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Chat with Admissions

February 26, 2009—11:00 AM-12:00 PM CST

Joanne: Hi everyone! My name is Joanne Legler, Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth. I'm looking forward to answering your questions!

Neil: Hello everyone! My name is Neil and I'm a first year student here at Chicago Booth, majoring in Strategy. Before school I was working in marketing strategy in a financial services company and before that I was in consulting for a couple of years and planning to go back to strategy after. I'm involved with the South Asia Business Group, Management Consulting Group and the Booth Yoga Club.

Connie: Hello everyone! My name is Connie Breuer, and I'm an Associate Director of Admissions here at Booth. Glad to chat with you all today!

Kurt: Good morning everyone, thanks for joining us, I am looking forward to answering your questions.

Rose: Welcome to our chat today. We're open to all types of questions. Let us begin! Rose

jkanishka1: Does Chicago Booth recognize clearing CFA level 1 & 2 as additional qualifications?

Joanne: While we do not require additional qualification such as CFA levels, we are always glad to see when our students have taken this extra certification. It's always great to know when you have challenged yourself professionally, and it will be noted in our review.

G-178435228: Hi! Thanks for taking some time today to answer questions! I'm an applicant and stationed in Afghanistan. If I'm selected for an interview, can you tell me who I would interview with?

Connie: Hi G-17... Good question. In cases when there are no local alumni in your area and our admissions staff are also not able to travel to your region, we will usually conduct your interview over the phone. The interviewer would either be an alum or a member of the admissions staff.

Boothy: Are all round 2 decisions released on the same date? Or will it be staggered like the mid-decision?

Joanne: Yes, Boothy, all Round 2 final admissions decisions are released on the same date and at the same time-Wednesday, March 25th at 9am Chicago Time. You'll be prompted to check your status at that time via email from Chicago Booth Admissions.

Connie: My question is "have done all the necessary things I need to do for admission but my GMAT exam is not until March 14th" will that effect my application prcoess?

Kurt: Your application will not be considered complete until we have received every required component of your application which includes GMAT score. Given you are taking the exam a few days after the due date you can send us your unofficial score as soon as you complete the exam, and provided everything else is received we will complete your application and submit for committee review.

eastcoast80: Can you provide some information on the steps the school has taken to improve placement in the tough conditions?

Rose: Chicago Booth has been proactively working over the past year to increase our reach and breadth of recruiting -- from expanding our corporate outreach team (developing new relationships for our students), to reaching out to our alumni base for new positions for our students (both internship and post MBA). Each student who is still looking for a job has their own personal coach, and we've developed lots of programming to help students evaluate their options. What's tough for students this year is that the economic downturn was not expected when they applied, so many students are having to step back and re-evaluate what direction makes sense for them.

eastcoast80: How has the employment situation fared for international students? What percent of students are seeking opportunities in the far east Asia-Pacific region?

Rose: While I don't have those statistics off-hand since we are in the midst of the recruiting season, many of our students have sought opportunities around the world. While conditions may be tough, we're all working together to ensure that our students are successful.

pawas: Hello and a very good morning to all of you. I want to know more about the LEAD program.

Neil: Hi pawas, LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Development) program is the one mandatory class for all Chicago Booth students. It goes through the 1st couple of months of the fall quarter. We were broken into different cohorts with about 50 other students and went through different modules of leadership training including conflict management and audience captivation. Phenomenal experience: Made a lot of great friends and became more aware of my leadership abilities!

G-81488326: Hi Rose, what are the main characteristics you are looking in the candidates' profiles to make a 'good fit' at Booth this year?Thx

Rose: Chicago Booth looks for candidates who have successfully leveraged their lives and careers to date, engaged in the community around them, and thinks for themselves. We are a choice-centric place, so having a strong sense of self, direction, and understanding of your needs will be important.

2009mba: There has been a lot of talk about an increase in number of apps. Has Chicago seen this in R1 and R2? How does this impact the number of candidates that are accepted, waitlisted, or denied in each round. Is there a possibility that the overall class size will increase?

Rose: First, Chicago Booth does not plan to increase the class size -- which can dilute the experience for all students. Applications are up domestically, but our international applications have been a bit "subdued" due to economic conditions, access to loans, and the uncertainty around H1B visas.

zhuzhu: Dear officers, thanks for your time. I'd like to ask if TOEFL 104 is the required admission condition? Because mine is 103, with an interview. I wonder if it will be one part of concern when considering my candidacy. Actually, I am a silmutaneous interpreter in my home country. Thanks!

Kurt: The TOEFL score is guideline not a requirement. We will look at people's application if they do not meet the 104 suggested score. However the committee will recognize the score falls short and we will look for any other indicators in the application that language proficiency might be a problem. Given you fell short by one point I would not suspect as much scrutiny by the committee as if you fell short more but that is generally how we evalutate lower TOEFL scores.

Lakaye: Do you offer assistantships/fellowships? Where else can I find financial aid to fund an MBA?

Joanne: Hi Lakaye. Chicago Booth does not offer assistantships, but does offer merit based scholarships, which are awarded at the time of admission, and fellowships, which are more specific to industry, career path, or other qualifications. You can read more about this online at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/admissions/scholarships/. Beyond that, students finance their MBA through loans. This process takes place after enrollment, in the spring.

eastcoast80: What footprint does Booth carry in the Middle East?

Rose: Chicago Booth has been actively expanding our brand reputation in the Middle East. From doing special executive education programs, to more alumni living and working in the region, and an increased desire by our students to want to work in that region. We have work to do, but a solid foundation to build upon.

guest1: How can applicants continue to show interest and/or provide additional information after the interview is complete?

Kurt: To be honest we do not encourage candidates to reach out to us during the evaluation phase. If there is some monumental piece of information that should come up you feel would be critical for us to know you can e-mail or mail that news to us, but in general we do not look for contact from our applicants during the evaluation process.

G-178423979: Hi, Many view the 3rd round application comparatively more competitive than the 1st and 2nd round, as there are not many spots left. Is it true?

Connie: It is true that our third round is the most competitive of the three, and, you're right, this is because there are simply less spots left in the class by the time third round decisions are made.

Ryan: Is there any preference given to the "non-standard student" i.e. military, science background, etc?

Rose: Booth gives careful consideration to students from all backgrounds. Coming from a liberal arts background, I understand the challenges that "non-traditional" applicants face in applying to an MBA. The most important thing you can do is be clear about why an MBA makes sense for you and link it to your prior experience (and future dreams).

Rene: Has it been harder for students to secure financing for their MBAs this year?

Rose: Yes and no. While there has definitely been a tightening of credit standards (translated, you need a good credit score to get a good price/deal), students have been accessing loans. For domestic students you are guaranteed the Stafford and the Grad Plus loans. For our international students, we will have a private loan program in place. The big change this year is that the cost to borrow has increased, so be prepared and get your credit report cleaned up.

pVz: Can you apply to a dual degree program after you have gained admission to the regular MBA program?

Kurt: Yes, you can apply to any of our joint programs as a first year student at Booth.

Hector_Lozano: Good morning everyone! I am an international R2 applicant (already interviewed). I sent my official Academic records via UPS, which you should have already received. Will I get any notification saying my application is fully complete and just waiting for final decision?

Joanne: Hi Hector. Congratulations on your interview! We will not notify you when your transcripts arrive, but we would certainly let you know if there are still pieces missing from your application; you can always call or email us at admissions@chicagobooth.edu if you want to check on your transcript submission. Your status will not change between now and the final decision date.

John_Fed: Is PE/VC Lab typically open to accepting students without prior VC/PE industry experience or does the selection process favor persons with related background? I have entrepreneurial experience in mobile networking and security but no direct VC/PE exposure.

Kurt: The VC/PE lab functions much like an internship. Participating firms are presented with resumes of interested students and select people who fit best with the project work they have. Given this is a popular area for many career-changers my sense is firms select based on skill sets and fit with the project rather than explicitly having prior PE/VC experience.

oo: As an international student intending to submit application in the third round, is there any other constraints other than that of obtaining visa?

Connie: Hi oo. As an international student you should have no issues applying in the third round. Even obtaining a visa should be no problem for you. There's enough time between now and the fall to arrange for all your documentation. Prashant: Does work experience play a role in admission?

Joanne: Hi Prashant. Yes, work experience plays a large role in admissions. Most of our applicants have about 5 years of work experience, but many have less, or more. When we review your experience, we look to see what responsibilities you have, what kind of progress you've made, and we use the letters of recommendation to gain additional insight into your role in the workplace.

John_Fed: Neil, could you tell us a bit more about the activities of South Asia Business Group? I am very interested in the activities of regionally-focused clubs as they relate to networking and cultural experiences.

Neil: Hi John_Fed! Thanks for your interest in SABG! At the SABG, we have a number of programs catering to cultural and networking experiences. Some of our cultural events include the Diwali Party (on board a cruise ship!), The Big Bhangra Blast and South Asian Movie Screenings. On the networking front we have an India trek (networking event with companies from South Asia) and the India Leadership Summit (conference with business leaders from the region). We also have lunch-and-learn speakers and a host of other activities to promote networking!

bsheikh: good morning. Is a loan program for international students in place?

Rose: Just about. We have a contract in hand, and a secondary program is nearing contract shortly. There will be a loan program in place for all our international students with out a cosigner.

mcweeks: Hello everyone. My name is Michael Weeks and I am just beginning my grad school search and I'm interest in Chicago Booth. I'm looking to apply for the 2010 or 2011 school year. Do you have any advice as to what I should be doing at this point, other than studying for the GMAT and taking it? (i.e. volunteering, expanding my knowledge in certain areas, joining certain activities)

Joanne: Hi Michael. Great to hear that you are getting started on researching business schools. At this point, in addition to maintaining any extracurricular activities you're involved in, you may want to consider asking for leadership opportunities in those organizations. You could also ask for the same at work. If you're not currently involved in much outside of work, you might want to start looking around for opportunities that match your interests and time. Additionally, I'd suggest you start making campus visits to get a sense of each school's culture; sit in on a class, connect with current students, and check out the host city!

Hariadarsh: @Neil:What excited you about South Asia? Do you plan to work/research here?

Neil: Hi Hariadarsh! I am originally from India (been in the US for the last 5 years) and plan to go back to my family business. The SABG has provided me with a plethora of opportunities to network and make contacts which will be very useful as I plan to grow and diversify my business.

Ignacio: 2) Is it possible to transfer from a Full Time Status to a Part Time Status once you get accepted?

Kurt: It is possible to move to part-time status from full-time but not vice-versa.

Martin: Hi, I was wondering if you could provide more information regarding essay question #3. What types of slides should the applicant submit?

Connie: Hi Martin. Thanks for your question. Essay number three is deliberately very open-ended, and we intentionally give you lots of room to decide how you'd like to use that essay. As you prepare essay three, think about what you would like us to know that you haven't had a chance yet to tell us. What's most important for us to know about you?

Hariadarsh: Chicago is "perceived" as a Finance school, how far is that from the reality?

Rose: While there are definite truths derived from perceptions, that just one part of Chicago Booth. We're also extremely well known for marketing, entrepreneurship, strategys and, of course, economics.

James: I'm currently a graduate student studying real estate in New York, unfortunately my GPA is a 3.0 over only two courses that I have taken so far. I thought about not including the grades in the application, however, one of my professors is writing a recomendation for me. How would you appraoch this, maybe explain the situation in the extra essay section?

Kurt: James I think you are on point. I would include the grades since you are asking the professor to write the rec, but address the issues surrounding your grades in the optional essay.

Mozartain: Hi Neil, can I ask you what aspect of Booth you like the most and what the least?

Neil: Hi Mozartain! I think the best aspect of Chicago Booth hands down for me has been the people: students, faculty, staff members. Everyone is incredibly helpful and collaborative. I've made a ton of great friends over the last quarter. I think sometimes time management becomes overwhelming- there are so many things going on: classes, recruiting, student group activities, networking. You have to prioritize and learn to say 'no'! I am getting better at it!

Mozartain: Could you please elaborate "a history of long-term community service" which is mentioned as something you'd like to see in an applicant?

Rose: Chicago Booth understands that many applicants have little time to be "regularly" involved with outside activities. In this case, we hope to see a history of involvement earlier in your life (during college or before). "Recency" is not important, but a pattern of engagement is.

G-178478494: Hi Rose, I am an applicant on round 1 waitlist. I'd like to know whether the emails between applicant and Karen or you could be or will be used as supplementary materials? Thanks.

Rose: Yes, all the e-mails and materials you sent (or will send by Monday, March 2), will be used in the evaluation of your candidacy when we next review the waitlist.

Luke: I could not find information in regards to the average undergrad GPA of incoming students. Can you provide me with that?

Connie: Hi Luke. The average GPA of our students is 3.5. To see other class statistics visit: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/community/stats.aspx

Aastha: Hi, I am applying for the full time MBA program at Chicago booth. I want to clear a doubt. Do I have to schedule an interview with the admissions committee on my own, before submitting the application, or, will you people automatically schedule an interview after I submit the application ??

Connie: Hi Aastha. Thanks for your question. The opportunity to interview is not extended to all applicants. If you are selected to interview, we will contact you in order to schedule your interview, either here on campus or with an alumni interviewer in your area.

MMac: Good Morning, as a prospective student with a liberal arts background would it be recommended to take one or two additional quantitative classes to show ability in that area since the GMAT is really the only other indicator of proficiency. If so would statistics or calculus be sufficient. Thanks.

Kurt: If you have no quantitative background certianly taking a class and doing well can help in the application process. Either stats or calculus would be fine, my sense is stats might be more universally relevant than calc but I would select what you are more interested in.

dom: I applied 2nd round this year and have already interviewed. I don't think my chances are good for getting accepted. Can I still apply for the night program for this fall 2009?

Joanne: Hi dom. If you are not admitted in the Full Time program, you must wait one full quarter to apply to Chicago Booth's Part Time program. The answer to your question is yes, you could apply to the Evening program for Fall 2009; their deadline is July 3rd, 2009.

hanzo: Will the entering class be approximately the same size as previous years?

Joanne: Yes, at this point we are not looking to increase the size of the class. The first year class would be around 570 students.

Karen: Are US permanent residents (with foreign citizenship) considered domestic or international applications?

Joanne: Hi Karen. US Perm Residents are considered domestic applicants, since they don't need a visit to enter and study in the US.

G-178483345: My sister interviewed with Booth for R2 on campus. She said the interview went well, but she did not get a business card from the interviewer. Does it mean she did nt make it?

Joanne: No, not swapping business cards is no indication of the quality of someone's interview. While we encourage an exchange of cards for both parties to stay in contact, it's not required. However, if your sister wishes to contact her interviewer to send a thank you, either alumnus or student, she can contact our office and we can provide her that information.

Vicky: Hi! I would like to know if there are any news regarding the loan programs without cosigner for international students.

Rose: I just answered this a moment ago, but we hope to be announcing some new programs in the next few weeks. We have the first contract in hand. Stay tuned.

Cosme: Rose, in one book I read you were quoted as saying that after a certain GMAT score there it no difference in how you view the candidate. If I already scored in the mid 700s is there a point in taking the test again even if I think I can do better?

Rose: After a certain point, your energy/effort would be best put towards writing your essays/presentation. There's very little difference between a 740 and a 760.

questionforrose: Hi Rose. I was recently laid off (not at all a performance issue). I had already applied to many schools in Round 2, so b school was always my plan. My situation is easily explainable, and I want to be forthcoming about my situation with schools. However, I don't want to raise a "red flag" when I don't have to. Questions: Should I inform schools that I've already interviewed with that I was laid off? What about schools with which I have scheduled an interview? How should I let the schools know? Thank you.

Rose: We understand the economic conditions that each of our applicants face, and many have communicated that they were made redundant. Transparency is the best policy if asked in an interview. Most schools don't allow you to submit updates to your file anyway. At Booth, we're happy to have an update, and what you're doing with your time in the interim.

tony: How intense is your MBA Full Time Program? Will I have time to work and go to school?

Neil: Hi tony. The full time program is very intense- with classes, recruiting, social groups and networking events it's a full-time job (and more!). You will get the best experience out of it if you fully immerse yourself in the program and get involved as most as you can.

pVz: How can I contact the Turnaround Club?

Joanne: We do not have a "Turnaround Club", but we do have a group called "Distressed Investing and Restructuring Group". You can find contact information for all our student groups online at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/beyondacad/FTstudentgroups.aspx.

chicagoapp: I'm having some difficulties with the powerpoint question on the application. Could you provide some examples of what you have seen as the most effective examples that has impressed the adcom?

Joanne: Hi there. We prefer not to give specific examples of Essay #3, since each one is really unique to each individual applicant. That said, we see things like photos, graphs, maps, poetry and artwork, to name a few! The point is to really think about what is important to you, and how you want to convey that to the committee. You do not have to be a Powerpoint expert to produce a strong and effective essay. Have fun with it, and don't worry about following any perceived guidelines.

Jason: How important does GPA contributes to the strength of application? I am a project manager leading the team of 20 IT professional, and now works for State Street in China. Thank you

Kurt: Academic performance is important and it is something we pay close attention to. However it is still only one piece of the overall application and it in and of itself will not make or break an applicaiton. We very much try to keep every piece of the application in the context of the overall applicant profile.

tony: I would like to know more information on the MBA program, especifically in the field of entrepreneurship. Is it more hands on or theory based? What shoud I expect to accomplish from this program?

Neil: Hi tony. The curriculum in the MBA Program is a very good mix of theory and hands-on practical experience. The Polsky Center at Chicago Booth is a phenomenal resource for the entrepreneurship program. Courses such as Building the New Venture Strategy, Commercializing Innovation and Building the New Venture provide a good mix of classroom based learning and more hands-on projects. There are also programs like the Entrepreneurial Internship program, New Venture Challenge which are completely hands-on. What I am hoping to do with my MBA is to hone my entrepreneurial mindset to grow my business.

jedi: Could you tell me what is the minimum requirement for the GMAT score and working experience

Connie: Hello Jedi. We have no minimum GMAT or work experience requirements. Our GMAT average for current students is 710, but we read all applications, regardless of scores. When it comes to work experience, some of our students come right out of college and may only have internship experience, while others have many years of experience under their belt.

NEB_1: I am planning to apply for Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Bank Fellowship that targets students from developing countries. However, there is only general information on the Chicago Booth website, not enough detail (application form, deadlines, eligibility requirements). Can you please refer me to where I can find detail information on this fellowship (i.e. application form)?

Joanne: Most of our fellowships are internal and decided upon by the Fellowship Committee after admission. Right now, we are considering students admitted in Round 1 for these fellowships. If you are admitted, you will get more detailed information via our admitted students website. There is no application form.

xmark1218: Hi Joanne, do your Nobel-prize professors often teach in MBA classes?? If so, how deeply do they teach, I mean, some fundmentals & theories of finance/economics,etc??

Rose: Yes, we have a number of Nobel prize winners who teach in the class room. These classes tend to be high-level courses (meaning they do not teach fundamental courses).

Rob: With the current state of the job market, has there been an increased interest in entrepreneurism on campus? Do you believe that more resources will be devoted to the New Venture Challenge and Entrepreneurial Internship Program over the next few years?

Rose: Yes, entrepreneurship has been a growing area of interest over the past 3 years. Resources at Chicago Booth tend to follow needs/demand, so I expect to see those programs grow in the coming years.

Abe: What do you see changing at Booth over the next three years? How will the program evolve for the class of 2011?

Rose: The program is always being tweaked -- that's just part of the Booth way. We recently revised our core curriculum to provide more opportunities/choice for our students, we've added more high level courses earlier in the year for advanced students, and our class listings has been expanding due to student interest in broader areas. I don't see any revolutionary changes coming in the next couple of years.

Jingle: Rose, I hear you are pursuing your EMBA at the Booth school. How would you compare the EMBA with the full time MBA program? Do EMBA candidates get an opportunity to pursue more senior leadership type roles in the industry?

Rose: Yes, I will be graduating in just a few weeks. The Executive MBA program is targeted to students who are mid to upper level managers in their companies. This is a general management degree that utilizes a cohort/team structure. Our program has three cohorts -- Chicago, London & Singapore, and we spend time in each of these locations througout our 21 months. The full-time MBA program is focused on training students earlier in their careers and has enormous amount of flexibility and breadth to enrich the learning experience.

G-178435228: If you had just a few hours to visit Booth, what would you recommend seeing? What does the visitation program entail?

Connie: Hi G-17... With only a few hours to visit Booth, I might recommend taking in part of a class, getting a tour of campus, and taking advantage of the opportunity to chat with current students. Happily, our daily campus visit program includes all of these components. You can find more information about visiting at: http://chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/.

deepblue: Rose, I interviewed in Round 2. While I am waiting for the result of my application, is there any value in asking a Booth alum to send in a recommendation?

Rose: At this point, I would encourage you to sit back and wait for us to do our job. There still is a bit of time (through the end of the interview process (March 4) to submit additional letters/materials. Beyond that, there's not a guarantee it will find its way into your file.

RB: Hi Kurt, An extension to Connie's question: I MIGHT also not have the AWA scores before the last date, how does that effect?

Kurt: For the purpose of the application we look at the unofficial score. However if you are invited to interview we require all official documentation including AWA to be submitted to continue in the process. This provides a little more time to get official documentation in.

Martin: How do reapplicants fair against students applying to Booth for the first time?

Joanne: Reapplicants are viewed in the same pool as first time applicants. We encourage re-applicants to apply as if for the first time, though we do have access to prior applications. Reapplicants are a substantial piece of our overall applicant pool, but how they fare depends entirely on the strength of their application as compared to the larger pool. We admit a good number of reapplicants each year.

Yue: May i know more about your bidding system? Is that applied to all optional courses?

Neil: Hi Yue, at the beginning of each quarter we get a certain number of bid points that can be used for bidding for classes. You can use these points to bid for specific classes, professors or sections (since each section has limited seats). If you don't get into a class, you get the points back and then you carry them over to the next quarter. We have a whole day orientation program that talks about the bidding process once you get in.

Sri: Why the class profile is not given in your site..? which could tell us the break up details of selected candidates...?

Connie: Hi Sri. Thanks for your question. You can find class profile information posted at http://chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/community/stats.aspx.

cmws46: I've heard the admissions committee welcomes notes from current students or alumni. Is this true? If so, does this help only in waitlist or "borderline" cases, or is there an across-the-board benefit?

Rose: We do welcome unsolicited input from our alumni and students. It provides texture, but ultimately the quality of the applicant will drive our decision.

Connie: I want to know more about the Marketing program you have at Booth?

Kurt: Connie we have a tremendous Marketing program at Booth and there is a lot of information to cover, which this forum does not allow me to do well. Here is the link to our Marketing Concentation I would encourage you to start there and if you have additional questions please contact our office. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/academics/curriculum/concentrations/mrktg-mngmt.aspx

smita: Hi! I'm an international applicant from Singapore for R3. If invited to interview, will I be interviewed by an alum in the area?

Joanne: Hi Smita. Yes, if you choose not to travel to Chicago Booth for your interview, we will work with you to set up an alumni interview, which should be pretty easy to find in Singapore. In the case we can't, however, the other option would be a phone interview with our staff instead.

JDREDLEG09: Will the University be participating in the yellow ribbon program as part of the GI bill program?

Rose: Yes, the University of Chicago and the Booth School will be participating in the program. We have more questions than we have answers to the program and are waiting to hear back from the VA Administration. The bottom-line is that we will be participating -- we're just waiting for answers before we assign our levels of participation.

Connie: Is this chat just for R2 or can a R3 applicant join the chat?

Connie: Hi Connie. Anyone is welcome to join this chat, though we are focusing this morning on questions Round 3 applicants might have.

WaitlistApp: Hello. I am currently on the waitlist and recently sent in additional material to support my candidacy. I am certain that the admissions committee is very busy and was wondering how I can best follow up to make sure that it was received and added to my file without causing too much of an inconvenience?

Rose: You are always welcome to reach out to Karen Watt to confirm your materials were received. Her contact information is in the waitlist FAQ you received.

rflo: Would non-traditional experiences such as military, religious service etc. be considered work experience when evaluating a candidate?

Joanne: Yes, depending on the nature of the experience. We'll look to your resume and your essays for explanations of your experience, but in general, military and missionary work are evaluated as work experience.

francesco: Hi, do you have region or industry "quotas"?

Rose: No, we do not use quotas by region or industry. That said, we craft a class at Booth, meaning we try to put together the best group of students with broad, diverse backgrounds to enhance the learning experience.

Polka: Hi. Thank you for organizing this session. With the concerns around the H1B, how do you believe international students will be impacted. Booth has been always proactive in assisting its students and alumni. Are there any specific steps being taken to help the international students secure jobs?

Rose: Absolutely. While we are uncertain about the H1B restrictions and limitations going forward, we have a broad base of companies and alumni around the world willing to hire great Chicago Booth students. We've invested in hiring more career service staff to help source these opportunities and spend lots of time coaching each individual student in his/her search.

Vishy: Hi Neil. Can you please throw some light on the recruitment trends for individuals with 5+ years of work exp. Is a higher work experience and thus an age of 30+ a disadvantage for Consulting and Finance careers ?

Neil: Hi Vishy. From my experience thus far, age has not been a disadvantage for recruiting in Consulting and/or finance. If you are a career switcher with 5+ years of experience, you have to make a strong case for why you want to switch. For consulting specifically, it's mostly about how you fit with the firm and how analytical you are (based on the case interview)

Amber: I have a question regarding the GMAT and application status. If I am scheduled to take the GMAT after the deadline for applications, what then happens to the application?

Kurt: Amber your application will not be considered complete and hence not reviewed by the committee until we receive your unofficial GMAT score. Typically we allow a few days grace period on receiving all components of the application so if you are taking the GMAT within a few days of the deadline you should be fine. If however the test is scheduled a few weeks after the deadline most likely your application will be left as incomplete and not be reviewed by the committee.

Qi: Hi I am an international student and have studied in US for 6 years and worked for 2 years. Do I need to take TOEFL?

Connie: Hi Qi. In your case, you would not have to take the TOEFL exam. Non-native speakers of English are exempt from taking the exam if they 1) are citizens of a country where English is the official language or 2) have received a university degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.

jay: At Booth, what are the sort of programs, classes and people that foster creativity?

Neil: Hi jay. Here at Chicago Booth, the mantra is "Challenge everything". This is ingrained in the program- the classes, activities and the people. All classes (including accounting and statistics!) I've taken so far have challenged me to think ourside the box, think creatively and challenge myself and my classmates.

Steven_1: Hello everyone, my question is on the GMAT. How do you treat the scores of multiple exams? Do you use the most recent score or average them? (I believe up to 3 scores are reported?)

Joanne: Hi Steven. We use your highest score in our evaluation of your application, regardless of the number of times you take the GMAT. You may self-report your score in your initial application, and we'll only ask for one score at that time. If you are invited to interview, we require official scores and the testing agency send all scores of exams you've ever taken, not just 3.

G-178483758: Could you discuss what kind of programs or campus groups are in place to support students that have young chldren? Thank you.

Joanne: Sure! I'm happy to report that a new group has just been formed: Mothers at Booth. While this group is for all parents (dads too!), it is designed to support women who have or are considering having kids, and the unique challenges and joys that come along with that. In addition, our Chicago Partners student group has a special interest group called POLO (Parents of Little Ones) which organizes events for students, partners and kids. You can learn more online at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/beyondacad/groups/chipart.aspx.

Frank_Mora: Good morning, I have a question regarding the recommendations, It´s requested to provide a recommendation from your current supervisor, but in my case i´m a business consultant and I don´t have a "boss", we report to someone for each project, in that case should I ask the recommendation from the most recent "supervisor"

Connie: Hi Frank. Of the two required recommendations, one must be from an employment reference. However, this does not need to be your direct or most recent supervisor. Ideally, your employment recommender would be someone who knows you and your work well and who can speak to your professional performance and potential. In your case, any one of your project supervisors might easily be an appropriate recommender.

Jeff: Can you provide any statistics for third round acceptance this year? What are you really looking for in a candidate at this time - given the late timing and surge in applications?

Rose: Great applicants get admitted in all rounds. Focus on spending the care and time needed to put together a great application, then let us do our work.

shobs: Good morning. I have been hearing that sometimes, Alum interviews can be relatively "unstructured" and can take their own course, compared to interviews conducted on campus by students or members of the admissions committee. Could you please provide some insight on this? Does the school prescribe a specific format (or questions) for the Alum interviews? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Kurt: This scenario is certainly possible, but we actively work to prevent this from happening, through alumni training, active feedback channels and specific training guides and interview forms. As an institution try to lay some universal guidelines for the interview experience but as you can imagine this is not something that can be guaranteed across thousands of interviews conducted. From our experience the situation you described does not happen regularly and if indeed there is a problem brought to our attention we deal with that directly.

John_Fed: When do pre-term activities begin in earnest for the new class? Are the Random Walks spread across a couple weeks for example or all timed to dovetail with other happenings?

Neil: Hi John_Fed, you will have a ton of opportunities to meet your new classmates before orientation. Random walks (1 week long) are typically in the 3rd week of August (about 3 weeks before orientation) and since so many folks go on them, they tend not to overlap with other activities. You will have a couple of optional pre-term classes, trips around chicago and a TON of unofficial networking events with your classmates.

bonesnjoints: Does it make a difference if one interviews on-campus vis-a-vis an off campus alumnus interview?

Joanne: No, there is no difference in how interviews are evaluated, regardless of where they are completed. An alumni interview is regarded as the same as an on-campus one.

boombooth: Hi Rose, is Booth trying to enhance its real estate curriculum for 2009?

Rose: Yes. Professor Pagliari has been working with students and alumni to expand our program due to the increasing interests of our students and growing need in the industry.

Qi: Hello. I have a question about TOEFL/IELTS. I am an international student and have obtained a PhD degree in the US. Since then, I have worked for two years near Chicago. Do I still need to take TOEFL test? Thanks a lot.

Joanne: If you have earned an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction (a U.S. school), you do not have to take the TOEFL exam.

G-178545424: How are other degrees viewed in the admission process? I don't have a business background, I'm a lawyer. How would that affect my app

Rose: Your undergraduate and advanced degrees are all pieces of the puzzle that we use in our evaluation process. Lawyers have great analytical skills so the translation to going to business school makes sense. Your challenge is to make that clear to us. As for measuring your "quant" skills, we'll look at your GMAT score as well as your transcripts to see what types of analytics you've taken in the past. If I can complete my EMBA program at Booth (and I'm a liberal arts person -- music), you'll be fine.

SeattleSnow: Are campus tours and information sessions available on Saturdays?

Connie: Hi Seattle. Unfortunately, we do not offer campus tours or information sessions on Saturdays. We do however, have several opportunities to visit each week, Monday through Friday. You can find further information about visiting campus here: http://chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/.

akachlova: Rose, how much weight does language hold in the application process? For finance program for example, will being fluent in another language be factored in possitively?

Rose: The ability to speak multiple language is a benefit, though it is not required for admission.

bsheikh: Hi! How do you view a recent layoff and a few months of subsequent unemployment when evaluating an application?

Rose: That's a pretty common profile these days. What will be important to communicate is what you've been doing during this period and how that has impacted your path/plans for the future.

Rafael_1: I'm a R2 applicant about to have my interview in a few hours with a local alumni. How does the interviewer communicate feedback for the applicant: Do they fill out a form, submit a letter, etc...?

Joanne: Our alumni have a secure, internal method of submitting their feedback to our staff after an interview. The feedback is then printed and added to a student's file for a final review for admission.

Lakaye: Thank you Joanne, Neil, Connie, Kurt, and Rose for this open discussion! From what I've seen, most students accept job offers from the same company that they interned with. Is this usually the case?

Kurt: I would say this is generally true especially in an economy such as this. However when jobs are many I would more people explore their options before accepting any offer outright.

R2Guy: How long does the joint program in IR take?

Kurt: Traditionally this adds one more year to your experience here. There are opporutnities to accelerate but the majority of student complete in 3 years.

chicago: Are there any events hosted by the admissions committee the week of April 27th?

Joanne: We host a daily campus visit program each day on campus. To sign up, please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/dailycampusvisit.aspx. You can attend a class, have lunch with students, and attend an information session. Our staff will not be traveling anywhere that week.

g1: Is the school taking any specific steps to attract more women?

Rose: When I arrived at Chicago Booth, our percentage of women was less than 30%, we now have more than 35%. We have more work to do, but we're actively involved with Forte and college outreach to help expand awareness about the value of an MBA.

G-178545517: Some school are tougher to get good GPA than others, how do you guys handle that?

Rose: My entire team has decades of experience in admissions, so we know where there's grade inflation and not. That's why we use class rank in addition to GPA.

G-178423979: Given the well reception from the public about Booth MBA, is there any plan to increase the class size in future, or to start accelerated program by mid of year?

Rose: Chicago Booth does not plan to expand the size of our class or launch new shortened programs.

john_1: I intend on applying to Booth for admission into the 2011 MBA class. I am located in Toronto, Ontario. Does Booth regularly hold any information sessions within the Toronto area?

Connie: Hi John. We do regularly host events in the Toronto area. However, these events happen either in the summer or fall, so unfortunately we will not be back in your area before you apply this spring. I'm sorry we missed you!

SeattleSnow: Hi Neil. What was your impression of Chicago while you were going through the application process? What differences did you find as a student?

Neil: Hi SeattleSnow. Going through the application process my impression was that Chicago was this quant-heavy, academically rigorous school with similar students but coming in, I've simply been overwhelmed with the diversity in perspectives of the student body and faculty. Each study group that I've been a part of has folks from different backgrounds and our discussions are so much more than just numbers or analytics. I've realized that though the program is academically rigorous, there is a lot of focus is on making you an all-round individual.

hippo: I'm trying to make plans for the fall and have been searching the website for hours. If I were admitted to Booth, when would I need to begin orientation?

Joanne: If you are admitted, you will gain access to our Admit Website which will give you all the information you need. This fall, classes will begin on Thursday, Sept. 24th. Orientation will begin on Sept. 8th.

Rene: Hi, are campus tour available during the summer months?

Connie: Hi Rene. Yes, campus tours are available in the summer. Our daily campus visit program continues year round. The only difference between visiting during the school year and visiting during the summer is that during the summer classes are not in session. This means that in the summer campus will be quieter, and class visits are not offered.

Abe: Is there any type of "Math Camp" or other remedial training for new students?

Joanne: Yes, Abe, there is a Pre-MBA accounting course for admitted students that take place in August. Our Academic Services team also has suggestions for online courses for folks who want to brush up on their quantitative skills.

Mozartain: How much does social responsibility feature in booth's business education?

Kurt: I think this is a growing area of demand and although we have courses that address this such as Social Entrepreneurship, and various courses in our Public Policy and Social Services Schools we do not have a specific concentration in this area. Also we have various student groups that address this area of interest, Giving Something Back, Net Impact, Chicago Global Citizens etc. I think you can have a pretty robust experience here related to this topic and hopefully these examples will provide you with some more tangible points.

Connie: Thanks all for a great chat! Very best!

Joanne: Thanks to everyone who joined us today for our chat! It was great hearing from you, and good luck!

Neil: Thanks everyone! It's been a pleasure talking to you all and Good Luck!

Rose: Thanks so much for joining us today. Have a great day. Rose

Kurt: Great questions, thanks again for taking the time to join us.