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Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions

Chat with Rose Martinelli

October 14, 2005—9:30-10:30AM CDT

Rose Martinelli: Good morning/evening. Thanks so much for joining us today to talk about admissions at the Chicago GSB. I am open to answering any questions about admissions, how to be successful in the application process, and to describe how we evaluate applications. So keep those questions coming.

Balaj: Will a work experience in US give an edge to the indvidual both during the admission process and later on during placements?

Rose Martinelli: No particular type or location of work experience will provide an edge in the admissions process. Each applicant has very different opportunities and resources. What we look for is how students have leveraged their opportunities and how well they can present those experiences in their application.

Nitant: What is the admission process?

Rose Martinelli: The admissions proceses at GSB is similar to other schools in that you will be required to submit an application, essays, recommendation, test scores, and transcripts. You can find much more about these requirements on our website.

Pkad: How many times in a year does Chicago Univ admits fresh students?

Rose Martinelli: While we have three rounds of admission, there is only one entry point each year -- September. This allows us to create a strong bond among students.

ProspApp: Hi Rose. In the employment history section, applicants are asked to list each of the jobs you have had since the beginning of your university or college studies, including part-time jobs, internships, and military service. Do you expect to see all part time on-campus employment (such as library work etc.) listed in this section?

Rose Martinelli: Yes, we would like to see all the experience that you have had. It will help us to understand your commitments while in school and summer employment. We just want a full picture of all your work experience to get a better sense of you.

Subbaraju: By what time, would an applicant for Round 1 be informed about whether he has been invited for an interview or not?

Rose Martinelli: We will begin releasing invitions to interview for applicants in Round 1 in early November through our mid-decision release date of December 7. This is a rolling process so don't be concerned about the timing of these decisions.

Chicago_Prospect: What is the preliminary outlook on volume of applications? Do you believe this trend to be consistent across MBA programs?

Rose Martinelli: It's too early to tell. GMAT registration data suggests that test taker registration is up a few percentage points this year. Whether this translates into more applications is unknown at this point. We'll keep you posted.

ScoobySteph: I understand that the curriculum is intense, as it should be, but do students with weak quantitative backgrounds struggle through the program? Or are the classes structured so that everyone can learn/work together so that those who want to stay in the game aren't falling behind?

Rose Martinelli: The academic program at Chicago GSB is rigorous as we want you to be prepared for any business scenario you will face in the future. However, Chicago GSB is a great place for a student who has a little less experience with quantitative coursework since our core curriculum is entirely flexibile with students selecting courses with the advise of academic counselors that match their ability and interest. Because of GSB flexibility, poets and finance experts can equally do well here.

Aaron: Do you look for something additional in the case of a reapplicant?

Rose Martinelli: The only difference is that I want to know what you have learned about yourself since you last applied. Often times, we see much stronger applications from reapplicants because they have been more reflective about their goals, hows and whys for pursuing an MBA.

Subbaraju: When an application is rejected in Round 1, will the same be considered for Round 2 or Round 3?

Rose Martinelli: Unfortunately, only one application is allowed per year. You can receive feedback for the next year. Reapplicants have a higher percentage of admission since they have access to this information.

Subbaraju: To what extent will lack of community service after college affect an applicant's chances to get admission?

Rose Martinelli: Every person has different demands of their time based on the industry that they are in. What we are looking for is a pattern of involvement. So what you did in college will be important as well as what you do now, whether in a formal or informal context.

Wilt2000: How many interview invites do you plan to release?

Rose Martinelli: We plan to invite 50-60% of round 1 applicants, although that will be determined, of course, by the quality of round 1 applicants (it could be higher or lower).

Joycem: Chicago has two scholarship programs to attract women students this year, but do applicants need to have career goals aligned with the sponsors' industry to qualify?

Rose Martinelli: The two new women's fellowship programs are for women who have finance interest and /or experience. We are in the process of negotiating with other companies for fellowships in other industries.

christine: Am I correct in assuming that applications are read in the order they are received? Are decisions made after an application is read or do admissions go back to reconsider after reading more applications?

Rose Martinelli: We have three rounds of admissions. Applications are evaluated in the order that they are received. Decisions to invite applicants to interview will be released on a rolling basis with final decisions for that round coming out about 11 weeks after that round's deadline. We often take applications to the admissions committee to wrestle with decisions that are not entirely clear. Many of the applicants are admitted.

a_preman: Hello. I will be turning in an application on the first round, but my letters of recommendation will be coming from Eastern Europe and will probably come at a later time. Must they be received before the October deadline to be considered for 1st round.

Rose Martinelli: Typically, we request that all application materials be received by the deadline. There are always extenuating circumstances, and you can always notify us of late credentials through our admissions@ account.

Balaji: What is the present placement scenario?

Rose Martinelli: At this time, the recruiting market is very strong, with a record number of companies coming to visit campus. Last year 100% of first years who sought an internship received one, and upon 3 months post graduation 96% had received offers.

PR: Are first round and second applicants weighed equally or is there a penalty for second round application?

Rose Martinelli: The timing of your application is less important than the quality of your application. Submit when you are ready.

Guest 2006: If applicable, how will interviews be scheduled for international applicants?

Rose Martinelli: Should you be selected to interview, you will have three options to choose: alumni in your area, on campus interviews with students and hub interviews in large cities with staff. All interviews are weighted equally.

Balaji: Dear Madame, I hold a B Tech in Mechanical Engineering and am working with ABB. I graduated in 2005. I plan to give GMAT in April 2006 and apply for Fall 2007. Since i intend to work only for a couple of years and pursue an MBA later on, it would be difficult for me to get international work experience. Considering the fact that Chicago GSB stresses on international work experience, will this affect my chances of getting an admit? Being an Indian, I would also like to know if the companies which come for recruitment are willing to hire foreigners.

Rose Martinelli: Each company has different protocals for hiring international students and our Careers Services department will help you identify companies that do hire international students. Of course, all of this is dependent upon your own ability, fit and match to the company and the overall economic environment.

PR: Hello Rose, I would like to make a visit to the GSB after I apply in the first round. Is this okay or is it more advisable to visit before applying?

Rose Martinelli: Because fit is such an important part of your final decision, it is very important you visit the campus prior to making the decision to enroll. Whether it is before the application is entirely up to you -- that visit will not impact your application other than providing you more first-hand information about the GSB.

ati_tx: Hi Rose, is there a way to keep in touch of whether a reference or transcript has been submitted. Do we get an e-notification or something if something has arrived at admissions?

Rose Martinelli: Through the online status check system, you can view all components of the application as they are received and processed. This can take a couple of weeks after you have submitted your complete application.

Pkad: Can i complete the application process whiles awaiting to take the GMAT?

Rose Martinelli: Unfortunately, no. You must have completed your GMAT test by the application deadline. You can self report the unofficial score from the test on the application.

E_Brill: I have a campus visit scheduled for late November. If I am invited to interview, will I be able to schedule the interview for the same day?

Rose Martinelli: It all depends on if there is room in the schedule that day. We, of course, will try our best to accommodate you if that happens.

KUSH: Do the applicants of Round 1stand a better chance of getting an admission offer than the applicants of subsequent rounds?

Rose Martinelli: Statistically, applicants to round 1 have a slightly higher chance for admissions (and the possibility to be placed on the waitlist for consideration in the following round).

Steph: Where does the "typical" Chicago MBA graduate work, once they get their degree?

Rose Martinelli: There really aren't any typical MBA students since everyone comes from different backgrounds. But in this last year's graduating class, 1/3 went to finance, 1/3 to consulting and 1/3 to marketing and diverse opportunities.

NathanA03: Because GSB doesn't have a core curriculum that all of the students in a given cohort attend together, how are students able to develop strong relationships with their classmates?

Rose Martinelli: Our flexilibility actually provides you with more opportunities to build community around your interests. We do have the LEAD program which is cohorted and students are placed into teams as well. Most courses have group work that is required, so you will be interacting with both first and second year students from the very beginning. Plus we have the whole student group experiences and social activities that help to build community. So, in fact, you will probably meet and get to know more people at the GSB than most other MBA programs.

Nitant: How can I get that edge in a way that I could not have thought of?

Rose Martinelli: No two students come to the GSB with the same background and aspirations. We will look to your application to see evidence of your engagement both in work and in the community, your intellectual curiosity, and most important your own awareness of your goals, path, and motivations for pursuing the MBA. We look holistically at your application. So carefully crafting your essays will be key.

Jenn: Hi. I was wondering if you could speak to the fact that women only comprise about 30% of the class. Roughly, what is the acceptance rate for women?

Rose Martinelli: The number of women applying to full-time business programs worldwide has been relatively flat for the last 5 years. Our numbers are comparable to our peers, but we are aggressively expanding our efforts to increase the number of women at the GSB. The admit rates really don't drive decisions, the quality of the individual applicant does.

Creditadvice_2: Is official TOEFL score reported sent by ETS required at the time of submission? Will self-reported TOEFL score be enough?

Rose Martinelli: Self reported scores for both the TOEFL/IELTS and GMAT are fine for the application at the time of submission. We will match your official scores to your self reported scores upon admission.

Nitant: I have 4 years of work experience in my own business. I have played a substantial part in the growth of this business, now I wish to be part of GSB. How can I get that edge in a way that I could not have thought of?

Rose Martinelli: Chicago GSB welcomes applications from entrepreneurs. The tricky part for you is demonstrating your achievements in a way that the admissions committee understands so you may need to explain more about each of your businesses. The other challenge is in selecting recommenders since you did not have a supervisor. Think about clients, mentors, business partners, etc. You might want to include a brief note in the optional essay describing your choice of recommenders.

solanki: Hello Rose, for students interested in general/strategic management and enterpreneurship, what does the GSB offer?

Rose Martinelli: Chicago GSB is known for its strategic management, marketing and entrepreneurship. We have the Polsky Center, the Kilts center and Laboratory classes that provides students with hands on experience in these areas. You can craft a curriculum that helps you gain the knowledge you need to be successful. Students in these areas are highly sought after by employers.

steph0826: Along the same line, how should an applicant explain/discuss weak undergraduate courses? Is it necessary to point these out in the application?

Rose Martinelli: I would encourage students to point out any weak undergraduate work. It is important to understand the context for what happened and how you have grown since then. You may also want to draw our attention to other coursework that you may have done to "repair" any failing grades.

Jenn: With reagrds to Scooby's question, are there finance courses for poets? Or must one take the same classes as the finance experts?

Rose Martinelli: Everyone comes in at different levels, and yes, there are finance courses for poets who we hope will quickly become mini-finance experts.

odella: It is my understanding that most of the Part-Time Weekend students do not live in the Chicago area and drive/fly to Chicago. How does the the Admission Committee evaluate these applicants?

Rose Martinelli: Since I only oversee the full-time program, I am unable to answer your question. I would urge you to visit the part-time section of our website.

ati_tx: Are there any scholarships for international students? Also, is it possible for internationals to apply for loans?

Rose Martinelli: Yes, our merit-based awards are for all students regardless of citizenship. Our international students have two loan options -- one with a US co-signer and the other without. For those without a co-signer, the loan is guaranteed to you up to the full amount of the student budget less any other financial aid, and can be used as part of your financial resource statement for your student visa application.

FT77: Would you accept an applicant with less than 2 years experience in a particular field? How important is work experience viewed for an applicant?

Rose Martinelli: As I mentioned a bit earlier, the quantity of work experience is less important than the quality. You will need to spend some time articulating why now versus next year. We will be looking to get a sense of your maturity, purpose, and can contribute to your classmates experience.

ketuman_2: I am applying in Round 1. Assuming that I am fortunate enough to be admitted, how much time would I get for paying the enrolment deposit after the decision date? How much is the enrolment deposit?

Rose Martinelli: The enrollment deposit is $1000 and deadline for deposit is April 6, 2006.

Matt: Hi Ms. Martinelli. I am an entrepreneur and am interested in the entr. preneurial curriculum at the University. Where can I find more detailed information on WHY I would want to attend the GSB and the entrp. center? I am looking for more in depth information besides simply listing my reasons in my essay as: good professors, good class offerings. I visited this past week, would I get more information if I revisited at the GSB fall symposium?

Rose Martinelli: Much more information about our entrepreneurial activities can be found through the Polsky Center website. I would also encourage you to get on the discussion forum and talk to other current students in the entrepreneurial program. There are two basic tracks -- VC/PE and business start-ups. Don't forget to check out the Entrepreneurial Student Group website as well.

Guest 2006: For international applicants, will interviews be conducted by phone, or in-person interviews during the World MBA Tour?

Rose Martinelli: Interviews will be conducted by invitation either in your home country by one of our alumni, on campus, or in one of our hub interview locations.

Pkad: I am a graduate of the university of Ghana with GPA 3.83, also in my third year of employment with Ernst & Young writing the GMAT next month. What are my chances of getting admitted?

Rose Martinelli: Your datapoints suggest that you may be a great candidate for the GSB. As I mentioned earlier, it will come down to the rest of your application, essays and recommendations for us to understand your path, plans and fit to the GSB.

devildog: is it true that chicago is full of nerds? are you going to try to diversify the community?

Rose Martinelli: That depends on how you define nerd. Actually, we have a community of individuals committed to being the best they can be -- intellectually curious, willingness to engage, and to demand more of themselves. This is not a place to get a credential. So yes, we seek students who are serious in becoming the best they can be, but are also committed to being a part of a family/community who are living, learning and having fun together.

christine: What types of resources are available for career switchers?

Rose Martinelli: Lots. Because of our flexible curriclum, you can craft a course schedule to prepare you for internships. You will be working with career coaches, academic advisors, student mentors and of course, your classmates and alumni to help you through your decision making process.

Nuri_2: If my GPA is about 80, but I have a good GMAT and Resume, am I a candidate ?

Rose Martinelli: Datapoints are only that, they do not tell us more about you than your academic ability. The rest of the application is what will help us to get to know you, your abilities, and your fit with the GSB.

KUSH: Do you start reviewing the applications only after the deadline? I had submitted my application in the second week of September and donot see any change in the status since then. Your answer to the question would be highly appreciated.

Rose Martinelli: We just began processing application this past week and will start evaluating applications next week. The first invitations to interview will not, however, be released until early November. You should see a status change within the next couple of weeks.

solanki: Hi Rose, approximately what percentage of applicants will be invited to interview?

Rose Martinelli: Between 50-60% of all applicants will be invited to interview (depending, of course, on the quality of the applications).

Ryan_Granne: What has changed in GSB's new admissions process relative to past year's? Obviously, a good measuring stick of one's fit with a particular school is past attendees; will this new process change the student body make up?

Rose Martinelli: Great question. While many of the process have changed to make the processes more transparent and efficient, what we look for has not changed at all.

Guest_2006: Is it better to be highly focused or flexible about career goals in the essays? I have heard that too much of a focus makes a candidate less attractive.

Rose Martinelli: It all depends on what your plans are. Some folks have very specific goals, while others are career changers and their goals are more broad. Ultimately, we know that many of you will be changing careers and all we need to know is that you have done your research and know what the MBA and GSB is necessary to get where you need to go.

bimetallic: Hello Ms. Martinelli, can you provide any information on the business plan context at the GSB? Any contests involving students in other divisions (e.g. bio, med school, law school?)?

Rose Martinelli: Our Venture competition involves students from the GSB, other schools at the University, and other Universities around the country.

vibrancy: Hi Rose, I hope you are doing well this morning! I know GSB is most well-known for its strength in finance, but I'm interested in transitioning into marketing, specifically for the high-tech sector. I was wondering what the pool of high-tech companies look like that recruit on the GSB campus.

Rose Martinelli: We have always had great relationships with high-tech companies at the GSB. I would encourage you to check out our Career Report on the website for more detailed information.

kob: I am in Thailand. Could I have a chance to interview in person with alumni or I have to interview only by phone?

Rose Martinelli: We have a number of alumni in Thailand.

Mistral: Also, have you considered setting up a forum where prospective students can interact with each other?

Rose Martinelli: We just launched our new discussion forum a few weeks ago. Just click on Join the Discussion and it will take you there.

julius: Hi, Rose! I was wondering how the application process has changed this year in comparison to the previous years. I understand that there are new people in the Admissions Comittee. Has the focus changed?, or do you consider new features about the applicants that were not previously considered? Thanks for your answer.

Rose Martinelli: A number of changes were made this year to make the process a bit more transparent and efficient. We expanded the data we request in the application to get a fuller sense of each applicant. The outcome, however, is exactly the same -- we seek engaged, intellectually curious, committed and community-oriented applicants to join our community.

Guest: What types of things can an applicant do to address a poor academic record in undergrad?

Rose Martinelli: First thing is to address it in an optional essay Help us understand the context for those grades. A good GMAT and additional coursework may help to allay our concerns about your academic ability.

FT77: Do you look at the quality of the university a student attends before being accepted? Or just the GPA?

Rose Martinelli: We look at both the quality of the university, your gpa and the rigor/courses you took. We also know that each applicant has different resources and opportunities in life. How you leverage those opportunities is most important.

NathanA03: After an applicant clears the first hurdle to be interviewed, is the admissions decision based solely on the outcome of the interview?

Rose Martinelli: No. The interview is one other piece of information from a third party that helps us to understand your candidacy. The final decision will be based holistically on the full application, and keeping in mind the big picture -- crafting a great class.

Saar: Hi, I was wondering what can you tell me about students with families? how is it different for students that are alone? what activities if any the university provides to the families?

Rose Martinelli: The GSB is family oriented. In fact our LPF tonight is a family LPF. We have the partners group, and many activites are oriented for including families fully into the life of the GSB, Hyde Park and the greater University. There are also housing opportunities and schools that are great for families.

Pkad: Is my three years work experience ok to get me into chicago-GSB

Rose Martinelli: The quantity of work experience is far less important than the quality of experience. What is important is that you can build a case as to why now is the appropriate time for you to apply. Examples of leadership and teamwork along with skills and responsibilities will help us understand your experiences.

Thom: Hi, I wanted to ask about the optional essay. Given that there is ample opportunity to explain one's background in the other essay, would you suggest that we refrain from using the optional essay to "drive home a point" we want to emphasize or mitigate? In other words does it help to use the optional essay for anything but the unmentioned or the key faults?

Rose Martinelli: We believe the application as designed provides the information we need to make a decision about your candidacy. Use your judgment as to whether using the essay for other purposes is beneficial to your candidacy.

ScoobySteph: Since the admissions process is rolling will most of the R2 applicants have their decision in time to attend Admit Weekend?

Rose Martinelli: We have two admit weekends so that all our admitted students can visit campus and learn whether Chicago GSB is the right place for them.

Rose Martinelli: Thank you for joining me today. This is just the beginning of many future discussion opportunities. I apologize if I was unable to answer your questions. A copy of the full transcript from today's chat will be available later today in the chat room. Many of your questions may have been answered earlier in the session. If you find that your specific question was not answered, plesae join us in our discussion forums. Thank you again and I look forward to seeing your applications!