Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions
Chat with Dean Snyder and Students Victor and Sabrina
January 17 , 2008—9:00-10:00 AM CST
Ted: Good morning! I'm Ted Snyder, Dean of Chicago GSB. We're here in the Admissions Conference Center. I'm joined by two student leaders, Sabrina Thong and Victor Burga, as well as my colleagues in Admissions and MBA Student Recruitment - Associate Dean Rose Martinelli and Kurt Ahlm, Director of Admissions, and others.
FYI, Sabrina is from Australia; Victor was born in Spain and grew up in Southern California. The temperature is rising outside. It's sunny and may hit 80 degrees by the end of the day ... :-) We're here in the spectacular Harper Center in Hyde Park right across from both Rockefeller Chapel and Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. Hyde Park is the Center of the Universe in many people's minds. The University of Chicago is the best university in the world. The GSB is the best business school in the galaxy. Sen. Obama may be our next President. And we expect the Olypmics to come to Chicago after Beijing and London. As you can probably tell, I'm excited about our school. But I will tone down and be objective for our chat. I understand that all of you have important decisions ahead and I want to be helpful. Best regards, Ted
Sabrina: Hi Everyone! Thanks for joining us. My name is Sabrina Thong. I'm currently a 2nd year student at the GSB concentrating in Finance and Accounting. I moved here from Australia a year and a half ago and I'm still trying to get used to the weather here in Chicago.
Rose: Good morning and welcome to the GSB Chat with Dean Ted Snyder. We welcome your questions and look forward to a robust discussion.
Victor: Hi everyone, my name is Victor Burga and I am a second year full-time student concentrating in Economics, Finance and Strategic Management (and I'll probably also get Entrepreneurship by "accident"). I'm originally from Madrid, Spain, but I grew up mainly in Southern California. I look forward to answering your questions about classes, the student experience, recruiting, and pretty much anything else. Thanks for joining us this morning!
Joanne: Good morning everyone! I'm happy to answer any admissions questions during the chat.
macaroni__Guest_: Hi! What are the most effective strategies to convert a waitlist to an admit from Chicago GSB?
Rose: Stay in touch and follow the directions. Since I'm managing the waitlist this year, I promise to keep you fully posted on our process. Thanks, Rose
tonio_lon: Hello, I have been leaving and working in London for 2.5 years (it will more than 3 years in Sep 2008), before that I worked as well in US (3 times, total 10 months). Can you please confirm, that as a permanent resident I may have TOEFL and IELTS waived?
Joanne: Hi there. If you are a permanent resident of the UK (you didn't specify), then you do not have to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
G-407132085: I have been looking for a list and course description of all the electives Chicago GSB offers, but I have not found it in your website. Where can I find it?
Rose: Goodmorning. We're in the midst of updating our website to include a more robust section on concentrations, courses and faculty. In the meantime, you can access this information on our student portal:
, under courses.
Sowjanya: Hello , I have applied in round 2. I have a specific question to ask. I have heard of the intiative Chicago GSB is taking to encourage younger applicants. Is the career services team taking to the companies to see that they are given a chance?
Rose: We began our early career initiative as a result of what our corporate partners have shared with us. There is broad support in career services for our students with a little bit less experience in their career search.
G-407106649: Dear Ted, my name is Luiz, I live in Brazil, and it is a pleasure to participate in this chat with you. I applied for Chicago GSB and would like to know when you are starting to release interview appointments.
Joanne: Hi Luiz, I'll take your question. Round 2 invitations to interview will begin to be released next week on January 23. We'll release these decisions on a rolling basis through February 20. These are released in random order.
Mario: What information do interviewers receive prior to the interview? The full application or just the expanded resume?
Rose: The interviewers will only receive your resume at the time of your interview. This will be the professional resume that you will be required to submit when you are invited to interview.
neha: What are the type of international postings, primarily in Asia, that GSB students get post-MBA?
Ted: Good question. We saw a pretty dramatic change five years ago with more students wanting to pursue opportunities in Asia broadly defined. Fortunately, we were ahead of the curve. We had established a campus in Singapore. We had committed to full-time Career Services staff in Asia. Since then, we really have pushed hard to develop opportunities by building new corporate relationships by Dean visits (me, Stacey Kole, Mark Z). We also have arranged alumni networking trips to China. The results are reflected in a strong and diverse set of opportunities.
G-407120847: For R2 admission, is there any chances to win any scholarship?
Rose: Absolutely. All round 2 admits will be considered for merit-based scholarships at the time of admission.
Naz: Some argue an MBA best serves those who seek to climb the corporate ladder right after school. How does Chicago view applicants who intend to pursue their own business straight out of school? And what weight, if any, does the applicant's intended industry carry in the admission process?
Rose: An MBA is not about climbing the corporate ladder, rather it is an opportunity to become a critical thinker who is able to utilize broad disciplines to navigate whatever challenges/opportunities you face in the future. Fact-based,critical thinking is at the core of a GSB education. These skills cut across industry and function. As for your future aspirations, we definitely take everything into consideration when making our final decisions.
Robert-L: Good morning. If I may ask two questions. The first is to either Dean Snyder or Associate Dean Martinelli. Would you please comment on any recent notable changes or additions to the full-time MBA program that will take effect in September 2008. For either Sabrina and Victor, how has your experience to date at GSB compared to your pre-matriculation expectations, what has surprised you the most?
Sabrina: Hi Robert! As an international student, I didn't have a lot of information available to me. I relied heavily on what was available on the internet and through word of mouth. I expected the MBA program to be individual based but that has changed since I got here. The sense of community here has definitely surprised me. When I was a 1st year student going through recruiting, the 2nd years were a huge resource for me. What I didn't realize is that my classmates may also be my colleagues. What has also surprised me is how involved students are in the school. Almost everyone I know is a co-chair of one of the groups and the fact that students here are so really keeps the school evolving.
Raju: I have already submitted my application to Chicago gsb. Please tell me if I am allowed to call the admission office to know the admission committee's response to my application?
Joanne: Hi Raju. Our process is that once your application is received, it is reviewed by our staff, and we'll make a decision about whether or not to invite you for an interview, the next stage in our process. You'll hear by February 20; if you are not invited to interview by then, you are denied admission for this year. You do not need to call our office, as we cannot comment on your application over the phone.
dcas9360: How different is admissibility from Round 2 to Round 3? Can you provide some figures?
Rose: Great applicants have the opportunity to be admitted in all rounds (including round 3). Statistically, round 3 is more competitive since we may have fewer seats available in the class at that time. My recommendation, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Nabeel: How is the location/venue of interview decided for international applicants selected for the interview sessions? Are international applicants interviewed using teleconferences also?
Joanne: Hi Nabeel. International students can interview in one of several ways; they can come to campus and interview with our student staff; set up an alumni interview in the town they live in, or, in some select cities, interview with Admission staff if that option is available; or, as a last resort, we can always do a staff phone interview. You'll make this choice yourself if you are invited to interview following the directions you'll be given at that time.
Sushmitha: Hi, I have already submitted my application for round 1 and I am interested in specializing in marketing. Could you please tell me what opportunities there are for international students in marketing from GSB?
Victor: Sushmitha, although I do not have a marketing concentration, I do know that there are a great deal of opportunities to work abroad in all disciplines, including marketing. Aside from opportunities from on-campus recruiting, there is the Global Advisory Board, which allows you to draw upon alumni who have experience in specific regions of the world. I'd encourage you to talk with them if you have a targeted question about marketing in a specific country or continent. G-
407108513: Hello Rose, I have a question regarding transcripts. I have sent official ones for my undergrad and previous grad studies but there was a delay with a transcript from 3 courses I took at UC Berkeley Extension. If these arrive by the end of the week, will the Adcom still review them as part of my application?
Joanne: I'll take this one. Official transcripts are not actually needed until (if) you're invited to interview. However, we encourage their submission at the time of application. If you filled out a self-reported transcript as part of the application, we'll use that to review your application; if not, we'll review your application with the information we do have and then add that last transcript to your file. There's a possibility that your file will be reviewed without these grades though, since we begin reviewing files immediately after the deadline. If these grades are not part of your file in an unofficial manner, you can always email us at
and we can add your email to your file.
Raju: I am software engineer. I woould like to make a switch to investment management as I have a deep interest in Financial markets. However I do not have any qualifications or professional experience in investment management. Will my inexperience and lack of exposure in the field I am trying to switch to affect my chances of getting into chicago. What should I do to convey my interest in the field.
Sabrina: Hi Raju! I'm a career switcher as well. Prior to business school I was working in Management Consulting and I decided to make the switch to Investment Banking. A very large portion of our class are career switchers as well. The students groups help students prepare for their respective industries. The Investment Management Group gives students the opportunity to practice their stock pitches on a weekly basis. They also perform resume reviews, conferences and mock interviews to get students in touch with investment management firms. Warren Buffet group has an annual trip out to Omaha to meet Warren Buffet. In summary, I don't feel that any career switcher should feel uncomfortable with their lack of industry experience.
Tina: What was Chicago's aim in introducing the PowerPoint Question? I think many students fear that their content was too "light" or "boring." How will the Admissions Team assess this question?
Rose: Great question. The aim was to provide a free form space for applicants to use in whatever way they saw fit. The application process is very one-sided - we ask questions, you answer. We hoped this would provide some freedom for applicants to include information important to them that would otherwise not have fit as a response to our more traditional questions. The slides are very helpful as we finalize decisions, but play a very small role in the first point evaluation - at the point of the invitation to interview.
Min_1: Hi, My name is Min. I am very interested in MBA in GSB. I want to know more about Curriculum. I know whether we can choose more than 11 electives courses. Is there some adivsors who can give me adivices and recommendation about choosing courses.
Victor: Hi Min, yes you can take more than 11 electives. As long as you fulfill your foundations and breadth requirements, you can take whatever classes you want... 11 is just the minimum. There is a diligent group of academic advisors in the DSO (Dean of Student's Office) which students use pretty frequently.
dcas9360: Hi everybody. First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to expand our knowledge about the University. Q: Which have been the latest steps towards enhancing the Strategic Management concentration?
Ted: In addition to continuing to develop Lab opportunities in new areas, several faculty are working on bringing more current data into the classroom from real-time "business experiments." This reflects the kind of organic change that happens at Chicago because we are the least bureaucratic business school in the world. Now, why are experiements important? As I talk with people like Steve Levitt and Marianne Bertrand, they believe that businesses are learning to experiement more thoughtfully real-time and learning from those experiments. Good stuff.
Shawn: Hello Dean Synder and the rest of the Admissions team... Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. My question retains to admissions and my "profile".... when my application is being reviewed, am I being reviewed against "similar" candidates? (i.e., I am an Indian male working in Private Equity; to ensure diversity, those with similar backgrounds will be compared and a subsection will subsequently be offered admission, assuming all else is equal). Thanks a lot.
Rose: The evaluation begins focused on you - your track record of success, self-awareness and fit with the GSB. If you are invited to interview, later evaluations will take a more broad look at crafting a diverse class.
G-9237309: Good morning, Rose. Nice to talk with you. I am on your wait list. I have one question to you. What kind of leadership do you wish your students equip themselves with? What is the different between GSB's leadership and other top business schools? Rose: There are many styles of leadership. At the GSB, our hope is that you will define your own leadership style and begin to gain the tools to be effective in the future - from self awareness to other-awareness, negotiation skills, to learning to build highly effective teams. You will be given enormous opportunities through LEAD, class participation, projects, student groups and just the day to day life of a student to practice and develop your own personal style of leadership.
tonio_lon: Random Walk – I have not been accepted yet but would like to know if there is a chance to book a place for any trip. It sounds extremely interesting and I believe it would help a lot to adopt in Chicago.
Sabrina: Hi Tonio! We will have a Random Walk presentation during Admit Weekend where they will give you an overview of the trips available. Unfortunately sign-ups for the Random Walks will not be available until after Admit Weekend (for fairness). The Random Walk is an amazing experience. I went to Belize as a 1st year student and I lead a trip to Morocco this year as a 2nd year student. As cliche as it sounds, you really do meet lifelong friends. Two people I went to Belize with have invited me to their wedding and I've only known them for a year and a half! There's no better way to bond than to spend your nights fighting bats and swatting bugs all night with random people.
pmuller: Good Morning, I'd like to ask Ted and Rose. Both of you have previously been with other universities, how do you compare your experiences there and at GSB? Also, what is the thing that you most like about Chicago GSB?
Ted: I find this question intriguing and important. Two things are strikingly different at Chicago. One, the community around professional development here is the best I've ever seen. Students help each other. The Deans help students. Alumni help students, and then the patterns repeat and are reinforced. Second, the values and behaviors here are pure form, positive, and unified. I could go on and on, but the key is that we (faculty, students, and staff) keep pushing each other to get to better solutions, better performance, and better development. We tend to put aside hierarchy and we leverage the diversity of the community better than anywhere else I've been. On a personal note, that keeps me fired up.
Steve: Can you elaborate on the interview process? Notification, timeline, etc. Joanne: Hi Steve. For all rounds, we will review applications, then make decisions on whether to invite a student to interview or not. Those not invited are denied admission. Those that are will be notified via email on a rolling basis, starting for Round 2 on January 23 through February 20 (our mid-decision deadline). There is no order to this release, and it's completely random. Those who are invited to interview will go online to determine where they'd like to conduct the interview and will be given detailed instructions on setting up the interview.
GSB_king: Hi guys, here is my question: I have a strong quantiative background, a PhD in mechanical engineering with 7 years of work experience and have been involved actively in extracurricular activities since my college days. Assuming my recommendation letters look great and my essays are right up there, would I be considered as a favorite by the Chicago GSB admissions committee?
Rose: Academically and professionally you seem attractive, but there is so much more that we value in the application process. We'll need to see your whole package before we could call you one of our many "favorites."
bgranta: How is the recruiting experience/process on campus?
Victor: bgranta, that's a great question. The process can be short and sweet or long and complex, depending on what type of job you're looking for and how prepared you are. Career Services does a heck of a job at helping us to prepare, though, through workshops, mock interviews and all day events such as Winterview. The career support I've experienced here far exceeds what I expected, but obviously the entire "process" will depend to a large degree on your performance. G-
9237309: Hello Mr. Snyder, I am excited to participate in a chat with you. My question is... GSB is greatly positioned among B-Schools. I think it is very well known for strengths in quantitative and finance areas. What about entrepreneurship? Where does it rank among other top schools? Or what is your unique strengths for entrepreneurship?
Ted: My answer may surprise you. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, I think Chicago may be the best place in the world to study. First, a fact: Entrepreneurship is the second most popular concentration among our MBA students, right behind finance. The main advantage of our approach is that MBA students learn to develop successful businesses. I encourage you to look closely at the Polsky Center and specific programs like the New Venture Challenge and courses taught by people like Scott Meadow, Steve Kaplan, and Waverly Deutsch.
Ted round2applicant: Good morning everyone! And thank you for taking out time for us. I might be travelling to the US next month. Will it make my case stonger if I take an on-campus interview?
Joanne: Hi there! It will not strengthen your application at all to interview on campus versus off campus. All interviews carry the same weight in the admissions process regardless of where they are conducted. However, a visit to campus is always encouraged as it's a great way for you to get to know the GSB better!
tonio_lon: Is it very cold over there Sabrina? Sabrina: I moved to Chicago with one suitcase and a carry-on bag. I was wearing half my suitcase the first time it snowed here in Chicago! I wore earmuffs, a beanie, a ski jacket and ski gloves to school today - it's 34 degrees. At least I can now say that 50 degrees F is "warm." The student study lounge also has a fireplace which is a good place to defrost!
Argo: During the application process I realized that Chicago GSB stresses the need for "academic ability." For someone who is just below the 80% GPA range, how might the candidate show his academic potential? GMAT/CFA etc?
Rose: We look at multiple areas of your application to assess your "academic ability." Your GMAT, other certifications, the content of your academic record, the opportunities or resources you had available, and any additional coursework you might have done post graduation. We don't focus on numbers, but the story behind each of those data points.
abc: Can you please shed more light on the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP)? Do students pursue it along with MBA and finish it within 2 years or does it take more time to complete it?
Joanne: The GPHAP program is a great option for GSB students. You can apply to the GPHAP certificate program after you've been admitted or after your arrival to the GSB. You'll take classes through the program during the 2 years that you're an MBA student. Yes, you can finish the certificate in the 2 years that you're here with us at the GSB.
dcas9360: Can you give us some examples of internship projects that students developed / are developing in South America?
Victor: dcas, there are a good deal of internship opportunities for overseas locations, including South America. The consulting companies will recruit specifically for their main South American offices (especially Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires), but there are also opportunities in banking and other industries, although it may require more research on your part to figure out the right people within a given firm to talk to.
Minxing: Good morning Ted, Rose, Sabrina and Victor. I am worried about how much impact the recent layoffs in Wall Street will bring to the internship and job searching for GSB students? Will it negatively affect the admission of applicants with banking background to the class of 2010?
Rose: Our Career Service office has been working closely with our corporate partners about this very issue. While most of the trouble has been happening at the bulge bracket level, the mid-market banks have been doing quite well. As for what's available in the future (internship and post graduation), we are working to ensure we have the relationships with companies and alumni to ensure that broad opportunities are available. While we may see many more "bankers" in the application process, remember we look at each applicant as an individual with different backgrounds and aspirations going forward. With all the finance opportunities at the GSB, there's plenty of room for terrific candidates.
Ranjith: Hi, I am an R2 applicant. There was slight delay of 4-5 days in the submission of my second recommendation letter. I wanted to know if that would mean any delay in the review process too.
Joanne: Hi Ranjith. We don't review applications until they are complete, including the submission of all letters of recommendation. So, yes, a delay in getting a letter will mean that your application may be read later in the Round. However, this will not impact your admissions decision.
tonio_lon: Essays, recommendations, experience, GMAT, etc. What is the weighting of each section of the application when you make your final decision?
Joanne: There is no one element that is weighed more than another; all of the pieces of the application are looked at equally and the application process is a holistic one in which we read each piece of each application carefully to make our admissions decisions.
ant: Hi Rose, I have been waitlisted in Round 1. In the meantime, I have been offered a coveted promotion at my firm and want to share that - what would be the best method to convey this information. Would an email suffice, or would it be better for you to manage if I sent a letter via post?
Rose: Congratulations - that's terrific news. You can send me an e-mail directly.
William: What is your vision for the GSB Program and how does it differentiate itself among the other elite MBA programs?
Ted: Thanks. Vision is important. So are values and behaviors. Chicago is committed to developing leaders who are going to be effective in all sectors of the world's market-oriented economies. Our approach is different in that we respect our students and recognize that the last thing we should be doing in plopping them down and putting them through a forced march. We really want to stretch and support our students so that each alum can do what they want to do and be successful. Their command of how organizations work and how markets work - at a deep level - gives them an immediate competitive advantage and the general skills to succeed over the many seasons of their lives. We also know that in the end, ROI for our alumni is going to turn on their ability to think through big-stakes issues - where there is no case, no formula. So our approach involves a huge amount of challenge, questioning, and trying to leverage big insights from economics, psycology, and sociology (invented at U of Chicago by the way). I hope this gives you a good feel. Ted
quipmaster: Is it necessary to have completed business calculus in order to gain admissions to GSB?
Rose: No. We admit folks with all kinds of backgrounds. If you have not had statistics or business math concepts, you might want to think about taking these courses to brush up before you enroll, but these courses are not required for admission. Plus, we have a number of math & accounting preparatory courses just before CORE begins in September.
KGU: Hi! Is it possible to run your business while doing your full-time MBA at Chicago? Is there any support from the school?
Sabrina: Hi KGU! Thanks for the question. That's a tough one! It's definitely possible for you to schedule your classes so that you have the time to run your own business. For example, last quarter I scheduled all my classes on Friday (and enjoyed a 6 day weekend). The faculty is also a great resource for you in terms of support. I took New Venture Strategy with Professor Schrager last quarter and he has been a very valuable resource for many students who are either thinking about starting their own business or already have their own business.
Seeun: Do you prefer the on-campus interview? Joanne: Hi Seeun. We have no preference for where you conduct your interview. All interviews are looked at equally, regardless of where or by whom they are conducted.
Sowjanya: How easy or difficlut is to interview with top companies with no prior relevant experience? For e.g from Technology to startegy consulting? I have had no exp in strategy consulting.
Victor: Sowjanya, not hard at all for consulting. They're looking for smart people, your ability to solve a problem "case-style" and for you to be personable enough to put in front of a client. There will be some companies that might require some more specific experience to land the job - such would be the case with Private Equity or hedge funds. However, as a general rule you can usually at least get an interview with any of the firms because even if you don't make the closed list you may use your allotted points (given to you at the start of recruiting) to bid for a job and force an interview. (Companies coming to campus are required to have an open list as well as a closed list).
William: Rose and Joanne, I'm a Round 2 applicant and given the increased number of applications this year, I was wondering if there were any delays regarding interview invites.
Joanne: Hi William. We will begin to release invitations to interview next week. There will not be any delays in this release, but be patient, as we roll these decisions out on a random basis through February 20.
LuzanJ: My question...or more worry...is my GMAT score. I scored extraordinary low on my GMAT which clearly contradicts my "usual" performance. However, I had no time to redo it since I had to apply in the second round. How realistic is an acceptance? I know GMAT is not the only thing but I am already a college senior. Is there any possibility to be conditionally accepted and redo the test?
Rose: Remember, the GMAT is just one of many evaluation components. If you'd like to retake the test, do it. Just let us know your test date, and then fax us the unofficial score report. We'll make sure this new information is placed in your file.
Pankaj_Poddar: I mistakenly sent a powerpoint 'slide show' instead of a 'presentation.' Does this mean my app will not be considered for R2?
Joanne: Hi there. No, this will not affect your application or admissions decision. We're able to still review your file. If we have any problems, we'd be in touch to let you know.
Grace: I have been work for 3 years, am i qualified to be part of you?
Joanne: Hi Grace. The GSB has no minimum work requirement, so anyone is welcome to apply, regardless of years of work experience.
Hui: Hi, do you have a percentage for admitted students with less than three years work experience?
Rose: While I don't have exact percentages of admitted students with less than 3 years of experience, I would guess it would be around 15-20%.
G-407149589: GSB - As everyone associated with business begins to analyze the causes of current market turmoil, I can not help but shift my focus away from technical proficiency and toward a lack of ethics. How does Chicago GSB's educational model address the true cause to such financial crisis - lack of transparency and greed?
Ted: Great question and big implications. I'll start in a strange way. We set high expectations of everyone here. I joke about it but it's true. The number of "pats on the back" are about equal to the number of "kicks in the butt." The point is that we want the two years here to be highly ethical. I don't believe that telling MBAs that they are great and talents for two years really gets them ready for what lies ahead. We all need to prepare ourselves to make big contributions, not to think that we are "always right, deserve this, deserve that." OK you get the sense here.
Going to the broader issues, our faculty are deep into the causes of the crises and now working on the scope and policy implications. Our Initiative on Global Markets, for example, will feature a major discussion next month in London on these issues. So students and faculty address these issues by evaluating them real time. Here again, the flexibility here and the free flow of ideas make Chicago a perfect place for students with a broad view. Having said all that, there's no need to sacrifice rigor. Again, very appropriate question. Ted
Seeun: How many successful applicants out of total interviewees?
Rose: Typically, we interview about 50% of all applicants and admit the best of these folks. I hate to focus on the percentage of admits, because it really depends upon the quality of the individual applicant and our desire to craft a diverse class.
buckeye: I grew up in India and am currently a Graduate Student in US. I will complete my MS before I start MBA. Do I need TOEFL? Joanne: Hi buckeye. If you are currently studying in the US and will have a degree from a US school prior to the start of your MBA, you do not have to submit the TOEFL; however, if you'd like to do submit the score you received to apply to the school you're at now as evidence of your language skills, you may, but it's not required. G-
407106649: Thank you very much Rose! It is a pleasure! My complete name is Luiz Henrique A Mariz,I am interested in Chicago GSB due to the strong concentration of Finance I want to pursue at this wondrous school. What attribute would you most appreciate in an applicant to join in this MBA program?
Rose: There's no single attribute that clinches the deal, but a combination of qualities -- intellectual curiosity, passion, a desire to engage and be challenged, a track record of success and a passion to make an impact. Each person is unique, so just be yourself in the application and help us to get to know you holistically.
kowen9: For prospective students who live outside the Chicago area in relatively remote locations, will you conduct interviews by phone?
Joanne: Hi there. We will first attempt to match you up with an alumnus who's living in your area to do an in-person interview; if there are no alumni in your area, we will set up a phone interview with a member of the Admissions Committee.
Nabeel: Good Morning everyone! I want to pursue MBA with concentration on Entrepreneurship; can you tell me what internships a majority of students pursuing MBA in Entrepreneurship choose? Sabrina: Hi Nabeel! A good friend of mine spent her summer developing her business plan for her new business. Our Polsky Center is also a great resource that can put you in touch with the right people. I also know of some students who pursued internships with Venture Capital firms for the summer.
Ted: My approach to brand management? It has changed over my term as Dean. We went from initially building the "viral base". That still goes on. We're all in this, all building relationship capital, all representing Chicago GSB well. But as that base solidified, we moved toward leveraging our momentum. But over the whole period, we are guided by principles. George Shultz (former Dean and former US Secretary of State) reminded me when I came in, "Always maintain the integrity of the school." So that's really our approach to brand management. In addition, as you may have picked up, while we recognize the importance of rankings as feedback, we do not confuse our identity with rankings.
Mako: Good Morning! What percentage of students in Chicago GSB is from China? What about their placements? Rose: The incoming class of 2009 has 31 students. Internship recruiting has just begun, but I believe all our students are doing well. It all depends on where you want to work and the industry and function.
HK: For admitted students who are interested in the International MBA program, what are some ways we can reach out to current students involved in that?
Joanne: Hi HK. There are a couple of ways to reach out to current students. You can post a message on the discussion forums (either on the regular website, or on the admit website), since the forums are monitored by current students. Additionally, you can ask your Adcom to put you in touch with a current student involved in the program. Finally, if you have questions from a more administrative perspective, your Adcom can also put you in touch with the staff in our International Programs office.
Alex2: Good morning to all. I'm Alexander from Russia. Question to Sabrina and Victor. Do you think it is necessary to have some preparations for 1st year classes before September? For example for Accounting and Corporate Finance?
Sabrina: Hi Alex! We have pre-MBA classes in Accounting and Statistic for those who want to get a head start. I personally don't feel that it's necessary for 1st year classes but it depends on how comfortable you feel. Naturally it can be overwhelming starting school again in a new city (for some) with new people so in that respect, if you feel it may help you adjust then it's a good idea. Some classes have prerequisites (e.g., corporate finance) to make sure that you have the fundamentals and you don't feel overwhelmed.
sanpi: I want to develop my post-MBA career in the energy industry. How will Chicago GSB help me develop in the energy field? For example, could you list the name of great professors and great courses in the energy field? Do you have some specialized programs and clubs for energy?
Victor: sanpi, all of the top oil & gas companies and utilities recruit on campus, mainly for finance, marketing and general management rotational programs. I interned at BP over the summer in their fuels marketing department, and I found the economics and strategic management coursework to be quite helpful, as well as the 2 marketing classes I've taken. Additionally, the Energy Group on campus is quite active and attracts speakers, conducts "lunch and learns" and has an annual conference that brings in representatives from all over the industry. Exxon Mobil came in the fall to present its global energy outlook for the next 25 years. I think you will have a great deal of resources at your disposal to successfully start a career in the energy industry.
addy: I understand that GSB will facilitate the sanctioning of loan for international students. Thank for you his. My question is, does procuring a loan from America create any trouble while applying for Visa? If I am not granted Visa for financial reaons, will GSB be able to help me in getting the Visa?
Rose: Chicago GSB guarantees loans to our international student who do not have a credit history in the US. Many students use this loan guarantee as ONE of the sources of income that they will be required to demonstrate for their student visa application. You should plan to be able to present other resources as well, whether they be family or other. The GSB will definitely work closely with you to obtain your visa. Our office of international affairs will be a great resource to you.
G-407149646: Chicago shows quick admission process as compared with other schools. Does it means an invitation schedule would start earlier than other shools? Rose: We'll begin releaseing invitations to interview at the end of the month. We try to conduct a transparent admissions process so you know what to expect at all times of the process.
caris: Hi this is Gawon from Korea. Just to follow up on the interview. Will that be conducted by alum or admissions officers?
Joanne: Hi Gawon. It depends on your location. In some areas, like South Korea, we will be sending staff to conduct interviews on location, either at corporations or in hotels. Even in those cities - and in other cities around the world where we won't have staff present - you can still choose to interview with an alum. You'll be given detailed instructions if you are invited to interview.
Cali: What is the appropriate dress code for an interview?
Joanne: Hi Cali. Business dress is appropriate and expected, regardless of where or by whom your interview is conducted. Be prepared to put your best foot forward!
tonio_lon: I applied in a second round: When will you notify whether the application is complete?
Joanne: Hi there. You can always check your status online to see if your application is complete. If we're missing anything that's holding things up, we'll be in touch as soon as your application is processed.
Min: I'm very interested in visiting campus of Chicago. But since it's difficult to apply visa in China, I wonder whether the school could provide invitation letter or something like that? Thank you.
Rose: The GSB welcomes visitors to campus. While we have not offered invitation letters for visas for prospective students, we do provide these letters to students once they are admitted.
Dave: Thanks for making this chat possible. As someone considering the GSB and other top schools, how should an applicant like me think about what appears to be a very real crime issue at the Hyde Park campus? With all other things being equal, other schools (like Stanford, etc) might appear better in this light despite Chicago GSB's many great qualities.
Ted: Let me address the crime issue. All urban campuses have their share of crime. For those who know Chicago, Hyde Park is a pretty safe neighborhood -- as safe as Lincoln Park. I mention this because like most good Chicago types, I try to be fact-based. Having said that, Hyde Park does have crime. We all have to be careful. We have a very good security team at the Harper Center. I'm working with the University on steps to enhance security. So my view is that you need to be careful in any urban environment, but Chicago is a great city and that for most people, the benefits are compelling.
pmuller: Hola Victor que tal? Could you talk to us what have you most liked about the experience at GSB? What clubs have you been to?
Victor: Hola pmuller como estas? I've had the chance to travel a lot since the start of my MBA. I went on a Random Walk trip (trips organized by incoming 2nd year students for incoming 1st year students) and traveled to Asia for the first time in my life (Thailand, Japan). Then for spring break I went with another group of students to China, and after my internship I traveled to Baltic Europe and Russia. I highly recommend traveling... heck, you'll be in debt anyway!
G-407106706: Now that you have Round 2 applications in, how is your pool of candidates looking?
Rose: We've just started the evaluation process for Round 2, and it looks like a great pool of candidates. I'll know more when those applications begin to trickle my way.
G-407149646: Wow, so fast process! Where is the first location for the invitation list? Maybe U.S?? Joanne: Hi there...invitations to interview are released on a completely random basis regardless of location.
chicagobull: Considering recent credit crunch, many people are being laid off from top investment banks. Is there very negative effect on the application if getting laid off at this moment? Jon
Rose: Being laid off will not have a negative impact on your application. That's an event certainly beyond your control.
Rose: We're coming down to the last 10 minutes. If you have other questions, this would be the time to send. We're still working through the great queue of questions you've already submitted, so stay tuned for more information.
Jitae: Good morning. My name is Jitae Kim from Seoul, Korea. It's midnight here. Very nice to meet you. I think still many applicants think that GSB is only good for finance and accounting. I'm concentrated on general management and strategic management. And I've already written my essay about my concentration. Are there any policies or plans to boost these business areas in near future?
Ted: Good evening! Thanks for participating. I've visited Korea several times. I'm a big fan. My short answer to your question is that our graduates are leaders. Knowing finance and accounting is really important, but our curriculum throughout the school is focused on strengthening your ability to evaluate situations, make decisions, exercise good judgement, and lead with better performance. Our graduates are CEOs in diverse companies and so I would encourage you to put less emphasis on the particular course and more on your the professional development and support you've experience Chicago.
quipmaster: How do your corporate partners feel about someone with nonprofit experience in the diversity arena? Rose: If you're planning to switch careers, your prior career will be important. Think through the opportunities and skills you have developed - most of those skills are very transferable to other industries.
Sowjanya: Does the ppt play as a tie breaker or is there more to it in application review? Rose: Rarely do we see "ties" in the admissions office. Having said that, the powerpoint does offer us additional information (or texture) that can provide us with the information we may need to make decisions at the margin.
Brett: Good Morning. I applied during round 2 but have not yet had the opportunity to visit the campus. Will this have any effect on my application and admissions decision?
Joanne: Hi Brett. A student's ability to visit campus has no effect on the admissions decisions. As you can imagine, we have students who apply from all over the world who are not able to visit us here in Chicago. We encourage you to come if and when you can to learn more about the GSB and what makes our community so special! Bowdoin2Bollywd__Guest_: Warm greetings from tropical Mumbai, India (I hope they make you feel warmer - Sabrina!). My question is to Victor, you mentioned an interest in entrepreneurship. Are you involved in the Polsky Center, and if so, could you please share your experiences. Also, if you have taken Professor Kaplan's Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity Class, could you please comment on it. Thanks, Rahul.
Victor: Rahul, Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity is one of the most popular classes at the GSB, I'm taking it right now and I really like it. However, for logistical reasons I did not take it with Kaplan. I'm taking it with Scott Meadow who is also an excellent professor and has a ton of VC experience. Even Luigi Zingales (who also teaches this course) is an extremely good professor from what I've heard. I have not used the Polsky Center but it is one of the best resources, in my opinion, to students in the program. You will definitely get access to some unique opportunities through it. The GSB has to be one of the best places for those of you who would one day like to run your own businesses.
LeoDC: Good morning. Does GSB have a concentration in Real Estate? What percentage of the class typically is foucsed on this industry?
Rose: Most GSB concentrations are based on one of the disciplines of business. Chicago GSB does have a number of real estate courses, and recently hired one of the leaders in the industry this past year. Check out our courses on the student portal.
aer: What is the one thing you are most proud of about the GSB and the one thing you would most like to change?
Sabrina: I like how the GSB evolves and I think it evolves because the school really gets the student body involved. We all have an opportunity to give feedback to the school on a regular basis. For example, Dean Kole holds a coffee hour every Wednesday in the student lounge (with cookies!) One thing I would change - The weather!!!!! :)
Guest_tom: If you were asked to give advice on how to better prepare for the MBA before you came to GSB, what would be the top 3 items you recommend?
Sabrina: 1) Attend admit weekend Sabrina: 2) Attend meet-ups in your city Sabrina: 3) Go on a holiday
Sabrina: I feel that it's important to get to know your classmates and to build those relationships before you come to school. It's also important to reward yourself with a holiday and come to school refreshed and relaxed. You've worked hard to get into the school and you're going to work hard in school. Have some fun!
Mike_1: Thanks for offering this chat! Given the uncertainty of the economy, have you seen any direct effects on intern/job recruiting this year? If so, are there any sectors that are particularly down?
Ted: Mike and others who have asked about this issue: Our placement numbers for full-time jobs are very strong absolutely and are tracking last year's pattern. The same is true for internships. That said, we do see decreases in interview activity by some consulting companies and some financial services companies. It's too early to tell how this will translate into offers. Stepping back, our strategy, which has proved very sound, has been to build a diverse set of corporate partners who recruit on campus, and also to develop a global network that generates a rich set of on-going job postings. That in combination wiht the support we have among our community makes us feel confident. In the end, talent wins out and, more specifically, we sense that this is Chicago's time. Recruiters want people who can think, exercise judgment, and get to improved results. FYI, my gut feel is that more students will end up going away from consulting and banking in this cycle, but I could be wrong. One thing I don't do is predict; our commitment is to add value by building the portfolio of opportunities, supporting students, and then letting the market work.
Ted KGU: How do you support who want to be entrepreneurs?
Victor: KGU, We have a very strong entrepreneurship curriculum: commercializing innovation may have been my favorite class thus far, and classes like New Venture Strategy with Schrager or Deutch's Building the New Venture, are among the highest rated in the whole program. In short, I'd say the entrepreneurship concentration is probably the highest rated by students. Also, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship has excellent opportunities for budding businessmen/women. Again, I highly encourage you to explore entrepreneurship at the GSB!
Joanne: Thanks to everyone for joining us this morning. You had some great questions and it was great hearing from you. Rose: Thank you so much for joining our chat today. We will be posting the transcript of this chat on our website within the next few days. If you have any questions that you'd like to take off line, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Best wishes, Rose
Sabrina: Thanks for joining us today, guys!! Hope to see you all here at some point.
Sabrina: P.S It's snowing!
Victor: Have a great day, everyone. Attending the GSB has been a great experience for me, it has positioned me to launch a successful career, and I've had great fun in the meantime. I highly recommend it to all of you! And Chicago, despite the snow and cold, is a great city in which to live. Come visit if you get a chance... Good weekend all.
Ted: Let me close. First, thank you for participating. Second, thank you for your interest in Chicago. Third, I want to thank my colleagues and especially Sabrina and Victor - terrific representatives of MBA student leaders. Finally, it is a privilege for me to be part of this community. I regret that I wasn't able to answer all the questions, but I tried to respond to many that cover a broad range. I wish each of you the best in the months ahead. One piece of advice - the "soft questions" are very important. Think through why the MBA, why Chicago. Your answers should first draw on specifics of the MBA, and second explain how you will use the MBA (especially the Chicago MBA!). Best regards, Ted Snyder