Live Chat with Weekend MBA Program Admissions
Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Admissions Directors and current students will chat with prospective students about the admissions process, admissions interviews, and more!
December 15, 2009—12:00-1:00PM CST
Crystal: Good Afternoon! Thank you for joining us! I'm Crystal Smith, Assistant Director of Admissions and an also an Evening Student. Feel free to ask me anything! I look forward to chatting with you!
Ellie: Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us today. My name is Ellie McDonald and I am an assistant director of admissions as well as a current student here at Chicago Booth. I look forward to answering your questions about the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs.
Moderator: Thanks for joining us! This chat is scheduled to run for 1 hour. If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask them now!
George: Welcome to the E/W chat. We are very excited to speak to you today. Don't hesitate to ask any questions; the harder the better. We all have our coffee and are ready to go!
JosephKim: How is the volume of applicants this year compared to last year?
George: We are down a bit. The change in employer tuition reimbursement has caused some applicants to drop out.
mkargar: I did not feel well during my GMAT test and I scored way belloe the numbers I used to get. My total score was 640! I have a PhD in electronics and have a pretty broad math and statistics background. Do you think I should retake GMAT eventhough I hold an engineering PhD to increase my chances to get admission?
Crystal: Hello. While we look at the application from a holistic standpoint, the GMAT is still very important, if you feel like you can take it again, feel free to do so. We always look at the highest score. Our average GMAT is approx. 680.
reapp: Hi, I am a re-applicant to the Evening program. Aside from the usual areas like gpa, gmat scores and fit, can you talk to the things you look for in re-applicants?
Ellie: Great question! Aside from the areas you mentioned above, the Admissions team also looks for the professional progression you have accomplished from the last time you applied (additional roles and responsibilities, promotions, bonuses, etc).
DominicP: If you are applying to the evening program, can you begin the program during any of the 4 quarters?
Crystal: Sure! You can enter in the quarter that you apply to. We admit and start four times a year!
brianross: thank you for putting this together. has there been a change either good or bad on admissions and the admissions process with the downturn in the economy over the last few years
Gretchen: No not really. The number of applicants is down slightly (see previous comment) but the quality of applicants is higher.
DominicP: Is Financial Aid available for the evening program?
Ellie: Yes Dominic, Financial Aid is available for all Evening MBA students. Both federal and private loans are available. The one requirement to qualify for Financial Aid is that the student needs to take two classes a quarter.
JShooks: Are the concentrations available to weekend students identical to those available to full-time students, or is the selection limited?
Ellie: The concentrations are the exact same for all Chicago Booth students. We currently have 14 concentrations available.
plkuzma: Hi, regarding interviews - is your intent to gauge communication skills, career goals, explore the resume, all of the above?
Crystal: All of the above. The interview is designed to hear how you articulate your story verbally. It's a great help in assisting us with learning more about you and how you would fit in this environment.
reapp: Can you talk about weekend studentâ€™s experience with OCR? Do employers hold recruiting events on the weekend, or are local, evening students really only eligible to participate, upon reaching the appropriate number of courses?
George: To facilitate Weekend student’s needs, we hold all our Career Services OCR training events on Saturday. Actual recruiting events still happen on the company's timeframe and that is usually during the day. Some Weekend students will contact the company and explain their situation and arrange an interview at the company or another offsite location. All students (full-time and part-time) cannot interview until they have completed class 12. This is done to insure that the student can graduate in time to accept an offer if it is proffered.
Shane: When are the upcoming dates for Booth open houses?
Crystal: Hi Shane, we have an Open House every month. the next event is January 8th. View the link to learn more about future dates. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/admissions/events/openhouses.aspx
ateetdave: A large part of the MBA experience is group work. Is it difficult for teams to meet consistently due to everyone's varied work schedules?
Ellie: Great question! It all depends on how your group wishes to meet. Some groups are formed with individuals who prefer to meet in person and others are formed with people who prefer to meet over conference calls and emails. The students understand that everyone is extremely busy and therefore, we are all very flexible in times and places to meet.
ateetdave: Do professors have office hours at both Booth locations? (Gleacher Center and Hyde Park)
George: Yes. We have faculty offices on the fourth floor at Gleacher. Faculty will meet before and after class. Additionally they will meet you at Harper during their posted office hours.
VikR: Hi - Can you talk about the teaching style in part time (esp. with regards to faculty) - and how does it compare with the Fulltime program. Individuals at my company warn me that part time professors are different from Full time - Can you comment on that w.r.t. chicago booth?
Ellie: The teaching styles are the exact same in both the full-time and part-time programs and the professors are the exact same as well. The Chicago Approach is a very interactive, discussion-filled classroom environment. There is a lot of interaction between the professors and the students.
Lordia: How do you ensure that you have a diverse pool of students?
Crystal: Lordia, Chicago Booth views diversity in many different ways. We value diversity in applicant’s academic, professional, and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity of thought, ideas, and concepts are also very important is it relates to the classroom dynamic.
Canada_app: Hi - I am a Canadian resident and am working in Toronto. My current employer has hinted at the possibility that I may be eligible for a transfer to our US office should I decide to pursue a PT-MBA degree. I'm wondering if I will be permitted to switch between the Evening program and the Weekend program should my circumstances change??
George: Yes, we allow students to switch one time during their time with us. Exceptions are granted for special circumstances.
ateetdave: With many employers capping or removing tuition reimbursement benefits, does Booth offer other financing options for current prospective students?
George: Any student that wants a loan can get one through our Financial Aid Office, including Stafford and/or private loans.
ateetdave: Are the Short-Term IBEPs (International Business Exchange Programs) during the academic quarter or the breaks in between?
Ellie: The short-term IBEP Programs are during the academic quarter. Please visit the following link to see where reach program falls within the academic year. http://programs.chicagobooth.edu/international/ibep/short-term-locations.aspx
wroble16: Good afternoon, what would be some additional factors that are taken into account for admission?
Kara: Hi! We look holistically at applicants and evaluate three key ares: educational background, career history and career goals, and your fit at Chicago Booth. I suggest you learn as much as you can about Booth and express to the admissions committee why Booth is the best program for you. If you have not already, I suggest you attend an Open House or Reception on the Road to learn more.
GSB_2008: I am an international student. I probably would need some form Tuition assistance in addition to the support I get from my employer. Would Booth assist me in pairing up with a loan provider or is this completely out of question?
Ellie: Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with the exact Financial Aid assistance for international students. Please feel free to call the Financial Aid Office to learn more about the options available. 773.702.3964
wroble16: The average GMAT is listed in the above question at 680, but what is the range of the past few years of scores?
George: I don’t have the GMAT quartile scores with me, but I can tell you that the majority of GMAT’s fall between 600 and 740. We do have GMAT’s below and above this, but they would probably be two standard deviations.
ateetdave: Are Evening MBA students allowed to participate in Booth's New Venture Challenge?
Ellie: Absolutely, many of our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students participate every year in the New Venture Challenge.
JosephKim: what days of the week does the evening program meet?
Crystal: The Evening Program meets every day of the week Monday-Friday. Most students attend class twice a week if they are registered for two courses.
Phillip: If you are a re-applicant outside of the two year window, does the admissions committee review all old essays and applications?
Crystal: Hi Phillip, we mostly focus on the new information. We might consider old information to get a sense of your personally and professional progression since your last application submission.
Eddie: Hello. I am currently working on my application for admissions in 2010. I have a question regarding reference letters. Two of my managers have already agreed to write a reference for me. Another coworker of mine, who is a Booth alumni, also wanted to write a reference to comment on my fit to the program. Can I submit a third reference letter through my online application? Or should this third reference be submitted through a different source?
Ellie: Eddie, feel free to submit three reference letters through the online application system.
StP: I hear that there are "less seats" in the spring and summer admission quarters. should someone wait to apply during the fall since there would be more "seats" available?
George: Number of applications drive seats. In other words, Spring, Summer and Winter all have fewer seats, but they also have fewer applications than than the Fall. The application rates/seat are all the same. I would apply when it best suits your needs and when you can put together the best application!
Nancy_V: Once an interview has been requested and assuming that the candidate does not completely bomb the interview--how likely is it that the candidate will be admitted?
Kara: The interview is one of many factors that are equally considered when making admission decisions. It is important to have both a strong written application and interview. The interview is "blind" in that the interviewer has not read your application before you interview.
shree2010: What is the level of recruiting help does an Evening program given to a student ?
George: You can get as much help as you need/want. Everything from writing your resume, interviewing skills and practice, telling your story and networking are all available. There are training events available every weekend.
JosephKim: How is Ugrad GPA compared with Grad GPA? Which one is deemed more important?
Ellie: Both are deemed important. We look at the progression throughout your time in school as an indicator of your success in the classroom.
Praveena: What are the various information that is asked about the person who is going to give recommendations?
Kara: Recommenders are asked to evaluate you on various characteristics such as leadership skills, working in groups, presentation skills, etc. In addition, they are asked to write a letter of support. The letter is the most important part, as it should provide greater detail about your candidacy for the program.
brianross: What can someone expect the workload to be like if they are taking two classes a quarter?
Crystal: Brian, it depends on the classes you take. Going to school and working is certainly a significant time commitment. Booth allows you to view surveys that indicate the weekly time spent on preparation before you register so you can view how much time you might spend on a class before you commit to taking the class.
Moderator: We're halfway through the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. We are eager to continue the dialogue. Continue submitting those questions!
JosephKim: I don't live in Chicago (but I grew up there), how does that effect my chances of admission?
Kara: Your location will not have any bearing on your chances of admission. If you live outside of the Chicago-land area, the Weekend MBA may be a good fit. Over 60% of our Weekend MBA applicants live outside of the Chicago-land area, most out of state. If you are applying to the Evening MBA, be sure to explain in your situation. For example, will you move to Chicgao if admitted? I hope this helps!
StP: I have heard that there are "less seats" available for new students applying in the Spring and Summer quarters. Is it better to apply for the fall and winter quarters if there will be more "seats"
George: StP I just answered this, so look above for more detail. The % of applications/seats are all the same.
Canada_app: Are majority of the US students [in the Weekend program] from the Mid-west??
Kara: Over 64% of Weekend MBA students live outside of the Chicago-land area, most out of state. We have students from the Midwest, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, etc. However, we also have students commuting from California, Texas, New York, Washington D.C., etc. To ease the commute we provide free shuttles to and from both airports on Saturday morning and afternoon as well as discounted parking near the Gleacher Center.
anlance: For someone who is interested in the part-time program but has limited work experience, but otherwise strong credentials, should they apply to both the Chicago Business Fellows program and the regular part-time program? Also, if the person is unsure about his job security due to an acquisition, would this change your recommendation?
Ellie: I would recommend someone who has less than 3 years of work experience to apply for the CBF Program (Autumn 2010 application). However, because of the work requirement needed throughout the duration of the CBF Program, if you feel uncomfortable with your job security, you can opt out of CBF and opt into the regular Evening MBA application process. We do have many applicants who have less than 3 years of work experience that are successful in gaining admission into the Evening Program.
VikR_1__VikR_: Hi - Can you comment if the faculty is same for the FT and PT program?
George: Yes, they are exactly the same. When faculty are hired it is with the understanding, and expectations, that they will teach in all three programs -- Full-Time, Evening and Weekend!
reapp: What is the 80% range for accepted applicants for the gmat?
George: Reapp, just answered this above. Don't have the exact data with me, but this will be close: low end 600, high end 760
Prospective: Are all the courses available to full time students also available to part-time students?
Kara: Yes, the classes and faculty are the same for the Full-Time MBA and Part-Time MBA.
GSB_2008: What is the average age of the students enrolled in the part-time program and what is the average work experience?
Kara: The average age is 30, but the range is 22-62. The average work experience is 5-6 years. If you have 0-3 years of work experience, the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF), a sub set of the Evening MBA would be a good option. If relevant, see this link for more information about CBF http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/academics/cbf.aspx
TomLucey: I am currently living in Denver and if admitted, plan to jet-set for the weekend program. Are there certain criteria and/or qualities the Admissions staff look for in applications from "jet-setters."
Ellie: Tom, a little under 70% of our Weekend MBA students come from outside the state of Illinois. They are flying in from as far as California and New York and driving in from Cincinnati and Indianapolis. We will definitely be looking for your passion and committment to Chicago Booth in your essays. Besides that, all admissions criteria are the same whether you are applying for the Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Program.
JosephKim: Does the admission criteria differ between evening vs weekend programs?
Ellie: The admissions criteria is the same between the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs at Chicago Booth.
Abigail: Hello. My name is Abigail, I'm applying for Spring 2010. I'm interested in finance and possibly a focus on not for profits, can you give me an idea of how popular the not for profit focus is at Booth?
George: Not for Profit is a popular and growing interest. Our fastest growing two student clubs are NetImpact and Philanthropy/NFP. We also partner with YPC to work on volunteer options for students. Lastly, companies like hiring Booth students for NPF as they bring very strong business fundamentals to the table, something that is needed in the NFP world.
Nir: I am currently working (17 years of work experience) an would like to know if a part-time MBA would be an appropriate choice considering that I am local to the Chicago area, or does my experience work against me when applying for the program (assuming I have a 'good' GMAT score).
Kara: Your work experience will not work against you. Our average in 5-6 years of experience, but the range is wide. In the application, be sure to explain well why you are pursuing the MBA at this point in your career.
shree2010: With the current economic situation, is it a possible for a student to change from Evening/Weekend to Fulltime ?
Crystal: You are not required to maintain employment in the Evening MBA Program. As such you are more than welcome to take more classes (even with full-time students) if you are not working. Since you can increase your course load to a full-time load we do not allow students to switch from the Evening Program to the Full-Time Program.
Bhushan: Hello, I was curious to know that what percentage of the current class has post graduate degree? Is Post graduate degree considered as one of the significant factors may be like GMAT score ?
George: 33%. Yes, we look at Post Grad degrees as a way to demonstrate the ability to think critically and handle the work load.
Aakarsh: How frequently is a course offered as both an evening and a weekend course in the same quarter? (In case work obligations conflict with an evening class)
Ellie: I don't have the data on hand, but I know that professors teach 3 sections in a given quarter pretty frequently. The professor will teach a full-time class in the day time. An evening class on weekday nights and a weekend class on Saturdays.
Dyron: Hi! Is this a group chat or 1 on 1 chat?
Kara: Hi Dyron, this is a group chat with the admissions team. If you would rather talk with someone individually, feel free to call our admissions hotline at 312.464.8700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
VikR_1__VikR_: How are the class groups made - Does Booth make sure that the group is diverse or - do students pick their own groups?
Ellie: The students typically pick their own groups. Many students will choose groups based on industry backgrounds, educational backgrounds, and/or how the group prefers to meet.
Canada_app: Do PT students ever take classes with FT students??
Crystal: Absolutely! It's the nature of our program. There is a lot of overlap between the Evening, Weekend, and Full-Time students. Once you start the program you can register for classes that are most convenient for you.
JosephKim: I have 710 GMAT but extremely low Ugrad GPA 15 years ago, but a high Graduate GPA. How much of an impact does my low Ugrad GPA has on my admissions?
George: When looking I always start at the most recent event. If you have a Post Grad GPA and a strong GMAT score, I am probably not going back to your undergrad grades, and even if I did they would not significantly impact the decision. We are looking for progress, and you show this!
sanjib: is it necessory to qualify GMAT/IELTS for experienced working person In USA although education background is in International
Kara: Sanjib, If you have been working full-time in the US for at least two years, you are exempt from the IELTS. The GMAT is required for all applicants. The average GMAT for the Evening MBA is 680 and for the Weekend MBA is 700.
shree2010: Can a student take a semester as fulltime student as opposed to evening/weekend ?
George: Students in the E/W program can take as many or as few classes as they want. Full-Time students can take three or four classes a quarter. Likewise, E/W students can take three or four if they wish, or as few as 1. With that said, E/W never officially becomes Full-Time students.
Moderator: The chat will be closing in 10 minutes. Please submit your final questions now!
root: What is your age structure of students? Do you have 38+ or 40+?
Gretchen: Yes we most certainly do. We have students as old as 66!
Lordia: I am planning to apply for the Weekend MBA program; in your opinion, what are the cons of the Weekend MBA program? (I see a lot of pros!)
Crystal: There are no cons! The program is exactly the same as the Evening and Full-Time programs and the opportunities/class requirements are the same. The only difficult part is making time to spend with classmates on a social level. The opportunities are plentiful, but you have to make time for them.
MHines: I realize that different classes have different work loads outside of class, but what would you say is the average amount of hours outside of class that a Chicago Business Fellow student must set aside for school work in a given week?
Ellie: Chicago Business Fellows have the same work load as an Evening MBA student because after their first quarter, they are just a regular Evening MBA student. It is hard to estimate the average amount of hours spent outside the classroom. Some classes require 4 hours, others require 20 hours. Every student has access to course evaluations before they bid for classes that discloses the average amount of hours from previous quarters for every Booth course.
ateetdave: Will an additional GMAT attempt and score be accepted after the application deadline by the Booth Admissions Committee?
Kara: We strongly prefer that your GMAT be taken by the deadline. However, we do look at situations on a case by case basis. Please give us a call at 312.464.8700 to further discuss your situation. We look forward to speaking with you!
reapp: Can you talk about weekend students experience with OCR? Do employers hold recruiting events on the weekend, or are local, evening students really only eligible to participate, upon reaching the appropriate number of courses?
George: Yes, every Saturday is filled with recruiting training events that are available after class and at lunch. Networking events with companies also happen on Saturdays. The actual interviews usually happen during the weekday working hours. Yes, all students, regardless of program have to have completed 12 classes.
root: Hi. I'd like to know about a interview. Is a interview conducted on one-to-one basis OR several candidates-to-one?
Ellie: For the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA application process, all interviews are conducted on a one-on-one basis with a member of our Admissions Committee. Admissions Committee members consists of current students and alumni.
reapp: Can you talk a bit about what the Polsky Center has to offer evening/weekend students? And, how they can get involved?
Crystal: The opportunities are the same for full-time students and also evening students. About 1/2 of the students in the Evening MBA Program participate in the New Venture Challenge which is a competition hosted by the Polsky center.
Phillip: What is the average number of years of work experience for part-time students?
Ellie: For the Evening MBA Program the average years of work experience is about 5 years, where the Weekend MBA Program is about 7 years.
Rajesh: I'm on H1B VISA, do I get sponsorship for doing weekend MBA?
Kara: Hi Rajesh, H1B visa holders are eligible for private student loans as long as you are registered in two classes each quarter. Feel free to call our Financial Aid Office 773.702.3964 for more details.
MHines: Good Afternoon! Can you elaborate a bit more on the format of the interviews that take place before admission?
George: Yes, you come to the office and meet with a current student or alumni for 45 minutes. It is a chance to tell your story. Why you want an MBA and why at Booth.
ateetdave: I have a peer who is currently Booth student and has offered to write me a peer recommendation. Would this be accepted by the Booth Admissions Committee outside the two professional recommendations?
Kara: Hi Ateet, yes, you can certainly submit an additional letter of recommendation. Recommendations from current students and alumni are a good addition to an application.
Nancy_V: In your experience, what would you say is the most commonly made mistake during the application process?
George: Misspelled words. It's a deal killer!
Dustin: Do you break out an average GMAT score for your PT programs vs. FT?
Crystal: Hi Dustin, the average GMAT for the part-time program is 680 while the average GMAT for the full-time program is 710.
VikR: Hi - I heard from one of my collegues who attends the PT program that once you finish 20 courses you can do some courses for "free" - Can you elaborate on that?
Ellie: You get three free courses as an alumni through our Alumni Affairs office. These classes can be taken at any time. We also offer three free courses your last quarter here at Booth. These classes need to be taken with your twentieth paid class.
anlance: Can you explain the class selection process? Is it a lottery process, a ranking process? Who gets first priority in class selection, etc.?
Gretchen: We try mimic the marketplace. Each student gets points to bid for classes and they bid the # of points they want for their classes. We then start at the top and fill the class with the highest bids. It works very well. Those who desire the class the most get it.
ateetdave: I am currently a small business owner. Is it acceptable to have the president of a partner company write a letter of support since I don't have a manager/supervisor?
Crystal: Sure! The idea is that we would like hear from people who know you personally and professionally. I'm sure a letter from a partner would serve the same purpose.
Dustin: Do most Saturday students remain in Chicago through Sunday for group work? If not, how do most groups work together?
Kara: Hi Dustin, most Weekend MBA students will not stay overnight. Group work is often done in the hour and a half break between classes, after class, via email and conference calls. In addition, most student group events take place on Saturday so Weekend students do not miss out on activites.
brianross: If you are transitioning jobs but know that the evening/weekend mba program will eventually be your best fit....does this in any way hinder your application
George: Brian, no. As long as you expect to gain employment again we are happy to have you in the program.
Nir: If I apply and get selected for the week-end/evening program but would like to postpone by studies due to a personal situation, what (if any) are the provisions?
George: Certainly. It happens all the time. To hold your seat you do have to pay the $1,000 deferral fee, but when you join the money goes directly towards your tuition so you get it all back.
Ellie: Thank you all for joining us. I enjoyed answering all your questions. We look forward to seeing your applications in the future.
Kara: Thank you for all your great questions! If you have more questions, please join us at an Open House and feel free to call 312.464.8700. Happy Holidays!
Crystal: Hello! Thanks for joining us today! We look forward to continuing the conversation with you.
George: great questions thank you all!
Moderator: The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/chat/. If you had a question that wasn't answered, please feel free to give us a call at 312.464.8700.
Moderator: Please join us at our next Open House event on January 8, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Gleacher Center. If you'd like to speak to someone over the phone, please call our Admissions hotline at 312.464.8700.