MBA Applicants Should Keep Their Online Reputation in Check

October 14, 2011 · Leave a Comment 

A good application and strong entrance interview is not guaranteed to land you in your top-choice business school if you do not make sure your online reputation is tame, and lacks any implicating material. A good, or at least, not bad, online reputation is an often-overlooked minefield that may be the clincher in changing a school’s “yes” to a “no”.

Yes, They are Checking

According to a recent survey done by Kaplan Test Prep, 27 percent of business school admissions officers say they Googled applicants to further research them, and 22 percent say they visited their Facebook pages and other social networking sites. Kelly R. Wilson, assistant dean of MBA admissions at McDonough states how, “someone presenting themselves [online] in a negative way or a way that will have a negative impact on the school and the brand we’re trying to live is a deal breaker.”

Unfortunately for today’s applicants, most have long had online reputations dating back to high school, far before they even knew they wanted an MBA; and the worst kind of rejection from a school is one that centered around a crass or offensive comment you made about your freshman year science teacher on twitter years ago.

Take Control of Your Reputation

There are many tools and steps that you can do to take control of your online presence. You can begin by simply learning the privacy settings on Facebook and un-tagging yourself from embarrasing or inappropriate photos, or even just deleting offensive old blog posts or tweets. Another action you can take is to ask, if you don’t have control over the material you are trying to take down, the webmaster or person controlling the material to take it down for you.

There is, however, even more you can do. There are now companies you can hire to not only get rid of embarrassing or problematic online material but also to enhance the positive online material, such as Reputation Rhino. If you have a well-run blog, articles about past achievements, or even a webpage for your resume, these companies can make sure it comes out at the top of the search – where it should be.

However, first of all, figure out what is out there by doing your own searches. Google yourself and your nickames, and begin planning from there.

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