The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Since 1993, The MBA Tour has been working to narrow the connec­tivity gap between candidates and business schools by providing dedicated forums that bring institutions and prospective students together for personal engagement.

Partner schools in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa have a chance to connect with talent on a powerful, personal level and foster bonds with highly qualified candidates through the more than 60 business education events hosted each year across six continents.

In 2019, The MBA Tour joined the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and is now part of the GMAC Connect suite of discovery and engagement solutions.

The coronavirus pandemic may have curtailed travel, but it has done little to dampen the ambitions of businesspeople or the dedication of GMAC to create opportunities for schools and candidates—and that holds true for Japan.

Like many events, The MBA Tour will go on in a virtual format on July 30, and Managing Director Petia Whitmore believes there are advantages to the online setting. “The major opportunity in hosting virtual events is the wider reach we now have to serve the greater Japanese market outside Tokyo, and more frequently than just once a year,” she said. “Even when travel starts up again, we now have a great tool that can be utilized as a supplement to in-person recruitment to provide more access and opportunity for Japanese candidates to connect with schools virtually throughout the year.”

As Whitmore pointed out, MBA candidates and universities find themselves needing to learn how to function remotely. This includes not just courses, but also the research and application phases that come first. “Our virtual format offers a great solution for candidates to navigate the admissions process, network with other candidates, and meet schools—all in one platform,” she said.

Based on conversations with business schools, The MBA Tour has made the top priorities for the virtual format to host MeetUps online and to offer even better matching for informal small group meetings.

“The MBA Tour virtual events will utilize an advanced matching algorithm and GMAC-proprietary data compiled through decades of candidate engagement and research,” Whitmore explained. “The data is leveraged to enhance the matching between candidates and business schools, and to stimulate effective discussion. This technology is powered by machine learning and will expand a candidate’s view into schools they are exploring while increasing the variety of schools they speak with at our events.”

A big part of The MBA Tour events is the exhibition portion—something that would seem difficult to stage in a virtual setting. Whitmore assured The ACCJ Journal that this important research and networking opportunity will go on.

“Each school will still host a booth in the online exhibit hall. During the event, candidates can chat live with university representatives at the respective booths, as well as download brochures and other helpful resources,” she explained. “Additionally, booths will be equipped with on-demand content that is accessible throughout the duration of the tour.”

Candidates will be able to connect directly with admissions officers, network, access exclusive tips on the GMAT from exam creators, and receive complimentary consultations and resume reviews from test preps and admissions consultants. “This is a great learning opportunity for those still in the consideration stage, and also serves candidates who are ready to apply and looking for the best-fit program.”

With coronavirus forcing change in so many aspects of education and business, what might MBA programs look like in the new normal?

“In light of Covid-19, where so many businesses, unfortunately, have suffered and many professionals are needing to pivot, I think we will see more candidates applying to business school over the next few cycles,” Whitmore said. “We are experiencing a shift in the world and, more than ever, need leadership who can adapt. This is where we believe graduate management education can really make a difference.”


Columbia University
Georgia State University
Georgia Tech
Harvard University
Hult International Business School
IESE Business School
Rice University
University of British Columbia
University of California Berkeley
University of California, San Diego
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
Washington University in St. Louis
York University—Schulich School of Business

July 30 | 6:00–10:30 p.m. | Free admission
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July 30 | 6:00–10:30 p.m. 
Free admission
Sign up: