Well not really.
But you could easily think that was the case.
When you do a campus visit, you’re likely going to have lunch with some students. If you hang around long enough afterwards, someone might invite you out for a drink. If you attend a school’s info session in your town, there will probably be “light refreshments served.”
And once you’re in bschool, then it starts in full force.
Welcome Weekend is big on the eating. (And drinking.)
Orientation in the fall and the first weeks on campus: Ditto that. (Especially the drinking.)
You will become very accustomed to the near-perpetual availability of free pizza at lunchtime, during club meetings and presentations. You’ll get a lot of free pizza for your $125k+ in MBA expenses.
Once recruiters are allowed on campus, boy oh boy is there a lot of pizza. And invites to cocktail hours. And it goes on.
It’s a good thing that most schools have pretty decent gyms, to give you a chance to fight this massive influx of free food opportunities. Not that you’ll have much time to go to the gym. We had a report from the field last year from a current MBA student (now graduating!!!) who mentioned the food; it’s worth reading if you have the time.
What prompted today’s post though isn’t a desire to make you hungry. It actually came about when we saw this: It’s a blog from Hyatt Hotels Corporate where their college recruiting staff and new interns post about their opportunities and experiences. This post in particular is one you should read: It talks about – from the recruiter’s perspective – what it’s like to make a school presentation about career opportunities, and it offers some tips for the college kids who attend those.
We know, you’re not a college kid. But it made us go “hmmmm” because we’ve seen/heard of some of this behavior ourselves in the MBA world too.
It actually reminded us of this advice that we offered last year, submitted to us from a current MBA student who was dismayed at what she observed with no-shows at bschool info sessions. There’s also a helpful video there from Sara Neher at Darden where says essentially the same thing.
And all of that reminded us of this from even longer ago, where Columbia students were chastised for being “socially undesirable” at on-campus recruiting sessions several years ago.
So what’s the takeaway message today?
1. There will be a lot of food available at business school.
2. It’s fine to partake of the food at the industry events, presentations, and recruiting sessions that you go to – but remember that that’s not the reason you’re going (or it shouldn’t be).
3. If you want to impress a recruiter who’s coming on campus to meet the students of your school, do some homework about their company in advance. Sure, it’ll be tough – you’ll be crazybusy when you’re in the throes of classes and cases and actual homework assignments (yes you will need to study at business school!). And there’s a perverse temptation to feel like you’re suddenly this in-demand commodity when you’ve got all these recruiters clamoring to make presentations to you (well, not you personally, but you as a group of sought-after students at a top MBA program). It’s certainly a change from today, when you’re likely feeling a little desperate and grovel-y about trying to simply get IN to this school. Being accepted and starting as an MBA student can sometimes go to the head. Keep perspective.
The most useful takeaway message for those of you starting the process today: Please remember your manners. If you RSVP for an event, and then decide not to go, take a moment to un-RSVP from it. This is true whether it’s an info session for a business school that you’re interested in or an actual career presentation from a company later on. Many schools actually have strict policies about this and there are consequences for students who flake out; but they shouldn’t have to have policies. It’s easy to treat things casually and figure that it doesn’t matter if one less person shows up, but actually events like this – from the schools or from hiring firms – these require significant planning and work from someone – even if that “someone” is totally invisible and unknown to you.
Having some courtesy and being responsible is always a positive thing.
And as to whether or not bschool is all about food? Nah, it’s not really… but it got you to read this post, didn’t it?