Full-Time MBA

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Live Chat with Admissions | Japan

Join us for an exclusive chat for applicants in Japan. 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 Transcripts 

Guest:  What role would you expect Japanese students to play in the community of the Booth once they are accepted?
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for joining the chat! There are a lot of great ways that you can be involved in the Booth Community! A couple of student groups you may think about joining are our Japan Club: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/japan-club or you can think about being a Japanese country captain: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/international/asia/japan. These are just a few of the ways that you can be involved in the community. The Booth community is diverse and we are always looking for new ideas!

Guest:  Thank you for having the chat. Your school accepts GMAT and GRE. Do you have any preference between two?
* Kate Hoffman: Hello, thank you for joining our chat! Yes, we accept both GMAT and GRE scores. We have no preference for one over the other as we convert the GRE score into a GMAT equivalent for evaluation purposes.

Guest:  Also, I'd like to know the details of the Startup Summer. Thank you.
* Kate Hoffman: For the Startup Summer, it is in its second year currently and participation has grown significantly since the first year. The program allows admitted students who express an interest in entrepreneurship on their application to apply to work during the summer with a Booth-bred startup as a pre-MBA work experience opportunity. It is a great way to get on-the-job experience before your MBA program begins as well as connect with Booth's startup network. 

Guest:  Hi, I am interested in the retail industry to pursue for my future career. Please could you advise how can I make the most of the life at Chicago? How active the Retail and Luxury Group would be?
* Kelly Smith: Good evening. Thanks for your question. Chicago Booth gives you a strong business foundation to be successful in whatever career path you choose! Specifically, you can learn more about the Retail and Luxury Group here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/retail-and-luxury-group. I'd also suggest that you reach out to the co-chairs of this group to get their perspective as well. You can also look at the companies that recent Boothies have gone to in the last several years in our employment report: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/.

Guest:  Thank you for today's chat seminar. I have one question about reapplicant. Booth requires the reapplicant essay and ask reapplicants to show career progress, academic preparation, community involvement, or self-awareness. Is it required for me to show every aspect you are raising? Actually, I applied for the 3rd round last year, so it is a little bit difficult to show my growth in the community involvement.
* Kate Hoffman: Thank you for your continued interest in attending Booth! As a reapplicant, you are right - we definitely like to see how you have continued to challenge yourself and grow. We also want you to be your authentic self and stay true to your experiences. There are many different ways to show this and it is all individual to the reapplicant. We want to know about your personal journey and that may or may not involved everything with list. Those are some of the most typical things, but there are many ways reapplicants show growth and progression. 

Guest:  Could you please explain the ways in which international applicants, especially Japanese, can contribute to Booth classmates? What do admissions especially seek from Japanese applicants?
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for joining the chat this evening! Chicago Booth seeks out diverse thoughts not only in the classroom, but also in the community since everyone will learn more if there are more opinions brought up in conversations. You can learn more specially about the admissions requirements for international students here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/international

Guest:  Good morning. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I work for a bank for almost 10 years and I am 34 years old now. Do you have any concern about student age over 35?
* Kate Hoffman: Thank you for your question -- We actually have numerous students whose age falls outside our average of 28 and work experience various greatly as well. What we look at is where you are in your career and where you want to go post MBA. Does this path make sense for your goals and why is Booth the best place for you? We also look at applications very holistically so any one factor is just an element of the whole picture. The other part, it that we value diversity in our classrooms and do not want everyone to have the exact same stats, industry experience, and backgrounds. This creates a richer environment for students to learn from each other as well as the professor.

Guest:  Hello~ ^^ Thank you for giving me a great chance to talk with you! I would like to visit your school to talk more with students and admissions directly. When is the best period I can visit?
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for joining the chat this evening! We host campus visits over the summer on Mondays - you can sign-up here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit. Over the summer we do not have class visits available, since our Full-Time students are participating in their summer internships. Full visits will be available beginning in the middle of October.

Guest:  Hi, thanks for hosting the chat for us. I am interested in leadership opportunity in Booth. I would appreciate it if you could share what kind of role LEAD facilitator plays and what is required to be a facilitator.
* Kate Hoffman: Our Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) course is a very big part of your first quarter at Booth. And a big part of how the LEAD course is taught depends on the participation of the second-year students. As a second year student, you can apply to be a LEAD facilitator who actually facilitates the modules for the first year students. This is not only an excellent way to practice your leadership skills, but a way that many students want to give back to the first year students. As a student, you will get a lot more information about how to apply -- there is a whole process and training for LEAD facilitators.

Guest:  I am interested in the Marketing and Sales!! But Chicago booth is famous for finance. What do you think about entering you school who wants to study more about Marketing and Sales!!??
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for your question. I would suggest that you research our Kilts Center for Marketing: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/kilts/. They host a wide variety of events all geared specifically towards marketing! The Chicago approach also focuses on giving students a strong foundation in several key business areas so each student can be successful in their chosen career.

Guest:  Thank you for your reply, Kelly. I am very much interested in being a country captain and joining at Japan Club. I find that Mr. Kawai is the country captain of Japan, so I will ask him about it when I attend the alumni event, if possible.
* Kelly Smith: Yes, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Kawai directly to talk about his experience. Thanks! Kelly

Guest:  Besides, are there a lot of opportunities to share my knowledge and experiences in the classes? Not just sit back and listen to lecturers? I have been working in Japan and China especially in field of the brand management.
* Nima Merchant: At Booth we believe in a taking risks and challenging yourself. In the classroom that means speaking up and the world renowned faculty encourage conversation and dialogue since our students bring unique perspectives from across function, industry and geography to the classroom.

Guest:  Thank you for having time with Japanese applicants.  Could you please explain the ways in which international applicants, especially Japanese, can contribute to Booth classmates ? What do admissions especially seek from Japanese applicants?
* Nima Merchant: We believe that each person brings unique qualities, skills and experience to Booth, which is what makes the community so special.  All of our students learn from each other both in the classroom and outside.  As far as what the Admissions team seeks from Japanese candidates, it is what we look for from all of our candidates, a strong sense of why you need an MBA from Booth  as a next step in your life and career.

Guest:  Thank you for today's session.  I'm very interested in Data-Driven Marketing. Could you share the contents?
* Kate Hoffman: We have a lot of resources around data-driven marketing from the Kilts Center for Marketing here at Booth (https://research.chicagobooth.edu/kilts/).  That is a great place to dig deeper into the research and hands on experience available to our students around data-driven marketing. We also have a course about the subject that delves into the availability of data on actual market behavior of consumers and how it is revolutionizing the way marketing is conducted, as well as the way in which marketing activities are planned and evaluated. The course introduces students to these new data sources and provides a set of innovative analytic tools. You can learn more about the professors who teach this course and other related marketing analytic courses on our website here (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/curriculum/marketing-analytics). 

Guest:  Regarding the essay question, what do you evaluate by using a collection of Booth moments? Do you have any tips to answer it? The question is unique and original.
* Kate Hoffman: The whole reason behind our photo essay is to give you an outlet to express your authentic self. Hopefully, one of the photos of moments at Booth resonates with you and relates to your own experiences in some way that allows you to make connections between yourself and Booth. There is no right or wrong way to respond, and everyone's answers are different depending on how they personally relate to the moment/image. My advice is to go with your gut instinct on which moment feels the most in tune with your point of view and tell why/how it means something to you and why Booth seems like a place where you could see yourself.

Guest:  One additional question... Do you have any preference between TOEFL and IELTS?
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for the follow-up question. No we do not have a preference between the TOEFL or the IELTS, so long as they meet the requirements listed here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/international/english-exams

Guest:  Hi! Thank you for hosting this chat! What would be your advice to reapplicants?
* Nima Merchant: The Admissions Committee is looking to understand what has changed from the last time you applied to Booth.  You can also use the application to address any gap or weakness you believe was part of your first application.  Keep in my why you are interested in Booth and why an MBA at this time is the next logical step in your life.

Guest:  I would like to ask you about the context of the essay question. Regarding the question about Booth moments, what aspects of a candidate would you like to find in the process of assessment?
* Nima Merchant: We ask many questions in the application to get a better understanding of who you are.  From the application we can assess your career, goals, academic history etc. The essay is one way for us to really get to know who you are.  Try to be authentic and answer the question to the best of your ability knowing that the rest of the application is there to provide other pieces of your profile.

Guest:  Apologies.., I sent out my question in the middle. I hope to pursue my career in Marketing post-MBA and I would like to know what are strengths of Chicago Booth from admissions point of view in terms of Marketing curriculum.
* Kate Hoffman: Booth has an analytical and integrated approach to marketing. Our Kilts Center for Marketing is at the heart of our resources. We have a long history in academic marketing research and equip students with sophisticated marketing skills that enable them to make an immediate impact. Booth facilitates career success and community by creating venues in which students can make connections with each other and with top marketing recruiters. We engage alumni leaders and making an impact by celebrating their achievements and encouraging them to share the insights they accrue at the top of their industries. Many of our alumni come back to campus for intimate chats with students. Booth also supports thought leadership with assets like the Nielsen datasets and a prolific assembly of permanent and visiting faculty. Learn more from the Director of the Kilts Center and professor of Marketing J.P. Dube (https://research.chicagobooth.edu/kilts/about/message-from-the-director)

Guest:  Does Booth conduct any individual meetups? For example, during mba tours
* Kelly Smith: Thanks for joining the chat this evening! We do not participate in the meet-up portion of the MBA Tour, but we have several different ways that you will be able to connect with us this summer. You can register for our alumni-hosted information session which will take place on July 30: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/register/TokyoAHIS. I will also be traveling to Japan on August 24 for the MBA tour (more information about the MBA Tour can be found here: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/register/MBATourTokyo17). We will give a short presentation and also be at the fair portion of the evening. Hopefully we will see you there!

Guest:  I am interested in classes about finance such as investment theory. Since Chicago booth has diverse classes, I am sure that there are ones that fit my interest. In order to choose the best elective classes, can I consult advisors?
* Kelly Smith: Hi Kaori! Hope you're having a great evening! Yes, we have a wide variety of courses that you will be able to take as a student. You can learn more about the specific classes here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics. And yes, we have a great team of academic advisors that will help you navigate the flexible curriculum.

Guest:  I'm really interested in some finance electives. Is it OK to contact professors directly to know more details?
* Kate Hoffman: As a student you will get ample information about all of the courses through Academic Services that will help you understand the various classes and teaching styles. Until then, you can Connect with a Student and ask your questions about specific courses. https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer

Guest:  Sorry for many questions. I would like to know how to demonstrate my contribution to Booth community in essays and interviews. Should I explain my possible contribution by articulating the detail situation/example, such as sharing my business expertise in medical equipment marketing in the healthcare related clubs and classes? Or just by mentioning my specific skill set or experiences, such as "marketing skills in the healthcare sector"?
* Kelly Smith: Not a problem - we are here to answer all your questions this evening! I would suggest reading over this blog. It contains some great advice about how to think about your application essay: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/blog/ftadmissions/2017/201718-essay. We also have another great blog post from one of our former Admissions Fellows, who conduct most of our on-campus interviews, about the interview experience: http://theboothexp.com/2017/05/from-the-other-side/#more-4613. These would both be great resources to look over! Just remember that through the entire application process we are just trying to get to know you and your story better! So be authentic to your story!

Guest:  Hello I would like to know more about NVC and classes related to entrepreneurship.
* Kelly Smith: Hi Shinya! Thanks for the question. You can learn more about the NVC challenge here: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/nvc. You can also learn more about available course work here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics. Thanks!

Guest:  Thank you for today's chat seminar. I have an interest in innovation. I would like to ask you about the difference about programs related innovation from other schools.
* Nima Merchant: Innovation comes in many forms at Chicago Booth.  If referring to innovation and entrepreneurship we are amongst the top programs with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship providing resources for students and alumni.  Innovation is also a big part of our Lab Classes with courses such as New Product Development. https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/labs  There is no shortage of opportunities at the Chicago Booth to take classroom learnings and hands on training to think creatively about innovation.

Guest:  Hi, thank you for this opportunity to contact you all. I feel that Booth's alumni network is strong, which seems one of the advantages for Booth's alumni. What do you think makes the network so close?
* Nima Merchant: Chicago Booth has this amazing pay it forward culture that starts with the students and stays strong as alumni go out into the world after graduation. The belief at Booth is that students and alumni help and support each other not just during the two years but far beyond. The fact we have a huge global footprint also helps- we have 51,000+ alumni around the world that are interested in staying engaged and giving back a community that has helped them.   Our Alumni Relations team also does a great job working with local alumni clubs to organize events around the world for alumni to meet socially and professionally.

Guest:  Japanese companies tend to rotate employees every 2-3 years, bringing up generalists with experience in many different functions. That also means that such employees lack clear career progression like that of American professionals. How do you view applicants with such background?
* Kelly Smith: Hi Madina! Thanks for your question. On the admissions staff, we are very familiar with the educational and professional systems of each country. In general, when thinking about the employment section of your application I'd encourage you to think about the impact that you've had on your company. I'd also suggest you look over the "WHAT THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE LOOKS FOR - CAREER" section of the following link as well: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria

Guest:  When do the students have to decide their concentrations and areas of study? I'm interested in ganaral management, but I also think of studying operations management.
* Nima Merchant: With the flexibility of the program you do not need to declare a concentration.  Students have the freedom to take the classes that interest them and as a result most students end up getting 3 to 4 concentrations in the process. That said, students meet with academic advisors when they arrive on campus to map out their classes should they have specifics concentrations they would like when they graduate.

Guest:  Does Booth have strong connections with Japanese employers?
* Kelly Smith: Yes, you can review the employment report here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/. I'd also suggest attending our alumni-hosted information session on July 30. You can register here: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/register/TokyoAHIS. This would be a great opportunity to ask our alumni about their experiences!

Guest:  How do you judge whether an applicant is a good fit with Booth? How would you describe Booth culture?
* Nima Merchant: The Booth culture is very much about diversity and support. The community of students, alumni and staff and faculty are here to make sure everyone succeeds and you will hear stories of these traits from any student or alum you talk to.  I highly recommend talking to as many alumni and students as you can to hear about the pay it forward culture.  As far as the application is concerned we want to understand why an MBA is the next step and who you are as person and what you will contribute to the culture of Booth.  Be your authentic self- it comes across in your application!

Guest:  Thank you very much for answering every question. I heard that most of the Japanese applicants submit their application in the Round 2. Would you have any preference about the timing of application, R1, R2, or R3?
* Kelly Smith: We are glad that you are enjoying the chat! We receive applications and admit students from Rounds 1, Round 2 and Rounds 3. My advice is to apply whenever you are ready and you feel that your application is at the best it can be!