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Prospective students use virtual reality at MBA tour events.
Prospective students use virtual reality at MBA tour events.
Scheller College and Foundry 45 team to provide a unique campus visit for students across the country.
Scheller College and Foundry 45 team to provide a unique campus visit for students across the country.

Scheller College helps Transport MBA Prospects to Campus with Virtual Reality

Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business is recruiting prospective students with more than just a brochure this year – they are using technology to transport MBA seekers to their Atlanta campus.

Potential students are taking part in a virtual reality experience at MBA tour events in cities across the country including Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C., among others, with the help of some Georgia Tech alumni. Scheller College is one of the early adopters within the business school community to use virtual reality to connect with their audience for recruitment. So far, Scheller's recruiters have seen a 28 percent increase in table visits at fairs from last year and deeper engagement on social media.

“The Scheller College is preparing business leaders who are innovative and can leverage technology in a global setting,” said Maryam Alavi, dean of Scheller College of Business. “It is quite suitable that our recruitment efforts reflect the same forward-thinking approach that students experience in the classroom and throughout their MBA program.”

Dave Beck, MBA 2005, and Mike Orndorff, BSEE 1998, MBA 2005, are managing partners of Foundry 45, the company that created the college's virtual reality experience. Foundry 45 creates immersive virtual reality experiences for mobile platforms to help connect brands with their customers. The virtual reality experts can manage the entire production from storyboarding, filming, and post-production, through virtual reality application development.

While in the MBA program at Georgia Tech, Beck and Orndorff participated in the Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER®) program, an interdisciplinary program, also known as the Technology Commercialization MBA Immersive Track, that teams Scheller College MBA students and Emory University law students who focus on the commercialization of a Georgia Tech science, engineering, or computing Ph.D. student’s research.

“As a Scheller graduate, there was definitely something special about partnering with the program on this VR project,” said Beck. “The word, ‘technology’ is in the name of the school so it’s great to see Scheller own that and embrace technologically advanced ways to drive their recruiting efforts. It certainly fits the brand.”

Orndorff added that virtual reality is an amazing tool to easily transport a person to another place.

“It’s a powerful way for a recruiter to show off their facility and immerse a prospect in the organization’s atmosphere, without the prospect having to actually set foot on their location,” he said. “For example, at Scheller, rather than prospective students having to visit campus, Scheller’s recruiting team can bring the campus to them -- anywhere around the world.”

Virtual reality experience at MBA tour event.

Virtual reality and 360 video places users center stage by allowing them to travel into and discover new environments. For the MBA virtual reality experience, attendees at various fairs wore phone-powered virtual reality headsets. Scheller College and Foundry 45 first tested the virtual reality recruiting experience at South by Southwest as part of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s ChooseATL campaign earlier this year in Austin, Texas.

“The response to VR has been amazing. Prospective students have raved about how cool the experience is,” said Terrance Gresham, recruiting manager for the MBA program. “We are proud to be situated at the intersection of business and technology, and to be able to literally bring the two worlds together in this format is a tremendous asset for our recruitment efforts.”

Designed for potential full-time and evening MBA students, the 360 degree virtual reality experience is comprised of four main scenes. Users are able to visit a typical classroom, walk on the streets of Midtown Atlanta's Technology Square, tour a few corporate innovation centers located just across the street from the Scheller College, and take a ride on the Ramblin’ Wreck through Yellow Jacket Alley before a football game.

Download the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business MBA VR Tour Experience on the App Store and Google Play, or view the 360 video on the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business YouTube channel.


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