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Join us for a live chat on the Executive MBA Student Experience. How do I get my books? What opportunities are there to network with classmates overseas? How do small study groups work? Staff members and current students will be on hand to answer these questions and more.

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 12:00 PM CT

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From -> ToMessage
Moderator -> EveryoneThank you for joining us! The chat will begin promptly in 10 minutes and will run for 1 hour. Please go ahead and submit questions now.
Moderator -> EveryoneThank you for joining us. The chat has begun and will run for 1 hour. Please submit your questions.
Patty -> EveryoneHello and welcome to our chat session! I am Patty Keegan, associate dean of the executive MBA program.
Texas -> EveryoneHi, I’m Texas (yes, that’s actually my name!), and I’m an XP-79 (2010) graduate of Booth's Executive MBA program. Welcome!
Brad -> EveryoneHello and welcome! I am Brad Krillenberger the Senior Associate Director of student services for the Executive MBA Program North America.
Rafi -> EveryoneMy name is Rafi Wilkinson. I have 20+ years experience in Product Development and Product Management. I received my Booth MBA in 2009 (XP-78). I look forward to chatting with you.
Marcelo -> Texas Is it fair to assume the 1st quarters are more study intensive than the next ones? I.e. should workload be more intense at beginig and slown down as the program progresses?
Texas -> MarceloNo, that's not actually the case. All of the quarters are relatively intense. Some of the classes have more reading, others more problem sets, but they are all about the same intensity through the whole program.
Toby -> EveryoneHi everyone and welcome. We look forward to chatting with you for the next hour. We have two terrific alumni with us today be sure to get answers from them!
Susan_1 -> Rafi What is the workload like? How much time do you spend working on class assignments, studying etc. during the week?
Rafi -> Susan_1It depends on the class and your areas of expertise. I spent 10-25 hours a week outside class between homework, studying, and meeting with your study group.
VDS -> Texas Could you share your experience and learnings from the international residencies?
Texas -> VDSThe international study weeks were great for me. The major benefit was exposure to my global study group, because each member of the group brought quite different perspectives to our group projects. (I'm still in touch with many of them!)
Jeff_Detweiler -> Rafi The Question i have is reagarding small groups and study/ projects away from class time. Logistically, how do the small groups combine their effort when they are likely states apart, with different schedules, etc?
Rafi -> Jeff_DetweilerEach group finds its own way to work. Most set up a standing weekly conference call. Many meet on Thursday night when they arrive for Friday class. Most use the told they have from work for conferencing and collaboration.
Marcelo -> Brad what's the "Convocation week" about - at last week of classes?
Brad -> MarceloTo clarify we do offer optional concentration classes that are offered during the week leading up to Convocation on the Friday of that week. We do also host several events that are designed to help the graduates celebrate with fellow classmates, family & friends.
Mark_F. -> TobyWhat is generally covered in the pre-MBA courses prior to the kick-off week in Chicago?
Toby -> Mark_F.Hi Mark - we have 2 days of Math and 2 days of Accounting. The math section covers models, tools, formulas just general skills that you should have to be successful at the start of the program. The Accounting section covers the first 4 chapters of your accounting texbook - in my opinion it is a must for anyone without previous accounting experience.
VDS -> Patty Could you elaborate on the experience / benefits of the Executive Leadership Program?
Patty -> VDSHi, VDS - The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is a co-curricular series of events and activities that are focused on the professional development of our students. For example, we offer opportunities for students to discover the power of their social capital (i.e., their networks), their leadership styles, career exploration, presentation skills, team dynamics, etc. The activities complement the education you receive in the classroom but focus more on your own personal development as a leader.
bt -> Rafi I majored in finance and want to pursue economics do I need to have a major or minor in a field to study it there?
Rafi -> btYou do not need an undergraduate major/minor to study that field of concentration during your MBA.
VDS -> Texas how is the collaboration / team work culture during projects / assignments / learning from each other
Texas -> VDSWell, everyone is in the same program, but they all bring a variety of experiences and ways to solve problems. The study groups usually have people with multiple backgrounds, which means that if it's, say, a marketing project, and there is a professional marketer on the team, they may have their way of approaching the problem, which we all learn from, but also add to. Everyone's in the program to learn, and I actually really appreciated all of my group work.
Marcelo -> TobyIs the pre-MBA courses included in the tuition? Also, are the concentration classes covered by the tuition? If not, what's the cost to attend both of them?
Toby -> MarceloPre-MBA and Concentrations are optional so they are not included in tuition. Pre-MBA is $1000 for all four days or $600 for two days. To earn a Concentration there is a $5000 fee.
Susan_1 -> Rafi What were the highlights of the program for the two alumni?
Rafi -> Susan_1I loved learning. The classroom was incredible. It was fantastic to have the same group of students for two years as you are able to build very strong bonds. The international component was also great. It was a great plus to study with students from around the world. The program gave me the skill set and confidence to tackle any business situation.
Susan_1 -> Texas What what were the highlights of the program for the two alumni.
Texas -> Susan_1This is a tough question because there was so much I liked about the experience. First is the breadth and depth of experience among classmates -- I think I learned as much from classmates as I did from classes. Academically, many of the professors were really and truly interested in teaching in an Executive program (of generally older, experienced students) and their level of enthusiasm really came through in classes!
bt -> Rafi I've been away from the college atmosphere for a while, do you think it'll be difficult to catch up or will the pre-MBA courses math and accounting be a big help at bringing me up to speed?
Rafi -> btI am an engineer so the math was fine. I had never had a accounting class so the pre-MBA class in accounting was extremely helpful. The program hits the ground running so I would error on the conservative side and take the remedial course if in doubt and you have the resources. Math and accounting are core to the entire program.
bt -> TobyWhat kind of math is covered and how deep does the pre-mba course go in accounting?
Toby -> bthi bt. This is copied from our website "The Pre-MBA Accounting course is designed for those with little or no accounting knowledge. As such, it will be taught as a workshop, primarily emphasizing problems, solutions and discussion and de-emphasizing lecture presentation. It is pragmatic in that the material covered will be seen again (but at a faster pace) during your financial accounting course. This course is not an overview of financial accounting, but instead an introduction to the basics. It will cover material presented in Chapters 1-4 of your textbook.
Robert -> Texas Why did you choose to attend Chicago Booth?
Texas -> RobertI chose Booth's Executive program because I wanted to keep working (so, I was looking for a part-time program) but also did not want to give up much in terms of opportunities to learn from classmates, as well as not compromise on the rigor of academics. So the way the Executive program is structured at Booth, where the entire class cohort takes classes together, coupled with the long professional experiences of many students, were actually key factors for helping me decide among programs.
Mark_F. -> Patty Not to put the cart before the horse, but after graduation, what continuing education opportunities are available to a Booth alumni?
Patty -> Mark_F.Hi, Mark -- we offer a wonderful opportunity for our alumni to return to Booth after graduation and take up to 3 courses tuition-free if there are available seats. In addition, our non-degree executive education area offers significant discounts to alumni during their first post-Booth year. As part of our Reunion celebration each fall, we offer "back-to-the classroom" options and our Management Conference in the spring allows alumni to hear from our faculty members on their current research or related topics. As you can see, we welcome our alumni back to Booth and want to encourage lifelong learning!
Toby -> Everyone @ bt - topics covered in the Pre-MBA Math course include Topics covered:Economic modeling framework, Algebraic properties Factoring Simplifying, adding, subtracting fractions, Exponents and radicals, Equations in one variable, Linear inequalities, Summation notation, Functions and graphs, Linear equations, Solving systems of equations, exponential and logarithmic functions, The concept of a derivative, Time value of money,Statistics primer (population moments, sample statistics, Z scores)
Susan_1 -> Brad Where do students stay who don't live in Chicago?
Brad -> Susan_1We do offer an optional housing package that can be pre purchased every quarter. Many commuting students do make their own arrangements and stay at different hotels that are within walking distance to the Gleacher Center.
Robert -> Rafi Why why did you choose to attend Chicago Booth.
Rafi -> RobertI went to Northwestern undergrad and many of my friends went there for their MBA so I had some insight to that program. For me, Booth fit me. I wanted the rigorousness of Booth. I believe in Booth's concept of learning how to think and solve problems. The students, faculty, and staff that I met during the admissions process made the decision easy.
Marcelo -> Texas For the Alumni - what are the most important qualities EMBA students are expected to have in order to apply to/attend Chicago?
Texas -> MarceloMarcelo: well, I can speak to my experience as a student, so I can't really speak to the part of your question about applying. As far as the key qualities to attend, I truly enjoyed working most with other students who were not shy, willing to bring their perspective, but also open-minded. Their perspectives from their professional careers (the "real world"!) were particularly helpful, and the more willing they were to share those, the better my experience was in working with them.
Jeff_Detweiler -> Brad Are the course books available electronically in some format? or still the "old fashioned" way?
Brad -> Jeff_DetweilerThe course packs are offered in a digital & print format. We currently only offer the course textbooks in a printed format but are actively researching digital delivery options.
XXXXX -> Rafi I have 3 children and a full-time How were you able to manage school, work and family?
Rafi -> XXXXXI have two kids and a working spouse. The bottom line is you find a way to make it work. 22 months goes faster than you think. It will no doubt interrupt and change your life. You will prioritize what is important. In a way it was good to critically examine what was really necessary. Getting your spouse involved also helps to make them feel included and I would encourage your spouse to get to know other spouses.
Susan_1 -> Texas Texas - did you commute from Minneapolis when you were in the program? If so what were some of the specific challenges or even benefits of commuting?
Texas -> Susan_1Yes, I lived in Minneapolis for the whole program. The travel for me was not bad; we had people in my class from as far away as Anchorage and Mexico City. I travel a good deal for my job, so the challenge for me was fitting Chicago into the rest of my work. One benefit of the commute was uninterrupted time to focus on reading or studying.
Jeff_Detweiler -> Texas Is the accounting real world issue based (WAC WHAM duration, GAAP) or more basic (credits, debits, ledgers)?
Texas -> Jeff_DetweilerThe accounting starts with the basic, because the philosophy is that without understanding the basics, you can't truly understand the bigger real world issues. I liked that approach, because I felt like I had a solid basis for evaluating just about anything that could come up (and has come up!) in my professional life.
Liya -> Rafi How did negotiation class work for two alumni in Booth? Did you practice in class with mates or make some real life sessions?
Rafi -> LiyaI had my negotiations class in Singapore. It was amazing. We spent the week negotiating in international groups. This really taught you about cultural differences. The negotiations became more complex each day. We were given real world scenarios and had to negotiate for a specified outcome.
Moderator -> EveryoneWe’re at the mid point with 30 minutes remaining in the chat. We’ve had many great questions so far. Please continue to submit your questions!
VDS -> Texas i visited some other EMBA programs and the students said that due to grading distribution, the students became too competitive, which diminshed the learning and collaboration. How is the experience in Chicago EMBA?
Texas -> VDSI did not have that experience at all at Booth. I think it was because just about all of us in the Executive program class already had substantial work experience, and so the point of the program was not "get a good grade," but to learn about the topics to be able to apply them in our careers.
VDS -> Brad For students flying in to Chicago, there is a risk of canceled flights due to snow storms or bad weather in Chicago. How does the program / school help the students to catch up? e.g., do you record classes and make them available online?
Brad -> VDSWe very rarely record classes and if we do re require written approval from the faculty member. We will normally have individuals work with their study group members to get the class notes and keep up to speed on class material.
YYYYY -> Rafi Since completion of your MBA, has your management style changed?
Rafi -> YYYYYOne of the key reasons I pursued my MBA was to obtain big picture thinking. Booth helped me see business as single large object with many interrelated parts. Changing one part is not without consequence. So many management style is now more refined as I can see the cause and effect beforehand and make better decisions. I also do not take things at face value. I now question and challenge others to make sure I have the whole story.
Susan_1 -> Brad Brad - Besides the hotel program what else does the program do to help communting students?
Brad -> Susan_1We do arrange for an airport shuttle immediately following class on Saturday that will take students to either Midway or O’Hare.
bt -> Rafi Did either of you find Booth helped put you in touch with alumni or others after graduation that helped introduce you to new opportunities or helped progress the career you were in?
Rafi -> btThe alumni network at Booth is a hidden gem. I have reached out to countless alumni and I have always received a return response. Booth alumni love to talk about business. I cannot say enough about how incredible the network is and how much it can be a resource for you.
Robert -> Texas Do either of the alumni have a favorite class? If so which one and why?
Texas -> RobertI don't think I could answer with just one, but maybe with two: Accounting (believe it or not!) was great for me, not because I learned a lot of new concepts (I have already gone through the CFA program) but because a decent amount of time was spent on how and why accounting standards might change through the course of our careers. Marketing was also a favorite class, particularly because I never had any experience in marketing, so the framework we learned has been very helpful in my own career. Okay, I have to add a third class: there is a case study course on finance that ties together more than you would think -- not just finance, but also strategy, and even motivation of business owners for structuring finances of firms different ways (so, a bit of ego and psychology too!). [Okay, I better stop at just three classes!]
Robert -> Rafi Do either of the alumni have a favorite class? If so which one and why??
Rafi -> RobertI wanted to learn finance so the courses in corporate finance were amazing. These classes really brought together how business works on the finance side and incorporated strategy and other non-financial interests. I also really enjoyed a course by Ron Burt that looked into how human relationships and brokering influence ones worth in an organization.
Moderator -> EveryoneThe chat will be closing in 10 minutes. Please submit any final questions. We will answer as many as possible.
Marcelo -> Rafi Rafi , it seems you and I have very similar experiences (engineering, product development, product program management). How would you describe your fit to Chicago Booth? And what made you most/least comfortable in the whole experience? Thanks.
Rafi -> MarceloI loved the program. Loved it. My background was a great fit in that I was comfortable with math, had knowledge in marketing, stately, operations, and negotiations. Accounting was an incredible challenge. The math was easy but it was like learning another language. That being said, the accounting and finance classes were incredible and truly transformed my career.
bt -> Rafi were either of you entrepreneurial and if so did you find the experience improved your outlook?
Rafi -> btMy background was in corporate America but Booth planted a seed about starting my own company. I am two years out of the program, have left my company, and have started working for myself. I could not have done this without Booth.
bt -> Patty Did you find most of the professors were working in the field they taught or are they full time teachers in most cases?
Patty -> btbt - we use a combination of tenured or tenure-track faculty (who are full-time professors) and clinical faculty whose primary job is to teach; in addition, we use adjunct faculty who are working in the "field." Regardless of their title, however, most of our faculty have consulting experience
Mark_F. -> Patty As a resident of downtown Chicago, what facilities at Gleacher are available to an EMBA student during non-class sessions? Access to study facilities, instructors, etc.
Patty -> Mark_F.Hi, Mark - Gleacher Center is open to you 7 days a week -- weekdays from 6am - midnight; weekends have slightly altered hours. You can study here, reserve study rooms, meet with classmates and meet with faculty. In addition, Harper Center, Booth's home on our main campus, is open to you as are any other University facilities
bt -> Rafi Rafi - so the studies strengthened you in a way that made you leave your comfortable job? Wow Anything in particular motivate you or did the people you met help?
Rafi -> btBooth gave me the confidence in teaching me how to think and the in-depth knowledge from the coursework. I have met so many students and alumni that have done something similar. I used to be very risk-adverse but now know that the Booth degree would get me back into corporate America if I ever wanted to (I don't think I will).
Tarun_Kumar -> Patty What would your advice be to the prospective students to avoid the pitfalls in the application process?
Patty -> Tarun_KumarHi Tarun - my best advice is to be your authentic self and encourage your recommenders to focus on your potential for career advancement. Also, in your essays, avoid feeding back our marketing messages to us - we want to hear about you, your accomplishments and what types of skills and characteristics you bring to the learning environment.
Liya -> Patty Does Booth have any on-line libraries available for students?
Patty -> LiyaHi, Liya - yes, you have access to all of the University's on-line libraries once you are a student here.
Texas -> EveryoneThanks, everyone, for the great questions.
Rafi -> EveryoneThank you so much for attending! I look forward to meeting you at a Booth admissions event. Have a great day.
Patty -> EveryoneThank you very much for joining us today! We appreciate your participation and your interest in Chicago Booth.
Brad -> EveryoneThank you for attending and if you have any additional questions please free to reach out to us directly, 312-464-8781
Moderator -> EveryoneThe chat has now closed. Thank you for attending. The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx