|Guest: Part of my motivation for getting my MBA at Booth in particular is not purely job related, but driven by a broader interest in the Chicago School. Given the very specific essay questions, is this something you would be interested in or should I save this for the interviews?
* Eddie Pulliam: The more interesting your answers are to the application questions the more interested we may be in inviting you to interview.
Guest: Hello, for re-applicants do you compare the current and prior applications side-by-side or do you primarily rely on the re-applicant essay and only consult the prior application if there are questions?
* Tyler Smith: We only evaluate your current application and re-applicant essay.
Guest: What prompted a change in the essay questions this year?
* Kelsey Bergren: We are constantly trying to reevaluate the best ways in the application to hear your perspectives and what drives you. This year's essay format is simply a new way for you to share these things with us.
Guest: Do you accept transfers from other Universities?
* Nicole Chen: All Chicago Booth students in the Full-Time Program MBA are required to complete 21 courses to graduate. Chicago Booth does not accept transfer credits from other institutions.
Guest: Can one apply to the Full-time and part-time programs together?
* Eddie Pulliam: No. You can only apply to one program at a time.
Guest: I applied in 2018 Round 3 and was denied after interviewing. I plan to take the GMAT for the second time and am hopeful I can improve upon my previous score. Can you please provide some examples of what the Admissions Committee looks for in successful re-applicants?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: My advice to you is to use the re-applicant essay as an opportunity to tell the admissions committee what has changed since your last application. How have you grown as a candidate and what have you learned about yourself and about Booth. How have you used the time in between to improve your application?
Guest: What are the requirements for completing a concentration? Is it a specific set of courses or just the completion of a certain number within a functional area?
* Nicole Chen: Requirements vary by concentration. You can find a list of concentrations at https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/curriculum#concentrations, which includes courses associated with each concentration.
Guest: I am up for a promotion and raise just around the deadline. If I am promoted (and get a raise) after the deadline, how can I communicate it to the Admissions Committee?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: No additional information can be submitted to the admissions committee after you’ve submitted your application. Only the content within the original application will be reviewed. If you anticipate a major change, I would recommend waiting until a different application round.
Guest: I am currently working within my family business. As such, I would like to know what would be the best way to approach the recommendations, given that my direct supervisor might be perceived as being a conflict.
* Kelsey Bergren: This is a common problem for people in your work situation. We suggest finding other employees, or even clients, who are not directly related to you but can give a fair and honest recommendation.
Guest: I intend on visiting campus Aug 11-13, I am interested in attending events like the seminars at the Polsky center. Are those only open to students?
* Cristina Ochoa: Our academic year does not begin until September, so any seminars that are open to the public you may attend.
Guest: The guidance for essays not a minimum of 250 words. What is the typical range (20-80%) for word count essays?
* Tyler Smith: We have no preference on desired length. However, we recommend exercising good judgement on the length.
Guest: There are many MBA programs out there and so, it is tough to know which one is the most suitable for you. What differentiates Booth and makes it unique?
* Eddie Pulliam: For most, it is our multi-disciplined curriculum.
Guest: Have you admitted students with a Fine Arts or Design background?
* Eddie Pulliam: Yes, we have.
Guest: I work in consulting currently and my direct manager left my company at the end of 2017, and I've worked on multiple smaller engagements throughout 2018 without a consistent direct supervisor. Can my recommendation come from a prior supervisor?
* Nicole Chen: We prefer that you use a current supervisor for your first 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 additional information section.
Guest: What do you look for in a candidate outside of the typical success factors (e.g. work history, GMAT, GPA)?
* Cristina Ochoa: When completing the application, we take a holistic approach, equally considering all aspects of the application. More than anything else, we want you to be as genuine and clear as you can be about your motivations, goals, and reflections on why Chicago Booth is the right place for you and why now is the right time for you to pursue your MBA.
Guest: I have two initial questions: 1) what would you say is the most misunderstood aspect of Booth's MBA program; 2) can you please describe how easy it is to cross-enroll for electives in other departments (i.e. Harris or the Law School) without doing a dual degree?
* Cristina Ochoa: Hi! You can take up to six courses outside of Booth, throughout the University of Chicago network and graduate schools. Booth is extremely inclusive and highly values diversity in all senses of the word, especially diversity of thought!
Guest: My question is regarding the GRE Vs GMAT. As an applicant aspiring to pursue a Marketing specialization, will you focus more on the quant or the verbal section of my scores?
* Nicole Chen: We consider all sections of your test score when evaluating your application.
Guest: When it comes to family businesses, does Booth offer any specific resources, courses, opportunities?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: The curriculum at Booth is grounded in the fundamentals of business – accounting, statistics, economics, and behavioral sciences. While we may not offer “specific” classes in certain industries, everything we teach is designed to be applicable across any industry. Our graduates leave with a set of skills that they can use anywhere – family businesses included.
Guest: What is it that Booth values the most?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: I’m not sure I can pinpoint one specific thing that Booth values above all else, but I can say that the typical Booth student is someone who is extremely driven to succeed but is invested in the success of those around them. Boothies are lifelong learners who are constantly questioning the status quo, and are excited to be a part of such a global community of learners.
Guest: The one thing that stands out to me when I think of the Booth graduates that I know is that they are all very different. They have different strengths, different weaknesses, different personalities and different interests. Would you say there is one thing that most Booth students have in common?
* Eddie Pulliam: We feel it is the impact it makes on their careers and lives. They tend to be more intense and look for the best solutions rather than just "solving" a problem.
Guest: I'm international, but will be travelling to Chicago at the end of September. Would I still be able to visit campus and sit in on a class, if I've already submitted my application? Or do you discourage it for people who have submitted an application and are waiting for an interview invite?
* Nicole Chen: Anyone is welcome to attend our Campus Visits, including applicants!
Guest: If I were to apply for the full time program and not get in, within the same year would I be able to apply to the one year program? Or would I need to wait a year?
* Kelsey Bergren: Chicago Booth does not have a one-year MBA program.
Guest: What percentage of students graduating from Booth tend to stay in Chicago? Can you speak to the Chicago network on post-grad job opportunities?
* Tyler Smith: All employment statistics including geographic and industry breakdown can be found in our Employment Report: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/
Guest: What percentage of students start their own company after graduation?
* Tyler Smith: We do not keep statistics on which of our students start companies immediately after graduation. Instead, we track industries and functions post-MBA. You can find out more about those employment statistics here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/
Guest: What are some of the global opportunities at Booth? Classes? Projects? Are they purely optional or we are required?
* Eddie Pulliam: Many students take advantage of our study abroad programs. This gives you a chance to study for one quarter in a variety of countries.
Guest: Given how often our direct supervisors change, how long would you consider long enough for that to be the person we use for our recommendation rather than a previous supervisor?
* Kelsey Bergren: This is completely up to you and the relationships you have built. We suggest recommendations that can speak to your work and who you are. Focus more on the experiences and relationships with the people you are selecting, rather than the amount of time.
Guest: Could you speak to what qualities/accomplishments you look for when differentiating between applicants from “overrepresented backgrounds” such as banking?
* Kelsey Bergren: The best thing you can do to differentiate yourself is to do your best to represent who you are. We are not looking for specific qualities/accomplishments since we are looking to build a truly diverse class. Instead, we are looking to understand you as an applicant, and what unique combination of experiences and aspirations that you will bring to the Booth community.
Guest: Are there any opportunities remaining this summer to meet with members of the Admissions Committee and learn more about the Booth Experience and Booth's Culture?
* Eddie Pulliam: Sure. Look at our website and you can see where we are hosting our information sessions - www.chicagobooth.edu.
Guest: I have recently switched jobs and would like to apply next year for the Booth MBA program. Would my letters of reference have to be from my current company or could it be from a previous one as well?
* Nicole Chen: We prefer that you use a current supervisor for your first 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 additional information section.
Guest: Would there be an information session hosted by Booth in the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose)?
* Tyler Smith: We hosted an information session in San Francisco in early June. However, we are hoping to be back in the Bay area in the fall. You can learn about more upcoming events here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/events
Guest: Are interviews conducted exclusively on campus?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: If you are unable to come to campus for your admissions interview, you have the option to interview with alumni in your area or on the phone with an admissions director. On campus interviews are conducted by second year students.
Guest: If I apply this year for the full-time MBA and I'm accepted in the program, but then I decide to start the program in August 2020 when do I have to communicate it?
* Kelsey Bergren: Each deferral is evaluated on a case by case basis. These are not automatically granted.
Guest: What are some unique opportunities for entrepreneurship at Chicago?
* Nicole Chen: There are many opportunities related to entrepreneurship at Booth. Entrepreneurship is the most popular academic concentration, with a variety of courses available to students. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides programming and mentorship throughout the year for students interested in entrepreneurship, including the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge. Many students also participate in extracurricular venture capital challenges and conferences.
Guest: Good Afternoon! I'm extremely interested in the IMBA offering. I noticed on the website that once enrolled we can contact international programs to discuss interest in pursuing IMBA. Is there an additional application component to gain acceptance into the IMBA program after gaining admission to the MBA program? Additionally, can we pursue a concentration in one of the 14 offerings in tandem with the IMBA?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: There are no additional application components to the IMBA. Once you are admitted to the program you can pursue that opportunity. You can pursue other concentrations in addition to the IMBA. It is important to know that in order to pursue an IMBA you must speak two languages.
Guest: In the activities section of the MBA application, you can list many activities. Can you give any guidance on how we should think about relevance of activities? Would listing all historical activities be beneficial or only list current activities?
* Tyler Smith: A list of current activities is most valuable to the admissions committee. No need to list something you have not done for 5+ years.
Guest: I'm an international student, do you require unofficial transcripts for the application?
* Cristina Ochoa: Regardless of where you are applying from, all transcripts that we receive need to be official transcripts from your institution(s).
Guest: I resigned from my job in August. I went back to Taiwan for 3 months and came back to U.S. Feb. 2018. Given that I intend to enroll in 2019 MBA, I do not plan to find another job in between. That leaves me with almost a 2-year gap between the time I resigned and the time I start my MBA program. Is that a concern for the admission?
* Tyler Smith: A two-year gap is something that would be noted in the evaluation process. Please explain the situation in the additional information section.
Guest: For those of us who work more than we would like, how does the admissions committee feel about leadership experience / community involvement coming from extra-curricular in our jobs? Should these be offset by leadership experiences in college or an acknowledgement of such in the optional final essay?
* Eddie Pulliam: We appreciate learning about any leadership roles you had from college forward.
Guest: Is it possible for a student enrolled in another Masters program at UChicago to apply for a Joint Degree at Booth during his first year? If yes, how would the Joint Degree be structured?
* Cristina Ochoa: Yes. We suggest that you apply and enroll in one program before applying to another, but you can also simultaneously apply to two programs. The specific requirements and logistics for all our joint degree programs can be found here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/joint-degree
Guest: Do you find most of Booth students living on campus during their first year, or living off of campus? Is there one that is recommended?
* Eddie Pulliam: We do not have a dorm so many of our students live in the city. Most live in the loop, which is about 20 minutes from campus.
Guest: What opportunities for entrepreneurship or incubator style programs do you have available?
* Nicole Chen: There are many opportunities related to entrepreneurship at Booth. Entrepreneurship is the most popular academic concentration, with a variety of courses available to students. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides programming and mentorship throughout the year for students interested in entrepreneurship, including the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge. The Polsky Exchange also includes an incubator and collaborating space. Many students also participate in extracurricular venture capital challenges and conferences.
Guest: In a school year, will you take 3 quarters of classes and intern for one quarter?
* Kelsey Bergren: Yes! You will complete a set of classes during Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, and Spring Quarter then complete your internship during Summer Quarter of Y1.
Guest: Would you be hosting any events in Mauritius?
* Kelsey Bergren: No, we will not be doing any events in Mauritius.
Guest: What do you feel are some of the key strengths that set Booth apart from other top business schools?
* Nicole Chen: I would encourage you to read our website to learn about the unique aspects of the Booth curriculum and community. In addition, I would recommend reaching out to some of our current students through the Connect with a Student tool (https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer), as they can give you great first-hand insight into their experiences and what they love about Booth!
Guest: What is the most common mistake you see applicants make on their essays?
* Cristina Ochoa: We want to learn about who you are—your passions, motivations, experiences—but keep in mind that you are submitting a professional application.
Guest: I have a mentor who is three steps above me in my workplace. She knows me well and has seen some high-level aspects of my work, but I have never worked with her day-to-day. Would it be better to have a recommender who has worked with me day-to-day? (My other recommender is my direct supervisor)
* Tyler Smith: We list all questions we ask recommenders on our website. I would suggest reviewing that page and deciding if your mentor would be able these questions well or not.
Guest: What particularly distinguishes Booth's MBA program from other high-powered MBA programs, like those of Harvard and Stanford?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Booth sets itself apart through its unique approach to management education. Something we call The Chicago Approach. This approach states that a multi-disciplinary, flexible, supportive environment is what allows our students to turn their insights into action that can change the world.
Guest: Will there be an information session in Dubai?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: The admissions committee will not be hosting an event in Dubai this year. I encourage you to continue to attend online events such as this, visit campus in Chicago, or connect with students online at https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer
Guest: I have taken time off between jobs and after college graduations, ranging from 3-5 months for the purpose of traveling abroad. I did this because it is difficult to do once I start a job. Does this amount of time off require an explanation in the optional essay?
* Tyler Smith: Yes, please explain your employment gaps.
Guest: Outside of success at work, what does the Booth admission team look for in a candidate?
* Eddie Pulliam: Academic success and self-awareness really help us when selecting candidates.
Guest: Does Booth have graduates working in the fashion and luxury market? Does Booth offer courses in design innovation and luxury markets?
* Eddie Pulliam: Yes we do. We even have a student organization that deals with those industries.
Guest: I notice that Booth does not do many info sessions around the country. Why is that? How would you recommend that individuals who might find it challenging to travel to Chicago get to know Booth?
* Eddie Pulliam: You really need to look at our website - https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/events. We do over 70 info sessions outside of Chicago!
Guest: Can you speak a bit to the course selection process at Booth? I know it is unique and seems a bit hard to follow. How hard would you say it is for both students to get the classes they would like for their personal development in any given semester?
* Cristina Ochoa: Our course selection process is based on a bidding system. You develop your own strategy to use your bidding points to gain entry into specific courses. Our Academic Services team along with your fellow classmates are extremely helpful in developing your own strategy.
Guest: What types of career counseling resources does Booth offer?
* Kelsey Bergren: Tons! The career services office is available to offer as much help, as you may need. There are also many student groups that provide excellent complimentary resources to what is offered through the Career Services Office.
Guest: Applicants were free to answer the essay questions in previous years in whatever format they wanted- pictures, words, visuals etc. As the current year essay questions specify a word limit, should we consider this as an indication that only pure essays would be allowed this year or are we still to use any format while adhering to the minimum word limit for the questions?
* Eddie Pulliam: We are indeed only looking forward to pure essays.
Guest: What day do classes begin in September?
* Kelsey Bergren: Classes begin September 24; however, orientation is held prior to classes and is mandatory.
Guest: Should the activities section of the application be none-current job related? Or could be within the company but a different initiative outside regular job responsibility?
* Cristina Ochoa: It can be whatever you would like!
Guest: I'm starting the application process and noticed that the activity section does not have any limits. Should I add collegiate activities/internships or should I keep it to post-collegiate activities? Additionally, what is an appropriate number of activities to submit?
* Cristina Ochoa: Use your best judgment when responding to the short answer prompts. There is no maximum, but we suggest you try to be as clear, concise, and comprehensive as possible.
Guest: How are the merit scholarships given? Is there a specific criteria? What are the attributes based on which a scholarship is issued for an international student?
* Kelsey Bergren: Merit is determined based on the strength of the entire application. These qualities are the same as those that are evaluated during admission.
Guest: I am originally from West Africa; I would like to add my country of origin to the list of possible study abroad destinations for MBA students in the program I enroll. Would I get an opportunity to discuss this possibility at Booth?
* Eddie Pulliam: Yes, either with us in admissions or with the Student Life office.
Guest: Given the change in essay questions this year, do you recommend re-applicants complete the whole application again instead of just the re-applicant essay?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: All re-applicants are required to complete a new application, no matter the changes from the previous years.
Guest: I am interested in working for non-profits post-MBA. Can you share what opportunities are available at Booth for that?
* Eddie Pulliam: By working with the Rustandy Center, you will have a good selection of opportunities to look at.
Guest: How does Booth encourage international experiences in an increasingly global business world?
* Kelsey Bergren: You are able to use your elective courses to take a study abroad quarter during your time at Booth. The program is also naturally very globally focused given that 35-40% of our students are international in recent classes.
Guest: Is there a separate process for applying for student loans or your merit-based scholarships and fellowships or will are would any offered be included in the acceptance letter?
* Nicole Chen: Scholarships and fellowships do not have additional applications. All award decisions are determined from your MBA application by the Admissions Committee.
Guest: Is there an unofficial minimum GMAT score for Indian applicants?
* Eddie Pulliam: No, we do not have any cut-offs except for the TOEFL.
Guest: Under the assumption that the information shared is relevant, is it discouraged from resharing or reusing information from a previous application?
* Tyler Smith: Previous applications are not taken into consideration.
Guest: How does class selection for electives work? Is there a bidding system? What happens if the elective is at another UChicago School?
* Kelsey Bergren: We do use a bidding system for Booth courses. Classes outside of Booth do not use the bidding system, but rather a more typical registration system.
Guest: What are the housing options provided for the students?
* Eddie Pulliam: Most students live in the south loop. It is very easy to get to campus from there and still have the feel of enjoying life in the city of Chicago.
Guest: Do you have any statistics on what percentage of students return to the employer they interned with during the summer after their first year?
* Nicole Chen: We do not have an exact percentage, but the majority of students will receive a full-time offer from their internship employer.
Guest: I am a Government employee looking to make a career switch from public policy to MBA. I understand Booth is a strong financial school. Are there ways for me to show my analytical skills through my application other than the GMAT?
* Nicole Chen: We evaluate all parts of your application when making an admissions decision, which includes your test score as well as undergraduate GPA, past and current work experience, and letters of recommendation.
Guest: Do you have any specific view on a candidate having their CFA charter? I have heard from some that it carries little weight whereas other Admissions representatives note the rigor/learning aspect and consider it in the context of GMAT and GPA
* Nicole Chen: We consider all parts of your past academic and professional experiences when making an admissions decision and this will include having a CFA charter.
Guest: Can you explain a bit more about the bidding system for choosing the courses?
* Nicole Chen: To learn about the intricacies of the bidding system, I would recommend connecting with a current student (https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer). Our Academic Services office will support you throughout the bidding process as well, and from our experience talking with students, most everyone is able to enroll in the classes they want during their time in the program.
Guest: What does Booth consider for the extracurricular activities, and what should we put if a vast majority of time is spent laser focused on the job?
* Kelsey Bergren: We understand many people do not have time to engage in extracurricular activities given the nature of their jobs. Please include whatever extracurricular activities you may have. This can also include company-based extracurricular groups.
Guest: I’ve looked through the employment reports and was wondering if you have any data showing employment outcomes by concentration?
* Kelsey Bergren: This data is not publicly reported on.
Guest: Are career fairs, career services and recruitment-related activities geared towards Finance and Consulting? I am actually interested in media and advertising. So, I wanted to know whether Booth could also support students with less typical career paths.
* Nicole Chen: Career services and recruitment activities support students interested in a variety of job industries and career paths, not only finance and consulting. You can read more about the support offered by Career Services on our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/career
Guest: The lion's share of my professional experience was with one firm, but I recently switched jobs to a firm in a different, but related industry. Given my short tenure at firm #2, I am worried about getting a recommendation from someone here. Do you have any advice?
* Cristina Ochoa: I would pick two recommenders who you feel could speak best to your professional work, experience, and conduct.
Guest: I double majored in college, and since the majors belonged to different "schools" within my university, I received two separate degrees (BA and BS). In the academics section of my application, should I list the institution once (with two majors) or twice (to reflect the two separate degrees)?
* Cristina Ochoa: I would list the institution once, listing both majors and degrees and subfields under the institution.
Guest: Which student clubs would you say are the most active at Booth?
* Kelsey Bergren: It depends! There are groups that focus on major industries such as MCG and the Investment Banking Group, which are of course very popular. Also, many social groups that naturally have large student populations such as CWiB, Ski Trip, and DSAC.
Guest: Do all activities have to be certified/quantified - something like photography as a hobby or playing a sport non-professionally does not have an 'impact' associated with it. Are these worth mentioning in the application?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Formal certification is not required for activities. Use your best judgment on what you would like to include.
Guest: As a Booth student, can we take classes at other schools at the University? (Ex: the law school?)
* Tyler Smith: Yes, you can take up to six courses outside of Booth in any of the graduate schools.
Guest: is it possible for a student to do an “internship” of sorts during the school year. Maybe with a local company in Chicago? Could that be used as an elective?
* Kelsey Bergren: This is not considered an elective and cannot be used for credit, but sometimes students will hold internships during the year, this is not very common and it is suggested you discuss it with your advising team first.
Guest: Hello, what resources does Booth offer for current military members and veterans? Is this primarily done through the student-run Armed Forces Group?
* Eddie Pulliam: The Armed Forces Group offers a lot of support for military members. That group also does a lot of outreach to keep you informed while you are spending your two years in Chicago.
Guest: Does Booth provide conversation rates - meaning, what percentage of admission offers are accepted by prospective students?
* Tyler Smith: 98% of graduates accept an offer by three months after graduation.
Guest: When evaluating GRE scores, do you compare each applicant's score to the GRE stats of the previous class, or do you use GRE/GMAT converter from ETS and compare scores to the GMAT stats of the previous class?
* Cristina Ochoa: We do not compare test scores against any other individual or group. All applicants are considered on their own merit and standing, and all applications are holistically considered.
Guest: I’ve tried to connect with a student, but I have not heard back from anyone. I've also sent an email to the admissions committee. Could you help me on this? I'd like to explore more about Booth's offerings in the tech product marketing avenue.
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Our students are currently at their summer internships so it is more difficult for them to connect with our prospective students. I encourage you to continue to follow up with them. I would also recommend reaching out to the co-chairs of the relevant student groups. Their contact information is listed on our student group page - https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups
Guest: Can you explain the opportunities and timeline for internships from day 1 when a first year student steps on campus?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: All of our students participate in an internship over the summer between their first and second year. There are some internship opportunities offered through specific classes during the year (classes such as our PE/VC Lab) but those are not particularly common. We also now have a program called Start-up Summer. The program is for incoming first years who can spend the summer before starting at Booth working for a Booth run start up. Find out more about that opportunity here - https://polsky.uchicago.edu/programs-events/start-up-summer/
Guest: What is the age range of students?
* Kelsey Bergren: The average student age is 28. We do not report a range.
Guest: I scored well overall on both the GMAT and the GRE, but my quant percentile is better on my GRE. Which do you recommend applying with?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: I cannot offer any specific recommendation on which score to use. I would encourage you to submit the score you are most confident with. There is no admissions preference between GMAT or GRE.
Guest: Thanks for hosting this Q&A. Could you briefly explain why Booth starts the semester a bit later than most of the other MBA schools (which is in late August or early September)?
* Tyler Smith: The University of Chicago is on a quarter system. MBA students takes courses in the fall, winter, and spring quarters while doing an internship during the summer quarter.
Guest: In the employment section of the application, it asks for only full-time experience. If we run our own businesses part-time while being full-time employee, how should we list this type of work?
* Kelsey Bergren: This can be included on your resume.
Guest: Are there opportunities to work with other disciplines integrated into the program?
* Nicole Chen: Booth's flexible curriculum allows you to choose classes across the school as well as the university. In addition, many students participate in extracurricular activities that connect them with students from other disciplines and members of the University of Chicago and Chicagoland community at large.
Guest: With the understanding that there is only one required class (LEAD), is there a set limit on course load deriving from outside of Booth? For example, I want to pursue Management Consulting within public sector practice and would love to take a few public policy courses at Harris. I also have long-term aspirations of eventually launching my own consulting company that serves the public domain’s emerging security requirements - so it would be awesome to take a few law school courses regarding business law and entrepreneurship.
* Tyler Smith: Six courses can be taken outside of the MBA curriculum. However, we do offer joint-degrees.
Guest: I am reapplicant. Since Booth Essays have changed since last year. How would a reapplicant's file be reviewed, as there is nothing common in both?
* Cristina Ochoa: Any reapplicant's file is considered on its own content and merit.
Guest: For the annual bonus during the first year of a job, should we enter the end-of-year performance bonus, signing bonus, or the sum of both?
* Kelsey Bergren: The sum of both.
Guest: Do I need to address a low GPA in a STEM field if I have been working with a large technology firm for the last 10 years and have a 97th percentile on the GMAT? I am just trying to understand if I should use the optional essay question to elaborate on my low GPA given the rest of my professional and academic history?
* Kelsey Bergren: If you have any concerns about areas like this, it is always best to address them in the additional information section, if you feel they should be explained. This call is completely up to you.
Guest: Why is the LEAD program mandatory, and how would you describe its importance to the academic success of MBA candidates at Booth?
* Eddie Pulliam: We fell the LEAD program offers just the right insight into leadership and how it will help you in your professional career. It works in tandem with making you a much stronger leader and an opportunity to discover your own strengths and weaknesses.
Guest: What is the average size of a graduating class and how many applications do you receive each year?
* Eddie Pulliam: We receive around 4500 applications every year. An entering class is about 585.
Guest: In the employment section of the application, for annual bonus are you looking for what the target bonus is or what was ultimately actually paid out?
* Nicole Chen: We are looking for the amount paid out.
Guest: What is the most important outcome Booth would like their students walking away with after they graduate?
* Eddie Pulliam: The ability to accept a challenge and to use data more successfully in leadership roles.
Guest: I know that with on-campus interviews, current students interview potential students. What is it about that that you think is more insightful than an interview with a Booth employee/admissions officer?
* Nicole Chen: We believe that the interview should also be informational for the applicant, so interviewing with a current student gives applicants the opportunity to ask questions and get first-hand insight into the Booth experience.
Guest: What is the driving goal of Booth in terms of applicants and general direction?
* Tyler Smith: We always strive to enroll the top talent that will become active members of the Booth community.
Guest: I am planning to join my family business post MBA. What are the specific courses, groups or activities offered at Booth for a candidate like me?
* Nicole Chen: I would recommend looking at our lists of courses and student groups on our website to see which interest you and would align with your future career goals.
Guest: Do most of the sponsored students intern at another company?
* Eddie Pulliam: It is purely up to them or instructions they may have received from the companies that sponsor them.
Guest: Does Booth have a grade non-disclosure policy?
* Kelsey Bergren: Yes, Chicago Booth has a grade non-disclosure policy.
Guest: What percentage of the full-time students are with partners/children? How is the living condition near the campus for the family?
* Kelsey Bergren: We do not have an exact stats on this. Many people who are here with a family choose to live in Hyde Park close to campus, it is one of the most beautiful and safe neighborhoods in Chicago.
Guest: Does Booth provide a 1-1 mentorship with a 2nd year, faculty or placement committee on how to march towards my goals?
* Kelsey Bergren: You formally have the support of the academic services and career services teams. One of the benefits of the non-cohorted program is the mix of 1st and 2nd year students in classes, which allows you to build relationships and learn from 2nd years very easily and naturally. The 2nd years are absolutely one of the most important resources to the 1st year students.
Guest: How sure of your future goals, should you be in the post-MBA section of the application? I know Booth values leaders that have a plan of attack, but if one of your goals for business school is to determine what you want to do next, this question is difficult to answer, no?
* Eddie Pulliam: Business school is a place where you should feel free to discover options that are available to you as an MBA graduate. Many students make career shifts during the course of the program.
Guest: What opportunities for volunteerism in the local South Side communities surrounding Booth are there?
* Tyler Smith: There are many opportunities to get involved in the local community. I would recommend checking out Booth Give Back: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/giving-something-back
Guest: Could you elaborate on the PE/VC club, internship opportunities and if there are any pre-reqs to join?
* Tyler Smith: I would recommend reaching out to our PE/VC Club co-chairs. They can provide valuable insights.
Guest: What is your rationale for wait listing applicants? If we are waitlisted, is there anything we can do to help our case of admission?
* Tyler Smith: Every year the pool is incredibly competitive and some candidates we can’t give an immediate decision to. Thus, they are placed on the waitlist.
Guest: How has Booth's student body changed over the past 5-10 years?
* Eddie Pulliam: Our diversity, women and international populations have increased. Also, we continue to attract the best faculty and teach more exciting courses.
Guest: Would you please comment on the availability of support (e.g., mentorship, clubs, etc.) and /or programs related to the management and scaling-up of non-profits?
* Nicole Chen: Many students are involved with the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and receive mentoring and programming through these centers. In addition, many students are involved in extracurricular labs and student groups, and information on these can be found on our website.
Guest: How do students stay engaged with Booth after graduation? Do you have any metrics you track that help measure engagement amongst alumni?
* Kelsey Bergren: Lots of ways! We rely heavily on alumni as interviewers, there are more than 90 active alumni groups around the globe, and there are many alumni events and special interest groups that anyone can engage in. Our alumni also have the opportunity to return to take three Booth classes at any point after they graduate.
Guest: Does booth offer any courses/ clubs in agriculture development/ investment?
* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Yes! Check out our FEAD (Food, Environment, Agribusiness, and Development) Group here. https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/fead-food-environment-agribusiness-and-development-group
Guest: I am a reapplicant, due to certain recent developments my goals have changed this year. Should I explain why they have changed this year in comparison with last year or just go ahead and list out the reasons without elaborating why I changed goals compared to last year.
* Tyler Smith: Yes, please explain in the reapplicant essay.
Guest: What are the resources at Booth for getting a venture (startup) off the ground?
* Tyler Smith: I’d recommend checking out The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: https://polsky.uchicago.edu/
Guest: Would it be useful to submit the application before deadline in terms of being reviewed?
* Nicole Chen: Yes, you must submit the application by the deadline in order for your application to be reviewed.
Guest: Do you evaluate each applicant against the general pool of applicants or against applicants with similar backgrounds/from the same region?
* Cristina Ochoa: We evaluate each application individually and based on their own merit.
Guest: Is the applicant notified as to when a reviewer formally submits the recommendation?
* Tyler Smith: Yes
Guest: I would like to take advantage of Booth’s strong research focus and background. My question is if I can take an independent study with a faculty instead of an elective? If yes, how approachable is the faculty from other departments? If no, can I still do so? Have any students undertaken such studies in the past?
* Kelsey Bergren: There are several RA and TA positions available with Faculty that you can set up with them directly; however, these can not used as elective credits.
Guest: One of the students from Booth class of 2018 told me, "Ideas Compete" while describing the culture of the school. Can you please elaborate on this healthy competition?
* Cristina Ochoa: Respect for the individual and respect for diversity go hand in hand at Chicago Booth. We encourage debate, freedom of expression, and discourse.
Guest: Thanks for taking the time to do this! Final question from me. For those interested in a dual degree who indicate this in their Booth application, is admission to the other program considered/required for Booth admission? I am asking in terms of the MBA/MSCS
* Cristina Ochoa: Each application is considered separately, as each school has its own admissions process.