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Chat with Patty Keegan and Admissions Staff

November 4, 2009—10:30-11:30AM CST

Moderator: Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today! We have already received a number of questions from some of you and we will begin answering them shortly. As a reminder, the primary goal of the chat today is to answer questions about the application and admissions process for the Executive MBA Program North America.

Moderator: Please submit all your application and admissions related questions! We will begin the chat in 5 minutes.

Patricia: Welcome- thanks for joining us. I'm Patricia Coffey, Assistant Director of Admissions.

Toby: Good morning and welcome everyone, thank you for joining us today! My name is Toby Cortelyou, I am the Associate Director of Admissions and Marketing.

Patty: Hi! I am Patty Keegan, Senior Director. Welcome to our admissions chat. I look forward to answering your questions.

G-159077314 My undergraduate GPA is 2.3 (I have been out of school for 13 yrs now) but I have a strong work experience. If I get a 650 GMAT score, how likely will I be considered for the program?

Patty: Hi! We do look at undergraduate GPA but realize that candidates have been out of school for some time. Strong work experience is good and a 650 GMAT is reasonable. Keep in mind that GMAT is encouraged, but not required for our executive MBA program.

RBT: iF A PERSON IS A UK QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANT AND A CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYSIS. HOWEVER DO NOT HAVE A FIRST DEGREE, WOULD THEY STILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE GMAT? GIVEN AS WELL THEY HAVE THE NECESSARY WORK EXPERIENCE, WHAT ARE THERE CHANCES OF GETTING INTO THE EMBA PROGRAM?

Toby: The GMAT is NOT a required part of the application but it is preferred. Applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degrees are even more strongly encouraged to submit a GMAT score.

AV: Hello Patty, I currently reside in Dallas and i am seeking admission to attend classes at the chicago campus. Since i will be relocating, taking up a new job in chicago, is it ok if my letters of recommendation come from my current Manager/Supervisor/colleagues?

Patty: Hi AV! This is absolutely appropriate. We want to hear from recommenders who are familiar with your work style and accomplishments. We will, however, ask your new employer to provide a letter of support for the time commitment if you are admitted to the program and accept our offer.

w007: Among the admitted students in the past, what's the percentage of candidates who didn't have GMAT scores?

Toby: We don't track the number of students who do and do not submit scores. The GMAT does help us in determining whether or not applicants have the quantitative skills needed to be successful in the program, we also use your academic transcripts and professional work experience to help determine that as well.

AV: How much weightage is given to the actual GMAT score? Do i stand a chance with a score of 640 or should i re-take the exam?

Patty: We do not assign weights to application components. Rather, all pieces are looked at holistically. Without knowing more about your background, it is difficult to assess if a 640 will be helpful. It is a reasonable score in general.

DJG: Please explain the application process. What is required (GMAT, interview, recommendations, etc)?

Patricia: DJG -- thanks for your question. You must complete an online application via the website. What's required in that application are 3 letters of recommendation, official transcripts from any previous schools you've attended, essay questions and an in-person admissions interview.

Matt: Would you consider higher education (PhD) in lieu of some business experience as an admission criteria?

Toby: Hi Matt - formal or traditional business experience is not a pre-requisite for the program. We have students from very diverse backgrounds including academic, political and even members of the clergy. The main idea is to share with us what you believe the other students in the room would be able to learn from your experiences.

w007: Where is the preferred resume template? Could you send us the link for downloading?

Patty: Hello. The link to the resume template is within our online application.

Bryan: What can you tell me about what consitutes an acceptable GMAT score? Can you provide an average of scores of accepted students?

Toby: We don't track average GMAT scores for our applicants and/or accepted students. To be clear the GMAT is one part of a large application process. That said it is fair to say that we prefer scores to be in the high 500s and above.

G-159077314 Given today's economic climate, has enrollment levels dropped off or reamain the same (is this true for the p-t programs as well)

Patty: We have had a fantastic year for enrollment in our executive MBA program. We are seeing a slightly longer investigation process since candidates, in general, are being conservative about their options.

booth2010: How many credit hours are there in total? - Our company sponsor the tuition by credit hours. Thanks.

Patricia: Hello Booth 2010 -- One EMBA course is 3 credit hours. This information is generally given to companies for employee reimbursement.

G-202635841_1: I see that upon admission, there is a letter of support required. Would that come from the HR department or from my VP?

Patricia: Hi G! A letter of company support is required, after you're offered a seat in the program. The letter can come for the HR department or your immediate manager/supervisor. The letter must state, the company supports the time commitment. We actually have a sample letter of company support in the online application.

AV: how are the essays evaluated?

Toby: We use your essay answers to help us learn more about your goals in joining the program. We are looking to learn why you believe our program is a fit you and also what you will bring to the classroom and be able to teach your classmates.

Pramod: Do you recommend early application?

Patricia: Hi Pramod,

Patricia: Yes, we do encourage early submission of application. Since there are only 90 seats per year available, the program is very competitive. THe sooner you apply, the better opportunity of attaining one of those seats.

Moderator: We're halfway through the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. Please continue to submit your application and admissions questions!

Matt: Is the program targeted to more senior level managers? Are mid level managers encouraged or discouraged to apply?

Toby: Both mid and senior level managers are encouraged to apply and will find the program beneficial. The curriculum of the program is taught from a managers perspective and will provide you the frameworks and tools to be successfull at all levels.

AV: are the applications considered on a first come first serve basis?

Patricia: Hi AV - We do not consider applications on a first come, first serve basis. We do operate on rolling admissions, meaning as we get applications in, they're reviewed and decisions are made by the admissions committee. As with any top MBA program, it's very competitive so the early you submit your application, the better chance of attaining a seat in the program. As a reminder, here are the application deadlines for the 2010 class: December 1, 2009 - receive a decision by Feb. 15; Feb. 1, 2010 1st decision deadline - receive a decision by April 15, and finally April 1 deadline - decision rendered by May 15.

Darren: I have a business degree from 1996. I have been working since that time, all the way up to a VP of Sales for a medical device manufacturer. We went thru a merger and I am currently out of work, but deciding btw taking this time to obtain an MBA, or going back to work, OR doing an executive MBA once I start work. The problem, of course is that finding a new employer willing to hire someone at a VP/Director level, who also wants to pursue an MBA at the same time may prove very difficult. Question then is this...if I do the MBA NOW (full time) and wait to return to work until I am finished, what is the earliest I could get started, and what is the earliest I could be done? Is there a 12 or 14 month program like some of the ones I have seen recently? And is the fact that I am unemployed narrow my option to the full time program , or am I still a consideration for the executive program? (Sorry so many ??s at once)

Toby: Hi Darren - You are asking some pretty specific questions that may better be answered offline during a phone conversation. Feel free to call us at 312.464.8750. Very brielfy though we do not offer the accelerated 12-14 month programs you reference. The Executive program will begin in June 2010 and you wil graduate in March of 2012 and finally your current employment status does not play a significant role in application evaluation.

BR: What does the letter of company support need to say?

Patty: Hi BR. If admitted, we will ask you to provide a letter from the appropriate person at your company. The letter should detail support for the time commitment needed to complete the program. We do not require company financial support, but if you have negotiated that, please let us know. There is a letter template in our online application.

AV: I have been working as a software engineer for the past 15 years and i am trying to move to business administration completely(but still utilize my knowledge of technology), is it necessary that i have some background in financials/accounting? how are the essays evaluated ?

Patty: Hi AV. Some general financial or accounting knowledge is helpful, but not required. We offer a PreMBA course prior to the start of the program that can help with some of these concepts.

South_Side: Who is an ideal executive MBA candidate? How to determine whether to go for Executive MBA Vs part time MBA at Booth?

Toby: There are a couple main differences in the EMBA and Evening/Weekend programs at Booth. Primarily the EMBA Program is a lock-step program in terms of curriculum and the EVening/Weekend program is incredibly flexible. The demographics of the student body are also a little different in that EMBA students are typically a little older and come in with more professional experience. I encourage you to investigate each program in detail to find out which one best serves your specific needs.

Nick: What types of information are you looking for from letters of recommendation?

Patricia: Hi Nick. Letters of recommendation should come from someone who can speak on your professional accomplishments and your potential for growwth in your job function or industries. Questions about your intellectual ability and creativity will be asked.

G-159077314 Are interviews scheduled after a candidate's application is reviewed. If so, will the school contact the candidate?

Patricia: Hi G -- Interviews can be scheduled anytime during the application process. When you are in the online application system, there is a link to sign up for interviews. You will receive an automated email confirmation. We will contact you a week before the interview for confirmation.

Pramod: All the applications are processed after the deadline or the apps are processed as they come?

Patty: Hi Pramod. We use rolling admissions in our program which means that we evaluate and make decisions on applications as we receive them.

w007: If I target Feb. 1 application deadline, what's the cutoff day to take GMAT exam in order for you to consider it?

Toby: We receive your GMAT scores electronically as long as you select us as a program to have them sent to. I do not have the GMAT test schedule in front of my but whatever test date is closest to February 1st would be fine.

DJG: What is the typical enrollment?

Patty: Hi DJG. We typically enroll 90-95 students in June each year at our Chicago campus. We also enroll 90-95 at both our London and Singapore campuses.

Moderator: The chat will be closing in 10 minutes. Please submit your final questions.

JJ: What is the median amount of years work experience your current class holds?

Patty: Hi JJ! Our average number of years' work experience in our current class is 13 years.

Jonesy: Can you give some guidance on the type of recommendation letters we should provide? My immediate supervisor has already committed. Should I submit a C-level recommendation as a demonstration of institutional committment to the program? Or do you prefer to see recommendations from managers that more directly interface with candidates?

Patricia: Hi Jonesy. Your immediate supervisor as a recommender is exactly what we require! The other two should come from people who know you and your work very well. The institutional commitment will come in the form of a support letter once you are admitted to the program. If one of your recommenders is the appropriate person to provide this support letter, then he/she can talk about both things - their support of you as a candidate and your company's support.

KH: Any interview tips?

Patty: Hi KH. My best advice is to relax and let your personality show. ALong with that, be sure to think about how you can quickly summarize your career history highlighting accomplishments. Also think about what you can add to our cohort of students. Finally, be sure you research our program before arriving and/or talk to students and alumni. Bring questions to the interview - but not questions whose answers can easily be found on our website. Above all, we want to make sure you know what our program is about and make sure the fit is right. Be enthusiastic about wanting to join the Booth community!

Sep: Like the full time program, does the EMBA program help teach further analytical skills to increase your visionary leadership?

Toby: The faculty are the same accross all programs and the Chicago approach to Business Education stresses the importance of asking questions and examining ideas in an effort to provide you with the frameworks you need to make successful business decisions throughout your career in any industry.

KP2012: Could you please elaborate on ChicagoBooth EMBA - placement-help/ career-help efforts?

Toby: The career services department wears many hats when it comes to the Executive program providing assistance with everything from resume prep and offering interview workshops to holding workshops that provide employment insights to specific industries and moderating multiple networking events. For a more comprehensive list of careerservices available please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/career/career-services.aspx

Matt: Is lodging available Thursday night if we need to fly in early?

Toby: Hi Matt - We do not provide housing for students during regular class weekends. We only provide housing during the four residential weeks in the program.

Sep: Will you increase your flexibility on additional elective or specialization courses for the 2nd year of the program?

Patty: Hi Sep. I am not entirely sure I understand your question, but let me try to explain how electives and concentrations work. We offer 10 elective courses in September of year 2. Students can choose two. If someone opts to concentrate in marketing, finance, and strategy, they take 2 additional courses just prior to graduation. Right now, we do not have plans to expand the concentration offerings beyond marketing, finance and strategy.

DJG: You indicated "Primarily the EMBA Program is a lock-step program in terms of curriculum." I believe I read there are concentrations offered as part of the EMBA program as well. Can you briefly explain?

Patricia: HI DJG -- Yes, the program is a lock-step curriculum. However, you do have a choice of concentrating in three areas, "Finance, Marketing and Strategy". This gives students who have a deeper personal interest in one of the subject matters to explore that area further.

w007: Do you provide any on-campus recruiting services to EMBA students?

Toby: The EXecutive MBA Program does not offer on-campus recuiting options for it's students. Partially due to a conflict of interest with sponsoring companies. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of on-campus recruitment positions are junior to the career level of Executive MBA Students.

Toby: Thank you everyone for joining us today. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us at 312.464.8750 or through email at xp@chicagobooth.edu

Patty: Thanks for joining us today. I look forward to reviewing your applications prior to our upcoming Dec 1 deadline!

Patricia: Thanks for joining us today. For additional information about the admissions process for the program, please feel to reach out to us via phone 312.464.8750 or email, XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Moderator: The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. If you have further questions about the Executive MBA Program, please visit us chicagobooth.edu/execmba or call us 312.464.8750

Moderator: The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat