Full-Time MBA

Virtual Events
Diversity Events


Join a live online chat with current Booth international students. Get different perspectives about coming to Chicago from outside of the U.S. and transitioning to life at Booth. Ask about classes, student life, faculty, recruiting, and more. Don't miss this opportunity to chat directly with current student and hear more about living in Chicago as part of the Booth community.


Chat Transcripts

Guest: Hello Boothies, I was wondering if you could please tell me what you felt was the biggest challenge about coming to Chicago and Booth (from abroad). Thank you!

* Leo Kertsman: The biggest challenge for me was logistics - finding an apartment from abroad, figuring out what warm clothes to buy, etc. To figure this out, I mainly relied on advice from current students. Once admitted, many current students reach out and offer their help - use it!


Guest: Name one thing which you think is the best about Booth.

* Melanie Chin: I think the best thing about Booth is the people. Students, faculty, and alumni - all the Boothies I have interacted with have taught me something new. We really do mean it when we say we are a diverse group of people with different interests, hobbies, and backgrounds. That being said, the one unifying thing I've seen is that everyone is extremely down-to-earth and willing to lend an ear or a hand.


Guest: Hello and thank you for giving us a chance to know more about the MBA program. My question is about the living costs in Chicago, on average what is the annual living costs for MBA students ?

* Vikram Sivakumar: That's a tricky question and very heavily depends on your lifestyle. I think this is a good start with your expenses- https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/phd/admissions/tuition-financial-aid. There are some things that doesn't cover - like if you wanted to go out a lot (great restaurants in Chicago) or if you wanted to travel, etc.


Guest: How does Booth help one and his family transition? This is coming from outside the US and most likely depending on the visa of the dependent spouse she may not be allowed to work for the two years. Do you know of such stories? How did they handle it?

* Leo Kertsman: The Office of International Affairs helps you with everything related to visas: https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/page/about-contact. Work authorization for your spouse will depend on whether you come on an F or a J visa. F visas do not allow the spouse to work, whereas J visas do.


Guest: Is the first year tougher than the 2nd year because it’s foundation?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: I personally am in the last quarter of my first year but I know that you just get used to a lot of things that are absolutely new to you in your first year. It's especially easier if you are already done with recruiting


Guest: What were the significant challenges you faced as an international student joining Booth?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: As an international student, there is a bit of a transition that you go through in terms of adapting to the culture here but that's I guess the thing that makes it worth it. You go out of your comfort zone and meet a lot of amazing people from all kinds of experiences.


Guest: Thank you for conducting this chat! This question is for Vikram - How has the transition been from a cultural standpoint - moving from SE Asia to Sweden to Chicago? What sort of challenges have you overcome in adapting? (My story is similar: SE Asia-Dubai-Switzerland-Denmark (presently)).

* Vikram Sivakumar: awesome. I'm sure you've enjoyed your transitions. I seem to think transitions become easier. Each time I've moved, I've imagined some challenges eventually to discover completely different ones. Chicago offered one obvious challenge - the weather. I thought I could handle it after Sweden - but nope :) I'd also point out that Booth is a a very international audience and I don't think you'll face any difficulty fitting in


Guest: Can you please shed some light on international recruitment, would you reach out to alumni in various locations or is there some additional support provided by the career center as well? Thank you!

* Leo Kertsman: Recruitment for internationals is the same it is for domestic students. For on-campus recruitment, there are clear timelines and activities. For off-campus recruitment, you reach out to Booth alumni, use the help of Career Services, create and activate your personal network. The only difference for internationals is in the list of companies you recruit for, because some companies only accept applications from US citizens.


Guest: Hi! Thank you for hosting this chat. For those of you that requested student visas, how long did this process take? Did it impact your timeline?

* Sharan Kumaresan: I believe this is a process with a varying duration depending on the country you're applying from. But we have a wide diversity of nationalities represented and usually there is sufficient time for the visa procedures before school for all the students. That being said I would suggest not delaying your application once the process starts.


Guest: *when does the admission process for MBA batch of 2020 go live?

* Kimberly Ge: Thanks for joining us today! The Admissions Committee is working very hard to get all our materials in order for a release in early June.


Guest: Is there anything that you thought the school to be, good or bad, but it turned to be something completely different once you joined it.

* Melanie Chin: One thing that surprised me was the huge number of options we have. There is never one set "path" at Booth - everything is extremely flexible. This goes for academics (we have an extremely flexible curriculum), recruiting (there are an unlimited number of industries and functions that people recruit for), and lifestyle (extracurricular clubs and activities).


Guest: Can you please tell us what surprised you the most about the Chicago Booth MBA?  What did you experience did you have that you didnt know about when you were researching the school?

* Vikram Sivakumar: Adding on to what Melanie mentioned (about flexibility – that really is a thing). Another thing that surprised me was the culture and community Booth has managed to build. As an international, I couldn't visit the school before I applied. But when deciding between schools I came to Chicago for the admitted students weekend. I loved all the interactions I had with faculty and staff. I also managed to meet alum around the US and India. That really gave me a sense of the “pay-it-forward” culture we have here. You’ll love it!


Guest: What’s the environment at Booth like? Are people generally very competitive among one another?

* Melanie Chin: The environment is extremely collaborative! I've never felt like I've had to compete against any of my peers, and people are always willing to help out. My favorite example of this is in recruiting - my peers have always made time to review my resume or cover letters, even though we might be applying to the same positions.


Guest: Hi everyone! Thanks for hosting this session. Could you please describe your experience of the Orientation week? What were your main activities during this period?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: It's quite packed I would say. There's the Lead Orientation Retreat that takes you to a nice resort and you make new friends. You are assigned a cohort in LEAD that potentially becomes the closest group of friends at the school. You also meet a lot of amazing professors who give you a glimpse of what its going to be like actually taking courses at the school


Guest: What has been the biggest challenge you have experienced as international students at Booth, Chicago or the US?

* Sharan Kumaresan: The change in culture is something that you'll have to get used to, but it’s made easier by the fact that there is a large community of international students here and most people make the transition without much hassle. If you haven't lived in cold weather countries before (or even if you have sometimes) the Chicago winter is always an interesting experience when seeing it for the first time!


­­Guest: Hi, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the Booth community. Have you found the student community to be close-knit, or do many students rely on pre-existing local networks?

* Melanie Chin: The Booth community is very close-knit! Many of us at Booth were not in Chicago prior to business school, so getting to know the Booth community was extremely important. That being said, it is also very feasible to keep in touch with your pre-existing local networks - the great thing about Booth is that it's not a bubble!


Guest: For those of you who came from a tropical country, how cold is the Chicago winter? :)

* Melanie Chin: Hi Long! I'm from Los Angeles (almost a tropical country?) and the winter in Chicago has been extremely mild. We had a few days of snow, which was beautiful, but overall the winter hasn't been bad at all.


Guest: Booth's philosophy is grounded on ideas - can anyone speak to the entrepreneurial opportunities and support?

* Leo Kertsman: Hello Akash! I'm happy to speak about entrepreneurship at Booth: you have MANY opportunities for entrepreneurship, both inside and outside of class. The Polsky Center, which is an entrepreneurship center within uChicago, offers tons of resources, from matching you with existing startups to offering mentorship and funding for those who wish to start their own business. Entrepreneurship-concentration classes are a great way to learn more in class and meet notable Chicago VCs and entrepreneurs, as many classes are lab classes, which involve working with and on startups. Finally, the New Venture Challenge is a high-profile competition which runs in Spring quarter - during which you can join a team or pitch your own business, while getting feedback and coaching from many of Chicago's VCs and entrepreneurs.


Guest: How would you describe the learning mix in core classes and electives?

* Melanie Chin: I would say it is a great mix. Our three "foundation" classes (Microeconomics, Statistics, and Accounting) have provided a strong framework for our elective classes (everything from within Marketing to Entrepreneurship to Strategy to Finance). Additionally, you can start taking elective classes during the first quarter, mixing them in with the foundations, so you can customize your classroom experience to your liking.


Guest: Hi Vikram & Patrick, I want to know why Booth and how can I leverage my Booth experience to get into Consulting companies like MBB

* Vikram Sivakumar: A fair amount of Boothies get into consulting every year (I'm going to say 80+ - check the employment report https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/). So that's close 15% of the class!  There is a wealth of experience and resources to support a transition to consulting. There is a management consulting group that provides ways to learn about the firms, meet the firms, practice cases, do a mini consulting project at school.. Really the list here is endless.


Guest: How do you describe the Student Life & Social Life there in Booth and Chicago?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: The student social life at Booth itself is quite active. Between the socials, the TNDCs, LPFs, club-specific events, you'd actually be struggling to make it to every one of those given people are extremely active and there might be a significant amount of FOMO involved. That said, I haven't had one day where I have felt I needed more social events and interactions going around.


Guest: Hi Team, It’s a real delight to connect with you all today. Can you please elaborate on how often do you interact with the professors outside the classroom?

* Vikram Sivakumar: This is completely up to you. Professors are generally open to conversations and informal interactions too. Prof Raghu Rajan has actually offered to play squash with some of the students in his class. Many of us have had lunches & coffee chats. We also have a ton of informal gatherings too. There is something called LPF (Liquidity preference function), where we get together on Friday evenings for some food and drinks at the Winter garden. Once we had professors share their favorite drink/food pairings. So really, there are a ton of such interactions.


Guest: Hello Boothies, in addition to the question above, does Booth help one and his family transition? This is coming from outside the US and most likely depending on the visa of the dependent spouse she may not be allowed to work for the two years. Do you know of such stories? How did they handle it?

* Melanie Chin: Yes - we have a Partners Club for students' partners! If you would like to talk to someone in more detail, we have an "Ask a Student" tool where you would be able to chat with a student and/or partner about any specific visa questions you may have.


Guest: Hello, thanks for lending your time to this session. What is one thing about you that you believe helped you not only get admitted but also flourish at Booth? Thanks!

* Leo Kertsman: I'd say that both in preparing my application last year and throughout my studies and recruiting this year, written communication has been instrumental. Once you start school, essays and applications become part of almost any activity, so developing habits for writing in clear and logical flow helps a lot!


Guest: How beneficial was coursework in shaping/changing the way you approach problems and think?

* Vikram Sivakumar: Booth has a very quantitative spin to classes. They push you to rigorously think of the underlying math (I’d venture to say microeconomics) of the situation and make a logical conclusion. Even marketing classes will push you to think of the issue in a quant manner. I think that’s very useful in today’s Big data/ real time analytics world. On a lighter note, you’ll frequently hear Boothies discuss trivial problems in terms of utils, scenarios and numbers (or maybe I am just geeky).


Guest: Hello there! My question is as follows - as an international student what is the most important thing you learnt in your first year at Booth you wished you had known?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: That's a tough one. You have so many things going on that its hard to point a finger at one particular thing. But for me it would just be the ability to work in a truly multi-cultural setup and going out of your comfort zone in these interactions.


Guest: Hi guys! Can each of you name a favorite class you took?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: There's a good mix of technical and behavioral-focused courses at Booth. My personal favorites would be Portfolio Management that I am currently taking with Lubos Pastor, from the standpoint of the fluidity of the material. I am also auditing NVC, which has a lot of experienced entrepreneurs coming in an mentoring, some of them being TED talkish, which makes them a quite engaging :)


Guest: Are the number of companies that international students can apply to limited when compared to US Citizens? Also, have any of you had issues with companies sponsoring your work visas?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: There are some companies that come in only for the domestic students. But that said, most other firms, especially the bigger firms, usually sponsor international students. As for the internship, you work on a CPT that the university provides so that isn't a problem. For full time, you start with OPT and then apply for an H1-b or likewise from the firm that you join in the meanwhile.


Guest: Hi everyone. Why did you choose Booth over other choices?

* Sharan Kumaresan: From a personal standpoint, I was attracted to Booth largely because of the people I spoke to when I was applying. The student body here is very collaborative and I was pleasantly surprised by how willing students were to lend a hand. That community was a big draw for me as that shapes your MBA experience significantly.


Guest: In your experiences, how has Booth supported students who wish to change careers? Thanks.

* Sharan Kumaresan: Career services offers plenty of support for career switchers. They conduct information sessions and other programming targeted towards common career switching concerns. In addition, the second year students are usually an excellent resource and can offer plenty of support.


Guest: is the importance of pre-MBA work experience (type and number of years), especially for those looking to transition into a different role and industry?

* Sharan Kumaresan: It depends specifically on what industry you're looking to recruit for. In general, there is room for career switching but it does help to have had experience in a field when you want to recruit for it, especially if its a niche area.


Guest: Hello all! Thanks for hosting this session! What are the main factors that made you choose Booth over other MBA programs you were accepted to? Do you find even more things you like after you enrolled? Thanks!

* Melanie Chin: I love Booth because of its vibrant and dynamic community. When I visited Booth, it was apparent that the students were insightful and willing to pay it forward to their peers. Additionally, the flexible curriculum and the career resources were very appealing to me. After coming to Booth, I can say without a doubt that these things definitely hold true!


Guest: What are biggest strengths of Chicago Booth MBA, in terms of both academics and culture?

* Sharan Kumaresan: In terms of the culture, I would like to emphasize the sheer extent of the collaborative nature of the student community. Your peers are always willing to help out and its easy to build bonds here. From an academic standpoint, the rigor built in to the curriculum driven by the faculty ensures you will have a strong grounding in the core areas


Guest: Hi Leo, how have you found the concentrations on Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship going so far? And why did you choose Booth instead of other schools?

* Leo Kertsman: I actually changed my concentrations several times throughout this year, and only finalized this configuration during Winter quarter. In fact, this was one of the main reasons I chose Booth. The flexible curriculum allowed me to try different classes, figure out what you like and what you don't, and change your plans accordingly.


Guest: : Hi All! Glad to be accessing this forum and thank you for your time. Can you please help us understand the LEAD programme better? Does it consist of certain course electives which are available to students? Would be great if you could share how it benefited you.

* Vikram Sivakumar: LEAD is actually the ONLY compulsory course you will take at Booth. It focuses on increasing your self-awareness on various spectrums – your own personality, your inter cultural awareness, how you behave in groups, your public speaking ability, etc. It runs for 6 weeks and is the first thing new admits do. I loved LEAD, it gave me a sense of my strengths as a leader and also areas that I could learn to be more effective. In fact, I am going to be a LEAD facilitator next year (i.e. teach LEAD to the new first years)


Guest: How was the interview conducted during the admission application?

* Leo Kertsman: on-campus interviews are conducted by current second-year students (Admission Fellows), whereas off-campus interviews are conducted by Booth alumni.


Guest: This question is for Sharan/Vikram, any advice or pointers for students applying from India? Also, what are the funding options available for Indian applicants?

* Vikram Sivakumar: Keep in mind that there will be many applicants from India and many had profiles just like mine. So it is really useful to think through what makes you different, why you want to go to Booth and what you’re looking to get out of the experience. With regards to Funding – Booth has some scholarships on offer (some of us are lucky to be on these) and there are also competitive loan offerings in the US (Prodigy) 


Guest: Hi everyone~ would you mind sharing one of your typical day in Booth? How to arrange the classes, clubs, team projects, recruiting, networking events, talks, and etc... Thanks a lot!

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: one thing that you learn to do at Booth would be to manage time efficiently. You'd be surprised by the extent to which you become intimate with your Google calendar. That said, it makes sure that you are active for the most part. The recruiting season for the consulting and banking concentrations are usually front loaded in the autumn quarter. Once that is done, you have classes, study groups, networking lunches/dinners with alums and guest entrepreneurs, lunch and learns with special interes groups, the LPFs and the famed TNDCs. It's a fun ride where almost every day is different from the last one


Guest: Hello! How engaging is the Booth community outside of the Harper Center? Since most students live in downtown Chicago - do they end up socialising enough outside of the UChicago premises?

* Leo Kertsman: Most social events actually take place downtown (River North) or in other parts of Chicago (West Loop, Logan Square, and others). Nevertheless, many events that take place during school hours happen on campus - a good example is LPF, our Friday afternoon social drinks-and-food event which usually takes place at Harper Center.


Guest: For student who isn’t quant-strong, will the quant-focused curriculum be too much of a struggle?

* Melanie Chin: Definitely not! There are a bunch of students from non-quant backgrounds. Each of our foundation courses (Microeconomics, Statistics, and Accounting) has various levels, so if you don't have a quant background or you just want a refresher, you can take the basic level foundation courses to get up to speed.


Guest: Hi guys! Can you please shed some light on the process involved in getting into or chairing the respective clubs at Booth, especially consulting?

* Leo Kertsman: When you start your first year, there's a big student club fair where you get to speak to all the various clubs and decide on which you want to take part in. The two clubs relevant to consulting are MCG (Management Consulting Group) and BSG (Business Solutions Group). MCG is the general consulting group and has no limitations on joining, whereas BSG is much like a lab-based class, where you work with a team throughout Fall quarter on a real-life consulting project. MCG has no membership requirements other than fees, but BSG involves writing an application because projects are limited.

During Spring quarter and during your second year, you can co-chair any clubs you've been active in during your first year. This usually involves an application process and often an interview with the outgoing co-chairs - but the process varies between clubs.


Guest: Thank you to the panel for taking the time to answer our questions! Have you found Boothies who are from the US to be receptive to the various cultural events put on by the international student groups? Is it more of the international students wanting to know more about each other or does everyone get involved?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: The community is amazing here! That is one of the most important aspects of the experience at Booth. So both the US and international students are very receptive of the events that are put up and are in fact very encouraging about them and participate actively. I believe this is something that the school screens for when it is looking at prospectives.


Guest: Hey all! Is doing a concentration critical for building your brand and helping in recruitment and do students usually pick 2+ concentrations?

* Sharan Kumaresan: Concentrations are not critical for recruitment per se, but it is usually a good signalling strategy to indicate your interest in a particular field particularly for career switchers. Most students do graduate with 2 concentrations on an average. although I do know people who've done up to 4.


Guest: What are the opportunities for international experiences while at Booth (e.g. trips to other countries, etc.)? Thanks!

* Vikram Sivakumar: The world is your oyster my friend  There are many planned trips – like a random walk or a spring break. I’ve been to Jordan and Colombia since I started at Booth. These trips are also a great way to get to know your fellow Boothies. I’d say I’m on the average amount of travelling. Some travel way more. A friend just got back from a trip to Mexico City. Make sure you budget for these trips!  If you are looking for the non-travelling route – then many recruit for International offices and some people also spend a quarter abroad on exchange.


Guest: Hi Everyone! I am interested to know more about the marketing analytics concentration launched by booth, has anyone of you being pursuing it, What are the career opportunities and resources available at Booth for someone looking to pursue this ahead? Thanks

* Melanie Chin: The marketing analytics concentration combines marketing with data - I personally love that Booth is offering this concentration. I'm currently taking a course in Data-Driven Marketing and am planning to take Digital and Algorithmic Marketing and Pricing Strategies next year. We have great resources in the marketing faculty as well as the Kilts Center for Marketing. In terms of career opportunities, we have a bunch of companies that come to campus looking for data scientists, product marketing managers, and anything in between. Additionally, the second years and Career Services are great resources for recruiting for marketing analytics roles.


Guest: : What has been the most challenging course so far and how would you describe the way it has changed the way you think?

* Vikram Sivakumar: One of the courses that is currently challenging me is called New products lab. It requires that we come up with a new product (as a consulting project) for a company by the end of the quarter. This has forced me to get up to speed with a pretty big ride sharing company’s offerings and I’ve spent many hours talk to their partners/potential partners. This has pushed me way out of my comfort zone.


Guest: I am not technically an international student, but I am still new to the US. One thing I noticed is that approach to education and expectations of students are very different from what I'm used to. Did you experience any difficulties in academic sense?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: The approach has been different in my case as well but I know that almost everyone who comes to the school is well-equipped to handle the curriculum and make the most out of it. If anything, the fact that it is different makes it a better learning experience for the students and has been a refreshing one in my case, especially the case-based approach


Guest: Maybe you know - are there any plans for Booth admissions team to come to Moscow or Eastern Europe? I have not been able to find to find any info re

* Kimberly Ge: The Admissions Team travels globally to meet prospective students like you; please see our Admissions Events website here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/events


Guest: Hi there~ anyone of you are considering career in tech industry? would you please share what kinds of the courses, activities, networks help you get in tech industry? Thanks a lot!

* Melanie Chin: Yes, tech is an extremely popular industry at Booth. I've found that the Booth Technology Group is one of the best resources - it is a student group run by second years who host events, workshops, and information sessions for tech. I've also found that reaching out to second years and alumni who worked in tech has been extremely helpful - it's great to get their perspectives on their roles and how Booth helped them make that transition. We also have a "tech trek" during winter break, when first-years travel to Seattle and the Bay Area to meet with tech companies. This year, the tech trek visited Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Adobe, just to name a few.


Guest: Hi Pranoy, Does MBB recruit a lot of students for internships and full-time offers?

* Vikram Sivakumar: I think I answered that a while ago. About 15% of the class actually ends up at MBB. That's extremely high!


Guest: From 500 students, do you know each of everyone?

* Sharan Kumaresan: Haha! While 500 might be a bit of a stretch, I definitely do know a vast majority of them. I'd hesitate to put a number to it but it’s a very social community and weekly events like TNDC go a long way to ensuring that you get to know your peers.


Guest: Hi all...What are some courses/professors/clubs/events that shouldn't be missed?

* Vikram Sivakumar: OH BOY! That’d be a really long list. I recommend hitting people up based on a more specific interest (like entrepreneurship or banking or tech). On a side note, take time to think of what you’d want because otherwise you’ll just run from one cool event to the next. My top 3 recommendations from 2 quarters at Booth – Tech Trek, LEAD Facilitator, Prof Goolsbee (and plenty of Booth parties)


Guest: Hi Vikram, since you mentioned earlier that Booth has a very quantitative spin to classes. Being a designer, I approach a problem with a different mindset which is not necessarily very quant oriented. So will that be an issue if I come to Booth? 

* Vikram Sivakumar: I'd say it'll help train the other side of your brain. You'll find yourself at an advantage when you use both together. You'll be fine I think :)


Guest: In your opinion, how recognized is Booth abroad? Particularly in developing countries where MBA grads are rare?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: Booth is highly recognized in most business circles. In recent years, the brand has been doing some major catching up with a few high profiles professors coming in and making it to the top of ranking charts almost every year. So it is only going up in terms of repute


Guest: Is there a facebook page for admitted students class of 2019?

* Kimberly Ge: Thanks for joining us today! Yes, there is a Facebook Page for Admitted Students and details are shared via email for how to access this group for those that are admitted. 


Guest: Thanks for hosting this chat. I wanted to know more about Random walks, will I be missing a lot if I am unable to be part of it.

* Vikram Sivakumar: Missing out on a random walk is perhaps one of the worst things you could do! Just kidding. Many people miss out on a RW. It might be slightly weird early on though, because all the RW cliques will hang out together. They are incredibly fun though - check out some of the photos https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/boothrw


Guest: What kind of weekly events are?

* Vikram Sivakumar: every week is different. It is also different for each person. Let me tell you about my week. This weekend I had a dinner with Boothies at a Hot pot spot. Yesterday we had a FRIENDS trivia. Earlier in the week there were a couple of really cool talks (Nobel Laureate), a group called Booth Insights (where we got together to discuss Gender & Religion stereotypes). Later today there is an event called Booth stories that I’ll speak at. Tonight has TNDC & tomorrow has LPF (acronyms that refer to informal school wide gatherings). I’m sure I missed a few other events that I went by.


Guest: Has anyone attended Professor Raghuram Rajan's class? How was your experience? It's on my life bucket list to attend his classes :) (I am aware I am having a complete fan-girdling moment here :p)

* Vikram Sivakumar: I went to his lecture the moment he returned to Booth and heard him speak. I realized he was awesome but I didn’t always understand what he was talking about. So I decided not to take his class this year. I’m working through the pre requisites for the course and will take it next year I’ve heard great things about it and my friends have said its one of the most useful classes they’ve taken. He forces everyone to think about the underlying issues and is pretty challenging.


Guest: Thanks Pranoy! I have a follow-up question: what are the courses you recommend for someone making a career switch into consulting?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: Courses like Marketing Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Microeconomics would be helpful in recruiting for consulting while doing the case prep. But I would say that the most important aspects would be the preparation that the Management Consulting Group makes you goes through in terms of case interviews with peers and second years and the behavioral questions relating to your experience


Guest: Is there any help on deciding with classes to pick, among tens of classes?

* Sharan Kumaresan: Yes, academic services does an excellent job advising students regarding course planning. Students can schedule appointments with their academic advisors and discuss their course bidding strategies as well as course planning across future quarters.


Guest: Do any classes take place in downtown at the E-MBA campus?

* Melanie Chin: Yes, classes that meet in the evenings or on Saturdays take place at the Gleacher Center downtown. Our morning and afternoon full-time classes take place at the Harper Center.



Guest: Do you know more about the joint program MBA/Master program in Computer Science? Does doing a joint degree limit the MBA experience? What is the ballpark number of students who go for that joint degree? Thanks!

* Leo Kertsman: The MBA/CS dual degree is brand new and the students taking it are seem very satisfied with their choice. The dual degree means that you're taking a few less Booth classes, while complementing them with more classes from CS. It's a great opportunity for anybody interested in programming while keeping up the full MBA experience.


Guest: Thank you for hosting this event. I just have a suggestion. It would be wonderful if you can share the conversations transcript to the participants after the events or make it possible for a simple select all/copy/paste of the session for anyone who is interested. Thank you very much.

* Kimberly Ge: We will do exactly that! Transcripts will be available for your review within 48 hours via our website.


Guest: What is important to succeed at Booth right from the start?

* Sharan Kumaresan: I'd say the most important thing is to realize that you have an incredible breadth of opportunities available here and that makes it nearly impossible for one individual to do everything. By all means, you should definitely explore new opportunities and that's a vital part of the Booth experience. However, learning to choose what's most important to you and prioritizing your activities accordingly is critical to avoid being stretched too thin.


Guest: Hi again! What has been your experience with the midwestern yet big city culture of Chicago?

* Melanie Chin: Chicago is an amazing city to be in. I personally live downtown, and I love it - having the big city at your fingertips is fantastic. The people of Chicago are also great; it's true that Midwesterners are very friendly!


Guest: Hey guys..What are some courses/clubs/events that shouldn't be missed at Booth?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: Do the Random Walk! :) Go to most of the TNDCs, the squad dinners, the LOR(mandatorily fun), the social events for student groups such as AudioBooth....the list seems endless. Try to figure out the parts that appeal to you the most and pick and choose events based on that. Otherwise it becomes tough with so much going around :)


Guest: Does McKinsey or Bain&Company come to the campus to give talk or recruit the students?

* Sharan Kumaresan: Yes they do. Both are prominent recruiters on campus and the management consulting group does a good job of guiding first year students through the recruitment process.


Guest: Hi all, can you share an experience from a class/seminar/fellow student at Booth that has changed the way you thought about something?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: Almost every class/event has something to offer in terms of shaping your perspective on life. Just this week, I attended an events by BoothEd where an alum from '13 came in a spoke about her struggles growing up and trying to make it through the corporate world being the only Hispanic woman in every boardroom she walked into and while at the same being aware of what matters to her at every step that made her go back to serving in the education sector. It resonated a lot with the way I like to think about my life and YOLO you know, forcing me to try and understand what's important and what isn't



Guest: What advantages do you think Chicago holds as a city for an MBA student, compared to other major US cities?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: There are a lot of firms that are based locally, which means it makes for a good city to form a base in. On the advantages side, it's more laidback and cleaner than New York is and it doesn't take time to get used to the easy going lifestyle of the people around. The startup scene is also starting to flourish a lot in terms of the tech scene. As for banking, Booth forms one of the core schools that every bank wants to recruit from.


Guest: How strong is Booth's reputation in term of Marketing? Do many Boothies recruit for Product Manager role too?

* Leo Kertsman: Booth offers many classes in marketing, with concentrations in both Marketing and Marketing Analytics. Apart from theory, you can also gain experience through lab-based classes like New Products and Services. The Kilts Center for marketing, which sits within Booth, also offers a wide array of marketing resources, hosts events and helps you build your network. Regardless of concentration, many Boothies go on to become product managers (I will be interning in Amazon this summer doing just that). Please note that product management roles vary between companies, and are not always marketing-heavy. In many cases, marketing-focused roles are called PMM (Product Marketing Manager).


Guest: In bidding for courses using the points that students are assigned - did you ever feel you missed out on something that you really wanted to pick up within the course?

* Sharan Kumaresan: the bidding system is a great equaliser in the sense that it ensures that all students get a fair share of the courses that they consider the most critical for them. Usually a lot of these courses are offered in different sections and by multiple faculty so even if you don't get your preferred time slot, its usually possible to attend the course in a different section by moving your schedule around accordingly. That's one of the benefits of the flexible curriculum. You can plan your academic calendar in advance and academic services can help with that.


Guest: Could I connect with the current student from Malaysia?

* Melanie Chin: Hi! I would use the "Ask a Student" tool - you can connect directly via email.


Guest: Approx. how much money should I budget if I want to make an "average" number of trips (treks, random walks, etc...)?

* Vikram Sivakumar: Random walks are about $2000+. Treks are way cheaper (<1,000) - depends in this case. 


Guest: How do you find Chicago? Is it a friendly city to foreigners and is it safe?

* Sharan Kumaresan: In general, Chicago is a very friendly city and I've found it very easy to transition to living here. People are very down to eath and laid back which makes it easy to fit in smoothly. There are a few pockets with higher crime rates which we're advised to avoid and that is something to conscious of. The University also has a campus police network to ensure safety on campus.


Guest: Hello! Sorry for my a little bit vague question, but could you tell me your feelings about Boothie's typical / common characters? During my campus visit, I felt that students were very mature and supportive with their thoughtful attitudes.

* Melanie Chin: You are definitely correct - Boothies are very mature, supportive, and thoughtful! We have a very strong community of collaborative and insightful individuals.


­Guest: How difficult is it to start a club or student organization at Booth? Is the administration supportive?

* Sharan Kumaresan: I can't speak from personal experience, but we do know a few students who've started clubs last year and its usually an easy process. The administration is usually very supportive.


Guest: Hi all, thanks for hosting this chat! Is anyone of you considering a career in investment banking? Perhaps you could share courses, activities, networks that help getting into that industry.

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: The investment banking group gives you more than enough preparation to get into the industry. Booth is one of the core schools for all banks pretty much so that makes it an appealing place to be if you want to go into banking. The basic accounting makes for decent preparation for the interviews


Guest: Since currently oil and gas is in bad shape, does Chicago Booth help to shape and equip the students with a better skillsets to change the job function into management consulting?

* Sharan Kumaresan: I used to work in the oil and gas industry before business school. Plenty of students have made a successful transition to management consulting with that background. Consulting firms usually hire from a wide variety of backgrounds and the management consulting group does a good job guiding you through the recruitment process.


Guest: Thanks for your answers Vikram & Leo! Do you have a resource you could share regarding application deadlines by year? eg: if I'm interested in applying for 2019/2020?

* Vikram Sivakumar: They are about the same time each year :) https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply


Guest: For someone applying to Booth, what is the most important thing about Booth that he/she should research about which would be beneficial in the admission process?

* Sharan Kumaresan: I would suggest that you get to know the school and its culture well by talking to students and getting a clear picture of why you feel you would fit well at Booth. In my experience, there is no substitute for a genuine passion for the school, and trust me when I say its very easy to fall in love with Booth!


Guest: Do you think getting a pre-MBA internship in a product manager role can help recruit for the same role on campus for the 1st year internship? I am exploring that industry as a back-up plan

* Vikram Sivakumar: Pre-MBA internships are a great tool to gain some experience and to test the waters(in case you may not like it). Definitely do it!


Guest: Hi guys, how much percentage of courses are group project based? how many % are individual based? Thank you.

* Vikram Sivakumar: Among the universe of courses on offer at booth about 65% are project/group based. Among those some are light group work (you do the work this week, I'll do it next week) and others are heavy group work. Given you can choose your courses - some people optimize for heavy group work and others don't.


Guest: Do you know how many scholarships are given each year? And what is the maximum amount?

* Kimberly Ge: Thanks for joining us today! More information about scholarships can be found on our website here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/scholarships. I hope you find this helpful in understanding the process and types of scholarships available.


Guest: Where do people usually live while attending the school?

* Leo Kertsman: Most students choose to live downtown (Loop, 76%), but many others also live in South Loop and Hyde Park, and some others yet live in other areas like Wicker Park or Lincoln Park (usually those who had lived in Chicago previously).


Guest: Hi, do any of you know whether it is common for students to work (part-time <20 hours/week) while studying?

* Pranoy Chaudhuri: I wouldn't say that it is extremely common for Boothies to be working while working while studying given the number of activities that go around and the potential upsides of being involved in them. That said, there are lab courses that require people to work with PE/VC firms or startups 3 days a week so people definitely do it


Guest: As a current Booth student how would you define the school's culture? Also what is the single best/worst thing about the school?

* Vikram Sivakumar: Collaborative quant geeky culture. Worst thing about the school - The lunch cafe is not great! But the food trucks close by - oh so good!


Guest: What is the average cost of living in Chicage (rent, lunch, dinner, etc..) + RW and other trips?

* Vikram Sivakumar: I've covered a few of these (including your question about trips I think). This link covers the average costs - https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/phd/admissions/tuition-financial-aid