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Live Chat with Weekend MBA Program Admissions

Chat with George Andrews, Associate Dean for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs and Admissions staff

May 12, 2009—12:00-1:00PM CDT

George: Welcome to our chat. My name is George Andrews and I am the Associate Dean of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs. We are excited about starting the conversation soon. Feel free to send in your questions now and we will open the chat in 15 minutes.

George: We are getting great questions, please keep them coming. We will start the the session in 5 minutes.

Crystal: Hello and welcome. We look forward to chatting with you.

Nicole: Hi everyone, Nicole Gorski, Manager, Student Services, Evening MBA & Weekend MBA Programs Office. Thanks for joining us today!

Bernie: Hello everyone. Bernie Zanck, Senior Associate Director of Student Services and a current student in the Evening MBA Program here.

Gretchen: We are thrilled you are interested in Chicago Booth. Please keep your questions coming our way!

George: Welcome to our chat. My name is George Andrews and I am the Associate Dean of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs. We are excited about answering all your questions over the next hour.

otega: I reside in Ghanaian and have Second class upper in HND Marketing and really want to be enrolled in your institution. How can be part of your institution?

George: It sounds like you may be a candidate for the full-time program. They have the opportunity to provide F1 visas for students. The part-time program cannot do this, so our students are here on H1b visas already. If you would like more on this, please see this link: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/forums/index.aspx

KB: I have completed the first year of the MBA program at another leading US business school, but I did not return for the second year due to a personal crisis. Would Booth allow me to transfer any credits, presumably elective credits, toward the 21 class requirement?

Gretchen: KB, thank you for your interest in Chicago Booth. Although Chicago Booth does not accept transfer credits, due to the flexible curriculum, you would not have to repeat some of the classes you have already taken. Please visit us at one of our upcoming Open House events at the Gleacher Center: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/admissions/events/openhouses.aspx

loyolaU2010: I will be receiving my B.A. in criminal Justice in May of 2010, I have recently sparked an interest in business management, and will be taking my first management class this fall. What advice could you give me as far as discovering if a MBA prgram should be the next step upon graduation?

Gretchen: Thank you for your question and interest in business school. It is not too early to start thinking about your next steps. I encourage you to look into the Chicago Business Fellows, a subset of the Evening MBA Program, for applicants with 0-3 years of work experience. (http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/academics/CBF.aspx). Best of luck with the management course this fall. Possibly, begin to think about when you will take the GMAT test.

Joe: I have a mediocre GPA and was wondering if it would be worthwhile for me to spend the time and money to slightly raise my GPA by taking couple of classes at my former university or is it better to focus on getting a high score GMAT under the assumption that high score will eliminate doubts about my school GPA from 6-7 years ago?

Crystal: Hi Joe, your GPA will be reviewed in the application process--but you should spend more time on your GMAT and bypass taking additional classes. We've found that statistically a higher GMAT is highly correlated with success in an MBA program. So spend time studying for the GMAT!

Robert: We hear about the many advantages of a part-time over full time program. What are some of the draw backs to the evening program?

George: Robert, great question! The drawbacks as I see them is that full-time offers students the chance to immerse themselves in school. Part-time students are balancing jobs, families and work; it causes them to make trade-offs that the full-time students don't have to make.

vishwasK: What is the best advice for out of state students interested in attending weekend MBA courses.

Crystal: Prepare for a significant commitment of time due to travel and working remotely. Our weekend students are extremely efficient and leverage the internet, email, and phone, to get work done.

Justin: How can applicants with lower GMAT scores, stand out to the admissions folks, so as to have a better chance of acceptance.

Gretchen: Justin, great question. The application is reviewed holistically, including the academic piece (your undergraduate school, GPA and the GMAT score), work experience piece (career experiences and career goals), and your life experience piece (where you find a fit with Booth). If you feel that one of the areas is not where you want it to be, focus on strengthening other areas of the application. If you are considering retaking the GMAT, know that Chicago Booth will consider the highest total GMAT score.

JSPhile_1: Thanks for answering the questions. My first general question would be - How would you compare the full time MBA with the weekend one. How do the employers feel about the two programs and how they weigh the two against each other?

George: Thanks JSPhile, the full-time MBA students take classes during the day, thus they do not have full-time jobs. The Weekend students take their classes at night or on Saturdays and usually work during the day. Beyond that there is no EDUCATIONAL difference. Thus, recruiters are ambivalent as to whether they hire part-time or full-time students. They know they get the exact same education. The same faculty teach the same material at the same pace.

Abhijeet: Does the applicant to the evening MBA have to be a resident of Chicago area?

Crystal: You can live anywhere in the United States as long as you can attend class during the week. For example, we have consultants who have a flexible schedule and can fly into Chicago to attend class. If you do not live in the city, I would highly advise you to explain this in your application. All that said, you should apply to the program that best suits your schedule. That may be the Weekend Program.

Brett: Hello. Thank you for taking my question. I was wondering if someone with 15 years of work experience is better off applying to the Executive MBA program instead of the Evening MBA program? I am looking for flexibility in taking courses.

Gretchen: Brett, you bring up a great point about which Chicago Booth MBA Program may be the most ideal fit for you. Typically, applicants with 10-15 years of work experience look into the Executive MBA Program (XP); however there is no set maximum number of years of work experience for Evening MBA or Weekend MBA students. If flexibility in the courses you take is important to you, the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs curriculum allows you to choose the 20 courses that interest you. I hope this helps. Feel free to call our office as well to discuss more specifically: 312 464 8700.

KB: I've noticed that the website listing electives for the evening and weekend program links to the full-time site. Could you provide some information about elective scheduling who are enrolled in the weekend program?

Nicole: Elective classes are offered in both the evening and weekend program every quarter. Students can take elective courses in each of the 14 areas, but the electives offered each quarter vary depending on availability of class and faculty. Students can view the entire academic schedule for the 2009-2010 year by mid June. That schedule can be found at: http://portal.chicagobooth.edu/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=205&PageID=32517&cached=true&mode=2&userID=381

Justin: Should applicant students on the outside range of the average applicant still apply especially in an economy like this, where many more people are going back to school?

Gretchen: Justin, it depends! If an applicant is below average in all aspects, there is probably no reason to apply; however, it is seldom that this is true. What is important is that you are self actualized. Realize were you are short, and where you are long. Where short, be sure to speak to that and how you will overcome those weaknesses. Then spend the rest of the time focusing on the value you do bring!

Devlin: I am interested in the Weekend MBA program; However, I know that I will not make the fall 2009 deadline. Since the Weekend program is only offered in the fall, what alternatives are there for me?

Crystal: Delvin, you can apply to the Evening Program if you live in the city or can get to the city with great flexiblity. We admit for the Evening Program each quarter. Your other option would be to apply for the Fall 2010 Weekend Program.

KB: Bernie, as a current student, could you provide some estimate of the workload attendant upon each course? I am curious about how the workload for the evening and weekend program would compare with an Executive Program (which, I am told, demands approximately 30 hours per week).

Bernie: Hello KB. The workload for classes can vary widely, with the average between 5-6 hours per week per class. A lot also depends on your previous work experience and educational background.

ckennedy: Mr. Andrews, I scored well on my GMAT and have a strong work background. However, my undergraduate GPA is lower than the average GPA of a Booth student. What is more important, work experience or undergraduate GPA? Thank you.

George: Ckennedy, the undergrad GPA becomes less important the longer you are out of school and job experience becomes more important. We all change and grow over time (or at least we hope we do). The person you were in undergrad is most likely not the person you are today. It sound like you have substantial work experience, and since you also performed strongly on your GMAT you are positioned very well.

Andy_1: I am planning on reapplying to the weekend MBA program. I was not accepted a couple of years ago. I'm wondering how I can communicate to the admissions team more effectively to show that I would be an asset as a weekend student to GSB? Specifically, when I was much younger (I'm 40 years old running my own business), I did not receive good grades in college. I'm wondering if that hurt me getting in previously, but it's like another lifetime that occured in. I'm not the same individual by any means, so should I address this in my letter as I reapply?

Crystal: Andy, the application is truly a self assesment. When you re-apply, try to specifically articulate what the MBA will mean to you in your career and how it will help to advance you forward in your personal business. Please note that age does not matter, we have a wide age range of 22-62 years of age. I would also focus less on GPA (since that's in the past)and more on GMAT and quality of work experience.

G-330680567: With U of C being recognized primarily as a Finance school, how does it's MBA program compare with schools like Northwestern and Loyola?

Gretchen: Great question. Chicago Booth is well known in many areas, including finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. With Chicago Booth's extreme level of flexibility in its curriculum, you are the CEO of your own academic experience and therefore are able to focus on the areas that interest you. To learn more about Chicago Booth's Kilts Center for Marketing, please visit: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/marketing/index.aspx and to learn more about Chicago Booth's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, please visit: http://chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship/

David: What types of attributes or skills are you looking for in the letters of recommendation.

Crystal: David, this is a great question. We are not looking for specific skills in the recommendation letter as we work to build a class that is very diverse in skill. You'll want to remember to have a conversation with your recommender before you ask them to write your letter. If they have a clear understanding of your goals and objectives, they can offer the most color/information to help us learn more about you.

kavitha: Is there a cut off GMAT score?

Gretchen: Kavitha, thank you for your interest in Chicago Booth. There is no cut off for the GMAT test. The range of GMAT scores for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Program is between the upper 500 and 800. If an applicant takes the GMAT more than one time, the highest total score is what is reviewed. Best of luck.

manask: What is the schedule for the weekend classes? Can someone make it every friday evening to chicago and depart Sunday evening and fit with the class schedule?

Nicole: The weekend classes are offered on Saturdays from 9:00am - Noon and 1:00pm - 4:00pm (changing to 1:30pm - 4:30pm in the Autumn 2009 quarter). Depending on personal schedules, some weekend students are able to fly or drive in to Chicago for Friday night class from 6pm - 9pm, stay for two Saturday classes, and fly or drive home Saturday night or Sunday. However, most weekend students elect to take classes only on Saturday because of their schedules.

Shailesh: I have a GMAT of 730 and exp of 6 years, but a low GPA how are my chances

Crystal: Each part of the application is weighted equally. The GMAT and GPA is just one portion of the application. We will also look at your professional experience, recommendation letters, and the interview is also important. After reviewing all portions of the application, the admissions team can offer a better assessment.

Andy: I am a design Engineer (Transistor level design) with 9 years of experience and I would like to Switch my carrer to Management Consulting...Do you have statistics on student who came in as an Engineer and after the part time program...went out switching careers...is it doable?

Gretchen: Andy, we only keep stats on those who go through OCR, and I don't have those at my fingertips. However, I can tell you that one of our largest groups of students are those with a technology background who want to go into consulting. Here is a link to our Employment report which will give you all the stats you can handle, but if not, feel free to contact us at 312-464-8700 and we can put you in touch with a student who has achieved what you are aspiring to do. In a word, it is very doable.

ken_1: Speaking of the GMAT score, what is the GMAT score range for the medium 75% of your student body?

Crystal: We have a very wide range from the upper 500's to 800. The average score is approximately a 680.

CG: If an incomeing student has a undergrad business degree, would he/she take different beginning level/first year classes than someone without a business background?

Nicole: Students will find that many classes offered at Chicago Booth are taught at a much higher level than most undergrad courses that they have previously taken. Also, if it has been a couple years since the completion of your undergrad degree, students find that the fundamental course is at the right level. However, students do have the option of taking an advanced or higher level course in place of the fundamental course offered.

G-330625804: Good afternoon. Would appreciate an update on the application process for the Evening MBA for 2009, in particular any change in the number of applicants, profiles, origins?

George: So far we are on par for last year in terms of number of applications. We are seeing an increase in the number of female applicants, as well as an increase in the number of minority applications. All else seems to be held equal.

Valerie: Is there a specific weighting that an applicant's GMAT score has versus work experience and/or Undergrad GPA?

Gretchen: Valerie, great question. As an application is reviewed holistically, three areas are taken into consideration: the academic profile, the work experience profile and the life experience profile. Within the academic profile, both the undergraduate GPA and GMAT are considered and are important. Both shed light onto the success in the classroom at Chicago Booth.

Joe: Are there courses that are offered exclusively to full-time program? and do part time students have the opportunity to participate in the school's recruiting services?

Bernie: Evening, Weekend and Full-time MBA students have access to the same courses and same faculty. The only caveat is our required leadership course. In the Full-time program, we refer to it as LEAD. In the Evening MBA and Weekend Programs, we refer to it as Effective Leadership. Yes, Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students can participate in the recruiting services offered by our Career Services Office.

JSPhile_1: Do you have a MBA in entreprenuership?

Nicole: Chicago Booth offers an MBA with concentrations available in any of 14 areas, including entrepreneurship (see http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/academics/curriculum/concentrations/index.aspx). However, we do not specifically offer an MBA in entrepreneurship.

Justin: Could you please provide some insight on the weight of letters of recommendation from former alumni?

Crystal: All other things equal we value the words of an alumni over another since they have been through the program and can truly offer insight on if you would be a good fit for the program. However, a strong recommendation from anyone who can offer the most relevant and specific information about you is extremely important as well. Please keep in mind that the recommendation letters are just one part of the application requirements.

JSPhile_1: Hi, I am Vishal and have about a year's worth of experience since i graduated from school. What kind of work experience requirements are considered for admission?

Gretchen: Vishal, I encourage you to look into the Chicago Business Fellows, a subset of the Evening MBA Program, for applicants with 0-3 years of experience. Please view: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/academics/CBF.aspx

manask: Are the applications closed for the 2009 intake ? I believe the deadline was on May 1 for weekend MBA ? Do you have any other classes beginning for 09 for weekend MBA

Gretchen: The Evening MBA Program brings in four classes a year, with the next deadline being Friday, July 3rd to start in the fall. If you are able to take the evening classes, which are held at the Gleacher Center Monday-Friday from 6pm-9pm, then we encourage you to apply!

JM: Some reports are indicating an increase in applications for MBA programs due to the current economic conditions. Although I think this is more geared toward the fulltime programs, are you seeing an increase in applications and is this impacting enrollment numbers/class sizes/faculty-to-student ratios?

George: JM, I like the question thanks. Applications for full-time programs are seeing a rise due to the economy. However, part-time programs usually see that rise later in a downturn. Our applications are on par for last year so we have not changed class sizes or faculty to student ratio. In fact, we value the student experience over numbers and would not change our faculty to student ratio. If we bring in more students we would only do so after a conscious decision to grow the size of the institution inducing hiring additional faculty to support this growth.

Susan: Can you take classes in the part time program at both Gleacher and Hyde Park? Also, during the day if work schedules permit?

Nicole: Hi Susan. Students have the flexibility to take classes in any program as long as it fits within their schedule. Students may take a combination of classes at Harper Center during the day and/or classes at Gleacher Center at night or on the weekend. It all depends on the course and the student availability.

eparker3085: How much weight is given to GMAT scores when evaluating applications for the evening program?

George: Eparker, it depends. If you are just out of school and do not have much work experience to draw upon, then the GMAT is a great predictor of success in the program, which is why all top-tier programs require it. However, we feel that the longer you are out of school, the more chance you have to show your success at work, and thus we weigh that value against the GMAT and allow for trade-offs.

star: Being out of school for 4 years, how many recommendation letters should I ask from school professors vs employer respetively?

Crystal: Star, we require two recommendations: one from your current manager, and one from anyone else who can speak to who you are personally and professionally. You will want to reach out to the person you know will write the most stellar recommendation for you--typically these are written by the person who knows you best.

Nivi: Hello, how many Booth MBA students successfully make a career transition from say, IT to Corporate Finance?

George: Nivi, I don't have those stats at hand, but here is a link to the data you seek: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/corp/hire/employmentreports/index.aspx. Also, feel free to contact our office 312-464-8700 and we will put you in touch with someone who had made that transition. They will be able to tell you how difficult they found the process.

raindeo: I'm located near Chicago area, do you have any upcoming events taking place at Chicago Booth that I can attend?

Gretchen: Raindeo, May is an activity-filled month for Chicago Booth, with the largest event being the 57th Annual Management Conference held on Friday, May 29th. The Management Conference represents our best: debating the most important ideas, bringing multiple perspectives together to find the best answer possible. It will be a day of gathering minds for a day of challenging conversation focused on the future of the markets. Sign up information: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/mc/2009/index.aspx

G-330680573: One of Booth's biggest draws for me is the fact that the school concentrates on the classics: finance and economics. With technology becoming more and more essential in business, is there any plans to revamp the curriculum in the next 3 years to address this or perhaps offer a technology focused concentration?

Bernie: Our faculty just completed a curriculum review (they do this approximately every 10 years). The result was to reaffirm Chicago Booth's approach to MBA education. We will be adding several new courses in the coming year, and we have re-organized our degree requirements. We also added a 14th concentration, Analytic Management. Technology was not added as a specific concentration.

JK: I am a financial advisor on a team at a large financial institution in the greater Chicago area. All of us have the CFP as well as various other professional designations like CIMA, etc. I have always wanted to get my MBA and my partners all think that it would be beneficial to have someone on our team with that designation. However, from a purely financial standpoint, I don't need the degree. I am very interested in getting it because I enjoy learning and think that it would be both challenging and rewarding. Would this type of reasoning work against me when it comes to getting accepted and in your opinions, do you think that those are valid reasons to pursue the degree?

Crystal: The MBA is a process of self discovery. It's designed to teach you to think in a way that maybe you've never considered. In the application, you should dive right into your intellectual curiosity and leverage that to explain how the MBA will develop you as individual personally and professionally.

Prerak: If i live outside Chicago & commute over weekends to attend MBA classes, does BOOTH have any weekend accomodation for part time students?

Nicole: There is a program for discounted hotel rates for all Chicago Booth students, and our office also provides a weekend shuttle to and from O'Hare and Midway Airports on Saturdays.

LA2CHI: Does Booth have any leadership courses offered in the part-time curriculum?

Nicole: Yes, there are leadership courses offered in the part-time curriculum such as Theories of Leadership, The Practice of Leadership in Business, Leading Teams, as well as the leadership component that is part of the degree requirements for part-time students.

Nicole: Starting in Summer 2009, all part-time students will go through Effective Leadership which is a program designed to target key leadership competency areas and increase student's self-awareness of leadership styles.

kavitha: How does Chicago Booth plan to help students with job placements in this down economy?

George: Kavitha, we have hired four new career services individuals whose sole job is to pound the pavement finding opportunities for our students. There individuals are never in the office, as they are meeting with HR managers in companies all over the US. This is very unique in higher education at this time, as many schools are cutting back staff during this economic time. We also scour the web and post all jobs that are MBA worthy for our students so they do not have to do that work. Lastly, since we are a top tier school we are fortunate that companies post jobs for our students all the time. If fact, many companies are posting jobs now that never did in the past because they know that they can now get access to students who would have gone to larger, sometimes now defunct, institutions.

Jason: What is the average age of evening MBA students?

Crystal: Hi Jason, the average age is 30 years...the age range is 22-62.

G-330687651: Hello, I am interested in knowing who the U-Chicago MBA Alums are at my company but my company will not publush this, will the University? It would be nice to know how the U-Chicago experience has benefitted Alums in my current environment.

Gretchen: Great question. We would be happy to connect you with Chicago Booth alumni either at your company or within your industry. Please email our admissions team with your request: eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu. We look forward to you getting to know more about our Chicago Booth network.

Jason: I am currently living out of state and planing to move to Chicago in next few months. Could I start with weekend program and shift to evening MBA?

Nicole: Hi Jason. You are able to apply to the weekend program and then switch after being registered for two quarters. However, students are only able to switch between the evening and weekend program once throughout the duration of their MBA. With that said, we typically encourage students to apply to the program in which they plan to take a majority of their courses. It might be to your benefit to apply to the evening program as evening students are able to take weekend courses.

G-330680567: I will be graduating from DePaul with a MS in Information Systems and a 3.7GPA and was contemplating pursuing an MBA. Approximately what level score would I need on the GMAT to be accepted at Booth and when would I need to apply to begin in the Winter quarter?

Gretchen: Best of luck with your upcoming graduation from DePaul and the stellar GPA you have earned. There is no cut off or minimum for the GMAT test score. The range of GMAT score falls between the upper 500 to 800. The GMAT is one piece of the application, with other factors taken into account, including your undergraduate GPA, work experience, career goals, life experiences and fit with Chicago Booth.

star: With an engineering background, will taking CFA helpful in admission if I'd major in finance?

Crystal: At Chicago Booth you are the CEO of your own experience. It will not hurt you to concentrate in a subject other than finance. Our top concentrations at Booth are Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. It's really up to you.

AK: Traditionally, how much longer do the Evening and Weekend programs take as compared to a Full-Time MBA?

Nicole: The Evening MBA & Weekend MBA Program students typically take courses on a 2-course per quarter schedule. If they take courses at that rate without any stops, they will finish in exactly 2 1/2 years. However, Evening MBA & Weekend MBA students have 5 years to complete their degree if they need to slow down or change the pace of their MBA program. A majority of Full-time MBA students start in Autumn quarter and complete their degree 2 years later at the end of the Spring quarter (the Full-time students typically do not take classes in the summer due to internship schedules).

G-330699220: I am a working professional in my late 50's. Would I be welcomed in this type of program?

Crystal: Of course. We have a very wide age range 22-62. You would bring a wealth of experience which is exactly what the admissions team strives to accomplish when crafting the class.

David: I have been trading equities and equity options for nine years. I want to develop the skills necessary to not only open the doors to portfolio management, but learn the ability to manage large amounts of capital. I find one of the most attractive aspects of Chicago Booth is that it promotes itself to be on the cutting edge of finance and financial analysis. I am sure much of this comes from the research and writing of Booth's incredible team of Professors. How much access to the "cutting edge" do student have and how much of a role do student play in this?

Bernie: Hi David: There is definitely no shortage of cutting edge research taking place at Chicago Booth. Our faculty bring their research into the classroom in real time - meaning students often learn about new concepts or particular information before they become the "norm" in the corporate world. Faculty often use the feedback and comments from students in their classrooms to hone their ideas.

Bistra: To apply for the MBA program do I have to have my diploma evaluated in USA if I graduated in Europe?

Crystal: The diploma should be translated into English. Evaluations are always welcomed and are considered official.

Jennie: Hello. Chicago is known as a great "Finance School." What makes your finance program stand out more than those at Stern or other Finance programs?

George: We are known for finance because the leading thinkers of finance teach here. If you look at who is testifying before congress and consulting with senators they are largely Chicago Booth faculty. However, the reason they are here, is that Chicago believes in the free flow of ideas. In many institutions faculty are put into departments and do not cross pollinate. Here, we do not have departments, thus you may have a finance faculty doing research with a behaviorist. Much of what is leading in the new knowledge is this kind of thinking. Here is a link to some of the knowledge coming out of Chicago Booth: ChicagoBooth.edu/ChicagoOn

Markeisha: Do you find that former Graduate Students-at-Large make great assets to the Booth community? How is that experience factored in the admissions process?

Gretchen: Great question Markeisha. Taking a class/es via the Graham School as a Graduate Student at Large (GSAL) is beneficial for the applicant to gain a greater understanding of the MBA experience at Chicago Booth. The grades for the GSAL class/es will be evaluated as part of the application; therefore doing well in the GSAL class/es can strengthen the overall application. In addition, up to three of the GSAL class/es with a C grade or better can be transferred to Chicago Booth if the applicant is admitted to Chicago Booth.

Jennie: Can you please tell me a little more about the study aboard programs that Booth has to offer? And, can the part-time students take part in these programs?

Nicole: Chicago Booth offers an IMBA as well as short-term and full term IBEP (International Business Exchange Program) opportunities.

Nicole: The part-time students can take part in all of these programs. However, it is typically easier for part-time students to take advantage of the short-term IBEP as they are usually 2-3 weeks in length before or during the summer quarter. Some part-time students are able to go for a full-term IBEP study abroad if they are able to fit it in their schedule as it is usually for a quarter, semester, or trimester in length depending on the partner school.

Gretchen: You all are asking great questions, thank! We still have 5 minutes left in the chat, feel free to keep them coming.

AA: Is it advisible to get letters of recommendation from 2 different individuals within the same company that I work for? Or would you recommend me using only one from my current employer and other from outside the company?

Crystal: We require two recommendations. One from your manager and then one from anyone else (inside or outside of your company) who can share the most relevant and specific information about personally and professionally.

tmjohns: Thanks for holding these chat sessions - each one has been so helpful. Do you have the ability to put me in touch with Evening/Weekend alumni who would have similar professional backgrounds as I have? I love what Booth has to offer but I think speaking with someone who has a similar professional background may clarify how I should consider Booth.

Gretchen: We are happy to host the chat and encourage you to keep joining us! We certainly would be able to share the Chicago Booth network with you. Please email your request to our admissions team at eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu.

VD709: Everything about Booth I've read shows a focus on individual achievement more than team based, does this hold true for the all classes or is there a team based approach in some of them?

Bernie: While it's true that some classes are more individually focused (based on the course content), the vast majority of the classes I've taken at Booth have involved extensive teamwork. Last quarter I was in a 5-person team that was able to meet with Jamie Dimon to discuss his leadership style and professional networks. This quarter I'm in a group of 4 different individuals and we're working on a final project that is analyzing Disney's recent re-organization of their U.S. Theme Park division. So, yes, there is a LOT of teamwork.

star: What type of financial support is available, especially for non-citizens but currently working in the US?

Gretchen: Star, the University is in the process of releasing loans to our International students at the end of this month. We also hook individuals up with third party entities, but these are co-signed loans. You can get more info at: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/admissions/financialaid.aspx

JK: Is it possible to take 1 class per quarter all year long or do you need to take 2 in the part time program?

Nicole: Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students have 5 years to complete the MBA program. Students are able to complete the 20 required courses at a 1 course per quarter rate and finish the MBA program within the five years as long as they allocate time to complete the Effective Leadership program within that time.

Joe: The general consensus I hear is that if you are seriously thinking about switching industry (i.e. accounting to consulting), you should go with the full-time program. Can you share your view on this belief. Thank you.

George: If you are able to give up the income for two years, AND desire to switch careers paths, going full-time is an excellent way to go. You immerse yourself in the studies and spend the rest of your time practicing your interviews, working on your resume and researching companies. Part-time students have to do all this while working. It means you have to work twice as hard.

future_mba: Do alums attempt to help and aid the part time MBA students as well as the full time students or is there a bias to those in the full time program?

Gretchen: Alumni from the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs represent a close to equal percentage of Full Time Program alumni. With the faculty and the course offerings being the same for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs and the Full Time MBA Programs, the alumni assistance, network and support play a large role in all of the programs.

IM: Does the evening degree carry the same weight as the full time degree. What would you say are the most benefits and drawbacks to the evening program as opposed to the full time program. Is switching careers a bit tougher with the evening program but not impossible?

Nicole: All Chicago Booth MBA degrees are exactly the same and carry the same weight. It is not listed on your diploma from which program you graduated. The Evening Program and the Full-Time Program are very similar except Full-Time students have access to career services for internship recruiting and the Full-Time Program is a full immersion program. Switching careers is possible in the Evening program, but is always a process that should be well thought out. We do have a career center here specifically for Evening and Weekend students and they have a tremendous amount of resources to help students with job searches or career focused concerns.

JM: What is the typical class size in the EMBA program?

Bernie: Evening MBA and Weekend MBA class sizes vary depending on student demand. I've attended classes with as few as 23 students and as many as 65, which is the cap.

Justin: While I understand the application is reviewed holistically, does the admissions try to bring in a class from a very diverse background/skill set? i.e. 10 selected from finance/banking, 10 from technology, 10 from law, 10 from government.

Crystal: Hi Justin. Yes, admissions team works to build a class that is diverse academically, professionally, and culturally. This will add to the classroom dynamic as you work together to solve problems.

steve: Why do evening program applicants have to take the GMAT and Executive MBA candidates do not, ie what does the GMAT help predict for evening candidates that it does not for executive candidates?

George: Great question, one that I answered earlier. The GMAT is the best predictor of success in a business school program as far as grades, which is why all top-tier MBA programs require it. However, it does not predict how well you will do in your career as an alumnus. Also, the more work experience you have the less well the GMAT predicts your success both in the program and certainly, your work experience is a better predictor of your trajectory in your career. Since the XP program average work experience 13 years, they rely on work experience as the key evaluator. The part-time program average is 5 years; the GMAT still had predictive value, particularly for those with less than three years experience. I hope this helps.

Prerak: Do you offer placement assistance to part time students? If yes, how different is it from the full timers?

Gretchen: Prerak, great question. Our Career Service team is available for all Chicago Booth students, including Evening MBA, Weekend MBA, Full Time MBA and Executive MBA students. On day one at Orientation, our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students learn about the programs and events offered by Career Services. As the Full Time MBA Program is a full immersion experience, FT students are able to work with Career Services to find an internship. The majority of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students are working full time and therefore are not seeking an internship.

israelv: I received an information packet recently and read that I could begin taking classes prior to being formally admitted. Is this option still open?

Crystal: Yes, you can take Booth classes through the Graham School of General Studies. This is program offered at the University (not Booth). You can find the information on their website at www.uchicago.edu.

AA: Have you started accepting applications for the 2010 weekend MBA program? if not when does it start?

Gretchen: AA, the Weekend MBA application for the fall of 2010 will be published by the middle of August 2009. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you throughout the application process.

IM: I'm not sure yet if I will apply to the full time mba this fall or evening mba. If I do apply to the full time mba in fall and either do not get admitted or decide evening is better, how soon can I apply to the evening program. Can I apply let's say in the summer round?

Crystal: You can apply 6 months after you apply to the full-time program.

George: Thank you so much for your questions. If we did not get to yours, please contact us in the admissions office at 312-464-8700. We will be glad to meet, or speak, with you anytime including Saturdays. The only day we give ourselves off is Sunday!

Crystal: Thank you for joining us! We look forward to meeting you at a future Booth event.

Nicole: Thanks so much for joining us today! We hope to see you at Gleacher in the coming year!

Bernie: Thanks for the great questions, everyone, and good luck in the application process.

Gretchen: Thank you for your questions. We encourage you to sign up for our May 19th Open House Event or the June 5th Open House Event, held at the Gleacher Center, 6:30-8:00pm. Gretchen: To speak further with the admissions team, you can reach us at 312 464 8700.