Or any conference or meeting, actually.
- Sit in the front row and slouch.
- Yawn without covering your mouth. (Always cover your mouth when you yawn, no matter who you’re with. Sheesh.)
- Sit in the front row and stare at your cell phone the whole time.
- Sit in the back row and stare at your cell phone the whole time.
- Sit in any row and stare at your cell phone the whole time.
- Take up three seats with your bags and jacket when it’s crowded.
- Bring in food from the outside. Especially smelly food. Especially noisy food. (If they are serving food, it’s fine to eat it during the event. If not, save it for after.)
- Talk. Don’t talk on your cell. Don’t talk to your neighbor. If you need a whispered exchange, make it quick. If you want to chat with someone, take it into the hallway, or wait till after the event.
- Sleep. If you’re nodding off, go stand in the back of the room. You worked a long day, you’re exhausted, it happens. But the first time you do that head-dip-jerk-up thing, do like Taylor says and shake it off. If it happens again, don’t pretend you’re OK. Go splash water on your face in the bathroom or get some coffee. Don’t be a jerk and keep doing the jerk.
- Not come when you RSVPed. If you can’t make it, let them know. If you were a no-show the night before, email the admissions office the next day to apologize. Seriously. You’re AN APPLICANT WHO WANTS THEM TO ACCEPT YOU. Put 2 and 2 together, people.
For #1-9: It’s seriously hard to present to an audience when someone is doing that. You will be noticed, for all the wrong reasons.
For #10: You will be noticed, ditto on reasons.
People, please. We know the state of the world has grown distressingly casual, but the way you present yourself matters.
If you’re sitting in an audience, you have a job: Pay attention. Be respectful to the speaker. BE THERE.
If you don’t want to BE THERE, then leave. It’s much more polite to do that than to project utter disinterest and complete lack of respect.
Conversely: What if you’re running late, and you feel like you’re a total ahole and you want to just turn around and not go in even after you finally made it to the venue? Or you’re about to leave work and you know you won’t get there on time, so you’re thinking you should just ditch it? This advice may surprise you, given the list of
lecturing manners we just laid out. Even if you’re late, you should still go. Honestly. It’s better to come in late than not to go at all.
Oh yeah here’s another tip, this one for All of Life, not just bschool info sessions:
When you’re running late, and you have to come into a meeting in progress, and you feel awful about it: There’s no need to make a bigger disruption than your late entrance is already making by announcing to everyone the excuse that you’ve been rehearsing for the last 20 minutes.
Nobody cares why you’re late. Really truly, they don’t. You don’t need to make an excuse. A quiet and sheepish, “sorry” – that’s all that’s needed as you pass by the lectern and slink into your seat. Please do not feel you need to announce to the room that your car wouldn’t start and the tow truck was late or whatever dog-ate-my-homework excuse you have. NOBODY CARES. You’re making your late arrival an even bigger negative event by doing that. Just get there, integrate yourself into whatever is happening, do your darnedest to minimize the disruption you’re already making, and let things resume as they were. If your boss needs an explanation later, give it to her privately. The whole room does not need to hear it.
Enough life advice for today.
This post was inspired by a tweet we saw from some school’s info session recently, where they were announcing how proud they were of the turnout. It was a crowded conference room of some hotel. Probably in a city, since many of the applicants in attendance were wearing suits. Didn’t look like California, at least.
And there was this guy in the front row…
Yeah. Don’t be that guy.
Mind your manners, BSers. People are watching.