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In my previous post, I offered insights into Booth’s Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program for early career candidates, explaining why we value young professionals represented in our classrooms, and some of the aspects that make CBF unique. Now, let’s dig into the CBF application process a bit!

What is the admissions process like?

For the Evening CBF program, we offer two admissions intakes per year (Autumn and Spring), and for the Weekend CBF program, we offer one per year (Autumn). The application process is the same, but the interview process is different. A unique requirement of the CBF application process is attending a CBF Interview Day, which we offer a few times a year.

What is a CBF interview day?

It’s a special half-day event which allows you to complete your required admissions interviews, as well as engage with current CBF students, alumni, and admissions directors, and network with other young professionals so you can get a sense of the community. We will also feed you (yum).

Why is the interview process different for CBF?

Because CBF is unique, we provide you with a more immersive interview day experience, so you will have the opportunity to engage in some leadership training and the camaraderie that goes hand-in-hand with learning more about your peers!  

When will it happen?

Typically we offer CBF interview days four Saturdays per year: two leading up to our Spring CBF deadline, and two leading up to our Autumn CBF deadlines. Keep an eye on the CBF webpage for information about upcoming interview days once you’re closer to submitting your application. 

Breaking it down. Here is what you can expect day of

Program overview and panel discussion: We’ll kick the day off by providing an overview of CBF while you enjoy your bagels and coffee. Next we’ll bring up a panel of CBF students and alumni for an open Q&A, so you can ask questions about the CBF experience.

Module rotation: After the panel, you’ll break out into smaller groups and rotate through the following modules:

Individual Interview: All Evening and Weekend applicants, CBFers included, complete a required one-on-one admissions interview. You will almost always be interviewed by a current student or alum of the CBF program.
Group Interview: Conducted by an Admissions Director, the group interview enables us to see how you interact with your peers in a group setting.
Visual Explorer: This piece is meant to give you a taste of what a typical CBF seminar might feelblike. This is the fun part, don’t overthink it too much. ;)
Breakfast and lunch: Seriously, who doesn’t love food to complement the potential butterflies in their stomach before an interview? The CBF students and alumni that help conduct your interviews will join us for lunch as well, so there are even more opportunities to engage!

How should I prepare?

Both the individual and group interviews are behavioral in nature, meaning they’re simply an opportunity for us to get to know you! Be yourself, come prepared, and review some of our interview tips.

Dress for success! Business professional attire is preferred.

Bring business cards to exchange with other candidates you want to stay in touch with.

Here’s a secret: CBF Interview Day is the admissions team’s favorite Saturday to work. You may feel nervous when you show up, but by the end of the day, you will be smiling, laughing, and exchanging contact information with other candidates you met during the day. I guarantee that you will walk away feeling relieved and really excited about joining this incredible community of young professionals!