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Chat with Students Victor, Jill, Joshua, Kia, and Sabrina about Student Life

February 13 , 2008—9:00-10:00 AM CST

Eddie: Good morning and welcome to the GSB chat. We are looking forward to answering your questions and let you know what's happening here at Chicago GSB. I'm Eddie Pulliam, Senior Associate Driector of Admissions.

Victor: Welcome to our chat this morning. My name is Victor, I'm a 2nd year student concentrating in Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy. I can talk about anything from where to live in Chicago, to the curriculum, to student groups, traveling while in b-school. I look forward to your questions!

Jill: Hi and welcome! My name is Jill - I am a second year student, concentrating in Org Behavior and Strategic Management. My background is in Equity Research, but I am a career changer (going into the corporate world). I am a co-chair of Net Impact, a GA for admissions, and involved in several other groups.

Joshua: Hi everyone, I look forward to speaking with you this morning. I am a second year student heading into Brand Management and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Kia: Hi Everyone! I'm Kia and I'm a first-year here at the GSB. My concentrations are Econ and International Business and currently, I am in the middle of recruiting for Investment Management. I'm happy to answer any questions you have today.

Sabrina: Greetings! My name is Sabrina Thong (yes, Sisqo made my high school life a bit of a nightmare) and I'm a 2nd year student here GSB concentrating in Finance and Accounting. I'm originally from Australia so snow is pretty new for me! :) Before I came to school I was a consultant and I have made the switch to banking (how typical!)Thanks for joining us!

Alexander: Hi Jill! Could you describe advantages of study at Chicago?

Jill: Hi Alexander! To me, the advantages of studying at Chicago are 1) the flexibility of the curriculum, and 2) the strength of the Org. Behavior and Decision Making curriculum. Professor Thaler attracted me to the school, and the entire Org Behavior faculty has been incredible.

G-441641453: Are the living expenses mentioned on the school website a close estimate?

Jill: Living expenses can really vary quite a bit, depending on your lifestyle, where you live, and whether you have a roomate. But I don't know of anyone who has had trouble living for less than the estimate on the website.

mky: I am over forty years old. Will my age be a negative factor for my application?

Eddie: We don't use your age as a factor for your eligibility.

TeacherMan: Joshua, what is it like being a marketing major at a school that has so many more finance focused students?

Joshua: Hey TeacherMan, being a marketer at the GSB is great for several reasons. One is that marketing at the GSB has a lot of momentum. The core group of marketers is growing and is big enough to attract all of the top marketing employers yet small enough where you don't have any trouble getting into marketing elective classes. Also, the faculty is outstanding! All in all, my experience in marketing has been a tremendous experience and I am set up well for success.

JoseGuillermo: Hi, Good Morning to everyone. If everything goes as planned, soon my wife and I will be moving from Brazil to Chicago. My wife doesn't speak English (just the very basic) and as we have never lived in the US, we are concerned that she might feel a little bit alone. Can the Chicago Partners Group be helpful for us? How? Thanks

Victor: Hi Jose, yeah, the Chicago Partners will be a great resource for you and your wife to make a successful transition. The group builds a community to integrate your wife as well as yourself to the rest of GSB partners & families. Additionally, many GSB social events welcome attendance from partners.

G-441587991: What do you consider the best thing about living in Chicago?

Kia: Chicago is an amzaing city and there are so many wonderful things about it that it is difficult to pick just one. Chicago is a large city with lots of cultural activities. There are tons of restaurants (high end and dives)and museums as well. During the spring/summer, the lakefront is gorgeous and you can participate in various festivals: The Taste of Chicago, The Blues/Jazz Fests, and The Folk Festival, to name a few. And, as a bonus, the lake is literally 5 minutes from the GSB's Hyde Park Campus and Navy Pier (where there is a ferris wheel and other delights) is only 5 minutes from the Gleacher Center.

cris: I have been invited to interview next week. Any tips?

Eddie: I'd take a look at my essays again. Why GSB? Why now? Short term and long term goals? Also, this is a formal interview and professional dress is expected.

G-441631998: Goodmorning, I want to know how students outside America finace their studies?

Sabrina: Hi! Priscilla Parker in Financial Aid is your friend. All students admitted to the GSB are approved for student loans. I've personally financed a lot of my MBA through student loans. The loan amount is a little daunting in the beginning but you kind of forget about it when you're here because you want to enjoy the experience. There are a lot of scholarships available as well.

Tata: What opportunities are there for students interested in community service?

Jill: Good morning Tata! I am a co-chair of a group called Net Impact and I would encourage you to check out our link on the Student Groups website. We host 2 major programs during the year. One is called Board Fellows, where we place students as non-voting members on local non-profit boards; the other is Service Corps, where groups of students work on pro-bono consulting projects for local non-profits. There are also ample opportunities to get involved through student groups like Giving Something Back, the Business Solutions group, and Chicago Global Citizens.

G-441641453: Typically how long before the college starts should a student arrive to take care of housing and other formalities? Is Housing competitive?

Joshua: One good thing about the GSB is that it is located in Chicago, a city with plenty of places to stay. I made a trip during the summer, in July, to check some places out before I moved here. I would recommend taking a trip the month prior if possible. If not, then give yourself a week or two to find a place. You probably want to be settled before school starts. Housing in Chicago is not too difficult to find depending on how picky you are.

Shaggerty: Hello, I've read through everyone's profiles and it seems like there is a lot of focus put on which groups a student belongs to. I'm interested in how much value these groups actually add to your overall experience at GSB. How would you measure it against spending more time with family, or enjoying other aspects of the city itself?

Victor: Shaggerty - For me, student groups have been a big part of enjoying my experience here at the GSB. They give you a chance to make and develop friendships and to just enjoy yourself outside of coursework and recruiting. (And sometimes, they help with those, too). Comparing spending time with a student group versus spending time with family or out in the city won't serve much of a purpose because everyone has different priorities. You may be a newlywed or have a newborn child and choose to spend much more time with your family, and that's great. Others choose to bring in their family and integrate them with the student groups they enjoy to a greater extent. These don't have to be completely separate. It just depends on your preferences.

G-441588131: Good Morning Amanda, Eddie, Victor, Jill, Joshua, Kia, and Sabrina. My name is Sooyun Park. I am an applicant in Seoul, Korea. Please call me Soo. Thank you for inviting me to the chat today. Are you all in Chicago now?

Eddie: Yes we are!

Quant: Hi everyone and thanks for your time. Is this chat only focussed on full time admissions or part time as well?

Eddie: Our chat today is for the full time program. Most of the procedures are quite similar.

WillOh: Jill, can you tell me what the day-to-day role that Net Impact has on the community and what students have done through the organization?

Jill: WillOh - in addition to Board Fellows and Service Corps (highlighted in a response above), Net Impact is involved in initiatives with Campus Greening, Sustainable Investing, and Curriculum change. We also help members out who are interested in working in areas like social responsibility, venture philanthropy, etc.

Niren: Good Morning. I have worked seven years in Army now. I want to know how difficult it is for people coming from diverse background to sustain the rigours of Chicago GSB curriculum?

Kia: Hi Niren, good morning to you too. The difficulty with which you find the transition will largely depend upon your personal ability to deal with transitions, in general. That being said, Chicago is excellent at providing resources and support for students. Additionally, I assume that as a member of the Army for 7 years, you are able to deal with stress and pressure and you have learned how to manage your time, which is by far, the most important key to success here. Finally, diverse backgrounds abound here: I have many classmates who have served in the military, etc, and they love it here. Good luck!

test123: Hi Victor and Jill - can you talk about how Chicago GSB helps you in switching careers to Management Consluting considering one of its key strengths is finance?

Victor: Hi test123: Many students looking to change careers do so by recruiting for consulting and the GSB is extremely strong at successfully recruiting at the large firms, medium size and some of the smaller firms as well. I think that since there have been a number of academic breakthroughs in the field of Finance here at Chicago, people sometimes automatically brand us as just a "Finance school" when this is clearly not the case.

K-Man: Hello everyone! First of all, thank you for this live chat opportunity. I have one question. My post MBA interests are in Finance. Chicago GSB is a very strong finance school so Chicago GSB is definitely on the top of my b-school list. However, there are a number of schools that are known to be strong in Finance, such as Columbia and Wharton. My question is, what does Chicago have that CBS or Wharton cannot offer? Or what is it that sets Chicago GSB apart from other finance schools? (other than the prestige faculty and flexible curriculum)

Eddie: We really don't try to compare universities/curriculum. That's totally up to you as you do your research. One thing I would recommend is to really do your research on schools that say they are "flexible". That seems to be a popular buzzword. That's one thing that we are certain we offer.

Hanish: I would like to ask each one of the 2nd year students three questions: 1. how the story has been for the first year of study in college, 2. how has it moulded the thinking pattern, and 3. what difference has 1 year in chicago gsb made in each one of your lives from what it was when joining the college?

Sabrina: Hi Hanish. Great questions! 1) The first year can be a little overwhelming because you're trying to juggle so many things. You're in a new environment, you're trying to get used to studying again, you're trying to figure out what you want to do career wise, and you're trying to meet make friends. 2/3) I personally feel that the first year is a great opportunity for you to reflect and re-evaluate things. I feel that it helps set you on a course of action and focuses your priorities. The school teaches you to think critically about yourself.

plachman: This is a question to everyone. For those of you who considered more than one business school, why did you consider Chicago GSB in the end?

Joshua: Hey plachman, I visited several of the top b-schools, and chose the GSB for several reasons. One was the flexible curriculum, which allows you to take what you want and makes classes much more interesting. Second was the GSB way. The GSB differentiates itself from other great schools by being rooted in research and intellectual curiosity. You truly feel it when you walk in the building. Your classmates are brilliant people that always look to challenge and probe. The classroom is filled with lively debates between students and professors. This environment becomes infectious and teaches us how to think critically, not simply what to think. Many other reason also came into play, I could be here all day giving them to you. The people, the facilities, the corporate ties, the faculty, the alumni, and the reputation are just a few. Hope that helps.

Poornima: Good morning everyone! Victor: GSB is strongly focussed on Entrepreneurship. Could you talk a little about the entrepreneurial classes you have taken and your key learning from them?

Victor: Poornima, although the GSB does a great job at providing a top-notch, well rounded education, I personally have gotten most out of the entrepreneuship classes. The faculty in the department is second to none - I've learned a ton in classes such as Entrepreneurial Finance and Commercial Innovation while having a great time. Be warned, on average entrepreneurship classes are quite a bit more work but I think this reflects the fact that entrepreneurs are required to also put in so much research and analysis in their real-life work. So I highly recommend going into entrepreneurship if you're thinking about one day going into business for yourself, or into VC or Private Equity.

G-441660751: Hi, good morning. Thanks in advance for all the comments and help answering our questions. I wanted to know what is the regular and maximum course load per quarter?

Joshua: You are required to complete 20 classes (plus LEAD) over six quarters. So most quarters you will be taking 3 classes, while taking 4 for two quarters (independent of LEAD). Hope that helps!

Polina_Lagutina: Hi, guys! Thank you for such a great opportunity for us to know more about Chicago GSB! Can you elaborate on this bidding system - for the classes and for jobs, as well? Are there counselors available for any 1st year?

Kia: Hi! The bidding system for classes is too elaborate to explain here, but the general concept is that you are alloted points at the beginning of the year and you bid for the classes that you want. Of course, the point here is that it creates a "free market" where you and your classmates must determine, based on the information you have, which professors are popular and will go for lots of points and how many points they will go for. The trick is that you need to allocate your points across all quarters so you must be strategic. That being said, everyone gets the classes they want through various means. After all, the professors here are wonderful and they are all brilliant so you never lose. As for job bidding, the concept is still the same. You are assigned 1000 points at the beginning of On Campus Recruiting (OCR) and if you are not invited to interview with a company you really want to interview with, you bid for them. Again, these are strategic moves you must make as you have a finite set of points and you must allocate accordingly. However, things always work out and even though I am in the middle of recruiting, I have not yet heard of anyone who has run out of points and is therefor unable to interview with companies.

ChrisWheat: Thanks for taking time out of your busy days. Could the students talk about their experiences with course selection for the fall term of their 1st year? Difficulty in getting the classes you want? Decisions on taking upper level coursework? 3 courses or 4? Many thanks.

Jill: Chris - my plan of action for scheduling the first quarter was to take the 3 foundation courses. I knew that second years would be instrumental in helping me pick future classes so I didn't want to stray too much from the foundations before I had a chance to talk to them. So far (fingers crossed for next quarter) I have not had any problems getting into the courses I wanted. Sometimes people don't get classes they want in the first round of scheduling, but they get them in subsequent rounds. One of the advantages to the Grade Nondisclosure policy here is that you are really able/encouraged to take classes that will stretch you. I know lots of people who took 4 classes (plus LEAD) in their first quarters, and they all survived. I personally chose to "ease in" so to speak and took 3 classes + LEAD. The choice is personal and totally up to you and what you feel you can handle!

madmango: Hello everyone! I have a bunch of questions, but I'll start with one about housing - is university housing (dorms, apartments in hyde park) a popular housing option amongst GSB students?

Eddie: It's according to where you want to live. A lot of students choose to stay in Hyde Park during their first year. It's near campus and easier to get familiar with the Hyde Park community. In the 2nd year students tend to go outside of Hyde Park...the South Loop, Lincoln Park, Lakeview. These areas have more of the entertainment value - restaurants, clubs, etc.

Amrish_A: Good morning to all, and thank you for your time! My question is - The GSB's Nobel Laureate faculty are highly regarded, and is one of its strengths. Apart from the obvious wow-factor, what is its ground-level impact on classroom teaching? What are other, practical ways in which having Nobel-award winning faculty directly benefit students?

Sabrina: Hey Amrish! While I haven't taken a class with a Nobel Prize Laureate, I've taken classes with some well regarded professors (McGill, Diamond, Schrager) and they all have an amazing ability to drive discussions on the classroom which make you think. I think in the classroom they have a way of making theories feel real. I personally find their experiences beneficial. In a lot of the finance classes I've taken, my professors often challenge some of the theories the laureates have discovered and they also share what the current thinking is.

toni: Hello Everyone, this question is for anyone who can answer. As a GSB student do you have time to work? Living in Chicago can be very expensive and I'm wondering how many students survive.

Victor: toni, I'd say that only a small percentage of full-time students work while also taking a regular schedule of classes. It's just too difficult to do both, and there are only 24 hours in the day. Personally, I think you'd get a lot less out of the experience by choosing to work. But, obviously, this is up to you. Business school in general, not just in Chicago, is expensive. That said, you will have plenty of resources from the Financial Aid office to get you through your two years here. Remember, this is an investment in yourself... even just deciding to apply to business school has to involve a serious consideration of whether that investment is worth it to you or not.

ny99cbae: Hi, and thanks to everyone for answering our questions. GSB's reputation is that of a quant heavy school. For persons who may not have a strong quantitative background, do you think based on your experience that they are at a disadvantage?

Kia: HI ny99cbae! Good morning. The GSB is very quant heavy. To be more specific, I would say it is very finance/econ based. And, that is a great thing regardless of where your strength lies. I would look at it like this: if you are strong in quant then you can take this as an opportunity to indulge in the very high level classes. If you are not a "quant jock" no worries! This is definitely the place to come to learn about finance theory and economics and apply it to your area of interest. Chicago is excellent at providing resources like study/review sessions, tutors, study groups, and of course, the professors are always here to help. The goal is to learn (not to necessarily get all A's) and that is what fosters the GSB's continuing culture of innovation and success--we are not afraid to try to master difficult concepts.

Poornima: What according to you would be the most exciting aspect of life at GSB?

Sabrina: Hi Poornima. I think it's exciting to think about who my classmates are going to be in 10 years down the track. There are a lot of amazing people in this school and I know that a lot of them are going to achieve many great things. That to me is exciting. When you first come here, you won't know a lot of people but you will leave with some amazing friends.

R2_Applicant: Hi, I have received an invitation for interview. Can you please explain the interview process and what does the Ad-com look for in the interview?

Eddie: The interview takes about 30 minutes. We are looking for you to tell us about your goals, why you're seeking an MBA and how well you know the GSB. Confidence is a plus. After the interview is completed your report goes back to your file and is reviewed by the Adcoms only. Many times you have covered a subject that may give us the information we need to make that offer of admission. Professional attire is requested for this interview!

brogags: How much time out of class would you say you have? I'm expecting the time commitment to be similar to that of a full time job?

Joshua: Hey brogags! This is a hard question to answer because given that the GSB is a flexible place, the answer is different for everyone. I have classmates that have a ton of free-time because they take all of their classes on one or two days and don't have as many extra-curricular commitments. I know others who are always busy due to commitments. My time changes from quarter to quarter with commitments, but I stay pretty busy. Having said that, some of that is doing fun things; seeing the city, traveling, going out. All in all, I think business school is fairly intense, but fun. I find it slightly more demanding than a 40 hr. work week.

Tata: What financial aid is available to international students?

Eddie: You are eligible for loans. You may also be eligible for a scholarship. It's best that you visit our website and look under the full time program for international students.

Ogie: Did any of you participate in "Random Walk" before beginning your first year and if so what did you gain from this experience?

Jill: Hi Ogie! I actually did not have a chance to participate in a RW before my first year (as a 3rd round admit, the slots were filled before I was admitted - they fill up fast!!). Once we got to school I realized how much I had missed out on - everyone who participated already had a group of close friends before school even started. Because I had missed out on the experience before my first year, I decided to lead a trip before my second year, and it was fantastic! I lead the trip to India - there were 13 incoming 1st years and 3 returning students. We really bonded during the week, and it gave the first years a chance to really ask us all their questions on courses, professors, and student life in addition to seeing some incredible sights! It was an incredible trip and I HIGHLY recommend participating! You will regret it if you don't (I certainly did!!).

lauraxu: Hello, what's the average age of all students who get enrolled? How's the percent of students who are over 30?

Eddie: About 28 years old. A smaller percentage of students are 30 and over.

Charlie: Hopefully this question fits into today's discussion. Can one of the students comment on the GSB's lack of a core curriculum? Has it been advantageous by allowing you to tailor your curriculum for specific career goals? Has it affected your ability to network with other first year students?

Victor: Charlie: Well, I think that precisely because our curriculum is more flexible than most, there's a bit of a misconception that there is no core curriculum at the GSB. That's not the case. As a student, you must satisfy requirements in Financial Accounting, Microeconomics and Statistics. But, if you have a major in Economics or Accounting, for example, you can take a substitute class (more advanced) to fulfill this requirement. Additionally, there is a breadth requirement to make sure you get a well-rounded education but, again, you don't have a take a list of specific classes. Rather, there is a long list of potential classes under each area and you get to choose which ones interest you most. After that, 11 of your 20 classes are electives which are obviously completely open to whatever you would like to take.

madmango: Hi Jill - what kind of projects is Net Impact involved with currently? Are there international opportunities in addition to local ones?

Jill: Good morning madmango! I have highlighted some of the current projects in previous responses, and I encourage you to also check out our website (from the student groups page). As far as international opportunities, there is another student group called Chicago Global Citizens - each year they do 2 international consulting projects (one last year was with the Millenium Foundation), and each year they organize a Spring Break trip to a developing country to offer aid, meet with NGOs, and working with kids to help improve their own social enterprises.

shoeb: I am currently working fulltime in Kuwait, managing a private equity fund, and I am interested in applying to GSB's MBA program. Can you help me in getting started?

Eddie: You need to take a look at our website. Take the GMAT. Start securing your transcripts. Begin thinking about who will write your letters of recommendation. Most important, why do you feel you need an MBA?

tindrum: Hi all, I wanted to hear from a Chicago student, what differentiates a Chicago student/graduate? That is, what is unique about the Chicago student?

Joshua: Great question tindrum! I think it is our intellectual curiosity. The GSB is flexible and rooted in research. I believe this makes it unique and conducive to developing people who think critically. The GSB teaches us how to think, not what to think. This mindset sets us up to perform well now and in the future. Whenever we encounter a situation that cannot be solved by a simple formula, I know my GSB experience will pay dividends.

Poornima: Sabrina: As the Co-chair for CWiB, could you discuss your experience? How has your involvement in CWiB helped you?

Sabrina: Hi again Poornima! Being a Co-Chair gives you an opportunity to make a difference to this school, especially to the new first year class. As a Co-Chair you also have the opportunity to interact with the staff and faculty on campus outside about issues that are important to you and your group members. My involvement in CWIB has helped me become a more organized person!! It has also taught me to be more of a morning person. ;)

Matt: Are there any advantages to having studied at the U of C previously?

Eddie: One thing we like to find out is if you have taken a class at the GSB. We also think your knowledge of the GSB should be quite interesting since you were right here on campus!

georgek: My question is for Victor. Can you talk about the housing options at Chicago and how you decided among them?

Victor: GeorgeK, Chicago is a big and diverse city so, certainly, any option you can think of is available to you. However, I'd say most students live either in the Hyde Park area (this option is even more popular in the first year, since people are not yet familiar with the city and prefer to be close to campus), the Loop or Downtown (this option is a compromise between being close to campus and close to the majority of entertainment options in the north side), and Lincoln Park (this option appeals most to either families or people willing to trade off a short commute with living closer to the entertainment center of Chicago). I decided to live in Downtown myself - I live in a highrise where many other GSB students also live.

Tina: Jill, can you tell me how your work in Net Impact is also replicated in the classroom?

Jill: Hi Tina! I'm not sure if this completely answers your question, but there are a couple of classes that are geared toward social entrepreneurship - one is appropriately called Social Entrepreneurship, and the other is the New Venture Lab. Hope that helps!

Ziad: Good Morning. I hope everyone's well. My first question is with regards to your expectations of Chicago going into it versus what your thoughts are now that you're there - is the school below, above or at a par with your expectations and why?

Sabrina: Hi Ziad! I had never been to Chicago before I was admitted. I remember buying a book on Chicago and when I opened up the book to the Hyde Park section, the first line I read was as follows "Hyde Park - Home of the University of Chicago - where the fun comes to die!" I thought Chicago GSB was going to be a nerdy finance school but that's definitely not to be. This freaked me out! And this forced me to go to Admit Weekend and that's when I realized that we have a very diverse class and not everybody wants to do finance. Everyone here is very down to earth and normal, which was surprising to me as well. I think my experience at the GSB exceeded my expectations and I'm not just saying that because I'm in this chat room. It's important to get to know your classmates.

JonathonSchuster: Kia- this one's for you. Coming from a liberal arts background what do you feel your challenges were both in applying to business schools in general and in settling in to business school in your first year?

Kia: Hi Jonathon! My liberal arts background has been a huge asset for me during business school. To answer the first part of your question: as an applicant, my liberal arts background was an asset and I really played on my ability to think "outside the box." However, I also had 9 years of work experience that added layers to my liberal arts background, so that helped. In business school, the backgrounds here are so diverse that it doesn't make any difference. There are Russian majors, English majors, Econ and Finance majors, former surfers and professional tae kwon do champions, and government officials/heads of state. So...you can see that liberal arts isn't so unique. As for the general challenges involving backgrounds: I am recruiting for Investment Management and I have found that my liberal arts background is never an issue but my prior relevant work experience (or lack of, in this case)is what hs been the hardest hurdle to overcome. All of this is to say: if you are a liberal arts major, have no fear. Liberal arts is a wonderful foundation that supports flexible thinking and a general desire to learn and process the world around you. Best of luck!

spark: As one who's interested in management consulting at one of Mck/Bain/BCG, since they have no access to grades, what do they evaluate you on (other than the interview themselves)? For example, are there concentrations that would best fit the person they are looking for?

Victor: Hi spark, I don't think they're necessarily looking for a specific concentration. They are mainly looking to understand the way you think and solve problems, as well as your ability to speak and present those solutions. So I'd say for consulting, the employment decision is based heavily on the interview (probably more than in most other industries), especially the case portion. Some students choose to publish their GMAT score on their resumes (Career Services will provide you guidance as to whether to do that), but your resume's effectiveness stops after you have the interview. After that, it's all about how you perform once you're there.

Jitae: Hi Jill. I see you participate a lot of activities besides academic studies. Is it possible to do all those activities keeping up with rigorous academic courses?

Jill: ABSOLUTELY! I think everyone chooses their own level of activity and prioritizes accordingly. For me, academics are at the top of my list - I came here to really learn. I hold 2 leadership positions, so those 3 areas take most of my attention. Beyond that, as a member of the other groups I attend events when I can, but they do not require much time beyond that. I am also engaged, so my fiance and my dog are also priorities and I make sure to spend as much time with them as possible! Other students prioritize differently - it is all about your personal preferences!

georgek: What is the format for joining student groups? I know at some schools, you have to sign up right away because availibilty is limited?

Sabrina: Hi George. There are so many groups out there it's hard to choose! When you first come to campus, you will have the opportunity to see all the student groups on campus during an LPF (liquidity preference function). There's no limit to how many groups you can join and the groups don't have a limit on their membership. :)

Jeep: Hi. I have heard many people said that Round #3 is the toughest round to get in. Could you please comment/compare the probability of admission between Round#3 in Fall 2008 and Round#1 or #2 in Fall 2009?

Eddie: We still make offers of admission in r3! Please keep in mind that the pool has started to take shape, higher GMATs, strong GPAs, etc. You really need to put together a good package because it does get a bit "competitive." The number of applications in a round plays a small part in the number of offers so it wouldn't fair for me to "guess-timate" the chance of someone getting in in'09.

madmango: Apart from following your interests, is choosing a concentration a strategic decision: for instance will I-Banking recruiters look more favorably upon a student with a finance major?

Sabrina: Hi madmango - naturally when you are recruiting for a particular career path, you tend to gravitate towards a concentration that is related to that career. Many students looking to go into IB are career switches and need learn finance & accounting to do their jobs. I think recruiters will look to your concentrations to see whether you will have the right skills for the industry and if you are truly interested in the industry.

Ogie: Hi Kia, what do you like best about the international business major? With the required 5 international business courses, is it difficult for you to manage the economic courses?

Kia: Hi Ogie, I have an interest in international business and international affairs so the ability to take classes an major in it is great. One great class is Managing the Firm in the Global Economy, which specifically explores multinational corporations and/or corporations' attempts to expand internationally. No, it is not difficult to manage the economic courses and many people can end up with three concentrations just based on how many classes they end up taking in a quarter. All of the classes are challenging--you will be surprised at how much you can handle once you start taking classes, getting involved in groups, etc.

Jenna: Can any of you speak to the distinctions of GSB's leadership development programs compared with other B-school leadership programs?

Joshua: Hey Jenna! The GSB is a leader amongst business schools when it comes to leadership development. It started the LEAD program (Leadership Effectiveness and Development) in the late 80's, the first program of its kind. It has since been replicated by other b-schools. The LEAD program is the only mandatory class at the GSB. It is taught by selected 2nd year students (LEAD Facilitators)to the incoming class. I was a LEAD Facil and know first hand how valuable the program is, both for students and facilitators. Also, Jeff Anderson is the new Dean of Leadership Development and he is bringing some great new ideas to the GSB community. For example, this spring there will be a leadership seminar for several weeks where business leaders will be coming to run seminars on various leadership topics. I whole-heartedly believe that the GSB is at the forefront of leadership in the b-school arena.

GSBAspirant: I am currently 23, but my work ex will be more than 3 years - full time. But since the average age is higher that 23 how do I convince the adcomm of my professional and personal maturity?

Eddie: Your letters of recommendation will play a big part. You need to make sure that you find someone who can really provide details on your progess, actual work that you do and the contributions your make to the company.

Hanish: Hello Victor!! Your profile is interesting! What kind of a career are you looking forward to after graduating from Chicago and how will Chicago provide you with the edge towards achieving your goals?

Victor: Hanish, I will be working in corporate strategy next year in Chicago. I can't quite say yet if that will turn out to be a long-term career or a stepping stone to something else, but I'm looking forward to it. The GSB has been very helpful in letting me a achieve my goals: most of the firms I've interviewed with would be practically impossible to even speak to if I had tried to recruit for them from the work force. Additionally, the material I've learned in classes has been directly applicable to recruiting and I expect that it will be highly relevant to my future work.

JMontoya: I am interested to visit the campus, and to attend some classes. Do you have any Embassador Programs?

Eddie: Sure. Visit our website and look under "visitor's program."

bvicari: Good morning. To anyone: how much interaction do GSB students have with other graduate students at Chicago?

Sabrina: Hi bvicari! We have a speed dating event tomorrow night with the other u of c grad schools! :) GSB students also have the opportunity to take classes outside the GSB in other graduate programs.

bkoneill88: Is it possible to get student loans that help cover living expenses too or do you find that most people have to get a job to cover them?

Jill: bkoneill88 - the student loans actually do cover your living expenses. The cost of attendance listed on the website is the amount you are allowed to borrow each year, and it should be sufficient to cover all of your expenses in a year. I would say that it is nearly impossible to work part time while attending the full time program (not that it can't be done, but it would be very difficult!).

itzamyth: Any disadvantages for international students to apply in March round?

Eddie: The one concern that comes into place is finding yourself on the "waitlist." You can stay on the waitlist for a good part of the summer and it may hurt your chances of getting your visa approved to start classes on time.

charles78: Could any of you provid me with any feedback about main differences between first and second year? How is the pressure through the program compared to time?

Joshua: Hey charles78, the first and second years are fairly different. Your first year starts with a lot of programming to get you prepared for the b-school experience. Everyone is excited, nervous, and everywhere in between. You are trying to figure things out while the school is prepping you for success in the recruiting process. Fall quarter that first year is a blur. Winter comes and you start the internship recruiting process, another intense period. By spring, most likely you will have your internship plans taken care of and you spend more time engaging in the classroom, and enjoying the good weather. When you come back from your internship your second year, you might have accepted full-time with that firm. If so, then life is fairly relaxed. If not, then you start recruiting immediately and finish on campus recruiting by November or so. The rest of your second year is spent how you choose to spend it. However you look at it, the first year is much more intense and exciting, while the second year is a little more comfortable and even sad, because you are leaving such a great place.

shikha: Hi - serious question: outside classes & clubs, what is campus atmosphere like? Not so serious: how has recruiting been?

Jill: Hi Shikha! I am assuming this question stems from the stereotype that this is "where fun comes to die." I think you will find that it is really the exact opposite! I find the atmosphere to be incredibly open, friendly, and invigorating! The discussions in the Winter Garden are energizing and engaging, people are incredibly open to helping if you're struggling in a class or in recruiting. I have to say, I get next to nothing accomplished when I'm on campus because I'm too busy talking to everyone!! As far as recruiting goes - it's certainly a stressful activity for everyone. But the second year students for the most part have secured their offers for full time employment (that typically happens first quarter of your second year), and we are in the midst of internship recruiting for first years. I think it's early to say how that is going, but we all survive and we help each other through it!

Sumant: Hi, this is Sumant from India. This one is for Sabrina - most international students experience GSB through internet or word of mouth. How diff has it been to experience GSB first hand and is there anything about GSB culture that hasn't been publicized much about on the net that you would like a special mention about?

Sabrina: Hi Sumant! As previously mentioned, I read that the U of C is "where the fun comes to die!" The biggest turning point for me was meeting my classmates. I knew that I could see myself spending the next 2 years of my life with these people. The campus feeling is amazing and it often takes me 30 minutes to walk through the winter garden because you always see someone you haven't seen in a while and you want to catch up with. I think the sense of community not only with my classmates but also with staff here at the GSB is pretty special. That's not really something you can get a good sense of via the internet or through publications. Come visit us!! :)

G-441588131: Any specific scholarship for minorities?

Eddie: We don't offer any awards based upon your race.

TeacherMan: Joshua, your profile mentions the Christian Business Students Association. About how many students are involved, and what are some of the things this group does?

Joshua: Hey TeacherMan, the CBSA is a great group. It is a little smaller than some other groups but a tight knit group. Their are probably about 15 active members, give or take. The group holds weekly meetings talking about all sorts of issues facing Christians in business, school, and elsewhere. We do social events, with ourselves, and with Kellogg's chapter. The group is also invited to various MBA conferences. We also try to bring in speakers. In fact, today the former chairman and CEO of Pepsico is coming to talk about leadership.

josemartins: Hi All. Victor this question is for you. How (and why) do you think entrepreneurship in Chicago GSB compares to other top ranked programs?

Victor: Jose, my honest answer is that I don't know because I don't have any experience with other programs. The program here is extremely strong in faculty (world renowned professors such as James Schrager, Steve Kaplan, Scott Meadow - just to name a few), the quality of the courses and the number of experiential learning contests such as the New Venture Challenge. Just last weekend at a bar I met a 2006 GSB alumnus who won the NVC and took his idea and built an actual business out of it. It has survived its first 2 years and he is currently looking for his first round of institutional funding. Also, entrepreunrship professors, perhaps more than any other, are very eager to help budding businessman develop their ideas. And, with the amazing network of contacts they have, this can be an invaluable resource.

ALR: G'morning everyone! As an applicant with long term goals in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship, I would like to know more about the opportunities in Real Estate that the Chicago GSB offers.

Kia: Chicago is offering more and more opportunities for real estate. There is the Real Estate group that meets and puts on the annual conference where students get a chance to meet various real estate professionals and network. Additionally, there are panels that help students explore the myriad options in this field. Specifically, another student and I were trying to plan a trip to Dubai that would be Real Estate focused, especially because of the great opportunities in real estate there. Because we have so many things going on we were not able to get it off the ground by this spring break. However, it is still on the radar and we will probably make it happen next year. Additionally, the career services center has been extrememly helpful--they reached out to us--and offered to put us in contact with businesses and people in Dubai. What you will find is that everyone here wants you to succeed so when you come, if you have anything you want to do with real estate you can do it. Good luck!

neku: Hi Jill, can you elaborate a bit on the "sustainable investing" you just spoke about in relation to NetImpact? How do you go about shortlisitng the projects to invest in?

Jill: Hi Neku! This is an initiative that we just began this year. There is a committee working with the broader university to discuss how we can work together to develop that very strategy. This is in the infant stages and we hope to have a strong platform with which to make a real impact in the near future!

Ogie: What do you think is the biggest challange you face once you are in the GSB?

Joshua: Hey Ogie, that is easy, time management! The GSB simply has too much to offer, you can't do it all. So you have to make decisions about how to best use your time. Should you spend and extra 2 hours studying, or should you go hear Bill Gates speak (he is actually coming in a few weeks), or should you go to the recruiting event, or should you go hang out with your classmates. These are the type of trade offs everyone makes here.

SeanH: Good morning, I have a question regarding safety on campus and in the areas surrounding GSB. Rather than express if you "feel" safe on campus, could you please let me know how Chicago and Campus police have specifically addressed safety concerns?

Eddie: The university police have continued to take action on offering more protection/security on campus. Patrol cars are much more visible. We also have special alerts that are pushed out to students to keep them aware of what's going on around campus.

IFCWB: Good morning and thank you again for your time. Sabrina, did you apply as an international student? If so, could you kindly tell us about your experience with the career services office for post-MBA opportunities?

Sabrina: Hi IFCWB! I did apply as an international student and as an international student you will have a lot of support. I'm currently going through the H1-B visa process and the GSB and the Office of International Affiars (OIA) are a great resource. They are used to dealing with these situations and are well educated about the system. I've had one-on-one meetings with career services and the OIA and they're more than happy to help! 35% of our class is international so the school knows what it's doing.

lauraxu: Compared with so many applicants who have strong backgrounds, if an applicant with no financing related experience has less chance of getting addmission?

Eddie: No way. We love to see students who have liberal arts backgrounds. It helps with the diversity in our program and also your responses in the classroom may add to the "texture" of the conversation.

puneet: What is the temperature there at chicago, and how much does that effect your studies?

Jill: Hi puneet! The weather has been pretty cold this winter, and we have had quite a bit of snow. Right now the temperature is 13 degrees farenheit. I would say that this actually helps my studies because it keeps me indoors! I am much more tempted to get out and enjoy the weather during spring quarter :)

Kaps: Good Morning Everyone ... Victor please share your experience with Management Consulting club in terms of learning and leadership opportunities it provides.

Victor: Hi Kaps, the MCG provides excellent learning opportunities: every year, it publishes a lengthy, comprehensive case book to help all members of the group prepare for interviews; it organizes regular events for real-life case practices with fellow students and, at times, with consultants from some of the same companies you'll be interviewing with; and an annual conference during with speakers come to talk about the industry and give you tips on how to interview, how to structure your resume, etc. Regarding leadership, I'm not too sure what you mean. The group has somewhere between 150 and 200 members and 5 of them serve as co-chairs of the group, so that's one opportunity. I also believe they look for other members to serve as student hosts for each company that comes to campus, so there's another chance for you to develop a rapport with recruiters and be a liason for the school and an outside employer.

johnr1981: Hi, I was wondering if any of you have participated in the international exchange/study abroad, if so, for how long did you spend away from chicago? Did this make it difficult to fulfill all course requirements?

Eddie: Typically you will spend at least one semester abroad and will stay on track to finish your course requirements.

sandiegoss: Good morning, all. I have a question for the second year students. There are so many fascinating student groups. How many clubs can one reasonably juggle with coursework?

Kia: There are so many clubs and student groups and it is tempting to join about 9 or 10. However, the underlying premise of your question is right! It is impossible to join all of the ones you want to join and to be effective in all of those groups AS WELL AS do your coursework, sleep, etc. I would say that you could reasonably juggle 2 MAYBE 3 groups with coursework. The question is, how involved do you plan to be in the various groups? If you really want to be a productive, active memeber of a group then 3 is probably the limit. However, even if you are not an active member of all the groups you want to be a part of, you can still participate in their events/functions, etc.

Sumant: GSB is known for it's flexible curriculum, which allows one to collaborate with several diverse student groups. On the other hand, does this "flexibility" factor eat a little bit into one's effort & time required to to build close networks which is a significant component of the MBA experience ?

Joshua: Hey Sumant, GSB's flexibility is a great thing. You customize your education. Also, you do get to have classes and interact with a number of different people, which broadens the scope of your relationships. One question you have to ask yourself, is where do I make the trade offs between know more people, or knowing fewer people to a greater extent? I think it is natural to get to know a lot of people, and the flexible curriculum helps you do that. You will also have a core group of friends that you will get to know really well. Overall, I think the flexible curriculum helps in building relationships because it facilitates more encounters with people.

G-441713081: Hello to all. Could you tell me something about life on campus? A typical day on campus?

Jill: Hi G-441713081! Wow, this is a really difficult question to answer. I know this will sounds cliche, but there truly is no "typical day." The answer will be very different depending on your courseload, groupwork, and whether you are recruiting. My days have been vastly different each quarter. You will spend 3 hours per week per class in the classroom. Then you can spend anywhere from 5-15 hours a week outside of class doing the required readings, problem sets, and case write-ups. Student group events are typically at lunch or in the evenings. I tend to spend only the necessary time on campus because I get nothing accomplished here (too busy talking to people!), so I spend my "quiet time" studying at home. I can guarantee you that there are as many answers to this question as there are people in the program, but I hope that helps a little bit!

Jenna: Can any of you discuss how you or a classmate initiated a program/club/etc. at GSB?

Victor: A friend of mine that went to Thailand with me on a Random Walk (which I highly recommend) loves board games and there wasn't a club on campus for board games. So at the end of her first year she started the Chess & Board Games club, and with membership fees (which are nominal, something like 5 or 10 bucks for your 2 years) they bought several different games, put on socials and tournaments. Actually, this Saturday is the first ever Monopoly Tournament, which has been sponsored by professor Luigi Zingales as a research project, so he's putting up $1,000 in prize money for the top finishers. In short, if there's an interest which doesn't have a group already, you can start one. I believe the approval process is quick and easy, and you have the opportunity to run a small organization so it's a good leadership experience.

WOh: As someone who has lived in great weather all my life, how do you manage the cold and does the hard winters affect you?

Sabrina: Hi WOh! I lived in Australia my whole life before coming to Chicago so winter used to be around 50 degrees. :) I moved here with 1 suitcase. I think the first time it snowed, I wore half the items in my suitcase! You learn to adapt and the snow is actually pretty. Layers, layers, layers! I love playing tennis and you can't really do that in the winter so instead I bought a Nintendo Wii. :) You will adapt and it will scare you the first time you say "40 degrees is warm."

Ogie: This question is for Joshua. Did you get help finding your internship at BK?

Joshua: Hey Ogie, I did in fact. The posting for the internship came through the career services at the school. But the Dean of LEAD actually is an executive coach for the executive team at BK, so he put in a plug for me and helped me get an interview. The rest is history! Another great thing about the GSB is the strong network, which always comes in handy. The fact is, when you reach out to someone and say you are a student at the GSB, more often then not, they reply.

Alan: Good morning everyone! In listings of different opportunities, I've seen DSAC and Graduate Assistant for Admissions. Can you explain the difference and suggest which is best to pursue if given the opportunity?

Victor: Hey Alan, DSAC and GA are related but slightly different. Which you prefer to be involved in depends on what you prefer to do. GA's (2nd year students) read and evaluate incoming applications and conduct some interviews of applicants. There are about 40 or 45 of them out of a 2nd year class of about 550. DSAC is the student branch of the Admissions Office and its mission is to educate prospective applicants about the GSB through programs such as Discussion Forums, a blog, campus visits such as GSB Live, Summer and Winter Receptions at dozens of cities over the world, as well as Admit Weekend programming for those students who are admitted. I'm the DSAC Communications Co-Chair and there are 6 other co-chairs. So it just depends which of these functions interest you more.

Jill: Thanks everyone for joining us! I hope we were able to answer some of your burning questions. I highly encourage you to visit campus if you haven't already to get an even better sense for life at the GSB!

Sabrina: Thanks for all your questions today! I hope to see some of you guys on campus at some point. :) Stay warm!

Eddie: Thanks for joining us. I hope that we helped answer your questions and will make applying to the GSB a bit more flawless.

Eddie: Eddie Pulliam - Senior Associate Director, Admissions!

Victor: Thanks to everyone for all of your questions... you really kept us busy, which is great! I hope we have piqued your interest in the school. Really, the GSB is a great place to learn and to launch your career in business. And it's a great place to meet lifelong friends too. Have a great week!

Joshua: Thanks for all of the questions. I hope that my thoughts were helpful and you got a great glimpse into this wonderful place. Have a great day and I wish you the best in your MBA endeavors!

Kia: Everyone--thank you so much for your questions and the time you took today to learn a little more about our wonderful school. The GSB is a great place and we like any opportunity to talk about our school. Have a wonderful day and good luck on your applications!