Full-Time MBA

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Live Chat with Admissions

If you're considering applying Chicago Booth, join this live chat with the Full-Time MBA Admissions Committee. Whether you're just beginning your MBA research or preparing to apply this year, ask about the 2017-18 essay question, letters of recommendation, admissions events, and more.

 Chat Transcript
 Guest: Are there opportunities to sit-in on classes? In addition, will there be opportunities to speak to people within career services to obtain a deeper understanding of placement for Booth students?

* Joanna Zisis: Yes, we offer full campus visit programming throughout the year where you can sit in on a class in session, meet students, and interact with other offices on campus serving our students. https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit You can also view our employment report offering full details on the placements of our students: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/


Guest: What is the school's next growth/focus area?

* Colin Davis: With our new Dean, Madhav Rajan, starting in less than two weeks, we’re excited to continue building on the major initiatives we’ve had over the past year. We will be opening a brand new facility as part of the Hong Kong Center in 2018 – further deepening our relationships and presence globally, as well as in that region. We also continue to focus on supporting student career interests while furthering expertise in a variety of disciplines. With entrepreneurship being one of the top concentrations at Booth, our Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation received a $35 million gift, allowing us to draw resources across the entire University of Chicago, expanding access to accelerator programs, new venture competitions, incubators, mentorship, lab courses, and workshops. Likewise, a $20 million gift in support of the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation will prepare student to tackle issues in the social space through social venture competitions, impact investing, and nonprofit board.


Guest: Hello, when will the application for Full-Time be available to start in the application system?

* Nima Merchant: Thank you for joining us today. The new application will be live by June 30th.


Guest: What key insights is the admissions committee looking to glean from the essay that would not already be discussed in resume and recs?

* Nima Merchant: You can read more about the essay on the Booth Admissions Blog. We want you to be authentic and talk about the Booth moment that resonates with you. We have a holistic approach to evaluating candidates and the essay, resume, recommendations and the rest of the application help paint a picture of who you are. http://blogs.chicagobooth.edu/blog/Booth_Insider/boothinsider?


Guest: What are the top three attributes/personalities/areas you are evaluating when you review the application package?

  * Kate Hoffman: Thanks for joining our chat! We are always looking for applicants to express their authentic selves and to tell us about their motivations/passions behind why they want a Booth MBA. Some qualities we look for in candidates are intellectual curiosity and interest in investing in the experience as much as getting something out of it. We look at applications very holistically, so no piece is weighted more heavily than any other -- your entire application is evaluated and considered for fit with Chicago Booth.


Guest: I know that Booth has a reputation for being a quant-heavy school. Beyond the GMAT, what are some ways that I can demonstrate my quantitative skills, especially if my job also doesn't require a lot of quant-related work?

  * Kate Hoffman: Beyond GMAT, we also look at your undergraduate institution for coursework that is relevant and varied. Some applicants take post-graduate coursework in that area of study. A lot of people have a tendency think of quantitative as just math-related. But it covers much more than that; it’s about using quantitative and qualitative insights to make sound decisions. It's about how to position your organization to manage data correctly and understand its inherent value. It’s more like being “data-literate” – especially in a world that’s increasingly utilizing data and analytical approaches to better support companies and serve customers. It’s about preparing yourself with the right information, to look beyond subjective arguments and recommendations, to understand what works and what doesn’t; and to provide a rationale and evidence to support your argument.


Guest: I work as an independent consultant. I do not have an employer. So how should I manage recommendation letter?

* Joanna Zisis: Applicants who are self-employed often use clients as recommenders. You can then explain your choice within the application.


Guest: I am taking the GMAT this week and was wondering if it was ok to have my score reports sent to you even though my application has not been started for the Full Time MBA Program

* Kelsey Bergren: Hi, thanks for joining us! Of course you can; send them our way!


Guest: I am planning to go to the US for a few weeks at the end of August - beginning of September. Would it be possible to schedule a visit to the campus in those dates? Thanks

  * Kate Hoffman: Yes, visiting campus is always a great idea to get a real feel for the school and its culture. There is an abbreviated campus visit schedule during the summer through September. Students are just starting classes in September so there is not a classroom portion at that time of year, however you will have an information session and tour with an Admissions Officer. You can learn more about how to register here https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: Hello, my name is Ben McIntosh. How do you ultimately select the six photos for the Booth application? Are there certain aspects or features of Booth you are looking to capture? Do you just look for a variety of images so that all candidates can find something that resonates?

* Colin Davis: In terms of selecting images for the essay, we ultimately try to find moments that reflect truly unique experiences (and people) that make up the Booth experience. That's one of the major reasons we source images directly from our students themselves - not only are their backgrounds diverse, but so are their student activities, passions, and pursuits. It's often difficult narrowing down from so many great moments, but we try our best to capture that breadth.


Guest: Hello, Are there any major/minor changes to the application from the previous years?

* Nima Merchant: There are no significant changes to the application this year.


Guest: In regard to joint degrees, do we need to decide that we want to do one before applying to Booth? Are there any opportunities to look into joint degrees after matriculation?

  * Kate Hoffman: You need to be accepted into both programs for a joint degree and they are two completely separate application processes, so with timing you would want to know whether this is something you want to pursue when applying to Booth and apply simultaneously to the other program as well. There is a section on the Booth application to indicate you are applying for a joint degree. You can find more information about joint degrees on our website here https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/joint-degree


Guest: Are there any qualities in particular that you are looking for in letters of recommendation? Thank you.

  * Kate Hoffman: For letters of recommendations, we suggest that at least one of the two is from a current supervisor. We want an honest account from that person and one that provides insight into who you are as an employee -- both in individual and team settings. Examples are always helpful to clarify broader statements or less tangible attributes. It is also helpful to hear about how you have developed or grown since you have been at that job, as well as what challenges you have faced and how you resolved/dealt with those challenges.


Guest: I am a non-traditional student returning to complete my undergraduate degree and graduating in May 2018. I am in the process of studying for the GMAT with an anticipated exam date in early September. Given that my GPA is not finalized, would it be better for me to apply in Round 2 or 3 versus Round 1?

* Joanna Zisis: In order to apply for the Full-Time MBA program, all candidates must have completed their undergraduate degree. Documentation of your education will be required as part of the application for admission. Therefore it seems you will be fully eligible to apply for the Class of 2021. Learn more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria


Guest: I'm interested in learning more about management consulting and placement.  Are there multiple clubs within the Booth community that cater to those particular interests?

* Kelsey Bergren: Thanks for joining us today! Yes we have several student clubs; management consulting is one of the biggest on campus! For a full list of student groups, please visit this website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups


Guest: Hello, do most applicants have a current supervisor provide their recommendation?

* Kelsey Bergren: Hello, The first letter of recommendation should come from a supervisor. We prefer that you use a current supervisor for this recommendation, although we understand that this may not always be possible. If you are unable to use your current supervisor, please explain the circumstances in the optional essay. Overall, we are seeking objectivity in the letter, and we want to hear from someone who can assess both your strengths and your weaknesses. If you work for a family business or own your own company, please try to secure a letter from a client or outside party who does business with you and can provide an objective assessment of you.


Guest: Could you give us some advice on the essay? For example: what would you consider as an interesting essay?

* Nima Merchant: I think people get preoccupied with telling admissions what they think we want to hear. Be yourself. Authenticity comes through and is something that will set up apart.


Guest: Can you talk a little more about the booth moments essay? Do applicants typically use ppt or write an essay? What are you looking for?

* Colin Davis: We've seen applicants successfully use essay, PowerPoint, and even some combo of the two. Some people are more visual and others express themselves better through writing. The flexibility in platform is really just to allow applicants to tell us, in the form that is most natural to them, why one of the Booth moments resonates with them.


Guest: GMAT and TOFEL both are needed for International student or only GMAT will do.

* Nima Merchant: The GMAT or GRE are required and all international students whose native language is not English must take either the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic exam unless they (a) Earned an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction (b) Are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language


Guest: If we are planning on applying this fall and have not yet visited, would you recommend going to summer visit or waiting until classes begin to get the full experience?

* Joanna Zisis: We do offer a summer visit program, and also a full visit program starting in the fall that allows guests to visit a class in session and meet students etc. If you are looking for a deeper experience, I would say you should visit in the fall. You can learn more here:  https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: Does a recommender's age, educational qualifications and work experience taken into consideration while evaluating recommendations?

* Nima Merchant: We are interested in learning about you as an applicant and want to hear from those that know you well and can speak to your characteristics and traits while providing examples. We are not concerned about the recommenders age, qualifications or work experience.


Guest: Hi, does the format of essay makes any difference? Is there a preference for particular type of essay?

* Joanna Zisis: You can read what we say about the essay here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/blog/ftadmissions/2017/201718-essay But the short answer is that we have no preference in how you choose to present yourself in this essay. Good Luck!


Guest: Hey there Admissions Team, hi from Singapore :) It would be great if you could share what you think is the most unique quality of the Booth MBA / your favourite aspect of the Booth MBA. Thank you!

  * Kate Hoffman: When I think about what makes a Booth MBA distinctive, the first three things that pop into mind are our respect for individuality, our discipline-based approach, and our community of support. We truly appreciate people's unique backgrounds and perceptions that come from their past experiences. Each student brings a different point of view, which enriches the classroom discussions and leads to new ideas/solutions that could never happen otherwise. We also believe you can understand how all businesses functions, market function, and people make decisions when you understand the underlying principles of economics, accounting, statistics, and the behavioral sciences. With that framework, you can solve problems in whatever industry or function you choose to go into. We also have a community culture here that supports one another's passions and gives you a safety net to fall back on as you take risks and explore new paths.


Guest: How does Booth form, maintain, and deepen relationships with the tech community / employers in Silicon Valley & Silicon Alley?

* Nima Merchant: Career Services has very strong relationships in the Bay Area thanks to the large number of alumni and because of the efforts of the Employer Relations team that cultivates relationships with firms around the globe in all major industries. BoothTech also engages with companies by hosting lunch and learns, treks to the Bay Area, an annual conference etc.  There is no shortage of opportunties to engage with Bay Area firms in the tech space.


Guest: Are round 1 applicants re-considered in round 2 if they are waitlisted?

* Nima Merchant: We are constantly looking at the waitlist throughout the admissions cycle and waitlisted candidates can be admitted in Rd 2 and Rd 3.


Guest: Are scholarships available? Is it merit based or need based?

* Nima Merchant: All scholarships are merit-based and most decisions are made at the time of admission.


Guest: Thanks again for hosting the session! Could you please provide tips on deciding whether to apply round 1 vs 2? How much of a difference is there between both?

* Joanna Zisis: Our advice is to apply when your application will be the strongest. The difference between applying in Round 1 versus 2 is not very significant. It’s more about the timing that works best for you, how confident you feel in your application, and when you ideally want to have an admissions decision.


Guest: I noticed there was no essay question directly pertaining to our goals for post-MBA. Is this something we should make a point of fitting into the "Booth Moment" essay or another part of the application as a whole?

* Nima Merchant: The application has two short answer questions on it pertaining to goals. We ask you for both short term and long term goals in 250 characters or less.


Guest: Hello! Thank you for organizing this chat. For candidates interested in joint degrees, do you recommend mentioning it in the applications? Both applications are separate so would it make sense to discuss the joint program in the application essays or just consider it as totally separate? Thanks much!

* Kate Hoffman: Yes, there is a box to select if you are applying for joint degrees. Also, if the reason you are doing a joint degree plays into why you want the MBA and your career goals, it is helpful to make that connection for us in your application materials.


Guest: Hi there. Is there any minimum GMAT score required for applying for full time MBA?

* Kelsey Bergren: The Admissions Committee evaluates each application in a holistic manner, as we value the diverse experiences and accomplishments each student brings to the Chicago Booth community. Hence, we do not have a minimum requirement for GPA or GMAT/GRE scores. Please feel free to view our class snapshot: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time#simple2


Guest: Is there a selection process for the campus visit?

* Kelsey Bergren: There isn't a selection process, please sign-up here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: What are the minimum years of work experience required? Is there any program where undergraduates immediately after their graduation can also apply?

* Colin Davis: There is no minimum years of work experience required in order to apply. We focus on the quality of experience and want to better understand the unique background and perspectives that applicants will bring to the classroom and to the community.


Guest: Hello, I am Beatriz Campos from Brazil. Is there any disadvantage to apply on R3, as an int'l candidate?

* Nima Merchant: Visa processing can be a concern for some given that you only have a few months to go through the process if you are in Rd 3. That said we have international students that are able to go through the process with no issues and get their visas on time. 


Guest: How do you recommend approaching the Booth Moment essay? What qualities are you looking for applicants to bring forward?

* Kelsey Bergren: You can read more about the essay on the Booth Insider Blog (here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/blog/ftadmissions/2017/201718-essay) We want you to be authentic and talk about the Booth moment that resonates with you.  We have a holistic approach to evaluating candidates and the essay, resume, recommendations and the rest of the application help paint a picture of who you are. 


Guest: One of Booth's defining features is the freedom students have over course selection, what guidance does Booth provide its students to help them select courses that will help them meet their post-MBA goals?

* Nima Merchant: The Academic Advising team will meet with each student before they start selecting classes and will talk to you about your career goals and how to best utilize the flexibility in your two years.  They can help you plan your first year so you are well prepared for you internship and help you think through bidding strategies to get the classes you would like to take. Similarly, the second year students are great resources to talk through class selection and can offer their perspective on professors.


Guest: I am thinking about visiting campus before apply. However, the regular campus visit program wont be resumed till Oct. I am debating whether I should visit school in Sep to catch the R1 deadline or visit school in Oct and apply in R1. Do you have any suggestions?

* Kelsey Bergren:  We do offer a summer visit program, and also a full visit program starting in the fall that allows guests to visit a class in session and meet students, etc. If you are looking for a deeper experience, I would say you should visit in the fall. You can learn more here:  https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: Is there a big difference between applying for 1st round vs 2nd round?

* Nima Merchant: There is no difference between applying in Rd 1 or Rd 2. Our advice is to submit your application when you believe it is at its best.


Guest: Is there cross-pollination between Booth and other areas of the University of Chicago in terms of entrepreneurship? Do other programs have access to the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation?

* Colin Davis: The new $35 million gift expanded the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and unified Booth's resources across the entire University of Chicago ecosystem, allowing for significant cross-pollination and streamline access to venture support resources for faculty, students, staff, alumni, entrepreneurs and corporate partners.


Guest: Can I have a interview in person with a admission committee member outside of campus, like in an interview hub in global cities?

* Kelsey Bergren: Interviews will be granted on an invitation-only basis after evaluation of a submitted application. Candidates invited to interview will be contacted by the mid-decision date with instructions on how to schedule an interview. A candidate who receives an invitation will have only one interview. Interviews are conducted by admissions staff, students, or alumni. They are held on campus or in a location convenient for the prospective student. All interviews, regardless of who conducts them, receive equal weight in the evaluation process.


what qualities of applicants booth wants to assess by having such unique essay topic like "booth moment”? How do you think it enhances the overall experience of the applicants during the application process?

* Joanna Zisis: Our application gives us information about you as a candidate and your potential for success in the program. The 2017-18 essay is about choosing an image that may resonate with you and using that feeling to tell us something about you that we won’t learn in the rest of the application.  So we want you to use the essay to tell us about you in the way that you want. We encourage you to have fun with it!


Guest: I read that the majority of Booth students live outside of Hyde Park. Coming from a small liberal art student, this element of Booth feels unfamiliar. What does the school do to facilitate social connections? Are there other avenues for meeting new people besides the classroom and student clubs?

* Nima Merchant: While many students live outside of Hyde Park a good portion of them live in the Loop or South Loop and many students live in a handful of buildings so that they can get together socially and commute to school together. The great thing about the community is that you can be involved no matter where you live. Social connections begin with Random Walk (a social trip with a handful of your new classmates led by 2nd years) through LEAD and through student groups and classes. Many of the student groups are in fact social such as the epicurean club, wine club and numerous sports clubs.  Boothies also do a great job of exploring the city together and taking in the diversity and culture available to us in Chicago.


Guest: Hello! Are you able to provide more information on the formal or informal opportunities available to students in terms of career services, interview prep or professional development?

* Kelsey Bergren:  This is a great question! Career Services at Booth will support you in your job search.  Our team consists of professionals, ready to provide you with coaching, career management tools and programming, and career resources to help you refine your career goals and navigate the recruiting process. For a full list of examples of these services, please visit our website to learn more: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/career


Guest: On the flexible curriculum, how do students ultimately decide on the courses they take, and are there advisors to help with this process? 

* Kate Hoffman: Yes, there are academic advisors to help students select their courses for each quarter. They help students really assess the skills they want to develop and the experiences they want to have throughout the two years, as well as challenge them to push themselves a bit and take courses that can maximize their time to the fullest. Past that, students talk to other students and get insights on classes they have already taken, plus there are resources about the professors teaching each class and their style of teaching, which can also be helpful in figuring out what courses best fit your interests.