New for Spring 2020, QS digital events give you the chance to connect with and learn more about universities all around the world without leaving your house.
QS is currently running the QS Virtual Connect MBA events and QS Virtual Connect Masters events, with April and May’s events shifted online as they can no longer go ahead in person.
So far, QS has hosted a series of successful Virtual Connect MBA events in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and has upcoming virtual events throughout Asia and Italy as we move into May.
What should you expect from a QS Virtual Connect event?
Online QS events will offer students all of the advantages of an in-person QS event, plus the added benefit of having a wealth of information at your fingertips when you’re interacting with schools.
In the digital events that have run to date, QS have been using a program called ‘GoToMeeting’ which offers a small group meeting format, meaning that schools can present a mini information session, talking about their programs and their USPs. This is followed by a Q&A session, where schools answer questions from students.
In these sessions, there are one or two candidates per 25 to 30-minute timeslot, meaning candidates get the chance to have in-depth conversations with representatives from schools, as well as gathering information and asking specific questions about the programs on offer.
Moving forward, digital events will also have a virtual fair component, which will be made possible using virtual event provider, ‘6Connex’. This open fair format will allow students to benefit from content you would usually find at an in-person event – such as online presentations and the opportunity to visit the participating universities’ virtual booths and talk to individual representatives.
How should you prepare before the event?
Find the right course for you
If you’re unsure about which program is right for you, use the QS course matching tool to find out which course and programs fit you best, taking into account your academic scores and what matters to you most when choosing a school.
Research the schools
On the event’s homepage, you will find a list of schools attending the event. Take some time to look at the courses they offer and find out a bit more about the schools you might be interested in before attending the event.
Prepare some questions
Once you’ve decided on your course, and have researched the universities attending your event, it’s time to prepare some questions to ask the university representatives.
Prepare some more generic questions to ask all of the schools, and some more specific questions to ask the schools you’ve researched. Showing that you’re organized in this way ensures that you give a great first impression to schools and proves that you’ve done your research beforehand.
What should you do at the event?
Keep an open mind and gather information
Although you may come into the event knowing exactly who you want to talk to and which questions you want to ask, it’s always important to keep an open mind.
Remember, you have nothing to lose by gathering information. You’re not making a commitment to any particular school by speaking to a representative, joining a school’s virtual information session or downloading their brochures – you’re just learning more about your options.
One of the great things about online events is that universities can be actively sending you links to their application form, their website, or up-to-date information as you talk, allowing you to connect with them and learn more about them instantly, allowing you to explore many different programs.
Engage with schools
Be confident when approaching and speaking to schools, especially when arriving at virtual booths. One of the major differences of an online event to an in-person event is that students are required to be more proactive in talking to schools.
Be friendly, introduce yourself, and ask any questions you have prepared and really sell your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to make the first interaction.
Meeting new connections is one of the best aspects of attending a QS event. When you’re meeting someone in person, they’ll notice how you present yourself – the questions you ask, how you talk about yourself, how much prior research you’ve done, etc.
While these things are still very important when meeting representatives online, you also need to be aware of several additional aspects, such as the way you type, your spelling, and whether or not you have your webcam on. Although this all seems like a lot to think about, paying attention to these things can really make a difference to schools’ overall impressions of you.
Be open, turn your webcam on, and have the right resources ready on your screen to make sure your conversations are tailored and direct and to get your questions answered.
What you should do after the event
After the event, you should read through any information you’ve been given by universities and take notes of anything that stands out to you. You should also jot down any connections you’ve made, whether these are email addresses or LinkedIn connections – you never know when they might be useful.
Decide on your next steps, and give yourself a pat on the back for taking a proactive approach towards achieving your university goals.