Posted by: Louis Lavelle on October 12, 2009
By Adam Fusfeld
We’ve already reported B-schools using social media in the classroom . Now the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is taking it a step further – employing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube simply to attract students, in the form of prospective part-time MBAs, to their classrooms.
Those glossy brochures are being phased out, eventually to be replaced by virtual interaction as part of a new program called The Booth Life.
At the center of the initiative is a recently launched website that allows prospective students a glimpse into the life of part-time Booth MBAs (Booth Part-Time MBA Profile) through video content. While some of the videos are school-sanctioned and professionally produced, the focus of The Booth Life is on student testimonials. The school built a free-standing video kiosk on campus so that students can instantly record and upload videos where they discuss classes, professors, other students or any aspect of student life. Students can do the same from off-campus locations with small FLIP cameras provided by the school.
“This program gives prospective students an honest portrayal of student life at Chicago Booth,” said George Andrews, associate dean for the evening MBA and weekend MBA programs. “They are real stories from real students, told in very real ways.”
Clearly, the school encourages its students to speak openly about life as an evening or weekend MBA. But on the website it’s not exactly obvious whether you are clicking on one of the professionally produced videos or a student-generated one.
In addition to the video project, The Booth Life aims to use other forms of social media to paint a more complete picture of the weekend and evening MBA programs. The Booth Life is building a heavy presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with the changing habits of their prospective students.
“As the Internet and social media evolve, so will our outreach efforts,” said Chris Iannuccilli, executive director of marketing at Chicago Booth.
Then again, if Chicago Booth is listed on your Facebook friends list next to your mom and your college roommate, you would think the school already succeeded in drawing your interest.
Readers, what do you think? Check out the videos and give us your two cents.