Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions
Rose Martinelli, the Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions, the Admissions Committee and current students chat with prospective students about the admissions process, admissions interviews, and more!
Thursday, November 5, 2009 - 11:00 AM CST
Moderator: Thanks for joining us! This chat is scheduled to run for 1 hour. We'll begin the chat promptly in 15 minutes. If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask them now.
Rose: Hello everyone and welcome! We'll begin promptly at 11am CST, but feel free to start posting your questions now!
Kurt: Thank you for joining us this morning I look forward to answering your questions.
Eddie: Good morning everyone. I am so glad that you decided to join us. If you've got questions - we've got answers!
Andrea: Hi everyone and welcome to the chat! I'm Andrea Schmoyer, Associate Director of Admissions. I look forward to your questions today!
Joanne: Hello everyone and thanks for joining us! My name is Joanne Legler and I'm an Associate Director at Chicago Booth Admissions. Looking forward to chatting with you this morning!
Rose: Good morning and welcome to our admissions chat. With Round 1 in full swing, we're open to any questions that you may have about the process, interviews and applying in Round 2. Rose
Amish: Hi everyone! I'm a second year student at Booth concentrating in Entrepreneurship and Strategy. I'm a co-chair of the Dean's Student Admissions Committee and the Epicurean Club, and am also heavily involved with our school's high-tech and entrepreneurship community. I look forward to answering your questions about student life at Booth!
Ashleigh: My name is Ashleigh and I'm a first year student at Booth. Before coming here I worked in Washington, D.C. as a litigation consultant. My concentrations are in finance and accounting and I'm looking to transition into investment banking. I am also a member of the following student organizations: the Investment Banking Group, Chicago Women in Business, the Retail and Luxury group as well as the Epicurean Club.
Paul: What are the main criteria that you use when deciding to extend interview inivtations? How, if at all, are these criteria different from the ones that are used to make final admissions decisions?
Kurt: Our evaluation criteria is pretty constant on both sides of the interview. The interview just provides us with additional informaiton to factor into the final decision. Essentially we are looking for bright people who have expereinced success in many different facets of their life. They are polished, have a good sense of both personal and professional direction and understand their overall fit with the Chicago culture and community.
sp: Is the interview blind or will the interviewer have read your entire application?
Kurt: The interview is blind the interviewer will only have seen your resume prior to the interview.
Anthony: I have a question regarding recommendation. If you currently work for a family business, how would you approach the issue of recommendation?
Joanne: Hi Anthony. For those who work at or in a family business, we suggest you find either a supervisor or co worker who is not a family member, or a client, to write your professional letter of recommendation.
ccbenson: Would you suggest Chicago Booth finance program is more statistic analysis or investment analysis
Ashleigh: The finance program at Booth is essentially what you make it (like many of our concentrations). Because of our flexible curriculum, you can choose to take courses that are more focused on investments, statistics or finance theory.
Bruno: Hi all. Thanks for having this chat. How does this yearâ€™s number of round 1 applicants compare with previous yearsâ€™ and what is the historical acceptance rate? Do you have a breakdown of this rate into first-time applicants and reapplicants? Thank you.
Rose: We choose not to report application numbers within the cycle since it can always be impacted by smoothing between rounds -- meaning more or less people applying now rather than in Round 2. We focus on the quality of admits rather than a target admit rate. I'm not dodging your question, but don't want to report on information that is not complete.
Francisco2011: Is the average work experience (4 to 5 years after graduation) measured at the time of application OR at the time you expect to start the MBA?
Eddie: It's the time that you are expected to start the MBA.
Niladri: Hello Rose and members of the Admissions Committee - thank you for this opportunity. I am from India and I have a MS Degree in Engineering from Michigan. Will I still be needed to submit a TOEFL Score with the Application
Eddie: No. If you have completed a degree in the US we can waive the TOEFL exam for you.
sp: How long does it generally take to receive an interview invite after your status has changed to complete?
Joanne: It depends! We are in the process of reading and evaluating applications as we speak, and this process is quite random, and has nothing to do with your individual application, when it was submitted, or any other factors. The last day that we will release decisions, the Mid-Decision date, is November 11th.
ccbenson: How is the camaraderie amongst first year and second-year graduate students? What type of support network are available to first-year students?
Amish: The camaraderie is great! First and second years are mingling from day one of school. Formally - second years run the LEAD program (which starts the moment you arrive), chair all of our student groups, and act as career advisers to first years. Additionally, due to our flexible curriculum, most courses are made up of a mix of both classes. Informally, we hang out with each other in the Winter Garden and at various social events throughout the week.
Danny: Chicago business professors, having famously pioneered much of market equilibrium theory, have been criticized recently for failing to accept that a critical premise of that theory - namely that its participants behave rationally and prices reflect "true" values. Does the MBA program curriculum include more than one approach to this issue?
Rose: Great question! At Booth, debate is central to our approach to education, so helpi!ng you to understand the breadth of perspectives will be important -- yes, we teach free market, behavioral economics and a bit of Keynesian as well. The fact that you will be a practitioner means you need broad knowledge from which to base your decisions.
ehudger: How many applicants do you expect to interview this year?
Rose: Roughly 50%.
deloris: In the near future, I plan to start/head non-profit organizations. Is there a specific course outline at Booth geared toward this type of career plan?
Kurt: Chicago's philosophy is discipline based which means we focus on giving you the necessary skills to be successful running any organization be it non-profit or for profit. With that said we have courses in social entrepreneurship, partnerships with the School of Social Service Administration and Public Policy. You can take classes at the Law school specific to running non-profit organizations. We also have a program in public health administration, a center for sustainability and a host of other option depending on what kind of non-profit you want to run. Chicago's flexibility and the option to take 6 electives at any school at the University of Chicago provide you with an immense amount of opportunity to not only learn fundamental business concept but apply them in a specific area of interest. There are also quite a few student organizations that facilitate work in the non-profit world. I hope this helps.
G-204775883: Is the interview mandatory to be accepted?
Eddie: Yes. All candidates that have been accepted and matriculated have completed an interview.
Salomon: Hi there!! I was just wondering what your views are regarding the Round 1 submission. What was the turnout like and your overall expectations in terms of Invites to Interview and competitiveness. Thanks!!
Rose: We had a strong Round 1 applicant pool with many very strong cadidates. I expect that we will interview between 50-60% of those applicants, depending upon quality.
YSL: What are the evaluation creterias for an interview?
Andrea: First of all, interviews are blind so the interviewer has not read your application and has only viewed a copy of your resume which you have uploaded into our system. The interview is really meant to be a conversation and an opportunity to get to know you in person. There is not a set format for questioning, but you can expect to be asked about your motivation for a Booth MBA, your past experiences, goals, interests, etc.
G-204775883: What is the foucs of the interviews? Is there any way in which we could prepare?
Joanne: There is not particular focus during admissions interviews; we're looking to learn more about our candidates and their goals, plans, and interest in the MBA and Chicago Booth. We're also interested in your communication skills during this conversation. There's an article we just posted on Booth Connect (http://chicagogsb.askadmissions.net/Vip/Default.aspx) that might be helpful, and we've also included this article in our most recent Admissions Insider Newsletter.
Paul: How often are interview invitations released? Once a day? Intermittently throughout the day? When is the best time to check my status for updates?
Joanne: Decisions are released on a rolling basis every day. There's no need to continually check your status; we'll send you an email to notify you when you've been invited to interview, along with directions on next steps.
sns: Hello! I have a question about applying in the 2nd round. Does it make a difference if an applicant applies earlier than the January deadline and do you encourage someone to apply earlier if their application is ready? I am basically asking because I'm curious if applying late in round 2 makes it more difficult because of the possibility that many spots have already been filled?
Rose: There is a benefit to applying before the round deadline in that you will be queued up to be evaluated in the first batches which may result in an earlier invitation to interview. For those who apply in on the deadline, it's a random process for when you will enter the evaluation process.
Deepa: Just a add on to my previous question- I will definitely need financial assistance if selected. Are there 100% loan coverage for international students Thank you!
Rose: We are in the midst of renegotiating rates and programs for our international students for next year. Last year we were able to provide loans for our international students without a co-signer that covered 90% of the student budget. All students should make sure that when you arrive on campus you have at least $5,000 on hand to cover expenses not covered by the student budget regardless of your citizenship or your ability to obtain loans.
minkyung: If possible, when will be optimal date to visit Booth campus between November and December?
Eddie: Our office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on 11/26-27. We will also be closed 12/24-25 and 12/31, 1/1/10. Many of the students will be gone during the holiday break. The visitor's program is still available but there may not be a chance to sit in on classes. The days we are closed should be on the website. You should check just to be sure.
ALAN927: What type of information is gained through the interview? How important it the interview in relation to the rest of the application?
Kurt: The interview is as important as any other part of the application; it does not take on any greater significance than anything else. Essentially it gives us an opportunity to meet and speak with the person behind the paper. We want to connect the personal attributes and overall presentation that comes through in an interview with the overall strengths and fit conveyed through the application.
minkyung: Is Round 1 interview invitation process ongoing? When will be the final decision for Round 1 interview invitation notice?
Joanne: The Round 1 process for interviews is indeed ongoing; we continue to read applications and make decisions every day. The Mid-Decision date is next Wednesday, November 11th.
Milagros: Thank you for organizing this sessions, they are pretty useful. I am from Lima, Peru and I am planning to go interview in the university. Do you have any recommendations for internationals going to interview in the university? Activities we should do before the interview, besides the day organized by the university? Or any aditional considerations we should have on the actual interview?
Andrea: Hi Milagros. First of all, congratulations on receiving an invitation to interview. You definitely should register for the campus visit program as that will allow you the opportunity to sit in on a class and plenty of interactions with current students. As far as other activities, I think that would depend on when your interview is scheduled. You may want to reach out to some of the co-chairs of the various student groups, like the Latin American Business Group, to see if there is anything of interest planned. A full list of groups and co-chairs is available on our website. There is an article available on interviewing tips within Booth Connect, http://chicagogsb.askadmissions.net/Vip/Default.aspx, that should be helpful in preparing for your interview. Good luck!
Mark: Hello, Thank you for your time. Here is a question about scheduling my interview, I and my interviewer have tentatively scheduled a time, but he wanted me to check with him a few days earlier for potential reschedule. Should I confirm my interview time in the system now using the tentative time or should I wait until a couple of days before the interview to confirm the time in the system?
Eddie: You should confirm the interview time that you have now. If it changes later please notify - Anna Veszilits - email@example.com about the change.
Sergiy: Will it be possible for an international student next year to get a loan covering total estimated cost of $81.204 without co-signe who is US citizen?
Rose: Our current loan program covers up to 90% of the total student budget. We're in the midst of negotiating new terms for next year, so I imagine the current terms will only improve.
VielenDank: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today! Whom will the interviewer be in an on-campus interview?
Eddie: You will either interview with a student or a member of the admissions committee.
KT: Hi Rose – I need some guidance as to selecting recommenders for my application. I started a consulting firm with a group of people in late 2007. Our main investor, one of larger clients, and another co-founder and active-partner are all happy to submit a recommendation on my behalf. Does the admissions team have a preference for any two over the other? If so, what criteria is the team using for selection? What aspects does team wish to uncover with its choice of recommenders?
Rose: Entrepreneurs always face challenges in terms of selecting recommenders. We're looking for someone who knows your work extremely well to write on your behalf. You may consider submitting a third recommendation from a client if you feel no one person can provide a comprehensive picture of your work and capabilities.
Anu: Hi Rose....to start with I am interested in getting a core concentratiion in Real-Estate for my MBA. Although Chicago provides so many options, I didn't find specific real-estate courses. Please enlighen me on that!
Kurt: Anu we actually have two real estate investment courses taught by Professor Joseph Pagliari, you can search his profile on line and it should lead you to the course descriptions. In addition there are Real Estate law course taught at the Law School and an active Real Estate group on campus. These are just a few options that exist for someone who is looking to get Real Estate exposure.
tyler: I heard that it is relatively difficult for international students to secure placements in the US after graduation, especially in this current economic climate. Would be grateful if you can elaborate on placement opportunities for International students with non-US passports!
Rose: Our international students faired equally as well as our US students this past year: 100% had summer internships and the 87% of graduating students had offers. I would encourage you to check out our interim employment report to see the exact stats and locations for our students.
Kinokosarada: Hello, from a French living in Vietnam. I am married and have one baby, what kind of accomodation is available for a family of three in Chicago? What is the average rent?
Andrea: There is a lot available in Chicago in terms of housing and within the estimated cost of attendance as posted on our website, http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/admissions/costs.aspx, we estimate an average of $1500 per month for rent. It might be helpful for you to reach out to some current students to get a sense of where they live and what they pay as rents vary depending on what area of Chicago you are looking at. The Partner's Club might be a good starting point.
xiphion: Does the university conduct interviews in the home country for international applicants? Or is it via the internet?
Eddie: We use alumni for many of our international interviews. We conduct no interviews on the internet.
G-204775883: If I'm not asked an interview by November 11th does that mean my admission has been denied?
Andrea: Yes, if you applied round 1, you will have notification with either an invitation to interview or a final decision of denied by the mid-decision date of November 11th.
hdsdh: I am a reapplicant, I wondered how you will treat my last year application in this year, how much weight you put for the last year application package in this year application process?
Joanne: We encourage reapplicants to apply as though they are doing so for the first time. We do have access to your prior application; we may look back at it to confirm any questions we have, and to look at your transcripts and test scores. However, the decision for this year will be made solely on your current application and its strength of the pool. We encourage you to use the "reapplicant essay" to details any changes that have happened for you since your last application.
ehudger: I read an article in BW about employment numbers going down for all the top programs, has Booth felt a similar decline?
Rose: It was definitely a challenging year for student’s at all top programs. Anything less than everyone finding a job is troubling. We were fortunate at Booth to have the support of our alumni and corporate partners who helped our students gain access to the internships and FT offers that they sought. Check out our stats on the career services pages on our website.
G-204775737: If I receive and interview invitation next November 11th, how much time will I have to complete the interview? I have a travel planed for the end of the next week and if I have to rush for the interview I would like to know in advance.
Eddie: First you have to find an interviewer and coordinate both of your schedules. All interviews must be completed by 11/30/09.
G-204775737: After the interview when we will receive the final answer?
Kurt: Applicants will be notified of their decision by December 16th the final release deadline for round 1.
G-204822166: How do you see the mix of student changing as far as professional background? Are you seeing a larger then normal influx of applicants from finance and consulting backgrounds? Are you trying to limit your exposure to students with these backgrounds as the job prospects coming out are unclear?
Rose: Diversity of thought, experience and perspective are critical to Booth's approach to education. Our mission is to craft a class that meets that requirement.
ccbenson: Do most graduate upon graduation stay in the chicago area?
Kurt: Our students really go all over the world after graduation but the top three destinations tend to be New York, Chicago and London. Chicago and New York fluctuate from year to year on the top spot but London has remained a constant third for some time.
alok: Do your chances of accpetance differ between round 1 and round 2 ?
Andrea: Hi alok. No, there is very little difference between round 1 and round 2 in terms of your chances of acceptance.
cmo: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. My question revolves around how Booth would help develop my job search. I have a direction that I am pursuing, but who will help me narrow that focus? Will I have a career coach? How involved will that relationship be? Who is going to help me sort through firms to find the best opportunities and the best fit for me? Thanks so much again.
Amish: We have a TON of resources and events available here to help you address those questions - almost too many to list! From the moment students arrive, our Career Services office runs programming to help students structure and define their search. Information sessions, lunch-and-learns, and immersion panels help students understand different industries and functions within those industries (investment banking vs investment management, for example). Dozens of companies also come to campus and hold events to help you learn more about who they are, what they do, etc. We have an army of career coaches/advisers - both school-employed staff as well as second-year volunteers - that are also available to talk to you about your path, review your resume, conduct mock interviews, and provide any other advice you're looking for. While no one is ever formally assigned to you as a coach, the entire Career Services organization - from students to faculty and administration - keeps an open door to provide help anytime you need it.
mike: Hello, has Booth Admissions put together an interview guide or any other materials to help with interview prep
Joanne: Yes, Mike, we have! You can log into Booth Connect at http://chicagogsb.askadmissions.net/Vip/Default.aspx to see a new article about preparing for the interview. This article can also be found in this month's Admissions Insider Newsletter.
JMRBooth12: What should I expect from the interview in terms of how they are conducted-- are they more "formulaic" or will there be opportunities for more off-the-cuff chatting?
Joanne: Our interviews are intended to be two-way conversations between the interviewer and the applicant. There is no formula, though each interviewer will be looking to hear about your current position, your interest in the MBA, your plans and goals for the future, and your overall communication and presentation skills.
adi: Hi: I have a very specific short term goal, but my long term goal is a little more vague . As in, I know the field I would like to work in (sustainability) but not sure in what capacity (consultant, vc, clean tech). How do you view applicants with clear well defined short term goals but not specific long term goals
Rose: Realistically, that's the case with most applicants. You have a better sense in the short-term, but the long-term will be impacted by experience and opportunities. At Booth, it's important to have a path/plan, but it does not need to be narrowly defined.
chuberts: I was hoping someone could speak about the health insurance students have while enrolled. Are they covered by the university? If so, which plan does Booth use?
Amish: Students are required to have health insurance, but are free to select whatever plan (internal or external) they choose. Many students elect to enroll in the University plan which is underwritten by United Health and provides most of the basic coverage you need. There are also additional add-ons for dental, vision, etc that you can elect. Check out this page for the full details of the program: http://studenthealth.uchicago.edu/studentinsurance/
VielenDank: Is the interviewer blind even on on-campus interviews?
Andrea: Hi VielenDank. Yes, the interview is blind even if you are interviewing on campus.
Markeith: For students with families, what resources are available to help spouses and children with the transition to Chicago?
Andrea: Hi Markeith. There are lots of resources available for families, beginning with some our student groups like Chicago Partners, Parents of Little Ones (POLO) and Mothers at Booth. The Chicago Partners website has some resources posted and you are welcome to reach out to some of the current co-chairs if you have questions.
Eugene: Hi everyone, it's nice to meet you all. I'm actually a 4th undergrad here at Chicago, and I plan on applying to the Booth Scholars Program. I was wondering, do you focus on different expectations for undergrads as opposed to regular applicants who seek admission after graduation?
Joanne: Hi Eugene! Great to hear that you're interested in the Scholars Program for 4th year University of Chicago undergrad students. We have similar expectations for this group in terms of academic compatibility, involvement in extracurricular activities and hobbies/sports and strong letter of recommendation. The obvious difference is that you most likely don't have full-time work experience, so we'll focus in on any part time or internship work you have. In addition, we're reading for potential, since Booth Scholars have the unique situation of deferring their enrollment for 2-3 years while they work at full time jobs. If you can make it, I'll be holding an information sessions about the Scholars Program on Monday, November 16th at 5pm; you can register at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/admissions/early-enrollment/gsbscholars.aspx.
MTabler: Rose, thank you for your time. My name is Matthew Tabler and I'm interested in transitioning into a finance career from my current career in law. Has Chicago Booth received higher volumes of applications this year compared with previous years?
Rose: Applications in Round 1 were very solid, but we have two more rounds to go. As for career changes, we see a good number of applicants coming from similar backgrounds aspiring to change directions. You'll find yourself right at home here.
Moderator: We're halfway through the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. We are eager to continue the dialogue. Continue submitting your questions!
Beth: What is one thing you think that an applicant should know about Booth before making the decision to apply?
Ashleigh: Of the many unique characteristics Booth has, its flexible curriculum stands out the most. I think this enables students to really tailor their MBA experience specific to their future goals. Knowing that you'll come here and have every resource available to you as you're going through the job search process, recruiting, or planning your course schedule, it will be unique just to you.
ccthisistheyear: Thank you for hosting the chat. Rose, can you share with us the evaluation process of a re-application?
Kurt: The evaluation process for reapplicants is not dramatically different from first time applicants other than we have a history with a reapplicant. Meaning we have access to previous applications and as such we can benchmark off of a previous attempt. For reapplicants we try to see how you have enhanced your application from a previous attempt. To get more specifics on this you might want to look at our transcript from our reapplicant chat on June 10th http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat/.
AKorralf: Hi there! This is Anna from Moscow, Russia. Thanks for this opportunity. I understand that all recommendations should be submitted online. One of my recommenders does not speak English and is not very much familiar with the process. He wants me to provide him with respective questions in Russian now prior he confirms that he will do one for me. Please advise where I can find a current recommendation form with all required fields. This recommendation is crucial for my application. Thanks again.
Eddie: When you are filling out the application you can actually see what the fields are on the form. If not a letter from this person is fine that explains your professional skills and attributes.
Feyzullah: Hello this is Feyzullah from Turkey and I want to learn when the interview dates and decisions will be announced...and since I am in Turkey have I come to United States for interview?
Eddie: There are different dates for each round. You can find them on our website. For round one interview begins 11/14/09 and decisions are released 12/16/09. You can ask for an alumni interview. If we have alumni in your area you don't have to arrange a visit to Chicago.
chuberts: I've looked online and cannot find a detailed list of the classes offered. Is there a link you could post that has all of the courses, along with their descriptions, that MBA students can take for the various focuses that Booth offers
Andrea: Hi chuberts. You can access a full list of current courses here http://boothportal.chicagobooth.edu/portal/server.pt/user/guest/2.
agnes: Hi Amish and Ashleigh, can you share with me what's special about booth, compared with other schools? do you have big flexibility to design your own course portfolio? thanks!
Ashleigh: Hi Agnes, great question! The flexibility here is huge and ultimately what attracted me to Booth so much. For example, I already have a background in finance so I am able to take more advanced courses that will better prepare me for a career in investment banking. Booth has a set of foundations that round out every student's experience here, however you have many options to chose from depeding on what you focus and background are. Another thing that is special about Booth is how openly available everyone is to help each other. From classes to recruiting, the second years are some of the best resources I have found and many people agree that competition is not something that is very evident at Booth.
Abigail: Do you have any recommendations for how to best prepare for the interview?
Andrea: Hi Abigail. There is a great article in Booth Connect with tips for the interview. http://chicagogsb.askadmissions.net/Vip/Default.aspx.
G-204775737: Amish:: What advantages does Chicago Booth offer to entrepreneurs during graduation? And how does one get into leadership positions at the student clubs? For example, if I want to be in the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital or in the Epicurean club, what does it take me to get there? I'm trying to understand the student dynamic.
Amish: Great questions - The Polsky Center is the hub for all things entrepreneurship at Booth. The faculty brings tons of industry experience into the activities and classes, but our experiential learning opportunities (like our New Venture Challenge, which is a rigorous months-long business plan competition) are what I've found to be most rewarding. Over two years you'll have myriad opportunity to practice being an entrepreneur, network with high profile entrepreneurs and investors, and work your way towards an entrepreneurial career. Regarding student groups - leadership roles are generally selected by the outgoing second year leaders of the individual groups. Throughout your first year, you'll have plenty of opportunities to join, participate, and informally help lead the clubs you're interested in. Toward the end of the year, the outgoing leaders will go through a selection process to identify those that have demonstrated the most commitment, passion, and leadership within the group. If you're selected, it's all yours to run for the next year.
sephany87: I see the MBA student profile has an average job experience of 5 years. How important is this element in the whole admission process?
Kurt: Length of work experience is not as important as both the quality of the experience and the sense of urgency someone can convey as to why this is the logical next step in one's career. Essentially you as the applicant need to convince our committee that this is the best next step for you regardless of how long you have worked. Some come to that realization with a year of work experience and for others it can take 12, but for us it is the strength of the argument coupled with the quality of the experience that drives success.
LauraS: In addition to the flexible curriculum and outstanding professors, what made you (students) choose Booth?
Ashleigh: I chose Booth for a number of reasons including its strong finance program, the ability to tailor the program specific to my interests, and most importantly, fit. I encourage all prospective students to visit the campus, attend a class and meet with current students to know if this is the right program for you. I spent an afternoon doing the above and left knowing that this was the right place for me. From the people I met to the open discussions that took place in the classroom, I saw Booth as a place that would provide me with the best learning experience and network of peers with some of the most diverse backgrounds I have ever seen.
EarlLee: I have a question regarding housing. Where do most of the graduate students live? How flexible is housing around the campus and the general feel for cost of living?
Andrea: Hi EarlLee. Chicago is a great city made up of various neighborhoods, each with its own unique attributes. Students live all over Chicago and choose neighborhoods that suit their needs. There are large groups in Hyde Park (about 23%) and right downtown (about 33%) and smaller groups in various neighborhoods along or near the lake and downtown.(South Loop, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, West Loop, Bucktown, etc.). Within the estimated cost of attendance, we estimate about $1500 per month for rent. That's very doable in Chicago, though costs vary by neighborhood. In some areas you may even spend less. Once admitted to the programs there are lots of resources to help and ways to connect with both fellow admits and current students to make these choices.
Hari: I am planning to submit my round two application in December – two to three weeks before the deadline. Can i go ahead?
Kurt: Hari you are welcome to submit your application at any point. Please note this will not necessarily expedite your final decision but there is a strong likelihood that this application will be among the firt to be reviewed by our committee.
JR2012: I am interviewing next Saturday - are there any special events for interviewees on this day? Is this day considered a "Super Saturday?" I have heard the term before, but I am not totally familiar with what it means.
Joanne: Congratulations! Yes, in addition to the interviews, we'll also be offering tours at 11:45 and 1:30pm, and lunch at 12:30, all with our current students. "Super Saturday" just means that we are offering many more interviews that day to accommodate our applicants, than we would during the week. Super Saturdays also involve alumni interviewers from the Chicago area.
ccthisistheyear: If the re-applicant was on the waitlist, how does the updates come into play? Will the adcom include those materials in the file can have them read again?
Rose: In my blog, I talked about reapplicants incorporating and synthesizing all the information from their first application into their new application. Your old file will be part of your new application, but will only serve as a reference point.
MBAapplicant: For a non-traditional applicant with an excellent academic track record in the humanities, just how much proof does the admissions committee require of the ability to handle quantitative coursework? Is a reasonable GMAT (in accordance with the median) enough?
Rose: Your GMAT score and transcripts will help us to assess your quant ability. Because of our flexibility, students can take courses at the appropriate level of difficulty so whether you are an expert or beginner in a particular area Booth will be able to support your academic needs.
Booth: Hi, Amish, what is the most unexpected thing you have learned from Booth
Amish: I'd say just about everything was unexpected! I came from a business undergrad program, but I've been floored by how much I've been learning in each one of my classes. The classes move at a fast and rigorous pace here, so the information literally never stops flowing. It's not just academics though - I've learned a lot about how to be a better leader and a better team member. And I'd say the people are the most unexpected part of it all. I've met some of the smartest people and made some of my best friends in life here.
weekendw: Ashleigh, you said you came from litigation consulting before Booth. Did you stress in your application that you were transitioning into ibanking? In general, is it a very small % of Booth incoming class that's from litigation-related backgrounds? thanks
Ashleigh: I have met a surprising number of people with a similar background to myself, both in the context of consulting and others who were previously attorneys and decided to come back to business school to round out their career interests. My reason for coming to Booth was to help facilitate my transition into banking, so yes, I did focus on this in my application (focusing on why I wanted to make the career switch, my goals going forward and where Booth fit into this process).
Kinokosarada: How has the crisis impacted the job placements for the class of 2009?
Rose: It was a difficult recruiting year for our students, and many students had to rethink their professional goals due to the crisis. The good story is that our alumni and partners played a very important role in counseling students and helping them find the jobs needed to advance their careers. Check out our career stats on the website.
Jammy: Hi Everybody!!! What is the average GMAT score?
Joanne: Hi! Our average GMAT is 714; 80% of students fall in the 660-760 range.
G-154200611: Are the interviews conducted by current Booth students or alumni?
Joanne: It depends on where you conduct your interview. Most on campus interviews are conducted by our current 2nd year students, known as Admissions Fellows. Sometimes, you may be interviewed by a staff member; if you come on a Saturday, we have both students and local alumni interviewing. If you live outside the Chicago area, we offer alumni interviews in your hometown.
G-154203136: After the interview invite, the decision is completely based on interview feedback or the application is also relooked at?
Eddie: After the interview is completed we review the entire application again along with the interview report.
Konstantin: How important are brand names of companies the applicant works for? How acceptable is a boutique-type of company experience? How do you evaluate such experience?
Rose: It's the quality of your experience and the breadth of your contributions that matter. Brand names will not get you admitted. If you don't think we will know a particular company well, spend a moment describing it in the job section of the application.
Kael: How do you respond to the reason headlines about the high crime in Chicago. And how is the area around Booth affected? Thank you!
Rose: All large cities in the US have experience an uptick in crime due to the economic crisis. Being aware of your surroundings is important living in a big city. I live just a few blocks away from campus and have found no problems in the time that I have lived here (nearly 5 years). In fact, it's a beautiful neighborhood.
Gustavo: Can you share with us some additional insights about the LEAD program, besides what I found on the website?
Ashleigh: Having just finished the LEAD program, I can attest to the value it brings to your overall experience at Booth (as well as beyond). I view LEAD as the one opportunity you will truly have to become completely self aware of who you are and how others perceive you. While it focuses on the softer skill sets that are often overlooked in business school programs, being aware of things such as first impressions, the role you play in group processes and how your personality type will blend with others are all necessary for successful interactions with others, both in business school and the professional world.
MBAapplicant: Most MBA programs indicate that they seek to admit students across all fields, including non-traditional applicants from, say, the arts or humanities. Would you say this is a reality at Booth? I've heard very good things about diversity at Booth and just wanted to get another perspective.
Rose: We admit students from very diverse backgrounds, industries and functions. It's up to you to make the case for why an MBA makes sense for you. Plus, where you've been does not necessarily correlate with where you'll end up when you graduate.
Gustavo: Hello Amish, can you share with us insights about the courses you are attending in your Entrepreneurship concentration and how do you envision a concrete use of them in your future goals?
Amish: Sure thing - Commercializing Innovation is a great course that teaches you how to take a business idea and really understand the economics of how it will work, how it will make money, what's required in the management team, and strategies on how to grow it. I've already put that course into use when I participated in the New Venture Challenge (both a course and a competition). I was able to take our idea and fully model out how it would make money and what was required to make the business successful. Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity takes an investment approach to entrepreneurship - how do investors value and invest in both new venture and mature businesses, what makes investments attractive vs unattractive, etc. Finally - as a hopeful technology entrepreneur, Technology Strategy was a great class in understanding various aspects of technology related business, such as how to manage R&D organizations, how to grow network-based businesses, how to create innovative culture, etc.
BJT: how much weight does the interview carry in the admissions process? Is it merely just one more component, or is it viewed as especially crucial vis-a-vis other application components?
Kurt: The interview is another component of the overall evaluation process it does not take on any more or less importance than anything else it just provides new information for us to make a more complete and informed final decision.
Bruno_1: I have read in your blog that early submitters can, in certain cases, receive early interview invitations. Is that also true for the final decisions?
Rose: Good question. The easy answer is "no". We'll need to see all the files before we are able to begin making offers. Sorry.
adi_1: Would it be possible for the school to provide feedback in case a candidate is not selected?
Joanne: Unfortunately, Chicago Booth does not provide individual feedback to candidates.
Gustavo: To Ashleigh and Amish: What is the greatest challenge each of you faced so far at Booth?
Amish: The greatest challenge has been figuring out how to manage everything that goes on here. Between classes, clubs, recruiting, homework and of course a heavy social life, there's ALWAYS something to do... unlike a job, however, there's no standard start and finish to my day and no boss to report to. My schedule varies wildly from one day to the next, so I'm constantly on my toes balancing everything I want and need to do. It's a true test of time management and prioritization.
Jonsie: Can you provide insight into the criteria to select joint-degree (area studies) candidates?
Kurt: This is a truly joint application process. From the MBA side our evaluation of the candidate is the same as any other applicant. From the area studies side they are trying to understand the purpose for a joint degree in a given subject and how well do you fit with their more academic environment. Hence the additional writing sample and essay requirement. The area studies degrees have a research component and thesis, so being able to demonstrate your talents in these areas takes on a greater value through their evaluation process.
Mba2010: Will it be possible to scedule interviews on November 20th, so that I can attend the Chicago Booth Live events as well as have my interview on the same day, or would the admission commitee members be too busy with the Chicago Booth Live events?
Eddie: Sorry but we don't conduct interviews on the day of our Booth Live programming.
prucea: A previous post referenced a link to Booth Connect...what type of information can candidates learn there? Also, I tried to log in to that sysyem using the same user name and password as I use to log into the application page, but it seems they are different...so we need to register separately for booth connect and get an additional username and password?
Joanne: Booth Connect is a great resource for those who seek even more information about Chicago Booth. Based on your preferences, you will be delivered content about specific areas of interest, such careers or industries or student groups and alumni. You cannot use the same username and password as you use to log into the application system. You may already have a username and password for Booth Connect, so go to the site at http://chicagogsb.askadmissions.net/Vip/Default.aspx and click on "Password Retrieval" link. If you don't have a log in, you'll need to create a new account.
Aaron: Are all of the interviewers trained to use a praticular format? Ask particular questions? Is there a Booth-style interview?
Andrea: All of our interviewers are given general guidelines to follow, but we do not use a structured format. Therefore, the exact questions and flow of the interview is up to the interviewer.
Raffa: Hi Team, just had a question related to the interview, How is the interview process standardized across all locations?
Joanne: The interview process is not standardized; our interviewers are encouraged to find their own method of interviewing candidates so that each individual interview is more of a conversation. However, through different training methods, all interviewers are given guidelines to abide by so that we are getting the information that we need to make a thorough evaluation on each candidate.
Konstantin: Do you accept support letters from members of Chicago community? Do such letters bring any value to an applicant?
Rose: We do accept support letters from alumni and students. They add context but do not influence the final decision.
Bobak: If recently unemployed, do you suggest that we also write an additional essay explaining the reasons why?
Rose: It's good for the admissions committee to understand what you have been doing with your time, so feel free to use the optional essay to do so.
ccthisistheyear: Thank you for hosting the chat. Rose, can you share with us the evaluation process of a re-application? If the re-applicant was on the waitlist, how do the updates come into play? Will the adcom include those materials in the file and have them read again?
Rose: The evaluation for reapplicants, including those on the waitlist, will be just the same as all applicants, meaning our decision will be influenced by the current application materials. If we have questions, we may dig into the old application, but that is more of an exception than the rule.
Moderator: The chat will be closing in a few minutes. Please submit your final questions.
Mimi: Hello Rose! For a career switcher, how should I address my short term and long term goals?
Rose: The big question is how do you know that you want to switch careers, and what experiences have you had that led you to that decision. It's important for us to understand not only your thought process here but to link that to your prior professional experiences.
Jack_MBAAspirant: I am in early stage to decide my schools. I hear about the "right fit" for any particular school ? what are the factors a applicant should look for to determine whether he/she is right fit for chicago ?
Rose: The question is how well do you know yourself and what resources do you need to reach your goals. There are schools with all types of attributes -- from fixed cores to flexible models, general management to concentrations, big vs. small; etc... Fit is knowing what you need and what school provides those resources, and of course, how will you plug in and contribute.
Alejandro_1: Hi, would it be damaging to my application if I submit a third recommendation?
Andrea: Hi Alejandro_1. Not necessarily, but know that our guidelines (which call for two recommendations) are there for a reason, so be very judicious in choosing to submit a third. I would ask yourself what added value the third recommendation has in contrast to the other two you've submitted.
Amy_1: How many applicants do you accept with less than two years of work experience?
Kurt: I don't have a specific statistic on that and to be frank it can vary from year to year, but this population of applicants is growing and as a result their representation in our class is growing as well.
davidbrent: Can the current students reflect on what has surprised them about Booth? Both positive and negative aspects?
Ashleigh: I was most surprised by how open and helpful everyone is. As Amish mentioned earlier, the second years are there to facilitate relationships with the first years from day one, helping them navigate their way through class selection, recruiting, and frankly getting used to being back in school. Career Services also is very strong here and makes sure students have every available resource necessary to discover the path that is right for them. At the same time, it can sometimes be overwhelming with so many resources offered. This also applies to class selection so it helps to either have an idea of what your focus is ahead of time, or meet with an Academic Advisor to help you plan accordingly.
Anu: Hi all. During the application review process, does the ad-com actually go through the Resume too. I have heard most of the schools actually use the Resume for interview purposes only.
Andrea: Hi Anu. Yes, a resume is a required component of the application and is reviewed along with all other materials submitted.
jcs: If we are interviewing on a day other than "Super Saturday," may we still participate in the tour and lunch on Saturday?
Eddie: No. We would prefer that you schedule a campus visit on another day that will include a class visit, information session, lunch and a chance to meet with current students.
Min: Hi Rose, I am R1 applicant. And haven't received anything yet. Should I be worried?
Joanne: Hi Min. We are still very much in the review process, and reading applications and making interview decisions. There is still nearly a week to go before final decisions will be released on November 11th.
davidbrent: Hi - what date is the so-called "Super Saturday?
Joanne: Our Super Saturdays for Round 1 applicants will be held on November 14th and November 21st here on campus. If you are invited to interview and want to come to campus, you can either come during the week, or on one of our Saturday dates.
G-3721527: Does the powerpoint presentation not put the not so artistically inclined at a disadvantage?
Rose: Absolutely not. The objective is content oriented, not about creativity. Make sure you read the question and respond appropriately. You can use any media (including another essay); it's up to you.
Minti: As an international student who had done both their undergraduate and masters degree from the UK, am I correct in assuming I do not need to do the TOEFL?
Andrea: Hi Minti. Yes, if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction then you do not need to take the TOEFL.
Aaron: How much weight is typically attached to an alumni letter of support (not a rec)?
Rose: There's no weight assigned. That note will help us get another context about you in the applicant pool, but will not influence the final decision -- all our decisions are merit-based.
Marco: Can you tell us something that you wish you knew before coming to Chicago? Do you have any advice for 1st year students?
Amish: I wish I knew to bring a warmer jacket! In all seriousness, my advice to prospective and incoming students is to come into the school prepared to challenge everything about themselves. This is more than just an academic experience - use the time wisely to push yourself, get involved with new groups and activities, interact with people outside of your comfort zone, and when it all starts to get overwhelming, take a step back and remember you're also here to have fun.
G-204775883: Is there any difference between being intervied in-campus or outside of it? With this I mean, does the committee aprreciate the effort of applicants to go to the campus?
Andrea: Where you interview is not a factor in the decision process. We do recommend an interview on campus simply because it's another opportunity for you to experience the school and culture first hand, but we certainly understand that making the trip can be difficult for many. We have alumni all over the world that help us with interviewing, so scheduling an interview near you is certainly acceptable.
ccthisistheyear: Rose and Kurt, why did you choose Booth the place to pursue your MBAs?
Rose: The quick answer is easy access, but driven more by quality of the education and the ability to build completely new decision frameworks. The ability to challenge everything, including your well established ways of thinking, has been a marvelous benefit.
G-204775883: I submitted the name of a recommender by mistake and put that he would not be sending a recommendation letter. Does this affect my application?
Eddie: No it won't have a negative effect on your application.
Porteny: Hi, I am from Mexico City and I will travel to Chicago in order to visit Booth next week (specifically, Wednesday November 11). I am already registered for Booth’s visitors program and I would like to know if there is a way to select specific classes to attend during class visits. I understand that, as part of the program, visitors can attend a morning class (8:30 – 10:30 a.m.) and an afternoon class (1:30 – 3:00 p.m.) Is this possible?
Andrea: When you register the morning of your visit, you will be able to select the classes you wish to visit from a list of courses that are offered that day and have available seats for prospective students. Yes, you can sit in on both a morning and afternoon class.
Jerry: Where can we receive more information on existing clubs at Booth?
Kurt: Please visit the following link. It will introduce you to all of our clubs as well as link to many of their websites. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/beyondacad/FTstudentgroups.aspx
Rose: Thank you for joining us today. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to me or any member of my team directly. Have a great day!
Andrea: Thanks for the great questions today. Best of luck to those who have applied, are interviewing or are currently working on applications!
Ashleigh: Thank you for your questions today and good luck! I hope to see you on campus for informational visits and as students next year.
Amish: Thanks everyone. Best of luck with your applications!
Joanne: Thanks to everyone for participating in today’s chat. It was great hearing from you and I wish you the best of luck!
Kurt: Thanks for the great questions.
Eddie: Thanks for joining us!
Moderator: The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. Have a great day!
Moderator: The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat