Category Archives: MBA Marketing

Compare the Meerkats

Many of my friends and colleagues know that I love tech and social media although I am not the early adopter type. More like the person who comes in after that first adopter wave. Last week, I broke that pattern by being an early adopter of an app that, had taken SWSX by storm. Meerkat is a live-video streaming app where someone logs into the app using a twitter account, and then you can stream live video through your twitter feed. Once you are done with streaming and hit the stop button, the feed disappears ala SnapChat. It is currently only available on iOS but anyone can watch your live stream through their twitter feed.

Whether Meerkat follows in the footsteps of Twitter and Foursquare which made their breakthroughs in SWSX is still an open question. But you know that there is potential when mainstream media write about Meerkat and celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus start to use it.

I might have been the first admissions professional to use Meerkat last Friday. I had it all planned out. I used Meerkat’s scheduling function to announce to my 1750 odd twitter followers that I was going to speak at 4:45 pm GMT about the Round 4 applications. @CambridgeMBA retweeted that to their 16,000 followers.

At 4:45pm, on the dot, I was all ready. I had positioned my iPad so that it wouldn’t show the mess on my table or the confidential charts, I had a last sip of water, cleared my throat and pressed start. There was no one watching. I tried to act cool. It was probably just a timing issue, maybe people were fiddling around with their phones or refreshing their desktop browsers. I waited.

The seconds turned into minutes. Suddenly one viewer came on, then another and another. I started talking about how most of the Round 4 applications had been read and decisions would be emailed out in the next hour. I talked about the number of interview invites and some of the common reasons why people were rejected in this round, and that there were still places available for Round 5. I showed some of the office, again trying to avoid any confidential material related to applications. And after five minutes I was done.

So was it worth it? Given that it was free and only took 5 minutes of my time, I would say there was little downside. I did enjoy the live-streaming experience but then again I wasn’t watching myself so I am a bit biased here. Would I do it again? Very definitely yes. I am a firm believer that podcasts, videos and now live-streaming can give applicants, students and faculty an insight into a business school, the personalities and our values. So I will definitely try live video-streaming again but it is still too early to decide whether Meerkat will be the preferred platform — Twitter has already acquired a competitor to Meerkat.

One thing I did learn from being an early adopter is that in social media, size does matter. Jimmy Fallon has 23 million followers on twitter. He had only 2000 people watch him on Meerkat doing a rehearsal for his show. Now you could argue that viewing a Meerkat stream shows a higher commitment than following someone on twitter and that Meerkat is still in its early stages but that’s still a big drop-off.

As for me, I drew some comfort from the fact that my drop-off percentage was better than Fallon’s. Until my colleague Luisa told me she was one of the three viewers. Bah.

My trip to Angola

So I was waiting outside my hotel looking for our designated driver when I heard someone ask me 你需要帮忙吗?(Do you need any help in Mandarin). That shouldn’t be surprising except that I was in Luanda, capital of Angola, and it was a Portuguese woman who was speaking to me in Mandarin. It was a great… Continue Reading

Combining Careers and Admissions and Marketing

This summer, the Cambridge MBA team underwent a reorganisation that saw the Marketing, Admissions and Careers functions come under my supervision. Within the Careers team, we have beefed up the employer relations and business development side so that we can increase our outreach to employers with two objectives, one to better understand employer talent needs… Continue Reading

A change of name — a shift in twitter strategy

Followers of our twitter account @CambridgeMBA would have noticed a subtle but significant change that occurred about three weeks ago. I used to tweet under the @CambridgeMBA handle but I now tweet under the handle @conradchua16. The marketing team now tweets using the @CambridgeMBA handle. When we first started on the social media journey some… Continue Reading

What a so-called Oops moment tells us about MBAs

I recently came across an article that describes the reaction to what I can only describe as a process error committed by McKinsey when communicating with unsuccessful MBA applicants. In brief, McKinsey sent an automated email to rejected MBA applicants. Nothing unusual there, but the email still showed the field name %Preferred when it should… Continue Reading

The power of maps

As some of you know, I have been hosting a podcast series where I interview students and alums about topical business issues. This started as a personal hobby earlier in the year because I realised how fascinating the stories of our alums and students were. I am sure that MBAs in other schools have great… Continue Reading

Frameworks and what students want

This will be a cryptic post arising from me connecting the dots from three unrelated interactions that I had this week. First, I was having a conversation with some colleagues who noted that students now wanted more lecture notes, and better slides in presentations. Secondly, I attended the Magdalene College-Investec Lecture in Business which was… Continue Reading