Live Chat with Full-Time MBA Program Admissions
Join the Admissions staff for a live chat with prospective students. We will chat about the Fall 2011 application and the Booth admissions process.
Thursday July 22, 2010 - 11:00 AM CDT
Moderator Thanks for joining us! The chat with the Full-Time Admissions Team is scheduled to run for one hour. We'll begin the chat promptly in 10 minutes. If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask them now!
Donna: Hi Everyone! My name is Donna Swinford and I am looking forward to answering your questions today.
Kelley: Hi! I'm Kelley Curtin and happy to answer any questions you may have.
Kurt: Good morning to all, thanks for participating in our chat. I look forward to answering your questions.
Joanna: Hello, everyone and welcome to our chat today!
Joanne: Hello everyone! My name is Joanne Legler, and I look forward to talking with you today.
David: To begin with what will probably be one of many questions on the four slides, should we tackle this part of the application as independent from the rest, or can we assume that whoever is reading our presentation will have read the rest of our application (i.e. should the presentation stand on its own or supplement/extend other portions of our application)
Joanne: As I'm sure you can imagine, we do not want to offer too many guidelines on Essay #3. We're excited to see how you choose to present yourself through this portion of the application. To answer your question, though, the entire application is read in its entirety by members of the committee; therefore, whoever is reading your Essay #3 has also read the rest of your application.
G-256413371: Is GMAT score the most important factor taken into account? Is there a range that is preferred?
Joanna: Here at Chicago Booth we use a holistic approach when evaluating your application. There is no one piece of the application that is more important than the other. To learn more about the class profile and average GMAT score, visit:
G-256819749: What is the range of GMAT scores considered for a concentration in finance or analytical finance?
Kelley: You do not need to have a particular GMAT score in order to concentrate in a subject area. Our students can select what areas to concentrate in based on their interests.
G-256413371: Is there a better chance for getting in by sumbitting application on Oct 13th as opposed to Jan5?
Donna: All of our rounds are equally competitive. It can be advantageous for an applicant to apply in round one since the decision will be released in December as opposed to March.
Wilma: Q2. what is the proper time to apply for the 2011 fall semester? what is the deadtime? thanks!
Joanna: To view the application deadlines visit:
JSykes: Is there an on-campus LGBT information session beofre the R1 deadline? I'd like to know more about the representation on campus.
Joanne: Hi! No, unfortunately we do not have a specific LGBT event on campus prior to the Round 1 deadline. However, if you contact our office, we can easily put you in touch with either ODA (the Office of Diversity Affairs) or members of GLiB, Gays and Lesbians in Business, or both! You can also read more and get in touch with students through their website at
Soon, we'll also have registration available for Booth Live Diversity on October 8, 2010.
Tahsin: I was not selected for admission when i applied last year in Round 3. Will it be possible to contact Booth Adcom for feedback as I will be reapplying?
Joanna: Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to offer feedback to denied applicants.
Wilma: Hi, My dear friend! I am an undergraduate in China. If I already study in USA for one year as an exchange student, do I still need to take the toefl exam?
Donna: The TOEFL or IELTS is required of international applicants whose native language is not English, or who did not earn an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. An exchange program in the US will not qualify you for a waiver.
G-256413371: Can you please explain what criteria you will be using to rate Essay #3? Is creativity more important than content?
Kurt: Content and substance always trumps creativity and flare. Essay 3 is an opportunity for you to complete your strategic message to the committee. We provide a fixed number of opportunities/tools for you convey your message in (essays, resume, recommendations etc). Even with these tools there is always potential to add greater texture to your story. That is what Essay 3 is for. From our perspective we are looking to see how strategic you are in using this space to complete your story effectively rather than can you simply be creative for creativity's sake.
Wilma: Q3. do you have Finance major in your business school?
Kelley: Thanks for your question, Wilma. While we don't offer "majors" at Booth, we do offer concentrations. Our concentrations will allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge in a subject area. We offer concentrations in Finance and Analytic Finance. Learn more about our concentrations at
juaniaqp: Is there any difference between the first and second round. I mean for example that in the first round you have more options for scholarships or fellowships?
Joanne: There is little difference in applying between Rounds 1 and 2, though the greatest volume does come in Round 1. However, a similar number of scholarships and fellowships exist for both Rounds. Our advice is to apply when you are ready!
Dele: Good morning! I was looking over the essays for the fall admissions process for 2011, and noted that there isn't an essay concerning whether there was any extra information that we would like ad com to know. I know that this was an essay of the past, and I was wondering, would it hurt an applicant if they were to construct an essay concerning possible employement gaps, lack of work experience, or low GPA's?
Kurt: Dele that is essentially what essay 3 can provide you. Since the creation of this question that was its intent, to allow you some "white space" to complete your story to the committee.
Sarah: What admissions events do you host specifically for female applicants?
Joanne: We'd love for you to come to our events that are for women. We soon will have available registration for Booth Live Diversity, where we'll give you special access to all of our affinity groups, including CWiB (Chicago Women in Business). Addtionally, Chicago Booth will be represented at all Forte Forums this Fall. This spring, we'll also be hosting our annual Women's Week events, which are small gatherings of students and alumni designed to allow you to talk about Chicago Booth from a woman's perspective. You can learn about all of these options at
G: For reapplicants, can we use the original recommenders even though you no longer work with them? Is it recommended?
Kelley: Yes, you can use recommenders if you no longer work with them. Just make sure that if they wrote a letter for you the last time you applied, then they should provide a new letter.
Suraj: Hi Donna, good morning. BrieflyIf a student seeking admission to the full-time MBA program had dropped out of a Master's program at a United States based graduate school previously, would that affect his chances of admission at Booth?
Joanne: Hi Suraj. We don't make admissions decisions based on any one factor, so it's hard to directly answer your question. We evaluate applications holistically, and we use all the information available and in context to the rest of the application. My suggestion is to explain the circumstances around the situation.
Erik: Do applicants have the flexibility to apply to both the weekend and Full-time programs?
Donna: Applicants can only apply to one MBA program at a time. Once you receive a final decision from a program, you will be required to wait until the next admissions period to apply to another Booth MBA program. You may petition the Associate Dean of either the Full-Time or Evening/Weekend programs if you require an exception.
Joe: Thanks for taking the time to answer questions today. When evaluating GMAT scores, do you look just at the overall score, or do you also consider the breakout between verbal and quant? If I have a strong overall score, but the verbal score is higher than the quant score, will Booth look at this differently than someone with scored slightly lower overall, but with a stronger quant score?
Kurt: We primarily focus on the overall score but we do also look at the subsections. If you feel that one area is not as strong as you would like or is not reflective of your broader skills you can address this in other aspect of the application. For example, you could have one of your recommenders comment on your quant/analytical skills. This can provide us with a real world context and example of your quant ability rather than solely rely on us to interpret those abilities based on GMAT.
Hassan: When is the online application going to be open for Fall 2011 Full time MBA?
Donna: Great question! We will be making the application live later today.
G-256186053: Good morning. I have read that some B-schools do not like the idea of an applicant havign guidance from a test-preparation-provider. What is the position of Booth about this? What do you think would be the best way to prepare the GMAT, as an example?
Joanna: The choice to use a consultant or service to prepare your application is an individual one. It's up to you how you choose to present your story, though we encourage you to remember to be authentic in presenting your candidacy.
Bedo: What is the required GMAT score for the full-time MBA program?
Joanne: Hi Bedo. We do not have a minimum GMAT score requirement for application to the Full Time Program at Chicago Booth.
G-255749373: If after I have already apply I have the chance to visit and attend an event on campus should I still consider it?
Joanne: Sure, you are welcome to visit anytime! The visit will not have any impact on the admissions decision so making a visit is a great way to get to know Booth first-hand anytime.
Swang: Is there a big difference in chance of acceptance between 1st round and 2nd round?
Kurt: No, both rounds are equally competitive. You should choose to apply when you feel you are most prepared to provide the most compelling and thorough application.
Vahan: HI! Thanks for giving this opportunity. I have a question about the financial aid. Is the student applying in the 1 round given an advantage of receiving a scholarship or loan?
Joanne: There is no advantage to applying in Round 1 as it relates to scholarships or fellowships; the same is true for loans. Loans are not processed until the Spring, after most of the class has already enrolled.
G-255749373: Hi Donna! If I am planning on applying for the first round what would you say should be the latest I can take the GMAT
Kelley: If we don't receive your GMAT score by the Round One deadline, then it may affect when your application is reviewed. Your application will be incomplete and could be pushed to Round Two. We recommend taking the GMAT prior to the deadline for when you want to apply.
G-256210119: Are there any plans to allow students to get a dual MBA and financial engineering degree?
Joanne: No, we currently do not have plans to include this as an option. Chicago Booth only offers the MBA degree, but you are welcome to take classes or pursue other options at the University of Chicago.
Moderator: Hello everyone. Thanks for all the great questions. We are experiencing a high volume right now, so please be patient and we will get to yours as soon as possible. Thank you!
G: Will the original application be reviewed for reapplicants?
Donna: The reader will have access to the previous application. When reviewing reapplicants we concentrate on reviewing the current application and not focusing on the previous submission.
sophia: how to prepare the self-introduction essay topic? it's really difficut to present the best of you creatively in a limited slides
Joanna: Essay three gives you the freedom to express yourself to the committee in any way you choose. Therefore it is difficult to give direction, as we hope you will take this opportunity to share information with the committee as you see fit. You should have already identified key messages or activities that you want to communicate to the Committee. If you've mapped these messages into the other application components, you may find that there is an opportunity to share that information in essay three.
Tahsin: I scored poor grades in undergrad engg. math but improved in graduate school. Will my poor math grades put me at a serious disadvantage? I have average GPAs in both undergrad and masters but a high GMAT score.
Joanna: As discussed previously, the application review process is a holistic one and no single component is viewed in and of itself. However, you may find other opportunities in the application to show your strengths or potential in these areas outside of your grades.
G-255786124: Hi Donna, what are the main industries that recruit from Booth?
Kurt: I am going to jump in as Donna is working on another response. From a placement perspective you will find that Financial Services and Consulting dominate the landscape for all business schools. This is not surprising given their longstanding history with MBA programs and the breadth of their services. In addition to that we place a lot of people into Corporate Strategy Roles, Marketing and Brand Management and Entrep. ventures such as start-ups, PE and VC.
Booth2011_NL: For international applicants, do you have certain admission quotas per region/country?
Joanne: We do not have specific quotas for regions or countries. Our goal is to admit an interesting and diverse class that represents the world and the applicant pool.
chandsa: I have a question about my undergrad transcripts, I graduated from a university in India 12 years back and since then the university has "merged" with another university. To get the new university to issue my transcripts is almost going to be nearly impossible. Will the admissions office accept copies of the original transcripts that I have, issued to me by my old university, for admissions purposes?
Joanna: For this type of unique situation, it is best to contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work with you directly.
G-255786124: Do you take in consideration for international students that they may score less in the gmat due to the english score as its not their native language?
Kelley: The GMAT is a universal benchmark, so we do not take in consideration that international students may score less because English is not their native language. However, we take a holistic approach when reviewing an application so the GMAT is just one of the many factors for us to take into consideration.
G-256853026: Two questions regarding the school's "Career" evaluation criteria (1) can you please explain "realistic expectations for the MBA". (2) I noticed that you did not include "Clear view of post MBA career path" - can you explain why?
Joanne: Through your essay questions, we hope to gain a sense of why you want the MBA degree; based on your goals, is the MBA the best choice for you? Sometimes a student's goals as they describe them lead us to wonder if another degree or path would better assist the student in reaching his or her individual goals. In essay #1b, we do in fact ask students to state both long and short-term goals, so you would use that section to talk about your post MBA path. Chichi: how important is a financial background?
Kurt: Depends. Do you want to go into a financial services role? If you do that can help but in general understanding finance is not at all prerequisite for Booth. In fact a lot of our students come to Booth with little or no exposure to Finance. Booth's flexibility allows you to gain these and other skills depending on what it is you want to achieve with your career. Just because Booth has a great reputation for Finance does not mean everyone who comes here specializes or is even remotely interested in Finance. It all depends on you.
ANTONIOS: Good morning. I am a little confused about essay No3
Joanna: Essay 3 is an opportunity for you to complete your strategic message to the committee. We provide a fixed number of opportunities/tools for you convey your message in (essays, resume, recommendations etc). Essay three gives you a more open opportunity to share more of your story. We are looking to see how strategic you are in using this space to complete your story effectively.
Chirag: Hello and thanks for hosting the chat event. My question is "Can one attend a class in european campus instead of US"?
Joanne: Hello Chirag! The answer is no; our European campus in London is home to the Executive Program only (the same is true for our Asia campus in Singapore). The curriculum is different from the Full Time program, so FT Booth students do not take classes at those locations. If you want to take courses in London, you will need to apply to the Executive Program.
G-256853026: i have 2 questions: (1) can you please walk through the life of an application (i.e. how many people read it, are they blind to previous readers' comments, are applications grouped by profession/characteristics, etc.)? (2) Do interviewers read a candidate's application prior to the interview?
Donna: At minimum three people will review an application. We do not review applications in groups but the reader will have access to the previous readers' reviews. Our office hires students to serve as Admissions Fellows. These students will review the files(and conduct our on campus interviews.) Once the Fellows complete their review an admissions officer reviews and will make a recommendation. At this time a candidate is invited to interview or recommended for denial. If denial the Associate Dean will review the file. If invited to interview, after the interview takes place, the file is reviewed again by an admissions officer. A recommendation is made and ultimately the Associate Dean makes the final decision.
Donna: As for interviews, Interviewers will NOT have access to your applications.
Chai: Do you have a rough number of seats for each country? For a small country like Thailand, I find a very small number of Thai students studying in Chicago Booth. Thank you.
Kelley: We do not designate a certain number of seats for each country. We attract students from all over the globe and want to have many diverse perspectives in our community.
Moderator We're halfway through the chat and are getting a lot of questions. Please note that due to the volume of questions, we will not be able to answer every one. We encourage you to read the transcript after the chat to see if you can obtain the answers you are looking for.
Jaesik: Hello Donna. This is Jaesik Choi from Korea. I would like to know if you could provide any stats/history on the chances of Asians/internationals getting accepted to Booth at round 1 and 2, if they are any different. Thanks.
Kurt: Both rounds are equally competitive regardless of where you are from in the world. Again I would make your decision on what round to apply for based on when you feel you are in the best position to provide the most compelling application for the committee to review.
John: Hi, I have a query regarding how to approach the third essay question (PPT one). Should we relate any perwsonal o pofessional experience here that demonstates the quality of "How to think", ability to navigate thru ambiguity ?
Kurt: Again to reiterate an answer from earlier, it is your choice. Focus on what you want to convey to the committee that essentially completes your story. Content might focus on your professional life, personal life, a combination. The choice is up to you. That in essence is the ambiguity you need to navigate for us.
Jaesik: Also, is there a fixed way of conducting interview? as an international candidate, can i know in advance if the interview will be held at my local region or will need to fly to the campus?
Donna: We conduct interviews either on campus by admissions fellows or off campus by alumni. All applicants have the option of coming to campus or interviewing with a local alumni.
cheriakw: How long does it take to be accepted and officially enrolled after submitting an application? I know there's a process, but what's the usual time period, on average?
Donna: We have set deadline and release dates. All first round applicants will know their decision on December 15th while round two candidates will know on March 16th. If we receive applications prior to the deadline, the decision date will not change.
Booth2011_NL: Coming from a non-finance background, how can Booth MBA help me pursuing a post-mba career in investment banking?
Joanna: The Booth MBA is based on a discipline based approach to business education, with finance being at the cornerstone. Chicago Booth boasts a legendary finance curriculum, covering both corporate finance and investments. In addition, our long-standing relationships and success in recruiting with the biggest investment organizations in the world. Joanna: You can read more about our curriculum and concentrations here:
israstro: can u pls give example of ways to deal with Essay Question 3?
Joanna: Hi Israstro. Unfortunately there are literally hundreds of ways to approach this essay---and we have no preference. It truly is up to you how you convey your message to the committee using these 4 pages of white space! We are looking to see how strategic you are in using this space to complete your story effectively.
Tayla: Good morning, I was wondering will Booth except students that have not taken the GRE or the GMAT into the grad school and if so what are the exceptions?
Kelley: Hi Tayla. All of our applicants must take the GMAT in order to apply to Chicago Booth. We do not accept GRE scores.
shubh: hi kelley..can u plz tell how much experience is required to apply for regular mba..??
Kelley: Hi! We do not have a minimum requirement for work experience in order to apply. You can apply if you are early in your career or if you have been working for awhile. It's important for you to know why the MBA is the next step in your career and why you are pursuing it at this time.
DCreagh: Should I wait to schedule a campus visit until classes are in session, or do both a summer visit and a fall visit? Planning to apply in Round 1.
Donna: This is completely up to you. During the summer you will have the opportunity to meet with an admissions staff member and tour the building. If you are interested in experiencing Booth as a student, you may want to wait. Keep in mind the full campus program will not start until October 4th, the week before the deadline. David: How much leeway do we have when defining what a "risk" is for essay question number two?
Joanne: You have all the leeway you need! Our questions are intentionally left open to interpretation, and we're as interested in why you choose your topics as in the content of the essays themselves. You are welcome to answer the question however you wish, taking from your personal or professional life at any point.
Hassan: How does the Admission committee view a candidate with a 3 year work experience but with 3 different companies with roles that are related?
Joanne: Hi Hassan. All applications are evaluated on an individual and holistic basis, so everything is taken into account when we read. In addition, the application allows you the opportunity to explain why you left each of your positions in the "employment" section. With your particular situation, you might consider using the optional essay to explain this, or any other, situation that needs additional explanation.
Guest: what are the top features booth is looking for in an mba candidate and how can i improve my chances of admission
Kurt: The best way to be successful in this process is to really know your story. Where have you been? What skill and experiences have fostered over time? How do these things prepare you for an MBA, and a career post MBA? And finally, how does a specific program i.e. Booth bridge the gap effectively between where you are and where you want to be. Think through this effectively and convey this story utilizing all the aspects provided in the application will give you your best chance of success. To be candid we expect that students applying to a top school are smart, engaged and demonstrate signs for leadership potential. With those things being staples it is at the margins where you can most directly impact your outcome. And your story and fit is what lives in the margins.
ankit_1: Hi I am an international student. Have 3.8 years of working experience in IT industry as Sales and Marketing professional. The entire 3.8 years i worked for US market for IT services company. I have done my greduation in B.Tech in Information Technology from India based university. Looking for the course where i can enhance the technical as well as marketing skills.
Joanne: Hi Ankit. Chicago Booth does not offer courses specific to the IT area, though you are welcome to seek out courses elsewhere throughout the University of Chicago to meet those needs. Chicago Booth students are allowed to take 6 electives outside of Chicago Booth.
neel: How do you compare prospects of applications between round 1 and round 2?
Joanne: We do not compare students between rounds; we only evaluate applications based on each round. The chances of being admitted are very similar from one round to the next.
mattia: Regarding Essay 3, is there a specific font, font size or any other type of fomatting we would need to pay attention to?
Donna: We do not have any specific fonts. Keep in mind that using uncommon fonts may not print correctly on our printers.
osbornecox: Hi! I'm very much looking forward to Chicago Booth's next Dubai visit. Is the application-reading process unchanged from a few years back (no reading until the deadline passes, 2nd year Fellow does the first read, then admissions director, etc)? Or has any of it changed?
Donna: We are currently reviewing our reading process but at this time we have no plans to change. terry: Hello, Do you prefer candidates who have done a great job in whatever they have done and want to go into a totally different field versus someone whose background is much closed to where they want to go after the MBA?
Joanna: Hi Terry, interesting question. We want both! In shaping our class we seek the diversity that each type of student you described can bring to the class and the experience. Whatever your case, just make sure you can convey a track record of success and learning!
Errol: I have low GMAT quantitative scores (60th percentile) but high verbal scores (99th percentile) with a total score of 680. In my undergraduate studies I did not take any math courses, so would taking night and weekend classes now help my application? In particular what kind of coursework?
Joanna: This is really up to you and your overall application presentation, and desires to do so. We do not require applicants to take additional coursework so the choice is up to you. Keep in mind that many factors go into account when we make decisions about admission. The GMAT is just one factor.
G-256634840: How can an international applicant get in touch with current students to find out more about the school? Are you planning a session in India sometime this year?
Joanne: You can reach out to students by going to our website at
. There, you will find all of our student groups listed, and each one contains the contact information for the group's co-chairs. In your case, you might consider reaching out to the South Asia Business Group. We hope to have a student hosted event in a few cities in India this year, but these dates are TBD based on our students' schedules this summer. Our Admissions staff will be in India September 13-15.
G-256634840: How would you suggest to counterbalance a not so good GPA in undergraduate course in the application?
Kelley: As I've mentioned earlier in the chat, we take a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Remember...your GPA is just one of the many aspects of the application. We'll look at your work experience, your essays, your letters of recommendation, and your GMAT to learn more about you. We'll also look closely at your undergraduate transcript to see what types of courses you took.
Venkat: My name is Venkat and I have a question regarding average age of the program. Are older applicants at a significant disadvantage in the admissions process?
Joanne: Hi Venkat. A student's age is not a factor for consideration for admission, but instead we look closely at the number of years of work experience someone has. That helps us in our evaluation by determining what a student can gain from and offer to the program, and his or her classmates.
tanr: Hi everyone. What would be a better example for the risk essay...a personal one or a professional one? Or is it beyond that and I should concentrate more on its outcome?
Joanne: Hi! Essay #2 is new for us this year, so we are excited to see what our applicants come up with. That said, we have no expectations for the answers and I am sure we will see great examples of both personal and professional, or perhaps even other, risks.
G-256634911: Do official GMAT scores need to be submitted with an application or can they be stated and confirmed at a later point in the application process? I am concerned that GMAC will not transmit my scores prior to the Round 1 application deadline.
Joanne: It is best to have your official scores submitted by the time of the application deadline. If we don't receive them by then, it may delay our ability to read your application within that round.
terry: I am 31years of age. With 6years of full time experience and about 2 part time (while in schoool), with a Masterâ€™s degree. Current MBA students and MBA admission consultant have told me I am at a disadvantage and that school are preferring younger candidates. Some are recommending that because of that I would be a better fit for the part time program. Can you give me the HONEST opinion about this factor (please, no politically correct or diplomatic answers).
Joanna: A student's age is not a factor for consideration for admission, but instead we look at work experience to help us in our evaluation by determining what a student can gain from and offer to the program, and his or her classmates.
Int084: Hi! Thank for the live chat!I am an international prospect student who wants to apply in the first round. I took the TOEFL and scored 103. I want to know if I have to retake the exam before applying since Booth requires at least 104. Thanks!
Donna: Applicants with scores below the requirement will be reviewed. We can admit someone whose score is lower than 104 because we require an interview. If you retake and don't score any higher, you may want to make sure the rest of your application, particularly any written portion, is strong to make up for the lower score.
neel: What are the prospects of students from a manufacturing background getting into IB/private equity. Could you highlight steps students have taken in the past or the university's support in this regard
Kurt: Neel the overwhelming majority of our students in the FT program are looking to make a career change. To do so you have to think through what you know about the desired industry, what skill and experiences do they covet and what do you bring to the table. In most cases once you do this exercise you will realize where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and at Chicago because of our flexibility and commitment to analytics you will have every opportunity to round out your necessary skill sets and go after the role you desire. Given that this chat is not the format to provide a great deal of specific information on those industries and steps students have taken to those ends, I would encourage you to check out our website and reach out to some of our student groups for greater specifics. The Investment Banking group and the EVP (Entrep, VC and PE) group are obvious places to start.
Francis: I am a JD/MBA applicant. I have a question about the application process. Do I submit two separate applications to each MBA and law school this fall? If I do get admitted to both schools, which one do I start off at?
Donna: You will be required to submit separate applications for each program. Students who are admitted to both programs usually start at Law since that program is longer.
Booth2011_NL: For international applicants, do you guarentee non co-signer loans covering the full cost of the programme?
Kurt: We do have international loan programs for students with and without a co-signer. They do cover up to the full student budget.
dipayan: had a query regardingapplication essays...what are the features in a candidate's profile that need to be brought out and would make a positive impression on the admissions committee/evaluators
Joanna: Hi dipayan, Your question is interesting but one only you can answer. I encourage you to consider our questions and really think about what we're asking from you. Then, it really is up to you to decide what information you want the committee to know about you and what is most important. Good luck!
Moderator Hello everyone. We are ten minutes from the end of the chat. Thank you for all your great questions so far. We are trying to get through as many as possible... thank you for your patience.
israstro: hello! I wanted to ask, are there any diffrents between the rounds of application?
Donna: The main difference between the rounds is the volume. Round two is heaviest followed by round one and then round three. All rounds are equally competitive.
Tahsin: I have heard that applicants are compared against folks with similar backgrounds (such as consultants against consultants)? Does Booth follow a similar process and if so, are IT and Management consultants evaluated together?
Joanna: Hi Tahsin, Your question is quite interesting. Booth does not review applications by comparing applicants as such. However, in shaping the class we will look to gain as much diversity as possible in the student body and will admit applicants accordingly.
G-255788188: My first question is: I'm an arts student, did my majors in Eng Lit, have been a journalist for the past 6 years... also an art consultant... I know schools usually accept Engineers, Eo students, management -mathematically inclined students so what are the chances here?
Joanne: At Chicago Booth, we see students from all walks of life and in fact, about a quarter of Booth students hold degrees in the liberal arts. We do not base admissions decisions on any one factor, so we encourage everyone who can make a strong case for the MBA at this point in their career to apply, regardless of academic or professional background.
Rebecca: With employment in the consulting industry, a large percent of your time is spent travelling which makes it difficult to engage in extracurricular activities compared to others who do not need to travel for work, how important are extracurriculars in the application consideration?
Kelley: Hi Rebecca! We're looking for people who are engaged in the broader community. So, it's not the quantity of extra-curriculars that we're looking at, it's the potential of the applicant to contribute our community.
Justin: For those of us applying to in Fall 2011, when would be the best time to visit the school, and how would we go about scheduling a tour?
Donna: We host a visitors program everyday. During the summer we have a shortened program consisting of a meeting with an admissions officer and a tour of the building. Starting October 4th our full day tour will begin where visitors will have the opportunity to sit in on a class or two, lunch with current students and hear firsthand about the program. To schedule, visit:
G-255786124: Hi Joanne, when will the be online application for the full time mba available?
Donna: The application will go live later today.
G-256634941: Many schools have started focusing proactively on admitting younger professionals with fewer years of experience (2-3 years) at the time of enrollment. Is Chicago doing the same? Also, please comment on the types of entrepreneurial opportunities that Chicago Booth offers.
Kurt: Chicago has maintained its institutional commitment to admitting a diverse class. This includes students of all ages. We have not made a concerted to get younger but the notion of having to have 5 years of work experience is no longer emphasized by MBA programs and hence the pool of applicants is naturally getting younger. We simply try to admit the most talented students in the pool who demonstrate the greatest fit with our program. Chicago has a great program for Entrepreneurship. We offer a variety of classes and labs as well as case competitions for funding business ideas. I would encourage you to go to our website and specifically search for Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. It will provide you with a wealth of resources and opportunities in this space.
sdolan2005: Thank you for hosting this chat. I have a question about recommendation letters - Where can I find the questions for our recommenders online, or are the questions not disclosed to applicants?
Joanna: Hi sdolan, Via the online application system, you will be able to see a sample of the recommendation letter form.
Shrimant: Hello! Thanks for organizing this. Is it possible to be exempted from the TOEFL exam?
Donna: Yes, if they have earned an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction or if they are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language.
terry: Do you require (for part time or full time applications) a recommendation letter from a current boss? Can I use a previous boss in the same company? Previous bosses in previous companies? Or senior colleagues who are familiar with my career?
Kelley: Thanks for your question, Terry. For the Full-Time application, at least one letter of recommendation should come from someone who knows you in a supervisory capacity. You can use recommenders who come from previous companies. Keep in mind, it's important to obtain recommendations from people who know you best.
osdihg: Hello, how does Booth conduct international interviews? Through alumni? Telephone?
Donna: Our alumni conduct interviews for candidates unable to come to campus.
aditya: Are there any preferences of the Business School in terms of number of years' of experience and type of experience without which securing admission is difficult
Kelley: At Chicago Booth, we do not have a minimum requirement for years of work experience. We invite applicants to apply who are early in their careers or who have several years of work experience. Michael_1: I was curious when the online application for the full time program will be available, and also when Booth would be releasing the questions for the letters of reccomendation.
Donna: Both will be released later today.
nixs: Hi Joanne, thanks for your time. Regarding acceptance rate for R1 and R 2.. does a student applying in R1 have an edge compared to those applying in subsequent rounds?
Joanna: Hello nixs, The difference in competition between rounds 1 and 2 is pretty insignificant. Round three can at times be more competitive simply because fewer spaces are left in the class. Good luck!
terry: I am having hard time narrowing down my recommenders, I have many great recommenders from different aspects of my life. Is there a way I can submit more recommendation letters? Can I add to my resume a page with quotes from different recommenders (supervisors, community leaders, advisors, clients)?
Joanne: Your application is yours to submit! However, given the volume of applications received by Chicago Booth, it is best to submit only the two required letters of recommendation. Any beyond that should be significantly different from the others and provide the committee with new and unique information about the candidate. We don't have any requirements for the format of the resume, but anecdotally, I've never seen one that included quotes from recommenders.
Melissa: Hi Joanna, Joanne, Kurt, Kelley and Donna. My question has to do with the relative importance of extracurriculars. How do you handle someone whose job requires intense work hours on the weekends and during the week? Especially when their job title and perhaps industry is not any of the typical ones perceived to require huge time commitments (ex. Investment banking)?
Joanne: Hi Melissa. We are cognizant that some jobs require amounts of time that make it prohibitive to be actively involved outside of work. It is incumbent upon you to give us a sense of your time requirements and the extent of your extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests. Use the application to fill in the gaps for the committee.
BoothApplicant2010: Kurt, thanks for hosting. Kurt, aside from the e-mail yesterday, do you have any additional information about the waitlist for this Fall's class? Are you expecting any movement or has the class pretty much been finalized at this point?
Kurt: We are in the process right now of conducting "head count" on the incoming class. I would expect as that process concludes in the next few days we will make a decision on whether or not to revisit the WL, hence the e-mail yesterday to determine interest from WL students. So to answer your question there is a real chance we will be going back to the WL one more time before the start of Orientation in September. The timing is the only variable we are trying to work out.
Jason: Hi. Thanks for taking time to set this up. Is there a minimum GMAT requirement?
Donna: We do not have a minimum score requirement. The average score for the class of 2012 is 715 and the 80% percentile range is 660 to 760.
Todd: Would I be at a disadvantage to apply knowing that I'll only have 2 years of full-time work experience at the time of matriculation
Joanne: We do not have a minimum number of years of work experience, so you are more than welcome to apply at anytime. It will be important for you to explain in your application why now is the right time to pursue your MBA.
Moderator Thank you again for joining today's online chat. We will continue to respond to a few questions past noon, but have received so many today, unfortunately will not be able to answer all of them. Please refer to the full chat transcript, which will be posted within 48 hours at
Sandeep: Hi, Just need a small confirmation. I currently have 3 years of full-time work experience (4 years by fall 2011). Am I safe in assuming I dont fall under the 'early applicant' category?, because the website states 'Applicants with One to Three Years of Full-Time Work Experience'.
Joanne: Hi Sandeep. You do fall a bit outside of what we would consider to be "early career". However, the process of applying and evaluation is the same for everyone.
G-256634941: Can candidates get deferred to a later round if a decision is not made in a particular round?
Kelley: Yes, we do waitlist some applicants who will receive a final decision during a later round. CSB: In discussing leadership activities, is it appropriate to focus most anecdotes on my current job, or would you rather see leadership in a variety of places (i.e. this job, my previous job, college clubs)?
Joanna: Hello CSB, It's really up to you, though I can say that a broader scope can certainly help the committee understand the broader picture of your candidacy!
Liang2: I have read and heard about Booth's LEAD, could you share more details about this special course? thx
Kelley: Our Leadership and Effectiveness Development (LEAD) course is the only required class here at Booth. Beginning during your first quarter at Booth, you'll work to learn more about your leadership style through role playing, group exercises, and a host of other creative activities. You'll be in a cohort with 50 other students.
Jaren: If you're asked to come in for an interview, what kind of interview experience should one expect to have? Do you interview with one person or a committee of people, how long is it, etc.?
Joanne: All interviews, regardless of location, are done one on one. On campus interviews are conducted with one of our Admissions Fellows (2nd year students who are trained to help us read and evaluate applications and interview candidates) or a staff member. Off campus interviews are done by alumni. In general, interviews last about 30 minutes.
EricS: Could you talk about the campus visit experience? I'm planning on visiting in a couple of weeks. Would it be better to attend during the normal fall sememter?
Joanna: Hi Eric, You can see what a campus visit entails here:
. As you may notice, students are not back until September and class visits won't be allowed until October so it is up to you and the experience you want to have while visiting! See you on campus...
G-256853026: all else being equal (in terms of the ability of a recommender to substantively speak on the applicant's behalf) would the admissions committee prefer to see a recommendation from a Chicago Alum?
Joanne: Recommendations often come from alumni, which is a great endorsement of a student's ability to be successful at Booth. However, we encourage applicants to obtain letters from those who know them best. It is better to get a great letter from a non-alum, then a short, non-descriptive one from an alum who doesn't know you at all. There's no advantage to obtaining a letter from an alumnus.
juaniaqp: Is the AWA section of the GMAT very important? a good grade at the TOEFL can help if my AWA is not so good?
Donna: We do review all components of the tests. When there are lower scores on the Toefl or within the AWA section we will look at other places in the application to assess writing ability.
adam: Do most students live on/near campus in Hyde Park or do they commute from other parts of Chicago?
Joanne: Hi Adam. The majority of students choose to live in other parts of Chicago, but many do live in Hyde Park. Those students like living close to campus while others look forward to taking advantage of all that downtown Chicago has to offer and reach campus by car, or by using any of the great public transportation options that the city provides.
Kelley: Thanks for participating! It was great chatting with you today.
Greg: I attended a study-abroad program for one semester in college (I did not receive a degree from that specific program) - do I need to submit a transcript for that one semester?
Joanna: Hi Greg, if the grades for that semester abroad are not listed on your degree-granting transcript, you will need to submit that transcript as well.
NileshJoshi: How important is the community service / volunteering with respect to teh application?
Joanne: All extracurricular activities/hobbies/interest are an important part of the application process. We like to see your interests, your passions and your potential for getting involved. It is not mandatory that students have specific community service or volunteer work in your application.
Joanne: Thanks for everyone for participating in today's chat! We look forward to seeing you when we travel in the fall, or here on campus.
Joanna: Thanks for joining us!
Booth2011_NL: What would you list as 3 most important things that differentiates Booth MBA from other top MBAs?
Kurt: In no particular order I would say the following. 1) Flexibility - no other program provides the same opportunity to tailor an MBA experience specific to your goals and objectives 2) Culture - Chicago has very distinctive culture in that people come here for their own experience, not for a credential. They are committed to achieving something for themselves whatever that may be, and the MBA itself is the byproduct of that journey. 3) Commitment to analytical disciplines. Chicago Booth incorporates a very disciplined approach to decision making. We provide you with the right tools to question the world around you and facilitate great decision making. This process of analyzing and questioning the world around you is paramount to defining the Booth culture.
Kurt: Thanks for the great questions and I look forward to doing this again real soon.
Moderator The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that again, we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. We encourage you to visit our discussion forum at
to get answers to your questions.