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CHICAGO BOOTH LIVE CHAT: WAITLIST EXPERIENCE

Chat live with Admissions Directors and current students from Chicago Booth. This chat will feature current First and Second year students who were admitted off the waitlist. Ask about waitlist videos and essays, student life, and more! Don’t miss this opportunity to get your questions answers from current students who have been through the process!

Chat Transcripts 

Guest: Hi Team - Thank you for doing this. I think a number of people probably have the same questions I have. I'd be interested in hearing how each of you navigated the waitlist process and any tips you have.

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question! The waitlist video is a great resource to hear from current students who navigated the waitlist process. The common starting place for these students was spending time reflecting on their goals and how Booth fit into those. From there, I'd encourage you to review your application and figure out where you can strengthen your candidacy. If possible, leverage the campus visit program and connect with current students to get a better sense of the day-to-day at Booth. This can help you add color to your interest in Booth's program, which you can communicate in the supplemental video or essay.


Guest:
How many students were admitted from the Waitlist last year? What was the distribution of round 1 versus 2 versus 3? Was round 1 of this year consistent with that or has there been any change in the trend?

* Kristen Robinson: Great question! I can't say exactly how many people we admitted off of the waitlist, because that the number is really dependent on the year, and on the round (so any concrete number would be misleading because it differs each year).  We have no way of predicting how many people will end up rejecting our offer, so it is hard to say ahead of time what our needs will be when we're looking to go to the waitlist.  I will also say that we consider the waitlist very holistically, so we don't have quotas for how many people we want to admit off of the waitlist based off of round, industry, academics or other characteristics.


Guest:
  Hi Everyone.  Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.  On the additional essay/video submission, how important is it to address new information that wasn't discussed previously in the initial essay or interview versus focusing on information that was previously stated?

* Erik Underwood: Thanks for joining the chat today! We're glad we can be an additional resource as you navigate the admissions process. If you have any new information which you would like to share, or address an area which you feel needs attention that is great to include. Consider the waitlist an opportunity to share more about yourself, and not just reiterate things that you already included in your initial application.


Guest:
 How did you figure out what you needed to focus on to improve your candidacy and get off the waitlist?

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question! The first thing I did when I found out I had been waitlisted was to do a complete review of my application and think about where I might have gaps. I thought about the 3-4 qualities I wanted to make sure the admission committee knew about me, and did an honest review of my application to see if those were standing out. I used the waitlist video submission to reinforce these qualities, as well as my interest in/fit with the Booth community.


Guest:
  What is your opinion on retaking the GMAT? Did you do it? What about the GRE?

* Talal Dajani: Thanks for your question! Retaking the GMAT is entirely up to whether or not you feel comfortable with your current score. The waitlist pool for the class of 2019 is extremely competitive this year and the average GMAT for the class of 2018 is 726 (if you took the GRE you can use the GMAT/GRE converter online for free). I personally did not retake the GMAT and spent my time on other waitlist materials, such as submitting a video, as I felt comfortable with my score. If you do decide to take the GMAT, please remember that scores are due by Friday, April 28th.


Guest:
  What types of additional information are useful for you to know in the waitlist decision process?

* Kristen Robinson: We have spent the past few years trying to fine-tune our waitlist process and figure out the best combination of materials to get to know our candidates a bit better.  We really focus on making the process applicant-centric, meaning that we don't accept additional letters of recommendation.  We also look for candidates to be self-reflective during this process, so, whether that reflection comes across in a video or an essay makes no difference to us - we just want you to express yourself in a medium that you are comfortable with!


Guest:
  How often did you share updates with the school? I want to keep them posted, but not inundate them with insignificant information

* Talal Dajani: Great question! How often to share updates with the school is entirely up to what has changed since your last update. We advise sharing updates with the school if it relates to a change in job/position, update in GMAT score, or any information you believe would provide additional insight into your application. That includes submitting an updated resume if you've changed jobs, or a video/essay answering one of the questions in the waitlist FAQ. Hope this helps!


Guest:
Hi, I read the FAQ but still really want to email waitlist manager to ask for feedback before picking one of the three questions to answer. Should I do that? Or should I ask a friend to look at my application, as suggested?

* Brittany Henry: Hi, unfortunately admissions does not provide feedback on individual applications, therefore it's best to ask a friend to review your application for you.

 

Guest: Hi Kristen, Tatal, Kate, Brittany and Erik. Thank you for hosting this chat! This question is for the students. To what do you attribute your success on getting admitted off the waitlist?

* Brittany Henry: Hi, getting off the waitlist requires a lot of introspection and thoughtfulness regarding what areas of your application you can strengthen and how you can strengthen it through submitting the waitlist materials. For me, it was recognizing a weakness in my application and addressing the weakness and using the video to demonstrate I was thoughtful about it and have taken action on it.


Guest:
Hi everyone. Thanks for taking the time to have this chat with us. For the current students, how did you balance your contact with the AdCom while you were on the waitlist? From reading the FAQ it seems like contact is discouraged but I am a bit concerned that my lack of contact could be mistaken for a  lack of interest

* Erik Underwood: Because the admissions committee cannot provide individual feedback, there isn't a lot you can get out of a conversation with them. I would instead focus on having conversations with current and former students, and synthesize that into your new material so that it is clear you have a better view of why Booth is the right fit for you. You can contact the office if you have specific questions (that are not related to your individual application), but don't do it just to get face time with the admissions office.


Guest: Given we are being considered with R3 applicants, do you have experience admitting International students (Indian specifically) in R3 in the past? Wanted to know if ~3 months is enough time for all formalities, especially visas!

* Kristen Robinson: This is a great question!  We are VERY mindful of the importance of allowing enough time for the visa process, and, just so you are aware, we are not even able to start our visa process until the beginning of May (as federal regulations prevent students from seeking visas more than 120 days prior to Orientation+).  If you are admitted in Round 3, you would have MORE than enough time to obtain a visa!


Guest: What do you know now having gone through the process that you had wished you'd known when you first heard you were on the waitlist?

* Talal Dajani: Great question! Going through the waitlist process and now being on the other side of it, the one thing I wish I knew prior was to maintain a positive attitude. Being on the waitlist should not be seen as a negative as it means we think you are a great candidate. Just make sure to let your personality shine through your additional materials and show us why you would be a great fit for the community (e.g. through the optional video, additional essay, etc.).


Guest: Thanks for hosting this live chat. Can I send updates to my profile to admissions committee or just video/essay?

* Kristen Robinson: We ask you to limit your updates to whatever you include in your waitlist video or essay because of the volume of candidates that we are working with.  The one exception would be if you have been promoted or have an updated test score.


Guest: As far as the option of submitting an essay or a video, I was leaning heavily towards video as it gives more freedom to display personality and fit in more information. I was wondering if you have any opinions on which is the better option.

* Talal Dajani: Great question! Personally, I submitted a video for the exact same reasons as you as it provided me an opportunity to let my personality come through more genuinely. With that being said, I advise choosing whichever option you feel you can most strongly convey your interest in the program and why you would be a great fit, so if that's a video, then great, but we do not have a preference one way or another so submit whichever you feel most confident with.


Guest: How did you decide on which question to use? It seems like all three are question types that were already answered in either the application or the interview. Is it more about reaffirming these beliefs / interests or trying to say something new?

* Erik Underwood: I would think about which question my application I could answer most strongly, and which balanced out my application. Think about what may have been missing in your application, or an area which you don't believe was addressed in your interview.


Guest: For those of us who submitted a video in the R1 waitlist process, how much added value would an additional essay/video provide, if any? Thank you all for sharing your advice with us!

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question! You have the option to submit another video this round, so I would encourage you to spend time reflecting on what you want the Admissions team to know about you. If there's a different aspect of your application you want to highlight or want to draw a stronger picture of how you plan to become involved in the Booth community, an additional video can help accomplish that. However, if you feel you've communicated all you want to then there's no reason to submit just to submit.


Guest: What additional materials - other than the video or essay - have other successful formerly waitlisted Booth MBA students submitted?

* Kate Donlin: Good question. The supplemental materials for waitlisted candidates vary from year to year, so it is best to follow the guidelines the Admissions team has set for your class. If you have changed jobs or been promoted, you can submit an updated resume. In addition, you have the option to submit a short video or 300 word essay that answers the questions one of the 3 questions listed in the waitlist FAQ sheet. This is a great opportunity to reinforce your interest in Booth and demonstrate that you have spent time reflecting on your initial application.


Guest: Hello, thanks everyone for doing this chat! For those of you that were waitlisted in your own application, what do you think you did that A) differentiated you from other waitlisted candidates in successfully converting your waitlist status and B) allowed the adcom to discern something new  about you and ultimately decide you were the right fit?

* Brittany Henry: Getting off the waitlist is less about standing out amongst your peers but ensuring you put forth the best application for yourself.  Feel free to reach out to admissions via email specifically with a promotion, a job change or an updated test score. I would recommend including any other updates in your waitlist materials.


Guest: Hi! Is there any you did in particular outside of submitting the video/essay to show that you were really interested in Booth? E.g. - did you visit the campus again or connect with more students?

* Talal Dajani: Great question! If you already have done a campus / classroom visit, then it may not be the best use of your time. In addition to the essay / video, we advise using the "connect with a student" tool highlighted in the waitlist FAQ. This will allow you to connect with the community and show why you are a great fit for Booth. Just make sure to let your personality shine through the essay or video and show why you are a great fit. Hope this helps!


Guest: Thanks for your time today I've struggled with reflecting on my application in an impartial manner; would you have any recommendations on what helped you in doing so?

* Talal Dajani: Definitely a great question! The best advice I can give is to have another individual (friend or colleague) review your application and provide feedback on which qualities they believe show most through your application. With their feedback, you will be able to determine where you can provide additional information on your application and what ways you can improve it to show your personality shine through best. Just decide what you want your application to say about you and see if that message is clearly conveyed. Hope this helps!


Guest: Thanks for the opportunity to learn more about the waitlist process. Is it recommended to share updates in addition to the video essay? For example, if a candidate has taken up a new project in his/her job or has started getting more involved in community, what's the best way to communicate about those updates?

* Brittany Henry: Admissions is specifically interested in updates regarding test scores, new jobs or promotions. I would recommend limiting other updates unless they are really compelling and strengthen your application.


Guest: What are some of the common errors you've seen waitlisted candidates make, that we can avoid?

* Erik Underwood: A big issue would be just contact for the sake of contact. Only reach out if you have genuine questions and are authentic in your outreach. Also, when sending additional materials, be sure you are self-reflective and genuine in your materials.


Guest: Thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions. I really appreciate it. I am a reapplicant who thankfully made it to the waitlist. I was wondering if during the waitlist evaluation material from previous application is considered?

* Kristen Robinson: Great question! If you previously applied to Booth, we certainly have access to your previous application and can reference the materials you submitted at that time, but the focus will be on whatever you submitted this year.  We look forward to reviewing your submissions!


Guest: If I take a course to improve a certain area of my application, will it benefit my application if I am not able to complete the course before May 18th? For example, if the course takes 4 months to complete.

* Kristen Robinson: Thanks for your question! Some students, particularly those who may have had a lower GPA in undergrad, choose to take an additional course (either online or through a local university or community college) to demonstrate their academic abilities.  This is certainly not required, and there are other ways to demonstrate this.  You do not need to have completed the course by the waitlist deadline - you can simply mention that you're taking the course.


Guest: Hey guys. Thanks again! Do you guys recommend making another trip to campus even if you've already officially visited twice (once before applying and once during interview)?

* Talal Dajani: Great question! If you have already made numerous trips to campus, we think the best way to stay connected is to use the "connect with a student" tool as this is where your time will be best spent getting to know the community and showing your interest in the program. Hope this helps!


Guest: Are we guaranteed an accept/reject decision at the next round or is it possible to get waitlisted further?

* Kristen Robinson: We do still waitlist people on the Round 3 decision date.  At that point, we would ask you to provide a date by which you would need a final decision.


Guest: For the video, do people simply record it on their laptop or phone? Or, do you find students create a more professional-type video?

* Erik Underwood: Focus your attention on the content of the video. The quality of the video will make no difference in the admissions decision.  Of course, the audio should be clear and should be able to see that it's you!


Guest: If a student has been admitted outright and paid a deposit at another top program/peer school but would still prefer to attend Booth, does discussing that scenario with a member of the admissions committee add any value at all, or would it be seen as gauche and as if the applicant were presenting an ultimatum?

* Kristen Robinson: We assume that, when people fill out the Waitlist Reply Form, they are still committed to the Booth process, regardless of whether or not they are admitted to other schools.  So there is no need to mention your situation at other schools (mostly because you are all strong candidates and we assume that there are lots of other schools that would love to have you!!).


Guest: How is creativity factored into the Video submission? My goal is to add more color to my application by showing who I am through a hobby whilst simultaneously answering one of the questions. Does this seem like a feasible thing to do?

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question! The most important aspect of the video to consider is your content. Think about information you can share about yourself that would be compelling and relevant to the Admissions team. Knowing that content is most important, high quality production and creativity are not a requirement, but you are welcome to build a video that best suits you and what you want to communicate.


Guest: Hello all, thanks for taking the time. Did you feel that not getting to go to admitted students weekend put you at a disadvantage in getting to know the program and connecting with fellow students?

* Kate Donlin: Good question. While the admit weekend is a great opportunity to get to know the Booth program, it does not put you at a disadvantage in connecting with other students. Participating in the campus visit program or Ask a Student tool are great ways to get to know the Booth community outside of admit weekend.


Guest: Thank you for holding this event. Is the case of submitting an updated resume strictly limited to 1. being promoted at your current job or 2. job change?

* Kristen Robinson: That is correct.  An updated resume should encompass either a promotion or job change.


Guest: I had the amazing experience of visiting Booth last fall for diversity weekend where I was able to tour the Harper Center, hear an address from Dean Ahlm, sit in on a sample lecture, attend several social events, and more. That said, if I were to visit again during this waitlist period to gather more information about the Booth experience and where I could contribute most meaningfully - what other activities would you recommend I participate in to maximize that time and gather new insights?

* Erik Underwood: I would only recommend a visit to campus if you feel that it would give you more information than conversations with Booth students or via engagement with alumni. Don't think about this as a box to check. Instead think about what information you're missing before you respond to the waitlist, and find people to learn more about the program. Speak with members of students groups you're interested in joining, professional groups you may join, and what your time at Booth would look like.


Guest: Hello - do you think there is any benefit to mentioning the students that you've connected with in your essay/video? I've connected with a few students via email without using the "connect with a student" tool.

* Talal Dajani: Great question! While specifically mentioning the names of students you have connected with may not be the best use of your time in the video / essay, we do believe highlighting how these interactions show you are a great fit for the school is a positive. In my opinion, speak more to how beneficial these interactions were and what about the interactions you enjoyed most opposed to listing who you have spoken with. Hope this helps!


Guest: Are waitlisted candidates' profiles reviewed separately or together with Round 3 applicants? In other words, do you prioritize Round 3 applicants over the waitlist?

* Kristen Robinson: We do review waitlist applications separately, but always with Round 3 in mind.


Guest: Hello there, I wanted to know if the entire committee reviews the videos / essay submissions from waitlisted candidates, or only the assigned manager, and how frequently is the material re-visited before a decision

* Kristen Robinson: The Admissions Committee reviews waitlist applications.


Guest: If you haven't been promoted or changed jobs, but recently completed a significant project that would be additive to your resume, would it be worth submitting an updated resume to the adcom?

* Talal Dajani: I would advise submitting an updated resume only if you believe that the project truly represents a strong addition to your work experience and represents characteristics you think the admissions committee would value. If it is a project/role that does not reflect new information/characteristics, then maybe it is best to focus on the video/essay.


Guest: This question is for the students: did anyone have a positive experience getting off the waitlist while having taken the GRE instead of the GMAT?

* Brittany Henry: Hi, I took the GRE instead of the GMAT, admissions does not have a preference.


Guest: Hello everyone, thanks for hosting this chat! First of all, best of luck to all of us waitlisters. The waitlist FAQ page instructs not to submit additional recommendations. However, based on my research and conversations with the waitlist admits from the past, the Alumni or student recommendations were previously allowed. Is that not the case in the current year? Also, there are a lot of great questions and responses here, is the transcript going to be available after today's session?

* Kim Ge: Great questions! The FAQ page instructs waitlisters not to submit additional recommendations per our policy.  There hasn’t been a change to this policy, as there’s still a system in place for any recommendations from current students and alumni. Lastly, we will provide a transcript of this chat via email in 3-5 business days.


Guest: Is there an admitted students weekend for Round 3 admissions? If not, what are some of the best ways to get in contact with future classmates and receive more information about Random Walks, housing, possible roommates, etc. if we were to be admitted off the waitlist in May?

* Talal Dajani: There is not a formalized admitted students weekend for Round 3 admits. If you are admitted, you will be provided with a link to an admitted students webpage that has additional useful information. For Random Walk and possible roommates, the admitted students Facebook page would have all the information you need. Hope this helps!


Guest:  Hello, 1. how is a change of job (to a much better job) looked upon by the admissions committee? i.e. what opinion does it indicate to the adcom? 2. I have changed jobs about a month ago...and I am updating my CV. However, it is tricky to indicate impact because of how long I have been in the job. How do I over this aspect? Can I just indicate responsibilities and projects I have started working on?

* Brittany Henry: For a change in job focus on how this change positively will impact your career trajectory. For the updates to your CV indicate your responsibilities and projects. It will be clear to admissions from your start date you haven't had the opportunity to make meaningful impact just yet.


Guest: I recently visited Booth's campus with a friend who was a former student on a trip to Chicago last month. I didn't register with the admissions office, and there is not official "record" of my visit - how can I indicate this to express interest, without flying all the way back to Chicago from San Francisco?

* Kristen Robinson: Great question!  We don't want you to have to buy another plane ticket to Chicago, and, general, we don't want visiting campus to feel like a box you have to check in order to get off the waitlist.  It is more important to interact with members of the community to understand whether or not Booth is the right place for you to spend the next two years, and to provide a deeper understanding of the community - and you can do this virtually.


Guest: Hi there, I am aware that Booth requests all material to come directly from the candidate. However, is it okay to include a testimonial from an alumnus or a current student in the video?

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question. How you choose to use the video is entirely up to you. That being said, you only have 60 seconds to present yourself and this process is really applicant-centric. I would think critically about whether or not a testimonial would be as strong as you sharing your personal updates.


Guest: How late into the summer do you accept applicants off the waitlist?

* Kristen Robinson: We keep the waitlist open until just before Orientation+ starts in September, and, as I mentioned in an answer to a previous question, if you are re-waitlisted in Round 3, we would ask you to provide a date by which you would like a final decision, so we can be mindful of your need to make other plans.


Guest: Hi Boothies and thank you for the chat. Are admitted waitlist candidates considered for financial aid and merit-based scholarships along with the rest of the admitted students?

* Erik Underwood: Because scholarships are awarded in each round, waitlisted candidates are indeed considered for merit-based scholarships as well. Booth only provides merit-based scholarships both before matriculation and during their time at Booth. No need-based financial aid is provided.


Guest: Thinking back on my interview, If I would like to answer some of the interviewer's questions in a different way, should I do so in the essay?

* Kate Donlin: Thanks for your question. For the essay, I'd focus on what it is you want to communicate to the Admissions Committee that is compelling and relevant to your application. While not necessary to directly address your interview questions, if there was something from your interview that you didn't feel you were able to communicate fully, the video or essay is a great opportunity to do so.


Guest: Hi again. What is the preferred means to communicate updates outside of career (volunteer work etc.). Should we send a letter update, incorporate these into the essay/video or would a call be more appropriate?

* Kim Ge: It is preferred to incorporate as much as possible in your essay/video!

Guest: If my post MBA goals or the way I intend to engage with the community have shifted, would that be seen as inconsistent or contradictory to the original application? Should I rather stick to the same direction I outlined in the application?

* Brittany Henry: Feel free to talk about this change in your essay and/or video yet it's important to explain what led you to shift gears.


Guest:  Hello, I work in in a country where I do not have access to Boothies. All my application material/recommendations do not come from anyone directly to the Booth MBA. Is this a weakness? Can I overcome this in some way? (I have reached out to Booth students via the website, etc. but this has been mostly informal.)

* Talal Dajani: Great question! This is absolutely not a weakness. In fact, this is a great excercise for you to reach out to the community through the "Connect with a student" tool (link provided in waitlist FAQ). Therefore, we advise continuing what you are doing and reaching out to students as time permits, but by no means is not having a recommendation from a Booth alum a weakness.


Guest: Thank you again for answering our questions. Is it alright to ask my student interviewer if he would be willing to share advice/thoughts on potential weaknesses in my candidacy?

* Kim Ge: That would not be appropriate since we (Admissions and Students/Alumni interviewers) cannot provide feedback on someone’s candidacy.


Guest: can we address more than 1 question in the video if time allows?

* Talal Dajani: Great question! The video is your opportunity to answer the questions and let your personality show through. With that being said, if you believe you can answer multiple questions thoroughly in the allotted time, then it is absolutely up to you. However, we value quality/depth of response vs. quantity of responses to the questions, so just ensure you answer the question to your best ability, and then decide whether or not you can answer another question well enough in the remaining time. Hope this helps!


Guest: Hello, are students admitted from the waitlist disadvantaged when it comes to living options, class selection, or random walk trips?

* Kate Donlin: Good question. Waitlisted students have the same class and living options as those who are admitted in the regular admission cycle. The random walk trips are scheduled earlier, so there may be fewer available options, but waitlisted students are still able to participate.


Guest: You mentioned that applicants waitlisted in round 3 are asked for a specific date for the final decision. Is there a chance the decision will be made before the specified date? Is it more advantageous to state the latest date possible?

* Kristen Robinson: The date should be whatever you are comfortable with.  While we do try to get you an answer as soon as possible, we can't guarantee that we will be able to get you a final decision prior to that date.


Guest: Does the applicant have to be the only person in the video? Or can we have other people in the video as well?

* Brittany Henry: You can have others in the video but you should be the star of the video :)


Guest: What other events/opportunities are waitlisted candidates missing apart from the admit weekend?

* Brittany Henry: There are no other major events or opportunities aside for the admit weekend. I did not attend First Day as I was waitlisted during the time and was able to get the necessary information before starting in August so no worries :)


Guest: If members of the Booth community submit recommendations on our part without us knowing, will this be held against us given the recommendation situation for waitlisted applicants?

* Kristen Robinson: It would not be held against you.  Alumni and current students know that we have a process in place to collect this information.