunity to evaluate a school -- both its strengths and weaknesses.

For many applicants attending information sessions will be the initial in person contact with schools. Here, according to Blackman, are five mistakes to avoid at information sessions or throughout other interaction with target schools:

1) Don't pose questions just for the sake of getting noticed. It's a waste of time, and phony questions are spotted a mile away.

2) Don't be overly aggressive. Though you may get noticed, it won't be in the way you were hoping.

3) Don't be sloppy. Business casual attire is appropriate; it presents a mature and polished image.

4) Don't be overly persistent: Be considerate of the time limitations of the people you are contacting at the school.

5) Don't forget to say thank you: Manners matter. For one-on-one contact (in-person, over the phone or by email), be sure to follow up with a thank you note.

"In general, when applying to business school, it's critical to follow an important marketing rule: Learn about your target market," said Blackman. "This approach will help you decide where to apply -- and where to save yourself the trouble. In addition, it will help with your applications, enabling you to show true familiarity with and personal insights into, your target business school programs."

About Stacy Blackman Consulting

Since 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting (www.stacyblackman.com) has helped clients gain admission to every top business school in the world. The company's approach, based on developing and implementing a winning marketing strategy, makes the application process less stressful and more successful.

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