August 6, 2019 Live Admissions Chat Transcript
Chat Participant: Hello, I visited the weekend MBA page and I cannot get information about the tuition fees
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Welcome and thank you for your question! You can find detailed information on tuition and fees here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/admissions/tuition-financial-aid
Chat Participant: Have you found that the Weekend MBA helps career changers go into finance or consulting when they don't have a background in either?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: The Weekend program does a good job of preparing students for a career change. If you know going in that you are interested in such a change, you will want to spend significant time with Career Services to understand the opportunities at hand to help this shift occur. It may be helpful to take a look at our Evening and Weekend career data to identify what our recent alumni are doing post-MBA: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/career/impact
Chat Participant: How heavily is a resume weighed compared to GMAT/GRE scores and former GPA
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: The resume is one material that we use to evaluate your work experience and career progression. The letters of recommendation are another way we capture this. We do not have a specific weight for the academic or career requirements, but successful candidates are able to showcase their ability to handle the academic rigor of Chicago Booth as well as career progression and potential for leadership.
Chat Participant:: Also, what differentiates Booth from the other top PT MBA programs in your view?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: Oh where to start...The top thing that comes to mind is the flexibility of the program format and course selection. We have the most flexible program that allows you to take courses that are most interesting to you and at a pace that fits your lifestyle. Most Evening and Weekend MBA student take two courses per quarter. I’d also be remiss not to mention our diverse and supportive community of Academic Advisors, Student Life advisors, Career Services, faculty, alumni and current students who support you throughout your MBA and beyond. We are also well known for our multi-disciplined and data driven approach to business education. Our faculty work to create problem solvers and teach them how to think as opposed to what to think.
Chat Participant: Is the weekend MBA perceived by recruiters in the same light as the traditional MBA?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: The Weekend MBA program yields the same degree as the Full-Time and Evening MBA programs. The faculty teach across all three programs and therefore the academic experience will be the same among all three. Employers understand this and for the most part will view the degree the same as well. Aside from companies who tend to hire directly from internships – the opportunities will be the same among all the programs
It may be helpful to take a look at our Evening and Weekend career data to identify what our recent alumni are doing post-MBA: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/career/impact
Chat Participant: Hello, I was wondering if you can provide some advice on someone who has a subpar gpa (under 3.0, college). Is it possible to get in? If so, how can I improve my chances?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: I highly recommend focusing on the GMAT or GRE to improve your academic profile. We look at both your test score as well as your transcripts when it comes to reviewing your academic background.
Chat Participant: Are classes structured on M/W or T/TH or M-F?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: So, classes are once a week and each of them are 3 hours long. What you'll have is a Monday class from 6:00 - 9:00 PM and then you might take another class that is on a Thursday in the same time slot. It’s a lot of time all at once but there is a break in the middle and you get used to it pretty fast.
Chat Participant: What networking opportunities are made available for students in the Evening program, both amongst students and potential employers?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: There are many formal and informal networking opportunities available to all students, Evening program included. There are a ton of industry focused clubs that you can join which will have different events available to its members. These events will range from a lunch and learn presentation to a networking night, depending on the industry and the club.There are also the more formal opportunities through the On Campus Recruiting program that everyone has the opportunity to go through once in their Booth career. These will have specific open corporate communication events that everyone who registers for On Campus Recruiting can attend. This will also get you on firm's radar for other coffee chat type events that the firms host for students who are looking for their post-MBA role. Lastly, you can always reach out direction to individuals who you want to connect with in the Booth network. I've personally done this as I go through my search for a post-MBA role right now.
Chat Participant: Once a student is enrolled in the evening MBA program and starts taking classes, can a student transfer to full time MBA if the student wishes to do so?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics You cannot transfer from the Evening MBA Program into the full-time MBA Program. You can only transfer between Evening and Weekend Programs once. It is important early on to identify that program that is right for you and that will help you meet your personal and professional goals. The Evening Program is designed for working professionals and those that intend to continue working while concurrently earning their MBA at Booth. The same faculty teach across our programs so you have access to the same world class faculty and rigorous program.
Chat Participant: On the website, it is recommended to have one professional recommendation from a current supervisor. As I just recently changed roles, would it be acceptable to have a recommendation from a past supervisor since they are more familiar with my work?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: If you just started a new job and are uncomfortable asking your new supervisor for a recommendation, we totally understand. In your application, just explain to us why you chose your selected recommenders
Chat Participant: What are the main factors you take into consideration on review process for merit scholarship? Curious if GMAT/GRE scores take a big portion
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: These are merit-based awards and we take a different approach in evaluating someone for a scholarship than we do for admissions. Past recipients had above average (average is 680) test scores and undergraduate GPAs, impressive career backgrounds, stellar letters of recommendation, and strong fit with the Evening and Weekend Programs.
Chat Participant: Can you please elaborate on the career services offered to the Executive MBA program attendees, specifically if I was interested in pivoting to a company outside of my current place of employment. Talk to different initiatives where you connect current attendees and prospective employers, please.
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: In my experience the career services resources for Evening/Weekend students and Executive MBA students are very similar. I highly recommend contacting the Executive MBA team at email@example.com to learn more about career opportunities specific to their population. They will likely be able to connect you with current students and alumni to share their experiences in the program.
Chat Participant:: For those who did not have a conventional US background how is it going to impact the application? In my case, I come from the French speaking system and did not go through a straight Bachelor Master's degree. I got an associate degree then got into a university where I got my master's degree a few years later. Can I still apply and how is this unconventional path going to affect my application?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Your unconventional background will not negatively impact your application. As long as you have the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, we will evaluate your transcripts and background in the same manner as every applicant with the same change of admittance. It will be important for you to address your background and how it relates to your MBA pursuit at Booth now – tying that together with your future career and skillset you’d like to develop.
Chat Participant: is it possible to take one Friday evening class, and 2 classes on Saturday - and graduate faster?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: All students must take 20 courses in order to graduate from Booth. On average our students take 2 classes a quarter and graduate in 2.5 years. However, they have 5 years to complete the degree and often take a quarter off here and there (summer tends to be popular). While someone could take 3 classes a quarter, that is the most we would recommend for someone who is also working full-time. It would be a very challenging pace to keep up for the duration of the program. If anything, we see our Weekend students taking 3 classes as they fly in every weekend and tend to take advantage of the time they are in Chicago.
Chat Participant: Is the PT Weekend program based on a cohort model? Also, how many applicants do you typically accept in an application window and what is the acceptance rate for PT Weekend?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: The Evening and Weekend MBA Programs are not cohort-based, so you can select courses of your choosing each quarter, tailored to your individual goals and needs. We don't publish acceptance rates for the part-time programs, but we do not have a quota. It all just depends on the quality of the applicant pool each quarter.
Chat Participant: Are there any substantial differences between the Evening and Weekend programs? Do they attract different types of candidates?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: The only substantial difference between the programs are the timings of the classes. Weekend students have priority in the Friday/Saturday classes and Evening students have priority in the Monday through Friday classes.(Friday, both programs have the 1st priority over the Full-Time students but not over each other).Outside of that everything is really the same and depends on what you make of it. Weekend students generally have a tougher time participating in activities since they usually travel in Friday evening, take classes Saturday, and then head out Saturday evening. But there is nothing that precludes them from participating from everything an Evening student does within the school itself.
Chat Participant: I have read that the Weekend program generally takes between 2.5-3 years to complete. Have you ever had students complete the MBA in two years?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Yes, there are students who have completed the Weekend program in two years. These students typically for a few quarters will take a Friday night class in the Evening program, then two Saturday classes in the Weekend program to accelerate their time at Booth.
Chat Participant: What percentage of students are admitted to the Evening/MBA Program?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: We do not share that publicly as it may vary depending on the overall strength of the applicant pool in any given quarter. Instead of focusing on specific admissions rates, we recommend focusing on putting together the strongest application you can!
Chat Participant:: What is the minimum requirement for GRE Score? If possible please give breakdown.
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Hello, we do not have a minimum GRE score. Keep in mind, your GRE is only one part of your overall application, and we employ a holistic review process.
Chat Participant: If I were to travel in for school from out of town, could I take Friday evening classes and Saturday classes to expedite the timeline for completion of the program?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: You can set your own pace! You have 5 years to complete the degree. While on average students take 2 classes per quarter, it would be possible to take 3. We often see Weekend students take a class Friday night and 2 on Saturday. However, I will caution that is a VERY heavy load to take while maintaining a full time job, so it would be a difficult pace to keep up with long term.
Chat Participant: How many classes/credit hours should one expect to take per semester to graduate on a traditional, 2-year pace?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: Our students take on average 2 courses per quarter and are able to finish is 2.5 to 3 years at that pace. If you ever need to slow down, you can take as little as one course a quarter, but we highly discourage taking more than 3 per quarter, as the course loads are intense. Two courses per quarter seems to be the right number for nearly all our students.
Chat Participant: Does years of work experience play an important part in candidate evaluation? What if I am in my early career, still several years apart from taking on a management role, but want to get prepared and learn, will PT MBA be a good fit?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: We have a great program for students with three years or less of working experience call the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) for Early Career Professionals. It yields the same degree as the traditional Booth MBA but also offers professional seminars over the first two quarters to build students professional skills such as public speaking and networking. Students applying to this program will be applicants in a pool of those who also only have three years or less of experience. Whether you fall in the category of this CBF program or if you have more than three years of experience -- it is up to you to leverage the experience you have and skills developed to help tell your story of why you are here.
Chat Participant: How much do students normally spend on books?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: Great my first typical Booth answer! It depends! I've spent the most on the first three class I took, Microeconomics, Accounting, and Statistics. These were about $300 books. I don't think I've spent more than $50 on any other class. Usually the books are more like novels than they are text books so the cost of each book is $15-$20 and you might have 2-3 that you need to buy for each class.
Chat Participant: From a career services point of view, how closely does the Weekend MBA mirror the full-time program? Do students have access to the same employers or is there a perception that the full-time program is harder to gain admittance to given the pool?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: The experience will be very similar in terms of resources offered. The only exception is internship recruiting is only exclusive to the Full-Time program. All other resources, including our online job posting site and on-campus recruiting are shared across all programs. Not every Evening MBA and Weekend MBA student is seeking a new employer, so these students can take advantage of these job-changing resources if needed.
Chat Participant: Is the weekend MBA perceived by recruiters in the same light as the traditional MBA?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: It will never show up on your degree that you were a weekend student. So the answer to your question is entirely dependent upon how you frame your experience. I'm going through the recruiting process right now as an evening student, focusing on consulting. Some firms really like that I'm an evening student. Other firms aren't as keen on it but I've been able to make some headway with those firms by talking about my experience. It’s not easy to juggle work, school, clubs, and interview prep. I use this to my advantage when I talk about my experience because I've had to juggle a lot more stuff than full-time students have. This can be a positive note on you resume and not a negative if you take the experience and learn something valuable.
Chat Participant: Booth, like U of Chicago in general, has a reputation for academic and intellectual depth: do any PT MBA students choose academia/PhD as their career path?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: I don’t believe our data supports that and it does not seem to be a common path that our students take.
Chat Participant: Hi I'm trying to understand the feasibility of doing a weekend MBA from outside of the State. What time does the shuttle bus pick up from the airport? Can I find the schedule online?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Yes about 70% of our Weekend students commute in from outside of Illinois, so it is definitely doable! The shuttles for O’Hare and Midway picks up at around 8:15am on Saturdays and departs at 4:40pm after Saturday classes.
Chat Participant: What exactly makes a prospective student a good "fit" for your program? In other words, what qualities do you primarily look for in applicants?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: We take a holistic view at each application, meaning we look at all aspects of your application, including your essays, test score, recommendations, resume, etc. We are looking for people who have specific goals in mind for their MBA, who want to get involved with the Booth community, who are honest and candid, and have a collaborative spirit.
Chat Participant: If the GMAT score is less than 680, will the applicant be possible to get scholarship?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: Every applicant is considered for a merit-based scholarship, and we have not set criteria. If your GMAT score is lower, but your recommendations, resume, accomplishments, goals, etc. are stellar, it is certainly possible that the GMAT score wouldn't be considered as highly.
Chat Participant: Do the titles of your recommendation letters matter? For instance, CFO vs a Manager. Also, does a recommendation from a U of C alumni help?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: The titles do not matter -- aside from Booth preferring your current supervisor/manager. A University of Chicago alum and more specifically a Booth alum would be helpful so long as they know you well and can speak specifically to your day-to-day abilities and skill-set. Someone who can speak directly to these should not be substituted for one simply with an executive title or an alum.
Chat Participant: Can you provide information regarding opportunities to focus on technology innovation at Booth, whether that be through specific courses or student groups? Thank you.
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: I know that we have a few courses along these lines. I'm thinking specifically of app development and platform competition. Those are great classes for people who might not be the most up-to-date with technology but are looking to learn. Outside of classes, we have a wonderful technology student group that does hosts a lot of presentations and discussions with firms and industry leaders. There's also the Polsky center, which is more for entrepreneurship but I know there are some really interesting companies that are pushing the envelope, in all areas but tech as well. Through that center we can see many new companies and technologies breaking ground. They also offer ways for students to get involved with them through some internship opportunities that the center helps the companies, and students, finance. I'm sure there are more out there, this was not something I focused on heavily while I've been at Booth.
Chat Participant: Are scholarships available for weekend MBA program?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Merit-based scholarship opportunities are available to Weekend MBA students! You can find more information in our recent blog post here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/blog/ewadmissions/2019/funding-your-mba-scholarships-financial-aid.
Chat Participant: For those who did not have a conventional US background how is it going to impact the application? In my case, I come from the French speaking system and did not go through a straight Bachelor Master's degree. I got an associate degree then got into a university where I got my master's degree a few years later. Can I still apply and how is this unconventional path going to affect my application?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: We have a number of students whose education was completed internationally and as a result we are very familiar with the education process across the world and will assess you application fairly and equally across the applicant pool.
Chat Participant: Will the students have access to a guide or an advisor to help them navigate the MBA program and select classes that align with their target?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: Absolutely! Our academic advising office is amazingly helpful in crafting your way through the program. You can schedule meetings with them at basically anytime you want and I personally have done that 5-6 times since I started. A few times right at the start to kind of get me on a path and then 1-2 check ins as I went through and finally 1-2 more now that I'm reaching the end to make sure I hit everything I really want to.
Chat Participant: I understand that there are four terms with 11 weeks for three terms, and 10 weeks for the other terms. Do they include our exam dates as well? Do you have a detailed schedule for the entire year?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Yes, the 11 week quarters (with the exception of summer quarter, which is 10 weeks) include exam dates. Exam dates will depend on the class as some are traditional in-person exam while others are take-home and final presentations. You can find our academic calendar on our website here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/academics
Chat Participant: For those traveling in to obtain an MBA on the weekends, is there an opportunity to take class every other weekend? Or do you need to be in attendance every weekend?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Evening MBA and Weekend MBA classes are all held once a week at the scheduled class time.
Chat Participant: What exactly does the 3-day LAUNCH program for new students entail? Eric- how do you feel about the experience?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: Launch was incredible. Literally changed my life So the 3-days are full of team building and leadership activities to help get students started and to instill some of Booth's methodology of data driven thinking in its students. You also do some really silly activities to try and get you comfortable with trying new things. Booth is a place where everyone expects you to try, and sometimes fail, and that's OKAY. It’s good even. Launch helps you with this by doing some improve and scavenger hunt type things. This does many things, including allowing you to get to know the people you'll be going through the program with, and getting you to feel that it’s a safe environment to try whatever you want in a way that's going to allow you to learn as much as you can. I enjoyed it so much I've mentored the Launch a couple of times and will be a part of the first Super Mentor group that will mentor both the Weekend and Evening launches this fall. (In the fall we have 2 launches since the group is so large).
Chat Participant: how much financial aid is typically provided to students?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: It would depend on a case-by-case basis, and would be coordinated through the university's financial aid department. You can find out more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/tuition-financial-aid.
Chat Participant: Eric, what was your background prior to pursuing consulting?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: I'm currently working in the Civil Engineering industry for a mid-sized Engineering, Architecture, and Construction Management firm working in the Rail Group. The group does engineering design projects for major freight railroads and transportation agencies throughout the US. I'd describe my role as largely project management.
Chat Participant: Will these question and answers be posted anywhere after this session ends?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: Yes! They will be posted here within approximately 3-4 business days: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/events/online-chats. .
Chat Participant: Are scholarships available for weekend MBA program?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Yes! Any prospective student who applies to the Evening MBA or Weekend MBA program is automatically taken into consideration for merit-based scholarships. We typically inform candidates that they are being awarded a scholarship shortly after they are admitted into the program.
Chat Participant:: What do you recommend an applicant focus on in terms of leadership if they only have a few years of experience and have not held supervisor/manager roles (don't have direct reports)?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: For all applicants with three years or less of working experience I recommend exploring the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program. It allows you to move through the program in a cohort of other young professionals, provides professional development seminars in the first quarter of Booth to impact skills such as public speaking, networking, and leadership. Finally, when applying you are among a pool of applicants who have the similar amount of working experience. The CBF program yields the same degree as the traditional Evening/Weekend program, with the same classes and same Booth students so you would not be getting a different classroom experience as a Chicago Business Fellow. A Booth MBA is also a great way to hone your burgeoning leadership skills. For example, all MBA students must complete 20 courses (or 2000 units) and Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD).
Chat Participant: Is there a cap on how many students can enter the program as a Chicago Business Fellow?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: We do not have a cap on CBF or the Evening and Weekend Programs. Of course, we have enrollment goals that we try to meet, but do not limit ourselves if there is a candidate we really want. In autumn quarter CBF classes have ranged anywhere from 25-35 and for spring quarter CBF classes have ranged anywhere from 15-30. It varies as you can see.
Chat Participant: From an admissions perspective, what can applicants do to make their essay stand out?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: Write from your heart; be candid and honest. We aren't looking for generic, robotic-like essays. We want to know more about you, your background, your MBA goals, etc. Let us get to know you and what drives you to succeed, and how Booth plays into those plans.
Chat Participant: Hi, I am interested in using the Weekend MBA to help facilitate a career change and am wondering if there is a way to connect with alumni who have used the Weekend MBA program to make a career change. Thanks!
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: Absolutely! Use our Connect with a Student portal and we will happily try and match you with your specific request: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer.
Chat Participant: Can we skip a quarter or a year for the weekend MBA if our work requires us to travel? What is the maximum duration of gap we can have?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Booth's only requirement is that students complete 20 classes within 5 years. With that in mind, you can take a pretty long break from classes if needed, even if it was a year or more.
Chat Participant: If i have a low undergrad GPA but an outstanding graduate GPA along with a good GRE or GMAT, is it worth applying? Or will I be rejected based on a low 2.0 GPA during undergrad.
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: We do pay attention to your transcripts and look for trends. We are an academically rigorous institution and we want to make sure you can handle the material and rigor of the Booth classroom. If you have a few low grades don’t panic, however, if you have a poor academic track record you will want to strengthen your application with a strong test score and the other elements of your application. Perhaps use the optional essay to explain what happened
Chat Participant: Can an evening MBA student hypothetically transfer into the traditional MBA program?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: An evening student cannot transfer to the Full-Time program however an Evening or Weekend student can take three classes, and take Full-Time classes at the Hyde Park main University of Chicago campus as well as the Gleacher Center downtown. In this instance your designation would still be of an Evening Student but you would be taking more classes at a time.
Chat Participant: How about transfer student from other MBA program? How does this process work?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions:: Booth does not accept transfer credits from any outside institutions, as all Booth students are required to complete 20 classes in order to graduate. However, any previous graduate level coursework can potentially serve as prerequisites to take more advanced classes at Booth.
Chat Participant: How is a non-business (e.g. nonprofit) background viewed in the application process?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: We view all backgrounds equally, and actually welcome and encourage applicants from non-finance/business backgrounds to apply. An MBA can be applicable to any line of work, especially nonprofits.
Chat Participant: Will work visa affect admission decisions? If my work visa is expiring in two years, but it can be renewed indefinitely due to free trade agreement, will that affect my chance of getting into the weekend MBA program?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: Your visa/immigrant status is not something that we evaluate when reviewing your application for admissions. For our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students who are on work visas, we want to make sure they are aware that if one’s work visa were to expire while in the program, we are unable to sponsor an F1 visa and they will need to be mindful of the pace of your program. Most students complete their degree in 2.5 to 3 years.
Chat Participant: How do you perceive applicants working on their own early stage companies or non-profits? Online discussions imply that can be a disadvantage as MBA programs are suspicious of companies that do not have substantial traction yet. Is that accurate?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Hello and thank you for your question! Our Weekend MBA students come from a variety of industries and backgrounds, including both the non-profit and entrepreneurial spaces. I would recommend taking a look at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation which focuses on entrepreneurial ventures https://polsky.uchicago.edu/.
Chat Participant: Do you have statistics as to how many students have changed careers post Booth?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: We do! A great place to start on our website to review our career data is here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/career.
Chat Participant: Can an evening MBA student hypothetically transfer into the traditional MBA program?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students cannot transfer into the Full-Time program and vice versa.
Chat Participant: Speaking of CBF, can you specify exactly what three years or less means? I have been working for 38 months, would I be ineligible for this winter's CBF application?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: For the CBF program, we are looking for candidates who at the time of their application have three years or 36 months or less of experience. If you have more than this but feel the program is beneficial, you are welcome to apply, however we may (after reviewing your resume) recommend you apply to the traditional MBA program instead if we feel you are bit too senior for the CBF program.
Chat Participant: When we talk about years of experience, is it at the point of applying or point of starting the classes?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: You can interpret that as at the point of applying. If you are referring to Chicago Business Fellows program (for students with 3 years or less of full-time work experience), that will be at the point of starting classes.
Chat Participant: Do you weigh in grade of other MBA school grade even if you Booth doesn’t take transfer credit?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Yes, Booth will evaluate and consider all transcripts from other degree programs in the admission evaluation
Chat Participant: Will an applicant for the CBF program be entered in the pool for the standard evening/weekend MBA applicants? How could a candidate optimize their application to be considered for both applicant pools?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: To explain a little about what makes CBF different, the Chicago Business Fellows program is a subset of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs for those with 3 years or less of experience, and offers additional professional development programming during the first quarter via a required weekly seminar. It yields the exact same degree and 95% of your classes will be with the traditional MBA students, but that additional programming helps to build some of the softer skills that can be important early in a career. When we are reviewing candidates you are evaluated amongst your CBF peers so the comparison is not across the entire applicant pool. For CBF candidates we are also looking for leadership potential and early career progression.
Chat Participant: If one has a low undergrad GPA (2.0) but was able to get into a graduate program with a master’s degree (GPA 3.0)
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: We consider all of your GPAs from all courses of study and degrees. The fact that your graduate GPA is much higher than your undergraduate GPA should bode well for you, as it shows progress and growth. Remember -- we take a holistic approach to the application process, so no one part of your application will be weighed heavier than another. If you are worried about your past GPA, just make sure your recommendations and essays are stellar.
Chat Participant: If I have been in my role for less than a year, can I ask my previous manager to write a recommendation for me as I worked for him for longer and he is still exposed to my work as a mentor?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: We always prefer to have a letter of recommendation from current supervisor, but we give you the opportunity to explain why you did not use a current supervisor. If you do not think that they would provide much value to your application, you can look to others for the two letters as long as you provide an explanation on why you chose those individuals.
Chat Participant: With a 40-50 hour work week with... say two classes, and being out of school for about eight years, how difficult will it be to stay on top of the course load?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: The truth is its tough. Especially if you want to take on extra-curricular. But, you wouldn't be looking at Booth if you didn't want the best for yourself. You have to stay very organized. I use Google Calendar for EVERYTHING. I've annoyed my wife when I tell her to place date night on our calendar. But you are trying to embark on this really incredible journey and its going to be stressful and you're going to have late nights. You will also meet some the best people you've ever had the chance to meet in your life and you'll get to learn from CEO's and some of the best professors in the world. It’s tougher at first as well. Eventually it becomes new normal and you figure out a system that works for you. Google calendar is my method but other people have elaborate planners they use. I know a couple of guys I started with are both out in the suburbs, working 40+ hours, wife and some kids. So, you can definitely find the time, it’s just about setting priorities.
Chat Participant: Are there global experiences available for PT MBA? Are students required to be part of it/or how many percentages of students take advantage of the global program?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: We do have international opportunities for our PT students that are optional and not required of anyone. The Executive MBA program has the international global component. Our students have the option of doing study abroad (either short term or long term). We offer short term study abroad opportunities that are 2 weeks in duration in 7 different countries. The long term study abroad opportunities span the entire quarter (10 weeks) and are offered in 33 different countries.
Chat Participant: What are some common themes you have seen among students who have thrived while studying at Booth?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: They find a community here. People who just show up, go to their classes, then head home, they get the degree. But they don't have the same return as those of us who really dive into everything this school has to offer and all the people you can meet. It’s difficult to keep it all in order but it’s incredibly worth it. I've been very fortunate to find a real community in my time at Booth and its made the experience 10 times better because I have people to lean on when I'm struggling and I can help them when they are struggling. It really can become a family. I think those are the people who really thrive.
Chat Participant: If we need to stay overnight on a Friday, what is the typical discounted hotel rate we can get as a student? Just trying to get a rough range.
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: There is a minimal hotel discount available at hotels surrounding the Gleacher Center (our downtown campus). You can learn more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/student-experience/city-life.
Chat Participant: Do you organize events outside the USA, like in Canada for example?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Unfortunately we do not have events planned in Canada in the upcoming year. We do have events throughout the U.S. for the Evening and Weekend program. You can see upcoming events across the country here: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/EWEvents.
Chat Participant: With the limited time on campus, how do Weekend students participate in the clubs or activities of the research centers?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: Many of the events are scheduled in between the two Saturday classes. Honestly it’s a small source of jealousy among the Evening students since there is always free lunch for the Weekend students! I am at school almost every weekend for one event or another. The groups as a whole do a good job of taking the weekend students schedules into account. So we try to schedule things on Saturday nights and we try to give students a long heads up about events so that they can plan their flights. It’s never perfect but it is something the Student groups are aware of and do their best to accommodate.
Chat Participant: Would having my CPA and scoring high on the GMAT negate my low undergrad GPA (2.8)?
Stephanie Gunn | Senior Associate Director of Admissions: We take a holistic approach and there's no one part of the application that is weighted more heavily than another. If you have a few low grades don’t panic, however, if you have a poor academic track record you will want to strengthen your application with a strong test score and the other elements of your application. Perhaps use the optional essay to explain what happened. Having your CPA and a high GMAT score are positive indicators of your ability to succeed in the rigor of a Booth classroom.
Chat Participant: Not sure whether you guys or Eric will know this, what do weekend students typically do when they need to book air tickets in advance for so many consecutive weeks? Do they book one ticket by one ticket or in bulk?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: I'm not 100% sure, but I believe most buy them in bulk. It’s a lot of money upfront but it’s cheaper in the long run. Most students also are diligent about checking Booth Groups for upcoming events so they know if they need to stay on a Saturday night to catch some student event or networking session.
Chat Participant: Is there a particular time in the semester that you feel is ideal for an applicant to visit? It seems like it may make sense to avoid the end of a quarter, however, it also seems like that may actually be a great time to get an accurate depiction of the diligence being put forward by current students in their coursework
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Yes, that is a great question! I would recommend focusing on visiting when it would be the most similar to your experience - if you are planning on taking classes during the weekend visiting on a Saturday would probably be best, similar for evening classes. A class visit is probably the best way to experience what it is like to be a Booth student, you can find the available schedule here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/admissions/visit.
Chat Participant: I understand the clubs and activities open to FT students are available to PT. How practical/available are those events given most PT students will be working full time or traveling from out of the city?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: So there are some events and clubs that the FT host that are available to the PT but not all. It’s important to look at that when thinking about an event. For the most part I think the split is at about the fun clubs vs the career focused ones. That being said, I've had some friends join the FT soccer club for example and play with those guys. I did a season of Flag Football with some FT folks so it’s not unheard of. For timing, many of their events are during the day during the week. So it’s difficult to make them for PT students. But, for almost every FT club there is a PT counterpart and we run very similar events so for the most part you'll be able to find what you're looking for at a time that works. Sometimes you may want to run down to Hyde Park to catch something really special like a talk from Thaler or Fama.
Chat Participant: Can one of my letters of recommendation come from a mentor who has coached me post-grad? Even though, I have technically not worked with them?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: As long as you consider the relationship professional with your mentor and can describe the manner in which you work with him/her then that recommendation would be fine. We would ideally like your second letter of recommendation to come from your direct supervisor.
Chat Participant: If I have been working for exactly three years, do you recommend to apply for the Weekend MBA or the Chicago Business Fellows? As a Chicago Business Fellow, do you receive the same exact degree as the Weekend MBA Program?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: If you are at exactly three years now, I recommend applying for the Weekend MBA program. The degree is the exact same between the Weekend MBA and CBF. The CBF program simply provides some additional extracurricular opportunities in the first few quarters of the program.
Chat Participant: who would be the best person to ask for a letter of recommendation if we are currently a business owner?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: We would suggest asking a colleague or mentor who helped you launch your business, or your last supervisor before venturing out on your own.
Chat Participant: Can a student apply for Evening MBA and Full Time MBA at the same time?
Hannah Kohut | Associate Director of Marketing: No, you must select one program to apply to at a time. If you are denied admission, you are allowed to reapply to any program after six months.
Chat Participant: For the two letter of recommendation letters, can I get one from my current supervisor and one from my colleague in my previous firm?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: Yes, we strongly prefer to have one of the letters from your current supervisor. The second letter is up to you. We often see candidates use former supervisors, colleagues, and clients.
Chat Participant: For those interested in studying abroad, what types of programs are available for PT students?
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: The most popular option for Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students is the short-term program, and there are 7 options in total. You can find more information here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/academics/international.
Chat Participant: I would like to better understand what implications this has for employer recruitment (especially when considering how this translates to the Weekend MBA).
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: The Weekend MBA program yields the same degree as the Full-Time and Evening MBA programs. The faculty teach across all three programs and therefore the academic experience will be the same among all three. Employers understand this and for the most part will view the degree the same as well. Aside from companies who tend to hire directly from internships – the opportunities will be the same among all the programs. The Weekend and Evening programs do a great job of preparing students for a career change. If you know going in that you are interested in such a change, you will want to spend significant time with Career Services to understand the opportunities at hand to help this shift occur. It may be helpful to take a look at our Evening and Weekend career data to identify what our recent alumni are doing post-MBA: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/career/impact.
Chat Participant: I really like that this degree allows you to choose a lot of your own courses. If you are interested in a career change to accounting, would it be possible to tailor your MBA to an accounting emphasis? Also, would your degree state that your emphasis was in accounting?
Keenan Gannon | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Operations and Analytics: Wonderful question! We offer 13 different concentration areas that students can choose to pursue as part of their academic journey, including accounting. Most students will graduate with 3-4 concentrations, and many courses double count towards different concentration areas. Booth's curriculum is very flexible, allowing you to pursue your different areas of interest! You can see the 13 concentrations here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/academics/curriculum
Chat Participant: What is the total number of students that are currently in the CBF program?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: I do not have the exact numbers on the number of CBF students currently in the program, however we tend to enroll 15-20 CBF students in the Spring and 25-35 CBF students in the Fall. CBF student have virtually the same experience as non CBF students after the first two quarters of professional seminars.
Chat Participant: Do many PT students elect to take tuition assistance from their employers locking them in for ~two years following (per se) or is it not recommended? I understand if you're getting an MBA from another- "B" school level it would be advantageous.
Patrick McHale | Assistant Director, Admissions: While we are able to see if students are receiving financial assistance from employers, we do not know how many students are locked into a contract or commitment for a certain period of time.
Chat Participant: How important are our MBA GPAs when we are looking for new job opportunities?
Eric Herbert| Current Evening Student: The school will not release your GPA to any employer. The only way they will get that GPA is through you and even then you probably won't want to put it on your resume. n the On Campus Recruiting program you kind of can't put it on there. Every year the Full-Time program votes on whether they will collectively put their GPA on their resume's or not and every year they vote to not and firms know it. So if you're going through On Campus Recruiting and you do put it on there, you've immediately shown you're not a team player and I suspect many firms would be hesitant about you as a candidate. Booth prides itself on being a place where you can experiment. You can push yourself in areas you aren't as comfortable with. One of the reasons they are against publishing GPAs is because it takes away from this idea. If you're concerned about your GPA you might take another finance class instead of Macroeconomics because you'd rather get the A than try something you're interested in and unfamiliar with.
Chat Participant: Are there specific recruiting events held for Weekend students? Otherwise, how are Weekend students able to interact with potential employers recruiting at Booth?
Marcus Wordlaw | Senior Assistant Director of Admissions: Weekend students have the same resources as Evening and Full-Time students including campus recruitment, and the resources of the career services center which includes workshops, resume reviews, mock interviews, and overall career coaching specific to each Booth student along with work with alumni in specific industries.