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Live Chat with Weekend MBA Program Admissions

Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Admissions Directors and current students will chat with prospective students about the admissions process, admissions interviews, and more!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 12:00 PM CST

George: Welcome. We look forward to answering all your questions.

Gretchen: Welcome to the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA on line chat. We are thrilled you are joining us. This is your time to ask any and all questions about Chicago Booth, the value of an MBA, the student life experience and the application process.

Moderator: Thanks for joining us! This chat is scheduled to run for 1 hour. We'll begin the chat in just a couple of minutes. If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask them now!

Kara: Welcome to our first online chat of 2010! I am Kara Northcutt, and I look forward to answering your questions about the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA.

Bernie: Hello everyone. Bernie Zanck here, Senior Associate Director of Student Services. Looking forward to our chat this afternoon.

sheela: Does the Booth school offer any MBA without a GMAT score ?

George: Hello Sheela,

George: The Full Time MBA, Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs require a GMAT test score for the application. The Executive MBA Program does not require the GMAT; however suggests it.

bostonmdb: For the weekend program, do the classes meet every Saturday or is it every other Saturday?

Kara: Hi,I am pleased to read of your interest in the Weekend MBA! Weekend MBA classes meet every Saturday during the 11-week quarter. Weekend students take one class in the morning from 9am-12 and one in the afternoon from 1:30pm-4:30pm.

mba2012: hi..do you have acceptance yeild and admission statistics for the evening program and has anyone been accepted to the fall 2010 evening program?

George: We have accepted about two individuals into the Fall evening class at this time. We work on rolling admissions, so we review applications as received. We are currently experiencing a decline in applications vs. previous year due to the economy and the decrease in employer tuition reimbursement. Nationwide, part-time applications are down 14%.

judy: what is the average GMAT score of students that get admitted?

Gretchen: Hi Judy, the range of GMAT scores for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs is upper 500s to 800, with the average being 680 for the Evening MBA Program and 700 for the Weekend MBA Program. Note: Booth always takes the highest score if the test is taken multiple times.

kevins: When you are looking at candidates are you looking more for someone who is singularly focused or more well rounded?

Gretchen: Kevins, great question. We are looking for well rounded candidates who are strong in the areas of academic background, work experience/career goals, and fit with Chicago Booth.

bostonmdb: Regarding the weekend program, what is the furthest distance that you have people traveling to attend class? Is it uncommon to have someone travel 3 hrs from Indianapolis?

Kara: Good question! We currently have Weekend MBA students commuting from as far as Seattle and San Francisco. We also have students in the Midwest who drive in for the Weekend MBA from Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, etc.

emstevko: Hi and thank you for this opportunity. Are admissions in the Evening MBA rolling?

George: Yes, we work on rolling admissions. We review applications as they are received. Once you submit, you will receive a decision within 4-6 weeks.

kevins: When applying, how much does having a focus or concentration in mind help or hurt me?

George: Kevins, an applicant has the option to indicate an intended concentration; however you are in no way held to them if you enroll. It is a good idea to be clear in your application about your career goals and areas of interest to study.

weekend: Hi Kara and Bernie, I have a question in regards to the essays portion of the admissions application. Do you recommend or frown upon using a third party service to assist in preparing the essays.

Kara: I strongly suggest you write the essays yourself, as we are looking for sincere and genuine answers that will allow us to get to know you and your reasons for pursuing a Part-Time MBA. After you write your essays, I suggest you have them proofread by a friend or colleague.

JamieS: For people who plan to travel to and from Chicago for the weekend MBA program, is lodging available on campus, and how much is budgeted for travel costs in the total cost of attendance that Booth certifies for financial aid purposes?

Bernie: Hi Jamie: Chicago Booth does not provide lodging. However, students become very creative in where and how they find their overnight accommodations when necessary. Some stay at fellow student’s homes, while others use online travel services such as priceline or hotwire. The financial aid “cost of attendance” worksheet takes into account a number of costs beyond tuition, including transportation.

MarinaM: Thanks for the opportunity. I'm interested in the PT MBA and my first question is about international degrees. I have a foreign degree and I want to know what kind of documentation will be requested for admission.

Gretchen: MarinaM, thank you for your interest in Chicago Booth. When submitting your application, you will be asked for copies of your diploma and mark sheets. You can have your transcripts evaluated. The official copy of your transcripts and diploma is asked of all enrolling students. You can bring your originals into our office to have them notarized. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 312.464.8700.

Madhu: Hi, I am Madhu here. If I have 3 years of Industry experience in enginerring excluding the time I spent pursuing an MS degree, could I still apply for the business fellows program [where i see the GSB considers students with less experince]?

Kara: Hi Madhu, the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) does have a strict cut off at 3 years of experience. Since you are at three years, I suggest you apply to the traditional Evening MBA or Weekend MBA.

Charles_Bossart: Hi Kara and Bernie. Thanks for hosting the chat. I am applying to the evening program beginning in the fall. I have a question about how much timing matters in terms of submitting your application. Are students admitted on a rolling basis?

George: Timing does not matter. What is far more important is that you turn in the best application possible. We recommend that you turn in your application when you feel you have put in as much effort as needed to develop your thoughts and reasoning clearly. If you are a good applicant, it will not matter if you apply at the beginning or at the end.

kre: when does the spring quarter start? and when are the deadlines for that?

Kara: The Spring quarter begins March 29th. However, the application deadline was January 8th. The next application deadline is April 9th for the Summer quarter. Summer classes begin June 19th.

Krashan: Quick Q? since all applicants are interviewed, how important is the opinion of the interviewer among the other items of the application process?

George: It is equally weighted with all else. It is the only way we have to evaluate your communication ability. It also helps us flush out any questions from your application. Some people dread the interview; others look at this as their strongest asset and look forward to it.

CourtneyGetum: I heard from a current student that travels out of Dallas, that there is a deal with American Airlines where students can get cheaper flights to Chicago, is this true?

Bernie: I'm not aware of any specific airline discounts for MBA students, Courtney, but that would be great news. We do have a number of students who elect to fly Southwest due to buddy passes for frequent fliers.

cardsfan: I am planning on applying as a CBF- how many students are admitted to this program each year? Do you have an approximate number of how many people apply?

George: It all depends on the strength of the application pool. We have had as few as 19 and as many as 33. It is a great program and if you fall within the program parameters I highly recommend you apply to it.

KingMe1: Hello. Is the Chicago Business Fellows Program available for those not living in Chicago, but willing to make the commute?

Gretchen: KingMe1, the majority of the Chicago Business Fellows are coming from the Chicago land area given that the Fellows take the majority of the classes in the evenings. Let me know where you are coming from and we can discuss further. 312 464 8703

KingMe1: I understand that CBF reuqires a Friday evening class as well for the first semester.

Gretchen: You are correct that the Fellows have a required Friday night, 6-9pm, seminar in the first quarter.

SteveW: Hi - can you confirm that Essay Question 3 for the Autumn 2010 application is asking to explain why part-time instead of full-time?

Kara: Yes, we want to ensure our applicants are applying to the Booth program that best fits their goals.

TJB: How soon in advance of a particular session are both professor assignments and course offerings announced in order for students to plan their courses. Also, when are specific days of the week for each course offering also determined and announced? Thank you?

Bernie: Hi TJ: Chicago Booth publishes our academic course offerings a year out, specifically to assist our students with their academic planning efforts. Our faculty often have their course syllabus posted on-line months in advance of the course, and almost always prior to the start of bidding for the upcoming quarter.

MuyiOdus: Good Afernoon all. My question is that since the credit fallout crisis of last year, is it now easier to get loans from private sources?

Kara: Part-Time students on an H1B work visa can receive private loans as long as they are enrolled in two classes per quarter. If you are a US citizen or resident, you would take out federal student loans.

Samuel3: How do you look at the applicant who changed jobs every yeer? but for a good reason

George: Your second sentence is key. If it is for good reasons, then there is no problem. Make sure to speak to it in your application so it is evident. As well, you will be able to cover this in your interview.

alanbaruch: Hi everyone, thank you for holding today's chat session. I am hoping to apply to Booth for the Fall of 2011. When will the application be made available for that admittance period and what will be the approximate deadline?

Kara: We publish our applications 9 months before the deadline. The Fall 2011 application will be published in October 2010. The deadline has not been set, but it will be early July 2011 for the Evening MBA and early May 2011 for the Weekend MBA.

Nathan: What are the differences in the student population between the weekend and evening programs?

Bernie: Hi Nathan: The primary difference between our Evening and Weekend students is that approximately 65% of our Weekend students reside outside of Illinois. That said, many of our Evening students travel extensively during the week for business, so overall, there is really very little difference.

Paul_R: Hello. I had a bad day the second time I took the GMAT and scored 50 points lower then the first time I took it. If my first score was right around the average, did I hurt my chances of being admitted by scoring lower the second time? I know you say you take the higher score, but I also realize you see both scores. Do you just disregard the lowest score? Thanks in advance!

Gretchen: Paul, we only take the highest score. It is valuable that you re took the test and again, the highest score will be considered. We look forward to you applying.

Nathan: During what time period do you typically receive the majority of your applications?

George: We receive over 80% of our applications in the last week before the deadline and probably over 60% on the last day of the deadline.

kre: So is the weekend program consists of 2 classes on saturday?

Kara: Yes, Weekend students typically take two different classes on Saturday. Friday night classes are also available to Weekend MBA students.

MarinaM: What are the academic differences between the Executive MBA and the Part Time MBA

Gretchen: Marina, the faculty and the content are the same for the Executive (XP) MBA Program and the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. However, the format is different. The XP Program is a cohort program taking a lock-step set of classes and the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs allows its students to choose which 20 classes are taken out of 150+ courses.

elanphier: How much does weight do you place on undergrad gpa/transcripts?

George: Along with your GMAT score, it is the only measure we have for your academic preparedness. If you get a great GMAT score then you can say that the undergrad score does not matter much, but if you do not do well on the GMAT and did well on undergrad, then you can point to them as proof of your ability to perform in the classroom.

judy_1__judy_: what is the average GMAT score of students that get accepted?

Gretchen: Judy, the range of GMAT scores is upper 500s to 800, with average Evening score hovering around 680 and the average weekend score hovering around 700.

MBA2B: What percentage of Weekend MBA student are career-changers? What is the most extreme career-change you've seen? How much access to Career Services is there for Weekend MBA students?

Bernie: Great question! Approximately 20% of incoming students identify themselves as actively seeking career change. However, that number grows as a result of students being promoted during or shortly after earning their MBA. Examples include transition from technical/engineering to consultant for Booz, and from Goldman associate to managing director of Teach for America. YES, there is A LOT of career services access and support...for all MBA students at Booth.

weekend: Hi, Could a person apply to the weekend program and only attend weekend classes for the first year? I currently live 3 hours from Chicago and would like the option to attend weekend classes in the future and the ability to use the later application deadline.

Kara: As a Weekend MBA student, you can transfer to the Evening MBA after you complete two quarters. Evening MBA students can also transfer into the Weekend MBA if needed. The program is very flexible regardless of what program you are in, you can take Evening and/or Weekend classes. The Weekend MBA deadline is May 7, 2010 and for the Evening MBA is July 1, 2010.

Paul_R: I have heard that Booth School puts a higher emphasis on the quantitative portion of the GMAT. Is this true?

Gretchen: Paul, the Admissions Committee looks at the overall score of the GMAT test as well as the breakdown between the quantitative and the qualitative.

kre: how many years does the weekend program take?

Bernie: If students take 2 classes per quarter, they can finish the program in 2.5 years. However, students have up to 5 years to earn their MBA. This allows folks to temporarily take a break from their studies or take only 1 class at a time if work or life necessitates it.

JamieS: To what extent does high performance in graduate coursework and one's professional career offset a less impressive undergraduate record?

George: We look at the latest record. People grow and change and the latest indicator tends to be more accurate. So if you did well in Grad School we will look at that much more heavily. Same with professional career. Progression at works counts heavily in your favor.

Charles_Bossart: For the evening program, does the admissions committee prefer candidates who currently have full time jobs in Chicago? Does it work against candidates who plan to move and find full time employment in Chicago upon being accepted to the program?

Gretchen: Charles, thanks for your interest in Chicago Booth. It is not a requirement to be living and working in Chicago to apply to the Evening MBA Program. However, applicants who intend on taking the majority of the classes Monday-Friday should apply to the Evening MBA Program. If you are not working when you apply, please explain your full time working plans and goals as the majority of the students in the part time program are working.

achurchfield: How focused do you expect long term career goals to be? I am not planning to leave my current employer, but I am open to other opportunities outside my current finance role. Given the flexibility of the courses offered by Booth, is this seen as a weakness?

Kara: It is important to have a clear idea why you are pursuing the MBA at this point in your career. You can certainly explain in your essays that your short term goal is to remain with your company. You can also discuss other ares of business you hope to be exposed to while you are in the program, which may change your long term goals.

MitchTishaw: Class projects are done by teams, correct? How are the teams typically chosen? Can you pick your team members?

Bernie: Many classes have group projects, and the vast majority of teams are created by the students. Once enrolled, students can view a list of all other students in the class and many proactively reach out prior to the start of the quarter to form groups. Faculty also typically set aside time in the first class to help students identify groupmates.

kevins: Being an evening student, do you have the opportunity to take any class, or are you limited to certain times?

George: I think the best thing about our program is how flexible it is. You can take classes at anytime; day, evening or weekend. You can take classes at the Gleacher Center or on campus in Hyde Park. The opportunities are endless. You truly are the CEO of your own education at Booth.

SteveW: If a class was taken at a community college while attending a university, is a transcript required from the CC?

Kara: If the school, course and grade appear on your transcripts from your degree granting university, it will not be required. If this information is not listed, yes, we will need the community college transcript.

ajit: How involved are Weekend students with the clubs and groups? Do they meet after classes on Saturday?

Gretchen: Hello Ajit, the majority of the events held in the part time programs are held on Saturdays, either in the 12-1:30pm lunch hour or post class at 4:30pm. Many Weekend MBA students take leadership roles in our student groups.

Moderator: We've got about 20 minutes left in the chat and we've had lots of great questions so far. We are eager to continue the dialogue. Continue submitting those questions!

ginorodri_1__ginorodri_: Which program of the following three is thought to be the most competitive to enter: CBF, Weekend, and Evening?

George: It is hard to say. On the face of it, CBF is more difficult, but it is also a smaller subset. The weekend program is harder only in the fact that we get students from all over the country so the application quality tends to be a bit higher. As an example our average GMAT score for the weekend program approaches 700.

bostonmdb: Will you please rank, in order of importance, the variables that you assess for acceptance in the Weekend MBA program. Are these factors the same for every program?

Kara: We look at applicants holistically. We consider the following factors: Academic background (GMAT, GPA, colleges attended), work history and goals, extracurricular activities/community involvement and fit at Chicago Booth. The average GMAT for the Weekend MBA is 700 and the average GPA is 3.3. Weekend MBA students have 5-6 years of work experience on average. In addition to the online application, we also interview all applicants after you submit the application.

Greg77: Good Afternoon, and thank you for giving me a convenient and opportunistic way to get my questions answered. I graduated in 2007 with a bs degree in management and international business. My gpa was not as high as I hoped for. However, I started a consulting corporation a few months after graduating and it has grown to be very successful. Will this increase my chance of acceptance?

George: Greg, yes showing success in your professional endeavors will increase your chances of being accepted significantly.

elanphier: For both the night and weekend programs, what are the general student demographics - gender, ethnicity, etc.?

Bernie: We admit students on a quarterly basis, so demographics vary from quarter to quarter. However, the current student population is 20-25% female, and approximately 50% of our students are considered international.

Lee: If you get accepted for the Evening MBA, can you defer your enrollment for a quarter or two later?

Gretchen: Lee, an admit has the option to defer for one quarter in the Evening MBA Program. The deferral fee is $1000, which is directly applied toward your tuition once you matriculate. This is a great option for you if you are ready to apply and need more time before starting.

mba2012: hi , are students allowed to be admitted to one program and switch to a different program even before classes being (weekend and evening)

Gretchen: mba2012, we ask that applicants apply to the program that you intend to start in and take the majority of the classes in. If after being at Booth for two quarters, an Evening MBA student can petition to transfer to the Weekend MBA Program and visa versa.

booth2010app: For re-applicants, what parts of the application is admissions looking for improvement in?

Gretchen: Re applicants should focus the re application on the areas you saw as weaker and needing improvements. Many re applicants think about retaking the GMAT test, or taking a class via the Graham School as a GSAL student or gaining more work experience or improving on the interview skills. Booth values re applicants.

weekend: Do you recommend the GSAL program for anyone with a weak undergraduate GPA but has a strong GMAT score (700+)?

Gretchen: Congrats on the very solid 700+ GMAT score. Since the GSAL classes are not a requirement in the application, I do not see it necessary for the applicant to enroll in GSAL. If for your own sake you would like to experience Chicago Booth before starting, the GSAL classes may be an option.

bostonmdb: Will you please compare and ontrast the Weekend MBA with the full-time or evening MBA in terms of perceieved value? Specifically, from the perspective of fortune 50 employers.

George: Weekend students are the most focused students at Booth. Because they travel they come prepared. Faculty often comment that they love teaching Weekend students because of this. Also, students who travel in form a very close nit bond to one another. The downside? It is harder to participate in some of the events offered during the work week. We try to get speakers to come on the weekend, but occasionally a CEO will want to do a weeknight talk.

alan9: If I applied to the full time MBA in October of 2009 should I be interviewed again?

Gretchen: Alan, all applicants, including re applicants, for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs are interviewed at the Gleacher Center by a member of the Admissions Committee. Thanks for your continued interest in Booth.

mba2012: will students be able to take a full course load in case they lose their job?

George: Students can take a full load whenever they want. This includes if they are laid off. We allow students to manage their own schedule. We will counsel when asked, and even seek out if we see someone struggling because they are taking too many classes at once, but only you know you best. So you are best capable of deciding what course load suites your present situation and abilities.

MBAbound2010: I understand that LEAD for FT requires about 125 hours, and has outdoor team activities, myers-briggs tests. Is the pt leadership program similar in regards to hours and activities?

Bernie: Evening and Weekend students satisfy their leadership requirement by taking Effective Leadership over 3 quarters. Students take and receive feedback on Myers-Briggs and a 360 degree feedback evaluation during their first quarter. They then take modules on effective presentations, conflict rsolution and creating effective teams over the next two quarters in tandem with their other academic courses.

SteveW: Are the student-led groups available to part-time students? Do part-time students typically engage in such groups?

Kara: Our community is very active. We currently have 29 active student lead groups. There are a few more in the works. The student groups range from professional (Booth Consulting Club,Booth Banking Club,Investment Management Club) to social (Poker Club, Running Club, Wine Club).

TJB: I'm sorry - I was called away for a bit so I don't know if this was asked already. When is the recommended time during the admissions process to schedule my interview? Thank you.

George: After you submit your application we will contact you to arrange your interview. Interviews are conducted throughout the week at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00PM. We also have one Saturday interview date a month.

KayDee: Hi. Can you touch on career services for MBA students ahead of their completion?

Gretchen: KayDee, yes, for sure. New students are introduced to the Chicago Booth Career Services team and programs on day one at Orientation. There are countless opportunities to work with Career Services throughout your time at Booth and as an alum.

jzavala: Can I apply to the IMBA when I already have an MBA

George: Yes you can. After getting admitted into the program you would apply to the IMBA program.

kevins: Do you have to be a fulltime student in order to take advantage of study abroad/ international programs?

Kara: International opportunities are also open to Part-Time MBA students. You can study abroad for a full quarter if you can work this out with your employer. However, we also have short term study abroad programs, which are 2-3 weeks in length. In addition, there are student led trips, "Random Walks", which do not count for course credit, but it is another way to travel abroad while in the program with your classmates.

Charles_Bossart: Do the same facultly members teach in the part time programs as the full time?

Bernie: YES! Chicago Booth faculty teach across all programs.

gprasad: Good afternoon,Question regarding the infomrational portion of the application. For employment records, if we have held multiple job titles with the same employer, should we list them as separate employment entries? Also, I have a BA and a BS degree from the same University, would you like those listed separately? Thanks!

Kara: It is not necessary to list the BA and BS separately, as this will be clear on your transcripts. We would like to see the detailed progression of your career. Please let us know the different titles and responsibilities you have had at your company.

VeeBee: Hi, Thanks for this opportunity. Chicago GSB is reputed as a finance school. I am interested in social entreprenuership and finance. How does this program outweigh other programs?

George: Students at Booth have full access to the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. It is an amazing center that allows students to work on their business while in the program. I encourage you to check it out at:http://www.chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship/

alan9: Do you offer rejection feedback?

George: No, we receive too many applications and are not able to do that for everyone, so we do not do it for anyone to be fair.

mkargar: Hi, do Weekend MBA student have the same opportunity for internships as the full time MBA students? Could you please explian more about the internship program for evening/weekend MBA students?

Gretchen: Full Time MBA students are able to work with Career Services on securing an internship between year one and year two. Weekend MBA students are not able to go through the recruiting internship process via Career Services; however can find an internship on his/her own.

alan9: If I live in Florida but my company will let me set up a virtual office in Chicago, do I need a letter from them stating that in order to considered for admission for the evening MBA?

Kara: It would be helpful to see a letter from your employer. I also suggest you explain this option to move to Chicago in your application. We certainly have admitted students form outside Chicago into the Evening MBA who plan to relocate upon admission.

thanu: Hello, are weekend classes available for the students from the weekday MBA program?

Bernie: Yes. Students can bid for evening, weekend or weekday classes in the full-time MBA program. Students have first access to their "home" program during the first phases of bidding, but have access to all classes in subsequent periods. It's very common to have students from all programs in a class.

emstevko: Do you suggest getting reccs from 2 supervisors from your job or is it good to have one from a colleague you work closely with?

George: You want at least one supervisor and preferably a direct supervisor. I guess the second is based on the relationship you have with the other two, but all else held equal, I would say another supervisor would be the best.

wheatmaster: What are some advantages to the part-time mba program at U of C as opposed to schools like Northwestern and Depaul?

George: It is the most flexible in the galaxy! You get to take classes when you want (day, evening, weekend). You get to take what classes you want (we don’t require any classes you get to pick what you want), and you get to study at the pace you want (take as many or few classes as work for you). At Booth we say you are the CEO of your own education and we try and make that true in every sense.

Kara: Thank you for joining our chat! For further questions please call our admission hotline at 312.464.8700 or email eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu. Also, join us at an upcoming Open House at the Gleacher Center. The next Open House is February 5th at 6:30pm. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/admissions/events/

George: Really great questions. Thank you so much for spending time with us. Please stop by Gleacher and meet us sometime. Also, come to an open house. We have them on the first Friday of every month.

Bernie: Thanks for some great questions. I look forward to seeing some of you here at Chicago Booth in the near future. All the best, Bernie.

Moderator: The chat has now ended. There were so many engaging questions that we're sorry we weren't able to answer them all. The transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/chat/. If you had a question that wasn't answered, please feel free to give us a call at 312.464.8700 or email eveningweekend-admissions@ChicagoBooth.edu.

Gretchen: We hope that this chat helped to idenify your next step in the application process. Visit us at Gleacher and/or call us 312 464 8703.

Moderator: The Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Program is headed out on the road! Join us for one our receptions at various cities across the country, starting in California. For more information, please visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/parttime/admissions/events/receptions.aspx