Top Six Questions about Applying

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At this time of the year I get asked a lot of questions. Occasionally it’s a fun question, like, ‘where did you get those great shoes’, but most of the time it’s an admissions related question. As the 1st December deadline looms large, I thought it would be useful to list some common questions (and answers) here. If your question isn’t covered below, feel free to reach out to our admissions teams directly.

1. Do I really need to aim for the first deadline? There are two more to follow.

We do indeed have several deadlines. However, we also operate what is known as a ‘rolling admissions’ system. This means that we make decisions on applications as soon as they are complete - early applications receive an early decision. The closer we get to the final deadline, the fewer spaces remain available. We build a class carefully to ensure that we have good representation from all sectors, industries and countries. Therefore it makes sense to apply as early as you can.

2. I need more time to prepare for the GMAT! I’m going to miss the deadline! I’m panicking!

Don’t panic. If you need to take the GMAT (ie, you do not qualify for a GMAT waiver) then please do take the time to prepare and study. However, I encourage you to get started on an application in the meantime. You can submit the other parts of your application and keep in touch with us whilst you prepare for the test. We won’t be able to make a decision on your application until we receive your score, but at least you’ll be in ‘the pool’ and we’ll know who you are and what you are planning to do. We can also calm you down at regular intervals, if that would be helpful.

3. I haven’t written an essay for 20 years and I don’t know where to start…

You will have to submit an essay as part of your application to the Executive MBA Program. The essay question is quite simple, yet everyone has a tendency to ‘overthink’ it. Basically we just want an insight into your motivations. Why an MBA and why Chicago Booth? Why now? How will the program help you meet your goals? You’ll have an opportunity to expand on all of these points at the interview, so please be brief in the essay (two pages only). We want to hear your ‘voice’ on the page - we aren’t judging your creative writing skills. Perhaps you can ask a friend or family member to read it before you submit. I think the best essays are always the most personal, so try to tell us a story.

4. My recommenders are slowing me down - I’m missing one recommendation letter. What can I do?

We don’t need your actual recommendations at the point of application - we just need you to provide the contact details of your recommenders. We will send them a form to complete online. If you have a separate letter that’s fine; you can email it to us directly. If your recommender would prefer not to fill out the form online, then he/she can also contact us directly. They will be sent instructions about this. A lack of ‘actual’ recommendations need not slow you down!

5. What is a company support letter? Is this the same as a recommendation?

A company support letter is a letter from your company (usually the HR department) acknowledging your enrolment on the Executive MBA program. The company support letter is not a compulsory part of the application, but we will need it if you accept our offer to the program. Some candidates prefer to wait until they have received a decision before requesting this letter from their company.

6. I’m not a 37 year old investment banker. Am I too young/old/unusual for your program?

It’s true that our students are, on average, 37 years old and many of them work in financial services. However, if you take a look at our class profile you’ll see that this is not representative of our whole program. We don’t have a ‘typical’ student - you’ll find engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and consultants in the classroom. The average age is 37, but it’s obviously representative of a range. Don’t rule yourself out before you’ve even begun - contact us to arrange a call. We can give you some immediate feedback on your suitability for the program.

I hope this ‘Q&A’ is useful. Remember, we’re here to help so please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the school or program. We look forward to hearing from you, and reading your application!

Rachel Waites