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Live Chat with Admissions Staff

January 14, 2010 —10:30-11:30AM CST

Moderator: Thanks for joining our chat today, we will be starting in 5 minutes. Please submit your questions!

Patty: Thank you for joining us today to talk about our admissions process for Executive MBA.

Toby: Hi Everyone and welcome! We're excited to spend the next hour or so answering any questions you have. My name is Toby Cortelyou and I am the Associate Director of Admissions and Marketing for the XP.

Patricia: Hello - Thanks for joining us today. I'm Patricia Coffey Associate Director of Admissions.

Archisman__Guest: Hi I have done my education in India. It is difficult to get transcripts from my college in India. Can I apply with marksheet of my college and not submitting transcript?

Patty: Hi Archisman. We realize the difficulty of obtaining Indian transcripts. We will accept your marksheet as long as it is officially translated into English and it states that you earned your degree.

FutureXP: What do you look for in an essay?

Patty: We are looking for a clear concise statement that has a genuine voice. By genuine voice, we mean that the tone of the essay allows us to get a clear picture of you, your work and your goals. Our essays are not designed to be tricky!

DrKris__Guest: Which is the ideal time to apply to Chicago Booth for executive MBA?

Toby: We have two application deadlines left in our current admission cycle. February 1st and April 1st. We review applications on a rolling basis meaning as your application is completed we review it. That said the general rule of thumb is that the earlier you apply the better.

Michelle__Guest: The third essay is optional...can you please share how helpful this is to complete and the most relevant topics to write about for the admissions staff?

Toby: Hi Michelle - there are many uses for the third essay. I have seen everything from further explanation of a lackluster academic record to personal information about an applicants family. It is best used to fill an gaps you think you may have in your application meaning if there is anything you want us to know about you that isn't coming out someplace else on the application the third essay is your opportunity to tell us.

G-341387734__Guest: Good afternoon Toby. What is the average number of years experience of applicants to your program?

Toby: The average years work experience hovers around 13. Keep in mind this is an average. Last year the age range of students starting the program was 28-58.

G-341411588__Guest: Are you answering questions for both London and Chicago campuses or just the latter?

Toby: We are all from the Chicago campu but may be able to answer some general questions about the London campus. Specific questions should be directed to our counterparts overseas.

Kunal__Guest: I am a prospective candidate for the xp course starting in June 2010. I understand I will need to attend an interview with alumni/ admissions staff as part of the applications process. I also understand tat I need to hv my resume, essays and transcripts in place for the interview.. I wanted to check on whether I can request for an interview without having my transcripts with me

Toby: Hi Kunal. You can schedule your interview at anytime. We need your essays, resume and academic transcripts at least 7 days before your interview.

Archisman__Guest: What type of financial assistance available? How do you help students getting financial assistance?

Patty: Hi - I am going to answer your questions about financial aid and outside accommodations. We have a Chicago Booth financial aid office - please contact them for details on loan programs at financial.aid@chicagobooth.edu We offer an optional hotel program for students

Patty: traveling in from outside of Chicago. We negotiate a rate from a nearby hotel, you pay our program office, and we make your reservations.

DrKris__Guest: Is the Booth Singapore campus similar to Chicago Campus?

Patty: Hi Kris. The program is the same across all 3 campuses, however the format is slightly different in London and Singapore. Instead of meeting every other week, London and Singapore groups meet for week long sessions every month.

SteveB__Guest: Hello. My employer has ceased all tuition reimbursements so I would be responsible for 100% of tuition cost. Would this in any away influence or factor into the admissions process

Patty: Hi SteveB - We understand that employers have made some big changes to their reimbursement programs. Even before this economic shift, we have never let financial support (or its lack) influence our decision making process.

Ketan__Guest: Hi Toby, I understand UC does not require GMAT. In absence of a common evaluation for analytical skills, what criteria does the admission committee use to ensure a strong student body?

Toby: Hi Ketan. There is no specific formula for admission to the program. We use all pieces of the application to ensure that admitted student have the ability to manage the academic rigors of the program, have a strong understanding of what our program offers and how that applies to their personal and professional goals, and finally what value they will provide to the rest of the students in their cohort.

Exe10Candidate: I would like to know more about career services offered by Booth for self sponsored candidates

Toby: Career services do not change for company sponsored and self sposored candidates. Services provided include one-on-one coaching, access to a jobs database, numerous industry workshops. For a more comprehensive list of services please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/career/index.aspx

Joe__Guest: Thanks for setting up this chat. Are younger or less experienced candidates viewed differently by admissions or subject to any additional requirements?

Patty: Hi, Joe. Since we admit a cohort or group of students who experience the program together, we have to consider the profiles of all of our candidates and how they fit into this group. In other words, we want to know what experience and skills each person provides to the group. Our candidates on the "left tail" or those with less experience than the average typically have to provide a bit more of a compelling story to bridge any potential experience gaps. There are no other requirements. We look at all applicants - regardless of experience and regularly admit people who have less than the average number of years work experience.

Moderator: We are halfway through the chat, and we have had some great questions! Please continue to submit your questions. We will try to answer as many as we can get to.

G-341323508__Guest: What does Booth Chicago look for in Letters of Recommendation from writers who are not Direct Supervisors? Are these typically other work colleagues, clients, etc.? Thanks.

Patty: Hello. First of all, we would like all recommendation letters to come from individuals who know you and your work very well. Presumably, your direct supervisor/boss can speak well to these points. The other 2 letters should have a similar message about you and your work. We are less impressed with big titles - ask for recommendations from people you know well -- colleagues, clients, etc. are great.

Jane__Guest: Hi, is it possible to have an admission interview off campus?

Toby: Hi Jane. All interviews must take place on campus at the Gleacher Center. Interviews are 45 minutes to an hour, and can be scheduled throughout the week.

ak__Guest: i understand that GMAT is not required but strongly recommended for EMBA admission. i have a GMAT score that is older than 5 years. will that be acceptable?

Patty: Hi ak - If you submit a GMAT score, we ask that it be within the 5 year limit.

Ritu__Guest: Good Afternoon. In order for your application to the EMBA program to be considered for the February 1 round, do you need to complete your interview prior February 1?

Toby: No. Your application will go to review once your interview is complete.

Max_1__Guest: Hi and Thank you for this opportunity for asking questions. Do we have some grace period for receiving the recommendation letters. Does it have to be in by Feb 1st for meeting the deadline.

Toby: Hi Max. We certainly understand that submission of the rec letters is out of your hands. There is no formal grace period but if your letters arrive a few days after the deadline that is when your application will go to review.

G-341411588__Guest: Is the London program considerred Full time? Can I atten the London program as an international student or do they have the same policy for part time program?

Patty: Hello. All of our executive MBA programs are part-time programs -- including the London-based program.

w007l__Guest: Can we sign up the optional hotel program in the middle of the 1st semester, or we have to decide before the classes start?

Patty: We manage our hotel program by quarter. If you opt in to the program, we ask you to do so before the quarter begins.

Exe10Candidate: Hi I would like to know about the sponsorship letter. Do I need to submit sponsorship letter alongwith my application or only if I get admitted

Patricia: Hi Exe10 Candidate! Your letter of support/sponsorship can be submitted anytime during the application process. Some applicants are negotiating with their company up front, so they tend to submit it with the application.

bullparade__Guest: Do you offer a "pre-application" review that will help determine a candidates potential to be accepted into the program?

Toby: We do not offer a "pre-application" review. If there is a specific area of the application that you are curious about we are happy to answer quastions but again, there is no formal review process.

Sriram__Guest: Patty...regarding the international sessions....is there a plan to expand them to be more than just 1 week? What has the feedback been on these sessions from Alumni and current students?

Patty: Hi Sriram. The one week sessions have been working extremely well for us. We are very sensitive to the fact that our students are undertaking our program while balancing work and family. Therefore, we do not want to take our students away from these other parts of their lives longer than is necessary. We are able to cover our material and give students a valuable learning experience in the time we have allotted.

Hemal__Guest: When it comes to recommendation letters, do you prefer receiving these only from direct managers?

Toby: Hi Hema. We require that only one of your recommendation letters come from a direct supervisor. The other two letters can come from whoever you want. Ideally from people who can speak intelligently about the reasons you would be a fit with the program.

G-341411588__Guest: Is there an expedited admission process if I already have acceptance from another school?

Patty: Hello. We try to work with applicants who have pending admissions decisions from other programs. Let us know your constraints and we can attempt to get you an answer a bit sooner. We do our best, but cannot promise we will meet your timeframe. Most other schools/ programs should work with you on timing as well.

NGoel__Guest: Can GMAT be waived for applicants with advanced Graduate Degrees?

Toby: Hi NGoel. The GMAT is not required for the Executive MBA Program. It is encouraged - especially for applicants who are unable to show strong quantitative skills in other places on their application.

bullparade__Guest: I have 10 years of work experience and live out of state, would I be better suited for the Executive or Part time program?

Toby: Which program you choose is a complicated decision. There are many nuanced differences between the program. There are students from out of state in both programs, and there are students with 10 years of professional experience in both programs. I would encourage you to investigate the curriculum structure of the programs, the differences between a cohort experience and not, and simply have conversations with students and or alumni from both programs to help determine where you would be most comfortable.

Moderator: We have 10 minutes left in the chat! We are still answering questions, so please submit any outstanding questions you may have.

Sam__Guest: How has the current economic climate affected the volume of executive MBA applications? Is there a change in the trend since the last year? Does the school provide any help to the EMBA graduates with job placements?

Patty: Hi Sam. Interest in our executive MBA program remains very high. What has changed is how our applicants interact with us. Many are spending more time investigating programs so they can be confident of their return on investment. We have a great career services group who work with our students and alumni on career management and development. We do not offer "job placement," but work with individual students on their career plans and goals. We also have a very robust job posting board in addition to hosting numerous netowrking events for specific industries.

Ketan__Guest: I have a dual-masters from an American University. I can easily get the Transcript for these two masters programs. In this case, do I need to get the transcripts for my undergrad in India?

Toby: Hi Ketan. To be consistent with University of Chicago accreditation policies we require official transcripts from anyplace you have received a degree. So yes, we need your undergrad transcripts from India.

Kunal__Guest: Patty - continuing the question from Archisman - My Indian Marksheets would not directly correleate to a GPA - Is there a standard conversion ration / formula that would be applicable to calculate my GPA

Patty: Hi Kunal - We do not use a formula to convert GPA. In fact, we look at your past education as an indication of your ability to handle our academic work well. A reasonable GPA is important, but we look at it in the context of the rest of an applicant's profile.

ProsMBA__Guest: When will the first round applicants know if they are selected in EMBA program?

Patricia: Hello ProsMBA -- the first round of applicants (Dec. 1) should know if they're selected by February 15, 2010.

Guest_123_Guest: Has the acceptance letter/e-mails went to any of the applicants in the first round for this year?

Patricia: Hi Guest_123! Decision letters for the 1st round of applications (Dec. 1) will be sent anytime up until Feb. 15, 2010

BK__Guest: What is the layeapst application date?

Patricia: The final application deadline is April 1, 2010

Max_1__Guest: What is the best time to schedule an interview?

Patricia: Hi Max_1 - We are pretty flexible with our interview schedule. Most interviews take place M-F during office hours. There are also specific dates available on Saturday's, but we'll work with you to get you scheduled for a date and time that's convenient for you.

theguy__Guest: Hello, Do you absolutely require managerial experience for EMBA admissions?

Toby: No we do not absolutely require it. Managerial experience can also include personal and/or project management. Our curriculum is taught from a managers perspective and as a result students with previous management experience are at an advantage.

Matt__Guest: Could you share any career paths, or indicidual characteristics that you look for? or that help a candidate stand out in the admissions process?

Patty: Hi Matt. Great questions. There are so many examples of great career paths and characteristics of our students. Overall, we are looking for consistent career progression. Some lateral moves are fine, but we like to see your career building to the point that you can bebefit from a general management program like the Executive MBA. Give us a rounded view of you as a person - both professionally and personally. Engage with us -- visit a class, attend an information session.

bullparade__Guest: My company offers full tuition reimbursement to all employees. In addition, we have a flexible work schedule that will accomodate the XP program. How do I capture that in the sponsorship letter?

Toby: There are a couple templates for the sponsership letter in the application. But you can also send what you just wrote, something like "XYZ Company fully supports Jane Smith in both time and finances as she pursues the Chicago Booth Executive MBA Program."

NGoel__Guest: Where can I find more information on your hotel program?

Patricia: NGoel - feel free to email us offline for information. XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Adema__Guest: I wanted to know how do we confirm if a transcript was recieved

Patricia: Hi Adema -- contact our program office at XP@ChicagoBooth to confirm if your transcript were received.

Matt__Guest: As an out of state applicant, does geography/distance from Chicago factor into admissions?

Toby: Absolutely not. Close to 40% of our students are current coming in from out of state. Your geographic locations bears no weight in our admission decision.

Patty: Thanks for all of your great questions today. We appreciate your interest in our executive MBA program.

Moderator: The chat is now over. The transcript from this chat will be available within 48 hours at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx

Toby: Thanks for all your great questions. I strongly encourage you to come visit the Gleacher Center for an Information Session of Class Visit. Remember you can also contact us at xp@chicagobooth.edu