Full-Time MBA

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Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions

What is life at Chicago Booth really like? Chat with current students about life at Booth. Ask about student activities, classes, campus life, recruiting, the city of Chicago and more.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 11 AM CDT

Moderator: Hello and welcome to our Admissions Live Chat about Life at Booth! The chat will begin promptly at 11:00am CST, but please feel free to start submitting your questions now!

Moderator: Check out the bios of students chatting today at: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/boothconnect/fulltime/studlifeCHATmar2010.aspx

Moderator: The chat today focuses on questions around Student Life at Booth. If you have admissions related questions, please visit our Discussion Forums at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/forums/index.aspx

Moderator: Thanks for joining us! This chat is about Life at Booth and is scheduled to run for 1 hour. We'll begin the chat promptly in 10 minutes. If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask them now! You can also check out student bios at: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/boothconnect/fulltime/studlifeCHATmar2010.aspx

Bruno: Good morning! My name is Bruno Baratta, I'm a first year student from Brazil concentrating in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Accounting. Prior to school I worked 2.5 years as a Sales and Trader and 4 years as a Strategy Consultant, focusing on corporate finance. I'm happy to answer your questions regarding Booth, life as an international student, Chicago, finance careers, or whatever else you have in mind right now.

Joseph: Hi, everyone. I am a first year who is living in downtown, and will be interning in consulting for the summer. Prior to Booth, I was a research engineer working in Korea. Looking forward to chatting with everyone today.

Kendra: Hey everyone!! My name is Kendra and I am a first year concentrating in accounting and strategic management. I live in Hyde Park and I will interning at an Investment Bank this summer. I look forward to chatting with you!

Alejandro: Hi everyone! My name is Alejandro and I am a 1st-yr student concentrating in Managerial and Organizational Behavior and Finance. I am originally from Mexico and for past 4 years have been working in Finance and Real Estate in Mexico and the Caribbean. I am involved in a number of student groups including the Latin American Business Group, the Investment Banking group, and the Wine Club.

Nate: Hey, welcome to the chat. I'm a second year here at Booth, preparing to graduate in June; I'll be starting as a full-time consultant in the fall. I've had the opportunity to be involved with a lot of different activities and clubs here at school. Looking forward to answering your questions about any of that or whatever else is on your mind.

Joanne: Hello, everyone! My name is Joanne Legler, and I'm Associate Director of Admissions here at Booth. I'm happy to answer any admissions related questions you may have!

Shrimant: What do you like best about life at Booth?

Bruno: Hi Shrimant. Personally I would mention all the club/social interaction with classmates both on campus and around the city.

Rupal: Hello everyone, My name is Rupal and am considering a career change from HR to Marketing and Strategy. I have worked as a Human Resource professional for about 3 years and have no experience in Marketing. Can this be a problem in getting admissions or hired as a Marketer?

Jennifer: Hi Rupal. Although prior experience in marketing is always helpful, it is also extremely common to change careers during business school. Many of my classmates who have entered marketing from other fields, and been very successful. This is also true from an admissions standpoint.

prasanna: hi this is Prasanna, an admit to the class of 2012! could you describe to me a typical day in the life of a Booth student?

Joseph: For days that I have a morning class, I wake up around 6:30 AM, have a light breakfast, and glance at the paper. I like to take my time in the mornings. Then I take the 7:48 AM Metra to campus. During lunch, I typically have a club meeting or a speaker event to attend. If I have a class in the afternoon, I stick around for that, otherwise I head back. In the evenings, I usually have an event (party, someone's birthday, golf lessons, etc.) I have to go to. I tend to fill up my schedule as much as possible.

Shrimant: Question for Nathan: How do you justify a second advanced degree, assuming the law degree was in a Master level program?

Nate: Great question. For me it was a question of wanting to make a career change. I was really happy at my law firm, but I didn't think that path was going to allow me to do the things I wanted to do, i.e. management, entrepreneurship, etc. I knew that two years at Booth would give me the skills I needed to succeed in those areas as well as the opportunity to explore potential careers before committing myself to any particular path. So, in the end it was really a question of being able to make a career change (with the added benefit of meeting a lot of great new people and having a great experience for 2 years). It wasn’t an easy decision, but the experiences between law school and business school were totally different, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made.

Nemo: What Booth student do during weekend?

Kendra: Hi Nemo! There are so many things to do over the weekend here in Chicago and it depends on your personal interests. In addition to student activities (bar nights, dinners, sports) there are so many activities available in this wonderful city. The restaurants are amazing and there are so many opportunities to interact with the local Chicago community. Students also use the weekends to study or travel. Whatever you'd like to do is at your disposal!

Mahe: Why do Booth students prefer living in downtown as opposed to living on campus? Are there any activities we would miss if we decide to live on campus?

Joseph: Most of the social events happen around downtown or Lincoln Park (more at the latter), so students prefer to live in downtown or Lincoln Park. Well, unmarried students or married students with no kids seem to prefer that. However, there are still students who make it out to many of the social events but still live near campus. It's really a matter of preference.

anotherMBA: Hi Nate, Bruno, Jenni, Joseph, Alejandro & Kendra,What factors did you consider while deciding to apply to Chicago Booth? I hope this will help the prospectives in their school selection!

Jennifer: When applying to Booth, I considered the school's academic reputation, location in a major city, and my own fit within the student body. I also considered the resources available in my chosen areas of focus, such as the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Kilts Center for Marketing. Overall I felt a natural connection with the students I met when I visited the school, and that Booth's resources were the strongest for what I was interested in doing.

Shrimant: How much of a time commitment are co-chair positions in activity groups?

Kendra: Hi Shrimant! The level of commitment depends on the group. Co-chairing a professional group sometimes requires a higher level of commitment while the social groups may require less. I currently spend about 1-2 hours per week for my co-chair position. It's a wonderful way to get involved with the community.

ppg: How do students from Chicago compete with students from universities closer to financial hubs (such as New York City or London) for positions in Investment Banks and PE firms? I understand students go on field trips and fly out to NYC, however, the opportunities for students to network would be less compared to students in these cities. Are students expected to frequently travel to New York?

Bruno: Hi ppg. Personally I made a couple trips to NY during recruiting, and I think that at least one trip is recommended for those seriously recruiting for IB and/or PE. For IB, for example, we have an official week long event after the end of classes in December when pretty much everybody from Booth that is recruiting for the function flies to NY to meet with banks. When comparing with students located in NY, they definitely have more networking opportunities, but that said I also think they are expected to show up more in front of recruiters... So the real benefit is uncertain to me.

Moderator: Please note, as we often get repeats of questions, we will try to address the general topic (if not your specific question).

BrianHull: Hi Nathan, could you talk a little bit about your work with West Quest, who you'll be visiting on this years trip and the range of professional interests you find in Booth students attracted to the club?

Nate: Sure. So on last year's West Quest trip we visited with some of the major companies in SF, Seattle and LA. Among them were Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Intel, PG&E, Nordstrom, Yahoo!, Genentech, Bain, BCG, Adobe...and multiple others. Basically many of the major players out there. The companies are usually pretty consistent from year to year, so I would expect most of them to be the same next year as well. We try to accommodate most interests, although there is definitely a weight towards tech companies, with some consulting visits and general corporate thrown in as well. The trip leaders are always open to trying out new companies as well, but we try to focus on companies that have internship opportunities, rather than just ones that seem like they'd be interesting to visit. Finally, people that are interested in everything from finance to marketing to strategy join the trip, as those are all opportunities we hear about out there.

G-520239751: Hello and thanks for chatting today. Could you please shed some light on how the Booth student community is formed given the academic flexibility and proximity to Chicago (e.g. students may live all over)? Do you find yourself wishing you had more opportunities to mingle with your classmates on campus or in town? What % of your classmates would you say you know? Thanks for the insight in advance!

Alejandro: Hi! There are plenty of opportunities to meet with other students. There are more than 70 student groups and weekly activities where most of the students participate, if you add to that, student treks, LEAD and random walks you definitely get to make meaningful relationships with both first and second years. The flexibility of the curriculum allows you to choose the best classes according to your career goals and previous experience. 15% of students leave near campus and the majority are located downtown. I live downtown and there is always someone that wants to go grab dinner or go out.

G-520265615: 1. I would first like to say thank you to the students, admissions officers and The Booth School for taking the time to answer our questions. I understand how busy everyone must be and I am sure we are all deeply appreciative. Now for my first question, I like the vast amount of resources available at the Career Resource Center. How involved is the Career Resource Center and at what point does a matriculating student begin to work with them? Thanks

Joseph: Career Resource Center is involved with you from the very beginning. Once you are admitted, you will be asked to submit your resume using the Booth template (this is before you even step foot in Booth! It's part of your pre-Booth work.) Then CRC will work with you from the very first day to educate you about the resources available to you, and the preparation that you will need to do to pursue your chosen career path. I have been very impressed by the professionalism and the commitment of everyone at the CRC. I know international students have had a harder time, but I also know that CRC has been working with the international community to better serve their needs.

TimothySaint: How closely is the grade nondisclosure 'policy' followed, and how does it affect academics at Booth? Does it promote cooperation? Does it disincentivize hard work?

Kendra: Hi TimothySaint! The grade nondisclosure policy is followed very closely here at Booth. It definitely allows students to challenge themselves when selecting courses and promotes a very cooperative environment. We still work hard and we do it together. Not necessarily because of grade nondisclosure but it helps. The community here is very cohesive and we support each other.

chicagobound2012: Hi everyone, and thanks for the chat. Could you talk about the student interaction at Booth? My only worry is that my experience at Booth would lack the close interaction with classmates because (1) students live all over the city, and (2) the flexible curriculum results in no sections or cohorts outside of LEAD. Thanks!

Jennifer: In my experience, the student body at Booth is very cohesive. I live downtown, and in my building alone there are hundreds of Booth students, so it is almost like living in a dorm. Similarly, we all take classes together in Hyde park, and the Harper Center is such a fantastic facility that it is very common to find students spending time together in the Winter Garden between classes. I have really enjoyed the flexible curriculum, as it has allowed me to meet other students who are passionate about the same subject areas as me very early on. Also, in the first quarter nearly everyone takes at least two or three of the foundation courses (Statistics, Accounting, Microeconomics), so you get to know your overall class as well.

G-288296046: Good morning. Thank you all for taking the time to answer these questions! Upon reading your bios, I noticed that many of you are involved in numerous clubs and organizations in addition to being Full Time students at Booth. How are you all able to juggle classes, clubs, group work/homework, and a social life in the Chicago area?

Bruno: Hi. It is really a personal choice how much time you're going to dedicate to each one of the different aspects of life here. And that even includes work/homework, as with the flexible curriculum you're able to choose your classes from day zero, and this will greatly impact the amount of work you have to do. So, answering your question, managing your time here is really a matter of setting your priorities in terms of what you want to get out of your experience.

jlou: HI, I had a question about the focus of the school. I've been talking to a bunch of students at other schools and the first thing they think of when they think of chicago is more of a quantitative focus...is that the case or do you have different experiences?

Joseph: It's more dependent on the subject matter and the professor, I think the latter matters more. For example, Booth has two amazing marketing professors, Anne McGill and Sanjay Dhar. McGill is supposed to be very qualitative, and Dhar is supposed to be very very quantitative. Of course, there are classes that are by nature more quantitative (e.g. finance and operations classes.) I have found classes to be a good mix, but that may be because of my background (I am an engineer by training) and my selection of classes.

G-520239867: What are the trade offs between living in downtown vs lincoln park? (cost? convenience? effects on social/school events?)

Nate: It's totally about what you are looking for. Some may disagree with me, but I think LP has much more of a neighborhood feel to it. There are a lot more "local" bars and restaurants around and most of the places where people live are more like brownstones or small houses. In downtown, however, there are obviously more high-rise buildings and things are a little bit more hectic during the day and at night. LP tends to be a bit cheaper, especially if you are going to have a car. It can be prohibitively expensive to have a car downtown (depending on your budget). It takes a little longer to get to school if you're driving from LP, although public transit is still an option from there as well, but again, it will take longer to get to Hyde Park from there. Getting to school from downtown is pretty easy. Plus downtown is really close to the Gleacher Center (the part-time campus), where you're likely to have group meetings when people aren't at the Harper Center. With regards to social events, I'd say it's equivalent. Most social events take place in those two areas, with some in Wicker Park/Bucktown as well. Finally, the concentration of students in the downtown/Millenium Park area is greater, so you'll be living closer to more of your classmates probably. Really, though it's all about feel and what you want out of your neighborhood, so if you get an opportunity I'd definitely recommend stopping by Chicago to visit them.

2010Guy: Could you discuss the merits of living downtown/Hyde Park/the rest of Chicago for someone who is not a Chicago native?

Jennifer: I am not from Chicago, so I have really enjoyed living downtown because I can explore Chicago's restaurants and nightlife while still being a quick Metra ride away from campus. A large portion of my classmates live downtown as well, so we can share taxis and go out together. However, my friends who live in Hyde park really enjoy it because they have the convenience of living near campus. You may need a car if you live farther north in Chicago (Lincoln Park, etc.).

G-520265615: 2. Can someone speak to the teaching style at Booth? I am aware of the experiential learning portion of the curriculum, which I think is terrific, however, I would like a little more detail on the teaching style overall. Thanks

Kendra: Hi Guest! The teaching style varies by professor. In my experience most of my professors have used a great combination of lecture, case study and experiential learning. Some courses, accounting for example, are more lecture focused and others, like New Venture Strategy are more experiential. Every professor is different and academic services does a wonderful job of providing resources to help us evaluate each professor and teaching style as we choose classes. Hope this helps!

Booth_Admit_2012: Hi everyone! Thank you very much for taking time out to speak with us. I recently received an offer of admission to become part of the Booth Class of 2012, and I am highly honored and excited! I wanted to get going on searching for housing in Chicago. It would be great if you all could provide insights on how you all went about looking for housing. Any great resources? Forums? Websites? Especially for people who do not live in Chicago?

Kendra: Hi Booth_Admit_2012! You're very welcome and congratulations! The best resource is the housing fair during admit weekend. It's great to hear personal experiences when trying to decide where to live. In addition, I utilized my class google group to learn about where my classmates were living. The admitted students' website also provides wonderful resources. I hope this helps.

JCC: Hi and thanks in advance for taking my question. What has been your most rewarding experience during your time at Booth? Was this something you expected before you started your MBA? Thanks again!

Bruno: JCC - I've had very rewarding experiences through interactions with prospect students, sharing my experience here in Booth and helping clarify any questions regarding the school. It is something I expected before coming here, but perhaps not with the intensity I've been able to be involved.

G-520265615: 3. Can someone speak about the student treks, specifically the PE Trek. i.e. what they entail, how effective are they, do students usually land internships or jobs from these treks, etc.? Thanks

Bruno: Hi. I've done a couple treks last year, and I think they're pretty effective in terms of landing jobs. In fact, for some careers such as Investment Banking I would say they're kind of crucial, and not showing up for the respective trek is a big minus on your candidacy. For PE, I've done a London Trek (not the PE Trek itself) and I also think it's a really good opportunity. The industry hires highly based on networking, and it is your opportunity to be in front of some of the top funds.

Rosie: What housing options are available to students?

Alejandro: There plenty of housing options. There is graduate student housing available on campus through the University. If you choose not to live on campus, there are many options available including downtown or Lincoln Park. ~40% of Booth students live downtown and ~20-25% live in Lincoln Park. From downtown, you can either take the bus or train (Metra). From Lincoln Park, you can take the bus. Downtown is ~9 miles away and Lincoln Park is ~15 miles away.

Dane: Does Chicago offer official tours? When is the best time to come?

Joanne: Yes! We have a daily campus visit program, and you can find the details online at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/dailycampusvisit.aspx. You can visit a class, sit in on an information session and have lunch with students during your visit. Please note that we have some blackout dates, and that a class visit is only possible for the next few weeks (we don't offer classes in the summer); but we are here every day for an info session and tour.

Noah: When you guys were looking for internships or full-time employment were most of the opportunities for positions in Chicago?

Nate: Not at all. The opportunities are truly global in scope. I had friends spend their summers on six different continents (no one in Antarctica) and all over the US. If you are looking in finance obviously some of the jobs are going to be concentrated in certain locations, but that's just the nature of the business. For consulting and many other functions the jobs are everywhere. There are certainly a large number of Chicago opportunities, and since a large number of Booth grads live in the area the chance to make connections is great. But there is no real geographic limit to your opportunities. In fact I summered in Dallas (but I fell in love with Chicago over the past couple of years and decided to stick around).

stacchen: hi - thanks for hosting the chat. when will the applications for 2011 admissions be available?

Joanne: We will have the application available online in July 2010.

G-520265615: 4. What surprised you most after enrolling? In other words, how have your perceptions changed as you moved from applicant to student? Thanks

Joseph: Two things really stands, 1) the number of opportunities that you have access to (both professional and social), and 2) how open and accessible the second years have been. They have a genuine interest in seeing the first years succeed in classes and recruiting. It has been a pleasant surprise.

John: To start with something familiar, what sort of military representation do you have at Booth? Do you think it's more difficult to assimilate to life at Booth coming from a non-business background?

Kendra: Hi John! The military representation is awesome here. I am a member of the Armed Forces Group and we have representatives from all branches. We also have events catered toward ex-military as well as various speaker series. The ex-military alumni network is strong and there are tons of support systems to help with your career search. I have personally reached out to ex-Army during my career search. It is not difficult to assimilate to Booth life coming from a non-business background. You actually may be better suited for it! :-)

Moderator: We're halfway through the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. Our students are eager to continue the dialogue. Continue submitting your questions!

Tiago: Hi Joseph. How was your experience transitioning from R&D to Consulting? How did Booth help you get there?

Joseph: They say in consulting you need a T-shaped expertise, a functional expertise that spans different industries and expertise in a specific industry. My R&D background gives me the latter (industrial expertise), and Booth has helped me with the the former, developing functional expertise. I didn't have much of a business acumen or really understood how businesses worked, and that's one area Booth has helped to address.

Mba2012: Is it safe to travel from Hyde Park to downtown Chicago and vice versa late at night? Are subways open, cabs available, etc?

Kendra: Hi Mba2012! It can be safe to travel to downtown Chicago depending on your method of travel and whether you're in a group or not. I live in Hyde Park and when I head downtown on Thursday nights I usually cab it or take the bus if I am in a group. I've never felt threatened, but like any place at night, I always make sure I am aware of my surroundings.

Aldiyar: Hello everyone. Thank you for joining this chat and helping the new admits. My main questions would be what should a new admit be prepared for when starting the program? There will be a lot of activities going on in the first term (study, careers, settling in). What can you advice from your experience? Thank you.

Alejandro: Hi Aldiyar. First of all enjoy your summer! Things are going to get really busy as soon as you start your fall quarter. For the summer I suggest spending some time thinking deeply about your career goals and get your housing ready. Regarding settling in, I signed my housing lease in April and moved to Chicago 2 weeks prior to starting classes and that was enough time to get ready.

Matt: how was recruting this year given the economy?

Nate: From my perspective it has been actually pretty strong, especially compared to last year. Since my focus has been consulting, I know that the major consulting firms were much more active this year and looking for larger internship classes (and hiring additional full-time people). Further, on the full-time front, while not speaking for the whole class (I don't have those numbers) all of my friends have secured full-time offers that they are super excited about (in everything from hedge funds, to banking, to marketing, to consulting). From what I've seen and heard people have found recruiters to be a lot receptive to inquiries as people begin to believe the economy has recovered. Regardless, I believe that in a down economy you definitely want to be at a top school, as that's where you're likely to find the best opportunities in my opinion.

G-520265615: 6. Has anyone participated in the Random Walks? If so, can he or she speak about it? Thanks

Jennifer: I went to Dubai for Random Walks and found that it was a great way to make friends before school even starts. A large percentage of students participate in Random Walks.

boothfan: Any idea as to how many people would attend the admit weekend on 23rd and 24th

Joanne: In the past, we've had about 400 admits and partners attend Admit Weekend II.

Ana: good morning and thank you all for hosting this chat! Jennifer what would you highlight from the Marketing concentration at Chicago that makes it standout from other schools' offers?

Jennifer: Hi Ana! One of the most fantastic resources available for Booth marketers is the Marketing Group. The group is student-run and does a particularly excellent job of preparing students for the internship recruiting process through well-planned events and training throughout the year. Also, marketing at Booth is an extremely closely knit group. We all know each others backgrounds and interests extremely well, and are supportive of each others goals. Last but not least, second year marketers at Booth are incredibly involved with the first-years, and willing to help in any way possible. Overall it is a very supportive community.

Anthony: Thank you for taking question today! My question is for Jennifer - I have been working for a Chicaog startup in marketing. I am considering an MBA in marketing management but also looking at other programs who offer a masters in marketing communication. What benefits do you feel the classes in the MBA marketing management progam can offer over a masters in marketing communications program?

Jennifer: Hi Anthony. I am not very familiar with Masters in Marketing Communications programs, but I would imagine that MBA programs might be more focused on gaining real-world experience. For example, all MBA's participate in summer internships, which provides an opportunity to gain entrance to leading companies while gaining credibility in the field.

G-520265615: 8. How accessible are the professors? I noticed at some of the urban schools that the professors are part-time, so they are not available often due to other responsibilities. Thanks

Bruno: Hi - I've been actually amazed by how accessible every single professor I've had was. You send them an email and generally within hours you get a reply. If you need office hours or a meeting, it's also pretty easy to schedule.

lllui: In what extent do you think the academic rigor has affected the social life at Booth?

Bruno: Hi Illui - Generally speaking, there are more social life events/opportunities here even if you wanted to dedicate 100% of your time to it. Now, how much time you will personally spend on social activities, will really depend on you. To answer your question with numbers, you will usually be doing either 3 or 4 courses per quarter. Each course has a 3-hour weekly session and will require anywhere from 3 to 20 hours of work outside of class. You have the statistics of how much work each class requires outside of classroom on an online system, so you can balance your quarters (remember - flexible curriculum... You will shape your experience)

Rosie: What is your favorite course at Booth?

Joseph: So far it has been Microeconomics with Robert Topel. I know it's a little cliche to name an economics class given that it's Chicago, but Topel is an amazing professor and economics is just taught at a different level here. And I say this despite having taken three microeconomics class during my undergrad. I didn't think I would learn much in my micro class, but I did.

Rosie: How has the LEAD program impacted your experience?

Jennifer: LEAD sets the stage early on for a collaborative MBA experience, which probably eliminates negatively competitive behaviors that might be present without it. It also makes you more self-aware, as you complete pre-work personality tests that show you where you need to improve, and receive feedback from your peers throughout the course.

kari: Hello, Joanne! Can an admitted student apply for an increase in scholarship?

Joanne: Hi Kari. Unfortunately, no. If you have any concerns about financial aid or scholarships, please contact your adcom directly.

Akash: What is the classroom enviroment like at Booth? Are the students very competitive or is it more team oriented? Also, are there a lot of discussions in class or do the professors lecturing more?

Alejandro: Again, this is quite professor-dependent. So I'll address that part of the question first. Professors and the subject matter determines whether if it's more lecture or case driven. For a class like Applied Linear Regression, where there are definite answers, you'll find that it's more lecture driven. For a class like Competitive Strategy, you'll definitely find more discussion and case-oriented work. Students are definitely more team-oriented. I think it's because of the people Booth admits and the grade non-disclosure policy. I have not been in a group where this has been an issue, maybe I've been incredibly fortunate. But given that almost all classes require group work, I think it's more than just luck.

kari: Good morning! I have a question for Nate. What courses have u taken in Booth that prepared you for the consulting job?

Nate: Great question. When I arrived the first thing I did was ask the second years what courses they recommended so that I'd be fully prepared, both for consulting interviews and an internship. The classes I focused on were those that would give me the skills and background knowledge I needed to succeed in those interviews; among the classes I found most vital were Marketing Strategy, Strategic Management, Data-Driven Marketing, New Venture Strategy and Marketing Research. That being said, I think most of my classes have given me some different areas of knowledge that I think will be valuable and I would encourage you to take classes that you think will be interesting, even if they may not tie directly with your career ambitions.

pvidal: Hi everyone. Thank you for your time. My question is regarding student clubs: In how many student clubs can students usually manage to actively get involved with during the academic year? Thanks.

Alejandro: Hi pvidal. As a member of a student group there is usually no mandatory time commitment and thus students get involved in several students groups (more than 5). Leadership positions require time commitment and I believe it would be difficult to manage more than 2 Co-Chair positions.

Martin: Hello everyone. My name is Martin, I am a R1 admit and have a couple questions on housing and moving to Chicago. I am planning to live in Downtown and I was told that Booth students get special deals at buildings such as Aqua, The Tides, The Shoreham, etc. Any data about this? Also, when moving to Chicago, how do internationals usually do to get their leases reserved?

Alejandro: Hi Martin - I'm also an international student and live at one of the major buildings downtown. The options where most students live are: Aqua, Tides, Shoreham, MPP, Park Millennium, Columbus Plaza, and North Harbor Tower (probably the ones with the most amount of students are MPP, Columbus, and Aqua). In all of those buildings but Park Millennium you can see floorplans and rates through the internet (though the special Booth rates you'll probably have to contact the buildings) and make your lease reservation remotely, if you don't intend to come here prior to moving. Feel free to reach out to current students if you have further specific questions regarding apartment views or other stuff like that.

Dapps: This question goes to Kendra, What are the benefits of being a member of the African American MBA association

Kendra: Hi Dapps! The main benefit of membership in the African-American MBA Association is the opportunity to connect with other members and participate in events geared towards the African-American MBA student experience here and amongst other top MBA programs. The are so many opportunities to participate in targeted alumni chats, conferences and social events here at Booth. We also have a professional development support network. I hope this helps!

Shrimant: Did you guys attend the "Chicago Booth Live" event prior to applying? How was your experience with that event?

Kendra: Hi Shrimant! I attended a Chicago Booth Live event prior to applying. The event really allowed me to get a feel for the community as well as get my question answered face to face. There was also an application overview session that helped me to understand the types of things that the admissions committee looks for. It is definitely an event worth attending.

Kevin: Hi everyone. How was the transition from working full-time to going back to school full-time?

Jennifer: Hi Kevin. At first it can be a little bit of an adjustment getting accustomed to homework and exams again after several years of working. Booth has coaching sessions early in the year to help you refresh your study skills, etc. if necessary. Overall I am really enjoying being a student again, and having such flexibility in my lifestyle!

prasanna: Hi Joanne! Thanks a lot for your time. I will be coming with my wife on a F-2 visa. I understand F-2 holders cant work, but are there options to find work and get a work permit? Do a lot of people do that while their spouse studies?

Joanne: This is a question better answered by the Office of International Affairs at the University of Chicago. You can reach them online at https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/. From my own interactions with students, international partners sometimes work, but find their jobs through their own job search, networks and contacts.

John: How are full time students able to interact with the campuses Booth has in Asia and Europe?

Joanne: Hi John. Our campuses in Asia and Europe are for the Executive Program only, so there isn't much interaction between the Full Time students and those in Singapore and London. Many of our faculty will teach week-long courses there, and if you find yourself in those two cities, you'd be welcome to stop by!

faith: Bruno. are there many international students at Booth?

Bruno: Hi Faith - 33% of the class is international

G-520309721: How long are the commutes from downtown to campus? What are some of the options for getting around?

Joseph: You can drive, and with no traffic that takes 10 to 15 mins. The Metra will get you there in about the same time, plus the additional 5 min walk from the 59th Street station to Harper Center. You can also take the CTA Bus 6 or 2 (2 only runs during specific times though, during the mornings and evenings rush hours), which also takes less than 30 min.

mba30: How are students elected to leadership positions in the clubs? Is it by elections? Does it get competitive?

Kendra: Hi mba30! Students are elected to leadership positions in various ways. Each club is a little different. Some hold elections and in some cases the outgoing chairs select the incoming chairs. The process is a little competitive but not so much so. There are opportunities for every to take on a leadership role.

raw432: admission question: about what percent of the applicants are interviewed?

Joanne: This depends on the Round, but generally 40-50% of applicants are interviewed.

jhh4587: I am interested in driving to campus instead of taking the metra. I have heard parking is difficult in Hyde Park and was wondering if you can pay for parking permits for the lots and how much that costs.

Joanne: Parking in Hyde Park can be difficult, but it depends on what time you get to campus; everyone starts work or class at 8:30am, so the earlier you get here, the better your chances of finding a spot on the street. Parking permits are about $75/month. You can find more information online at http://facilities.uchicago.edu/transpparking/index.html.

Sandy: Question for Nathan and Joseph: How easy is it to pursue 3 concentrations, how do you balance course work and focus on your internship/job search?

Joseph: I think it's pretty easy, I think most people end up with three (unless you do Analytical Finance which takes up almost all your free electives.) I might actually end up with four (or possibly five!) My advice is to not get too caught up with concentrations, and take classes that interest you and/or will prepare you for your chosen career path. As for balancing course work and recruiting, it's generally recommended to take a light course load (only three classes) in the winter quarter because of recruiting. And also learn to lean on your group members and second years for help with both (courses and recruiting.)

G-520292115: I'm an admit to Class of 2012. Some students and alumni have said that there is so much academic work at Booth, you only really have time left over for your career search and not any time for networking or socializing, either through extracurricular pursuits or otherwise. Nathan or Jennifer, can you speak to this? Any examples or anecdotes would be great.

Nate: So I have to respectfully disagree with the views of those who said that. The workload and recruiting definitely come in waves, but most of the time most students are actually focused on enjoying their 2 years here, and that means going out with friends and doing the networking and socializing you speak of. There are more than enough social events to keep you occupied. For instance, last night I was out till midnight playing poker with some friends and tomorrow night one of the student groups is hosting a "mustache contest" at a local bar to raise money for a social cause. Further, people are always going out to do stuff. It's up to you to decide when you want to dial it back and relax more as the socializing can definitely get tiring. Like I said, it takes some adjustment at the start of your first year and recruiting probably occupies much of your time in January when internship interviews are taking place, but really you'll have more than enough time. One final example, I'm organizing a "rooftop" game during May at a Cubs game and we've had 210 (the max number) of students sign up for it...and it's on a Monday night. I've made some of my best friends for life here, which to me says that we've had plenty of time to have some great experiences.

CBFall2010: How soon do the first years begin getting involved in recruiting?

Bruno: Hi CBFall2010 - That really depends on which industry you're recruiting for. To give you examples: Investment Banking is probably the first process to begin, with events starting as early as third/fourth week of classes of your first quarter, and by the end of January/beginning of February you'll know whether you have an internship (for the on-campus process). For Private Equity, on the other hand, even though you should start to network early (meaning November/December), summer hiring decisions are usually not made until your first Spring quarter.

Akash: Hello Joanne, when will Booth release the admissions events for the 2011 year?

Joanne: We'll update this information in July 2010.

Jen: Hello and thanks for taking questions. How long is the typical commute from downtown to campus? Also, can you discuss the access full-time students have to the Gleacher Center? Thanks.

Joseph: Jen: Scroll up to see my answer regarding the commute times. Full-time students have complete access to Gleacher Center. I am only aware of one difference between FT and Weekend/Part-Time students regarding access to GC. FT students can only reserve rooms in GC one day in advance or on the same day, compared to one week in advance for room reservations in Harper Center. I *think* Weekend/PT students can reserve rooms in GC one week in advance, but I'm not certain about this. Access to facilities are common to all students.

Moderator: The chat will be closing in 10 minutes. Please submit your final questions. Please note, as we often get repeats of questions, we will try to address the general topics (if not your specific question).

G-520239867: As an international (Canadian) student, how much time do I need to set aside for visa, loan, apartment, bank accounts, phone, class selection... And when is the best time for me take a pre-MBA trip and not having to worry about these things?

Alejandro: Check https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/students/admitted/steps.shtml. There you will find the steps and time to set aside for visa requirements. Financial Aid will contact you in the spring regarding your student loan. For the apartment, I suggest looking at options on-line and if possible signing a forward starting lease during April to get a better rate. You can use admit weekend as pre-MBA trip. I personally moved to Chicago 2 weeks before starting classes and that was more than enough time to get my phone, bank account, furniture…etc

mba30: I understand that at some of the schools the incoming batch is divided in to multiple sections and you primarily interact with students in that section for rest of your stay at the business school. What is the structure at Booth? Thanks so much for answering the question!!

Joseph: We have cohorts in Booth that serve a similar function. However, Booth also gives you much more flexibility with your choice of courses you want to take, so except for the LEAD class and Career Services class you take in the fall, there are no other classes you have to take with the rest of your cohort. As a result, I find that most students end up congregating with people who share common recruiting and/or social interests, rather than just because they were in the same cohort. This is both a plus and a minus in my opinion.

Lauren: Hi everyone, I'm looking to transition into marketing as well and am deciding btwn Booth and another school. Can anyone tell me what you think sets the Booth marketing department apart from other schools?

Jennifer: Hi Lauren! I was in the same position, and am very happy with my decision. From an academic standpoint, Booth is known as a leader in quantitative marketing. That being said, I have taken mostly less quantitative courses so far and they have been great. Also, the marketing courses in the top ten schools are probably all excellent and will provide you with the tools you need. What has blown me away most about Booth marketing has been the Marketing Group and overall level of support from second year marketers here. The Marketing Group organizes fantastic events on a regular basis that helped me better understand marketing and how to procure my "dream internship". In the past six months, I have probably spent 50+ hours meeting with second years to discuss their experiences and mock interview, strategize, and network. They have been unbelievably supportive beyond anything I expected before I came here. Marketing at Booth is an extremely close-knit community, which really sets it apart.

Nelly: Can you share your LEAD experiences? What were some key takeaways? Do any of you think there's any downside at all?

Nate: To me LEAD is all about meeting and working with your classmates and personal introspection. It's a great forum for you to learn about what are your strengths and weaknesses as well as to learn about how to work with others, in sometimes high pressure environments. It's also a great way to meet a large group of your classmates before classes even begin. Several of my best friends came out of my LEAD cohort in fact. For the key takeaways were learning about listening, group dynamics, etc., but the great part about LEAD is that the key takeaways are different for everyone in that different aspects resonate with different people. The only downside I see is that there are certain modules that didn't resonate with me because of my background (e.g. I've done a lot of public speaking before so I didn't get as much out of that), but those same modules were incredibly valuable for others. Overall it's a really effective and interesting experience.

Swapnil: I have heard about bidding process for courses.. How often does it happen that one might not get the elective of one's choice?

Bruno: Hi Swapnil - I would say it is rare that you won't get the course you want. You won't be able to get the most popular professors for every single course, but the course itself you should have no problem getting.

Jhan: Question for Joseph, can you share your experiences witht the Korean Business Group and what they are intended to accomplish?

Joseph: Korean Business Group is a group intended to promote the Korean culture on campus and assist students interested in working in Korea. Typically we host two Korean BBQ nights during the school year (which always sells out!) and while we don't have any official recruiting events, the second years do serve as mentors/career advisers to the first years. We are trying to increase the number of social/cultural events we host.

G-520311614: What were the 3 key things that stood out for Booth against your other B-school choices?

Kendra: Hi G! The three key things that stood out for me was (1) the ability to design my MBA with the flexible curriculum, (2) the strength of the LEAD program and (3) the opportunity to study under world renowned professors. Booth excelled in each of the areas which made my decision fairly easy.

jhh4587: Hi everyone. I am interested in pursuing a career in real estate investments. Do Booth students have difficulty securing positions in real estate given that there is not a real estate major?

Alejandro: Hi, there is definitely support and options for students pursuing careers in Real Estate. Check out http://student.chicagobooth.edu/group/realestate/ for the Real Estate student group website. Also,Career Services has tailored programming and corporate presentations to help you with your search.

Ansuman: hi ! do you have student exchange programmes with universities?

Joanne: Yes, we do! Booth partners with 33 schools around the world to both send Booth students abroad, and to welcome foreign students here. You can find more information online at http://programs.chicagobooth.edu/international/.

CBFall2010: I was fortunate enough to get an offer for the class of 2012, but not any type of scholarship money. Could you discuss the financial aid process and anything else you did to help pay for school?

Joanne: Scholarships are quite competitive, and only about 25--30% of students receive one. I'd suggest you check out the "outside awards" page on the admit website to see if you qualify for another of those opportunities. Beyond that, our students can begin the loan process in a few weeks, both international and domestic. The vast majority of Booth students have taken out a loan to pay for school. Many second-year students also work as Career Advisors, TAs or Admissions Fellows, which allow for a small tuition stipend.

John: Anyone go on a Random Walk trip? What was that experience like?

Bruno: Hi John - I went on a RW and loved it! To the extent that I was signed to lead a trip this year (and it's good to mention that when we lead a trip we pay as much as admits, so it's really about the experience). Most of my best friends here I made on the trip and would highly recommend doing one if you decide to come to Chicago.

AmandaC: Hi everyone, and thanks for taking the time to chat! Jennifer, can you talk a bit about your involvement in Chicago Women in Business?

Jennifer: Hi Amanda. CWIB does a great job of organizing events to bring women together and teach valuable skills like negotiating job offers, etc. My roommates are next year's co-chairs and I am sure they will continue to plan fun events for us!

MBA2011: Joseph, you talked about your industry-specific R&D experience as a project manager. For someone coming from a similar background, do you have advice on preparing for internship interviews, networking, classes, etc.

Joseph: As a project manager, you need to learn how to work with and motivate many people from different backgrounds. Those are useful skills when working in any group environment. Given your R&D background, you probably have strong analytical and quantitative skills, so if you can successful translate those skills from R&D to business, you'll do very well. My advice is learn to more to be comfortable with ambiguity (a lot of problems in the business world are not deterministic) and socially aware (you'll be many more situations where you'll be working in a group.)

Shrimant: Hi, how accessible is the alumni during the program and come recruiting season?

Nate: In a word...extremely. I'm a huge believer in networking, and many of the alumni are very receptive to it. The key is to reach out to them to get advice and not to ask for jobs. If you go into it with that attitude (and are adept at using a bit of flattery) they are usually very willing to talk. I've had 1.5 hr long conversations with alumni about career tracks, opportunities, etc., and I've had alumni take time to sit down with me over meals, coffee, etc. I even had an alum call me on a Sunday evening from China just to talk for about an hour about his job. It never ceases to amaze me how receptive and willing people are to network and meet. Finally, and javascript:void(0)perhaps most importantly, I feel like I've made some good alumni contacts that will remain with me throughout the next phase of my career.

G-520313242: Hi Kendra – Would you comment on your experiences with Net Impact? Has your involvement with that organization helped your long/short term interests, if at all?

Kendra: Hi G! Net Impact has been an exciting experience for me. I participate in the Board Fellows program where I am currently working on a strategic project for a local non-profit. Net Impact has provided me with tons of resources to explore the social sector which is one of my long-term interests. I am also participating on an education project with Chicago Public Schools. Net Impact assists with helping to place us based on our interests and my experiences have enhanced my understanding of challenges within social sector. I plan to use these skills to enhance my long-term interests.

prasanna: Hi Joanne! I did not receive any merit scholarships with my admit. Could you tell me what corporate/ external scholarships/ fellowship options are available for me?

Joanne: All of the outside and external awards that we are aware of are listed on the admit website under "outside awards". These are external to Booth, so you'll need to contact those organizations directly. Booth partners with a small number of corporations to offer Fellowships; these are typically career-specific, and Booth staff will follow up with students that we feel are appropriate for any of these awards.

Mba2012: Is the gym at the Harper center free of charge for students?

Nate: So the gym is actually the Ratner Center, and it's about a 5 minute walk from the Harper Center. That gym is free to students and is a great facility with a pool, lots of free weights, a sauna, machines, etc. I use the facility a couple of times a week, especially for the pool.

G-520260971: My question is for Kendra- what was your favorite Finance course and what aspect of the business school experience prepared you most for obtaining an IB internship?

Kendra: Hi G!So far my favorite finance course has been corporate finance. It provides a great preparation for the summer and a good foundation for all the other upper level finance courses. The investment banking group prepared me the most for the recruiting process. Recruiting starts early (a little before you've had a chance to really dive into course work) and the investment banking group steps in to provide you with all of the resources necessary to have a successful recruiting process. They cover everything from networking to the technical aspects.

G-520291874: Regarding recruiting, typically when does this occur for both internships and full-time positions? It sounds like most of this ocurs during the winter? Thanks.

Joseph: The general rule is that banking and consulting recruiting happens first, then corporate roles, and finally private equity/venture capital jobs. The time line for banking/consulting is apps are due between Dec and Jan, interviews are conducted between Jan and Feb, and offers go out between Feb and Mar. You can add one month and you'll have the right time line for corporate roles. There are no time lines for PE/VC jobs, which is why it can be so tough. I know second years who chose the PE/VC route and did not secure an internship until May or June. This of course applies to summer internship recruiting FT recruiting starts immediately after school starts, in September.

Guest: Hi, could everyone comment on the curriculum self-design process? Has getting each person's desired course been smooth sailing, or has there been compromises due to the bidding system?

Jennifer: Depending on how popular a professor is, some courses require bidding a large number of points. If a certain course is very important to you, it makes sense to compromise a little on other classes (for instance, you may have to take an 8:30am class on occasion!) Overall I have been able to get most of the classes I wanted, and have found the process to be pretty seamless.

nimo: What do you wish you could have done to better prepare yourself for the experience at Booth?

Bruno: Hi Nimo - I wish I had thought more deeply about different career options for the summer job. Some of the on-campus recruiting processes (such as Investment Banking) start REALLY early, and it would be on your best interest to already know if that's what you want to do for your summer.

G-520320609: Thank you for answering our questions. What would you suggest that the perspective students or new admits do NOW to better prepare themselves for lives at Chicago?

Bruno: Hi - As I mentioned, think deeply about different career options for the summer job. Some of the on-campus recruiting processes (such as Investment Banking) start REALLY early, and it would be on your best interest to already know if that's what you want to do for your summer.

Jennifer: Bye everyone! I enjoyed speaking with you all. Best of luck in your search for an MBA program. Go Booth!

Kendra: It was great chatting with all of you. Your questions were fabulous! Best wishes with the application/business school process!!

Joanne: Thanks to everyone for participating today! It was great to hear your questions, and best of luck!

Nate: Thanks for all the great questions guys. Hopefully everybody has a great day.

Joseph: It was fun chatting with all of you. Best of luck, and I hope to see you in the Fall.

Bruno: Thanks all for your questions. Best of luck with your applications and/or decisions, and for those already decided I look forward to meeting you in September. May you have more specific questions feel free to reach out - bbaratta@chicagobooth.edu

Alejandro: Adios everyone! Thank you for your questions and good of luck!

Moderator: The chat has now ended. The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/chat/.

Moderator: There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. Have a great day!