MBA Interviews | Recruiting and Sports


by: Grayson Leverenz

Whenever I meet an International student, I always ask, “What’s the biggest surprise for you in doing your MBA in the US?” The answer helps me learn more about the International experience to create better content for you. Plus, I’m a naturally curious person, especially when it comes to cultural experiences.

I recently met a student from India that said he was surprised by the role sports play in the MBA Recruiting process. He said, “People love sports in India, too…but we don’t talk about them during interviews.” A lot of other International students agreed.

He’s right; sports do play a role in the MBA Recruiting process in the US, especially if you go to a school that excels in a particular area. I think I’ve mentioned in blog posts before that I am not a huge sports fan, but I went to two major ACC basketball schools for my education, Wake Forest for undergrad and UNC for my MBA. Incidentally, Wake Forest just beat UNC in basketball last night and moved into the #2 position in the AP poll. That’s the kind of thing you’ll want to know walking into an interview.

Recruiters often use sports to establish rapport with an interviewee. After the introductions, when you’re walking back to the interview room, they may strike up a conversation about last night’s game or their favorite player. With that in mind, it’s important to do your homework on your sports teams as well as your behavioral interview questions.

Here is a site with NCAA College Basketball rankings as of today. Note, both my alma maters in the top 5 of the AP poll! You can use this site to be aware of the rankings, to learn the schedule and get some facts on the players. There is also a very cool recap section that shows the highlights of games.

Have fun with it; you don’t ever want to be disingenuous when you’re prepping for interviews. If keeping up with a website doesn’t sound fun to you, use this opportunity to ask one of your US classmates to tell you about the season. That’s what I always did!

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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