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January 10, 2017 Live Admissions Chat

Chat Transcript

Chat Guest: I occasionally spend weekdays traveling in my current role. If I cannot attend a certain class during the week, is there flexibility to make it up during the weekend program or attend a video recorded session?

* Erik Halloway: Typically a class will have multiple sections. You would need to ask your professor, but they are usually support a student attending a different section if they need to miss class for work travel. Evening students are also able to register for weekend courses. If you know you are going to miss several weekday courses during a particular quarter, you would want to register for a weekend course instead. 

Chat Guest: Hi, can we ask questions now?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Absolutely, what is your first question?

Chat Guest: Hello. For the second recommender, any guidance as to who we should choose? Is a work colleague other than our supervisor okay?

* Kara Northcutt: We are very open about who your second recommender should be. For the Evening MBA & Weekend MBA Programs, most letters are professional in nature- current supervisor, former supervisor, colleague you work close with, etc. Feel free to select someone of this nature. In the application you are asked to explain why you selected the individuals, and this gives us insight into your selections.

Chat Guest:  Hello admissions team, greetings from Colombia. First I want to introduce you my profile for a better understanding of my questions. I’m married, with one 3-year old son, Colombian, civil engineer with master studies in finance, and 5 years of experience among real estate, government, investment banking and private equity. My questions are basically related to Latin American prospective students. First, is it a cap for the number of seats Latin American students in the Weekend MBA program? If that cap does not exist, how many seats are normally occupied by Latin Americans and how that trend has been during the last years? I wasn’t able to find this information in your webpage nor in MBA research pages.

* Kara Northcutt: To be eligible for the Weekend MBA, you’d need to be in the US on a work visa. We are unable to offer student visas for the Weekend MBA Program. If you’ll need a student visa, you should look into our Full Time MBA Program. You can learn more about the Full Time MBA here- https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time . If you are moving to the US, once you are settled, feel free to apply to the Weekend MBA. We do not have any caps based on any criteria or demographics.

Chat Guest: Based on your observations, are there career changing students in PT/Evening MBA program?

* Kara Northcutt: Yes, we see career changes, advancers and entrepreneurs in the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. Generally speaking, 2/3 of EW student made a career change while in or within one year of graduating. Of those seeking to change employers, 52% changed industries and 70% changed function.  This is from recent graduate student survey. Having said this, if you are seeking a dramatic career change and feel an internship will be an important part of your career goals, we suggest you explore full time programs, as they are designed for career changers.

Chat Guest: do you have applicants and students who come from the education field (whether they be teachers or on the advocacy/policy side)?

* Catherine Napier: Yes. Students come from all backgrounds before applying, and some have advanced degrees.

Chat Guest: I am interested in the Evening Program. One of my questions is about the schedule of classes? Is there a specific time-frame these classes fall between in? For example, classes are only 6-9pm or only after 6pm.

* Erik Halloway: Weekday courses are held from 6-9PM and Weekend courses are either 9AM-12PM or 1:30-4:30PM.

Chat Guest:  First question - What are some qualities that Booth is looking for in applicants? The ones not outlined in the MBA application criteria. Is there a certain personality type Booth looks for?

* Kara Northcutt: Our student body is very diverse and we appreciate all personality types. Because of this diversity, our students have different goals and motivations for getting their MBA. The common qualities are intellectual curiosity, high level of motivation to succeed, and desire to give back to the community. I suggest you visit a class if your schedule allows to experience the Booth community first hand. You can register to visit a class here-  https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/class-visit

Chat Guest: I just started to fill out my application for the part time program and saw there was an option to indicate interest in the (MPCS)/MBA joint degree. I currently work as a technical product owner and I'm interested in a joint computer science degree. Could you please speak to the prerequisites necessary to apply for this program?

* Erik Halloway: A strong understanding of certain math concepts are required. You would demonstrate your proficiency through a placement exam or taking prerequisites. I recommend checking out their website: https://csmasters.uchicago.edu/page/mba-mpcs .

Chat Guest: Hi Admission team, since we still have full time jobs, how much flexibility there is, for example, for a weekend MBA student to take classes in the evening or vice versa

* Catherine Napier: There is great flexibility in the program, which is one of my favorite attributes of the program. A weekend student is certainly able to attend a weeknight class, if that works better one week. The same is true for evening students to take weekend classes. For example, I had to stay late at work two nights during a quarter and missed two evening microeconomics classes. I was able to attend the Saturday section, thanks to the professor's flexibility.

Chat Guest: I am in the process of applying to the Weekend MBA program, specifically the CBF program. I know Booth accepts GRE scores, are they equally preferred as GMAT scores?

* Nico Ricchiuto: We have no preference in the exam you take. We look at both scores equally.

Chat Guest: I have a quick question about the work experience. I will finish 3 years of work in this Feb and will have about 3.5 by August. So, am I eligible to apply for evening MBA or do I need to apply in the Chicago fellow program? Thanks.

* Nico Ricchiuto: You are never required to apply to the Chicago Business Fellows program, and there is no minimum work experience required to apply to the Evening MBA program.

Chat Guest: I am a U.S. resident (green card holder) and I am based in Dubai. I already have a job offer from an employer in Chicago. My relocation to Chicago will be based on my admission to Booth program. The fact that currently I am not working full time in Chicago area will affect me candidacy to the evening program?

* Kara Northcutt: We are unable to speculate on your chances of admission until we have your full application. Be sure to explain your relocation plans and provide details about the job offer in the application. If you can provide confirmation from the company, that would be very helpful.  

Chat Guest:  Is there a minimum requirement for years of full-time work experience before applying?

* Nico Ricchiuto: There is not minimum amount of work experience required before applying to the Evening MBA or Weekend MBA program, but in 2016, the mid 80% fell between 3-10 years and 3-9 years of work experience respectively. We also have a subset program designed for individuals with less than three years of work experience call our Chicago Business Fellows program. You can find more info here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/early-career-candidates

Chat Guest:  Hello!  I'm joining from Houston and am looking at doing the weekend program (travelling in on the Weekends).  My question is what a typical year would look like in that program.  My understanding is 11 weeks, classes every Saturday with the average completion time taking about 3 years.   Could you expand on that at all?

* Erik Halloway: Each quarter is roughly 11 weeks. If you enroll for classes each of the 4 quarters, you would be on campus/in Chicago for approximately 44 weekends a year. Assuming you take two courses per quarter – as the majority of our students do, you would complete your degree in 2.5 years. You have 5 years to complete your degree, so you have the ability to slow down as well, like take a quarter or two off. 

Chat Guest:  If additional information arises shortly after the January 13 deadline (i.e. a promotion), can we send this info to Booth to be considered as part of our application?

* Nico Ricchiuto:  Feel free to email any additional info to eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu, and depending on how far past the deadline, it will be considered as part of your application.

Chat Guest:  Are PT/Evening MBA students allowed to recruit with FT students?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Part-Time Evening and Weekend students are allowed to recruit with FT students during campus recruitment. You would have access to all career services opportunities aside from a specific internship component that is a part of the FT MBA process.

Chat Guest:  If I had previously applied for a FT program, would I be considered a reapplicant even for the PT program and have to submit the reapplicant essay?

* Molly O'Donnell: If it has been less than 2 years since you applied to the FT program you would be considered a reapplicant and have to submit the reapplicant essay.

Chat Guest:  Is the Booth Career services available to the PT students?

* Nico Ricchiuto: Evening MBA and Weekend MBA student certainly have access to career services ranging from our job postings to one-on-one coaching to our formalized Campus Recruiting process for full-time jobs. The only difference between PT students and full-time students when it comes to career services is that PT students do not have access to the formalized Campus Recruiting process for Internships.

Chat Guest:  I currently work at a technology company that has 10000+ employees. I have worked there since graduation from a master degree program in Canada. I have 3.5 years of work experience now. I am not in a leader/supervisor position right now.  Am I qualified as a candidate to apply?

* Lindsay Badeaux: It sounds like you would be eligible to apply.  Feel free to review our application requirements here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/apply

Chat Guest:  What makes a candidate a good fit for Booth?

* Erik Halloway: We use a holistic review process when evaluating each candidate. We are looking for a student who is intellectually curious, can handle the rigor of Booth, and will be a contributing member of the community both as a student and alum.

Chat Guest:  Do most candidates in the Weekend program opt to only do one of the class slots on Saturday (9-12 or 1:30 - 4:30) or is it typical to do both?

* Catherine Napier: I believe that typically, Weekend students enroll in two classes per quarter (especially since many are flying in from all areas of the country). Weekend students also have the option to take Friday night classes, if that is preferred.

Chat Guest:  What type of financial aid is available for Weekend students? Is it only in the form of loans or are there any grants available?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Regarding financial aid – we have a financial aid office that can assist with payment and funding, however the university does not offer specific loans. Incoming students can look into private or government loans in addition to corporate sponsorship and personal savings.

Chat Guest:  I have been researching the Booth EW MBA program. I would love to know more about the Chicago Business Fellow program. What made this special to the young professions?
* Lindsay Badeaux: The Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program is a subset of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs and offers additional professional development programming during the first quarter.  It yields the exact same degree and 95% of your classes will be with the traditional MBA students, but that additional programming helps to build some of the softer skills that can be important early in a career.  If you have fewer than three years of work experience, the CBF program will be the appropriate fit for you.

Students who are admitted to CBF will take a weekly, non-credit-bearing seminar during their first quarter at Booth that helps to develop those skills.  You will cover things like advanced public speaking, how to effectively network, how to build effective teams, etc.

Chat Guest:  How does Weekend MBA compare to Full Time MBA from the perspective of campus placements opportunities?

* Kara Northcutt: The main difference is that internship recruiting is open to Full Time MBA students only. If you feel an internship will be an important part of your career goals, we suggest you explore full time programs. Evening MBA and Weekend MBA (EW) students are able to participate in the same campus recruiting program for full time jobs. Please keep in mind that campus recruiting is only one of many sources students use to find a new job (if that is their goal).  Job posting database, student and alumni network, etc. Many EW students are not seeking a new job, rather are looking to advance in their current organization.      

Chat Guest:  In terms of extracurricular activities, in the diversity section of Weekend MBA webpage, there’s no mention of a Latin American focused student group. What’s the process and requisites to create a new diversity-focused group, and can it be done during an MBA or it has to be after completing a program? On the other hand, can a Weekend MBA student become part of a sports club at the University of Chicago (such as a soccer team), or should this opportunities be canalized through the creation of new student clubs (if possible)?

* Marcus Wordlaw: The Coalition of Minorities in Business is our student group that is specific to Black, African, African American, Latin, Hispanic, and Mexican resources, issues, and progression within Booth. We have previously had a Latin specific group, but have more recently found it most useful to combine the efforts of the Latino(a) group with the African American group into a Minority Coalition. A Student may join a club such (as the soccer club) as a part of the Evening/Weekend student groups, or create a club (like the soccer club) through the student services office of the Evening/Weekend program

Chat Guest:  Hi, I am an Indian citizen but have a master's degree from USA already and currently work here, do I need to give TOEFL or can I waive it off?

* Nico Ricchiuto: If you have received a degree from a US institution, you do not need to submit a TOEFL score.

Chat Guest:  From the website, I see that the typical length of the evening program is 2.5 to 3 years which is longer than most PT programs I've seen being 2 years. Can you explain why Booth uses a longer program? Does it cover more material or is more in depth/slower pace, etc.?

* Erik Halloway: I am not familiar with many 2-year part-time programs. For Booth, our curriculum is identical to our full-time program, and consists of 20 courses. The faculty is also the same. In theory, you could speed up your program by completing 3 courses per quarter, but we rarely recommend that for students who are working full-time.

Chat Guest:  For traditional weekend program applicant, is May 1st the deadline for September 2017?

* Nico Ricchiuto: The Weekend MBA program intakes students twice a year: Autumn and Spring. Both deadlines can be found here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/admissions

Chat Guest:  Hello, if halfway through the program, I quit my job, am I still allowed to look for an internship position through the MBA?

* Marcus Wordlaw: A student may look for internships at any point while a student at Booth within the Evening or Weekend program. If you lose or quit your job, you may still continue through the part-time program and seek internships if you like. There is not a formalized process to finding internships, but the career services center and your professional/ Booth network would be the best options. 

Chat Guest:  What is admission requirement to get into the Boot MBA program?

* Erik Halloway: Our requirements can be found on our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/apply

Chat Guest:  In theory a travelling student could take 1 class on Friday night, and two on Saturday.  Is that common....or realistic?

* Molly O'Donnell: It depends on where you are coming from and how flexible your schedule is.  There are a fair number of students who come in for Friday night class as well as a Saturday class.  It can be a challenge to take both a Friday night class and 2 Saturday classes.  You'll want to think about the work load of that.

Chat Guest:  Catherine, as a current student- what has been your favorite class so far and why? What, if any, activities are you a part of at Booth?

* Catherine Napier: My favorite class was "Managing in Organizations," a class that is about managing people and how you can make your company more effective. It was completely eye-opening. I came to work with a new perspective every day and with ideas on how to make things even better. All my classes have been great, though. In terms of activities - I am involved in the student government group, the school newspaper, working with admissions, and the Marketing Club. Booth has so many clubs to choose from - it's great!

Chat Guest:  My question is regarding the career placement opportunities for the evening program. Most program focus more on their FT students in terms of career placement, internships and t the like. Would I have equal opportunities as the FT students? Is it possible to transition from FT to PT or vice versa depending on the needs I seek at the time?

* Lindsay Badeaux: Part Time MBA students have the same access to career services and networking opportunities as their Full Time counterparts, with the main difference being that you are not eligible to go through formal recruiting for internships, since we do not require you to complete one.  You still have access to the Booth job board which has over 5k postings per year, one-on-one career coaching, and you can even opt to go through formal on-campus recruiting as long as it is for full-time positions instead of internships.  Also, if your employer is contributing 8k or more per year towards your tuition, you have to get permission from them to participate.  Everything else is the same, and there are numerous networking events per year geared towards PT students.  You are not able to officially transfer between the FT and PT programs.

Chat Guest:  Would part-time MBAs be able to have access to same resources such as clubs, recruiting events as those students who belong in the full time MBA program?

* Lindsay Badeaux: We have over 40 student groups specific to the part-time MBA programs. Please see here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups . The Full Time MBA program also has a list of clubs, some of which are open to part time students and some of which are not.  As a part time student, you are eligible to go through formal on-campus recruiting as long as it is for full-time positions instead of internships.  The only other caveat with formal on-campus recruiting is that as a PT student, if your employer is contributing 8k or more per year towards your tuition, you have to get permission from them to participate. 

Chat Guest:  For the Civic Scholars Program, how do you define "nonprofit""? 501c3? Is working at a university, like the University of Chicago, considered nonprofit?

* Molly O'Donnell: Yes - any 501 (c) organization.  Yes - U Chicago is a nonprofit.

Chat Guest:  Are all the electives and courses in the curriculum available for weekend MBA or do some of the courses not become available on weekends and instead are available only during weekdays?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Nearly all of the courses available during the weekdays are also available on Saturdays, and vice versa.  

Chat Guest:  Hi - thank you for conducting this Q&A. I'm interested in the (MPCS)/MBA joint degree - could you speak to the prerequisites necessary for this program?

* Kara Northcutt: We must defer to the Computer Science department. They provide details about prerequisites on their website. It is a very math heavy program, so they are very strict about the prerequisites:

Chat Guest:  If you submitted your GMAT scores to the evening program, would the weekend program have access to these scores as well?

* Nico Ricchiuto: Yes, we will have access to your GMAT scores.

Chat Guest:  What is the minimum GMAT threshold for PT/Evening MBA program?

* Marcus Wordlaw: The middle 80% of admitted students score between a 610 and 730. The average GMAT score for admitted students is a 680. There is no minimum requirement to apply.   


Chat Guest:  Do I have to schedule my interview after submission of application or do I have to wait for being shortlisted before I schedule my interview?

* Nico Ricchiuto: You will be prompted to schedule your interview as soon as you submit your application.

Chat Guest:  What is your favorite part of a candidate's application?

* Molly O'Donnell: We have a holistic review process so every part matters in getting the full picture of an applicant.  It is fun to see what a great diversity of applicants we have!

Chat Guest:  Catherine, as a current student, what surprised you the most about Booth?

* Catherine Napier: I was surprised how much I would love it. I always knew I would like it - but I thought I would be the only non-quantitatively gifted person at Booth. It turns out, Booth has a niche for everyone - whether you love quant, you love learning about marketing, or more. I really appreciate that about the school because you get to learn from all types of people. It makes our study groups and class conversations especially great, because you learn from all kinds of backgrounds.

Chat Guest:  What are some of the mentorship and scholarship opportunities available for PT students?

* Catherine Napier: There are a lot of mentorship and leadership opportunities. I have even signed up for Leadership Coaching, and that has involved an element of mentorship. Mentorship can come from your fellow students, your professors, or the alumni that graciously offer to meet (even without knowing you beforehand). Because you're a part of Booth, alumni are especially willing to help you and guide you. Career Services has also been helpful, there. There are scholarship opportunities through different organizations that certainly apply to Booth.

Chat Guest:  If I apply early than deadline, should I expect an early response after four to six weeks after submission, or the response will be four to six weeks after the deadline?

* Nico Ricchiuto: You will receive your decision 4-6 weeks after submitting your application.

Chat Guest:  On the admissions website, I see the average time of completion of this program is 2.5-3 years, can you provide the range?

* Kara Northcutt: Approximately 2-5 years. Keep in mind Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students are working full time and take 2 courses per quarter. Some students will take 3 courses from time to time to accelerate the program. However, we suggest you do so very cautiously and first meet with an academic advisor. Two courses and a full time job is a lot to manage, and we’d hate to see one’s experience and academic performance suffer by overloading on courses.

Chat Guest:  Are part time students (particularly those travelling in on the weekend) able to join Student-Led Groups and Clubs.  Are there remote options available for participation?

* Catherine Napier: Absolutely! Groups encourage weekend students to get very involved and to become group leaders. The groups value the weekend student perspective. Groups try to plan many events on Saturday during the lunch hour or after class to ensure weekend students are able to attend and maximize their experience. Remote options are available during the week, since we're only a phone call away to discuss planning weekend events. Groups are very cognizant of the balance weekend students have and want to ensure weekend students are involved.

Chat Guest:  If we lose or quit our job, are we eligible to take the full-time MBA classes, or join the full-time MBA?

* Marcus Wordlaw: If a student loses or quits their job in the Evening/Weekend program, he/she can still remain a part time student and choose to take more classes (ex. 3-4 per quarter). However, they would still be considered an Evening or Weekend student. You are not allowed to change from the Part-Time to Full-Time program once you begin. But students may pick up a full time load of classes in the part time program if they choose. 

Chat Guest:  I am majoring in Finance and also pursuing a certificate in Investment Management. I expect to graduate in May 2017. I would like to know if I should wait to have 2 years of full-time work experience before applying for an MBA at Chicago?

* Lindsay Badeaux:  Given your years of experience, it sounds like you might be a good fit for the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program.   This program is a subset of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs and offers additional professional development programming during the first quarter.  It yields the same degree and the majority of your classes will be with the traditional MBA students, but that additional seminar helps to build some of the softer skills that can be important early in a career. You can learn more about this program here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/early-career-candidates

Chat Guest:  Outside of the flexible scheduling, what would you consider as an advantage to the Part Time program versus Full Time? Also, how do the student communities differ between the two?

* Marcus Wordlaw: There are many similarities and a few differences between the Full Time and Evening/Weekend program. Many part time students consider the ability to implement what they have learned in class immediately to their jobs as a great asset of the Evening/Weekend program. The communities between the two programs are similar. One difference that Evening/Weekend community maintains are a network of students who are currently working – which can help with networking efforts and present unique perspectives in group assignments where students can bring experience on topics they may be dealing with at work. The average age is 30, just slightly higher than the FT average age. But you would have access to all Booth Alums regardless of the program

Chat Guest:  I'm currently working in Bay Area. I'm wondering if you have any current students from Bay Area.

* Erik Halloway: We have a number of students who commute from the Bay Area to take courses with us on Saturdays as part of the Weekend MBA. About 70% of our Weekend students travel to Chicago from outside of Illinois

Chat Guest:  Thank you so much Linda! Follow up questions on CBF program. It seems to me that the candidates in this subset program take classes with FT MBA students. So the on-campus resources are the same with them? How about the schedule? Can early-career candidates apply for scholarship in this case?
* Lindsay Badeaux: CBF is a subset of the Evening and Weekend MBA programs, so you would still be considered an Evening or Weekend student, and also part of the CBF cohort.  Since the curriculum is the same between the Evening, Weekend, and FT MBA programs at Booth, and our faculty teach across all programs, students have the opportunity to take classes across the programs.  That being said, you will be taking the majority of your classes with other Evening and Weekend students in your home program, rather than FT MBA students.  To review the options for early career candidates for the FT program, see here:  https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/early-career-candidates .

Chat Guest:  Do you accept GRE scores as well? If so, do you know the average range or percentile of students who get accepted?

* Molly O'Donnell: We take either the GRE or GMAT.  The acceptance rate varies each quarter depending on the applicant pool that quarter.  One quarter is not any harder or easier to be accepted.

Chat Guest:  The website indicates that 'discounted airfare’ and hotel options are available for weekend students travelling in.  Can you provide a general ballpark of what that looks like from a discount or cost perspective?

* Erik Halloway: Travel discounts are small, but are still helpful over the course of your program. Hotels can vary, but there is a good amount of choice. Airfare also varies. Southwest, for example, has a discount is 10% on public “wanna get away” fares.

Chat Guest:  Sorry about that Marcus. I'm asking if there is extra effort to admit minority students?

* Marcus Wordlaw: There certainly is a great effort on recruiting minority students. The minority percentage among Business schools across the country is low, but we have efforts and events to create awareness and understanding of the wants/needs of these students. You may contact me (Marcus Wordlaw: marcus.wordlaw@chicagobooth.edu) directly about diversity efforts at Booth and I am happy to have discussions about it. We will update our diversity specific event page as we schedule events moving forward which you may find here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/events/diversity .   

Chat Guest:  I am an Indian citizen, working full time in US from past 3 years is there a need to give TOEFL?

* Nico Ricchiuto: All international students whose native language is not English must take either the TOEFL or IELTS exam unless they: Have earned an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction OR Are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language.

Chat Guest:  How often do PT students get involved in entrepreneurial competitions and other experiential learning opportunities (global labs)?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Evening and Weekend students are afforded the ability to participate in entrepreneurial activities, competitions, short and long-term international business exchange programs, and register for lab classes. However, lab classes and long-term international business exchange programs specifically require additional time outside of class which may conflict with a full-time working schedule. However we do not limit what an Evening/Weekend student can choose to register from those events.

Chat Guest: Hi I am working in supply chain management areas. I have a master degree in supply chain. I am looking for broad in career. Maybe strategy or marketing. I am not sure now. Do you have any career development advisor before enrollment?

* Lindsay Badeaux: Prospective students do not have access to our Career Services team until after they are admitted and matriculate.  Booth's discipline based curriculum allows our students to explore different areas of business and decide what career paths might be best for you, so I think you will find that if you're admitted you will certainly be able to broaden your focus.

Chat Guest:  Is there a limit on how many concentrations a student can declare?

* Catherine Napier: I believe that typically, students declare 2-3 concentrations. The max that is probably possible is 5 (but there may not be a limit).

Chat Guest:  This question is for Catherine, What has been your most valuable experience and why? What are some of the things that surprised you about the program?

* Catherine Napier: My most valuable experience has been being a part of every day at Booth. Every day has something different to teach me - every professor, every student, every student group meeting. On Friday, I hosted a meeting for the student government group, and the dean of the program attended. He came over and said hello. He gave up a portion of his Friday to simply say hi to students and to support the event. In this event, I also saw students interacting with the different research centers on campus. And, when I left the event to go to my Friday night class, an old professor said, "Hello, Catherine" in the hallway. This is a place where you learn so much in the classroom, you enjoy the events you plan, you get to meet amazing leaders and faculty who really want to invest in you and remember your name months later. It's so inspiring. Every day has been the most valuable experience!

Chat Guest:  What sets Booth apart from other part-time MBA programs?

* Erik Halloway: The part that I find most attractive about Booth is our wonderful community of students, staff, faculty and alumni. It’s an incredibly supportive community that attracts students from a wide-range of industries and from all over the country. The flexible curriculum allows you to customize your MBA to meet your professional goals, and we have one of the largest career services departments of any business school to support your goals as well.

Chat Guest:  I have a question on cohort cohesion from the weekend program perspective. Given that the program is part time – and that attending would likely mean only short visits to the Chicago area – how connected do students feel to the group they enter the program with? Is the network as strong as students in the full-time program? Are there natural limitations because the visits are so brief? I’d love to hear Catherine’s perspective in particular on this.

* Catherine Napier: That is a great question. There is definitely strong cohort cohesion in the program. This is initially nurtured through the program's three day orientation, which allows students to meet with evening students, as well. The more students get involved in campus, the more students solidify the cohesion, I think. Especially being in the part time program, it is more up to students to make time for activities and making friends, since work is an element we're all balancing. Of course, being on campus only one day a week sounds small, but you can truly maximize your Saturday with class, an activity over the lunch hour, and the happy hour after class. Friday night classes also give you an opportunity to meet more students. Many Booth groups try to plan events on Saturdays, so every student population is included (even full time students).

Chat Guest:  Do career services for PT students, have a reach in other countries as well besides US?

* Erik Halloway: Booth has a global impact with 50,000 alumni in approximately 112 countries. Career Services supports student’s professional goals both domestically and internationally. Anecdotally, Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students tend to stay local during and right after they graduate.

Chat Guest:  I'm currently in the biotech field and am interested in the weekend MBA program. Can you give me a little bit of background around the GPHAP and if weekend students can get the Certificate in Health Administration and Policy as well? If so, do we state our intentions in our applications? Thanks.

* Kara Northcutt: Technically yes, but the GPHAP courses are on the main University of Chicago campus in the late afternoon on weekdays. If you are able to attend courses during the week in Chicago (mainly spring quarter), you can make this work. Once you start at Booth, you’d want to connect with an academic advisor to help plan your courses.         

Chat Guest:  Is the admissions process for the CBF program typically more competitive than the FT program?

Chat Guest:  We do not share our acceptance rate publicly, but I would not say it is more competitive than the FT MBA program.  Across all Booth programs, the admissions teams are seeking individuals who are intellectually curious, go above and beyond, have demonstrated leadership and career success, and who will be a good fit for our active community.  For the CBF program, since you have less work experience on average, your academics and leadership potential are especially important. 

Chat Guest:  Are there special requirements or minimum qualifications for the Civic Scholars program?

* Molly O'Donnell: The only requirement for the Civic Scholars Program is that you work for a nonprofit organization or the government.  Although we have ranges listed on our website of the candidate profile that we think would most benefit from the program, these are not requirements.

Chat Guest:  Kara, thanks for your answer. Do I need a work visa and live in the US for applying to the Weekend MBA program? The agreement with my company is that once admitted in a part-time, they will submit an L-1A visa for transfer of managers/executives to the US. What should be first then?

* Kara Northcutt: Thank you for clarifying. Be sure to explain this in your application and provide details about the job transfer in the application. If you can provide confirmation from your company, that would be very helpful.

Chat Guest:  Between evening and weekend program, do you think the weekend program can provide more of a "student community feel" than the evening program would?

* Erik Halloway: The community – including Evening and Weekend students, is pretty inclusive. The majority of events are held on the weekend to include students to travel to campus. With the large number of students group, it is easy to get involved outside of the classroom regardless of whether you are an Evening or Weekend student.

Chat Guest:  What is the average GRE score of applicants accepted to booth weekend program?

* Kara Northcutt: We look for GRE scores that convert into our mid-80% GMAT range of 610-730 (average 680). You can use the GRE to GMAT comparison tool to see how GRE scores compare: https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/about/mba/comparison_tool  .

Chat Guest:  Do you have a specific financial-aid program for Latin American admitted students different than the loans program, such as merit-based fellowships or scholarships?

* Marcus Wordlaw: We do not have specific scholarships for Latin-American students in the Evening or Weekend program. The Full-time program has additional merit based scholarships that you may want to consider.  

Chat Guest:  I am majoring in Finance and also pursuing a certificate in Investment Management. I expect to graduate in May 2017 at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. I am a little bit concerned about the tuition. Could you please tell me if there is any Financial Aid or Scholarship available? I have a 3.5 GPA and a 720 GMAT.

* Kara Northcutt: For the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA (EW) Programs, we do not offer scholarships (except for those in working in nonprofit or government). EW students typically use a combination for company support, student loans and personal savings to fund their MBA. Scholarships are rare to come by for part time programs; they are much more common for full time programs.   

Chat Guest:  What sort of entrepreneurial opportunities are there at Booth?

* Erik Halloway: There are many! There are courses designed for entrepreneurs, experiential-based courses, clubs, competitions, and a learning center that connects student with other entrepreneurs and ideas in the greater Chicago-land area.

Chat Guest:  I think I read something about a 6-year minimum work history for the Civic Scholars program before, (I hope I am not imagining this), but so I held off from applying.

* Molly O'Donnell: We do not have any minimum years of work requirements.  The candidate profile listed on our website is just to give an idea of who we think would benefit most from the program.

Chat Guest:  Are there any reasons for a waived application fee?

* Nico Ricchiuto: We offer application fee waivers to current and former members of the US military as well as Teach for America participants.

Chat Guest:  Why is the Civic Scholars program only for weekend/part time students and not available for the full-time MBA?

* Molly O'Donnell: The Civic Scholars Program is intentionally housed in the Weekend MBA Program so that it is available to people from across the country.  The gift agreement that is funding the Civic Scholars Program specifies that it be in the Weekend MBA Program.

Chat Guest: How does admission evaluate a candidate’s list of other graduate business program applications?

* Lindsay Badeaux: We ask that question on our application simply for data collection, your answer has no bearing on your admissions decision.

Chat Guest:  Are the applicants interviewed by the admissions team or are they interviewed by an alumni/current student?

* Nico Ricchiuto: The large majority of our interviews are conducted by current students and alumni.

Chat Guest:  Hi Catherine, I was wondering what made you choose Booth compared to other Chicago part time programs?

* Catherine Napier: I felt appreciated at Booth. That's ultimately why I chose Booth. Also, I applied to school with about three years of work experience, and I think Booth's approach to wherever you are in your career journey makes it the most unique program. Booth specifically has a program for those with 0-3 years of work experience (through the Chicago Business Fellows program), which means that Booth supports you whether you're in the beginning or toward the mature part of your career (the executive MBA) or in between. I found that approach to be different, and it's much appreciated.


Chat Guest:  What would you say graduates of the program cite as the most valuable experience they received at Booth?

* Lindsay Badeaux: Great question!  I think for many alumni, it's difficult to narrow it down to just one thing.  Many alumni cite the network and friendships they made as one of the most valuable takeaways, in addition to the skills they learn inside the classroom.  I encourage you to attend some Booth events and ask our awesome alumni that question!  I'm sure you'll get a variety of responses.

Chat Guest:  What are the interviews based on? I know some schools will decide if an interview will be given solely based on Resume. Can you share the criteria at Booth?

* Lindsay Badeaux: We interview all applicants for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs.  Once you submit your application, you will be prompted to schedule your in-person interview.  Most interviews are conducted by members of our Admissions Committee, who are either current students or alumni of our programs.

Chat Guest:  If I get into the weekend program and move to Chicago, can I change to the weeknight program?
* Molly O'Donnell: If you are admitted to the Weekend Program you are allowed to take evening classes as well.  If you'd like to officially change from a Weekend to an Evening student you may do so.  You can only make this change once.

Chat Guest:  Leadership development is a really important aspect of the MBA process to me. Could you please talk a little more about LEAD/LAUNCH, and any other leadership development opportunities that are open to Weekend degree students?

* Lindsay Badeaux: Great question, I'm so glad you asked! All Booth students must complete LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Development), which is the only required course of your MBA.  You can read more about it here (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/weekend/academics/effective-leadership), but one unique aspect is helping you develop your own particular style of leadership based on your strengths, rather than ascribing one type of leadership to all individuals.  This enables you to be a strong leader, regardless of industry or function.  Much of the LEAD requirement is fulfilled at LAUNCH, your three day orientation, and the LEAD office offers many other opportunities for students to continue their leadership development throughout their time at Booth.

Chat Guest:  I understand that Booth has a partners club for spouses and significant others of students. How can the spouse of a PT Booth student be involved and network whilst not being in Chicago.

* Marcus Wordlaw: Related to the partner’s club – many of the actual events are held in Chicago and have the option of partners to join. This does not mean that a student must have a partner at each event to attend. There are general meetings, emails, events, and communication that occur throughout the year. Typically the Booth student is the link between their partner and the communication/events but they would be able to remain a part of the Booth community regardless of their location

Chat Guest:  Why is there such a distinction between Evening and Weekend students?

* Nico Ricchiuto: The distinction is for class registration purposes. A student has priority when registering for classes in his/her home program. This gives Evening MBA students priority in registering for weeknight classes and Weekend MBA students priority in registering for Saturday classes. Both programs share priority for Friday night courses.

Chat Guest:  Thank you Lindsay for the CFB information! This is a question for Catherine. Did you apply other schools other than Booth? If you did, why did you choose Booth?

* Catherine Napier: I chose Booth because I felt the school appreciated me and would challenge me in areas I especially needed to develop - quantitatively. I applied to other schools, but Booth felt like the best fit. It helped that I really did my homework. I recommend trying to get to know the school as much as possible - through reaching out to alumni, friends that you know who are currently in the program, etc. Fit is so important because you have to love where you're investing so much time and resources.

Chat Guest:  If a student has previously applied for FT, would a PT application be reviewed against the FT application?

* Lindsay Badeaux: The Admissions Committee will not review your previous application, so it's best to approach your PT application as an entirely new application to Booth.

Chat Guest:  Under extenuating circumstances, is it possible to have the admission deferred by a year if I get accepted? I want to apply for Autumn 2017 but have dependencies on my fiancé’s career decisions.

* Kara Northcutt: No, a year deferral is not an option. For the Evening MBA, you can request a 1-quarter deferral. For the Weekend MBA, you can request to defer to the next start term. We bring in Weekend MBA classes autumn and spring. If the deferral request is approved, there is a $1000 deferral fee (in addition to the $1000 tuition deposit).  

Chat Guest:  Thanks, Catherine. Two more questions. Why did you choose Booth over other schools? In addition, what do you hope to gain from this education?

* Catherine Napier: I chose Booth because I felt the school appreciated me. Quite frankly, I also knew I would become comfortable with being uncomfortable - I am not naturally quantitative, so I knew Booth would be a challenge for me. I love a good challenge! I also chose Booth because it felt like the best personal fit. From this education, I hope to improve my quantitative skills (which is definitely happening), to sharpen skills I think I am good at, to grow from all the leadership opportunities, and to have fun! I've made the best friends at Booth, and we all talk about how we don't want our time at Booth to ever end.

Chat Guest:  Catherine, when applying did you attend a class at multiple schools? What stood out to you about Booth?

* Catherine Napier: I attended multiple classes at multiple schools to really get a feel. I also attended extra events - I showed up at every Booth admissions event I could. Doing that helped me feel that I could truly see myself in the community. Booth stood out to me with how welcoming everyone was. It seemed like a place I could really challenge myself and also enjoy it. I tried to meet with as many current students and alumni as I could to get their perspective, and it really helped. I recommend doing that, too.

Chat Guest:  If you are a current student and an opportunity outside of school arises that needs your time, are you able to take a semester off and restart classes at a later date?

* Marcus Wordlaw: Students may take a quarter off, or multiple quarters. Once you begin the program, you have 5 years to graduate and in that time you may progress as fast or slow as you like. This can be taking quarters off, or only taking one class per quarter at some times. The degree may be accelerated where a student at times takes 3 classes per quarter, although this is not always recommended with a job.

Chat Guest:  I heard that upon graduation an alumni is allowed to take a few courses free of charge. Could you please elaborate on this a little? Is there a time limit when it can be done?

* Molly O'Donnell: Yes!  After graduation you may take 3 courses.  There is no specific timeframe for this.

Chat Guest:  Which quarter do evening students most typically start in?

* Nico Ricchiuto: We receive the most applications in the Autumn and Spring, therefore we bring in the most students during those quarters. That being said, your likelihood of admission is not affected by the quarter you apply to. It is all about when it is personally best for you to start.

Chat Guest:  What would happen if I lose my job while pursuing my MBA? In that case, can I transition to the FT program?

* Kara Northcutt: No, we do not allow transfer into the Full Time MBA. You can increase your course load as an Evening MBA or Weekend MBA student, but you’d not be considered a Full Time MBA student. When I’ve seen this happen to students, they often take a break from school and focus on finding new employment. Once employed & settled into new job, they resume courses. Keep in mind you have 5 years to complete your MBA, which offers a lot of flexibility in managing unexpected personal and/or professional changes.

Chat Guest:  Catherine- Are you able to apply your in-classroom learning actively in your professional career? Or, do you feel that the MBA is more of a long-term investment, where you will reap the professional benefits towards the end of your program?

* Catherine Napier: Booth has already taught me lessons that I can apply in my immediate day-to-day (leadership, how to think quantitatively, how to challenge an idea, how to balance it all, amongst many others), and I know the degree will pay dividends after graduation, as well. I actually write a Booth newspaper column on how students apply what they learn at school in real life. Check out some of the columns here: http://www.chibus.com/eveningweekend/

Chat Guest:  What are the financing opportunities that booth provides for International Students?

* Molly O'Donnell: The Evening and Weekend MBA Programs do not have specific financing opportunities.  Most international students use private student loans. 

Chat Guest:  Are Full-time and Part-time students awarded the same degree?

* Erik Halloway: Yes. The faculty and curriculum is also them same between the Evening, Weekend, and Full-Time MBA programs.

Chat Guest: Do I absolutely have to use my supervisor as one of my recommenders, or it is optional?

* Lindsay Badeaux: It's ultimately up to you whom you ask to write your letters of rec, but we strongly encourage to have at least one be from your current supervisor, and most applicants submit two letters that are professional in nature.  If you recently began employment somewhere new, it's okay to ask your previous supervisor.

Chat Guest:  I spoke with a former FT student that said they took a lot of classes at the Gleacher Center. How common is it for FT and PT students to mix?

* Catherine Napier: It is common for part time and full time students to mix. As a part of my job in the student government group, it's my job to help ensure they do! Full time students like taking classes at Gleacher because they all live near Gleacher. Part time students love meeting full time students, so that is a win-win. We are always working to bring part and full time together. For example, I am planning an event on 2/28 where part and full time students will go to a Bulls game. Last quarter, full time students gave us a tour of the Harper Center, we had a gala event with all University of Chicago graduate programs, and both student groups attended a debate (amongst many other events). Both part time and full time students enjoy meeting each other, and we always work to make the cohesion even stronger.

Chat Guest:  Could you please describe the similarities and differences (if any) between the FT curriculum/faculty and the PT curriculum/faculty? For instance, do professors teach both FT and PT courses?

* Molly O'Donnell: Good question.  The same faculty teach the same courses in both the FT and PT programs.  There are no differences in the course offerings or faculty.

Chat Guest:  what top characteristics are the ideal candidates Booths are looking for?

* Lindsay Badeaux: We are looking for those who are intellectually curious and can handle the academic rigor of our classroom experience, as well as those who have shown some career success thus far and have given thought to how a Booth MBA can help them continue in that career success.  We also want to be sure to bring in students who will be a good fit for our vibrant community here!

Chat Guest:  Earlier in this chat, Molly had mentioned that a PT applicant would be considered a reapplicant even if (s)he had applied for a FT program less than 2 years ago. However, based on what you mentioned Lindsey, if the PT application is meant to be considered a fresh process altogether, this seems to be conflicting with what Molly had written. Can you please elaborate?

* Lindsay Badeaux: You are still considered a reapplicant to Booth, and the main difference is that as a reapplicant, you'll need to complete the reapplicant essay.  This essay gives us some insight into what has changed since you last applied, why you feel you are a stronger candidate this time around, or why you've decided the Evening or Weekend programs might be a better fit than a FT MBA program.  Your previous application will not be deleted from our system, and admissions staff will have full access, but the admissions committee members will only see your new application, so it's important to be thorough and don't assume they have access to your previous essays, etc.  I hope this makes sense!  If you have additional questions about reapplying, don't hesitate to reach out to us as eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu.

Chat Guest:  Do you provide exemption from advance accounting courses for CPA qualified students?

* Erik Halloway: Yes. For most function areas, we have baseline courses for students with little to no experience, and advance options. https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/academics/curriculum

Chat Guest:  Are the classes recorded? If I miss a weekend class due to any unavoidable circumstances, is there any way I can make up for it?

* Catherine Napier: While classes are not recorded, you could probably make up for that class through speaking with the professor about your situation. Professors appreciate the situation you're in - especially if you're flying in. I am sure there is a way for the professor to work that out. If possible, you could attend the weekday or evening section of the class, as well.

Chat Guest:  Catherine, how many hours a day do you typically spend on studying outside of school?

* Catherine Napier: I probably spend 10 hours a week on homework, which I typically do on the weekends. It varies by quarter. With class and activities, it's closer to 18 hours of involvement per week. This certainly varies by student.

Chat Guest:  Is there a way I can get a transcript of this chat at the end of the session?

* Nico Ricchiuto: A transcript of this chat will be posted within the next week. You can find it here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/events/online-chats

Chat Guest:  What is the average work experience in number of years of the candidates in the evening and in the weekend program?

* Marcus Wordlaw: The average work experience is 6 years in both the Evening and Weekend program.

Chat Guest:  What is the average work experience in number of years of the candidates in the evening and in the weekend program and how does it compare with the avg. work experience of the FT candidates?

* Marcus Wordlaw: The average work experience for applicants in the Evening and Weekend program is about 6 years. Full-Time program's average work experience is 5 years.

Chat Guest: I am about to leave, can I have the record of today's chat later?

* Nico Ricchiuto: A transcript of this chat will posted within the next week. You can find it here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/evening/admissions/events/online-chats

Chat Guest:  When does the September quarter end in December?

* Marcus Wordlaw: The Autumn quarter (starting in September) typically ends in Mid-December depending on finals, etc.