April 08, 2020 | 6 - 7PM CST Spotlight on Student Life: International Students
Join a live online chat with current international students at Chicago Booth. Get different perspectives about coming to Chicago from outside of the US and transitioning to life at Booth. Ask about classes, student life, faculty, recruiting, making friends, and more. Don't miss this opportunity to chat directly with current students and learn more about living in Chicago as part of the Booth community.
Guest: Thank you for holding this Q&A session! As an international student, how has the current COVID-19 situation affected your access to resources at Booth and opportunities/internships this summer and beyond?
* Crystal Yu: As some of you may know, banking and consulting recruiting are typically over by the end of January and therefore for people that's recruiting for these two industries, including myself, we were fortunate enough to land summer internship before COVID-19 hit the US hard. However, for people that's still looking for internships there's still a lot of resources available for them. Even though most things have been switched to virtual, you still can feel the outreach from the whole community. I completely understand that it's not ideal, but Booth as whole are really trying to make the best out of it.
Guest: Hi guys, thanks for the opportunity! I'd like to know, in your opinion, which leadership related classes were the most interesting during your experience so far (besides LEAD).
* Paul Moreau: Hi, thanks for your question. I think LEAD is definitely a great experience that is quite unique at Booth since the curriculum takes place both in class and outside the class. I would say that's because leadership is not topic you learn about in class. My personally opinion is that leadership is learned outside through for instance being a cochair of a student group or helping the community advance X or Y initiative. That being said, I have heard great things about the Leadership Practicum and leadership studio.
Guest: Thanks for participating in the Q&A – I hope you're all doing well! Do you have any recommendations for off the beat and path lecture-based courses you think would be highly valuable for aspiring consultants?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: I can highly recommend taking Designing a Good Life with Professor Nicholas Epley. In the class, you will learn why people fail to behave ethically, how you can design organization to promote ethical behavior, and how you can design your life to feel good as well as do good. This type of course is only offered at Booth and it will be transformative for your future leadership.
Guest: Do you recommend any specific classes or professors related to people / org management?
* Sylvia Lu: The behavioral science courses are what you would like to take. Negotiations class and managing the orgs are two of the most popular ones. You can find more classes from the class website.
Guest: What kind of resources are available at Booth for international students to get well in the Chicago community?
* Sylvia Lu: The student life and career services are international students friendly. They provide guidance and suggestions for us to perform well. Any service is international students friendly. You can always feel free to ask questions to any resources. Even if they don't have the answers right away, they can direct your questions to the right departments/groups.
Guest: Why did you choose Booth over other MBA schools?
* Paul Moreau: Hi, Booth was a clear choice for me given my interests and my background. I came from economics and I was seeking an experience with a strong focus on academics and multi- disciplinary approach, Chicago Booth offered that. Combined with the culture/people and the flexibility of the curriculum (ie. ability to tailor my experience to my interests), I had an easy choice ahead of me!
Guest: Please tell me about STEM degree program. Are all students in MBA eligible for that regardless of what we learned in your flexible curriculum?
* Anna Chalfin: Thanks so much for joining! Yes, to give more context around the STEM eligibility, it was recently announced that all concentrations at Booth qualify. You can learn more about the recent updates to the STEM program here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/mba/mba-life/chicago-booth-stem-mba
Guest: Hi all and thanks for taking your time to answer our questions! i am an EU citizen and I would like to return to Europe after graduation. What is your experience with booth recruiting outside the US?
* Paul Moreau: Hi, I don't see why not! Look we have two EU citizens on this panel. You will find a strong community of Europeans here. I will say that most do decide to stay in the US but nothing holds you back if you want to go back to Europe after school, on the contrary. You will even be able to benefit from our resources in London where we have a campus and local career services!
Guest: Hi Paul, thank you for taking out time to join this chat. Your journey from economics and finance to digital marketing to entrepreneurship and now consulting is quite fascinating. What has been the best part about it and kept you going through all the switches?
* Paul Moreau: I'm a naturally very curious person so I need to be always busy doing dozens of projects to be engaged! Being here at Booth has been incredible since you I have been able to find many people that are knowledgeable and passionate about their area of focus. I think I've found here people that think like me. I believe this is the philosophy of UChicago more broadly and surrounding yourself with such a community has been truly energizing.
Guest: Because prospective students can’t visit campus, can you describe the culture at Booth?
* Anna Chalfin: The culture at Booth is very community oriented - you may have heard about the 'pay it forward' culture, which is something all Boothies really embrace. You can see it in how they approach class, recruiting, and extracurriculars. They are a very supportive, tight-knit community. As for visiting, we recently posted this blog on our website, which gives you a few additional ways to engage and virtually visit campus: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/mba/mba-life/a-note-from-associate-dean-of-student-recruitment-and-admissions
Guest: Hi Paul! How was the recruitment process for consulting and how the school helped you on the process?
* Paul Moreau: I'm not going to lie, it's tough. That being said, everyone at school (including but not limited to career services) and your peers from the class above are here to make this experience successful. The amount of help 1st years receive from the 2nd year counterparts is quite impressive. The level of personalized coaching is unbelievable and it's a great strength of our community. I'm sure Wilhelm here who is going to Bain can support that since we worked a lot together during his recruiting process.
Guest: Good afternoon all, and thank you to attend this chat. My question relates to studying at Booth as a foreign student and being married. Does one of you is in this situation? If yes, did you manage to get a dependent visa to your partner to allow her/him to work?
* Crystal Yu: From what I understand, F-2 visa doesn't allow your partner to work, but J-2 visa can. If you are planning to come to booth on a F-1 visa, then the visa (F-2) won't allow your partner to work here. Hope this helps. Booth does have international student office that will help you sort out all visa situations.
Guest: Hi thank you all for organizing this, could you share how resources at Booth has helped you with seeking employment in the U.S. given sometimes visa sponsorship could be a challenge for international students to compete with other candidates. Thanks
* Paul Moreau: Hi! This is a tough question but an important one. The truth is, it completely depends on the industry... typically larger companies with larger incoming intern classes (consulting, banking, big tech) have the capacity to handle the immigration process and do not care about your nationality. At these firms, it won't matter but not being to legally work in the US can't hurt your changes with smaller boutique firms particularly in PE/VC industries. Unfortunately there is little Booth can do given the demand for these jobs in the market.
Guest: Hi Sylvia! Could you tell me more about the Business Analytics Club?
* Sylvia Lu: Sure! BAC is really helping the students with more exposure to business analysis and data analytics skill sets. We have workshops for R, Python and other tools. We also prepare you better for the related interviews. We have a community where students share ideas, internship opportunities and tips.
Guest: I have a question regarding internships - do students intern outside the US between first and second year? Does booth help students get internships abroad?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: Yes and yes. Many student choose to intern abroad. Typically either because they want to work in that place post-MBA or because they are sponsored and want to broaden their international experience.
There are tons of support for international recruiting and they depend on what exactly you're looking for. The resources can include local Alumni and classmates who worked there. Several employers send international representatives to Booth so students can connect with them in person.
Guest: Can you describe the recruiting process at Booth?
* Crystal Yu: The recruiting process heavily depends on which industry you'll be recruiting for. I can only speak to my experience which is consulting recruiting -- this is a more standardized recruiting process since the student group (management consulting group) will help you along the process basically holding your hand throughout the process. There’s also a lot of resources not only from the career office but also from other Boothies that will be available to you during the recruiting process as well. Personally I didn't feel that I had to go out of my way to look for help but most of the time it's actually people coming to me and asking if I need help which I found is the best culture of Booth -- paying it forward.
Guest: Hi guys, what are your favorite International Students hosted or related events at Booth?
* Crystal Yu: Personally, I really enjoyed the process of planning for emerging markets speaker’s series which unfortunately got cancelled because of COVID19. However, the planning process and reaching out to potential speakers was definitely a rewarding and fun experience for me.
Guest: Hello there, I am interested in learning more about why each of you decided to join Booth? What convinced you to select Booth over other schools?
* Sylvia Lu: For me, the fit is the most important aspect. I felt welcomed even before my interview and after admissions. The other reasons are the flexibility for the courses, which brings more freedom on how you plan your own time, and the data-driven approach for analyzing the businesses more in-depth and learning the skills better.
Guest: I would like to know more about Sylvia. You did a pre MBA intern as a PM in a startup, right? Did you recruit for a PM role for your summer intern? If yes, how was your experience? Is it possible for an international?
* Sylvia Lu: Yes, it is definitely possible. Tech is international students friendly and many of them provide visa sponsorships. There are some positions that don't hire international students but most companies are open to us. Overall the experience was great! You can hear more from the tech group (BTG). And many of the group members are international recruiting for tech as PMs. There are other roles as well within tech that are international students friendly.
Guest: Hi there, thank you for your time today and I hope everyone is doing well. Question for both 1st and 2nd year panelists - How has the Booth experience changed your way of thinking and looking at the world? Thank you
* Sylvia Lu: I have a narrow engineering background and the MBA learning shape my thinking to more strategic and holistic. For Booth specifically, the data-driven approach really shapes my thinking to more strategically and analytical looking at problems. The behavioral science classes shape my thinking on the behavioral side to relate the macro problems to individual's bias. Overall, the experience change me to think problems more broadly and tackle the problems more strategically with different frameworks.
Guest: Hi, thank you for your time. My question is that has there been any change in the summer internship schedule given the Covid-19 situation? I heard that some companies (such as Microsoft) have shifted the intern program completely online. Is that the case with majority of the companies and how do you think that will affect the experience?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: Hi, my internship schedule at Bain will not be changed at all. Currently, it is uncertain whether we will work remotely or on-site. Speaking for other classmates, I heard that most internships are still taking place as planned. I only know one case so far where the internship offer was rescinded, but some people feel uncertain about whether their internship will be cancelled.
I think that remote working will drastically alter the internship experience in terms of networking and culture feel. This impacts people the most when they are not sure whether they want to continue working at that company post-MBA.
Guest: As international students, have you found that the Career Services center have been able to support your transition to working in the United States?
* Sylvia Lu: Definitely! On the career service job portal, we have the positions for international students listed and pushed to us. On the career service coaching side, the coaches are always ready to help us navigate as international students. The international career advisors (2nd years) share their experiences and help us to find the positions with suggestions and mock interviews. There are multiple resources from the career services to help you.
Guest: What are some of the aspects in the Booth community that have contributed to your individual development during the program?
* Paul Moreau: Tough question! I want to say everything. More seriously, I think that being surrounded with such talented and accomplished people is energizing. The conversations are always stimulating and people come from such different paths of life that you never stop to learn and reflect upon your own experience. I would say the diversity of the class and our culture of intellectual honesty (UChicago Approach).
Guest: I have read that even with Stem, it is tough for international students to get opportunities. How accurate is this statement?
* Paul Moreau: Not accurate. Please refer to the question above from Marcelo. It really depends on the industry. In some places, nationality does not matter.
Guest: As an international student, what was the most challenging aspect of MBA so far?
* Crystal Yu: I think each person, international student or not, will have their specific challenges. Depending on your personality and on your prior experience in the US, everyone will have different feelings about this MBA experience. The most common challenge I've heard of is the networking norm in the US since it's definitely different than any other country. However, there's career advisors and career coaches to walk you through the whole process before recruiting starts. You are definitely in good hands since there's tremendous resources to get you ready. In addition, there's a huge presence of international students at Booth, rest assured you'll have the comfort of hanging out with people from your home country but also at the same time have open minded people from all over the globe.
Guest: Can anyone share their experience on how the perspective of international students tie in to any of the in-class discussions?
* Sylvia Lu: International students bring different views to the classes from our learnings. In one of my marketing strategy class, the professor mentioned about a product from China and I was able to stimulate the discussions from my background. There are more examples like that, from the diverse of the class.
Guest: First, thank you all for taking the time to answer our questions. I'll start with this, regarding the concentrations, do you feel pressure to complete all courses within a specific concentration or is it normal to branch out into areas you might have an interest without necessarily going for the full concentration?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: I personally think that you should not feel pressured at all to complete certain concentrations. Concentrations are only there to guide in your class selection to get a full skillset. They do not matter for recruiting. When you are applying to firms, you will not have completed your degree, so you can list any concentration that you aspire to complete. Once you work, the concentrations themselves don't matter, but what you learned in classes does.
Guest: I would like to know more about the Chicago Women in Business club, what events or activities do you at the club?
* Crystal Yu: I'm really sorry but I wasn't part of the group since I already have too many commitments. I'd love to try it out at some time. I'm not sure if they'll give you our contact info, but I'd definitely love to connect you to someone in the group and talk more about their experience.
Guest: Hi, fellow McGill alumnus here. How would you compare your experience at Booth with the one you had at McGill?
* Paul Moreau: Well it's very different because McGill is huge and Booth is 1200 students. Classes never go above 65 students and honestly the quality of our faculty and facilities is world class. Don't get me wrong, I love McGill and I'm proud to have been there but Booth is a different class. MBAs also allow for much more time to be spent with your classmates and create a strong network and lifelong friendships.
Guest: For all, which classes to you think is a must do at Booth?
* Crystal Yu: There's so many AMAZING classes at Booth. And depending on personal interests, you may like taking classes in different concentrations. Personally, New Venture strategy is my favorite so far. I also really enjoyed all the operations related classes.
Guest: Hi guys, I am currently on the waitlist and was wondering whether the Covid-19 situation would affect acceptance of international candidates.
* Anna Chalfin: Thank you so much for joining the chat! No, COVID-19 will not affect our acceptance from the waitlist for international candidates. We are dedicated to having a diverse class and international students at Booth bring a unique perspective. As students are accepted, we are working hard to support international students throughout the process to try and keep it all as smooth as possible.
Guest: International students mostly reside on campus or off campus?
* Sylvia Lu: It's not dependent on international or domestic students. But most students reside off campus, in the loop. You can find more information with the apartment search.
Guest: Hi all, greetings from Brazil! What are the features that you like in Booth that stand out and which ones would you change?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: Hi. One thing I like is the analytical rigor in Booth classes. Even in soft-skill classes, what we learn is backed up by hard data from empirical science. For example, in negotiations class, we spent most of the time putting negotiation strategy into practice, but the remaining lecture and our readings featured meta-analyses of negotiation studies. One specific thing Booth could change is to increase financial support for student groups, because in some cases, high club fees keep students from joining certain groups.
Guest: What avenues at Booth are available for accessing alumni, especially for professional advice?
* Anna Chalfin: Once you are a student at Booth, there is a community directory all students have access to through the intranet for students. This includes a directory of alumni with their background, current role, and location. Additionally, Career Services and some of the professional student-led groups create programming and panels and invite alumni to participate. Finally, students may also leverage the network in general through their peers, employers, and LinkedIn to connect with alumni.
Guest: Thanks for taking the time. Booth is clearly known for its flexible approach. Did any of you change your thoughts on what classes to take as you went along or were you more certain from the outright?
* Sylvia Lu: Definitely! Flexibility is really helpful to plan our own schedules. For me, I change my thoughts for classes depending on the class times and other things to leverage. For example, in the recruiting quarter, we could take fewer classes during the weekdays mornings/afternoons and take some classes in the evenings or the weekends. Definitely for some classes you are certain to take but we would sometimes change the ideas about which classes take and thanks to the flexibility we are able to change the classes.
Guest: Hello - Thank you for hosting this event. Can you guys please share with me your experience being a part of consulting club? What resources in particular did you utilize to land yourself consulting summer internship?
* Paul Moreau: MCG is Booth's consulting club. There are phenomenal. The take you from 0 to a 100. They will coach you individually, connect you with the right folks, give you opportunities to learn about the job, meet consultants, etc. They also teach you everything you have to know about interviewing and they are good at it, trust me!
Guest: Can you describe the Alumni network at Booth?
* Paul Moreau: The alumni network is very strong. I haven't interacted with many of the older generation but the folks I've been in touch with have always been the friendliest. They're always ready to meet over the phone and help you out. You leave Booth with a strong sense of community and I think that never goes away!
Guest: At which time of the year are the recruitment events for IB and PE?
* Paul Moreau: IB takes place from Sept until Jan (interviews). By Feb you're done PE starts later (March to May is peak season for internships) because shops hire only when they close a new fund so by default, it's much more "in time" recruiting.
Guest: I heard Deloitte stop sponsoring international student this year even if you interned there, can you talk about disadvantage been international student in internship and fulltime job if it apply to you
* Crystal Yu: As an international student, you definitely are limited to fewer choices that's for sure. I'm going to be really honest with you that it is definitely more challenging for international students, however, as long as you give your best shot, given the fact you are at Booth, everyone will end up be ok. Deloitte did stop sponsoring for our year, however I'm looking at our McKinsey Chicago office summer class, majority of the summer interns are actually international students.
Guest: What's the process to apply for financial aid? How does Booth compare to other schools in term of scholarship?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: Chicago Booth awards scholarships first at time of admission and second (much fewer) at the beginning of the second year. See more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/scholarships. Chicago Booth gives scholarship to a higher percentage of students and gives on average higher scholarships than peer schools. All scholarships are merit-based.
Most students fill remaining financing gap with loans. From my personal experience, financial considerations should never constrain MBA choices because our salaries are so much higher post-MBA.
Guest: How easy or common it is to have some electives in other schools (e.g. Harris)? How Booth interacts with the other UChicago schools?
* Sylvia Lu: It is pretty easy and really common. I know several classmates are taking law school's classes and other schools' classes. The class selection process is a little different. You can find more information by asking the academic services.
Guest: Nice to meet you guys! As an international student, what is the most important thing that I should prepare summer internship and recruiting? Do you have any other tips for summer internship?
* Sylvia Lu: Have fun! It is pretty busy once the quarter starts. But if you would like to pivot to other industries/roles/etc., a summer internship is definitely worth doing! You can first see if you can find a summer internship related to your career interest to better prepare you for the full-time and 1st year internship search. Start-up summer is a great option to learn from the Booth alums in your country and the start-up environment. You can also talk to the alums to see if they know any open positions for pre-MBA summer internships.
Guest: This question is for Crystal, Could you tell me more about the photobooth student group? I'm a photographer and would definitely join given the opportunity.
* Crystal Yu: PhotoBooth is definitely a great experience! We really do everything photo-related, we are also not limited to a certain set of experiences (we do hold best photo competitions, taking professional shots for students and etc. ) but we also can get very creative and whenever there's a fun suggestion we'd always be open to try different activities. We really want PhotoBooth be a connection between our students and their best memorable Booth experience.
Guest: Hi Crystal, appreciate you taking out time for this. Co-chair of the boxing club sounds interesting. What has been your most memorable experience?
* Crystal Yu: I've been boxing for years and I really love it!!! Unfortunately because of the current situation, we can't really go and workout in the gym but we are trying to organize some at home workouts for people to stay healthy and fit. In general, we workout at a certain boxing gym twice a week. It's such a great workout! And it takes so much stress out especially during recruiting. You don't have to know anything about boxing, there will be a trainer there and also other co-chairs to help you out. As long as you love working out, it definitely is a great experience.
Guest: Well, coming from an architecture background, I am experienced in real estate and retail designing. Do you think Booth will be a good fit?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: Hi, that sounds cool! In my opinion, your fit with Booth depends mostly on your post-MBA goals and on the culture fit. We have classmates from diverse backgrounds, including architecture, RE, and retail. If you'd like to ask someone with a similar background like yours about your fit, you can find them with the Connect a Student tool: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer
Guest: Any suggestion for incoming students on how to prepare before going back to school in the fall, especially international students who are planning to have a career switch to consulting?
* Paul Moreau: Please relax and enjoy your summer. Make sure you have a place to live and are ready immigration wise. Otherwise please don't start reading on consulting recruiting/accounting textbooks. Trust that the school will teach you everything you need to know. Enjoy the summer with your family and friends if you can before you move to the US.
Guest: Would you advice international students to apply to Booth during the Round 3 extended deadline period?
* Crystal Yu: I would advise you apply in R1 & R2. I think R3 would definitely be harder and from the perspective of getting visa and in general getting ready for school, it's kind of tight.
Guest: Are internationals allowed to take in-semester internships?
* Kimberly Epps: Hi! It depends on what type of student visa you are on! For example, F-1 students are not able to work until they have completed 3 quarters of course work. For more information, you should contact the office of international affairs: https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu
Guest: For consulting recruitment, if I have a few target practices/groups at firms that recruit from Booth that I’m most keen on joining, does the Management Consulting Group have resources to help me prepare to recruit for those practices, or is it more or less left up to me to carve my path into those practices? Thanks!
* Paul Moreau: I'm not sure what you mean. Let's say you want to do Ops at McKinsey for instance. The recruiting process is the same until the actual interview but 99% is the same as for people applying to be generalists. Same for Bain/BCG. For the firms that ask you to focus as you apply, it's the answer MCG will help because everybody is in the same position as you. Quick answer: no, you are never left alone in this process!
Guest: Hi Sylvia, I am interested in your pre-MBA career because I am also in a similar field. What motivate you to get into MBA? Also, please explain me about Booth Technology Group?
* Sylvia Lu: I have a narrow engineering background and I wanted to learn more, shape my thinking more strategically and generate more impacts to the tech industry. BTG is a professional group to help the students better prepare for tech internships and full-time positions. We have lunch-learns, workshops, networking with the firms, tech treks and interview preparation groups. You can know more by talking to any member within BTG.
Guest: Hi there, how did you go about researching on Booth during the application process given that most international students might not be able to visit the campus physically? Thank you.
* Crystal Yu: I would advise to connect to as many current students or alumni as possible. Talking to a range of people will help you get a better sense of the culture of the school and also the type of people you'll be spending most of your time with. Personally speaking, I loved all people I connected with at Booth and that really helped me make my decision of ultimately coming here. And I really enjoyed my experience so far, academic wise and non-academic wise.
Guest: Hi, I'm waitlisted right now and as an international student I'm a little worried about the VISA situation, the deadlines are going to be tight because everyplace is closed. Does the school have any plan or resource to support international students in this situation?
* Anna Chalfin: Thanks so much for joining! Yes, the Admissions team and the Office of International Affairs is working hard to support international students through any challenges or delays with their visa as a result of COVID-19. We'll continue to everyone updated. To learn more about OIA's general process, you can visit their website here: https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/
Guest: Hi Crystal, I'm curious about what aspects of the New Venture Strategy class did you like the most? Thanks!
* Crystal Yu: Given that I'm from a PE background and have an accounting and finance degree, I sometimes do feel like I'm somewhat textbook trained. We are trained to think in a structured way and looking at things in a structured manner. However, this class helped me to get outside of that trained experience or as our professor said your MBA habits, and try to look at new ventures in a different light. I really like that aspect of the class.
Guest: Is there some competition to get some concentrations in 2nd Year? If yes, what are the most challenging concentrations to get?
* Paul Moreau: It's a good question but no. There is absolutely no competition whatsoever for concentrations. To be honest, people are not very focused on concentrations, they pick specific classes because of the professor not the concentration they might be able to validate.
Guest: Hi Paul, following your internship at McKinsey, did you change your plans about how you wanted to spend the rest of your time at Booth?
* Paul Moreau: Not really to be honest. I came to Booth knowing that this is what I wanted to do. For sure it was nice to know that I had a job waiting for me after graduation when I came back last September but did not change my plans. Only allowed me to take more fully advantage of all the time here to do what I had wanted to do!
Guest: How do I join consulting after MBA?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: This is a well trotted path at Booth. Once classes begin, you will learn every single step you need to take and there will be someone by your side to help you. Paul was my mentor and helped me get into Bain. Here is a brief overview of a typical path for someone who wants to go into consulting: Most people choose to intern at a consulting firm in summer between the first and second year. They join the Management Consulting Group early on and the school as well as this group will guide them each step of the way. Each student gets a second year mentor with a similar path. Firms will come on campus so that they can introduce themselves and you can connect with employees. Then you will prepare for the application and interviews with the support from second year classmates. By the time interviews begin, you will be well prepared.
Guest: Hi Guys, I would like to know if someone pursued the Polsky Center mentoring program and could share the benefits of the experience.
* Crystal Yu: I didn't specifically participate in the Polsky Center mentoring program however I did participate in our New Venture Challenge, and I felt like the coaching and support given from Polsky Center was very helpful to help me get outside of that MBA/finance centric way of thinking.
Guest: Is financial difficulty ever a reason for international students not to be able to attend Booth (if admitted)?
* Anna Chalfin: Thanks for your question! For financing your MBA, all scholarships are merit-based (not need based) and solely decided upon based on your application materials. Scholarships are decided upon admission and evaluated with your academics, work experience, leadership and fit with Booth in mind. As for loans, the Office of Financial Aid supports international students in this process as well - you can learn more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/scholarships
Guest: Hi Sylvia - Seeing that you have worked in the US prior to Booth, so I'm curious whether you come to MBA with H-1B visa? I'm currently on H1-B right now so I'm curious whether this could be helpful toward recruiting process and whether I need to re-enter the H1B lottery again if I receive full-time offer in the US ?
* Sylvia Lu: You don't have to reenter for the lottery. We need to start the school with F1 though. I'm not 100% sure about how it's helpful toward the recruiting process given H1B also needs sponsorship. It might be helpful to some firms but not to other firms. The nice thing is we are not subject to the lottery.
Guest: Sylvia could you please tell me more about the Chicago in Business Club?
* Sylvia Lu: I'm assuming you are talking about Chicago Women in Business (CWiB). It's a great club, definitely worth joining! The community is strongly bonded with many events dedicated to women. The networking is helpful to talk to employees from the sponsors for your recruiting. You can know more by talking to any members.
Guest: I am not sure if any one of you can opine on this - is there a strong LGBTQ community at Booth?
* Anna Chalfin: Yes, we pride ourselves in having a diverse class representing many backgrounds and affinity groups - it's what makes the culture and community at Chicago Booth what it is! I would recommend connecting with the OUTreach student group at Booth to learn more. You can visit their website here: https://groups.chicagobooth.edu/outreach/home/
Guest: Hi Sylvia, you participated in the pre-MBA internship. Why did you decide to pursue one?
* Sylvia Lu: I didn't have experience in the startup space. It was a great opportunity for me to go back to China to learn more as I was in the US for my full-time before Booth. Feel free to email me offline to chat more.
Guest: Thank you for hosting this informative panel. I wanted to ask if any of the panelists had a particularly memorable example of the "pay-it-forward" ethos that Booth is well known for?
* Wilhelm Glaser-Gallion: One person who exemplifies paying it forward is David Tracy. In the fall quarter of his second year, he dedicated himself to helping first-years achieve their career goal. He led my project in Business Solutions Group. In this group, first years will do a consulting project in the fall quarter which helps them with recruiting. David also spent every free minute to do mock cases with first year (each week he had one whole day blocked off for this). During winter break, he jumped on the phone with first-years to prep us with cases and mock interviews.
Guest: Hi all, how do introverted students fit into Booth's culture?
* Crystal Yu: I think most people are introverted students at Booth, speaking from personal experience though. But I do feel that Booth did such a great job of putting us together and providing a comfortable and safe environment for us to really know more people. Most Boothies are down to earth, low key people that have accomplished so much but always eager to learn more. I really love that aspect of Booth, I've really learned so much from my fellow classmates and I've never thought that I'd be knowing so many more people given that I am also a introverted person and need a lot of personal space.
Guest: Sylvia, could you talk a little bit about your experience in the WiB group at Booth (how it helped you, typical things discussed, support for recruiting and others)?
* Sylvia Lu: CWiB is strongly bonded as a community. The small circles brings members closer. The network opportunities with the sponsors are helpful to know more about the firms for your recruiting. You can know more by talking to any of the members.
Guest: Thank you all for taking the time out answer questions. Could you tell me a bit more about the Booth Private Equity Group?
* Crystal Yu: I haven't been involved a lot in the PE group but I can share a little bit of experience. They've organized a lot of lunch and learn activities and I personally really enjoyed some of the speakers. They also share PE recruiting resources and other learning tools that help you get prepared for a career in PE.
Guest: As international students do you feel the booth community is divided into locals/int.? Or is there a good mix between students?
* Paul Moreau: I would say there is good mix. It's hard to say because it depends on your personality. I for myself, have a lot of Americans and internationals in my close friends!
Guest: Hi Kimberly and Anna, do you know if international students are disadvantaged for the Booth Scholars Program since we have to apply R3? Thank you
* Anna Chalfin: International students are not at a disadvantage during Round 3 in terms of how we evaluate. We do typically accept more students in general (both domestic and international) in both Rounds 1 & 2, but we encourage candidates to apply when you feel your application is in a good place - and what we're looking for does not change in Round 3. We are excited to see candidates representing many backgrounds, industries, and regions in our Round 3 pool as well, and looking for those who will be a good fit for the community.
Guest: Hi Paul, fellow Canadian here. How was the transition to Booth for you as a Canadian?
* Paul Moreau: Hi, full disclosure I'm French (from Paris) but I have done my undergrad at McGill and will be returning to Toronto after Booth. It's been really easy to transition here. We have a great little Canadian community here and I think everyone has been really happy
Guest: I got waitlisted in R2. Do you know if the final decision will come before R3 deadline?
* Anna Chalfin: We will provide you with an update by the Round Three decision release on Thursday, May 21, 2020
Guest: What do you most like about the life in Chicago?
* Crystal Yu: Wow, so many aspects. I actually spent a long time in California where it's pretty much sunny all year round. Coming to Chicago was a challenge for me because it's so windy and cold. I'm really not sure if this is the MBA bubble or I think I want to challenge myself with extreme weathers, but I've really grown to love Chicago more and more. My positive experience at Booth be the main driver of course.
Guest: How do I get financial aid for application fee waiver? I heard that Booth doesn't provide that for financial aid purpose. Is there any recommended sources?
* Anna Chalfin: There are a few situations in which we grant fee waivers that are listed on our website. Chicago Booth does not grant fee waivers based on financial status or any other circumstance outside of the options listed on the site. You can view those qualifying waivers situations here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/faq
Guest: How do international students normally finance their MBA? Is it easy to obtain Scholarships or loans?
* Anna Chalfin: Chicago Booth provides financing opportunities for all students, regardless of their citizenship, or whether or not they have a US co-signer. More information regarding the loan program will be made available to students via the admitted student's website, upon admission to the program. Scholarships are highly competitive, merit based awards - there are several scholarships and fellowships available to international students: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/scholarships
Guest: What has been your most memorable non-academic experience?
* Sylvia Lu: My case competition with the new classmates in the first quarter was really memorable! I was able to learn more from the case competition and from my genius classmates with different backgrounds.
Guest: Has anyone worked as an Admissions Fellow? How was the experience?
* Paul Moreau: Yes Marcelo! I have been an admissions fellow for almost a year now. It's been great. It's really a great opportunity for you to pay it forward and help candidates better understand what Booth is about. In my team, I worked with Anna (also on the panel) to help the admission team with their international applicants efforts. The experience has been really interesting and it's been great to really help Booth work on these topics.
Guest: What has positively surprised you at booth? (a class/group/lab/people, etc.)
* Sylvia Lu: How smart my classmates are! I'm always able to learn from my classmates and hear diverse opinions.
Guest: Is there any advice you can give to international students preparing to apply fall 2021?
* Crystal Yu: I'd say talk to more people, as many people as you can to figure out if this is the type of culture you'd enjoy. If you really feel connected and love the culture and people, you'll thrive here.
Guest: How would Booth be a good fit for someone interested in social impact or the non-profit sector?
* Anna Chalfin: The Rustandy Center is our center that focuses on Social Impact initiatives at Booth. Many of the programs, events, student-led groups, and social impact related initiatives work closely with the Rustandy Center. You can learn more about some of their initiatives and programming here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/research/rustandy/how-we-help-you
Guest: Booth is known as a program with more academic focus and rigor. What do you think of this comment?
* Sylvia Lu: This is a positive side of the academic focus. At the same time, the flexibility really helps you plan your own schedules and prioritize your own focuses.
Guest: Thank you all for your time. How likely are PE firms to sponsor and/or hire international students both for internships and full time roles?
* Crystal Yu: Booth has a PE/VC lab where basically you will be doing internships with different PE and VC firms. From there, it's definitely possible to land a fulltime offer, but I would say for international students it will be hard to look for PE jobs in the US. Not just for international students, I guess for everyone it's the same. In general there's just not that many opening for PE firms, and you'll definitely need to be more proactive and do a lot of cold calls to get connected.
Guest: What's the typical number of students within a certain class? I'm sure it will differ by class but a rough range? Thanks!
* Crystal Yu: Most classes have a limit of 65 students. Some classes are smaller like around 35-40.
Guest: How do international students engage (or plan to engage) with the community after graduation?
* Paul Moreau: Well it depends if you stay in Chicago or not obviously. I think a third of the class stays in Chicago approximately (you can check the actual numbers in the employment report). For the rest of us, we maintain a close and smaller community with the Boothies from our city/country.
Guest: Hello everyone! Thank you for your time. I am from Colombia, and got waitlisted in R2. I recently sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a couple questions. Was that the correct email? Or is there someone specific I should write to? And are there any tips you have? Really hoping I get admitted :)
* Anna Chalfin: Thanks so much for joining this afternoon! That is the correct email address. Feel free to send a follow-up email if you did not get a response - my colleague monitors the email account and will forward it to the best person to help with your questions. As for tips for the Waitlist, be sure to follow the instructions provided and submit the video as indicated. We look forward to reviewing the videos to gain a little more insight into your application and overall fit with Booth. Thanks so much for your continued interest, and we look forward to staying in touch over the next few weeks. Best of luck with next steps!
Guest: Hi Paul, saw you are coming back to Toronto, were you interned at Toronto office, how’s your recruitment process to Toronto go in Chicago?
* Paul Moreau: I did intern in the Toronto office this past summer. The recruiting process was the same as if I had applied to Detroit or Dallas honestly, hop on phone calls, email people there, try to visit if you can. North American recruiting for MBAs is pretty centralized at the big consulting firms.
Guest: How frequent MBB recruit MBA students at Booth?
* Crystal Yu: A lot. Booth is a target school, and through recruiting, you'll meet so many alumni in MBB coming back to campus and trying to help you throughout the process.
Guest: Hi Crystal, you mentioned PE/VC lab, is international student without visa able to work through this lab?
* Crystal Yu: Yes. You can apply for CPT and that will be sufficient for you. I do know a lot of international students participated in this program and they loved it.
Guest: Being an international student, do you have to gear up and start looking for summer internships at the very beginning of the course?
* Paul Moreau: Being an international student doesn't impact your recruiting timeline - no matter the industry. Consulting and Banking as industries start recruiting early so if you were pursuing one of these, then yes, you would be looking at starting the process in Oct.
Guest: Have any of you taken courses with Professor Raghuram? If so please let me know your experience (whether International Corporate Finance or Economic Policy in a Changing World. Thanks!
* Paul Moreau: I have this past quarter! One of the brightest mind I have ever met in my life. I will also add that Prof Rajan is extremely humble and very approachable. 100% recommend his class, it was one of the highlights of classroom experiences while at Booth.
Guest: When can you start working as an admissions fellow? I feel I would love to be one
* Anna Chalfin: You apply to be an Admission Fellow in the winter quarter of your first year and begin the role in the fall of your second year.
Guest: Question for Paul, why are you joining Mckinsey in Toronto as opposed to staying in the US?
* Paul Moreau: I love Canada (shout out to my fellow McGillians/Canadian folks on the chat). It's a great country and Toronto is a dream city for me, it's where I want to be long term.
Guest: Hi Kimberly/Anna - as a waitlisted R2 candidate, would you recommend submitting any additional updates beyond the waitlist video? I was originally hoping to visit campus again this month, though that is not currently feasible given the current environment.
* Kimberly Epps: Hi! Yes, if you have had significant updates - employment, higher test scores, etc - please send to the admissions mailbox (email@example.com) and we will add it to your application
Guest: What is your number 1 advice for incoming students, (perhaps something that a previous student had passed on forward to you and you found extremely helpful)?
* Paul Moreau: Figure out what YOU want out of this experience and don't get distracted by all the cool things happening around you. Keep your objective top of mind and stop listening to the "noise"
Guest: Hi guys, please if we want to message any of you post-chat to gain more info, how do we reach you?
* Kimberly Epps: Hi! Please send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will provide you with their email addresses.
Senior Assistant Director of Enrollment Strategy
Kimberly Epps joined Chicago Booth’s Full-Time Admissions Office in July 2015. Kim is Assistant Director on the Outreach Team and is responsible for the Campus Visit Program and Booth Live events. Prior to Booth, Kim worked in the non-profit sector and has held positions at American Bar Association and American Library Association. Born and raised in Chicago, Kim received a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governors State University and a Meeting, Convention and Exhibition Management Certificate from Roosevelt University. Kim volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House near the University of Chicago Comer Hospital. You can catch Kim on the sidelines cheering on her son at various sporting events in her spare time.
Associate Director, Enrollment Strategy
Anna joined the Full-Time MBA Admissions team in October 2018 and sits on the Enrollment Strategy team. Anna's focus is engaging alumni in the admissions process, along with serving on the Full-Time Admissions Committee. Prior to Chicago Booth, Anna worked at UChicago's Office of Career Advancement on the Employer Relations and Development team. In this role, Anna partnered with tech and healthcare organizations recruiting undergraduates at the University. Anna earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. After graduation, she worked as a consultant and then taught English abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.