After speaking with many of you on the road, one of the priorities I created for myself was to do a better job of keeping you informed of ways GMAC is working to grow the candidate pipeline and extend value to schools. I provided the first update in December, and as we have just wrapped up the first quarter of 2016- I wanted to give you a glimpse into a few of our activities over the past three months.
Growing the Pipeline: Undergraduates
As you may recall, a critical component of our pipeline growth strategy is targeting undergraduate students. In September of 2015, we expanded the undergraduateinitiative “Invest in Yourself” to 53 campuses in the United States. In addition to marketing (print, digital and peer to peer) designed to build the category of graduate management education, we also offered discounted GMAT pricing ($150) to encourage undergrads to test now and “bank their scores” until they are ready to attend b-schools. We are doing really well on a number of the campuses (measuring microsite page hits, email capture and GMAT registrations.) Emory, Penn State, George Washington University, Michigan State, UCLA and VCU are the campuses where we’ve seen some of the greatest impact.
If you are a pilot school and are hosting information sessions or leveraging other platforms on your campus to incorporate undergraduates in the B-school pipeline, please take advantage of our efforts on your campus. As a reminder, the discount ends on June 1.
Growing the Pipeline: Women
In 2014, members of Forte’s leadership team approached GMAC about the possibility of a joint marketing campaign targeting women on undergraduate campuses. Forte had conducted surveys and “beat on the street” interviews and learned that the perceptions of business careers were somewhat skewed and that GMAT awareness was not as strong as one might imagine- even among business students. They also realized that there is a significant gap between the percentage of undergraduate women who say they plan to pursue the MBA and the percentage of US women that actually apply. When asked the reason for foregoing the application, a “fear of the GMAT” continued to surface. (Research suggests the anxiety around the GMAT increases the further the candidate is from the undergraduate experience.)
Although GMAC has taken many steps to create a more “candidate friendly” testing experience, the Forte’s proposal aligned perfectly with our undergraduate efforts. We partnered with them in Fall of 2015, and earlier this year, Take the Test, a digital media campaign aimed to reach women across U.S. college campuses to inform them about the importance of business careers, the MBA, and the GMAT exam was launched.
You can read my GMNews interview and the HuffPost article by Elissa Sangster for more information.
GMAC on the Road: Regional Meetings
We kicked off our regional meetings early this year with the first one taking place in San Francisco. As a reminder, Regional Meetings are half day interactive sessions designed to foster learning, sharing, and networking among industry colleagues in the same region. If you have never attended a regional meeting, or if you have staff who might benefit from the camaraderie and learnings that GMAC events foster (especially if they can’t attend Annual Conference) make plans to join us at an event this year. The 2016 schedule has been posted and registration is open. (Don’t forget we generally cap attendance at 30, and there is no fee to attend.)
Once again, I am out of space, but if you have questions about any of these initiatives, don’t hesitate to contact me, or any member of the team. Good luck in crafting your classes this year and I hope to see you at Annual.
Best to you!