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Executive MBA Chat with admissions staff and a current student

February 23, 2010 — 12:00-1:00 PM CST

Moderator: Hello, and welcome to our chat! We will begin in 5 minutes, please submit your questions.

Brad: Hello and welcome to the chat. Brad Krillenberger, Senior Associate Director for Student Services Executive MBA Program North America

Patricia: Good afternoon - I'm Patricia Coffey, Associate Director of Admissions for the Exec MBA Program. Thanks for joining us. I look forward to answering your questions.

Toby: Hello everyone and welcome, we look forward to your questions today! My name is Toby Cortelyou and I am the Associate Director of Admissions and Marketing for the Executive Program.

Kate: Hello all! I am a first-year EMBA student, and currently work as the Marketing Manager for an agricultural equipment manufacturer. I look forward to answering your questions, but please note, I will be signing off at 12:30. Thanks!

Moderator: We are starting to see some great questions come through and will be posting answers shortly!

SL_Guest_: On average, what it the typical number of hours required by students outside of class per week?

Kate: Good question, depending on the class I spend about 8-10 hours working on class outside of the typical weekend. This combines homework, group work, and reading.

LeeTridell_Guest_: What are some key ideas or elements I should incorporate into the application?

Toby: Hi Lee. When reviewing an application I am asking myself three questions at all times. 1. Can this person successfully manage the academic rigors of the program. 2.Why specifically is this person interested in Chicago Booth and 3. What does this person bring to the classroom, how will this person add value to the experience of his/her classmates?

Shrirang_Guest_: Hi Katie....Glad to hear we are getting to hear from an actual student

Kate: Absolutely, glad to give some insights. I'm glad to answer any questions about the program or experience!

Moderator: This an an online chat only, there is no conference call to attend!

Booth_1_All_: Good afternoon! For the week(s) in residence @ Chicago, do students need to find accomodations or are they provided as part of tuition?

Brad: For North American Students we do offer 4 weeks of accomodation that are covered by tuition. These are Kick-Off Week in Chicago, one residental week in London, one residental week in Singapore and Electives Week in Chicago. We do offer options for accomodations during regular class weekends but they are not covered by tuition.

Niru_Guest_: Is Booth EMBA is equivalent to Full time MBA?

Toby: Yes it is. The Faculty are the same, and the degree is the same. The only differences are that we have a lock-step, pre-set program and our students are typically more seasoned professionals. Your diploma does not designate between full-time or part-time degree.

MBAProspect__All_: Good morning. Does Chicago Booth encourage students from various backgrounds,such as medicine, law, or engineering?

Kate: Hi, Chicago Booth encourages students from many different backgrounds. Ultimately, the students in the class give different perspectives to help us learn and grow our understanding of the classroom theory into practical application. In my class, we have medical doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, engineers, product managers, product development managers, etc.

Guest123__Guest_: I applied for EMBA by Dec 1. I have not heard anything back by Feb 15...Wht is the current status?

Toby: Hi Guest123. Please contact us offline at 312-464-8781 after the chat. There are a handful of decisions coming out this week but it would be good to confirm.

SL_Guest_: Katie, what percentage of work would you say is done with teams vs on an individual basis

Kate: SL, of my work outside of class (8-10 hours per week), typically we have a 1-2 hour conference call each week. Otherwise, about half of our homework is completed in groups, but ultimatly we each do it individually, to help prepare for the exams.

vividh__Guest_: I presume the April 1st deadline is for the third round right? If yes, do you think it is better to apply for next year versus applying in the third round where there might be limited seats available?

Toby: It is always better to apply sooner rather than later. In the event that we do have a full class before reveiwing your application we could still offer you a spot on a waiting list for this year and a promise of a spot for next year.

JPC__Guest_: Could you elaborate on the project teams. Are students on the same teams both years? How many students per team? Etc.

Brad: We currently offer students three opportunities to change local study groups. This happens about every other Quarter. Each local and international study group will have 5 to 6 people in each group.

Vijay_: Is it possible to get interviewed in India?

Patricia: Hi Vijay -- All interviews for the Chicago campuses are conducted in person, in Chicago. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know our applicants and learn what your motivation is to pursue this MBA.

SL_Guest_: I understand that candidates that have fully submitted their applications should hear a response by April 15th. However, when do you start to give responses?

Toby: We work on a rolling admission basis meaning once an application is complete it goes for review. Typically an application takes about 6-8 weeks to go throug the process. The latest a students should receive a decsion (if you applied before Feb. 1) is April 15.

LeeTridell_Guest_: Do I need to be employed by a company to be eligible for the EMBA if I have more than 10 years of management experience. If so, Is there a speific type of company that is eligible?

Toby: Hi Lee. Fulltime employment is not a prerequisite for the program, but it is preferred. We certainly understand that with the current economic climate many people are in transition. In terms of companies we do not have a specific preference, we work very hard to maintain diversity in terms of industry and job function.

Shrirang_Guest_: Hello....Does Booth have a 1 year fully immersive EMBA program?

Toby: Hi Shrirang. No we do not. In terms of time The EMBA program is the quickest at 21 months. The Full-time program is 2+ years and the Evening/Weekend program averages 3 years.

vividh__Guest_: Katie, how well balanced is the class? Is it strongly focussed on more number of banking students? I am from technology from the Bay area and would to get an idea about your class composition.

Kate: Hi, the class is well balanced across multiple industries and experience levels. While there are several students from within the banking industry, it is by far not the majority. Within my current class, we have multiple students from an IT background. This program has the capacity to challenge the bankers, while not focusing on the banking industry over any other.

emba2011_Guest_: Hi...thanks for this online chat session...as a follow up to an earlier question on equivalence between Full time and EMBA programs...is the academic content of the courses the same between FT and EMBA programs? Thanks.

Toby: Hi emba2011. Yes the content is the same but to be clear the EMBA Program is a lock=step program meaning the courses are pre-determined. The faculty are the same. The experience tends to be a little different as well simply because the students in the EMBA Program are typically more seasoned professionals

Ram__Guest_: Patricia, If I have all original certificates from university, do I still need to get the Transcripts from school?

Patricia: Hi Ram -- if you have original transcripts from an institution outside of the US - you'll need to provide us with a notarized copy of those transcripts and a the certificate that shows a degree was awarded. Transcripts from schools within the US need to be sent to us in a sealed envelope from the institution.

Vijay_: Sorry if this question has been asked before. I want to know if there are loan options available for international students. I'm an Indian willing to study in Singapore campus.

Brad: I would encourage you to contact the Chicago Booth Office of Admissions and Financial Aid: Financial.Aid@ChicagoBooth.edu they will be able to better help address your individual situation.

vividh__Guest_: How many wait listed candidates do you typically offer a spot for next year?

Toby: Hi vividh. Each year is different and it's very difficult to predict if there will or won't be any sort of waitlist at all each year. Also I should add that waitlist isn't really the right term. We focus on maintaining diversity in terms of professional industry and job function.

DCasanova_Guest_: Hello, has the program been updated to respond to current executive needs?

Toby: Hi DCasanova. The program just went through a curriculum review and as a result there are a couple new changes to the layout of the program. That said the Chicago Approach to Business Education is based in fundamentals not the latest trends or fads so in terms of the curriculum you won't see a huge response to the economic crisis as you didn't with the real estate bubble or the dot com downfall.

Vijay_: What career services does Booth provide during/after graduation?

Brad: The Executive MBA program offers integrated programming developed for Executive MBA students. We also don’t limit the recourses available to you as an Executive MBA student. Much of the ongoing programming and coaching are also available to you as an alumni.

G-458088002__Guest_: What are items the admissions office looks for in letters of reference? Can you submit more than 2?

Patricia: Hi G! 3 letters of recommendation are required for the EMBA Program. One letter must come from your direct supervisor. Persons writing your letter should be able to speak about your potential for growth and what you've already accomplished in your field.

DCasanova_Guest_: What is the most important charateristic required by a candidate?

Toby: There is no one characteristic that is shared by all students. Again we look for diversity of industry and job function. When putting together your application I would focus on explaing to us why specifically you are choosing Chicago Booth and what value you would add to the experience of your classmates.

G-458088002__Guest_: Hi Katie. Other than time/duration of the EMBA, what are the major differences between the this program and the Weekend/Evening program?

Kate: Hi, the major differences between the EMBA and Weekend / Evening program is:

Kate: 1 - demographics, typically the EMBA will have students with more experience within their profession; 2 - the EMBA program is a 'lock-step' program, with no flexibility, where as the evening / weekend program allows more flexibility as needed

DCasanova_Guest_: Can you go over the items required for a candidate that is reapplying to the program?

Toby: reapplicants to the program are asked to provide a new resume, come in for another interview, a new essay explaining how your application is stronger than the last time you applied and one new letter of recommendation.

Niru_Guest_: Hi, i have over 13 years experiance in Software development and management. My career objective is to move towards CIO. How EMBA in Booth will help me in Technology management. Do you have any electives specific to Technology managers? Thanks

Toby: Hi Niru. Our curriculum is taught from a general management perspective without an focus on a specific industry. So to answer your our program will help you in any industry, that said you would certainly benefit from the networking opportunities available with other students in your industry.

Booth_1_All_: Hi, I know the GMAT is not required, but is it looked upon negatively is someone does not submit a score? What is considered an acceptable score for the EMBA?

Patricia: Hello -- thanks for your question. We typically encourage applicants to submit a GMAT score if they have fewer than the years of work experience that's required or their prior academic work does not adequately demonstrate their abilities. So, no we do not look negatively at an applicant who does not submit a score. The GMAT score for the full-time program is typically 710; however none of the Chicago Booth programs have a specific cut-off point for GMAT scores.

DCasanova_Guest_: To best focus our questions; what percentage of the audience's questions remain unanswered via this chat? And, what type of questions are they?

Moderator: As this is a live chat, we answer questions as they come in and try to answer as many diverse questions as possible. We welcome all remaining questions about the program, the application, the experience, etc.

Guest1234__All_: Katie, what networking opportunities are available to students in the Exec MBA program? Do you interact with students in other programs?

Kate: Good question, there are multiple ways to get engaged in networking through the program - formally and informally. Via the structure,

Kate: - Local / International Groups. Provide an opportunity to get to know specific classmates more effectively, throughout the program.

Kate: - Recurring networking events. We have had a chance to network with alumni, second-year MBA students, and then other local programs.

Kate: - Created our own Marketing networking group, where we meet for dinner to discuss current happenings, and network for future opportunties. Overall, I think networking at Booth is a key advantage to the program!

emba2011_Guest_: does Chicago Booth offer any type of scholarships for the EMBA program?

Patricia: Hi EMBA 2011. The Executive MBA Program is a part-time MBA program so we do not offer any types of scholarships. However, there is Financial Aid available, please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/admissions/financialaid.aspx

Stafford_Guest_: Hi. Do you have any advice for candidates trying to decide between the executive program and the weekend MBA program? Thank you.

Brad: Hello Stafford, the E/W program & Executive MBA are very different programs and a very different pool of candidates. Traditionally the E/W students are younger with fewer years of work experience. The Executive MBA students will normally have between 10 or more years of work experience and the Executive students are also in a cohort, or same students in every class. The Evening weekend courses can be completed over 5 years and the Executive MBA courses are completed in 21 months. These are just a few of the differences. Your best approach is to look at the information on our website and decide what characteristics are most important to you!

barbara_Guest_: Hello. Chicago Booth is known for its flexible program. Considering the current difficult economic situation, one may be laid off before starting the program or during it. Is it possible to transfer to full-time MBA?

Toby: Hi Barbara. Students who have started the program and wish to transfer to the full-time program are reviewed by the deans on a case by case basis. The fulltime admission process focuses on slightly different criteria than the EMBA program and as an institution we need to be wary of students using the application to one program as a backdoor into another program.

Shrirang_Guest_: Katie...Does Booth offer 1 year EMBA too?

Patricia: Hi Shrirang- Booth does not offer a 1 year EMBA program. The EMBA program is 21-months in length. For additional information, please visit our website at www.ChicagoBooth.edu

Moderator: There are 15 minutes left in the chat. Please continue to submit your questions and we will answer as many as we can!

emba2011_Guest_: Your website mentions 90 students in the North America program. How many apply?

Toby: Hi emba2011. Acceptance rates to the program are not made public. On average though we will get 3 or 4 applications for every available seat.

whydrep_Guest_: It takes considerable effort to apply to a top EMBA program. How can we know, or at least get a solid feeling for, our chances of acceptance prior to applying?

Toby: Hello Whyderp. We simply don't have the resources to provide pre-application review. If there is a specific part of your backround that you feel may be falling short or you are simply curious about please contact us offline to talk individually my emailing xp@chicagobooth.edu

LeeTridell_Guest_: Should a candidate that wants to begin Fall of 2010 apply to both the full time and EMBA programs?

Patricia: Hi Lee -- great question. The EMBA program matriculates students once a year (Summer quarter). You are allowed to apply to only one program at a time.

DCasanova_Guest_: Upon completing the program, what are the Top 3 gains for a Chicago Booth Graduate?

Toby: The gains are going to be different for every student depending on where they are in their career and what they were specifically hoping to get out of the program. I would say that one of the largest gains for all students are the connections you make with your classmates and the immediate availability to take advantage of the alumni network.

SL_Guest_: Your website details the payment structure of the EMBA program. Do you have any flexibility in the structure to better suit a sponsoring company's preference?

Brad: We can work with companies that would like to pay the University directly. We have had several companies choose to prepay the entire amount. We can offer flexibility with in the parameters of the University regulations.

whydrep_Guest_: I have 11 years of work experience, but only 4 of those in a lead/management role. Does that make me a better fit for the EMBA program, or should I look into the E/W programs?

Toby: 11 years of work experience with 4 in a management role puts your only slightly below our average. We are interested more in the quality of your work as opposed to the years of experience. We take a holistic approach to application review meaning there is no formula that will promise admission or denial to the program. We look to create the most diverse class from the pool of applicants within a given application period.

LeeTridell_Guest_: My Undergrad university offers transcripts by email sent to me or the Grad School, do you accept email transcripts?

Patricia: Hi Lee-- We have not received email transcripts in the past. However, we are looking into receiving e-mail transcript. Please contact our program office directly for more information: XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Moderator: There are 5 minutes left in the chat. We are pushing out as many answers as we can!

FutureMBA_All_: Katie, what opportuities are there to interact with faculty? Do you have communication with them outside the classroom?

Kate: Accessibility to faculty has exceeded my expectations. Typically, we are able to speak to the faculty before or after class, plus I have found the faculty to be available via e-mail, phone, and during office hours. Plus, during class we have a chance to create a relationship, so typically our class as a whole continues to keep in contact with the faculty afterwards via upcoming activities or a content-specific question / news.

SL_Guest_: How big is the class size?

Patricia: Hi SL! Any given year, the class size is 90-92 students.

DCasanova_Guest_: What is the current class acceptance, how many openings remain?

Toby: Class acceptance rates are not made public. Simply put if a candidate is a fit for the program they will be offered a spot, either this year if there is space or for the next year.

SL_Guest_: I consider Booth to have one of the top 3 EMBA programs along with Columbia and Wharton. Can you comment on how Booth's style differs from its primary competitors?

Toby: Hi SL, I can't really comment on how our styles differ. The perception is going to be different from student to student. Our approach to business education is based in teaching you the fundamentals and promising you will leave with the analytical skills required to make successful decisions in any industry in any job function anywhere in the world. We do this by providing a classroom environment that encourages discussion as opposed to lecture and the sharing and challenging of ideas.

Stan_: Do EMBA students experience a lot of travel issues when commuting out of state?

Brad: Hello Stan, with any travel there are always issues, but do try to proactively assist commuting students. We work with a partner hotel in the area that guarantees room availability for Executive MBA students even during large city wide conventions. We also offer a shuttle to both O’Hare & Midway airports following class on Saturday.

Vijay_: Is it OK to apply by the last deadline? What approximate % of seats are full in Singapore Campus by now?

Toby: Hi Vijay. It is certainly OK to apply to the last deadline. There will almost certainly be seats available. The Singapore campus has a separate admissions staff and we encourage you to contact them directly, that said the number/percentage of students is not made public.

G-458061494_: How will the decisions be know to the candidates i.e. E-mails or Letter?

Patricia: Hi G -- decisions are sent in a letter via US mail.

whydrep_Guest_: when should I apply if my target enrollment is spring 2011?

Toby: The application for June 2011 will be available August 1st, 2010. Applying earlier is always better, the first admission deadline will be December 1st.

Moderator: Thank you for joining our live chat!

Toby: Thanks again everyone for all the great questions today. The transcript for the chat will be available soon. Any further questions can be directed to xp@chicagobooth.edu. Have a great day!

Patricia: Thanks for your great questions. Best wishes in your pursuit of an MBA.

Brad: Thank you all for taking the time to chat with us.

Moderator: The chat has now ended. You can read a transcript of this chat within 48 hours at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx