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Join us for a live chat on the Executive MBA Student Experience. How do I get my books? What opportunities are there to network with classmates overseas? How do small study groups work? Staff members and current students will be on hand to answer these questions and more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 09:54:04 AM PST

From -> ToMessage
Moderator -> EveryoneWe will begin the chat in 10 minutes. Please feel free to submit questions before we begin. Thank you.
Toby -> EveryoneHi everyone and welcome. My name is Toby Cortelyou. I look forward to answering any questions today.
Brad -> EveryoneHello and welcome to the chat!
Patty -> EveryoneHello! Thank you for joining us. I am Patty Keegan, associate dean for the Executive MBA Program
Moderator -> EveryoneFeel free to keep submitting questions for our panelists as you think of them. We will answer as many questions as we can accomodate in the hour.
Phil_B -> PattyWhat is the U of Chicago position on Entrepreneurs vs. traditional workforce executives? Does the University have a preference?
Patty -> Phil_BHi Phil - We welcome both entrepreneurs and traditional workforce executives to our program. We do not have a preference, but value the experience and insights that both types of students bring to us. Our students tell us that they benefit from the diverse perspectives as well.
Jennifer -> TobyHow heavily weighted is the GMAT in the admission process?
Toby -> JenniferHi Jennifer. The GMAT is not weighted any more or less than any other part of the application. We take a holistic approach to application evaluation. No single piece of an application will guarantee admission or denial to the program. We primarily use the GMAT to measure your quantitative and analytical skills but we also want to understand your motivation for applying and what you hope to contribute to your classmates and a GMAT score can't tell us that.
Jennifer -> BradWhere do students how travel from outside Chicago stay during class?
Brad -> JenniferWe do offer an optional hotel package that students can opt in to every quarter. Other students book their own accommodations while in Chicago. There are several hotel options within walking distance to the Gleacher Center.
Mike -> TobyIf I cannot meet the submission deadline for June, when is the next deadline for admission?
Toby -> MikeThe Executive MBA Program only starts once per year. Our final deadline for applications is April 2nd, 2012. If you cannot meet that deadline then you would have to apply for the following year.
Chris_Pearson -> TobyIs there a seperate deadline for the GMAT submission? Also, will there be a transcript of the chat provided after it concludes?
Toby -> Chris_PearsonHi Chris. There is not a separate deadline for GMAT Submission. We need all pieces of your application before we will begin the evaluation process.
Toby -> EveryoneAlso Chris - you can click here for chat transcripts.
Ravi -> PattyCan you elaborate more on the industries the students represent? I was looking at the breakdown on the website, but it did not call out Retail at all. Do you have representation in your program from the Retail industry?
Patty -> RaviHello, Ravi. We do have representation from the retail industry. In the case of our online pie chart, we combine consumer products with retail. We combine some industries in order to make the visual a bit more "efficient."
Chris_Pearson -> BradAre accommodations provided as part of the tuition?
Brad -> Chris_PearsonThe costs for accommodations are covered for the four residential weeks (2 in Chicago, 1 in London & 1 in Singapore). Accommodations for regular class weekend are not included in the tuition cost
Jim -> TobyHow much of the application will I need to complete before I can schedule an admissions interview?
Toby -> JimHi Jim. Interviews are conducted by invitation only. We require that all pieces of your application be submitted before we determine whether or not to invite you for an interview.
Ravi -> BradHow can I connect with either current students or alumni from Minneapolis?
Brad -> RaviPlease send your industry and years of experience to We will try to put you in touch with someone with a similar background.
Chris_Pearson -> Tobyare interviews conducted on campus only?
Toby -> Chris_PearsonYes Chris. Interviews are on campus only. They can often times be combined with a class visit - which I highly recommend.
Lydia -> PattyHow does the Executive MBA Program compare with the Part-Time program for education and proctices in management?
Patty -> LydiaHi, Lydia. The degree you earn from Chicago Booth is an MBA regardless of the program in which you enroll (full-time, evening/weekend, or executive MBA). In addition, the faculty are the same in all programs. This means that the quality, expectations, and rigor are the same. What differs is the student audience. Full-time, evening/weekend and executive MBA students are at different points in their careers; therefore, the discussions in the classroom and the professor's interactions with the students can differ significantly. For example, a classroom discussion with executive MBA students who have significant work experience can be quite different from a classroom of full-time MBA students who may have 2-3 years in the workforce. Our executive MBA students often have first hand knowledge of cases and/or concepts discussed in class. This adds incredible energy to the classroom.
Sanjeev -> TobyHi, Regarding the admissions application, will the recommendation letters also be in place before the application is complete and looked at? Thanks.
Toby -> SanjeevHi Sanjeev. Yes, the application letters must be submitted before we will review the application.
Kishore -> BradIf admitted are E-MBA candidates allowed to participate in the initiatives at Polsky center for Entrepreneurship?
Brad -> KishoreYes. Here is the link if you or others would like more information:
Moderator -> EveryoneThank you for all of the great questions about our Executive MBA program. Please keep them coming!
Phil_B -> PattyWhat are the key attributes the U of Chicago looks for in executive mba students?
Patty -> Phil_BHi, Phil. Our key attributes include a solid career progression which is leading towards general management (C-level positions or entrepreneurial ventures). In addition, we look for evidence of being able to handle our academics (GMAT score, undergraduate or other graduate transcripts). We also look for your recommenders to have a common message about your future career potential. Ultimately, we use all of this information (plus the other pieces of the application -- essays, interview, etc.) to determine if the fit is right between your expectations and interest and our culture and approach to management education.
Kilshore -> BradWhat is the flexibility if I want to take more elective courses and may be audit courses in a specific quarter?
Brad -> KilshoreYou will be able to take an additional three non-cohorted classes following graduation for free. You will also have the option to take additional Elective classes as alumni every September.
Chris_Pearson -> TobyBrad/Toby, are both of you alumni or members of the admissions team?
Toby -> Chris_PearsonHi Chris. Neither of us are alumni. I manage the Admissions and Marketing efforts of the program and Brad manages the Student Services side.
Ravi -> PattyDoes Booth facilitate students to engage with local businesses for live projects?
Patty -> RaviHi, Ravi. An executive MBA program is designed for students with significant work experience. Our faculty sometimes assign projects that focus on your current company -- it allows you to apply what you are learning in the classroom directly to your own work situation. Our students can engage with outside businesses through our career services activities and guest speakers in addition to the many events that Chicago Booth hosts.
Jennifer -> TobyDo you have any general advice for writing our applications essays?
Toby -> JenniferHi Jennifer. Tell us about you not about us. I would stay away from rewriting pieces of our website or viewbook, we are looking for a genuine connection between your goals in starting the program and what it is that we offer. Also it's important to tell us what you hope to contribute to the experience of your classmates. If you don't tell us how great you are we won't know, the application is not the time to be humble :) Finally Spell-check!!!
Kilshore -> Bradcan you outline typical schedule of a e-mba student during the classes week end(including academics plus any fun activities that might be happening for better networking and collaboration)?
Brad -> KilshoreFriday7:42 a.m. - Arrive at Gleacher with time to grab coffee and a bagel and chat with classmates in the lounge before an 8 a.m. review session 9 a.m. - Attend class, and become totally engaged in a fascinating debate when classmates offer viewpoints drawn from their experiences that both support and contradict the professor's point. The discussion is so lively class runs into the break period, but there is still time in the break to make a quick call to your spouse.Noon - Grab lunch with your study group. Return to Gleacher and make a quick stop in the lobby bookstore for a book a classmate recommended. Head upstairs to meet with the teaching assistant to go over a quick question.1:30 p.m. - Attend class until 4:30 p.m.4:35 p.m. - Check voice mail at work and cell phone messages, then meet with your study group. Debate where you'll meet for dinner later, then dive into today's study group assignment.6:45 p.m. - Head out to dinner; lively discussion continues over drinks and coffee for quite a while.9 p.m. - Head back to the hotel or home. Check your work e-mail and respond to the three urgent ones. Do some reading for a class project.Midnight - SleepSaturdayThe schedule repeats. After the last class, stop by the Midway Club for a quick drink with classmates and faculty before heading home.
Chris_Pearson -> PattyBrad/Toby, are both of you alumni or members of the admissions team?
Patty -> Chris_PearsonHi, Chris. My role as associate dean is to oversee all aspects of the program -- admissions, marketing and student services for the Chicago program. I am part of the admissions committee. Toby and Brad are members of my team. Toby focuses on admissions and marketing while Brad focuses on student services.
Moderator -> EveryoneOur chat is halfway through and we have about 30 minutes left. Please keep sending your questions.
Chris_Pearson -> BradCan you only audit three courses after you complete graduation? Is there a "lifetime of learning" opportunity that allows you to audit a class, provided space is available, for free? e.g. if I saw a course in a new industry topic being offered by Booth in 4 years and I'm an alum, would I be able to apply to audit the class?
Brad -> Chris_PearsonThe three classes limit the number of classes you can be officially be registered in as alumni. If you would like to audit a class you are not limited to three but you will be limited by seat availability & faculty approval.
Kilshore -> PattyI believe the class size is 90 during core course work, what are your thoughts on having a class of that size(and having lively discussion that every one in the class can consume appropriately)
Patty -> KilshoreHi, Kishore. You are correct - our class size is 90 in Chicago (90 in London and Singapore too). Our faculty are skilled at managing the executive MBA classroom and making sure that class discussions can be a valuable part of the experience. They do this by laying out ground rules and sharing expectations with the students. In addition, the cohort manages itself and creates unspoken "rules" about class discussion. One additional point --all faculty use TAs to help manage their classes, so students have both the professor and the TA with whom they can interact outside of the classroom. Students enjoy the class size because it is a vibrant network of colleagues and rarely have any negative comments about the size being too big or cumbersome.
Chris_Pearson -> BradCan you speak to the make up of the classes, the teaching methods and how the teams are selected within the cohorts?
Brad -> Chris_PearsonChris, the teaching methods can change from class to class but you can expect to see a mixture of case studies, problem sets, simulations and extensive in class discussions. We try to keep the groups balanced and equally distribute individuals from different functional areas within the local study groups.
Jennifer -> TobyHow much time to students typically spend doing schoolwork outside of the classroom?
Toby -> JenniferThe best answer is that it varies. The time you spend outside of class varies on a number of things. First is your expertise. If you are a CPA you will spend less time on the accounting work, if you are a marketing/brand manager you will spend less time on your marketing courses. I have heard everywhere from five to twenty hours spent outside the class per week. Also keep in mind that you are not doing this alone. You have a group of 89 other people who are also balancing fulltime jobs and families. Sometimes you will lean heavily on your classmates to help make ends meet and sometimes they will lean on you.
Phil_B_2 -> PattyWhat do you see as the top three value propositions the u of Chicago eMBA program offers students?
Patty -> Phil_B_2Hi, Phil. Our executive MBA program offers a highly regarded Chicago Booth MBA, an extensive network of diverse colleagues who have significant work experience, and a unique global learning platform that allows academic and networking opportunities with Chicago Booth EMBA students from around the world (we operate our own campuses and EMBA programs in London, Singapore and of course, Chicago.)
Chris_Pearson -> BradCan you explain how electives are offered and selected. Is there a finite set offered each term or do you offer the electives in blocks and each student then selects one of the blocks? Or a bidding system?
Brad -> Chris_PearsonElectives are offered in September of your 2nd year in the program. All three campuses take electives together in Chicago along with Alumni that are invited to participate every year. Electives are offered in a block system. We don’t have students bid on elective classes. We have always been able to offer all current students their first choice of elective courses.
Chris_Pearson -> TobyWhat's the make up of the class with respect to where students are traveling from every other Fri/Sat?
Toby -> Chris_PearsonHi Chris - just over half of our students are flying in to class. The largest populations come from California, Texas and New York (in that order).
Lydia_D -> PattyThank you, Patty, for responding. I don't consider my own work experience to qualify as a "career" at this point in time, so I am interested in the appropriateness of all options to gain better working skills. I have a question regarding the Executive program, and what results the school might be most proud of? i.e. accounts management, human resource management, start-ups or industry/ field employment.
Patty -> Lydia_DHi, Lydia. We offer a number of different MBA program options depending on where you are at in your working life or career. Our full-time MBA program is designed for students who have a few years of work experience, our evening and weekend programs are designed for students with 5+ years of work experience and our executive MBA is for individuals with 10+ years of work experience. Full-time and evening/weekend allow maximum flexibility in your course selection in order to allow students to hone functional skills (accountancy, finance, marketing, etc.) Executive MBA is a general managment program in which the courses are laid out for students and focus on general management. Chicago Booth is proud of many things including the success of our alumni, our belief in focusing on business fundamentals in our curriculum, our successful Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, and the incredible research of our faculty -- just to name a few.
Kilshore -> BradSince the US program is in Chicago(with many Fortune 500 firms headquartered in the vicinity), does the school bring in any C-suite folks from these companies to discuss certain aspects of a course; or may be as part of a discussion series?
Brad -> KilshoreWe do try to reach out to invite guest speakers that build on the in class experience. During the last class weekend we had Jeffrey P. Stratton, Corporate Executive Vice President / Chief Restaurant Officer McDonald's Corporation & Austan Dean Goolsbee, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and former member of the cabinet for President Barack Obama
David -> TobyHow are the local study groups chosen, do you remain with the same groups throughout the program and are assignments evaluated at the group level or individual level?
Toby -> DavidLocal study groups are first chosen based on your job function with the goal being a diverse small group so you have someone to lean on regardless of the study topic. Groups change every two quarters and without going into great detail you can either choose your own group or we will select one for you. Changing groups gives you an opportunity to enhance your team management skills as well as develop stronger networking relationships with a larger number of your classmates.
Moderator -> EveryoneOur chat will end in five minutes. Please send any final questions that you may have.
Lydia_D -> PattyMy undergraduate degree is in design, planning. I would like to work as a curator or for management purposes. I have interest in building incentives and promoting smart business- don't want to hold myself back if the schooling is compatible with entering a better workforce. Should I take a run-through of the website for executive MBA sp? How does it compare with schooling for more unilateral jobs, what is the big picture?
Patty -> Lydia_DHi, Lydia. Our website -- does a great job of illustrating student profiles and career paths. It sounds as if you are still exploring a potential direction for your career. If that is the case, you want an MBA program that allows you maximum flexibility to take electives in areas that interest you. Our full-time and evening and weekend MBA programs allow you to do this. Executive MBA is for individuals who have explored, focused on a specific functional area for the first 10+ years of their careers and are now ready to take on general management responsibilities (COO, CEO, CFO) and/or start a business.
Chris_Pearson -> BradAre there any extracurricular or other student directed opportunities for learning outside of the international study programs and the elective course work that is available to me as a student?
Brad -> Chris_PearsonChris & Kishmore, We are coming to the end of the chat but I did want to share some student groups that EMBA students can join.
Lydia_D -> PattyHave you had students who achieve both an MBA and a JD? How did they manage? Did they need to take more time to graduate?
Patty -> Lydia_DHi, Lydia. Students can earn an MBA and a JD if they are full-time students and yes, it does take more time to complete degree requirements. More information can be found on our website under full-time MBA in which we discuss joint degree programs.
Brad -> Everyone
Brad -> Everyone
Lydia_D -> PattyWhat about the London program? Does this involve relationships building? How long does one stay in the UK and whereabouts?
Patty -> Lydia_DHi, Lydia. Chicago Booth runs executive MBA programs on 3 campuses - Chicago, London and SIngapore. These locations are University of Chicago campuses - we are not partnered with other programs or schools. That means students at our London campuses are Chicago Booth students. And yes -- networking opportunities are plentiful! You spend one week in London and one week in Singapore plus students from those campuses study here with you in Chicago for 2 weeks.
Toby -> EveryoneThank you for joining today. Feel free to ask any further questions directly at also don't forget to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn - search for "Considering Booth" to find us. Have a great day!
Patty -> EveryoneThank you for joining us today! It has been a pleasure answering your questions.
Brad -> EveryoneThank you for participating in the chat today.
Moderator -> EveryoneOur chat has ended. Thank you for your participation and interest in our Executive MBA program. The transcript will be available within 48 hours at