Weekend MBA

September 13, 2016 Admissions Live Chat

Chat Transcripts

1. Chat Guest: what is the schedule like for the weekend MBA? Is the course work and faculty the same as a full time MBA? Thanks

* Kara Northcutt: Thanks for joining todays chat! Yes, the faculty and courses are the same across Full Time, Evening and Weekend programs at Booth.  Furthermore, these 3 programs have the exact same curricular requirements. Having said that, not all courses offered on weekdays can be offered on Saturday, as there are on 2 Saturday sections, 9am-12pm and 1:30-4:30pm. Most Weekend MBA students take 2 courses per quarter on Saturdays. We also see many Weekend students take a Friday evening course. It is up to you to manage the pace of the program. Average competition is 3 years but you have 5 years to complete the degree. Courses take place every Saturday during the quarter. Autumn, winter & spring quarters are 11 weeks, summer is 10 weeks.  

2. Chat Guest: On average, how many people are accepted into the Civic Scholars MBA Program?

* Nico Ricchiuto: Thanks for joining us. We currently provide full-tuition scholarships each year to eight qualifying professionals for the Civic Scholars program.

3. Chat Guest: Hello and thank you for hosting

* Erik Halloway: Welcome! Over the next hour, we will be here to answer any questions you have.

4. Chat Guest: Hello!  Thank you all so much for organizing this chat.  I’m currently running my own start-up and am really interested in one of the part-time programs at Booth as a way to develop my company and make me a more adroit manager and director; I’ve gotten to a point where industry expertise can only get me so far.  I’ve done some research on the Polsky Center and the resources it provides, but I was hoping you could (a) talk a little bit about start-up founders and their experience at Booth, (b) discuss what other resources Booth offers for entrepreneurs, and (c) which part-time program you’d suggest for someone who is local is building their own business.

* Marcus Wordlaw: Good questions and I wish you luck with your start up:
Per your questions -- a) we have had great success over the years with start-up businesses and opportunities at Booth. Resources such as the Hyde Park Angels, the Polsky Center and our distinct curriculum taught by professors with industry expertise while working with CEO's of start- up businesses and even businesses of their own. Competitions such as the New Venture Challenge which has helped over 100 startup businesses and has jumpstarted Booth alums businesses such as Matt Maloney and Grub Hub.
b) Some of the resources include much of what I mentioned, along with incubators, accelerators, industry specific career guidance along with events, and classes. You may find specific information on these at the following link: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/polsky/student-resources
c) Either program would benefit you to achieve these goals. Full Time = ability to immerse in more activities. E/W = classes made of majority working students

5. Chat Guest: Thanks for hosting this chat. I'm interested in hearing more about the Chicago Business Fellows program. What kind of value can this program add for someone pursuing an evening MBA?

* Erik Halloway: Good question.  The added value of the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) is to provide students who have less work experience the opportunity to earn a Booth MBA whilst gaining “soft skills”.  It is the same MBA, but in addition to your coursework, you will take seminars on a variety of topics. Previous years’ have included advance presentation skills, dining etiquette, and how to successfully network.   

6. Chat Guest: Is it preferred that the reference letter come from individuals that are in two different organizations? For someone like myself that's been with GE for 9 years in many different roles, I was hoping for two recommenders that know me well that are both from GE. Would that go against me on my application?

* Kara Northcutt: Having 2 from GE is just fine! The majority of Evening MBA and Weekend MBA applicants select professional recommenders for both letters. In the application, you have the opportunity to explain why you selected each recommender.      

7. Chat Guest: Hello! I was wondering two questions. First of all, I know that the GMAT does not officially report your test score for a short time frame after you take the exam. If I took the exam and unofficially reported my score in early October, could I still be eligible to apply by October 7th to have the January 2nd start date?

* Keenan Gannon: Thank you for joining.  Yes, we only require the unofficial score to be eligible to apply, so you would be able to apply for the October 7th deadline. 

8. Chat Guest: Secondly, are scholarships available based upon merit (i.e. GPA / GMAT)? Or are they not available for the part-time program. Thank you so much for hosting as well!

* Nico Ricchiuto: Thank you for joining us. Merit based scholarships are reserved for the Full-time MBA program at Booth.

9. Chat Guest: Does Booth validate credits acquired in another MBA program?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Booth does not accept transfer credits from another school. We would only accept Graham School classes within the University of Chicago as part of our Graduate Student At Large Business Program. We would evaluate those classes with your application

10. Chat Guest: What percentage of applicants are those 8 individuals?

* Kara Northcutt: We do not provide our acceptance rates. Since there are only 8 scholarships, it is a highly competitive program.        

11. Chat Guest: What are the GMAT score cut offs for the weekend program?

* Erik Halloway: There are no cut-offs for GMAT scores. Applications are read holistically and each part of the application is weighted equally. The middle 80% of our admitted students for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs score between 620-730 on the GMAT.

12. Chat Guest: What days are the evening classes offered on?

* Keenan Gannon: The evening classes are offered on a variety of days depending on the class.  To get a feel of the schedule, you can view upcoming class visits when classes resume on September 29th here https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/class-visit

13. Chat Guest: I am going to take the GRE.  I have seen the average GMAT scores discussed on previous chats.  What is the average GRE score?

* Kara Northcutt: We do not have GRE averages available, as it is still a fairly small sample size.  We look to see how GRE scores compare to GMAT scores by using the GRE to GMAT comparison tool: https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/about/mba/comparison_tool
We seek conversions within our mid-80% range of 620-750, average 680. Best of luck on the exam!

14. Chat Guest: What level of support does the school provide through access to career fairs, counselling etc?  For students interested in a Post-MBA career in Consulting?  Do you have data to show for post-MBA careers for Weekend candidates?

* Kara Northcutt: According to our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA (EW) graduating student employment survey, consulting is the top industry and function EW student end up in post MBA (some transition while in the program). We offer a wide variety of resources to help you achieve your goal to move into consulting- our Consulting Club is one of our most active groups. Students and alumni are an incredible resource you should leverage. The club often brings in firms for networking events- great way to learn about consulting & make connections. Career service is also a huge resource. From career coaching to formalize campus recruiting, you’ll have a ton of support. EW students are permitted to participate in campus recruiting for full time jobs (same process as Full Time MBA students).

15. Chat Guest: So a total of 43 weeks for the weekend courses?

* Erik Halloway: Each quarter is approximately 11 weeks in length. There are 4 academic periods throughout the calendar year.

16. Chat Guest: Hi there, I'm currently studying for the CFA exam Level 1 and will likely be taking Level 2 in June.  What is the admissions department's opinion on candidates pursuing the CFA program and is this seen as being beneficial for a more rigorous experience at Booth?

* Erik Halloway: From an admissions standpoint, applicants who are advancing in their career through earning certifications and passing certain exams will be seen positively. One of the great things about Booth is our flexibility. Students who have a proficiency in a certain area will have the flexibility to choose a more advanced course. For you specifically, you could replace Financial Accounting with a more advance course like Financial Statement Analysis.

17. Chat Guest: Thanks for the details. Also one more question about the coursework for weekend MBA. Is it taught entirely in the class like the full time MBA? Or is most of the coursework self-study/ online and only some part is taught in the class

* Keenan Gannon: The class structure will depend slightly on the professor.  The Weekend classes do take place on Saturdays so there is still the in-class component for Weekend classes. Also it is worth noting that the faculty and coursework will be comparable across Evening, Weekend, and Full Time MBA programs here at Booth.

18. Chat Guest: When looking into the professional experience of an applicant what specific achievements do you look for and are their other identifiers you prefer to see for example, length of stay with a single company?

* Kara Northcutt: This varies widely from person to person and industry to industry. We like to see progress via promotions, taking on larger projects, etc. It is not required to have management/leadership experience yet, but we like to see potential in these areas (this often comes through in your letters of recommendation). Changing jobs and/or companies a few times is typically not a concern. If you think your resume will make us think you’ve done a lot of job hopping or you have a gap, you can explain in the optional essay.  The main thing it to be thoughtful about your reasoning for pursuing an MBA and how it fits into your short and long-term career goals.       

19. Chat Guest: Are all classes for the Evening MBA at the downtown Chicago location?

* Keenan Gannon:  Yes the classes for the Evening MBA are taught at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago.

20. Chat Guest: What qualifies evening and weekend students to apply for the Palsy Center Accelerator Program? The application makes it seem as though not all evening and weekend students will qualify?

* Kara Northcutt: It is open to all University of Chicago students. See here to learn more- http://polskycenter.com/accelerator/apply.html

21. Chat Guest: Are Weekend MBA students able to freely take Evening MBA classes and vice versa?

* Erik Halloway: There is great flexibility in the Booth curriculum.  Evening students are able to take Weekend courses and vice versa. When it comes to selecting your classes, Weekend students will receive priority for Friday and Saturday courses, and Evening students will have priority registration for classes that meet Monday through Friday. 

22. Chat Guest: What is the acceptance rate for weekend program? What is the total number of spots every year?

* Nico Ricchiuto: We do not publish our acceptance rates for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs. It varies based on the quality of the applicant pool. We target bringing in about 100 Weekend MBA students in the fall and about 60 in the spring.

23. Chat Guest: Is there anyway Booth can help me connect with alums in the area that we could talk to about their experience for specific areas e.g. finance & entrepreneurship?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Great question and you can currently talk to students about their experiences, or you may email me separately at marcus.wordlaw@chicagobooth.edu and I would be happy to connect you with alum in those fields. Our connect with a student is at the following link: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer

24. Chat Guest: Thanks for hosting this chat session! Please could you clarify the main differences on the Executive MBA program with the Weekend MBA? What would be the better option for a technical professional with 10+ years of industry technical experience?

* Kara Northcutt: The main difference is the structure and format of the programs. Executive MBA Program (XP) is lockstep and a cohort, which means your courses are predetermined for you and you take classes with the same group of students the whole time. Evening MBA and Weekend MBA (EW) is the opposite- you have full choice of course selection, courses are not cohort and you have 13 concentrations to choose from. XP is a 21 month program and courses take place every other Friday and Saturday. EW students take courses every week during the quarter. Average completion for EW is 3 years. If you want flexibility, pursue EW. If you are looking for more structure and cohort experience, XP is a better fit.

25. Chat Guest: Hi - Can you point me to the program that starts on Jan 2nd?

* Keenan Gannon: The Evening MBA program classes start on January 2nd.  The deadline for application is October 7th, and more information can be found here https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions .

26. Chat Guest: Hi - thank you for hosting this chat! I noticed that weekend MBA applications are only accepted during the autumn and spring cycles. Does this imply that Saturday classes are not offered during the winter quarter?

* Erik Halloway: Great question. Classes are held Monday through Saturday each quarter. The admission cycle for the Weekend program does not have an impact on Saturday course offerings.

27. Chat Guest: Are you able to start in one program and switch to another? Between Evening and MBA programs.

* Keenan Gannon: You are able to switch one time during your academic career between the two part time programs (Evening and Weekend MBA programs).

28. Chat Guest: Hi. Is there a limit on Credit from Graham School that is accepted at Booth?

* Erik Halloway: As a Graduate Student at Large (GSAL) through the Graham School, 3 courses can be transferred into the MBA program. We suggest the foundation courses, Business Statistics and/or Financial Accounting

29. Chat Guest: My GMAT is lower than the average, do you think I should re-take it

* Kara Northcutt: If you are below or on the lower range of our 620-730 mid-80% range, we typically suggest retaking, especially if you feel you can improve. We always consider your highest score.  

30. Chat Guest: Hi there! I'd be curious to know what the difference is, on average, between the sizes of the matriculating cohorts for each Weekend MBA intake (spring vs autumn).

* Kara Northcutt: We matriculate around 100 Weekend MBA students autumn quarter and around 60 spring quarter. We only added the spring intake a few years back, so we still see a larger applicant pool for autumn quarter. Neither quarter is more or less complete.

31. Chat Guest: Is TOEFL required if the undergraduate degree is from institute in which English is the language of instruction for all courses but not official language of country?

* Nico Ricchiuto: As long as English is the language of the institution, you do not have to take the TOEFL.

32. Chat Guest: Hello, my interest is for Weekend Program. When is the next available starting date?

* Erik Halloway: The next intake of Weekend MBA students will be Spring Quarter 2017. Classes would begin towards the end of March. The application deadline for Spring Quarter is January 13, 2017.

33. Chat Guest: What is the procedure for re-applying to the evening MBA program in the event that you are not accepted? Is there a certain amount of time you must wait before applying again? I know for the Full Time program you can apply the next academic year. How does this work for the part time programs?

* Kara Northcutt: There is a 6 month waiting period from the date you submitted your 1st application. You also cannot apply to a subsequent quarter to your original application. Therefore, you would not necessarily have to wait an entire year.  Having said all that, we look at things on case by case basis. If you are denied and plan to reapply, feel free to reach out. We cannot give denial feedback, but we can talk you through the reapplication process.

34. Chat Guest: What are the resources available to people interested in social enterprises? Do many people work in this field after graduation?

* Erik Halloway: Good question. Students interested in social enterprise do well at Booth. In addition to fantastic in-class learning, students can also take advantage of our Learning Centers. There is one dedicate to Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI): https://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/

35. Chat Guest: Similarly, are we able to connect with current Civic Scholars to see how they are progressing and benefitting from the program? I recognize this is the first cohort to go through the program.

* Marcus Wordlaw: Yes the autumn quarter is our first cohort for the Civic Scholar Program and they have yet to progress through Civic Scholar events, classes, and activities which would typically begin in their second or third quarter. I however would be happy to connect you to a current student who has had some experience in the program in general if that might help. Our connect a student link is a great way to do that: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer

36. Chat Guest: I meant to ask so I would have to travel for a total of 43 weeks to Chicago to take the classes. Correct?

* Erik Halloway: There would be about 11 round trips to Chicago for each quarter that you are enrolled. If you were to take classes in each of the 4 quarters, you would travel to Chicago approximately 43 times per calendar year. Assuming you take 2 courses per quarter, you will complete the program in 2.5 years.

37. Chat Guest: I live in the north east so trying to take that into consideration before applying

* Erik Halloway: Travel time and cost should be considered when choosing an MBA program out of state.

38. Chat Guest: How should we be using optional essay just to reflect shortcomings or we can state anything we want to.

* Kara Northcutt: It is completely open ended. Most applicants do not submit the optional essay. Of those who do, some use it to explain a perceived weakness in their application (gap in employment, low GPA, etc.). Others use to share a story or experience that did not fit well into other essay questions.  

39. Chat Guest: Hello Thanks for hosting this Chat, can you tell me when is the application deadline for classes starting in autumn 2017?

* Nico Ricchiuto: The deadline for the Weekend MBA program for autumn 2017 is May 12, 2017. The updated deadlines for autumn will be on the website shortly.

40. Chat Guest: I already took a lot of graduate level of course of stats during my graduate school, so I can choose most advanced level of stats at booth.

* Marcus Wordlaw: Yes, you may begin at an advanced level of stats at Booth if you choose based on your experience

41. Chat Guest: Are there any study abroad options offered for the EW programs?

* Nico Ricchiuto: Good question. We do offer study abroad options with 33 partner schools across the world including six short term study abroad options. You can find more info here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/academics/international

42. Chat Guest: I am looking to transition from Government to the private sector and would like for Booth to be part of that transition. Anything special or extra thoughts I should take note of? 

* Kara Northcutt: Many Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students (EW) make career transitions- advance in current company/industry, change function, change industry, etc. Having said that, if you are seeking a major career change and feel an internship will be an important step in this transition, you should pursue a full time MBA. You own your own career strategy a Booth and you’ll have a ton of support from career service, alumni and your fellow students. A major career change is difficult no matter how you approach it (full time or part time program). You’ll have to make this a priority while in the program.  

43. Chat Guest: Is there opportunity to transfer from the Evening MBA to Full Time MBA program?

* Kara Northcutt: No, we do not allow transfer from Evening into the Full Time MBA.

44. Chat Guest: Hi, what are the score requirements for TOEFL & GMAT for Weekend/Evening MBA? Are there any waivers depending on experience? Also what is the deadline to submit these scores for program starting in Jan?

* Erik Halloway: We do not provide fee waivers based on experience. Self-reported GMAT, and if required, TOEFL scores are required by the application deadline. The middle 80% of admitted students are scoring between a 620-730 on the GMAT.  For the TOEFL, it would depend on which version of the exam you took: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/international/english-exams

45. Chat Guest: What options do students coming in from other states have, in the event they are unable to attend due to inclement weather (during the winter quarter)?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Certainly an important question. Our professors are typically flexible with this sort of thing, and because they usually teach a full time, evening, and weekend course in a given quarter allow their students to attend a different section of their class that week. This is up to the professor of each class but they are usually fine with allowing this. Also forming sub-groups within a class is common for students for this reason among others.

46. Chat Guest: Hello there, thanks for hosting the chat! How important is the GMAT score vs work experience for part time MBA?  What's the average GMAT score for admission?

* Molly O'Donnell: We take a very holistic approach to applications.  One part of it doesn't weigh heavier than another.  The average GMAT for Evening/Weekend is 680 and the range is 620-730.

47. Chat Guest: thank you so much for your answer so far. What is the age for weekend program? Is age another main factor to look?

* Molly O'Donnell: Age is not a factor in your application.  However, if you have 0-3 years’ work experience you could consider the Chicago Business Fellows program.

48. Chat Guest: What is the range for Undergraduate GPA for Evening/Weekend?

* Erik Halloway: Thank you for your question. Applications are read holistically, and each part of the application is weighed equally. Undergraduate GPA is just one component of the application. For the middle 80% of admitted students, undergraduate GPAs (on a 4.0 scale) fall between a 2.7-3.8 for Evening students, and a 3.0-3.9 for Weekend students.

49. Chat Guest: Can I take some additional courses over the predetermined curriculum for the Executive MBA program? If yes then would that be on additional cost?

* Kara Northcutt: I have to defer to our XP colleagues. You can contact them at xp@chicagobooth.edu.   

50. Chat Guest: Overall, what sets Booth's EW programs apart from other top part-time programs? Could you give an example of something that is unique to Booth that students cannot find elsewhere?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Great question and speaking specifically from Booth’s perspective from my experience with current students and alums it really comes down to the rigorous approach to data analysis and ideas in class through the Chicago Approach of learning. Really creating an environment beginning with our Faculty who have achieved so much professionally and academically to the discussion among various industry leaders and innovators in class to the resources in Chicago and company partnerships/case studies with real Chicago-based companies dealing with business issues.
Even greater than the classroom is the network of alums that you create and the leverage it creates for you. Long-lasting friendships, and a mutual understanding of the value of a Booth degree really takes this sort of networking to a high level when it comes to career changing, job opportunities, etc.

51. Chat Guest: hello, what time for Friday evening class?

* Keenan Gannon: Friday evening classes are held from 6pm - 9pm.

52. Chat Guest: Thanks Molly! Does U Chicago host networking events for part time MBA students?

* Molly O'Donnell: There are lots of opportunities for networking in the part time programs.  There are over 40 student clubs and they tend to be great networking, plus there are other regular activities such as happy hours that give you the opportunity to network with other students.

53. Chat Guest: To make it more clear, how many trips to Chicago in total for the Weekend program? 43 + 43 + 21, 5?

* Erik Halloway: That would be a good approximation.

54. Chat Guest: will change from IT project and program management to IT Product management be considered a career shift? Or logical progression within the same industry?

* Nico Ricchiuto: From an application standpoint, this seems more like career progression within your industry, but this would depend on the position and the responsibility associated with it.

55. Chat Guest: if we submit application before the deadline is it of any advantage over just submitting on the date of deadline?

* Molly O'Donnell: There is no particular advantage to submitting your application early, but we're always happy to have applications before the deadline.

56. Chat Guest: Hello I'm currently an Engineer, is there many opportunities to change careers outside of engineering
after obtaining an Evening/Weekend MBA?

* Nico Ricchiuto: You are certainly able to make a switch outside of Engineering after receiving your MBA. To give you an idea we posted over 5,000 jobs to our jobs positing site for MBA students. That being said, it depends on what you are looking to pursue during and after your MBA.

57. Chat Guest: sounds great! Thank you! I already have a master's degree.  How important is the master degree GPA?

* Erik Halloway: We like to see transcripts from all degree-granting institutions. Typically, a master’s degree GPA will hold more weight than your undergraduate GPA because the grades are more recent.

58. Chat Guest: Further to the lines of an earlier question. Do you allow candidates to switch from a weekend program to full time program in case of compelling circumstances?

* Marcus Wordlaw: No we do not allow students to switch from Weekend to Full time once they begin. You may however as a weekend student switch to the Evening program one time (or vice versa -- evening to weekend) while you are a student.

59. Chat Guest: Hi, Can you provide link to the list of courses available in Evening MBA program?

* Keenan Gannon: The courses and descriptions can be found here https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/taking-courses-at-booth/faculty-courses.

60. Chat Guest: I did my Masters in Engineering and what is the minimum GPA requirement for MBA. Also my undergraduate degree is from India where they don’t have GPA. How can I convert that score into GPA?

* Nico Ricchiuto: There is no minimum GPA requirement for admission into the part-time MBA programs. During the application process, please submit the exact score listed on your Indian transcript without converting to a 4.0 scale. If no score is listed on your transcript, please leave blank.

61. Chat Guest: Are Executive MBA or Full Time/EW MBA valued the same or does one have better preference over the other for recruiters looking for experienced professionals?

* Kara Northcutt: All Booth MBA Programs yield the exact same degree. You simply put Booth MBA on your resume. While I am sure there are small exceptions here and there, by and large companies value Booth MBAs as the same. We work very closely with companies to make them understand the faculty, courses, curriculum are the same across the Full Time, Evening and Weekend MBA Programs. The curriculum is different in Executive but faculty and degree earned are the same.

62. Chat Guest: Hello Regarding TOEFL, I already have a post graduate degree from an institution in US before applying for weekend MBA. Do I still need to write TOEFL?

* Erik Halloway: If you currently hold an advanced degree where instruction was in English, you will not be required to submit a TOEFL score: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/international/english-exams

63. Chat Guest: Hello, are there any pre-requisite courses for part-time MBA students with no prior business knowledge?

* Marcus Wordlaw: No, there are no pre-requisite courses needed for our Part time program. We have students who enroll with no prior business experience with classes or industry