Strategies and Best Practices

How to launch an outreach program that activates undergrad influencers

Grow your domestic pipeline with this comprehensive set of strategies, tools, and best practices to quickly create an outreach program on your campus.

There are many ways to begin doing outreach with your undergraduates, each playing to different strengths and levels of impact. Some are very easy to implement; others take time and investment. Depending on your program goals, you may choose a blend of tactics that help you get started and then add as your outreach program grows.

Quick Start Guide

  1. Create a bucket list (the things you must do before graduating) specific to your school. Make these part tradition, part academic, part pre-career (such as take a grad assessment).
  2. Make certain that a graduate assessment is part of a graduation requirements check-list.
  3. Identify your undergrad influencers such as undergrad advisors, faculty, student clubs and groups, alumni, parents, Career Services, et al. Ask them to volunteer to speak at club meetings and events.
  4. Begin conversations with Honors programs within your school/university. Reach out to program chairs and ask about creating workshops (path the graduate school, internships, career prep), co-hosting events, etc.
  5. Educate yourself. Know what resources are available to you and key information about GME and the GMAT exam.

Key Messages

Graduate Management Education

 

GMAT Exam

  • Message must be around the career journey
  • Speak to the real value of business school (salary, societal impact, personally rewarding, etc.)
  • Speak to how others view business school graduates, i.e. corporate recruiters

 

 
  • You’re in the best head space to get higher scores as an undergrad.
  • Your scores are good for five years.
  • Take advantage of on campus resources, your professors, and classmates.
  • Undergrad pricing of $150 (save $100) makes it a great time to test.
  • Test now, apply later.

Influencer Outreach

The primary influencers of undergrads in considering graduate business school are parents, professors or advisors, and peers. Create a program that harnesses those trusted voices to plant the seeds early in undergrads around the value of b school. See some of the tactics that, when combined, can ensure your undergrads are gaining exposure to their career options supported with a graduate business degree.

Influencers

 

Digital

Peers

  • Tabling
  • Class / group presentations
  • Clip boarding
  • Social media
  • Contests
  • Raffles
  • Flyering
  • Chalking
  • GMAT Info Sessions
  • Large school events

Student Organizations

  • Resources
  • Prof Dev time
  • Speakers
  • GME workshops
  • Email blast
  • Webinar
  • Study sessions

Advisors

Career Services

  • Workshops
  • GMAT 101 sessions
  • Resources on website
  • Recruiter info around GME
  • Email blast

Parents

  • Message in alumni magazine
  • Parents weekend activity
 

  • Paid search / AdWords

  • Paid social (Facebook, Instagram)

  • Display ads


Additional Tactics

To kick off your program, start with the Quick Start Guide above. After that, explore other tactics that fit your budget and bandwidth to create an outreach program that evolves over time.

First 5 Things

 

Next 5 Things

 

5 More Things

  • Recruit a graduate assistant to table at school events, post flyers, chalk around campus, engage in natural/organic social media, and present to student groups.
  • Attend or exhibit at career fairs, business school events, back-to-school events, and parent/alumni gatherings.
  • Engage faculty and advisors to share the value of GME to their students (flyer in mailboxes, host a breakfast, etc.)
  • Incorporate alumni voices into your messaging around business school and your programs.
  • Send occasional email blasts to departments with target demographics.
 
  • Partner with Career Services on GME workshops, on-campus or virtual events, etc.
  • Introduce paid social media on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.
  • Advertise around campus (e.g. digital boards, ad placement in newsletters, campus newspapers).
  • Add monthly contests for unique giveaways to acquire new leads with low barrier-to-entry.
  • Incorporate user-generated "authentic" content from graduate assistants in business school (e.g. bite-sized videos, advice, insights) to social strategy.
 
  • Incorporate informal events into your outreach (e.g. study sessions, coffee breaks).
  • Establish a "buddy" program between your graduate b-school students and undergraduates, exposing a younger audience to the value of GME through a peer.
  • Incorporate outreach to business clubs in local high schools (e.g. FBLA, DECA)
  • Broader media strategy to include display and search engine marketing, powered by compelling content for undergrads.
  • Partner with corporate recruiters to share the full career journey from undergrad to their first job to graduate business school (e.g. webinars, panels, workshops).