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Chat with 1st year-students

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 11:00 AM CST

Moderator: Hello and welcome to the Live Chat with current students! We will start at 11:00am sharp and will take all of your questions about student life, academics, the community, the city of Chicago and more. Feel free to start submitting questions in advance. You can read our student bios here: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/boothconnect/fulltime/Nov%20%2009%20Chat.aspx

Vishal: Good morning! Thank you for joining the chat! I'm a first-year student at Booth. I grew up in Mumbai, India, but have lived in the U.S. for the past 10 years. Prior to Booth, I worked at a PE/VC firm in Cincinnati, OH. I am concentrating in general management and strategic management. I will be happy to answer any questions on first-year student life at Booth.

Samantha: Good morning! Great to have you here with us today! My name is Samantha. I am a first year at Chicago Booth concentrating in Strategic Management, Marketing Management and Finance. I am a member of Chicago Women in Business, Giving Something Back, the Public Speaking Group and the Healthcare Group. In terms of career, I am interested in Management Consulting. I live with my husband in Little Italy. I look forward to answering any questions you have for me.

Bryan: Hi Everyone

Bryan: My name is Bryan Herde, and I'm a 1st year candidate here at Chicago Booth. I have an engineering background, and am looking to switch into management consulting. I'm an active member of the Management Consulting, Private Equity, and Emerging Markets groups, the African American MBA Association, and the Booth Basketball club. If anyone has questions regarding the partners Random Walk, I can also speak to that as I spent a week this past summer in Belize on a Random Walk Couples trip with my wife and eight other couples. Looking forward to having an engaging chat with you guys today.

Carrie: Welcome to the chat! My name is Carrie Lydon and I am an Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth. I look forward to your questions!

Jonathan: Hello everyone! I'm Jonathan, a first year here at Chicago Booth. Just to tell you a little about me, I'm concentrating in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Before coming to Booth I worked in sales and trading and commercial real estate. I'm involved in the Epicurean Club, Public Speaking Group, and the Graduate Business Council. I'm looking forward to answering your questions!

Rebecca: Good morning! I'm Rebecca, a first-year from sunny San Diego, CA. I received my undergrad degree in history and political science from the University of Pennsylvania. I then spent 2 years working for the federal government in Washingon, D.C. before moving to an education non-profit in Los Angeles, CA. Though still exploring, I hope to land an internship in strategy or general management with an energy or media company. Besides classes and recruiting, my calendar is packed with events from the many clubs and groups I joined: Net Impact, Corporate Management and Strategy, Energy, Media and Entertainment, Jewish Business Students Association, and Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.

Rebecca: I look forward to chatting with you today!

Ami: Greetings from Chicago! It is a rainy day here, but chatting with you guys certainly cheers us up!

Sangram: Can you tell us about any specific classes, initiatives, or program offerings geared toward the Entertainment and Media Industries?

Rebecca: Hi Sangram. The Media and Entertainment Group is a fantastic outlet for finding opportunities in those industries. They schedule resume reviews and interview workshops as well as trips to relevant companies through West Quest, a winter break trek to California. I have met many students interested in working for the media, gaming, and sports industries in particular, so there is a lot of support from fellow classmates to find opportunities in those areas. While there are not currently any courses specifically geared toward entertainment and media, all classes are relevant to the career functions you would find in those industries.

Rahul: I will pursue my MBA in "Operation & Management". Do basic knowledge of economics and finance is required before joining the MBA program. What if the candidate does not posses the knowledge?

Vishal: Rahul, you do not necessarily require economics or finance knowledge for the basic operations class. You will be taking economics and finance at Booth once you start, which may be useful for advanced operations classes.

Russ: What was the hardest thing to adapt to?

Bryan: Hey Russ. Thanks for the question. The hardest thing to adapt to for me has been more in terms of time management. Being able to juggle classwork, recruiting, and social events all at the same time. It tends to get very busy, especially during recruiting season, and so it's vital that you stay focused on the things you are most interested in. There's so much going on and so much to learn, that it's easy to get stretched-thin in terms of time.

Bruno_Baratta: Welcome everyone! My name is Bruno Baratta, I'm a 1st year international student here at Booth (from Brazil), and will be concentrating in Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurship. Prior to school I did 2.5 years of Sales & Trading and 4 years of Strategy Consulting - all in Brazil. I'm glad to answer any question you guys might have about the application process, ppt slides, academics, career related stuff, how is the experience for an international student, how cold does it get in Chicago, or anything else you might have in your heads.

ShilpaG: Hello, thanks for logging in and taking our questions! My name is Shilpa, and I had a question for Samantha: how are you finding the Strategic Management and Analytic Management concentrations at Booth? I am interested in focusing on Strategic Management and leadership as well, and was wondering if you could provide some insight on how you like the courses, the professors, and what unique opportunities Booth has to increase experiential learning in this field?

Samantha: Thank you for your question. During the first several weeks at Chicago Booth, all students participate in LEAD, which is a Leadership focused course. I found it invaluable for working on my leadership skills, including communication, teamwork and collaboration. In terms of actual coursework, most students focus on completing their foundations requirements in their first quarter, so I have only taken one class towards any of my concentrations. What I have found most surprising is how relevant and applicable the foundations classes would have been for my job pre-MBA. Given the custom curriculum, you have the flexibility to focus on any areas you are most interested in.

WW: Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences with us. I have several questions: 1. Please comment on the challenges of handling the academic, activities, recruiting and social demands of the First Year. 2. Is there anything a prospective can do now to prepare for the intensity of the first year? 3. Can you please talk about your financial aid process? I assume you have your funding in place. 4. For Bruni. Oi Bruno! Tudo bem! How strong have you found Booth's connection to Brazil in terms of speakers, network, etc. 5. How challegenging is the internship recruiting process?

Bruno_Baratta: Hey WW – welcome!Answering your questions: 1)Time management is the MOST challenging thing I’ve found at school so far. There are a lot of cool classes, panels, speeches, presentations, social events, clubs, etc. and you want to join them all – but don’t have time to do so. You’ll definitely have to make trade-offs, and they’ll start very early (pretty much since the first day of classes). I would recommend thinking about what you want to take out off your MBA (more academics? More networking? Career changing?), and have a plan to achieve so in order to properly balance your time 2)What I mentioned on the first answer – Think about what you want to take out of your MBA, research the school sources available for you to achieve that (and we are here to help you on that search!), have a plan to prioritize your time when you get here, and try not to get distracted/overwhelmed when you get here 3)I didn’t get any, but someone else will answer this in a following question 4)The Brazilian class here increased 50% this year, and I think the school and the alumni are making a real effort to increase its connections with the country. For example, through the LABG (Latin American Business Group) we bring in Brazilian speakers to the LatAm Conference for example. Also, I know there’s a possibility the school is going to open a center in Sao Paulo over the next few years. If you have any specific question about this, I’m happy to answer 5)The recruiting process is pretty different from one career to another. It is intense and challenging to any, but if you can specify a career path I can give you a better answer to this.

spati: Hi all, thanks for making time to host this online chat session. It demonstrates the collaborative team spirit at Chicago Booth.I would like to open a general question to the panel -- In your point of view, what aspect do you like best at Booth?- Amongst all the admits that you got, what motivated you to choose Booth above the others?- Lastly, what is your favorite module so far and which module are you most eagerly looking forward to?

Jonathan: Hi Spati. One of my favorite aspects of Chicago Booth is the people--there are a ton of impressive people here who I've had the opportunity to learn a lot from. This was actually what made me decide to come to Booth as well, the sense of community and level of support one gets here was very impressive. As for my favorite class so far, I’m taking all foundations right now. Having majored in engineering, I find myself enjoying the quantitative nature of my Regressions class. Next quarter I’m hoping to take a course focused on negotiations, which I think will be very useful and a lot of fun.

Kapil: I wanted to know about the financial aid given to international students - are intl students allowed to take loans without the cosigner? if yes, upto what amount?

Ami: Hi Kapil. I am an international student, and I am on non-cosigner loan. It is very easy to apply. Once you are accepted, Admissions will send you instructions on the application process. Everything is done online, and all you need to do is to fill out some forms online following the instructions. You are able to take $70,000 a year.

Surjo: What do students do for fun ?

Rebecca: Hi Surjo. There is absolutely no limit to the opportunities for fun here. From on-campus activities such as Liquidity Preference Functions (essentially a weekly Friday happy hour with food and drinks) and club socials to off-campus events such as Thursday Night Drinking Club and alumni socials, our calendars are completely booked! Chicago offers so much to do: theater, great parks and beaches (though I confess that you won't want to go to the beach for most of the school year!), Cubs and Bears games, and incredible restaurants and nightlife. The only problem is trying not to have TOO much fun :)

Patada: To Bruno: Hello Bruno! Coming from Rio, how are you holding up with the increasingly colder weather and the perspective of facing the winter in Chicago? Abraços do Brasil!

Bruno_Baratta: Hi Patada! The weather has actually been better than I thought. It hasn't snowed yet, and there were just a few really cold days (almost zero and windy). All that said, ask me again in January and I'll have a better view on this...hehe

abhishek: Hi Samantha You were into management consulting prior to Chicago. I see you have taken electives such as Strategic Management and Analytic Management. How do you find the courses so far and what do you intend to do after your MBA? Also have you taken any classes from Walter P Batts or Ram shiva kumar??

Samantha: At Chicago Booth, most students focus on taking their foundation classes during the first quarter, so I have only taken Marketing Strategy in addition to the foundation courses. That being said, I have found all 4 of my classes to be engaging, relevant, challenging and very well taught. I plan to continue my career as a management consultant. I can already see how I will be able to apply what I have learned in the real world. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to take any classes from Professors Batts or Kumar yet.

Rahul: There are various clubs such as management club, leadership club etc in any MBA education. What are the importance of these clubs beside the education?

Vishal: Rahul, career-focused clubs at Booth are extremely useful. Members can avail of career-focused recruiting and informational events. For example, the management consulting group holds weekly events where they have industry professionals present on campus. They also send out a resume book to consulting firms. I would highly recommend joining such clubs.

WW: Any word on 1st round application volume?

Carrie: Hi WW. We did receive an increase in application volume in our first round. As for the second round, we are making no predictions on what the volume will look like!

spati: I am an aspirant for 2010 batch and am looking to shift from technology consulting (telecommunications sector) to marketing (preferrably FMCG). Would you be able to comment on the marketing concentration available at Booth? If you could provide insights into courses that you liked, avenues available to support this career change, it would be most helpful. Thanks in advance!

Samantha: I am taking Marketing Strategy with Professor Ann McGill this quarter and it is by far my favorite class. Chicago Booth offers a well rounded set of marketing classes that prepare students for a career in marketing. I know several career switchers that are planning to go into marketing and all of them feel like they have the right set of classes and resources to be successful.

McMurdo1: For Round I applicants, is it too late for alumni to submit Letters of Support?

Carrie: Hi, McMurdo1. You are welcome to send in a letter of support from an alumnus, but please know that we are starting our final reads of applications. We will add it to your file as soon as we receive it, and it will be taken into consideration at that point. As we are currently reading, I would recommend sending it in soon!

vivek: Can you talk about a current student who got into Private Equity and discuss the student activities and clubs that helped him get there?

Bruno_Baratta: Hi Vivek. Answering your question about getting into PE, I can give the example of a Brazilian second year. He used to be a strategy consultant before school, came here with the objective of getting into PE and got an internship. The PE Group, with all its activities such as the PE Conference is definitely very helpful for it. If I had to mention one specific activity that helped him a lot, though, it would be the PE Lab. Through the PE Lab you take a specific course and work for a PE shop (two days a week)in Chicago over either the winter or the spring quarter (or both). This is a great way of both getting to know the industry from inside, and getting the experience on your resume. The guy I'm mentioning actually got his internship offer from the firm he worked with during the PE Lab. Check the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship website at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship/ for more resources.

raj: Good Morning Everyone. Can you describe a typical day at booth?

Rebecca: Morning, Raj. Though there is no "typical" day, they all have one thing in common: how busy we are! I'll tell you about my day yesterday: I woke up, dressed in my best business attire, and took the Metra from downtown to campus. The Booth Energy Club in conjunction with the Polsky Center hosted an Alternative Energy Conference on campus. It was a phenomenal event with great speakers and inspiring ideas (and yummy food). I attended the conference from 8:30 until 1:30, when I went to my statistics class. Immediately following class, I went to a MillerCoors corporate conversation. It was really fun to hear about their internship opportunities and to hear from recent Booth grads who work there. I finally made it home around 7pm, by which time I needed a break (dinner and TV) before starting my homework for the night. In bed at 11 to start all over again today!

abhishek: How do you tackle the challenge of keeping pace with so many activities at Chicago-academics, extra-curricular and career services?

Jonathan: Hi abhishek. I've found that myself and my peers manage to strike a good balance based on their priorities. For me, I put a lot of emphasis on being involved with extra-curricular activities and that takes free time away and probably forces me to focus less on academics than I would like. Recruiting, though, is an important process and I (and I think most of my peers as well) put the most focus on this. As a more general comment, while there is a lot to do here, I think the school and student groups do a good job at making sure people have many opportunities to do the things they want.

spati: General question for the panel again - One of Booth's key differentiating factor is the uber flexibility in the choice the courses. Was it daunting to choose the courses? What avenues were available to guide you through? Thanks in advance!

Bryan: The flexibility of Booth's program is indeed one of its key differentiators. As for how to go about choosing courses, the school offers lots of resources to help with this process. Each student is assigned an Academic Advisor whom you meet with before school starts. Another great resource is 2nd years, who have gone through the process and can offer advice as to which classes to pick in order to position yourself for recruiting in your industry of choice.

hoya: one more thing.. how about Chicago.. I see.. it's too broad question.. but, I'd like to listen to an international student's thoughts on the region, because I'm in such a situation.

Ami: Hi Hoya. I am an international student here from China, and I lived in Tokyo and Hong Kong before coming to Chicago. Life is Chicago is truly something I totally enjoy. I think the city layout is quite different from in Asia, as the downtown is concentrated in one area, and it spreads out to residence areas. While in Tokyo and Hong Kong, downtown and residence areas are mingles together everywhere ; ) Transportation here is also convenient. School is on several bus routes and Metra line. Parties are going on every week (most possibly every day...) on campus and off campus. You surely will not worry how you are going to kill your time. But the program here really keeps you busy and challenged every single day, and you probably will not have that much free time to kill anyway ; )

Gustavo: Hello Bryan! I would like to know if you have already started your recruiting process and how is it? Are you using any help from the Clubs? Thanks!

Bryan: Hey Gustavo, yes, 1st year recruiting officially kicked off back in mid-October. Being at a top program like Booth offers the great benefit of having all the top firms in multiple industries come on campus for recruitment. For the past month, we've had a constant stream of company presentations/receptions. Depending on what industry you're recruiting for (especially consulting and banking), the student clubs are also a great resource for getting you in touch with company representatives.

ShyamIyer: I know that Chicago has a very good public transport system. How would you rate living on vs off campus? Also are there any activities planned in the early months like scavenger hunts etc to get students acclimatized to the city?

Vishal: Shyamlyer, I live in downtown Chicago, which is ~9 miles from campus. Transport to campus is easy. The Metra (train) only takes ~10 minutes to campus. Its safe, clean, and relatively inexpensive, but on occasion, less frequent. Most students who live downtown take the Metra. With respect to the second part of your question, yes, there are many events/outings which will help you acclimate to Chicago. This year, we had a Chicago 'Random Walk' which took participants all over Chicago. We also go to dinners with second year students. Lastly, you will find yourself socializing with many of your classmates frequently, which will help you acclimate faster.

chao: Hi guys, this is Chao from China. People all say that Booth's courses are really tough. What did u guys feel during the last month?

Ami: Hi Chao. It is TOUGH! No kidding ; ) The school offers you so many opportunities and pushes you really hard. You are really in a situation that you are getting the best out of yourself and getting out more than you thought you could ever get. Your future two years here is not going to be easy, and if you want to challenge yourself, push your our limit, this is the place for you!

Gustavo: Hello Vishal! Can you share with us your experience at the random walk? How important was that regarding the interaction with your classmates? What was the best part of it? Thanks!

Vishal: Gustavo, great question! My random walk to Egypt was an amazing experience. Not only because I visited a new country, but because I bonded with several of my future classmates. Many of my random walk colleagues are now my best friends at Booth. The best part about the random walk is definitely the interaction with the folks you travel with.

Gustavo: Hello Bruno! I am from Brazil as well and would like to know what piece of advice can you give to future entering students at Booth? How was your experience at Chicago so far? Thanks!

Bruno_Baratta: Hey Gustavo. Welcome, and I hope to see you here next year! I'm really loving my experience. So far it's been even better than I expected (and don't get me wrong - I had high expectations!)A few pieces of advice: 1) Get here early! I got here 1.5 months before classes started, and it was a great to way to know a lot of people from school, enjoy Chicago summer (which is awesome!), and feel at home in Chicago. 2) Take your time to think about what you want to do for summer recruiting. It starts REALLY early and you won't be able to recruit for a variety of different industries (trust me - it's impossible in terms of time). 3) Do a Random Walk. It's a trip the school organizes before the start of classes. There are almost 30 different trip options, each one with ~10 first year and ~4 second year students. Also a great way to know people, have fun and go somewhere you usually wouldnt go.

Sanjit: Hi Jonathan. I have an engineering degree, but chose to start my own business (a hospitality venture) and also pursue my interest in the stock markets (I am a technical analyst running the analytics for a local firm). Now, I am interested in finance and entrepreneurship at Booth. Please throw some light on how someone with no formal education in finance would choose courses. In my case my exposure to finance is only with stock markets. Does someone formally help in this choice? Or are you on your own researching and choosing?

Jonathan: Hi Sanjit. The courses are designed to ensure that someone with no background can build the foundations they need for later courses. I had no formal accounting or economics, for example--I’m currently taking intro courses in both of these subjects and enjoy them both. For statistics, I’m taking a more advanced class in regressions because of my deep math background and find that course is well suited to my skill level. As for help, I’ve had a lot of help from Academic Advising and from second year students when it came to choosing classes, support was not in short supply! Also, the flexibility in the curriculum that I took advantage of is one of the strengths of Booth.

NatashaGhatak: Good Morning. Thanks for coordinating. I noticed many of you have Master's prior to attending Booth. Would you advise this is the best route to obtain an MBA? For those that do not have a Masters...do you feel like you are less competitive and missing out on your MBA experience?

Vishal: Natasha, I have a Masters in Economics. While having a Masters is obviously helpful, it is not required. Many of my classmates only have a Bachelor's and they are coping just fine. My advice to you would be to only complete a Masters prior to your MBA if you are interested in the subject of your choice. Completing a Masters only to improve your admissions chances may not be the best strategy. The admissions process is holistic and will not necessarily provide you with an advantage simply because you have a Masters. It is important to be well-rounded.

KKirk: How long did you work prior to going to booth?

Bryan: I spent four years in the industry before coming to business school. I do also have a graduate engineering degree (my rough estimate is that about 1 out of 5 students in the class have a graduate degree).

WF: Do the alumni get a list of suggested or required questions for the interview?

Carrie: Hi, WF. All of our alumni interviewers receive a training manual that includes guidelines and several suggested questions. However, we allow our interviewers to determine the questions they would like to use in the interview.

Jon: Hello. Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. A number of you are involved in several interesting activities outside of the classroom. As a first year student, how is one introduced to these activities and how does the involvement begin?

Samantha: Right from the first or second week, there are information sessions and fairs to introduce you to all of the student groups. There are also scheduled meetings where each group presents what they are about and you have the opportunity to ask questions. I found that having too many options and too much information was more of a problem than not having enough. After the group dating phase, you choose to join a set of groups. At that point, you will be e-mailed about several scheduled activities that you can choose to participate in.

NatashaGhatak: Also, what exactly is strategic management and why did some of you choose to get into it?

Samantha: Strategic Management is a set of courses that focus on different components of strategy. To give you some examples, there are courses on competitive strategy, strategic planning, strategic investment decisions and several others. These courses are valuable for anyone who is interested in management, consulting, strategy roles within a firm and even venture capital. I personally chose to get into it because I think it will make me a better consultant, and maybe even a general manager in the long term.

Gustavo: Hello Jonathan! Can you talk about your experience to date on the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee? How was the “admissions process” to join the Committee? Thanks!

Jonathan: Hi Gustavo. My experience on DSAC has been great! I enjoyed meeting students during my admissions process and I'm really enjoying being able to ensure others have that same positive experience. As for getting onto the Committee, it was an open process--everyone who wanted to get involved has the opportunity, one just has to sign up. The school gives students lots of chances to help recruit the next class.

Gustavo: Hello Ami! What have you enjoyed the most about Chicago so far? Is there anything you did not like? Thanks!

Ami: Hi Gustavo. Food in Chicago is fantastic! And hanging out with Boothies here is definitely something you cannot top! It is amazing how diversified the society is here and how energetic everyone is. During recruiting events, you can also see people going into the changing room in t-shirts and jeans and coming out all suited up as really professional business people (as they used to be and and they always are). It can be quite a fun scene to watch ; )

Chicago2010: Bryan what is a random walk?

Bryan: Random Walks are school affiliated trips that you can go on with classmates before the quarter starts. It's a great way to meet a few of your classmates before school officially starts. Each year the school organizes about 20-30 trips to various destinations. There are a few of these trips specifically dedicated for students with partners. I highly recommend this as a great way to relax and get to know new friends before the hectic part of b-school starts! :)

Gustavo: Hello Rebecca! Did you get involved in any activity of the Strategy Group so far? How was it? Thanks!

Rebecca: Hey Gustavo. Indeed I have! They are a phenomenal network for those pursuing a career in strategy and management. They host ExploreMore lunch series, during which second-year students who had summer internships in those functions speak about their experiences, and Lunch and Learns, during which companies speak about their job and internship opportunities in those functions. The group is incredibly supportive, hosting resume reviews to make sure we are positioning ourselves in the best way. It is the only function-specific group I joined, and I haven't been disappointed!

Jeremy: Did any of you come to Booth with spouses or significant others. Have you been able to involve them in your activities?

Bryan: Hey Jeremy, yes, my wife and I moved to Chicago from Boston. We did the couples Random Walk, which gave her a chance to meet other partners who are in the similar boat as she is, moving to a new city along with their spouses. Additionally, spouses & partners are also welcomed to attend all of the big class parties and the LPF community events held each Friday afternoon in the Harper Center.

Gustavo: Hello Samantha! Can you share some insights about “Giving Something Back”? How does it work and what have you done so far? Thanks!

Samantha: Giving Something Back is our community service group. It is a fairly informal group that has the goal of giving back to the community. As a member, we can choose what opportunities to bring to the group. So far I have been involved in raising money for the food bank through an annual MBA food fight and coaching sports for junior high students at a disadvantaged school. We also tutor students, raise money and participate in various charity events and any other service opportunities that come our way.

Rachel: Hello, whats the average size of most first-year classes?

Ami: Hi Rachel. We have 593 students this year, and we are divided into 10 cohorts. We went through LEAD and Core together, and after classes started, we ended up in different classes with some old and new friends. Most first-year classes (in classroom) is about 50-60 people, most of which are fundamentals like accounting, stats and economics. However, bare in mind that we have no classification on first-year or second-year classes, you are free to choose whatever class you would like to take, and you will be sitting with both first- and second-year students in the same room. It is a free market, it is Chicago Booth ; )

Tom: Hello everybody! I am happy to take part in this chat. My name is Tom, I am an applicant from Austria. My first question is about the essays. As a non-native speaker I have problems to write flawless essays. What would you recommend?

Joanna: Hi Tom, good question. It's important to understand that the Booth MBA program is delivered exclusively in English and students will be expected to have good writing and speaking skills when they arrive in Chicago. TOEFL requirements, your essays and the admissions interview are all ways in which we can gauge if your language skills are at an adequate level to perform here. You may use the essays as an opportunity to practice and strengthen your English writing skills or take a class before you submit. Best of luck!

SAURABH-RUSTAGI: Good Morning! I am curious about the Net Impact club. Can you please share some insights into the activities of the club? How else would someone interested in social enterprise contribute to and learn from at Booth?

Rebecca: Great question, Saurabh-Rustagi. I have been so impressed with the Net Impact co-chairs and club members. Everyone has such unique backgrounds, from government to nonprofits to finance, so I have learned a ton just attending meetings. This past weekend, I traveled to Cornell with about 20 other group members for the national Net Impact conference. It was so inspiring to be in a room with change-makers from all over the country and to network with mission-driven companies and those that are expanding their portfolios to include Corporate Social Responsibility practices. Though Booth has built its reputation on economics and finance, the number of people involved in Net Impact and social causes is growing by the day. We are in the process of planning a Booth Net Impact conference this spring, which will further demonstrate the school's commitment to social enterprise and responsibility!

viki: Hi and thanks for organizing the chat. Can you comment about the student community at Chicago – how do they interact in the classroom, and outside socially? Are there any significant social events that students participate in?

Bruno: Hi Viki! There is plenty of social interaction! Don't worry about it - you'll get as much social events as you want. I'm actually a good person to touch on that, because my biggest concern before coming to Booth was exactly how close and tight the community would be. Since we are in a big city, I was concerned people might get dispersed. That is not true at all! As I mentioned on a previous answer, I got here 1.5 months before the start of classes, and even during that period (when people didn't really know each other) we used to go out every day, and as people started to move in those events started to be 300 people gatherings - literally. The most famous weekly "official" social events are LPF (free drinks and food on friday at school) and TNDC (Thursday nights out at a bar in Chicago. Every Thursday, a different bar each day). But there are also the clubs' events. Wine tastings from the Wine Club are a big hit, for example. Concluding - don't worry, there's plenty of social interaction.

Juan: hi and thanks in advance for taking my question. Can you talk about LEAD? What were your expectations before the class and what were your thoughts after it? Thanks !

Vishal: Juan, LEAD was a great experience for me personally. I had the opportunity to bond closely with many of my classmates, and also learned a great deal about myself. LEAD provides you the opportunity to receive honest feedback about yourself. Its a great chance to focus on your own non-academic development. During LEAD, you will focus on leadership, teamwork, decision-making, ethics, and communication. I didn't necessarily have any set expectations before class, but I can assure you that whatever your expectations, you will not be disappointed.

G-129422507: Hi, this question is for Bryan. You mentioned being an 'Active' member of 5 clubs/organizations. By active are you just attending events, or are you already contributing to leading any of these groups?

Bryan: By active I mean having paid your membership dues and attending club events on a regular basis. 1st years usually do not get involved with leading student clubs until the spring quarter, when club co-chairs are elected. However there are plenty of opportunities to help out with organizing conferences or group events.

Booth_Applicant_2012: Hi All. Thank you so much for taking time out to answer our questions. My question is specifically for Samantha - Samantha, I see that you were in management consulting prior to joining Booth, and now you are a member of the Healthcare Group. Are you on a healthcare-related career track? If you are, can you speak more about how a Booth MBA is preparing you for your post-graduation short-term and long-term career goals?

Samantha: Hi! As a management consultant, I worked on several health care engagements and realized that I have a real passion for the industry. I wanted to use my time at Chicago Booth to continue to learn more about the industry through formal events and peers who were in the industry. The Health care Group has been a great way to do that. Eventually, I may want to work for a firm in the health care field and the relationships and knowledge I am building now will certainly help. If you are primarily interested in health care, there is a certificate program at Chicago Booth that you might be interested in learning more about. I know a few people in the program who really enjoy it.

LRLondon: Hi! Are any of you looking to change careers? How has the first sememster been in balancing researching careers, interviewing and researching internships, on top of coursework and social activities? Moreover, when do you begin the preparation/interviewing for summer internships? Thank you.

Jonathan: Hi LRLondon. As a career changer, I have found the first semester to be busy. I’m also taking four classes, which adds to this issue. That being said, career services and the individual student groups do a great job of helping people navigate the sorts of activities you mention. For example, career services held a series of seminars where they explained about careers and showed us the tools we would need to research on our own. Interviewing hasn’t started yet, but there is a lot of programming planned to help us prepare already. And, even with all this going on, myself and many of my peers find plenty of time to socialize and get involved with other activities.

Moderator: We're a little bit more than halfway through the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. Our students and Admissions staff are eager to continue the dialogue. Continue submitting your questions!

maximus: A question for Bryan : Bryan , after having a career in IT industry , how have the classrooms and other campus activities helped you in broadening your skill set and achieving your career goals ? What aspect of Booth do you admire the most ?

Bryan: Hey Maximus, thanks for the question. Coming from a pure IT/Engineering background, I have found business school to be an eye-opening experience. I'm currently taking foundations classes like accounting and microeconomics, that look at aspects of business in a completely different way that I'm used to. Additionally, you're constantly interacting with classmates who come from a broad range of professional backgrounds, and it's great to hear about and learn from their experiences. Chicago Booth is a great place to expand your knowledge base thanks to the various events covering so many topics in business. I try to sit in on one event or panel each week that covers a topic that is completely foreign to me, that way I'm constantly broadening my knowledge of business.

ShilpaG: Hey everyone! Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us! Rebecca, you mentioned you are looking into the media industry...that is something that I am looking into as well. Can you comment on how you are getting to learn more about the industry through clubs and associations, and how you find your experience at Booth so far?

Rebecca: Hi ShilpaG! Be sure to see my answer to Sangram's question earlier in the chat. I have learned a lot about the industry through the Media and Entertainment Club, of course, and also through Net Impact. Many media companies, such as The Walt Disney Company, are promoting social responsibility and are thus involved with Net Impact. I have also found opportunities through the companies that recruit on-campus--for example, Thomson Reuters hosted a conversation about their internship program last week. Lastly, Career Service's "On Time, On Target" program for those doing off-campus internship searches has a Media, Sports, and Entertainment focus, providing even more support.

Nivesh: Hi Bryan. Could you share your experience working in the Business Solutions Group team?

Bryan: Hi Nivesh, thanks for the question. The Business Solutions group has been a great experience, especially for me as a career-switcher trying to get into management consulting. I'm currently on a team working on a project for a local technology based business incubator, and we're helping the entrepreneur understand how to best commercialize the technology that they have developed. Being part of BSG does have consume a lot of your time, so if you have a desire to participate in this group you should pick your classes for that quarter carefully. In all though, it's been a great experience and I highly recommend it.

JeffD: Has recruiting for finance jobs started up yet? How are Booth students doing in this job market?

Ami: Hi Jeff, first round of finance recruiting has not only started but almost come to an end so far. Financial institutions are the first ones coming to campus for recruiting, and we started corporate presentations, receptions, visits in the week of October 20th. All finance clubs, investment management, investment banking, PE & VC are organizing treks this winter break before Christmas, and when we get back in January, full-scaled interviews will be started on campus. If you are targeting finance jobs, start EARLY!

chao: Hi, Vishal. my career is joining in a PE/VC firm. i notice that u worked for a PE before Booth. from your perspective, what do u think Booth will bring to its students if they wanna work in a PE in the future

Vishal: Chao, I am closely involved with the PE community here at Booth. I believe that attending Booth will help you attain your PE goals in a number of ways. First, Booth has many alumni who work in the PE industry (many work for notable firms). These folks serve as great connections for students interested in working in the asset class. Second, Booth's rigorous classes will provide you with solid analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills. These are all essential for a successful career in PE.

T: Rebecca, after working in the public sector and non-profit, are you looking to get an MBA to switch careers or will you be returning to those sectors?

Rebecca: Hi T! Great question--I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but the truth is that I am still exploring. At the moment, I am pursuing a corporate strategy internship because I think it would be really beneficial for me to see how for-profits operate. That being said, I hope to work for a company with a socially responsible business model or perhaps even one with public partnerships. Through Net Impact, the Corporate Management and Strategy Group, and the Energy Club (which is for-profit but certainly has a 'social' bend to it), I hope to leverage my government and nonprofit experiences and marry them with all of my interests.

vk: Bruno, can you talk a little bit about the PowerPoint presentation as part of the admission package? Thanks!

Bruno_Baratta: Hey vk! I'll give you my perspective on the ppt: My approach was to show a part of me that I couldn't fit into the other essays. I was an engineer/sales&trader/consultant, so not a very different profile. How to differentiate myself from the piles of applications of people with similar backgrounds? I thought that showing the fact that I was also a house music DJ would make that, so I managed to include that on the ppt. In terms of the storyline, I built something that in each and every slide somehow connected with the school's values. This way I had something that both differentiated me from other applicants, and connected me with the school's values.

Ben: What makes booth special other than flexible curriculum and finance?

Samantha: There are several things that make Booth special. My favorite part so far has been the LEAD program. Not only is it a ton of fun, but it really helps you improve your leadership skills. Career Services has consistently exceeded my expectations. I can't imagine another school with a team as dedicated as the team we have supporting us. In this economy, we feel very lucky to have the support. Our professors are hired based not only on expertise, but also on teaching skills. In other words, we have fantastic professors. One other thing - I didn't expect to like my peers so much. Everyone is down to earth, incredibly intelligent and a ton of fun. I couldn't ask to study with a better group of people. I could continue, but I hope you get the idea.

LRLondon: Following on career changer topic: I think Chicago's flexible curriculum is a great opportunity. However, as a potential career changer, is there guidance available to help 1st year students choose appropriate classes?

Ami: Hi LRLondon. I am a career changer, from investor relations and corporate project evaluation to investment banking/management (still weighing my choice there). I have a second-year mentor, who I meet on regularly basis to go through my recruiting activities and experience. It is really HUGE help to me, and he went through the same process one year ago and all his advices and help are truly valuable. After you are admitted, Admissions will send you instructions to join the mentorship program, and you will be able to select one with similar background and/or experience like yours.

Jon: Jonathan, could you please comment on what classes you currently enrolled in, and what classes you plan to take later in your first year?

Jonathan: Hi Jon. as I mentioned, I'm currently enrolled in Microeconomics, Accounting, and regressions. I'm also enrolled in an introductory marketing class. I find them all to be interesting and challenging, but manageable. I also find this is a good balance between work done in groups and work done individually. Later in the year I'm planning on taking courses, like Corporate Finance, that will be useful for my internships and interviews, as well as more general classes that interest me, like negotiations and game theory.

Milken: Bryan, How quickly are your expected to be on your feet and running for recruitments?

Bryan: Hey Milken! I would say to take time over the summer to research industries of interest and start thinking about what you want to do for your summer internship. The school does a great job of prepping you for recruitment, so if you're not sure what you want to do coming in, it's OK. Companies are not allowed on campus until a month into the fall quarter. The first month of the program is filled with events hosted by Career Services that help you start thinking about potential industries, and how to plan your recruiting strategy. I can honestly say that the Career Services office here at Chicago Booth is one of the program's core strengths.

G-154159583: Hello, how soon after you're accepted do you get help from the Booth Staff on deciding on your specializations, and the courses that you should take in your first year to accomplish your objectives?

Ami: Hello. As soon as you are accepted, you can start talking with Academic Advisors, your second-year mentor, and any Booth people that you coma across on your concentrations and course selection. I found talking to second-years who are pursuing similar concentrations is truly helpful.

KD: When do interviews start first year?

Vishal: KD, I assume you mean recruiting interviews. We don't begin the recruiting process until end-October(school starts mid-September). Interviews generally take place January and February of the following year. In the interim, you will be busy working with career services on your resume, networking, and interviewing skills.

prucea: The official decision date is Dec 16. Is there any chance candidates might get a decision (either ding or accept) before this date?

Carrie: Thanks for your question, Prucea. All decisions will be officially released on our online application system on December 16, 2009. We are planning to call those admitted on December 15, 2009. That said, we are often unable to call everyone who was admitted within one day, so do not worry if you do not hear from us!

NKA: Can you shed some light on the marketing courses you have taken so far at Booth. Given that Booth is popular for it's Finance curriculum. Also, I would like to know if there is a quantitative aspect incorporated into the marketing curriculum

Samantha: As I am only in my first quarter, I have only taken one marketing class. I am currently in Marketing Strategy with Ann McGill and it is my favorite class by far. I plan to complete a marketing management concentration while I am here. Given the flexible curriculum, you can make your marketing concentration as quantitative as you choose. There are enough courses available that you could focus entirely on quantitative classes, but have the option to take some of the softer courses as well.

Gustavo: Vishal, are there any specific classes (best teachers or awesome subject) students should not miss if they want to concentrate in general and strategic management?

Vishal: Gustavo, yes, most definitely. Chicago Booth has world-class faculty in these areas. While I am not familiar with ALL the faculty in these areas, Marvin Zonis and Ram Shivakumar are two, among many well known personalities in management and strategy. With respect to classes, there are several interesting classes in these areas including 'Theories of Leadership', 'Competitive Strategy', and 'Management Lab'. I would encourage you to explore Chicago Booth's website to gain a better picture of all that we have to offer in these areas.

Milken: Bruno... Your past is strategy consultant and I noticed that you are a part of VC group. Is it a real possibility for a non-American to fetch a PE opportunity straight out of campus?

Bruno_Baratta: Hey Milken, I would say it all depends on where you want to work, what is your past experience and how hard you want it. In a prior answer I mentioned the example of a Brazilian second year that got an internship in a PE shop in Chicago this last summer. I know a Bulgarian guy that also interned at one of the major global shops in London last summer (and will be returning for full time).

Bruno_Baratta: All that said, know that PE jobs are difficult overall, not only for non-Americans. Firms don't have structured hiring processes (such as consulting and investment banking), most of them only hire when they are raising new funds and you really have to have something to add to the fund from your past experience, so it's all about a smart research and network to know where you really have chances (prior industry knowledge? fund's geography focus?)

Ben: I am an overseas candidate and If I am not able to visit the campus and attend a class, how do I know I culturally fit at Booth ?

Ami: Hi Ben. I am a Chinese student here, and I did not have the opportunity to visit the campus or attend a class. I had my interview off-campus with an alum and I attended several presentations that Booth hosted in my city. You will feel the fit during the process (I know I did). You will find out how helpful the Admissions is, how friendly and helpful they are, and how valuable the suggestions and advices that alumni and current students can offer. I applied to 4 schools, and I enjoyed the communications with Booth the most. I would encourage you to attend Booth events in your city/country and talk to our people. You will surely feel something different there.

Audrey: When you entered Booth did you have an idea of what career you wanted to pursue and has that changed?

Rebecca: Hey Audrey. I thought I wanted to stay in the public or nonprofit sectors but have since expanded my options. There is so much out there! While I am still actively looking at those opportunities, I have become really interested in corporate strategy and general management. I hope to sort of combine those interests by getting a strategy role at a socially responsible for-profit company. Many of my peers are career switchers. I can't say I know many people who HAVEN'T at least considered careers other than the ones they 'declared' when they applied--if not changed completely!

Audrey: Do you take core classes only for your first quarter? How frequently do you meet with study groups?

Samantha: Hi Audry. It is really up to you what classes you take during the first quarter. I would say the majority of people do take at least some core classes during the first quarter. I took 3 foundation courses and one marketing class. I have friends that only took one foundations class and friends that only took 3 foundations classes. It really depends on your goals and preferences. In terms of study groups, it depends on the class. I would say I meet with my study groups on average once a week. When you have a major project due, that number usually increases.

Steve: Samantha and Bryan - as married students, has it been a challenge balancing your social life at school and at home?

Samantha: Hi Steve. I haven't had a problem balancing my social life at home and school. Since my husband came to Chicago for me, he didn't really know anyone. I usually take him to most of the social activities/events. Now we have a joint group of friends and it is a ton of fun. I also make sure to leave at least one night a week free to spend time with my husband. So far it is working well.

vaibhav: Hi Bruno my name is Vaibhav and Iam from India. I have been give to understand that Chicago is a school of mathematical thinkers and that the environment is less warm and cordial. What have been your experiences on this front?

Bruno_Baratta: Hi Vaibhav! My experience has been completely the opposite from this general impression. I'm glad to answer your question, because that was my single biggest concern before coming here - and the general impression is not true!! I decided to come to Booth after meeting my classmates both during admit weekend and local happy hours in Brazil, and I'm happy I did so because this general impression couldn't be more wrong. Please, take a look at my answer to a previous question on social interaction. I think that speaks a bit for how close and warm the community is.

Jerry: Hello, I'm looking to return to consulting specifically in emerging markets or pursue international development from a business perspectives. How international is your class and are there many opportunities internationally?

Ami: Hi Jerry. 37% of the class here are international students, and there are tremendous international opportunities, with all consulting firms aggressively recruiting for their international offices. Given the rapid growth in emerging markets, you will never worry that there is no opportunity for you to go international.

ShilpaG: How do you find the culture to be at Booth...specifically the relationship between peers...would you classify the school as more of a competitive environment or collaborative?

Samantha: Hi ShilpaG. To be honest, I was very pleasantly surprised by the culture here. I assumed it would be highly competitive and cutthroat, but it has been just the opposite. My classmates never hesitate to help me with difficult classwork or to talk about internship opportunities that we will likely both apply for. The grade nondisclosure policy certainly helps with this collegial culture! I have really enjoyed working collaboratively with my classmates in study groups and on group projects. Everyone is motivated, hardworking, and truly eager to help teammates.

Paul: How does the fact that many students live downtown affect the community. Is it more difficult to get together with people when you have to travel between campus and downtown?

Vishal: Paul, ~40% of Booth students live downtown so there is a thriving Booth community in the area. I myself live downtown and find myself spending significant amounts of time with my classmates who live around me (there are several hundred that do). It is not at all difficult to get together with folks who live in Lincoln Park or Hyde Park. The public transportation is quite good and if all else fails, there are always taxis. Most activities take place in either downtown or Lincoln Park so living downtown will definitely not be a disadvantage.

Juan: For some reason my name is not showing in front of my posts. This is Juan from Colombia. How well do you think the information provided during orientation prepared you for your first semester? Is there something you wish you would have known that wasn't mentioned and would be useful for a prospect? thanks !

Samantha: Hi Juan from Colombia. I am not sure they could have packed any more information in during orientation. I felt very prepared when I first started classes. One area that I would have liked to learn more about is the bidding system. At Chicago Booth, we get into classes by bidding points. For the first quarter, it is a bit scary bidding points to get into a class. That being said, I think the best way to learn the bidding system is probably by doing.

Milken: Being an international students, how the current economic environment has affected your chances of getting into a finance or corporate career in the US? I ask this because there is so much of noise about people returning to their home countries on not-so-great jobs and facing stiff resistance from local administration on issuance of H-1Bs.

Ami: Hi Milken. I am an international student doing recruiting in the States. Opportunities are coming back, but there are difficulties. Most financial firms are open to international, except for those who have not paid off TARP money and cannot really sponsoring visa. Nothing comes easily anyway, but the US government issues 8,000 visa every year + 2,000 more to people with higher educations. Companies are hiring internationals, but you should be prepared to worker harder.

Mani: Hi Could anyone of you talk about how you prepared your slides for admission. Anything you can share would be great. And any tips for those preparing the slide right now

Jonathan: Hi Mani. As I'm sure you heard already, there is no right way to do this part of the application--it's totally up to you. My only "tip" would be to do something that really uses the unique format of this "essay" effectively. Feel free to contact admissions if you still feel you have questions on this.

np: Sorry! Here is the question: What is the class structure like? Is it mostly older, more experienced students or does it vary? I am 25 and am hoping to apply to Booth but would love to learn of how the general feel and persona of the class structure is. Thanks for your time!

Samantha: I think the class is pretty diverse. I turned 24 during the 1st month of school and feel like I fit in pretty well. I am friends with classmates that are over 30. Once you get into business school, you are with a group of students with similar interests and goals. Age isn't nearly as important.

BMusi1: What is it like on campus for minority folks can they feel at home?

Bryan: Hey BMusi1, Booth does a great job in making minority students feel at home. There's a specific office dedicated to assisting minority students with all kinds of challenges, from transitioning into b-school, choosing classes, or how to best go about recruiting. If you haven't already reached out to them, I'd highly recommend you contact your Admissions contact and have them put you in contact with the office. There also are a number of student clubs dedicated to minority students, and through these clubs you can quickly build a network of fellow classmates coming from similar backgrounds as you.

Aaron: Is there anything that has surprised you about Booth? Anything you wish you had known before going?

Bruno_Baratta: Hey Aaron - I would mention how fast you have to figure out what you want to do for your summer. Recruiting starts very early, and you are better positioned if you know what you want to do since early on.

G-101118167: Once admitted, how long does an applicant have to submit their initial deposit?

Carrie: Thanks for your question. In terms of the time between notification of admission and the deposit deadline, it really varies from round to round. In round one, admits have several months to deposit. In round two, however, admits have just one month before the initial deposit deadline.

Eden: Hi All: How has Booth enhanced your self-awareness so far?

Samantha: Hi Eden! The first several weeks at Booth focus heavily on building self-awareness. In the LEAD program, learn about, practice and receive feedback on communication, interpersonal skills, public speaking, giving and receiving feedback and working in teams. We also spend a lot of time exploring our career and work environment preferences. I think I have at least doubled my self awareness since the beginning of September. LEAD is a truly phenomenal experience.

JB: Is there an advantage to applying early in the second round (in the next week or so) vs. waiting until late Dec/early January or are all decisions made collectively at the end of a round?

Carrie: Thanks for your question, JB. We suggest that you apply when your application is ready! That said, if your application is ready now, we welcome you to submit. While we officially release all interview decisions on our mid-decision date, we do try to process/read those files submitted early first.

Patada: Bruno, thanks for your previous answer! Could you comment on the conferences and envisaged projects you are involved with LABG? Also, is LABG and/or any student-led group anyhow involved in the discussions concerning the Chicago Booth Center in Sao Paulo? This just sounds awesome! obrigado

Bruno: Patada, I'm involved with the LatAm Conference and we are currently discussing the speakers to invite for it. Regarding the involvement with the Sao Paulo Center, I'm not sure about it. If you want, send me an email later and I can direct you to one of the co-chairs to answer it. bbaratta@chicagobooth.edu

Mani: Hi, I have a question regarding the optional question, there is no word limit suggested(to the best of my knowledge). Can I write about 500 words in this essay. Or does it irritate the admissions people to see longer optional essay. And I have two topics that I want to address. Is it okay to address two topics with separate headings?

Carrie: Hi Mani. The optional essay is designed to give you space to clarify, explain, or add perspective to your application. We suggest that you use your best judgment on how much space to use. We do not include a word limit as it varies from applicant to applicant. If you are covering several topics, it is fine to use headings.

Apeksha: What is the typical size of a class , and how far is the case study method employed?

Vishal: Apeshka, The typical class size is between 65-70 students. The case study method is applied in select courses, such as strategy, marketing, and operations.

Margaret: This question is for Rebecca: Can you tell us about your experience transitioning from the federal and non-profit world to business school? I currently work at a non-profit in DC.

Rebecca: Hi Margaret! I can't lie, it's certainly been an adjustment--but a really fun, exciting one. I really had no business experience coming into Booth and I have learned an unbelievable amount, both from professors and from peers. The business mentality is certainly different from the public and nonprofit sector mentalities, but that is one of the primary reasons I came to Booth: to learn about completely different industries and opportunities from those I had been exposed to previously. I've heard that the number of enrolled students with non-traditional (a.k.a. non-business) backgrounds was higher this year than in previous years, so there is a great support network. Furthermore, Net Impact is a great way to keep ties to the nonprofit community while putting it in a business school context!

Dennis_1: Hi Bruno, I have a question for you. Upon completing your time in S&T, why did you make the switch to consulting rather than pursuing an MBA after that? Do you feel it was better than you had different work experiences prior to the MBA instead?

Bruno_Baratta: Hi Dennis, even though it wasn't a thought process at the time, I definitely think it was a good thing to come here a bit older and more experienced. I think you take much more out of the whole experience.

Chandler: Are more students using career services for their summer jobs or seeking out opportunities on their own?

Jonathan: Hi Chandler. I'm not sure of the statistics, but I think the vast majority work through career services. However, even positions that don't generally recruit on campus, like private equity and real estate, have a lot of support from career services in their search.

Gustavo: Samantha, have you already started the recruiting process to a management consulting position (if you plan to)? Can you share some insights with us? Thanks!

Vishal: Gustavo, I'm recruiting for consulting positions. We began recruiting for consulting internships in late October and will apply for positions in December. Interviews will take place in late January, early February. Career services at Booth provides us with constant help throughout this process. Already, we have been through several resume reviews and interview preparation and networking events. Since consulting is one of the more popular recruiting areas at Booth, we have many resources at our disposal to help us prepare for the application process.

Peter: Can you please speak to how the community / work-life-balance experience is shaped by the fact that Chicago Booth students are split between the Loop, Hyde Park, and other locations? Is this something you really like about the school?

Vishal: Peter, ~40% of students live downtown, ~25% live in Hyde Park, and the rest in other locations. Regardless of location, we are Boothies first and hence, there is a very strong sense of community here. I live downtown but hang out with folks from other areas quite frequently. Most social events take place either downtown or in Lincoln Park, so living downtown will be a safe option. You will be close to social events and will be surrounded by several hundred of your classmates. What I love most about Booth? Definitely the strong sense of community. I have only been on campus ~3 months but have already made many life-long friends.

Joseph: I come from a background in the non-profit sector but want to attend Booth because of its quality of instruction and emphasis on community; can someone tell me about how UChicago encourages community involvement during your MBA?

Rebecca: Hi Joseph. Those were the exact things that drew me to Booth, and I have not been disappointed! I receive an email literally every day about ways to get involved in the community. Be it through civic consulting projects, coaching an athletic team at local high schools, organizing a food and toy drive, or sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization, the opportunities are endless. Check out the club sites for Net Impact, Giving Something Back, and Chicago Global Citizens in particular for more information.

Nick: Bryan, could you please comment on the support and resources Booth has to offer to help you transition from engineering to management consulting? I have similar motivations for going on to business school and would love to hear about your experiences so far. Thanks!

Bryan: Hey Nick, the Career Services office at Booth does an exceptional job in helping career-switchers prepare for recruiting into industries of choice. They have programming specifically dedicated for this purpose, and a whole bunch of additional resources available for you to leverage. Additionally, the Management Consulting Group is a KEY resource in helping with this transition. Managed by 2nd years who recently did summer internships in consulting, they organizing a number of panels and events with alumni at at various consulting firms.

Simple: How is the general teaching quality in the school? And as a follow-on question, I understand (after speaking to some people who have completed their MBAs) that the learning experience is funnily enough 50% from the instructors and 50% from your fellow students. Do you feel the same way based on your experience so far?

Jonathan: Hi Simple. The teaching quality here is excellent! I find the professors to be engaging and able to convey complex topics easily. As for your follow-on question, I think it’s true that a lot of learning comes from fellow students. This mainly comes from group work, where everyone helps come up with an answer and a lot of discussion and debate helps solidify everyone’s understanding of the concepts from class.

Sanjit: Does Booth have on-campus housing for MBA students? If, not how far do students usually put up? What mode of transportation do they generally use? Are late nights on streets safe?

Vishal: Sanjit, yes, there is graduate student housing available on campus through the University. If you choose not to live on campus, there are many options available including downtown or Lincoln Park. ~40% of Booth students live downtown and ~20-25% live in Lincoln Park. From downtown, you can either take the bus or train (Metra). From Lincoln Park, you can take the bus. Downtown is ~9 miles away and Lincoln Park is ~15 miles away. As in any major city, while most streets in Chicago are safe, there are obviously certain areas which are less so.

G-230743933: What is the best thing you guys like about Booth?

Ami: Hi G-230743933. Many people like the class atmosphere, people, and parties here, and I personally like the fact that the school is pushing us really hard every day. When I came, my friends were joking that I am taking a 2-year vacation. Now I can tell you for sure that it will NEVER be any vacation in this 2 years. I have been here for only 2 months, but I feel that I have learned so much more about myself and made myself a better person than in 2 years probably. You should be always be prepared to be pushed out from comfort zone and be prepared to be challenged constantly in and outside classroom. I like it the best because it helps (or pushes) me to achieve far more than I expected.

Patada: Bruno, with the increased number of Brazilians, what is the current status of Booth's soccer team? What is the team's objective in terms of results (is there a national MBA championship or something alike?). thanks

Bruno_Baratta: Patada - There's a national MBA championship, but unfortunately we didn't do very good on that one this year... There were only 2 Brazilians playing, though (I couldn't go because of an agenda conflict, for example), so hopefully we'll do better next time

Mani: Hi, I have heard that at Booth two second year students read each application. Is it possible that anyone's application gets rejected after students' reading. I mean do AdCom just look at the notes that those students make on the application or they thoroughly read the application themselves

Carrie: Hi Mani. Every application is read between 3-6 times during the admissions process, including a full read by Associate Dean Rose Martinelli. Our Admissions Fellows (trained second year students) do the first read of every application. The applications are then turned over to an admissions director, who thoroughly reads the file and makes a recommendation for an interview. At that point, Rose reads all files to make sure that the decisions were accurate. Post interview, all applications are read by at least one additional admissions director. We include various readers to ensure that we are including diverse perspectives in the process.

Jere: Does anyone think that the school is so focused on the quantitative side that leadership, negotiation and other aspects important to an MBA program are neglected?

Samantha: Hi Jere. When I was applying, I had the same fear that you have now. Leadership and all of the other non-quantitative skills are not neglected at all. In addition to LEAD, there are several classes that focus on topics like negotiation. We also have the managerial and organizational behavior concentration that deals with some of the more people-centric issues. Even within seemingly quantitative classes, professors are good at linking the topics to people making real life decisions. You also have the option to join groups like Public Speaking and the Leadership and Influence Groups.

md715: Bryan and Samantha, Can you talk about the couples random walk and how some of things that the School does to make partners and children feel apart of the Booth community

Bryan: My wife and I had a blast on our Random Walk trip. It was a great way to meet other 1st year couples, and my wife especially built a close circle of friends, all of whom had recently moved to Chicago with their spouses. As far as other avenues for partner involvement at Booth, there's a Booth Partner's Club at school that is a great resource for both partners with or without children. They often put together events for significant others, and are a great resource if you have any questions about moving your family to Chicago. Partner are also welcomed at a number of school events, including school parties and community-wide events such as the weekly Friday afternoon LPF functions.

cje123: I am looking to continue my career in investment management post MBA. Are there any specific classes and/or concentrations focused on security analysis or portfolio management? Thanks.

Ami: Hi cje123. Chicago Booth is the best school in finance, and there are so many finance classes that you can choose from, ranging from equity, fixed income, PE, real estate, financial modeling, advance financial topics, investments, portfolio management and the list goes on and on! If you are pursuing a financial career, like I am now, course offerings here is the last thing you need to worry about.

titan: Does Booth have a grade non disclosure policy? What are the benefits?

Jonathan: Hi titan. Booth does have grade non-disclosure. As for the benefits, it allows people to better balance their academics and other activities. In general, people use grade non-disclosure to focus on learning and not grades.

Carrie: Thanks for such great questions. We look forward to keeping in touch with you throughout the admissions process. If you'd like to follow-up on a particular topic, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Bruno_Baratta: Thank you all for the questions. If you have any further questions you can reach me at bbaratta@chicagobooth.edu. Hope to see at least some of you here next year. Cheers!

Samantha: Thank you for all of your great questions. If you have follow-up questions to any of my responses, feel free to e-mail me at s.stephens@chicagobooth.edu. Good luck with the application process!

Jonathan: Thanks for coming! I hope you enjoyed this chat and found it helpful. Good luck with the admission process!

Bryan: Thanks everyone for the great questions. I hope that we helped answer any concerns you guys had today. Best of luck with the application process.

Vishal: Thanks everyone for participating in today's chat! Should you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to reach out to me: vshah@chicagobooth.edu

Ami: Thank you all for joining us. I am reachable at ami.chen@chicagobooth.edu if you have further questions. Have a great day/night! ; )

Rebecca: Thanks so much for joining us! I hope we were able to answer your questions and make the ever-daunting admissions process a little bit easier. Best of luck!

Moderator: The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all.

Moderator: The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat/