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Executive MBA Chat with admissions staff and a current student

January 26, 2010 — 12:00-1:00 PM CST

Moderator: Hello! Our chat will begin in 5 minutes. Please submit your questions. We look forward to answering your questions about the Executive MBA student experience.

Toby: Hi everyone and welcome. My name is Toby Cortelyou - I am the Associate Director of Marketing and Admissions. We are excited to have some students who have been through and are going through the program with us today. Please take advantage of this opportunity to get your questions answered from them!

Patty: Hi Everyone! This is Patty Keegan, Senior Director. Thanks for joining us.

Brad: Hello, and welcome to the chat! Brad Krillenberger, Senior Associate Director Student Services

Patricia: Hello all! I'm Patricia Coffey, Associate Director of Admissions. We look forward to answer your questions today.

Kate: Hi All! I am a current EMBA student, and looking forward to answering your questions today!

Brian: Good afternoon! My name is Brian Bauer, and I'm a current student in the XP program. Looking forward to a great conversation!

Waseem__Guest_: Hi I am in process of filling out the application and I have a question about the application, Is there somebody from admissions office on the chat who can answer?

Patricia: Hi Waseem - there are three admissions staff on the chat. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Rafi: Hi everyone! I am a recent alum from the XP-78 program. I graduated in March 2008.

haxor__Guest_: How much of the coursework involves the case study method?

Kate: Case study method is a core element of several of the classes, but is not the foundation of the coursework I have completed to date. We have utilized case studies within our Strategy coursework to evaluate various theories, plus are currently referencing case studies for our Investments course. Thanks!

G-404113969__Guest_: Does Chicago Booth encourage students from various backgrounds,like medicine for executive MBA

Patty: Absolutely! We value diverse viewpoints in the classroom and in our class makeup. It is a big part of the value proposition for our students to create a learning environment that examines issues and ideas from many different viewpoints and experiences.

Cool__Guest_: Do you have students from IT field with 10+ years experiences into your EMBA program ?

Toby: Yes we do. We work very hard to maintain diversity in the classroom in terms on professional industry and job function so just about any industry you can think of is represented in your cohort.

G-404149080__Guest_: Hello everyone. I have a question. Do you offer online classes or do I have to physically be in Chicago to attend the program?

Patricia: Hi G! We do not offer online courses. Our students come to Chicago for all classes.

G-403729658__Guest_: Can a EMBA student take the Elective/ Concentration courses at a different campus, for example if i join Chicago campus can i take the Elective/Concentration courses at the Singapore Campus?

Brad: All Elective & Concentration courses are ONLY offered in Chicago, and are open to students from all three campuses.

haxor__Guest_: What is the most noticeable change in thought process, confidence, and leadership upon graduating?

Rafi: The Program really changes how you think about everything in your life. It provides the ability to handle any situation with confidence. I now welcome challenging situations at work and at home.

emba2010__Guest_: Hi...This is a question for Rafi...How has your career path improved/changed since graduation? What steps did you take during your EMBA to facilitate that?

Patty: My career path not only took a step change but I also know that it is on a higher trajectory. I used the 2 years to really learn about all the facets of business. I learned about so many unknown careers through the exceptional 90 students I was with. Also, the career center can really provide guidance and research materials.

Anup__Guest_: I am looking for a career change from engineering to entrepreneurship or venture capital (in my current industry). Is there any possibility that this might be accomplished without a full-time MBA? If yes, would part-time or EMBA be better? I will be flying in to Chicago from Texas.

Toby: Hello Anup. There is a mix of students in the program looking to change careers as well as enhance their current careers. In general the Chicago Booth Career Services and Alumni Network are terrific resources for both. Also about 40% of our students are flying in to the program every other weekend.

G-404150079__Guest_: Good afternoon! For the week(s) in residence @ Chicago, do students need to find accomodations or are they provided as part of tuition? I would also like to hear about this aspect of the Booth experience from an alum. Thanks!

Brad: North American Executive Students have four weeks covered as part of their Tuition. Two weeks in Chicago (Kick off & Electives Week) as well as one week in London & one week in Singapore during your 2nd summer.

Amir__Guest_: what percentage of a part time class would be under 25?

Brad: We currently do not have any students enrolled in the Executive MBA program that is under 25. The Evening & Weekend program might have different statistics.

Waseem__Guest_: Good thanks, My question is regarding the transcripts. I have done my Undergraduate degree from a University in Pakistan and Post graduate from USC in LA. Application ask for the official transcripts USC can send them to Booth but the other school may take some time. In the meantime I can submit scanned copies for those, will that work?

Patricia: Thanks for your question Waseem. If you have a copy of your transcript from the University in Pakistan, we will need a notarized copy of it in English translation. Feel free to contact us offline for more details (XP@ChicagoBooth.edu)

Peter__Guest_: At what point in ones career would they consider an EMBA over the usual MBA part time program. Eg. I'm 35 y.o. with management experience.

Kate: From my experience, the EMBA demographics are typically those with extensive career experience, and oftentimes managerial experience. Secondly, the EMBA curriculum provides great group and classroom discussion, which helps each of us learn from our peers. This program is also geared towards balancing the workload of a full-time position and MBA program, offering a challenging curriculum, but ultimately a focus on learning and applying. The part-time MBA program is traditionally those with slightly less experience, maybe mid-career, or looking for a transition. Based on your experience, I would see that you would be an ideal fit into the EMBA program versus the part-time.

FM__Guest_: Hi Brian and Katie - How much time to you spend on group work vs studying alone?

Brian: I find that it's about half and half, but I prefer in groups. While you'll have a formal study group for homework, etc - you'll also develop a group of friends that you prefer to actually study with. That informal network will really help propel you through the program, as some will have experience in areas that you don't. To quantify .. about 3 hours week on group stuff, and the rest (2-9 hours) on your own.

w007__Guest_: Could you comment your experience on career services? What services are available during the program? What are after graduation?

Rafi: Career services are for life. They offer all facets of help from resume writing to mock interviews. They also have extensive database access for researching companies. This is an excellent feature of the program knowing its for life. There are also jobs boards and of course the Alumni database is second to none.

haxor__Guest_: Some Exec MBA programs meet only once a month, why does yours meet twice a month?

Toby: Hi Haxor. It's simply a case of getting as much material covered in the time that we need to cover it. I would investigate the total hours of class time in these programs you are referring to.

Madhu__Guest_: Hi I have a question on the deadlines. If I submit my application on Feb 4th, will my application be reviewed whenver someone gets to it or during the April 1 deadlline ?

Toby: Hi Madhu. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis so once your application is complete it will go for review.

Jacqueline__Guest_: Hello! Rafi how did the study abroad impact your career?

Rafi: The international program was a great part of the program. I appreciated that it was NOT watered down. We had the same classroom experience with the same professors but with 30 Americas students, 30 from Europe, and 30 from Asia. Fantastic interaction discussing any topic. I took a negotiations class that was fascinating dealing with global cultural issues. I now have a fantastic network to lean on and a much better understanding of how different parts of the word view business topics.

G-403729658__Guest_: What are the most exciting courses the current students have experienced, and rate them as the higest value add to their skills set?

Kate: Well, all of them are exciting, but yes there are some really excellent courses that have been practical and valuable. I am in a Marketing role today, and the Micro and Macro classes have helped me to frame my questioning and understanding of how to qualitatively evaluate issues. Secondly, balancing this qualitative approach with the structured frameworks taught in Strategy has been really advantageous, and I can apply the information right away. I am about 6 months into the program, and thus far have been able to apply the information directly and have been impressed at the challenge and learning opportunity.

Matt_S__Guest_: If accepted can you differ for a year?

Patricia: Hi Matt, Yes, if you are unable to attend the program in the current admission year, you may defer your admission for the next year.

rbt__Guest_: Do you have any students that fly in from ourside the US to attand classes?

Toby: Hi rbt. We currently have students flying in from Canada and Mexico. In the past we have also had students coming in from South America. With our campuses in London and Singapore students in Europe, Asia and the Middle east have more convenient options than flying to Chicago.

booth_guest1__Guest_: How are candidates viewed that have past management and leadership experiences but are individual contributor today? Are the students in EMBA program all in management position?

Patty: It is certainly helpful to have significant management experience when participating in the program -- whether past or present. We define management positions as managing people and/or projects.

G-404118925__Guest_: I have been working in healthcare for over 9 years in many roles, sales, and healthcare manangement solutions, I am looking for a program that will provide the tools to support me in reaching that next level in the world of healthcare considering how complex and unique this field has become. Are there professors that are involved in any current or past issues involving healthcare, and has the GSB realized the importance of this specialty?

Toby: We certainly do. Look up Bob Fogel, Kevin Murphy and Gary Becker. All have written extensivly on many issues facing the healthcare industry. In terms of realizing the importance of this specialty the curriculum of the program doesn't teach to any specific industry or job function. We focus on the fundamentals and providing you the analytical tools to make strong decisions in any business situation.

haxor__Guest_: On average, how many hours per week are required for coursework study and group work?

Brian: It all depends on your background and skill sets. Each quarter will depend ... typically, I have a group conference call on Tuesday for an hour or so, and then a local study group for a few hours on Wednesday. I use the off weekend as personal study time. All-in-all, it ranges from 5-12 hours a week.

G-403729658__Guest_: Do the EMBA students interact with the full time MBA students at any point during the program?

Brad: There is no formal scheduled events with the Full time MBA students. There are several events event normally sponsored by the Alumni office that are open to not only Alumni but ALL current MBA students.

kathleen__Guest_: I am re-entering the workforce after a six year absence, I have 15 years of technology sales and management experience and local. Is this the program you would recommend ? I attended Tuck GSB 'Back in Business' program just as Wall Street was crashing but it spiked my desire to complete an MBA 'later' than most of your candidates.

Kate: Later is relative. This program really has a great mix of professionals with various years of experiences and represents a wide array of professions. If you are looking to be challenged, and share your past and current experiences with others to help learn, this is an excellent program. I would not hesitate to apply based on your re-entering the workforce at this point, this would be a valuable differiator in the market.

haxor__Guest_: Katy,Brian,Rafi -- why did you select the Booth exec MBA?

Kate: Quantitative. I am currently a Global Marketing Manager, and wanted to be able to interpret and use data in a new way. This program helps me to build my weaknesses, and enhance my strengths. Thus far, it has certainly achieved that and more!

CFish__Guest_: I heard that they are going to be rotating the groups throughout the 21 months as opposed to locking into just one group. Is that true?

Brad: We do have several opportunities throughout the 21 months to work with other local and international study group members. We feel that this is a great way to encourage networking among the group.

Madhu__Guest_: For someone applying to Chicago Booth with around 6 years of experience, what areas should be emphasized in the application to make a strong case?

Kate: Good point, ultimately, Chicago Booth is looking for candidates that have solid professional accomplishments, while representing a wide range of industries, careers, and backgrounds. I would encourage you to highlight your strengths -- global professional experience, multiple industry experiences, varied background. Fundamentally, you have to be true to you. Demonstrating your experiences and attributes will help benefit not only you personally, but how you can add value to the program.

haxor__Guest_: what is the average gmat for EMBA students that submit scores?

Patricia: Thanks for your question Haxor. The admissions team evaluate the entire application, including work experience, recommendations, and academic transcripts, etc. We use GMAT as a means of making sure the person has the necessary skills to handle the rigourous academic work required for the program. We encourage all applicants to take the GMAT, but especially thosw who have fewer years of work experience, or those who feel their prior academic work does not adequately demonstrate their abilities.

Moderator: We are halfway through the chat, please continue to submit your questions! We have had great questions thus far, and we will answer as many as we can in the next 30 minutes.

Sachin__Guest_: I am from Energy Industry. Do we have any Energy Club at Chicago Booth ?

Brad: Yes, we do. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/groups/Energy/index.aspx

G-403729658__Guest_: Hi Brian and Katie, can you comment on which are the courses in the program that you found to be the most influential in changing your perspective overall?

Brian: The class that I enjoyed the most, and was most applicable to my career, was a class on the power of social networks. And not in the sense of Facebook or Twitter, but in old-fashioned networking, group work, etc. The impact that it has on the way that I manage staff, as well as manage my career growth, is significant. I also enjoyed Macro (I had the fortune of taking the class during the fall of 2008, so a fascinating time to be studying) and currently engrossed in Corporate Finance. Mostly you'll find fantastic professors who are great at turning sometimes dry material into very relevant, timely (and sometimes funny) discussions.

emba2010__Guest_: Is there a dedicated career managment services group for EMBA students? Thanks.

Toby: Hello emba2010, We do have dedicated career services for students in the XP. There is a great deal of optional programming for XP students including networking events, industry specific workshop as well as individual coaching. Also know that career services are for life - not just while you are a student.

Waseem__Guest_: How many class hours are in a month? Also does it include entire day of Friday? or it just the Friday afternoon/evening?

Brian: Good question Waseem. Class 1 starts at 9am on Friday, and runs through noon. Class 2 starts at 1:30 and runs through 4:30. The same schedule for Saturday. With every other weekend @ school, the average month will have 24 hours (4 six hour days) of classroom instruction.

Matt_S__Guest_: Thank you for the forum! What percentage students are career switches, e.g. product management to finance/ analyst?

Patty: You are welcome, Matt. Many of our students make career CHANGES, but few make complete career SWITCHES. Our average EMBA student is looking to take on more general management responsibilities at an executive level. However, many students do make functional switches within their organizations.

Madhu__Guest_: For someone applying with around 6 years of experience what areas need to be emphasized inorder to make a strong case ?

Patty: Hi, Madhu. It is best to emphasize any leadership experiences you have had both at work and outside of work. In addition, make sure at least one of your recommenders talks about your potential to take on major management responsibilities. You may also think about submitting a GMAT score.

Brad__Guest_: Hello, this is my first chat. Is this a 1 on 1 chat or do my questions go into a public forum?

Patricia: Hi Brad - this is a public forum. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

G-404150079__Guest_: What are the top three aspects of the Booth experience that distinguish this program from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Mgt?

Toby: The differentiating factors in the programs are different for each applicant. My advice is to determine what are the most important criteria for you in deciding what you want from an MBA and get those questions specifically answered. From

Rafi: I went to NU undergrad and know many Kellogg grads. That being said, I did not go to Kellogg and therefore I have only opinions. Like Toby said, discover what you are looking for. For me, there is a fundamental difference in how Kellogg vs Booth discuss and analyze problems. I would recommend trying to locate alums from both schools and have a meaningful discussion on a topic.

Jacqueline__Guest_: Have the new federal regulations and changes on Wall Street impacted or influenced your curriculum in any way?

Patty: Good question, Jacqueline. We have added a handful of courses to our full-time program offerings. In the Executive MBA, our faculty regularly tweak their course lectures and discussions based on current events. For example, our current Macroeconomics professor works for the Fed in Atlanta. The students enjoy having his perspective in the classroom.

Waseem__Guest_: Are there any difference between full time and EMBA curriculum?

Toby: The curriculum is different only in terms of flexiblity. The EMBA Curriculum is a lock-step program, meaning the courses you take are pre determined. The full time program is more like a typical undergrad experience with a great deal of choice in which classes you want to take. Please note that the faculty are the same that teach accross all programs.

G-403729658__Guest_: Can i request to speak to an EMBA student or Alum from the Investment Management Industry?

Patricia: Hi G - we can certainly direct you to an alumni or student from the Investment Management Industry. Feel free to contact us offline at XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Freg__Guest_: Why did you select Booth Executive MBA over other programs? How did you compare the programs?

Brian: Good afternoon Ferg. I'm from Chicago, so the proximity to Northwestern and Booth were a factor in my decision. To me, the bigger question was comparing the full time and evening programs to the EMBA program. Two factors led me to exclusively look at EMBA programs: 1) the opportunity to work full time, and apply what I'm learning to my job and 2) the type of student that you'll interact with in the program. For example, I have a classmate that worked for the House Finance Committee, and another that was in senior management at Frannie Mac. Those two, combined with our Macro instructor, led to fantastic conversations that I would not have had in a full time or evening/weekend program. As for the choice between Northwestern and Chicago - I was drawn to Chicago due to their strong framework based curriculum.

G-404113969__Guest_: How much can EMBA students interact with faulty like Eugene Fama

Patty: In general, I cannot stress how accessible the faculty is at Booth. You are treated a peer. They love EMBA classes because they can learn from us. While I did not have an in depth discussion with Gene Fama, Gary Becker, Kevin Murphy, etc., I did meet them and heard them speak several times (I did not personally try to really reach out to them). Also, I can continue to attend Booth events for life and hear these amazing people.

Waseem__Guest_: According to Polsky Center’s website “Entrepreneurship is the second largest concentration at Chicago Booth”, what is the largest?

Brad: Finance

haxor__Guest_: Katie, you can learn quant skills at any school, what makes Booth different?

Kate: Good point, Haxor. I have several friends that attended MBA programs and did rounds and rounds of ratio calculations in their finance class. What attracts me to Booth is the assumption that you know how to generally do the mechanics of the calculation - and they focus, instead, on teaching you the thought process behind the numbers. So you have a P/E ratio of xxx .. what does that mean? What are the implications? Where do you go from there?

G-403729658__Guest_: Are there any classes where role playing is used as teaching technique?

Rafi: I would say that Negotiations had the most amount of role playing. We were given mock business situations and had roles assigned. Throw in that this took place in Singapore with international students. It was awesome.

Prakash__Guest_: Hi, in the curriculum, do you focus on public leadership and public policy ? what type and how ?

Toby: Hi Prakash. You are not going to find a specific focus on public leadership or policy. Although I am confident they will come up multiple times in classroom discussion. The curriculum is focused on the fundamentals of business the goal being to give you the analytical tools and confidence to make strong business decisions.

Azeem__Guest_: Hello everyone. I'm in the process of filling out the application for the Execute MBA program. I come from an IT background with a degree in CS (10+ years of experience). Is there anything I should do before and during the application process in terms of familiarity with Business Management courses? Will I be required to complete any business specific class requirements before being admitted? Thanks for your time and help.

Toby: Hello Azeem. You will not be REQUIRED to take any business management courses. Once you are admitted we will provide you with a list of books that you may find beneficial before starting the program. We also offer optional pre-mba courses in Math and Accounting.

haxor__Guest_: Rafi, how did the Booth Exec MBA help you after you graduated?

Rafi: I was able to use my education the very first weekend. I was able to apply each weekend's lessons immediately. Since graduation, the degree has certainly given me the knowledge and confidence every day. The Booth network is also incredible with I leverage all the time. I still see my classmates almost weekly and discuss issues. Lastly, the degree has given me an increased amount of respect from others due to the name alone.

w007__Guest_: What's the percentage of students who chose a conventration? among the 3, which is the most popular?

Toby: Hi w007. We just began offering the option to choose a concentration and the current class has not yet had to choose so we do not have any data on that as of yet.

ashish__Guest_: Iam from INDIA , I have done MCA and have 4 years Experience in IT . MY VISA Refused 4 times . can i apply in chicago booth. for executive MBA

Patty: Hello Ashish. Executive MBA is a part-time program so we do not issue student visas. You may want to look into applying to our Singapore campus. We run our executive MBA program there as well and you may be able to enter Singapore as a part-time student.

Waseem__Guest_: Qurestion to current students: With a full time job and EMBA how challenging i to balance time among, family work and school?

Brian: Hello Waseem ... It's definitely about setting priorities. What you'll find is that you will have to give up some things - ie, your workout routine, time with your extended friends, etc. Most of the class seems to become more efficient, cutting out marginal activities to create the time for family, work, school. To be fair - it's a commitment, and will impact all aspects of your life. But it's very doable, as I have many classmates with families/young kids who have successfully made it through the program.

G-404113969__Guest_: Is 5-5 yrs experience too low for an EMBA aspirant

Rafi: As in most things in life, it depends. My class ranged from ages 29-57. There is no lower limit in age that I know. I would say that one of the best things about the program was the diversity of the class so I would say no harm in attending a Booth Info Session.

CHY__Guest_: Hi Whom should I sent notarized copy of transcript? Should it be sent after submitting the application and how soon?

Patricia: CHY- Those notorized transcripts should be sent to our offices at anytime during the application process. Our address is 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Suite 340, Chicago, IL 60611

haxor__Guest_: Is the exec program geared more towards individuals already in executive leadership positions?

Patty: Not necessarily. We do have some students in executive leadership positions, but the majority of our students are high potential managers who are getting prepared to take on more general management or higher level responsibilities.

G-403729658__Guest_: Hi Brian and Katie, if you were to provide any constructive critisim of the program what will that be?

Brian: The program is great about taking student feedback and incorporating it. For example, our class was very vocal about the need to turn some of the classes into half-section classes, and add others (for example, on entrepreneurship). So much of my criticism has been already acted upon in the new academic program. I'm actually a little envious of the new classes that were added (but not envious enough to want to start all over again!) That being said, I have criticisms of myself - in terms of ways I wished I had been more involved, gotten to know classmates better, read EVERY optional article, etc.

emba2010__Guest_: Thank you Toby. Are there any perspectives current students/alums may have to share regarding how the EMBA and FT MBA curriculum compare in terms of content and rigor? Thanks.

Rafi: From my experience and from many discussions with the full timers I offer the following. As Toby said, full time program classes with full time program professors but no choice in classes taken. But this is EMBA. You come here wanting to make the jump from middle to upper management, not to go Wall Street as an entry level I-banker. The class progression is carefully instructed to provide a complete well rounded knowledge of business from a holistic view. Two other things. The EMBA class is much more experienced and therefore the class discussions are better (in my opinion). Lastly, keeping the same 90 students for two years provides an in depth relationship not possibly in the full time program.

G-403729658__Guest_: You have recently added a course on Enterpenuership to EMBA program, Can you let us know who will be teaching this course?

Patty: Hello. We are excited for this new course in our curriculum -- it is something our students have been asking for. It is being developed by our Strategy group led by Rob Gertner.We have not yet finalized who will be teaching it since it is not taught for another year.

Moderator: There are 5 minutes remaining in this chat. To see the transcript of this chat within 48 hours please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx.

G-403729658__Guest_: How does the admissions office perceive someone who had tried to do their own business but was not successful?

Patty: It depends on several things - was this the first and only attempt to start a business, what was the learning from the failed business, what was the person doing before the business, what is the person currently doing? We look at an entire application and create a picture of the person's professional history and aspirations. We rarely pull out one thing and make a judgement about it.

Sachin__Guest_: Thanks Brad - The Energy Club website lista Chevron as the Diamond O Partner - What does that mean. I am interested since I am from Chevron.

Brad: I would encourage you to reach out to the Co-Chair: External Relations Mark Martin mmartin2@ChicagoBooth.edu

Brad: He would might be able to address this question more directly.

haxor__Guest_: speaking of social networks, does the curriculum incorporate methods to leverage tech in business management?

Brad: The executive MBA program does integrate programming from Career Services into the curriculum, and they do offer assistance in helping to leverage technology to maximize your network. Additional individual coaching is also available to all students who seek it out.

w007__Guest_: How are study groups formed? How often will it be changed if it's not locked?

Brad: Local and International study groups are set up by the programs office to ensure a variety of skill sets are balance among all groups. Students are given the opportunity every two quarters to change their local study groups.

CFish__Guest_: What should one expect at an info session?

Patricia: Hi CFish --Thanks for your questions. You can expect to hear a presentation about the University, Chicago Booth and specifically the EMBA admission process. Current studentS and alumni will be available to answer questions. Our next session is Thursday, 1/28 at the Gleacher Center. Feel free to sign up for the event online on our website www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba

Patty: Thanks, everyone, for joining us today and for your great questions!

Patricia: Thanks for joining us today! We are always available for questions by email at XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Brian: Thanks for the great chat. I hope that I'll see many of you @ Gleacher for one of the info sessions or a class visit. Best of luck in your decision process.

Brad: Thanks for joining our chat today, I hope it was helpful! See you soon at one of our admissions events.

Toby: Thanks everyone - and thanks especially to Rafi, Brian and Katie. If you have more questions please visit the website www.chicagobooth.edu, send us an email xp@chicagobooth.edu or just give us a call 312.464.8750. Thanks!

Rafi: I cannot say enough about this school and program. You owe it to yourself to attend an info session and at least apply. This program changed my life and career!

Kate: Thanks for the great questions! Have a great afternoon ....

Moderator: Thank you for joining our chat today. The chat has now ended. Unfortunately, we could not answer all of your questions, but please feel free to reach out to us at xp@chicagobooth.edu

Moderator: Read the transcripts from this chat at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx within 48 hours.