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Join us for a live chat with alumni where you'll have an opportunity to learn about the impact of a Booth MBA. Representing different industries, our alumni will be available to answer your questions related to careers, their experience at Booth, the Booth alumni network, and more!

Thursday, March 29, 11 a.m. - noon CDT

From -> To Message
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you for joining our chat. Our chat will begin in 15 minutes. Feel free to familiarize yourself with our chat participants: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat/
Moderator -> Everyone Our chat will begin in 10 minutes. Feel free to review the bios of our chat participants: http://mgch.at/khfH
Moderator -> Everyone Our chat will begin in 5 minutes. Feel free to review the chat participant bios: http://mgch.at/khfH
Moderator -> Everyone Welcome to our chat about the impact of a Booth MBA! Feel free to start submitting your questions at any time to our chat participants http://mgch.at/khfH
Emily -> Everyone Hi I'm Emily, and I work in the Admissions office. Looking forward to answering your questions today.
Ann -> Everyone Hi everyone, I'm Ann. I’m looking forward to chatting with you today. As you can see from my bio, I currently am in a general management rotational program at John Deere having had rotations in Treasury, Supply Management and now Marketing. I’d be happy to answer your questions on how Booth has impacted my career in the corporate world!
Patricia -> Everyone Welcome.
Monica -> Everyone Hi everyone, I'm Monica Kumar. I graduated from Booth in June 2011. I currently work at Pepsi in a Corporate Finance role. I'm looking forward to answering any questions you might have about the Booth experience and how it's helped me in my career!
Rob -> Everyone Hi everyone! Looking forward to today's chat. I graduated from Booth in 2009 and currently live in London, UK working in investment management for PIMCO. Very happy to answer any questions you may have, on any topic!
Bart -> Everyone Hi all, looking forward to answering your questions!
Jeff -> Adam Adam - since we share a common interest in entrepreneurship and finance, I was hoping you could share a little about your favorite experiences at Booth that helped get you where you are today... select courses, student groups, internships, etc. Thanks!
Adam -> Jeff Building the New Venture with Waverly Deutsch was a phenomenal course, possibly worth the price of admission itself. The Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Group was really great as well, and I still rely on the Polsky Center for startup group support (I'm helping to organize a meetup here in Boston)
Jon_B -> Ann For Ann - what types of opportunities to Booth offer you beyond the classroom that best prepared you for your current role in strategic managmeent?
Ann -> Jon_B Jon_B, There are usually more opportunities at Booth than you’d ever have time to take part in! What best prepared me for my current role outside of class was my involvement with two career-oriented student groups – the Corporate Finance Group and the Corporate Management & Strategy Group. They both gave me exposure to companies in various industries as well as other students who had similar career interests. Booth also offers opportunities to consult directly with corporations either through experiential learning classes or case competitions.
YOK -> Rob Rob english, during your research on possible business schools what were your top 4 parameters that you used to compare business schools?
Rob -> YOK I'll give you 3 for starters!

1. Flexible curriculum – ability to tailor the MBA to suit my requirements – Chicago is unique in this area
2. Reputation – and associated pre-eminence in Finance and quality of faculty, given that I knew I wanted to stay in that field after school
3. City and location – Chicago is a fantastic place to live (vs e.g. Philadelphia!)
Desmond -> Monica Hi everyone, Thanks for taking the time out! I would like to direct a question to Monica Kumar. I read that you started off as a Corporate Banking analyst at Citi - Currently I am a in the same role at Bank of Ameria Merrill Lynch. I wanted to ask: (1) Do people understand what is Corporate Banking and the job scope? Many people commonly misunderstand it as Commercial or SME Banking, but I do work on several Debt Capital Markets transactions, syndications and senior client coverage. (2) How do Corporate Banking compare to Investment Banking from the perspective of an admissions officer? Will a Corporate Banking analyst be discounted? Thank you!
Monica -> Desmond Hi Desmond! I found people to be familiar with corporate banking but may be confused only because different banks have different nomenclature. A corporate banking analyst would never be discounted by an admissions officer compared to an investment banking analyst. Admissions (as well as employers) are looking to understand the experiences you have had, how that has shaped your career thus far and how you plan to use your past experiences to contribute to the Booth community and grow in your career!
Jon_B -> Adam For Adam - how did you feel about the exposure that Booth gave you to the types of startups that you were interested in working for after graduating?
Adam -> Jon_B I felt pretty good about the startup exposure! My summer internship happened to split my time between Hyde Park Angels (finance) and their portfolio company, GradeBeam (a software startup). I am also heavily influenced by the experiences of some of my friends at Booth and the software startups they launched while they were students -- Bump, Benchprep, Power2Switch, just to name a few.
LY -> Patricia Hi Patricia, I know u r working in pharmaceuticals now, do u have any course or experience in Booth which is specifically useful for ur pharmaceutical career
Patricia -> LY Coming in with industry experience, I was looking for classes that would expand my functional knowledge. I had spent several years in financial and consulting roles and wanted to round out my exposure to marketing, strategy and organizational structure. Additionally, I joined the Graduate Program in Healthcare and Policy to network into others across the U of C graduate programs and learn more about policy and implementation of health regulations.
NSR -> Ann Hi! Thank you very much for your help. ann I will like to know more about your background, how did you decide to work in Strategic Management, and how did Booth help you achieve this goal?
Ann -> NSR NSR: Well, I came to Booth thinking I strictly wanted to do corporate finance as I enjoyed investment banking, but had a desire to switch to the corporate rather than advisory side of finance. The exposure I received to other functions that I really knew little about through coursework and company presentations opened my eyes to a career in general management instead. Booth rounded out my skill set, so while I still have a preference for analytical work, I’m much more prepared to be effective in non-financial roles.
Shar -> Emily Hello Emily! My name is Sharada Atkuru and I am applying for the third round of admissions for 2012. Could you please inform how the third round process works? Would it be more risky than applying for the first round of the following year?
Emily -> Shar Hi Shar. The application process in Round 3 is the same as for Round 1 and 2. While we typically have less spots available, we are still looking for students who are the right fit. We encourage you to apply when you feel your application is the best it can be. Thanks!
Jeff -> Bart Bart - can you chat a little about how you landed your summer internship at Bain and how Booth helped in the process? What other companies did you consider? Thanks!
Bart -> Jeff Hi Jeff, no problem. The internship recruiting process for Consulting is pretty extensive, running from October through February, and Booth was a great help in managing it. Career Services provides more resources than you could ever use - everything from career advisors to help with your resume, to "Mocktail" which is an event that allows you to practice interacting with recruiters, to "Winterview" which is a full-day event on interviewing. In terms of what I did, networking can be important, but you really need to nail your case interview, and it can be difficult to practice effectively at first when you only have your fellow first-years to help. My suggestion would be to find a second-year who can give you some guidance early in the process!
YOK -> Monica Adam Stober and Monica Kumar what factors influenced your choices of the concentrations/majors you did at Booth. Also, from the most recent recruitment drives you have attended at Booth, what specialisations seem to be most popular with employers in the markets you work in?
Monica -> YOK Hi Yok: The flexible curriculum at Booth is great in that it encourages you to explore a wide variety of classes and concentrations. I took the classes I thought would help me in a career in finance as well as round out my skill sets and came out with concentrations in finance and economics. I wouldn't say any one concentration is more popular with employers than others. I think most employers are aware of the caliber of the curriculum at Booth and therefore are less concerned with which specific concentrations you may have.
NinnyWan -> Patricia Hi everyone-- Thanks for being here to answer questions today. Now that you all have had a bit of time since graduating, what "edge" do you think Booth gives you (if any) in the eyes of recruiters?
Patricia -> NinnyWan While Booth offers students a wide range of concentrations and classes, its focus on foundational knowledge and exposure across functions to rigorous analytic frameworks has definitely benefited me in my time post-graduation. During a time when budgets and resources are being constrained across all industries, being trained in how to find efficiencies, employ solid frameworks to structure business issues and having a strong analytical eye has been invaluable.
Nia -> Emily Hi Everyone, Thanks for conducting this session. I am an international applicant from India. I am keen to know how good it is for international applicants to apply in Round3. My background is I am into film making and production, and currently running a production house which is just two projects old.
Emily -> Nia Hi Nia. We typically advise that international students apply in rounds 1 or 2 just to give yourself ample time to prepare for the significant life change. However, round 3 decisions go out in mid-May so there is still enough time for international students who apply in round 3 to get their visas and secure living arrangements. Thanks!
StevenLeiva -> Rob Hi Rob. Could you tell me about what tools that you've picked up at Booth have helped you the most in your current position? It can be anything from being a leader to more technical aspects of your career.
Rob -> StevenLeiva Multi-fold:
1) There are technical aspects to my job, where my understanding of finance hugely benefitted from the courses I took at Booth
2) The network of people I’ve met and continue to meet via business school. There are tons of people from Chicago at PIMCO!...and am sure you will discover that at many top firms. This is an invaluable connection, that opens doors in so many ways…hard to quantify, but certainly very real.
3) Leadership skills and the chance to practice these, particularly that you are equipped with via the unique LEAD program at Chicago, but as well via the myriad of leadership opportunities that exist at school
4) The additional self-confidence that comes from going through a rigorous 2-year academic and cultural experience
I could go on…!
Jackie -> Ann Hello Ann! I wanted to know a little bit more about your rotational program and your goals and benefits of choosing a rotational program
Ann -> Jackie Jackie: You’ll learn very quickly that every rotational program is different. Some are very structured, where you spend a certain amount of time in a certain number of groups, whereas my rotational program has very little structure. I relate my experience a lot to how I managed selecting my coursework at Booth. I do the research to determine what experiences I want to have, but rely heavily on my network for guidance. My goal through this experience is to 1) figure out where in the company I most want to be (I considered myself to be too early in my career to be settled into one function already), and 2) gain a strong foundational understanding of my company so I can be an effective leader in the future.
Steve_Farr -> Monica Hi everyone; thank you for putting this panel together. I have a question for Monica in particular. With regards to your prior experience in M&A and restructuring at AIG, how did you find Booth's courses and programs to help build on your skill-set in those areas?
Monica -> Steve_Farr HI Steve, I think Booth's curriculum helped give me a deeper understanding behind the theory and strategy behind M&A and restructuring transactions. Two great courses I took at Booth were M&A Accounting and Tax and Business Strategy. These courses helped me understand the financial and strategic reasons behind the decisions i saw C-level executives make.
Shelly -> Rob Hi, I am an international applicant for Round Three. I would like to ask alumni what is the most benefit from Chicago Booth after graduation.
Rob -> Shelly Hi Shelly - see my earlier answer to StevenLeiva - I think this addresses your question too. Let me know if not and I can try be more specific.
Hugh_Le -> Adam Hi Adam, can you expand on your experience with Hyde Park Angels? What specific roles did you assume and what were some of the outputs you delivered?
Adam -> Hugh_Le Hi Hugh, Hyde Park Angels is a really great experience for people interested in startups. It's actually somewhat competitive to get involved with HPA without significant prior startup experience -- I only got my opportunity after applying 3 different times (Fall, Spring, Summer) and getting to know Professor Weiss through his Taxes and Business Strategy course. I did some work evaluating and sourcing deals, but most of my work was at the portfolio company level, where I worked alongside the CEO of GradeBeam.com
Moderator -> Everyone Thanks for all of your great questions. Keep them coming and we will answer as many as we can.
nishantk -> Bart Hi All, Bart coming from an IT background what motivated you to apply to B school and how did Booth help you reach your post MBA goals
Bart -> nishantk Hi nishantk, good question! I'm still very much interested in technology and expect that I'll return to that space someday, but prior to business school I found that I wasn't getting the top-level perspective that I would need to start or run a business. Obviously Booth was a huge help on that front as it gave me an opportunity to build on my CS degree - the breadth and depth of classes available to you are just incredible. I didn't really intend to go back to consulting initially, but Bain offered the opportunity to continue that education, and it turned out to be a great fit for me. As I mentioned above, there is no way I would have been successful in my job search without the help of Career Services and my classmates.
Steve_Farr -> Emily Emily, what types of programs/receptions does Booth offer for admitted students to get to know each other and acclimate to Booth?
Emily -> Steve_Farr Hi Steve. Each round we host an Admit Weekend here on campus. It is a weekend packed with programming and events to allow students the chance to experience life at Booth as well as meet future classmates and current students. In addition, we host receptions in major cities in the US which allow admitted students to interact with future classmates from their area as well as alumni and Booth staff. Some of our alumni also host events internationally for admitted students in their area. Informally, admitted students will plan outings with other admitted students in the area to connect and get to know each other. Thanks for the question!
Jackie -> Ann Also I wanted to know in general if many different recruiters offer rotational programs at booth and are they in a variety of industries?
Ann -> Jackie Jackie: To answer your follow-up question, yes I thought there were several companies who recruited at Booth for rotational programs. As I mentioned before though, you have to do your homework because each program is different. Some are focused on a particular function, some are more structured than others, and each one has a little different purpose behind having the rotational program in their company. The nice thing is that most of those companies spend time on campus so you have the opportunity to ask each company about what makes their program unique. And yes, many different industries use these types of programs – manufacturing, finance, consumer products, etc.
MelissaH -> Rob Hi Monica & Rob - Can you tell me about your current responsibilities at your job? And what courses did you take at Booth that helped you in your duties?
Rob -> MelissaH I’m responsible for managing PIMCO’s institutional client relationships in the Middle East – specifically I cover the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. I’m also responsible for building our business in this region (i.e. raising more AUM). In terms of courses that helped, I majored in Finance and Economics…so I did many of the more quanty courses. However, for example, I am currently involved in negotiating a contract with a prospect where my Negotiations class is proving invaluable. And everyday, I feel like the soft skills from LEAD are relevant in so many different interactions you have in the work place.
Poonam -> Monica For Monica- I intend to do major in finance. after working as a finance manager/analyst for few years I plan to go back to India to start my own finance consulting. Which courses (finance, accounting, entrepreneurship etc) you suggest me to take during my MBA?
Monica -> Poonam HI Poonam, there are so many great finance, accounting and entrepreneurship courses at Booth. Here are ones you might find particularly useful:
- Building the new venture is a great entrepreneurial class
- Cases in Financial Management is a great course where each week you dissect a difference case study in a financial decision made by senior management
- any accounting course. Booth offers such an amazing selection of accounting courses that help you explore a wide arrange of accounting topics. i particularly like Taxes and Business Strategy as well as Footnote accounting where you dive deeper into more advanced accounting issues
Andrew -> Patricia Maybe just as a general opening question, would anyone like to talk about the things that stood out most about Booth to you during your school search?
Patricia -> Andrew HI Andrew. During my search for schools, what initially drew me to Booth were my interactions with admissions and students at various events. I always felt very comfortable and found myself in fascinating conversations. As I started to narrow my search, I found the Booth faculty, student body, environment, and program offerings to be a perfect fit for me. In the end, it was the only school I applied to.
Sumat_Mittal -> Emily To Emily - How much is diversity a factor during the admission process at Booth? Is it preferable to bring several skills to the table?
Emily -> Sumat_Mittal Hi Sumat. Thanks for the question! We are always looking to build a community in which students bring different perspectives. Therefore, we look for diversity in every aspect so our class has students that are from different areas of the world, have different educational and/or professional backgrounds, have different interests, etc.
ethum86 -> Bart Hi Bart - What Booth resources, courses, and/or opportunities did you take advantage of that helped you find your post-MBA role at Bain? Also, what advice do you have for career changers looking to segue into the management consulting industry? Thank you!
Bart -> ethum86 ethum86 - the consulting firms will generally teach you all the specifics you need to know to fulfill your role on a case team, but there is an expectation that you have strong analytical abilities and an understanding of basic business disciplines. With that in mind, I would encourage you to go broad in your first-year classes - economics, statistics, operations, competitive strategy, marketing, accounting, potentially introductory entrepreneurship. Armed with that knowledge and some strong Excel skills (take a modeling class or one of the seminars offered through the career groups) you'll be in great shape to earn your chosen internship and perform well over the course of the summer.
John_Ku -> Emily Can you tell me what the average age of MBA students is at Chicago and how the "over 30" or young 30s group is? Many thanks
Emily -> John_Ku Hi John. The average age of our students is 27, however we accept students earlier and later in their careers. Thanks!
Steve_Farr -> Rob Rob, I'm currently pursuing my CFA (Level II in June), did you find it helpful to have for your courses? Also, given the substantial time commitment it requires, would you recommend continuing with the program on top of a regular course load?
Rob -> Steve_Farr Hi Steve - I actually took Level 1 and 2 during my second year...and Level 3 during my first year at PIMCO. So it's certainly managable to do both in conjunction, and lots of people at b-school do that. Undoubtably the CFA will be helpful and complimentary for your courses, but also not a substitute. The level of detail and understanding from your MBA studies is arguably much deeper than vs the CFA...which is as much about passing an exam! In conjuunction though, they are a great combination, and anyone with a Booth MBA and the CFA is going to be held in high regard by a finance-related employers.
alphad7 -> Monica Hi Monica, This is Dinesh. Not sure if you remember but we were in the same analyst class at Citi. Would love to hear about why you chose Booth and the experience thereafter?
Monica -> alphad7 Hi Dinesh! I chose Booth for a number of reasons:
1. The flexible curriculum - Booth does not have many requirements in terms of classes which leaves students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of classes
2. The people - the faculty is remarkable and obviously very well decorated. i was equally impressed with the students. It is a very cohesive class where the students are trying to help each other. The student body is collaborate and caring, not competitive. I found it to be a very supportive environment between the faculty, students and career services. I think Booth prepared me very well with finding a job I was excited about and would excel in. I hope you're doing well!
Sumat_Mittal -> Bart Hi guys. Thank you so much for taking out the time to answer our queries. This would enable us to make a more informed decision. Bart, what concentrations did you take up at Booth that aided you in your quest to become a consultant? Further, what steps did you undertake before your MBA to better prepare yourself?
Bart -> Sumat_Mittal Sumat_Mittal - No problem! I really enjoyed my time at Booth, so I'm very happy to do it. My concentrations were Strategic Management, Economics, Finance, and Entrepreneurship (accidentally!) and I think they each played an important role once I started my internship and post-MBA career. While preparing for the recruiting process, again I think it's important to build a broad base and really understand the fundamentals - this will set you up well for success in interviews and beyond.
mjlong -> Patricia Thank you for your time, everyone. Can you please speak to your experience with your Booth colleagues? More specifically, where do you feel the student body as a whole falls on the continuum of "very competitive" to "very cooperative?"
Patricia -> mjlong That's an interesting question. Being in an environment with so many incredibly driven, intelligent, accomplished people, I think I would have expected it to be more competitive. However, going through the program I found it to be the exact opposite. Everyone was in the same boat; I think we all helped one another out in challenging times and celebrated the good times together. That being said, I think being in that environment with highly accomplished people and incredible faculty prepares you for the competitive environment you will face in your career.
GregD -> Adam Adam: How do you feel the IMBA differentiated your Booth education? Looking back, would you do it again?
Adam -> GregD The IMBA shows a differentiated education that includes a combination of International Business classes, language expertise, and international experience. I would definitely do it again, as I am a big believer in the value of a global perspective. Feel free to check out my blog post on the IMBA if you're interested in reading more about my experience! :) http://www.adamstober.com/2/post/2010/11/what-about-the-international-mba.html
Darell -> Emily Hi Emily - what advice can you provide for prospective students, specifically in regards to the essays, that one can take to help their application standout from the rest of the applicant pool?
Emily -> Darell Hi Darell. In regards to the essays, take the time to reflect on who you are and what you want to convey to the admissions team. The best essays are those that, after reading, we feel like we really got to know the applicant. Thanks!
Charles_Okoye -> Bart Bart, I am interested in switching to management consulting post-MBA. Do you have any advice on what can be done prior to matriculation to prepare?
Bart -> Charles_Okoye Charles_Okoye - fortunately, there's not much you can do now, so just enjoy your spring and summer! If you're really set on doing everything you can, many of the firms offer "get to know us" type receptions over the summer, and some even offer pre-MBA internships. Your best bet is to work through the careers website of each firm and sign up for information related to these opportunities. If you've never been exposed to business basics, you could consider taking the pre-MBA classes at Booth - that would potentially allow you to reduce the overwhelming feeling you're sure to get when recruiting starts in October.
dvd -> Emily Hello, my name is David. Thank you for doing this! I wonder if 24 years old is too "young" for MBA, esp. a Booth MBA, thanks!
Emily -> dvd Hi David. We have people that come in with 3 years of work experience and we have people that come in with 10. It is all about understanding when you are ready for an MBA and being able to convey why now is the right time to pursue your MBA. Thanks!
Jack -> Adam Hello. Regarding the IMBA degree: is it realistic to begin studying an all new language at the beginning of the program and achieve proficiency before the end? Does it help to study the summer before starting school? Thanks
Adam -> Jack Hi Jack, it's not realistic for most people to begin studying an all new language to pass the IMBA language proficiency test. You take a 30 minute verbal exam and need to show conversational proficiency. At the same time, you can still do IBEP (an exchange term) and earn a concentration in International Business, which many more people enjoy.
Elina_Tunyan -> Ann Hi Ann, Elina here and I see that you're in the strategic management rotational program at John Deer - this is an area that I'd like to get more exposure. Can you tell a little about your rotation and what it entails? I have a similiar background in financial analysis and FP&A.
Ann -> Elina_Tunyan Elina: The Strategic Management Program at Deere is one that allows you to explore various parts of the enterprise – strategy, finance, marketing, operations, etc. You have a lot of control over what experiences you want and the program gives you a way to make broader jumps than what would typically be made (moving from treasury to the factory floor, for example). My first rotation was raising capital through debt issuances to help fund our captive finance company, my second related to our sourcing strategy for drivetrain components, and now I’m doing a strategic marketing project that is looking at how we distribute certain products through our dealer channel. But that’s just my experience and everyone in my program has taken a different path. You’ll find that rotational programs are a tough nut to crack because no two are the same.
MichaelF -> Monica For Monica - In my current role in corporate finance, I find that being able to influence others in a team is critical to my success. What sort of opportunities are there available at Booth that helped you refine your ability to synthesize data into a message that can then be used in practical decision making and understood by a larger group?
Monica -> MichaelF Hi Michael! Booth helps prepare students to work effectively in groups. In most classes, you work in groups which helps you learn how to effectively work and influence peers. Also, the LEAD program, which all first years take together, helps students learn and practice the softer skills of leadership and communication. There is also a Leadership & Influence Group at Booth, which I was a co-chair of. This group focuses exactly on the question you asked and aims to provide students with opportunities to refine their leadership skills. In all, Booth offers ample opportunities in helping students become more effective leaders.
Moderator -> Everyone We have received many wonderful questions and will try to answer as many of them as we can. Thanks for your patience!
LY -> Patricia For Patricia- Besides Graduate Program in Healthcare and Policy what else in Booth do u think could be useful to found pharmaceutical startup post MBA? Thanks
Patricia -> LY The GPHAP program was great to specialize my education. I found that to be of particular interest to healthcare recruiters during my interviews. Longer-term I hope to return back to earlier stage biotech or life science VC. I found the several of the Strategy/ Entrepreneurship/VC courses helpful - New Venture Strategies, Building the New Venture, and Management Labs are among some of them. Additionally, I found opportunities to connect myself into the hospital and technology transfer office - through which I worked on a business plan for a product developed by a U of C doctor. That was a incredible experience.
JacksonDunlap -> Rob Rob - Would you be able to speak to the accessibility of positions/recruiting in Europe for Booth Alums? I noticed you had previous experience there, but are there other folks who recruited successfully without?
Rob -> JacksonDunlap Sure, from my class, and this applies more broadly, it is certainly possible to recruit for European based positions from Booth without pior experience in the region. Of course, you'll need to have a 'story' and rationale for why you may want to live and work in e.g. London, but there are lots of opportunities internationally. During the Thanksgiving break in November every year, there is a EuroTrek, where 1st year students visit London and set up meetings with companies there - I hosted a group of Chicago 1st years at PIMCO last fall! At the same time, there is a huge 'London Banking Days' event organized in conjunction with all the major Investment Banks and the top US business schools, which you can attend if you're interested in that field. As well the trip focuses on consulting, investment management, marketing and general corporate opportunties.
Khushi -> Emily Hi Emily !Looking at the innovative, Quantitative, renowned faculty and analytical nature of curriculum at Booth, I am keenly interested in the program. Even if I dont get this year I am planning to reapply next year. How the reapplication affects the admission approval?Thanks
Emily -> Khushi Hi Khushi. We review reapplicants the same way we view new applicants and every year we have admitted students who are reapplicants from previous years. Thanks!
Brad -> Ann Also for Ann, since I'm currently in a corporate strategy role... what speakers did you find most interesting during your time at booth? Did you find that this was a significant part of your experience?
Ann -> Brad Brad: I was at Booth in the middle of the financial crisis, which meant the school held several faculty panels to discuss what was happening in the economy from week to week. I loved getting that direct exposure to experts on very current issues. But, related to my career, I think I benefited most from company presentations and lunch and learns held by the student groups. Since corporate roles can mean so many things, this was the best way for me to really understand, “Ok, what exactly do you do and why?” That helped me solidify my understanding of what I did and did not want to do, and who I did and did not want to work for.
Khushi -> Monica Hi Monica! What surprised you most after enrolling at School Booth? Many thanks..
Monica -> Khushi Hi Khushi! Wow, that is a tough question because so much surprised me after enrolling at Booth. But I think what i was most surprised about were my peers. I knew I would be impressed by the faculty and the curriculum but I didn't realize just how awesome my classmates would be! There was so much diversity. Not only did my classmates come from all parts of the world, but they all had such incredible diverse experiences. Despite all of the differences, the student body is incredible close and cohesive!
Elina_Tunyan -> Rob Hi Rob, I'm very interested in living in London upon graduating from business school. Did you feel like there were a lot of opportunities available to you when interviewing?
Rob -> Elina_Tunyan Certainly, I felt there were many opportunities. From my personal experience, which was in Finance, it was possible to interview with all the major Investment Banks and Asset Managers. Hedge Fund recruiting is somewhat different, and there is more onus on you individually to establish contacts etc given that these are not institutions that typically hire MBAs. On a side note, and not London specific, but AQR, which is one of the world's most successful quant hedge funds, and founded by Cliff Asness, a Chicago PhD and MBA, has a campus presensce and certainly hires from Booth.
HR -> JodyG Question for Jody: as a fan of bespoke suits, congrats on the very interesting career! I noticed that you went from Booth into Investment Banking and then to Alton Lane. Did you find any difficulty in balancing your schedule to take finance and entrepreneurship classes? How did Booth best prepare you to work at a startup? Thank you!
JodyG -> HR My advice is to take as many different classes as you possibly can. Take advantage of the labs - whether it be private equity lab, Hyde Parks angels etc. Find that mix of in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences that will really give you insight into working for a start-up or how to think about investments in start ups. Short term I knew I wanted to do investment banking for the experience and skill set but in the back of my mind, I knew I was an entrepreneur at heart. I took advantage of the Polsky center and worked with start-up CaptainU my second year, which provided a phenomenal experience of learning how to build a business from the ground up.
Poonam -> Ann For Ann- I've heard great things about Booth alumni network and job prospective in Chicago booth.Can you please tell me little more about it.
Ann -> Poonam Poonam: From my experience, the alumni network was very helpful in my job search. I was focusing on the Midwest (namely MO, IL, IA, KS) and because there are fewer major cities in that area and therefore fewer employers who came to campus to recruit, I relied on the alumni network to learn more about companies in cities I was most interested. There were multiple times I would email an alum out of the blue to ask for an informational interview and I got a positive response usually within a day or two. Having that immediate connection within a company really helps when trying to gain traction with companies who do not actively recruit at Booth.
Andrew -> Patricia For anyone, is there anything you know now about Booth that maybe you did not realize during your own research, and that you now find really unique or attractive about the program?
Patricia -> Andrew I think when I was doing my search, some schools really promoted their alumni network. While I knew the U of C business school had a great reputation, I think I was underestimating the strength of our network and how influential and wide-reaching it is. Additionally, the support I received during recruiting (and seeing the level career support Booth provided to students even after graduation, particularly during the bank failures in 2008-2009) was more than I could have ever expected.
LY -> Rob For Rob-Do u think CFA covers all the financial related knowledge in MBA? Thanks
Rob -> LY Certainly not! The education from Booth in Finance is way more rigorous. With your MBA you sit in 3-hour long lectures each week for 10 weeks with the likes of Eugene Fama and Raghuram Rajan! This is invaluable exposure to some of the greatest academic minds in Finance. Compare that to sitting at home and reading your CFA Schweser notes! In all seriousness, I think the combination of an MBA and the CFA is a great one, but they are complimentary not substitutes.
Jerry -> Emily Hi, what advice can you provide for a waitlisted applicant who wants to show that he really wants to attend booth? Booth is my first choice. Can I make a trip to visit Booth. Also, do you have any tips for the new video submission option for waitlisted applicants?
Emily -> Jerry Hi Jerry. Visiting campus is not necessary, but some students choose to visit in order to get to know the campus and community better. One of the reasons we added the video submission is to enable those that cannot visit campus and additional way to get in touch. It simply is another means for us to get to know you better. Thanks!
Dorothy -> Monica For any of the ladies... What sort of groups/programs does Booth offer to support women in business? Are there mentoring programs? How did being a woman affect your time at Booth, and your current career?
Monica -> Dorothy Hi Dorothy! There is a great student group, CWIB (Chicago Women in Business) that offers support and mentoring. They also organize great networking events as well as other fun events for ladies like golf lessons and workshops with panelists to address issues common to women in the workplace.
Anup -> Emily i wanted to ask that do you have any specialized MBA in International Studies..?
Emily -> Anup Hi Anup. We have the international MBA or iMBA, and we also have a Master's in International Relations. I encourage you to check out our website for more information. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/academics/international/index.aspx
Willem -> Ann For: Ann, could you expand on the two groups you were involved with, Corp Fin. Group and Corp Mgmt & Strategy Group. Is that a student run organization where you have real clients? What kind of work did you do for them? Thanks
Ann -> Willem Willem: The role of these career-oriented student groups was to help students learn about career opportunities, network with sponsor companies, and leverage other students who could help you develop your resume and practice for interviews. They are student run, usually by a committee of 3-5 co-chairs. The opportunities to consult with companies directly were primarily run through experiential learning programs managed by Booth. I’m sure Admissions would be able to discuss those opportunities in more detail with you as I’m sure the companies and projects change each year.
Steve_Farr -> Adam Adam, how did you find Booth's recruitment process? I imagine a small tech start-up isn't the typical company recruiting from Booth (I could be wrong) so I was curious how you pursued a career at Fiksu. Thank you.
Adam -> Steve_Farr Hi Steve, this is a really great question. I want to highlight that the path I took is very far from traditional for MBAs. Not only did I make a point of joining a small tech company as opposed to a larger firm with MBA graduate programs, I also did a career switch in terms of function from investment management to marketing. I am not sure that I would advise future Booth graduates to try both changes at once, since small tech start-ups do not typically hire recent MBAs who do not have experience in their specific field. To make my transition, I did not participate heavily in the robust on-campus recruiting process, and was instead extremely proactive in getting in front of VCs and early stage companies in my target market, Boston. I ultimately found success connecting with my current startup through a Booth connection who was working with my firm's VC investors--a great introduction!
TimTopicz -> Patricia Hello Patricia, I would be interested in hearing more about your experience in the LEAD class, did you find that you forged many of your friendships through that experience?
Patricia -> TimTopicz Absolutely. I must admit that I felt being in Chicago prior to business schoool gave me a slightly different experience when starting school. I already had a base of friends/support in the area and had developed a routine. That being said, I definitely wanted to get the full MBA experience and develop strong bonds with my fellow classmates. I had close friends that came from a lot of my experiences (Management Labs, working in the hospital, helping develop a new start-up), but my LEAD friends and I went on several trips and still keep in close contact.
SB -> JodyG For Jody: I noticed that you transitioned out of banking and into an operations role. Was that your intention when you began your MBA? Do you feel that the Booth program, which has a reputation for being finance-orientated, helped flesh out your skill set?
JodyG -> SB Absolutely - one of the things about Chicago that really sets it apart is the academic rigor of its in-classroom and lab courses. Other top 5 schools are even ratcheting up their rigor to match Chicago's - and they rightly should. Being comfortable with analysis and numbers is the absolutely cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Understanding how to structure your company, how to incentive your employees with the right options plan and how to think through the impacts of those decisions is so important. Moreover, while Chicago does have a reputation for finance, it is really quite strong in marketing, management and entrepreneurship too. Just look at the faculty!
dholmes -> Emily For Emily, my name is Darius. In an earlier answer you said that the admissions office received applications from people with 3 and some with 10 years of experience. My only work experience so far has been internships (3 years worth) and I'm currently getting my masters in math. Is it too soon for me to apply for a MBA? I do believe I can convey that a MBA is the best career move I can make now.
Emily -> dholmes Hi Darius. In clarification, we don't have a set amount of years of work experience to be admitted. We admit students with a wide range of work experience. We are looking for students who know and are able to convey why now is the right time in their life to get their MBA. Thanks!
dvd -> Adam Dear Adam, I'm from Tufts as well! Do you know Booth's reputation on the east coast, esp. in terms of job placement? Thanks!!!
Adam -> dvd Alright, go Jumbos! Booth's reputation is strong here on the east coast. While Chicago might be most well reputed among Finance firms in NYC, Chicago is certainly respected as a top tier institution here in Boston, alongside local players like Tuck, MIT, and Harvard. More important than your school is your focus on industry and location. For example, if you already know you want to work in investment management in Boston, or Consulting in NYC, you have a great opportunity to pursue that track from any of these schools.
Steve_Farr -> Ann Ann, I was hoping you could touch on the Corporate Finance Group. What types of activities/events did the group participate in, and how did the group further you understanding of FR&A?
Ann -> Steve_Farr Steve: The primary activities of the Corporate Finance Group were lunch and learn presentations from sponsor companies, resume building and interview prep, and a formal annual symposium where we’d have networking with sponsor companies and a guest speaker to present on a relevant topic (my second year, we had the Treasurer from John Deere come speak about maintaining liquidity during the financial crisis). The lunch and learns varied in subject, but would include case study discussions or career management discussions. And of course, by your involvement in these student groups, you develop relationships with other students who have held roles in Corporate Finance and are wonderful resources.
zonghan -> Rob For Rob, compare with your previous business education, how Booth further sharp you professional skills and increase network?
Rob -> zonghan Booth undoubtedly enhanced my 'toolkit', both in terms of knowledge that is relevant to my career in Finance, but also more broadly with respect to my leadership skills and self-confidence to work in an intense environment, surrounded by lots of smart people. The network from Booth is invaluable. As I've mentioned in other answers, there are a lot of Booth alum at PIMCO, and this instantly gives you a connection with someone. And more generally, I have leveraged the Booth network from day 1, reaching out to alum when I was an applicant, to speaking to alum through internship job interviews while at Chicago. I was always so impressed by how willing alumni were to help and offer advice and that was a big decision in me deciding to go to Booth. Just this week I was emailed by an alum who I didn't know, asking for advice on Investment Management. And I'm due to meet him for coffee tomorrow! These intangible benefits and the sense of community are a key feature of business school and certainly feature very strongly at Booth.
Nik -> Emily Hi Emily, on reapplications - is it necessary for applicants to submit a new set of recommendations?
Emily -> Nik Hi Nik. While it is not required, it is a good opportunity for us to see a different perspective. Also, we will have your application from the previous year while we review your current application. Thanks!
Moderator -> Everyone We have 5 minutes left in the chat. We will answer as many questions as we can in the remaining time. Thank you.
Steve_Farr -> Rob Hi Rob, I was wondering how a Booth MBA has opened up opportunities for you in the U.K.? Is Booth's program as reputable overseas as it is in the U.S.?
Rob -> Steve_Farr Undoubtedly. If you want a job in Finance, then everyone knows, be they in London, NYC of Hong Kong, that Chicago is number 1! Joking aside (although it's only partly a joke!), every major Finance firm that you can think of interviews on campus for their London offices.
YL -> Adam Hi Adam, I plan to pursue a start-up career upon MBA graduation. I see that you are working for a start-up company, and I am wondering what kind of resources does Booth offer to help you secure your job. As I am also considering joining a start-up to gain some initial experience.
Adam -> YL Yes, if you're truly interested in entrepreneurship, I highly recommend getting some experience to show you are a "startup type." Better yet, consider a small venture of your own! There is no better way to get involved in the startup community than having your own project.
NinnyWan -> Monica Where do the majority of Booth students live? I've heard downtown/loop is quite common, but have also heard differing perspectives on the "majority"...
Monica -> NinnyWan Hi! Chicago is a great city with a lot of great neighborhoods to live. A VERY rough estimate is that about 10% of students live in Hyde Park, about 40-50% live in the Loop / Downtown since that is close to the Metra and the remainder live in the more northern neighborhoods (river north, gold coast, lincoln park, wicker park, lakeview). People who live in the more northern neighborhoods usually drive to school. No matter where you live, you'll love Chicago!
LY -> Patricia For Patricia-Thanks so much for answering my questions today. I'm also thinking about going into VC, do you have any recommendations in the seminars or events offered by the polsky center for entrepreneurship or any student club for such purpose?
Patricia -> LY One of the great things about VC is also one of the toughest, in that it's heavily reliant not just on your intelligence and experience, but on your network. There are lots of opportunities to get connected to a start-up project, either through contacts/ recommendations from faculty or the Polsky center. I think competiting in the new venture challenge and the new venture investment competition. You could also get into a venture lab; while I didn't have that experience, I know a number of people who did and spoke very highly of the knowledge they took from those efforts. To be honest, looking back I wish I had participated in more.
Brad -> Ann As a general question: how much of your learning at Booth was collaborative? Did you tend to work with the same group on a consistent basis?
Ann -> Brad Brad: I’d say about 75% of my coursework was collaborative. I often say that you tend to learn as much from your classmates as you do the faculty and working in teams helped you gain that knowledge. Your groups would usually vary from class to class because no one had the same schedule.
Steve_Farr -> JodyG Hi Jody. I was hoping you could provide some insight into the LEAD process. How did you find the program as a 1st year and again as a LEAD Facilitator during your second term? Thank you.
JodyG -> Steve_Farr Building the right team is so critical in any company. It's make or break in the start-up world. The LEAD class as a first year was not only a lot of fun and a chance to meet other first years, but it taught me how to think about some of the core principles of working in a team - from a leader to a supporter and everywhere in between. As a facilitator, you have the opportunity to craft and create an experience for first years, and that responsibility helps you understand really what it takes to be a leader and how much preparation really goes on behind the scenes to be effective.
TimTopicz -> Bart Hello panel! Tim Topicz here (prospective boothie). Thank you for organizing the chat. A question for the entire panel, I would be interested in hearing your general thoughts on the role of co-curricular activities in the booth community. Specifically, do most students elect to participate and, in your opinion, is there an optimal mix between participation in professional focused groups and more socially-oriented groups groups? Thank you for your responses!
Bart -> TimTopicz TimTopicz - great question. One common misperception is that because many Booth students live a few miles from campus in downtown Chicago, we don't have a strong community. The Harper Center and especially our dozens of student groups offer plenty of options to build strong relationships and completely take over your free time! Basically everyone participates in at least one or two groups, and frequently quite a few more. I would recommend that you participate in the group(s) related to your career choice (Management Consulting in my case), but most of my best friends came through my social group affiliations. I'll put in a plug for the Epicurean Club and especially the one I led second-year, the Ski & Snowboard Club. Go on the ski trip as a first-year - I met a ton of great people, both in my class and in the second-year class (including Ann and Patricia). Tying it all the way back to careers, my new second-year friends were great for case prep!
Andrea_Poldoian -> Adam Adam, you mentioned that your target market was Boston, as is mine. While you said you didn't participate heavily in on-campus recruiting, can you speak to the level of recruitment interest Booth typically sees from Boston employers? For instance, do many Boston companies recruit at Booth or are they more focused on local schools such as HBS and Sloan? Does it become more difficult for Booth students to get Boston job opportunities because of the shear distance? Thanks!
Adam -> Andrea_Poldoian Hi Andrea, I can speak to the level of on-campus recruitment for Boston only from friends who have landed at firms here like Bain, P&G, Fidelity, John Hancock, Sirios, and many more. The distance from Chicago to Boston should not be seen as a challenge. Chicago is a global school and these companies recruit from Chicago as one of their top schools.
Artem -> Rob How international does Chicago Booth really feel?
Rob -> Artem Very. Ultimately, you decide how international you want your experience to be. If all your friends at school are from the US, then it's more likely that some aspects of your experience will feel more local. In contrast, I lived with a French guy and two Americans in my second year...so my American buddies certainly got a very international experience living with a Brit and a French man!
Komandur -> Adam Hello Adam, I just read through your IMBA blog, great collection of thoughts! I was very keen on your account of Prof Mian's Entrepreneurship in Emerging markets class. Is there was any lab or experiential learning where students could get some field and hands-on experience at a developing country?
Adam -> Komandur I did a 3 month exchange program in Mexico City, which is quite experiential! While I have lived in Canada, the US, and Spain, I was quite intent on hands-on experience in a developing country, and Booth not only enables that to happen but it encourages international experience! Most full-time MBAs, by contrast, do not provide the flexibility to spend as long as 3 months studying in a different country.
Benipal -> Ann Hi, this question is for Ann Snider. Can you talk about how easy or difficult was to switch from Investment banking to Strategic management leadership program at John Deere. How did Booth experience prepare you for that kind of role? Is there anything that you would recommend to prospective Booth applicants who are interested switching careers from one industry to another?
Ann -> Benipal Benipal: Booth is full of career switchers, so know that there will be plenty of resources available to help you manage whatever type of switch you’re wanting to make. My switch from investment banking to general management was not too tough, but I did have to have a convincing story for why I wanted to make that change. I also geared my coursework to show I was pursuing knowledge in areas outside of finance too.
KR -> Patricia Hi Patricia! Did you find it challenging to fulfill GPHAP requirements while taking advantage of Booth course offerings?
Patricia -> KR Definitely not. I knew attending to my Booth education took precidence. The GPHAP classes generally didn't have schedule overlaps with the classes I wanted to take at Booth. Particulary since most Booth classes will be offered several times during your 2 years. I would also say the GPHAP classes and requirements are not overly time consuming. You can make it as rigorus as you choose - for example I did a rotation working in the cardiovascular unit at medical center on a patient outcomes project. That was something I wanted to do through the program, but by no means a requirement. I found that the GPHAP program gave me a way to differentiate myself and my experience - to further illustrate my committment to the heathcare space.
Moderator -> Everyone Thank you for participating in our chat. The chat has now ended. The transcript will be posted in 48 hours at: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat/
Emily -> Everyone Thanks everyone! It was great chatting with you.
Ann -> Everyone It was a pleasure chatting with you all today! Thanks for participating!
Bart -> Everyone Thanks all - great chatting with you!
Adam -> Everyone Great chat! Nice to "see" some old friends and great to "meet" the rest of you. Cheers!
Rob -> Everyone Thanks everyone! Great chatting with so many of you. Best, Rob
Monica -> Everyone Thanks everyone! It was great chatting with you!