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Chat with Admissions

March 12 , 2008—9:00-10:00 AM CST

Rose: Good morning! Thanks for joining our admissions chat today. We'll get started in about 15 minutes. This chat is open to any types of questions -- Round 3, Round 2 decisions, waitlisted candidates, and prospectives just inquiring about the GSB. Feel free to start sending your questions now.

Rose: We will be joined by two of my colleagues -- Joanne Legler and Eddie Pulliam as well as one of our DSAC co-chairs -- Martina Dimova. I'll let each of them introduce themselves.

Eddie: Hi everyone. I hope you're doing well and that you have some good questions for us this morning.

Joanne: Good morning! We're looking forward to talking with you this morning!

Martina: WELCOME! My name is Martina Dimova and I am a second year. I am concentrating in Finance, Strategic Management and Marketing. Before the GSB, I worked in financial services doing finance and post graduation, I am joining Sears Holdings in the Merchandising Strategy Group.

newyorker__Guest_: Hi, I have a GMAT question. I am not a native speaker and never took a standardized test before the GMAT. After taking it 6 times, I wasn't able to perform well on the test. I am starting to believe that I am one of those who cannot perform well on these kind of tests. What are my chances of being admitted after taking the GMAT more than 6 times? Are you going to average all my scores or would you only consider the highest score? Thank you.

Rose: First off, remember the GMAT is just one component of the application. Second, Chicago GSB takes the highest total score. Third, we admit lots of folks who are less than great standardized test takers, so don't get overly fixated on its importance in our evaluation process. I would use the optional essay to explain your GMAT score and your history with standardized tests. Hope that helps.

GSBaspirant__Guest_: Good morning everyone. This one is for Kurt. I understand from the website that internationals are strongly encouraged to apply on the first 2 rounds. Was there a time where you had to reject an applicant based on time constraints for securing a US student visa?

Rose: Kurt is helping to moderate questions this morning, but I'd be happy to answer. While we encourage our international students to apply in early rounds, we have rarely encountered a situation when a student admitted in Round 3 had difficulty completing their visa application process in time. Decisions in Round 3 are released in May, and CORE does not begin until early September.

sks__Guest_: Hi Admission Team - I'm going to ask the question that is on every R2 applicant's mind - when can we expect to have a decision made, and how will we be notified?

Rose: We will be releasing Round 2 decisions on Wednesday, March 26 at 9:00 a.m. (Central). Decisions will be released through your online admissions account. We may begin calling earlier that week, but that all depends upon how quickly we can get through our work.

Will__Guest_: Do we need to explain why we are applying round 3 vs round 1 or 2?

Joanne: Hi, Will. No need to provide an explanation for your choice of Round 3. If you have information that you think would be helpful for the committee to know, though, you can feel free to use the Optional Essay.

Kryptin__Guest_: Does Chicago GSB offer a study abroad program?

Eddie: Yes, we do. The International MBA Program and the International Business Exchange Program.

PSMITH__Guest_: Greetings, I'm a prospective student: I looking for a program that will allow me to interact and play with the study material. So I'm curious if you could break down the teaching delivery methodology as it pertains to lecture/case/experiential/presentation? Thank you.

Martina: The teaching methodology really depends on the kind of class you are taking. There are some classes (accounting, etc) where it's mostly lectures and there might be just a few cases to prepare and discuss. On the other end of the spectrum, my strategy and marketing classes have a case every week that we discuss for half of the class, many supporting articles and reading materials, and the lecture that we discuss during the other half. There are also experiential classes like management lab where you have a client, like in the real world.

G-483224140__Guest_: I had a question regarding admission. Is there a chance we might be able to get the decisions before the 03/31 deadline?

Rose: Unfortunately, we will not be able to release Round 2 decisions prior to March 26. We tried, but we were not able to swing it.

G-483224140__Guest_: How long in advance should we plan for loans and financial aid. Are we getting some directions on this issue if admitted?

Eddie: Realistically, you should start preparing at the time of your submission. Planning ahead and looking at outside resources is a good idea. All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarships. All admitted students are eligible for loans.

PowerOfIdeas__Guest_: If I already have a specific business idea in mind and plan to choose Entrepreneurship as an elective, what kind of support can I expect from the Chicago GSB staff and the Polsky Center to start my own company, run it and make it successful? Will the workload allow to do so during my MBA?

Joanne: Hi there. Students can choose Entrepreneurship courses as electives, or choose to concentrate in that area. Either way, you can take the courses that look most interesting to you and still spend a lot of time with the Polsky Center staff setting up a potential business. You can use student-dedicated office space, as well as use the connections to local venture capitalists and entrepreneurships for ideas and assistance. Additionally, the Polsky Center sponsors the New Venture Challenge, which has launched over 30 companies over the years. Yes, it is possible to start your own company here, though it would certainly be a challenge to expect to have it up and running while you're still in school.

cordelia: I have a question about financial aid. If accepted, I will be attending Chicago GSB with a spouse and child. Would this be considered an extenuating circumstance under which financial aid qualification would be adjusted to allow me to borrow more than the scenario suggests on the website? Thanks in advance.

Rose: According to federal guidelines, student budgets can only be for the student attending the program. However, we do have an appeals process that allows us to expand the amount you may borrow for additional costs for housing and food. You'll just need to provide some documentation to our financial aid team. All our students have found this process to be straightforward and fair.

Spikexi__Guest_: 2nd Q: is there any difference for applicant to apply for R1, R2 or round3? The earlier the better?

Eddie: We always suggest that you apply early. We make offers of admission in all rounds. Naturally by Round 3 there are fewer seats and scholaships available.

Spikexi__Guest_: Hello, how do you think a MBA course can strengthen the entrepreneurship?

Martina: The GSB has many entrepreneurship classes -- New Venture Strategy with Shrager, Building the New Venture with Deutsch, Commercializing Innovation with Meadow -- which give you great foundation if you would like to pursue entrepreneurship. There are also many experiential ways to get experience with the different labs and competitions provided by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship that will let you try out ideas and skills.

Andrew__Guest_: Is there a grace period for the letters of recommendation after the deadline today? What happens if one of the recommendors misses it?

Rose: Great question. Yes, we allow recommenders to submit up to one week after the deadline. If you need additional time, then you should send me a note for approval.

Vana__Guest_: What is the process for decision notification on March 26th? Is it through the website or will phone calls be made to admitted candidates?

Joanne: Hi Vana. It is the tradition of the GSB Admission staff to call our admitted students ahead of time, but this all depends on where we are in the final decision making process. All students will be notified at 9am Central Time on Wednesday, March 26th via email regardless.

G-483198750__Guest_: Hi, everyone. I am an international applicant. GSB appears to be growing very quickly during recent years. In order to keep up with such momentum, what were the major aspects or values that you have considered in selecting your students?

Rose: Chicago has a unique value system and we seek students who can thrive in this atmosphere of flexibility, academic rigor and collaboration. We seek students who have a track record of success, are intellectually curious, are comfortable in uncertainty and have a clear sense of self, path and plan.

gsb2011__Guest_: Hello, I am a prospective student for the class of 2011. I am interested in a well-rounded program but am also looking for schools that will provide some specific background in social enterprise. Since Chicago does not seem to have an official concentration in this, how it is addressed in the overall curriculum, specific courses, acitvites at the GSB?

Rose: Students and faculty have a lot of interest in Social Entrepreneurship. While Chicago does not have concentrations in any specific professional fields (consulting, investment banking, product management), we do have concentrations that have specific courses in this area. In addition, we have the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago that also provides additional coursework of interest. Check out our student groups on our website -- Net Impact and Entrepreneurship are two great ones that are active in this area.

jayant_das__Guest_: Hey Rose, question on the R1 waitlist. I heard WL candidates who are admitted might get notified well before Mar 26. So, have any Santa Claus calls started going out yet to R1 Waitlisted candidates :)

Rose: No Santa Claus calls yet. I'm hoping that if I'm lucky, some Santa Claus calls to the waitlist will go out towards the end of next week. I'll definitely keep the waitlisted folks apprised of our timing.

G-203739200__Guest_: Martina, what aided you in your decision to switch from finance to strategy? Did you decide to switch before you got to the GSB, or was it a decision made after your first semester?

Martina: I actually did my summer in finance at Sears Holdings. While there, I loved the opportunities that a big corporation could have for me and I took the time to really get to know the company and meet as many leaders around Sears (many of them GSB alums) so I could figure out how to get the most of my summer experience as well my future career there. I knew that I would like to be at Sears and during the fall quarter, I stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to work with a GSB alum in a highly challenging and rewarding group. It just happened to be Merchandising Strategy.

Executive__Guest_: Hello Rose, Eddie, Joanne, and Martina. I came to the US from India and went to a very small school for my undergrad. I graduated at the top of my class and have done quite well since graduation. My main concern is how does my going to a lesser known undergrad school impact my application. Most of the student profiles I have seen are those with big name undergrad schools.

Eddie: The "popularity" of your school isn't a determining factor. We want to read a file from an applicant that knows what they want to do with an MBA and that you did well at your undergraduate institution. We have a lot of students who have attended a variety of institutions around the world and a great international affairs office that helps us if we have any questions about schools that we might not be familiar with.

KK__Guest_: Hi Rose. How important on a relative scale would you rate the interview? Is it true that the interview will not make but can break one's case?

Rose: The interview is one additional evaluation point conducted by someone who knows the GSB well, but not you (the interviewer has just your resume). The interview report will be taken back to the full file and then sent out for an additional two evaluations before a final decision is made.

newyorker__Guest_: How late is too late to apply to CGSB? Is being over 32 a problem? What's the percentage of student above 30?

Rose: While the average age is around 28, there is a fairly large percentage that fall above the statistic. I think the most important thing you should consider is what program is right for you. We have full-time, Executive MBA, a weekend program and an evening program. Each program has particular benefits and tradeoffs. As long as you have thought through this process carefully and can articulate that in your application, you'll be just fine.

r2008__Guest_: How important is GMAT?

Joanne: The GMAT is merely one part of the admissions process. We look at each person's application holistically, so the GMAT, while certainly a crucial factor, is no more or less important than the other parts of your application.

waitlist__Guest_: Hi Rose. Are you still planning on notifying R1 waitlist candidates a week early?

Rose: As I mentioned just earlier, I'm hoping to release our waitlist (Santa Claus) calls sometime next week. I will formally announce this to our entire waitlist when I'm sure about our timing.

r2008__Guest_: Where are the study abroad programs?

Joanne: We have 33 partner schools all over the world for study abroad programs (known as the International Business Exchange Program, or IBEP). The list of partner schools can be found online at

Kaitlin__Guest_: Hi. I am applying for the weekend program and so is my husband. One question on the application asks if you are applying concurrently with a spouse. I've seen some research indicating married couples seeking a degree simultaneously have been more successful in completing studies. I was wondering why CGSB asks this question and what is its significance in the application process.

Rose: We ask this question more for coordination information than anything else. In the full-time MBA program, I will take this consideration into account for the interview invitation and then when final decisions are made.

charlie__Guest_: Does the GSB offer a pre-term "refresher" (calculus, statistics, econ, accounting) course?

Eddie: We do offer pre-MBA classes. Many students will take a class at a community college or college of their choice before beginning if they can't make it to Chicago for the pre-MBA courses. Accounting, calculus and statistics are recommended if you are a bit "rusty".

G-483198750__Guest_: The interview invitation was processed with relatively long time span. Does the order of interview invitation have relation with the possibility of getting admission?

Rose: Interview invitations are randomly distributed, so they have no bearing on your chance for admission.

Spikexi__Guest_: How do you think of a candidate with extremely low school score but with good GMAT?

Joanne: Because our evaluation process is holistic, both pieces are of equal importance. It's great when you've done well on the GMAT, and this can help balance out a lower academic performance. However, it all depends on the rest of the application too, as we take all factors into account.

GSBaspirant__Guest_: Have any GSB students gone on to secure permanent positions through the BP Helios program?

Rose: Yes. The process is just starting now in career services, and we should have the selection announcement soon.

G-483198750__Guest_: Greetings, I am an international reapplicant. I did my best to strenthen my candidacy and am sure to an extent that now I am a much better candidate than I was, but it is said that almost top schools are in unfavorable position to reapplication. Would you please explain how the evaluation of previous application affect the current candidacy?

Eddie: We keep your previous application on file for 2 years and use it in the review of your new file. We look for changes in your "YMBA", new professional/academic achievements and any new information that a letter of recommendation may provide about your candidacy.

KK__Guest_: Given that the Powerpoint question could've seen some really interesting responses..will the GSB plan to have an internal competition of sorts, among the admitted students for the most innovative/creative presentation? Sounds like a fun idea to me. What are the AdCom's views on this?

Rose: Cool idea. We did show a number of our Round 1 powerpoints at our admitted students weekend (last weekend), and it was a big hit. I've not thought about an official competition, but it might be a fun summer competition. Thanks for the idea!

r2008__Guest_: Are int'l students eligible for scholarships/aid?

Joanne: Yes, international students are always considered for all scholarships and fellowships that the GSB offers. Other forms of aid, mainly loans, are also available through the Financial Aid office. We offer two types of loans for international students, one that requires a co-signer and one that does not.

Amy_bk__Guest_: When is the Admit Weekend for Round 2 admit?

Joanne: Admit Weekend II is April 25-26, 2008. Both Rounds 1 and 2 admits are invited to attend.

kingKREEP__Guest_: Rose, I guess this one is for you: Are you guys still open to updates to the applications submitted in R-2?

Rose: Absolutely, though at this point it may have very little bearing on your application unless the update is substantive.

AK__Guest_: I understand GSB encourages people from various career backgrounds to apply. How does it look to the GSB if someone leaves the business world takes a part time job in order to pursue developing art and book projects? Hypothetically, I'm not asking for myself ;)

Joanne: AK-the GSB has no requirements for work experience, so we encourage our students to follow their interests in passions. Taking some "time off" to pursue an interest and/or other type of work experience is looked at like anything else--just another piece of your application. I would encourage you or your friend to make the explanation for this change a part of the essays, or to use the optional essay if needed.

G-407133156__Guest_: Hello, how do the R2 applicants look so far?

Rose: Terrific! We're having a hard (and wonderful) time narrowing our choices of students to be admitted this round. It's an awesome group, and I hope you'll be impressed with your future classmates.

zeus_kris__Guest_: Rose, I'm an applicant fro Round 2, who interviewed. When can we expect the decisions to be released at the earliest? Do you have any specific date to share? Will it be released 2 weeks prior similar to Round 1?

Rose: Unfortunately, we will not be able to release Round 2 decisions earlier than March 26. Just too many great applicants to review!

Tom__Guest_: Martina, in which areas do you believe Chicago GSB has most exceeded your pre-matriculation expectations and in which areas has it failed to meet those expectations?

Martina: To be honest, the GSB has really met all my expectations pre-matriculation. I only applied to the GSB because I took my time beforehand to really explore and research all available MBA programs and figure out what the best fit for me was. I expected the people here to be great, but I think that was an understatement. I have made life-long friends and have created a powerful and strong network of professionals. Staff (AdCom, Career Services, DSO) here is also extremely helpful, and are always here to help and support as students need it. We pride ourselves on flexibility but i's always nice that someone has "got your back." Nothing has really been disappointing here but only because I really did my homework with figuring out the true "fit" for me in terms of MBA.

G-483230272__Guest_: Hi and thanks for the chat session. What does the start of school calendar look like... when should we move to Chicago, is there orientation, and what is the official start date of school?

Martina: Classes start September 25th. CORE (Orientation) is usually about 2 weeks ahead of time. I would move at least a couple of weekends before CORE starts in case you would like to settle down, explore the city, go to a random walk or take a pre-class.

G-483170710__Guest_: Good morning! I have been a permanent resident of USA since 2006, but I earned my degree in Poland and my native language is ukrainian. Do I still have to take TOEFL exam? Thank you.

Eddie: If you have been living/working in the US since 2006 you can "petition" to waive the TOEFL exam.

zeus_kris__Guest_: Regarding decisions, does the R1 waitlisted applicants will come to know about their decisions before 03/26? And what is the % increase in the R2 interviewees compared to last year, and how that will affect the number of students admitted in Round 2? Thanks.

Rose: We're hoping to release waitlist decisions a bit earlier than March 26. I'll communicate that timing directly to the waitlist once we've confirmed our process. We had a strong group of applicants in Round 2 but we're about on par with last year in terms of the number invited to interview. As for how many we may admit, it's too early to tell. It will be a "good" number, though.

zeus_kris__Guest_: Are interviews considered as an eliminating factor or is considered as an input alongside with the entire application? Thanks.

Joanne: The latter; interviews are another piece of data to add to your file in assisting the Admissions Committee in making final decisions. It's a great chance for us to get to know you in person and can be a useful tool in the process, as well as allowing applicants to ask any questions about the GSB they might have as well.

dp1215__Guest_: Hi, during the application process, in addition to good GMAT score, essay, and the much emphasis is put on recommendation letters and do you have preference of where recommendation is from (e.g., professor vs. professional relationship)?

Joanne: The recommendation letters are looked at with equal weight to other factors in the admissions process. We do have guidelines as to who should write your recommendation letters on our website. We'd like one from a current OR past supervisor; the other required letter can be from someone of your choosing. A professor is a good choice if you are either in school or taking classes, or have recently graduated and are still in touch with a faculty member.

viki__Guest_: One of my to be recommender has just left the job to become an enterpreneur. How does it affect me if i still go about taking a RECO from him?

Joanne: Hi there. Your former supervisor's status will not affect your application. He/she should be sure to make it clear that they supervised you in the past, rather than currently. If you are a current applicant (Round 2 or 3), no explanation is necessary, but you may send a quick email to if you wish to have this information updated in our file.

KVerma_1__Guest_: Other than the required letters of recommendation, do you accept other informal recommendations or documentation after the application has been submitted?

Eddie: Good question. Your application is technically complete after we have received all components that we ask for. If something happens post-submission of your file, (i.e. new position, promotion, etc.), you can send in a note and we'll try to include it in your file. There is no guarantee that it will be read or change your decision after a decision has been rendered.

G-441701102__Guest_: When alumni reflect upon their overall experience, what do they commonly cite as the one or two key take-aways from their GSB education that have benefitted them the most in their professional careers? Also, how does that answer differ between recent alumni and those that graduated, say, 20 years ago?

Rose: Wow, I'm currently in the executive MBA program so I'm not sure I can answer your questions beyond my anecdotal experience. The two things that alumni always state about their experience is the value of learning how to think critically, and the bonds of friendship (both students and within the alumni community). For alumni out longer, the critical thinking skills are still there, but the student community was less cohesive, so I think the second benefit would be continued access to faculty.

Tom__Guest_: What percentage of accepted students is offered merit-based scholarships/fellowships?

Rose: About 25% of students will be offered a merit-based fellowship at the time of admission. These awards are based on the quality of the application, and any specific criteria identified by the donor.

sks__Guest_: What does the admissions process look like post interview?

Eddie: After the interview is completed, only the staff reviews the comments from the interview report and we review your file once again. We head to committee, review files with Rose and a decision is made.

Spikexi__Guest_: Martina Dimova: is it difficult to build alumni network and social network with local students and friends?

Martina: It has been amazingly easy for me to build my network. I have become close friends with many people living close by me (Lakeview) or I have classes with and I am in student groups with. There are breakfasts with alumni, golf outings with the Deans and alums, and during my recruiting, alums have been extremely helpful. The extensive GSB alum network at Sears during my summer really helped leverage many of my experiences and make the most of it.

G-483224140__Guest_: Can admission be deferred for a year, supported by admitted student making deposit? Is this possible?

Rose: Deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis, typically for things beyond the control of the applicant (health & visa issues). The GSB does not offer deferrals for employment reasons.

PowerOfIdeas__Guest_: Companies that have been started by Chicago GSB students target many different market segments: high-tech, consulting services, healthcare, internet, food, sports, even toys??? Are there segments for which the Chicago GSB/Polsky Center are particularly renowned for?

Joanne: This is the beauty of Chicago GSB, the Polsky Center and the students at the GSB; creativity and diversity abounds! The GSB and the Polsky Center certainly have no preferences for or limitations on student ideas and creativity for potential new businesses. As you pointed out, in the past few years, the Polsky Center has helped students launch businesses from many different areas.

KVerma_1__Guest_: What do you look for when reviewing a candidate's work experience?

Eddie: Progression, leadership and management experience, success on projects that you've worked on, teamwork/communication with senior management and how it connects with your reason for getting an MBA.

viki__Guest_: Hi Rose, what percentage of applicants from R1 have you offered admission to?

Rose: I typically do not release statistical information about the applicant pool during the season since it does not reflect what's actually happening in our evaluation process.

PSMITH__Guest_: Hi again - How is GSB working to teach students to be great decision makers, not merely great learners/students?

Martina: We have classes on Decision Making with professor Wu and other Managerial/ Organizational Behavioral classes that would help you to be a great leader, decision maker and manager in your future career. The group work in most classes as well as many experiential labs and classes would really give you a taste of the real-world and how decision making plays a role.

pankaj_poddar__Guest_: Hey Rose, one more question on R2 admits. Is it possible that some candidates who are admitted might not receive the phone call till Mar 26 9a.m? Or do you absolutely call the admitted students before the deadline?

Rose: While we try to reach everyone in the days leading up to the release date, we are not always successful especially for candidates scattered around the globe.

CWIL8ER__Guest_: Hi! I plan on applying for Fall 2009, and to prepare for an MBA I've begun taking continuing education courses at the local university. Grades are not distributed in these classes. Will I have to explain on my application that grades weren't assigned for these courses and that I'm not trying to hide a "bad grade." Is it worth mentioning this coursework at all?

Eddie: This would be a good time to use the optional essay. We would like to see a "letter" grade for any courses that you have taken but if your school doesn't offer that, it's best to explain why.

tindrum__Guest_: Hi Rose, do you call all your admits, irrespective of location?

Rose: We definitely try to call all admits, but sometimes due to location issues we have to send an e-mail to set up time for that call.

VSutton__Guest_: Good Morning. I am a prospective student for the class of 2010. I was wondering, what is the student to faculty ratio? In addition, many MBA Programs have a cohort system that gives the students a chance to engage with students that have different interests/backgrounds. Does GSB have a structure like this?

Joanne: The student faculty ratio is not an official statistic, since the GSB has several programs (full time, part time, exec). In the full time program, the average number of students in a classroom is around 55-60, depending on the class. The GSB does not have a cohort system like other schools. The flexibility of our curriculum allows students to take classes as they choose, meaning they are constantly exposed to other students of different backgrounds, interests, industries, etc. The only time you'll find yourself in a cohort is during the mandatory LEAD program, where the first year class is divided into cohorts and then smaller squads.

smilinj28__Guest_: Hi Rose. After R2 candidates get interviewed, what are the next steps and who are the decision makers in the final decision process?

Rose: After your interview, the report is submitted to the office and then put into your file for further consideration. The next review is done by one of our associate directors, and then is passed on to me for final decision. There are quite a few files that will land in committee where a team of my staff will continue their deliberations.

KL__Guest_: Hi, is there any advantage for candidates with special background (leadership role, military or business owner), please?

Eddie: We enjoy reading any type of diversity in your professional experience.

viki__Guest_: Just a further question on the undergrad school reputation. Since all scores are relative, so wouldn't it be better to give an edge to an applicant from a reputed school with not so better grades as someone from a lesser known school as someone in the popular school had competed with sort of brilliants to get the score , he has got. Isn't it?

Eddie: We are looking for applicants who do well at any school. There is no "edge" for someone who went to a better school with a weaker profile.

zeus_kris__Guest_: Is it fairly common for students to pursue 2 or 3 concentrations? How difficult in terms of course work it is? Are students allowed to take more than 11 electives if they wish?

Martina: Yes, most of my friends have at least 2 if not more concentrations. We have taken our 20 classes that we need to graduate - not more. You could take as many classes as you would like - keeping in mind your student group involvement and extracurricular activities.

Namrata__Guest_: Good Morning and thank you all for your time. I come from a design background. The quant heavy reputation is what makes Chicago very attractive. How would someone like me be able to set up a curriculum that ensures goals are met?

Joanne: Hi, Namrata. This is hard to answer without knowing what your goals are specifically. The GSB's curriculum allows you to take as many or as few "quant heavy" courses as you'd like. After you fulfill the requirements for core courses like Accounting, Economics and Statistics, you'll be able to choose to take more of these types of courses, or perhaps none. The choice is yours.

kingKREEP__Guest_: Rose, what role does/did the PPT play in your evaluation? I read somewhere that you guys were playing close attention to it only AFTER the interview....

Rose: Our initial evaluations (pre-interview) focused much more on the traditional components of your application, though we did read and review the powerpoints. After the interview, the powerpoint plays a big role in filling in the blanks of what else (how well rounded, what are the students values, sense of self, etc.). This is one of my favorite parts of the application.

Shamika__Guest_: I have just finished getting my MS this January. If I apply for GSB would that be looked at favorably or not?

Eddie: That's great. Having the experience of taking graduate level courses is a sign that you should do well in other graduate programs. We will expect a bit more out of your "YMBA" response!

Gaurav__Guest_: What is the scope for MBA entrepreneurship in Chicago GSB?

Joanne: Hi, Gaurav. Because your question is not entirely clear, I'd invite you to visit the website for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at

GSB_Dude__Guest_: Hi Rose. With regard to R1 Waitlist candidates, do you have any idea of approximately how many students might be admitted? Will many remain on the WL through the next rounds? Thanks!

Rose: I don't quite have a sense of that yet -- pretty close. My hope is to either admit a student from the waitlist, or release that person from further consideration. I would hate to "string students along" for another decision round.

Elvin__Guest_: Hello there. Does Chicago have a particular GMAT requirement? I just sat for my GMAT yesterday and got 630. Does this mean my application will be viewed less favorably?

Eddie: I'm sure you've heard this before. We look at each application "holistically" and we mean it. There may be something strong in your LOR or in your professional history that suggests you are a good candidate for our program.

gsb2011__Guest_: Martina, could you speak about the flexibility of the program? You seem to have 'concentrated' in a variety of majors.

Martina: Except LEAD, you have a choice of variety of classes offered every quarter! I took classes as they seemed interesting and applicable to my choice of career. Bottom Line - you could take whatever classes whenever you are ready for them.

Jen__Guest_: Has the GSB seen a rise in R3 applications due to current market conditions?

Rose: Today is the deadline, so it is too early to tell. I imagine that we will not see any substantive changes this year, but may see increased interest next year.

ChicagoApp__Guest_: Rose, for students above 30, do you think it is imperative to discuss why Full Time v/s EMBA or Part Time? Or the goals and what I want to do after graduation sufficient to show the value of Full Time v/s other programs?

Rose: It is probably not a bad idea to take this question head-on. You can do this in the main essay or in an optional essay.

gochicago__Guest_: Nate and Martina, thank you for taking the time to speak to us about the GSB. I a familiar with the GSB's study abroad programs, but would like to ask how "friendly" they are to the MBA recruiting schedule. In other words, does it make sense to leave the country when so much recruiting and networking takes place in Chicago?

Martina: Most programs abroad happen in the spring quarter of your first year or winter quarter in your second year. By then for each of your years, you would be done with the bulk of your recruiting.

jumanji__Guest_: Are waitlisted candidates from R1 still eligible for scholarship? Is it uncommon for waitlisted students to receive any scholarship?

Joanne: Students who are offered a spot on the waitlist are indeed still eligible for scholarships and fellowships. It is not uncommon for students who are admitted from the waitlist to be offered such opportunities.

AK__Guest_: How are perspective candidates viewed if they attempt entrepreneurial organizations but with little success?

Joanne: Hi, AK. We are always excited to learn about students' experience, whether they are successes or perhaps not! If you feel your attempted venture is an integral part of your story, by all means we'd encourage you to share it as part of your application essays.

Hue__Guest_: I order British Council to send my IELTS score to GSB from the early March. How can I know whether Chicago GSB receives it or not?

Eddie: You should be able to check your account and see that we received it.

ElReedo__Guest_: What kind of extra curricular activities distinguish applicants from others?

Joanne: Extracurricular activities are different for everyone, depending on their location, family situation or work experience. In that context, we love to see when students get involved to the extent that they are able, and we have no preference for what specific activities that might be. It's always great when students can find ways to get involved in the community, either through a charity or by volunteering their time; other students passionately follow their hobbies, such as art, exercise or performing. We look more for a continued commitment and evidence that you'll get involved as a GSB student than the specific activities.

fmagyre__Guest_: Hi to everybody, my name is Freddy, I am from Bolivia and I took the GMAT in October but I did not obtained a good mark, this is the reason why I not applied to the second round. I have a big question, right now I am 34, I have 8-9 years of full time professional experience and i will took the GMAT this year, again, and I will apply to GSB but I am not sure if my age would be a problem. Probably I will be the oldest in the class, this is the reason why I am considering to make a Master in finance or other program.

Rose: The first question is what you want to achieve in your MBA. There are lots of programs and formats that might be equally good for you at this point in your career. While 34 is certainly not too "experienced" it all depends upon the tradeoffs you are willing to make to move to the next level in your career.

smilinj28__Guest_: Rose, on what basis (qualification) does GSB generally extend an interview invite?

Rose: Fit, quality and sense of path and plan.

zeus_kris__Guest_: If one wants to take pre-MBA courses at GSB, when does those classes start? Thanks.

Eddie: Usually a few weeks before CORE (orientation) begins

Vinny__Guest_: I just want to know if I apply for ChicagoGSB this year and I don't make, and then when I try again next year will that affect my selection considering that I had already applied last year?

Eddie: It won't have a negative effect. We encourage folks to re-apply for our program but we do expect to see some sort of improvement in your history.

Rise_above__Guest_: If we missed applying for the Fall 2008 semester, when will be the next application deadline for Spring 2009?

Joanne: We have not yet set our deadlines for 2008-2009; however, you can expect the deadlines for next year to be at similar times of the year as this past year. The GSB full-time program only admits students in the Fall.

hope2010__Guest_: I have one question regarding the transcripts. If my official transcripts reach the admissions office later then 7th march, will it reflect badly on my application?

Joanne: For Round 2 applicants, this was the deadline to get transcripts in; failure to do so could delay our ability to review your application. I'd encourage you to contact our office individually at so that we can answer your questions one on one.

Gaurav__Guest_: Hello Rose what is the BP Helios program for?

Rose: Here's the link to the program:

cimd__Guest_: I had a relatively long interview (1 hour 15 minutes) with an alumni. Given that the length of the interview was supposed to be between 30 minutes to 45 minutes, can I consider the extended length as negative?

Eddie: Actually, he/she may have enjoyed speaking with you. I wouldn't take it as a negative.

r2008__Guest_: What if we're not sure the current supervisor may be a good recommender for us? Is it ok to use a coworker as a recommender?

Joanne: We recommend that you get one letter from a supervisor--either a current one or a past one. A coworker would not be an appropriate substitute. However a coworker can be a choice as your second letter of recommendation. That's up to you.

newyorker__Guest_: Is it possible for the GSB to post some powerpoint presentations that were submitted this year?

Rose: Unfortunately, we think that is a bad idea. We want folks to feel unconstrained about how best to use this white space. The minute we start posting examples, everyone will try to conform.

G-203739200__Guest_: Once admitted, what is the process towards matriculation? Also, if I'm a R2 applicant, by what date must I accept a position in the class?

Eddie: You have a about 2 months to respond. This year our Round 2 deposit deadline is 5/1/08.

newyorker__Guest_: Do you accept rec letters from colleagues?

Joanne: Hello, newyorker. We will accept recommendation letters from whomever you choose to have submit your letters; that's your choice. We require one from a supervisor, past or present; the second required letter can be from anyone that you choose.

viki__Guest_: If the recommender does not want the college to contact back, does it raise any suspcious eyes?

Joanne: Choosing someone as a recommender who does not wish to be contacted can certainly raise concerns from us. We encourage you to choose people who would be willing to be contacted later in the process, which we will do to verify credentials after students have been enrolled.

Chris__Guest_: How active is the spouse's club? To what extent is support shown for spouses from the school? Are they included in campus events?

Martina: There is a Partner's club and it has many members. They actively participate in Admit Weekends, come to LPF and are welcome to any campus events. There is a lot of help with resources initially - jobs, living situation, etc.

Elvin__Guest_: What do you typically look for from an applicant under the Early Career Option route?

Rose: It is quite similar to our regular applicants -- track record of success, clear sense of path and why now, generally very strong academics, and a history of involvement/leadership.

viki__Guest_: Do you have a CAP on applicants selected foe interview from a particular region or Nationality?

Joanne: Chicago GSB Admissions does not cap the number of students admitted from any one nationality, region or state. We seek to create a class of diverse people from all over the world, from different work industries and experiences as well as locations.

jumanji__Guest_: Joanne and Martina, in you experience with recruiting, does the "brand" of undergraduate college or company matter during recruiting? Or do all GSB students start on equal footing?

Martina: I have never really been asked about my undergrad experience - I believe we all have pretty equal footing. Experiences and learnings from previous jobs and GSB has bigger importance.

viki__Guest_: How do you actually convert the foreign country (I mean non-US and non-EU) from 10 point to 4 point? Simply by dividing by 2.5 or something complex!

Eddie: You shouldn't try to convert it. You may want to use an outside service. We have help from staff members and the Office of International Affairs if we have a question about your transcript. I'm pretty familiar with many of the international institutions and their grading systems.

r2008__Guest_: How does a candidate interested in starting her own non profit benefit from the GSB?

Rose: We have lots of folks who have social entrepreneurship interest. From our entrepreneurship programs and concentrations in strategy & marketing, there are lots of ways for you to pursue your interest. Also check out our student groups, net impact and entrepreneurship.

Amanda: Hi everyone, thanks for submitting your questions. There's about 10 minutes left in the chat, so we will try to answer as many as we can!

Amy_bk__Guest_: Do you have any plan to increase the size of the class this year, given the increased number of applications? I heard that a few other schools were planning to slightly increase the size of their classes for this year.

Rose: No, there are no plans to increase the size of the class.

manojsahoo__Guest_: How easy is it to start a new club? For example I am working with national oil company in India and would be very interested in starting a new club on alternate energy at GSB

Martina: It's very easy to start a new club - we just got a yoga club and epicurian club (for foodies). There is an energy club at the GSB already, but if there is something different you are interested in - go ahead and do it.

neza__Guest_: Hey! This is neza again. I hope to apply to chicago GSB for the 2009 in-take but i'm a bit skeptical as regards the grade requirements. I understand that the school doesn't have a particular grade point average that they look out for in prospective students, but is a GPA of 3.35 out of 4.0 viable for admission into this university for an MBA program? Thanks.

Joanne: Hi Neza. You are right--Chicago GSB does not have a minimum GPA requirement, so it's just not possible to answer your question; the GPA is but one piece out of many that we review when we're evaluating applications. You're encouraged to apply if you are interested in our program.

manojsahoo__Guest_: I applied in R2 and was interviewed recently. During the interview and after some research I found that IMBA would greatly benefit my future goals. Is it possible to opt for IMBA now? (I haven't opted for it in my application)

Joanne: Don't worry about it; this is not something that is required for you to decide on as an applicant. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, this is one of many options you can work through with our academic advising team, as well as the Office of International Programs, as you begin to choose classes and concentrations.

jayant_das__Guest_: I have a question summer recruiting. How much of a negative impact has there been on summer recruiting this year compared to the year before, especially in investment management and banking? Especially, how tough has it been for career changers?

Rose: I just had a conversation with our associate dean for career services and we have seen no negative impacts on internship recruiting, especially since these jobs will be feeding recruiting opportunities two years from now. Despite the market turmoil, our students are doing extremely well in the recruiting process.

AggieR3_1__Guest_: In addition to international diversity, do you also hope to have a balance among regions in the US? Do you get many Texans at the GSB?

Eddie: We sure do! I've recruited in Texas many times and have had great success!

manojsahoo__Guest_: How is work experience in government viewed by GSB? For example I work in national oil company in India where work culture can be entirely different from private sector. Would it be a differentiating factor for me?

Eddie: That could turn out to be an interesting review of your file. It's nice to see someone who has a diverse work history.

manojsahoo__Guest_: Are tuition fees for 2008-09 going to go up drastically? What % hike is likely?

Joanne: Tuition fees typically do go up from year to year, but it's too early to let you know what the percentage increase will be for the coming academic year; this information will be available on our website soon.

CMartinez__Guest_: About the student loans, what kind of requirements does an international student need to get a loan? Do we need any kind of endorsement?

Eddie: International students are eligible for loans and they don't need a US co-signer.

pankaj_poddar: Hi Rose, I was laid off during the time I was applying to GSB. In the meanwhile, I have found another great opportunity. Is this considered a substantial update? What should I do with this information?

Rose: Send us your update. We'll make sure to add it to your file.

CMartinez__Guest_: What should I do in order to get in contact with GSB Alumni in Monterrey, Mexico? I would like to hear from their GSB experience and help me answer some question about the Full Time MBA.

Eddie: You can contact the Latin America Business Group here at the GSB. The co-chairs of that group can connect you with some of alumni in that country. We have many of them who are quite supportive of applicants to the GSB.

gsbhopeful__Guest_: I was wondering if you could talk a little about the career prospects for a Chicago student interested in high-tech. Although the school has a great entrepreneurship center, the school's geographic location and historical strengths haven't really been in the tech arena. Would a person interested in this field be 'lost' at GSB?

Joanne: Chicago can be a great choice for someone who is interested in the high tech sector. In addition to classes offered in this field, we see a number of high tech firms that recruit on campus for jobs and internships. You can see last year's employment report at In addition, the GSB has a the High Tech Group that works to increase communications between technology-based businesses and the school, promote Chicago M.B.A.'s in the industry, and facilitate job-search and networking activities in high-tech industries.

Andrew__Guest_: What is the worst case scenario if a recommender ends up too busy to respond? Is it possible to get a new recommender after the deadline?

Eddie: We STRONGLY suggest that you stay on top of the person writing for you. You should also have a back-up person in mind. If we are missing one of your LORs, you'll notice it in your account and you should contact us if you are running into problems ASAP.

alan1209_1__Guest_: Good morning. I have to travel quite a bit for my job, and couldn't attend any admission informational events this year. Will the admission office see that as a negative point on my application?

Joanne: Good morning! Not having a chance to visit campus or attend an event will not negatively impact your chances for admission at the GSB. As you can imagine, we have students living and working in all corners of the world whose situations make a visit to campus or attending a local event difficult. This does not factor into the review process.

Hue__Guest_: I am studying master degree abroad and I do not have much time for GMAT practice, so, my GMAT score is not high. Should I submit my master transcript (not fully complete) as an evidence of my good background?

Joanne: Hi Hue. Regardless of your GMAT score, we do require that you submit a transcript for your Master's degree, even for work in progress.

cimd__Guest_: I had a bad experience with my interview - in short, my interviewer gave me very specific questions on my post-MBA career choice. But without a background in that area and the knowledge that I will develop at Chicago GSB ;) , I was pretty stumped. I had the impression that the interviews were not to focus on the suitability of the candidate in the area of his/her post MBA goals. Is there any way I could plead leniency in regards to my interview comments?

Eddie: We don't try to "stump" you in an interview. There are times when I ask a candidate a question and they don't have the answer and it is not used against you.

zeus_kris__Guest_: How does Chicago GSB plan to keep/improve its standing among other bschools? Are there any new developments / changes in curriculum has been planned?

Rose: Chicago is always changing -- that's part of our history. Each year the content of our curriculum is adjusted, our LEAD program is undergoing major changes, and we're always seeking to improve the program and the experience. The power of ideas, and challenge everything is definitely at work at the GSB.

neza__Guest_: Hey there! I'm currently a senior at an American university based in Kenya and hoping to graduate in the summer. Now, I will not be able to take an internship in the summer because I still have other courses to finish up in order to graduate. so I was wondering if you hold personal projects done in college with equal weight as internships or work experience for admissions?

Rose: While work experience is not required, I would strongly suggest that you have some paid work experience before applying for the full-time MBA program. Since this is a practical/professional program, your learning and contributions will be limited if you don't have sufficient experience to draw upon.

Mia__Guest_: Good morning. This question is for the admissions team. I am a R2 applicant eagerly awaiting a decision within the next two weeks. My future career ambitions are to transition from medical device sales to marketing. I have been very impressed with the GSB's marketing faculty. Have you seen more students applying to the GSB that would like to concentrate in marketing than in the past?

Rose: Yes. We have a very strong marketing program that has been overshadowed by our finance reputation. We have done a great deal to increase the visibility of this area. In addition, our Kilts Research Center has a new executive director that has lots of amazing plans/ideas for the future.

jallan__Guest_: Morning. If you had to identify one thing, what do you think is the single-most differentiating characteristic about the Chicago GSB versus all the other elite business schools in the country/world? Also, what's the most common complement you hear alumni say after they've reflected on their experience at the GSB? Thank you in advance for your reply.

Rose: If we had to boil it down to one characteristic, I think intellectual capital probably captures it best. As for alumni complements, there are two things, learning how to think critically, and the bonds of community.

fmagyre__Guest_: I have been working in Bolivia for 8 years and later I began a small telecom start up in Buenos Aires. That project was very interesting but the things went bad, I failed in many different things. Do you think that failure will weaken my application?

Rose: Failures are great growth opportunities. I hope you were able to use it describe what you've learned through the process.

sred__Guest_: Hi Rose, I have recently resigned from my current position and I am travelling through different countries at the moment - let's call it a long awaited extended holidays to catch up with family before I commence business school. Is this information I need to pass on to the adcom?

Rose: No need to pass it along, unless you want to give us new contact information should we be calling you soon.

Vana__Guest_: Do you think it would be helpful for interviewers to read the file before the interview? It may be a lot of work, but would help the interviewer understand the candidate's goals, etc better. Any thoughts?

Eddie: No, we prefer to keep it a "blind" interview. It's best that the interviewer isn't too familiar with your background. It makes the line of questioning more interesting in the way you respond and how it is reviewed with your file.

Joanne: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us this morning. Great to hear from everyone--good luck and take care!

Martina: Thank you everyone for being here today! GOOD LUCK!

Eddie: Whew! Great questions. I hope you enjoyed this chat as much as I did. Good luck and stay in touch with us at the GSB!!

Rose: Thank you so much for joining us this morning. For those waiting for Round 2 decisions -- it will not be too much longer. For our waitlist folks -- look for an e-mail from me early next week, and for those applying in Round 3, good luck with putting the finishing touches on your application. Have a great day!