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Join Executive MBA staff for a discussion about the application and the application process

Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 12:00 PM CDT

Toby: Hi everyone and welcome. My name is Toby Cortelyou and I am the Associate Director of Marketing and Admissions. Today's chat topic is THE APPLICATION. Our first deadline is right around the corner (December 1st) we look forward to answering your questions today.

Patricia: Hello. I'm Patricia Coffey, Associate Director of Admissions. Looking for to the chat today!

Patty: Hi, Everyone! I am Patty Keegan, Associate Dean. Thanks for joining us today.

Ann__Guest_: Can you describe what you are looking for in the essays?

Patricia: Hi Ann -- Eassys are very personal. Everyone's story is unique to their own personal and professional experiences. It's up to up to articulate where the MBA makes sense in regards to your personal story. You should also think about what your personal and professional experiences will contribute to the class.

G-86450651__Guest_: Hello my first question is related with the GMAT , I'm a Telecom engineer and I have also a Master in Finance so I'm very used to working in environments with high load math , I have even taking into account the above to do the test?

Toby: We use the GMAT primarily as a tool to measure quantitative skills. The GMAT is encouraged for younger applicants (less than 10 years of experience) and for applicants that may have difficulty showing strong quant skills on other parts of their application. Given your background I think it is probably safe to assume you will be able to display strong quant skills throughout your application.

Meenu__Guest_: Do people applying to the program need to have budget authority and have had direct reports? I have worked for various startups where the organization hierarchy is very flat.

Patty: Hi Meenu. Applicants have diverse responsibilities in different types of organizations. Many have project management responsibilities in addition to staff and budget responsibilities. Just explain your organization in your essay answer.

G-86472017__Guest_: Patty, Toby and Patricia - I am applying from Tokyo for the Chicago program. Would I be able to set up a conference call with one of you all to discuss my applicatoion?

Patricia: Hi G! I would be happy to speak with you about your application. Feel free to contact me offline to schedule. Our general email address is XP@ChicagoBooth.edu

Fergus__Guest_: Good afternoon. I plan to take the GMAT in January. Would you recommend I begin submitting the other components of the application in the meantime or wait until I have a score to submit?

Patty: Hi Fergus. Please submit your application first and then follow up with your GMAT score.

ululufut__Guest_: Hi. I have some questions regarding financing an education and also would like to meet with someone to discuss the applicability of the curriculum to my needs. It looks like this isn't the specific forum for this, but I would like to know who I might be able to contact. Thanks.

Toby: You can contact our office at any time (except for right now b/c we're on this chat) to schedule some time to talk. Feel free to email us at xp@chicagobooth.edu or phone 312.464.8750.

Corleen__Guest_: Hello. I know there are only a set number of spots in the program each year. How important is it to make the December deadline versus one of the later deadlines to be considered ?

Patty: Hi, Corleen. We do use rolling admissions which means we fill the class as we evaluate applications. Therefore, an early application is a good idea. However, we do not fill the class before April!

Greg__Guest_: Hi there and thanks for the invite to the chat...16yr finance executive with experience in high profile companies. Started a global exectutive MBA program at a top tier school. Matriculated through the 22 month program and finished all the courses with the exception of the last two. Relocated to Chicago...can I transfer my credits and finish in the Booth program?

Toby: Unfortunately no. Chicago Booth does not accept transfer credits from any other program.

G-86484299__Guest_: I noticed that there are three application deadlines for the EMBA program. Is there a certain percentage of seats you save for applicants during the second and third application round? Has there ever been a situation where all seats were taken before the third deadline?

Patricia: Hello G. With our rolling admissions policy, we review applications as we receive them. We will get back to you with a decision as soon as we have enough applications to make a general decision about the compositon of the class. We typically get the bulk of our applications during the February 1-April 1 deadlines. There has never been a case where all the seats were taken before the final deadline.

Ketan__Guest_: With regards to GMAT, you mentioned you use it to measure Quant skills. So do you have a cut-off in that regard? Also, if the Quant score is good but the overall GMAT is average, what is your take in it?

Toby: There is no set cut-off. Keep in mind that no one piece of an application guarantees admission or guarantees you won't be offered a seat in the class. If you have an average or below average GMAT score your essays, interview, rec letters etc. can certainly make up for that.

nagarjuna__Guest_: With 11i years of IT experience and a Booth EMBA, is it possible to switch fields?

Patty: Hello, Nagarjuna. We support your career goals at Booth, but it is important to note that an MBA is not a silver bullet for changing fields. Our career services team will work with you if you are interested in making a transition, but it is important to be realistic about your skill set and what companies are looking for.

G-86484299__Guest_: Are all applicants invited for an interview? If you're not local to Chicago do you ask that the candidate fly in?

Patty: We interview applicants by invitation only once we have done an initial assessment. And yes, we do conduct our interviews in Chicago so that you can visit the campus.

Ketan__Guest_: I have interviewed at one of the other Ivyleague executive MBA programs. One of their criteria was the income you make at your current position. Does UC have similar criteria? If so, what adjustments are made with regards to location, company size, industry etc?

Patricia: Hi Ketan -- we do not use income as a criteria of admissions to the program. We will evaluate your application in a holistic manner. Meaning, that all sections of your application are equally important (Essays, resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation).

Bo__Guest_: Hello, what percentage of your application pool is on the lower end of the experience level of 8 to 10 years? Also, is possible to start at the North America campus and finish in the Singapore campus? I travel frequently and I'm not sure where I'll be based in a year. My company has offered to pay for the eMBA as long as its flexible enough to meet my work schedule.

Patty: Hi, Bo. About 20-25% or so of our final class falls in that range. Our applicant pool reflects similar demographics. Yes, it is possible to start in Chicago and finish in Singapore -- if Singapore has space in their cohort when you need to relocate.

Meenu__Guest_: Do you have any students who would like to start their own companies

Toby: Hi Meenu - YES - we have a number of students who have started and/or plan to start their own companies. Entrepreneurship is part of the curriculum here and you will most certainly meet classmates interested in new business ventures.

becky_1__Guest_: Does Chicago require a company sponsorship prior to applying?

Patty: Hello, Becky. We require your company's comittment for the TIME to participate in the program. We do NOT require financial sponsorship.

G-86484299__Guest_: I was very impressed that Booth was ranked #1 in the The Economist's ranking of Full Time MBAs. How does the EMBA program compare to the full-time offering? Do you think application levels will be higher this year as a result?

Toby: All MBA programs at Chicago Booth are taught by the faculty that helped in earning that #1 ranking. The biggest differences between the fulltime and EMBA programs are the format (EMBA is a set curriculum) and student profiles (EMBA students are typically more seasons professionals). Also EMBA students are working fulltime while in the program. As far as application numbers are concerned we have always held high rankings in a number of publications so a large increase due to the Economist ranking isn't expected.

Meenu__Guest_: What is the main focus on EMBA program at Chicago Booth? How do you distinguish the program from other top programs in the country?

Patty: Hi, Meenu. Our EMBA program is a general management program with the option of earning a concentration in marketing, finance, or strategy. Our main differentiator is how we handle the international piece of our program. Our students in Chicago, London and Singapore enter the program as a global class and spend 25% of their program in the classroom with students from the other campuses. Of course, we have other differentiators, but in this area, we are the only top school to have our own campuses on three continents and use our own faculty to teach in those locations.

Ketan__Guest_: One of the Admission Criteria mentioned on EMBA site is "Commitment required to complete program"; what can an application do to reflect their commitment to the program of choice?

Patricia: Hi Ketan,

Patricia: The program is no small commitment. Make sure you can demonstrate, in your essays that you're prepared to handle the challenges ahead. Also, the contributions you can make to your class.

Meenu__Guest___Guest_: waht is the focus on entrepreneurship in the coursework? I have looked at the cirriculum and seen one class on entrepreneurship strategy

Toby: We teach a general management curriculum that is based in fundamentals meaning that the material you learn will be applicable to any industry, any job function, anyplace in the world. The specific course on entrepreneurship will address some of the specific challenges in starting a new company but the rest of the curriculum will provide the base for that course.

AJ__Guest_: How you compare your EMBA program with Kellogg and Notre Dame, Chicago

Patty: Hi, AJ. There are many areas in which I can compare. The biggest differentiator is how we handle international exposure. We operate our own campuses in Chicago, London an Singapore -- the only top business school to do this. We use our own faculty to teach our EMBA students in all 3 locations and students spend 25% of their programs in the classroom with students from all 3 campuses. Choosing an EMBA program involves making sure the fit is right between you and the school's culture. In order to do this, I would suggest that you spend time at each of the programs attending classes, talking to students and professors and getting contact information for alumni.

Meenu__Guest_: Thanks Patty. What kind of projects are the students involved while working on these three different continents?

Patty: Hi Meenu. Students take required core classes during their time in London and Singapore. In Chicago, students take a core course during one module and electives during their second module in Chicago. They spend their days in the classroom, working with their international study groups and interacting with faculty and TAs.

Fergus__Guest_: What percentage of your EMBA students commute via airtravel or long distances?

Patricia: Hi Fergus -- this number varies each year. 45% of the current class travels from outside of Illinois. We have students coming in from California, Texas, Washington, Minneapolis, DC, etc. We get a substantial number of students traveling from the midwest area and also within Illinois (suburban areas). We even have students from Chile this year.

G-86450651__Guest_: I think I have background enough to prove that I can "survive" in a math MBA class but I'm below the average on working experience because I have 8 years as a CEO in a real stat company , Does it mean that I have to take the GMAT ?

Toby: If you decide not to take the GMAT it would be important for you to show us what skills you have that will help you "survive" the quantitative portions of the program. You would want to talk about the pieces of your job that require these skills and give examples of success in them.

Fergus__Guest_: I feel I have a strong resume, but with a shorter than average length of time in the business world. Would there be any advantage in considering a the weekend program over the EMBA?

Patty: Hi, Fergus. An important differentiating factor between the 2 programs is your career goals. If you are looking for a curriculum with maximum flexibility so you can become a better functional mnager (e.g., accountant, finance professional, marketer), then the weekend program might be appropriate. The Executive MBA is a lock-step general management program designed for individuals who are aspiring into general management roles -- CEO, COO, CFO, business owner, etc. Exec MBA students learn from both the professors as well as fellow students because of the level of experience their fellow students bring to the classroom.

Andy_1__Guest_: Hi, I am an equity partner in a large, national law firm. I have been in practice for 13 years and have spent most of that time advising management on labor and employment issues. I believe my "industry" and/or "job function" falls into the "other" category in the profile for incoming students. I am involved in firm management issues, managing client matters and supervising other lawyers. I believe that the EMBA program would help enhance my client service and firm management capabilities. Do you agree? Is it a bad thing to be in the "other" category?

Toby: Hello Andy. I do agree the the program would help enhance your client service and firm management capabilities. I believe that we have "law" listed as an industry category but in any event we pride ourselves on the diversity of experiences that come to the room. Being part of the "other" category should not be viewed as a negative.

Ketan__Guest_: I have a dual masters in Information Systems and Accounting. Will that put me at any disadvantage from Admissions perspective? While I think the education helped me in technical skills, I believe MBA would help me in developing softer interpersonal skills. Thoughts?

Toby: Your previous masters degree will not put you at a disadvantage. This background helps prove to use that you will be able to manage the academic rigor of the program. You will want to conentrate on telling us why you believe our program is a fit for you and how you plan to add value to the experience of your classmates.

Meenu__Guest_: Is there any international project that is involved where international students work together other than the coursework itself?

Patty: Students can participate in the Global New Venture Challenge. These teams are typically multi-campus and involve creating and pitching a business plan for funding. It is a very popular activity for our students. As you mention, our coursework also involves much collaboration between students from all 3 locations. They take Essentials of Effective Leadership, Marketing Management, Negotiation and Decision-Making and two elective courses with students from all 3 campuses.

G-86484299__Guest_: I read that men make up approximately 75% of each class is this proportional to how many women/men apply?

Patricia: Hello -- This number varies each year. The current class profile is about 79% men, 21@ women. More men typically do apply than females. We've seen some change in this over the last few years.

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

nagarjuna__Guest_: I have 11 years of IT experience, 3.39 GPA in engineering and 680(Q50/V31) GMAT score. Can you please let me know if this score falls in acceptable limits?

Toby: Yes, these numbers fall into acceptable limits but hopefully today you've learned that there is no formula involved with the admission process. We use the entire application to determine admission decisions focusing on your ability to manage the academic rigor, showing us that your reasons for pursuing an MBA are consistant with what we provide and finally showing how your classmates will benefit by having you in the room.

Meenu__Guest_: Patty, in response to your answer to Fergus, what if someone is looking at taking a two step approach, where they would like to climb up the business ladder more and then start their own company? Is the EMBA program a good fit for them as well?

Patty: Absolutely. We have many students who enter the program with very strong entrepreneurial aspirations but want to hone their skills and build their networks before they do so. They find that their classmates and alumni they meet (as well as faculty) serve as great sounding boards for their ideas. Many also participate in the Global New Venture Challenge and test their idea with VC judges.

G-86575474__Guest_: Regarding the age level for individuals within the EMBA program, I was told that it was 30+; however, would you consider individuals who moved up quickly in their company and are at a mid-level executive position (with approx 7 yrs of work experience) that would be relatively younger than your average EMBA student?

Patty: We do not disqualify applicants based on age only. Instead, we take a careful look at career progression to see if an individual can not only benefit from the epxerience level of other students but (very important) can also CONTRIBUTE to them.

Meenu__Guest_: Can EMBA students bring in any guest speakers?

Toby: Yes. Guest speakers are often determined by your classmates recent speakers brought in by students include senior Executives from Allstate Insurance, HSBC and a former economic advisor from Argentina.

Ketan__Guest_: What is the percentage of students that are either partially or fully funded by their employers? Does financial support from employer have any bearing to the admission decision?

Patty: 50 percent of our students who started in June receive full or partial funding from their employers. We do not require financial sponsorship for admission.

Fergus__Guest_: Do you feel that the EMBA program offers superior networking opportunities over the weekend or full-time programs?

Toby: I don't know if I would use the word "superior" but the networking opportunities for EMBA students are terrific. The moment you arrive on campus your international network increases by your 270+ classmates. Keep in mind that as executive MBA students these are all people that are already leaders in their organizations and industries. After that there are networking events and workshops scheduled throughout the program for both students and alumni to attend. The network at Chicago Booth is simply phenomenal.

Meenu__Guest_: Can EMBA students participate in any clubs?

Patty: Yes, there are many student clubs open to all part-time MBA students -- including executive MBA.

Moderator: The chat will end in 5 minutes. Feel free to submit any final questions.

G-86450651__Guest_: 5 years in a Telecomm engineering degree, 2 years in a Finance master and 8 years as a CEO in a real state company , do u think is enough to prove my quant skills ?, because I'm goin to send my application on DEC without the GMAT . What happen if after review my application you decide that I have to take the GMAT , I have the chance to take it or I have to wait for the next course ?

Toby: It is a VERY rare occasion that we ask a student to submit a GMAT score after already receiving their application. I may have mentioned this before - but no one piece of your application is going to keep you out of the program. We us a holistic approach to application review.

Patricia: Thank you for spending time with us today. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at XP@ChicagoBooth.edu or by phone at 312.464.8750.

Patty: Thank you, everyone! Please follow up with us if you have more questions.

Patricia: Thank you for spending time with us today. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at XP@ChicagoBooth.edu or by phone at 312.464.8750.

Toby: Thank you for joining us today, great questions by everyone! Don't forget to join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and at our blog - EMBA Evolution - to keep up to date on what's happening with the Executive MBA program.