MBA Chat — October 10, 2000

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Chat Transcript:
Chicago, Duke, Michigan, Tuck Chat with Maxx Duffy

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:19 PM)
First, welcome to our chat on the MBA programs at Chicago, Duke, Michigan, and Tuck.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:26 PM)
I also want to welcome Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates, who will be our guest this evening and share her knowledge of these schools. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, two of's editors.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:35 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:44 PM)
We encourage dialogue and discussion, but I would like to suggest a structure to make it easier to follow the threads of conversation. So here is the protocol:

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:51 PM)
We will post material to the chat. If you have a question on that material, please type a '?' and then your question. I and/or other participants will reply. If one of you wants to comment on the current topic, please jump right in. If you want to start a different topic, please type '?'.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:03:59 PM)
Final request: We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify for a particular school." Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of analysis.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:04:14 PM)
Other than that limitation, this is your chance to ask questions of an expert in MBA admissions. But I would like to take advantage of my position as host and ask the first few questions.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:04:22 PM)
When we were setting up this chat and deciding which schools to focus on, why did you choose to put these 4 schools together?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:04:32 PM)
I felt that these four schools would offer an intriguing comparison in how to tailor applications based on program philosophy. What an applicant tells Chicago and Michigan versus what an applicant tells Duke and Tuck will be different as a function of program philosophy. I also felt that having two programs within each philosophical grouping would allow for some similar-yet-different insights. What you tell Chicago versus Michigan or Duke versus Tuck will be different as a function of individual program realities.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:04:43 PM)
By discussing these four programs together, I hope applicants will see the differences come alive and recognize the importance of approaching their applications with a deeper understanding of and connection to each school's philosophy and each program's unique elements.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:04:59 PM)
What distinguishes these schools from each other? Maxx, could you highlight some of the differences first in approach to business education among the three schools?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:05:06 PM)
Approach to Business Education: Duke and Tuck are generalist schools; Chicago and Michigan are specialist schools. The philosophical difference is simple — a generalist program focuses more on the integration of all subject matter; a specialist program focuses more on the selected discipline. Clearly, the learning perspectives of these approaches are dissimilar. The generalist viewpoint is one that is all encompassing; the specialist viewpoint is about gaining depth in a particular area of expertise.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:05:19 PM)
Michigan - Chicago: For Michigan and Chicago, the programs have theoretical/economic roots. These roots can be seen today either in terms of the philosophy/practices in the program (i.e., in Michigan's materials look at the number of times that the words — theory, research, scholars, traditional delivery — are cited) or in terms of the quantitative nature of the program (while all MBA programs are quantitative, at Chicago, think about Nobel Prize winning faculty; think about the theorem that created option markets; think about how many MBA programs today still have an Econometrics area of concentration?)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:05:30 PM)
Yet, while Michigan and Chicago have similar roots, their individual profiles are quite different. Consider a comparison of graduate employment statistics between Michigan and Chicago. At Michigan, you will discover a fairly even distribution across fields — consulting, consumer goods, financial services, hi tech, I.B., manufacturing. At Chicago, however, you will note a much higher number of graduates in investment banking and consulting. Thus, while Michigan and Chicago are both specialist schools with similar roots, the directions and outcomes of their graduates are quite different. Applicants to these programs needs to take note of the similar-yet-different natures of these programs and factor them into their applications accordingly (specific goals; why particular program).

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:05:43 PM)
Duke - Tuck: Duke and Tuck are generalist programs, both employing the case study method (not to be confused with case-supportive schools.) There are, of course, several obvious differences between these two programs. The first is the recent upgrade in ranking by Duke; the second is the class size of these two programs. Tuck holds the honor of being the first graduate school of management and having the smallest admitted class of all graduate business schools (185 students admitted). Because of the latter, its strength is the communal nature of the program. The small class size allows the formation of strong bonds between students as well as students' easy access to Tuck's faculty. Tuck's approach to business education is incredibly personalized.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:05:55 PM)
Additionally, what has impressed me over the years is Tuck's ability to use its geographic isolation to its advantage. Tuck gained fame many years ago by bringing in highly respected CEOs/business leaders as short-term, on-campus residents. Known as "Executives in Residence" these leaders acted informally as resources for its students. Today, while that program has transformed itself into other programs (Visiting Executives; Management Forum), Tuck still manages to provide amazing executive access for its students. Tuck's philosophy seems to be: know and nurture the individual while pushing, exploring, expanding and achieving knowledge through high-level interactions.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:06 PM)
Tuck also holds another distinction which, to my way of thinking, still makes it an especially unusual general management program. It was the first and, for a long time, the only general management program that actually let students "specialize" in a field, creating a unique circumstance — a true (case study method) general management focus/program with individualized disciplines. While today, the same can be said for Duke (both programs offer its second year students 12 electives), Tuck was the original model.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:18 PM)
Duke – ; did you ever read the children's story about The Little Engine That Could? What an amazing journey Duke has made over the years! Today, Duke is the classic business success story — a good program that gains some reputation; goes a little stale; reinvents itself and achieves the impossible. One cannot be anything but happy for them. They competed against giants and won a spot — Top 5.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:31 PM)
Duke is a good example of a strong program that has been held down by the constancy of the long-held, top programs. But, Duke capitalized on its philosophy — keep moving, keep innovating. Rather than just reacting to changes in business (global economy) and changes in business programs, Duke has steadily (like the little engine that could) pioneered new programs, new educational models. Today, Duke's approach to business education is: technology + quantitative + world. It has a highly vital, happening feel to its program. Like other programs it talks about integrated learning and holistic approaches but what seems to set it apart is it lives it. It will be interesting to see what happens at Duke in the changing of the guard — they are searching for a new Dean.

Paul (ID=31) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:34 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:53 PM)
When I think of these schools, I think of fine schools, but not quite the top schools. What differentiates these schools from the very top?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:06:58 PM)
Of course, today, in light of their jump in the Business Week rankings from 7th position to 5th position, Duke would say there is no difference!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:06 PM)
Personally, I have always taken rankings with a grain of salt. Rankings state that all fruit (all MBA programs) are alike. All apples equal all oranges equal all pears. This of course is not true. There are different types of fruit and varieties within those types. Same holds true for MBA programs. MBA programs would rank differently if more thorough comparisons were done by type and variety. The position of any given school might be a lot different (and stronger) if comparisons were done by discipline, class sizes, theoretical/quantitative orientation, hard core practical, case methodology, case-supportive, geographical locations, employment status, faculties (research/consulting) or any other number of breakdowns. I really feel these four programs would distinguish themselves if they were put into their respective type and/or variety.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:17 PM)
In the end, though, the main difference is simple. The very top programs are cutting edge versus reactionary. The top programs create the models to follow; they are ahead of the curve. From a marketing perspective, being proactive is a great strategy.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:27 PM)
Often, programs become too comfortable, whether it be with their philosophy, history, faculty, methods, dean or administration. While these programs excel in what they do, they do not embrace change as well. The programs that initiate and embrace change will always soar to the top. If the rankings prove anything, they do "jolt" programs to action.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:37 PM)
Finally, there is a question of longevity — many of the top programs have commanded those positions for a long time. It is very difficult for a non-top 5 program to bump a top 5 program from their top position. Usually, the top programs simply reshuffle who is in what spot. The schools who do not command those top positions have always had and will continue to have difficulty in moving up. Again, I point to Duke — there was a change in the evaluative criteria and look what happened.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:48 PM)
In your opinion, and I realize this is speculation, are there goals that applicants could not achieve or jobs they could not obtain with degrees from these schools that they could realize with a diploma from Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Wharton?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:54 PM)
Goals: In my opinion, there are no goals that applicants could not achieve with degrees from these four MBA programs. Keep in mind that goals are personal and, as such, require personal drive. Personal drive + MBA degree = Success.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:07:59 PM)
Jobs: There are probably some company-specific jobs that might not be accessible to graduates from these four MBA programs. Let's call a spade a spade. Networking is alive and well, especially at H/S/W/C. Individual companies/organizations have often favored particular schools — sometimes because of job-specific elements, sometimes because of networking. Thus, it is possible that someone from Chicago may not get a position at an organization that favors Wharton. BUT, there are no job functions that graduates of Duke, Tuck, Chicago or Michigan could not obtain if they wished to do so.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:08:22 PM)
Are any of these schools particularly friendly or unfriendly to re-applicants, international students, or members of the military?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:08:28 PM)
I see all of these programs as friendly to all of these groups, though I suspect that Duke in light of its recent fame will become less friendly to re-applicants. There is no doubt that next year Duke will receive an influx of applications. This will affect those who have previously applied — those who were "close" but not 100%.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:08:33 PM)
Personally, I think that the members of the military have had a rough time in the last 10 years of MBA admission cycles. Prior to then, military applicants were applauded for the leadership they demonstrated and easily admitted. But, this changed when some top programs determined that military experience was not "real" business experience. Of the four MBA programs that we are looking at this evening, I have always thought that Tuck was particularly friendly to military applicants, but as Tuck's program is the smallest of all MBA programs re: the number of candidates admitted, even the positive attitude toward the military does not really help the military masses.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:08:45 PM)
International applicants are an important group to all of these programs. There are percentile differences re: the number admitted, with Chicago registering in the last spot, but all of the programs seek the diversity that international applicants obviously provide.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:08:59 PM)
? What do you consider to be the key factor(s) in admission for Chicago

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:09:08 PM)
The floor is open.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:09:39 PM)
Boderek — GMAT plus GPA, strong quantitative skills, along with the usual leadership, "why Chicago," and precise goals.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:09:39 PM)
It is my understanding that DUKE's teaching method is equally divided between lecture, case and projects. If this is accurate, would you still consider it as a school employing the case method?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:10:13 PM)
javaca – yes, because of the integration that they actively make sure exists between the disciplines and thus the courses offered

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:10:34 PM)
Maxx, that's interesting. It seems like Chicago, through its questions, is really trying to go beyond the numbers and get into the applicants.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:10:42 PM)
Its questions are some of the most off-the wall.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:10:59 PM)
how about the key factors for DUKE?

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:11:32 PM)
sorry key admissions factors for Duke?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:11:40 PM)
Linda – yes this is true in terms of trying to get to know the person. However, if you look at the jobs that are taken by these applicants and think about the theoretical and economics base that Chicago grounds its program in, I assure you that quant. skills are crucial for admission to this program

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:11:51 PM)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:12:25 PM)
javaca – Duke is going to be interesting in light of its upgraded ranking. As it is strongly a general management program, leadership and work experience are now the major factors

parttimer (ID=32) (Oct 10, 2000 10:12:45 PM)
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Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:13:19 PM)
How is everyone doing on their essays?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:13:44 PM)
Any questions?

ramses (ID=26) (Oct 10, 2000 10:13:46 PM)
i don't know you tell me :-)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:13:54 PM)
LOL, Tim

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:13:57 PM)
Would entrepreneurs hold a better chance of gaining acceptance to generalist programs since they probably value broad experiences for managing or creating a new business? basically entrepreneurial background and goals are attractive traits to which program types in your opinion?

m632w (ID=33) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:21 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:29 PM)
I have received a lot of inquiries from entrepreneurs and people in family businesses about their essays and recs.

ramses (ID=26) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:38 PM)
? Maxx, I have noticed that Chicago is starting to put decent numbers in VC can you comment on that?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:40 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:45 PM)
do you want to comment, Maxx, on some of the unique challenges of this group.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:14:54 PM)
javaca: entrepreneurs are a logical choice for a general management program. They embody precisely the skills that a general management program portrays.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:15:18 PM)
Thanks Maxx.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:15:51 PM)
They have particular difficulty in choosing recommenders.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:16:11 PM)
ramses: Chicago is a quantitatively oriented school. Finance in general is its major thrust after graduation. It is not surprising in light of the entrepreneurial nature of business these days that VC is growing there.

krumm (ID=25) (Oct 10, 2000 10:16:34 PM)
? -Chicago - As quant skills are crucial for admissions, does an applicant's current job weigh in this equation (i.e. corp finance consult, investment banker etc.) as much as his or her undergrad GPA and GMAT score?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:17:30 PM)
Linda: Finding recommenders for people in family businesses sometimes is difficult. They can look toward clients, colleagues and business partners as possible recommenders.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:01 PM)
Any questions?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:08 PM)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:11 PM)
krumm: absolutely, your current job weighs in this equation. In employment history, play up numbers, dollars, percentiles; refer to financial terms you're familiar with.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:19 PM)
Go ahead 720Indian.

parttimer (ID=32) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:27 PM)
How different are the GMAT and work experience requirements for part time program at UChicago compared to the full time program?

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:28 PM)
? Chicago slipped many, many spots in the rankings for Businessweek. Students are apparently concern of the school's ability to react to changes. Is there a serious concern there?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:32 PM)
Glad to have you back.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:32 PM)
I am applying to both Chicago & Duke. Do you think Chicago will again have a 25% acceptance rate as last year? What are the indications?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:43 PM)
Linda: Thanks. Good to be back.

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 10:18:52 PM)
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Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:19:19 PM)
parttimer: GMAT is probably going to be a little bit less, and work experience is probably going to weigh a little bit more.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:19:20 PM)
Regarding the DUKE essays for this year, which are very straight forward (professional development / personal development and a third more specific one). Do you have any tips on strategy for these? Strategy for positioning?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:20:47 PM)
*Silence* ?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:20:52 PM)
boderek: Chicago's philosophy is grounded in traditional theory and economics, and feels that its focus in finance and the quantitative areas will always be appropriate for a portion of applicants to business school and appropriate to the business community. It is clear that they're going to have to improve and keep up with the times regarding technology, but they probably won't do this to the extent that other programs will do, i.e. Duke

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:21:54 PM)
during the silence, imagine you are hearing the furious clicking of keys on your keyboard.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:21:59 PM)
720 Indian: Chicago's international numbers seem to be holding at a lower rate than the other 3 programs we're discussing this evening, so in answer to your question, yes it will probably be close to the same. Duke, on the other hand, is highly international. They're checking in with 30% international, although I do think Duke will get an influx of applications next year due to their change upward in ranking.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:22:01 PM)
Maxx, do you foresee GMAT scores rising again this year for top schools (ie. Duke)? applications increasing? Are minority /non-us citizens evaluated equally on exam results?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:22:54 PM)
javaca: the key with these essays, as is true with any essay, is to get your facts up front in the application, in employment history in particular, and focus more on insight, knowledge gained, perspective gained, and skills that you offer in the essays. Essays are about insight, not facts.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:23:49 PM)
I would also like to add that each essay should bring out something different — a new dimension and facet of your experience.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:23:52 PM)
javaca: GMAT scores... wow, it's unbelievable what has happened. They do seem to continue to rise. I suspect they will.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:03 PM)
How much higher can they go?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:04 PM)
javaca: applications increasing? Absolutely at Duke.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:24 PM)
Linda: Avg. should not cross 730. Just my $0.02.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:25 PM)
I actually think that applications will increase overall this year, though I certainly agree about Duke.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:25 PM)
720Indian: For some reason, all of the top programs, including those discussed here tonight, always seem to hold a similar acceptance rate year-in-year-out. They've been holding steady for the past 4-5 years that I've been tracking them. Maxx or Linda: Any comments on why this trend seems to hold?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:24:58 PM)
javaca: non-US citizens are evaluated equally for quantitative and given a little bit of a break for verbal. Minority applications are given a little bit of a break, but still have to be in a comfortable range for a given program.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:25:07 PM)
Actually, I think they went slightly up this year, though I think Maxx is right that they will go down at Duke next year.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:25:33 PM)
boderek: But Chicago is a top school, and 25% is way too high, even considering class size. But it is a preferred school for me because of their Finance & Analytic Finance concentrations.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:25:44 PM)
Maxx, may have a longer perspective on that. I believe that in the 80's and early 90's those acceptance rates were much higher.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:26:06 PM)
boderek: It's linked to the number of spaces that a given school feels they have available, because of program size, number of faculty, literally the number of seats in school classrooms. The acceptance rate will be linked to the number of spaces available.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:27:15 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:27:29 PM)
720Indian, if Chicago is preferred for you, highly ranked and has a higher acceptance rate, you are better off.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:27:39 PM)
go ahead, 720Indian

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:27:56 PM)
What sets Chicago apart from Columbia and Wharton? I find that very hard to articulate.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:28:08 PM)
720Indian: You're right. Compared to other top schools, it's got the highest acceptance rate. Have you visited the campus?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:28:41 PM)
boderek: I am in a 3rd world (I believe developing is the politically correct term) country. No such luck.

Paul (ID=31) (Oct 10, 2000 10:28:45 PM)
Careful, some Maroons in the audience! :-)

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:28:56 PM)
Hey Paul!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:29:12 PM)
720Indian: This is an excellent question. The only way you're going to be able to determine the differences, especially in such areas as finance, is to dig deeper into the program regarding the professors, the perspectives, and your personal angles in light of the goals you have set for yourself.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:29:47 PM)

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:29:52 PM)
Maxx: A dreaded question.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:29:58 PM)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:09 PM)
Bring it.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:16 PM)
Maxx: If the interviewer asks if say Duke is my No.1 choice or not, what do I say? (It is not)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:41 PM)
I assume your asking about a Duke interviewer.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:48 PM)
720Indian: That is indeed a difficult question...

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:50 PM)
Linda: Yup. Or Alumni.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:30:55 PM)
You don't want to lie to an interviewer...

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:31:11 PM)
What you can say is that Duke is one of your top three choices, with the three choices being fairly equal for different reasons...

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:31:23 PM)
Then articulate the very specific reasons why you wish to attend duke.

m632w (ID=36) (Oct 10, 2000 10:31:24 PM)
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boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:31:43 PM)
? Can anyone comment on how the student environment is at Chicago? Specifically, I want to know whether it's more cooperative (like Kellogg) or competitive (like Harvard)?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:31:56 PM)
Maxx: The 1st part is fine. The 2nd is hard.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:32:31 PM)
What do you consider to be the best sources for evaluating post-mba salaries, I find huge discrepancies between the different sources (BW, USnews, FT)?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:32:36 PM)
boderek: Chicago likes to believe that they have a cooperative environment, but this is a question best asked of current students at Chicago. I would see if you can contact some. Admissions may be able to give you some contact names.

m632w (ID=36) (Oct 10, 2000 10:32:53 PM)
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m632w (ID=36) (Oct 10, 2000 10:32:53 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:33:01 PM)
Have you contacted the placement offices?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:33:09 PM)
javaca: The schools themselves. If it is not directly posted, then ask them to send it.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:33:35 PM)

Cindy Tokumitsu (ID=23) (Oct 10, 2000 10:33:44 PM)
Do you have any particular advice for re-applicants to Tuck - someone who was waitlisted last year?

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:33:49 PM)
Not directly, I have reviewed their publications, none compare to the Wharton booklet on placement stats.

krumm (ID=25) (Oct 10, 2000 10:34:04 PM)
? - There are many theories regarding what round to apply in. I think generally, the first two rounds are preferred, however, I have read different theories on which round is the preferred round as some have schools generally accept the largest number of applicants in the second round, Any comment?

JEG (ID=37) (Oct 10, 2000 10:34:32 PM)
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Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:34:58 PM)
Cindy: The first thing is a hard-core evaluation of why they were wait-listed rather than directly admitted. If it's simply the timing of the application then all they really do need to do is update their materials. If there were areas that were just slightly less, then they need to reinforce those areas - be it activities, retaking the GMAT, honing in on more of their leadership/management experiences, etc.

Cindy Tokumitsu (ID=23) (Oct 10, 2000 10:35:29 PM)

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:35:30 PM)
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parttimer (ID=32) (Oct 10, 2000 10:35:42 PM)
Maxx, I am very interested in the part time program at UChicago. The average work experience is about 5 years. Whereas I have three years. Would I be better off waiting for a year or two or would it be rather the type of work that I have done in the last three years that will be an important consideration. Also with less work experience should my GMAT score be higher than the average?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:02 PM)
While Maxx is catching up with the questions, I want to pose one to everyone. Does this time work for you?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:11 PM)
Would you prefer one hour earlier?

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:20 PM)
I am an international student. Do you think that Michigan may give a break with a low verbal score (27), but I scored well at the TOEFL and scored well at the AWA ( with 5)?

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:29 PM)
Linda: I would prefer it to be 1 hour earlier!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:32 PM)
krumm: the big debate over rounds is usually directly linked to GPA and testing. In the first round, people with strong GPAS and GMATs tend to apply. Someone with a decent but not stellar GMAT or GPA might pale in comparison and thus might fare better in the second round. However, the second round, by default, has fewer spaces available, and these individuals run into "profile problems," i.e. how many people with their profile have already been admitted. It is a difficult call sometimes.

javaca (ID=29) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:35 PM)
Krumm, Duke has five rounds, they recommend early application is best. I personally feel the second is best as seats are available and selectivity may be a bit less than on the first round were they need to be very selective as they don't really know what the remaining applicant pool brings.

krumm (ID=25) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:36 PM)
Works fine for a Midwesterner.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:36:41 PM)
Fine with me.

JEG (ID=37) (Oct 10, 2000 10:37:01 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:37:28 PM)
JEG, that isn't the topic this evening. is planning to launch its college section by the end of the month.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:37:43 PM)
parttimer: Your three years of work experience is an important consideration. Assuming you have had lots of leadership and management experience, then you're probably on track. Yes a stronger GMAT will help overcome the slightly fewer years of work experience.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:37:49 PM)
720Indian: My 2 cents to your earlier question about difference between Chicago and Wharton? My brother was accepted to both and chose to go to Wharton. He based his decision on which one had the better finance program.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:38:17 PM)
Alx: Yes. They will give an international student a little break on the lower verbal score.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:38:41 PM)
boderek: I would choose the same, but I dread having to say that to a Chicago interviewer.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:38:51 PM)
Maxx: Comments?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:39:52 PM)
720Indian: Hone in on, again, the reasons you feel that Chicago is right for you. Not just the obvious reasons. Do some homework: research articles professors have written. Make connections to your goals. The stronger the link you can make to the program, the more they will feel that you are truly interested in them.

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 10:40:16 PM)
What have you heard about the student environment in Michigan?

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:40:41 PM)
Maxx: By your rationale, if you have a below-average GPA, even with a 700+ GMAT and 5+ years of experience, it sounds like it's actually beneficial to apply during the 2nd round?!?!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:41:14 PM)
Alx: Good football team. My understanding of Michigan: Because of a class profile that is evenly distributed in terms of backgrounds, it is a collaborative versus competitive, and thus supportive, environment.

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:41:33 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:42:20 PM)
boderek, it is a trade-off. You may face top scores and grades in the first round, though don't for a minute believe that they don't apply second round also, and open classes. Second round, some of the spots are full, but perhaps fewer hot shots apply.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:42:24 PM)
boderek: that's the theory, but it depends on the precise profile. If you are in I.B., you may still need to apply in the first round because by the second round, those profile spaces will be gone. The world isn't perfect; decisions are imperfect.

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:42:52 PM)
Where is the better place to talk about my professional achievement & recognitions? In essays or in the recommendations?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:42:53 PM)
Also remember, this is not a scientific reaction or mathematical formula. Admissions are subjective and not always logical.

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:08 PM)
I want to continue my research on Michigan. I have found contacts and visited MBA Tours, but where can I find research articles professors have written?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:09 PM)
Certainly not 100% predictable.

parttimer (ID=32) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:16 PM)
Maxx how would someone on the admission committee interpret a 6.0 on the AWA whereas a 45 percentile on the Verbal(92 percentile on Quantative). Can a good AWA score help here.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:37 PM)
Thanks! I am sticking to my plan to apply early!

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:44 PM)
Good idea!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:43:49 PM)
Edward: Achievements belong in employment history. Recognitions belong in "awards and recognitions," under Professional. Essays will briefly recite the facts of these but will focus more on the insights gained because of the achievements.

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:44:13 PM)

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:44:21 PM)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:44:36 PM)
Alx: Do a search on the professors' names, first on the school's website and then in general.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:44:49 PM)
Alx, the school Web site is a good place to search for info about a particular school and its professors.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:45:02 PM)
parttimer: Yes a good AWA score helps. Also well-written essays!

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:45:07 PM)

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:45:18 PM)
I have had extensive training in computing technology outside of university (Institutes, etc.). offering certificates, diplomas, etc. Where should that be mentioned?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:45:56 PM)
720Indian: Under activities create a title for Professional Development and list them there.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:46:10 PM)

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:46:19 PM)
Maxx, in some schools' appl. forms, there is no enough room to say much about my career achievement. Will an attached resume help?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:47:03 PM)
edward: You can go beyond the application, in fact. On the application form type "please see attached" and then create a Word document that lists everything.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:47:12 PM)
?Maxx and Linda: I don't think Chicago specifically says whether they look at only the highest GMAT scores or all of them. What's your take on this?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:47:37 PM)
boderek: They'll give you the benefit of the higher score.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:47:53 PM)
What if the higher score is the first score?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:47:54 PM)
Maxx: Would you know what the scene is for Indians at Chicago (Admissions wise). It is surely not their favorite haunt. What does your experience say? I am applying for the 1st round and have requested an alum interview, but no response yet.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:11 PM)
Are you in the US or in India?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:23 PM)
Linda: Clearly it would be better if the higher score were the second score, but they will realize that you were attempting to improve. They...

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:27 PM)
I am in India — Have been all 24 years.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:33 PM)
will probably still give you the benefit of the doubt.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:59 PM)
720Indian: I'm sorry, I do not know.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:48:59 PM)
But they will see both scores.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:49:46 PM)
Linda: Yes they will see both scores. Any school has the option of averaging them. But my feeling is that most do not.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:49:54 PM)
OK. Thanks.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:00 PM)
Same here, I just so often get these questions:

parttimer (ID=32) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:18 PM)
While writing essays, how important is to stick to word limit? Is it OK exceed by say 50 words on a 750 word essay?

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:25 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:28 PM)
I have a 680 and I want to get it over 700. Then I got an e-mail, "But I went down!!!!"

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:40 PM)
Our rule of thumb is up to 10% over.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:46 PM)
parttimer: No. You should try to stay close to the word limit. I tell my clients no more than 10-15 words over.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:50:49 PM)
Just make sure that the other 10% provides substance.

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:02 PM)
As Maxx, I am interested what is the scene for Mexicans in Michigan?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:02 PM)
Oh well, experts disagree.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:27 PM)
No two geniuses think alike, ...

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:27 PM)
Actually make sure that the 110% provide substance.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:41 PM)
Alx: There's a growing Mexican population in the state of Michigan in general, but that's really all I know.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:46 PM)
I'm not going to argue with you 720Indian.:-)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:51:56 PM)
I am!

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:08 PM)
Maxx: That should be fun.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:09 PM)
Well you can argue on your own account!

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:21 PM)
Very funny.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:29 PM)
? Anyone have any hints for a Chicago interview?

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:30 PM)
How to tackle the Chicago essay C, the "a character in a book"? What are the adcom trying to find out? Seems to me quite open ended like the Stanford #1

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:52:56 PM)
Boderek, have you visited the MBA Interview Feedback Database at

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:53:06 PM)
boderek: Yes. Understand why you want the program. Be clear on your goals and offer substance beyond facts in the statements that you tell them.

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:53:41 PM)
Linda: No. I should do that. Thanks!

DMZ (ID=39) (Oct 10, 2000 10:53:47 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions) (IP = )

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:53:50 PM)
edward: The key is not the character in the book. The key is you. The reasons you like or admire the character are supposed to reflect qualities that you have. Consequently, try to keep more of the essay focused on you rather than the character.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:54:03 PM)
But also follow Maxx' advice. I agree with her on this one 110%

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:54:23 PM)
Show how you have incorporated those qualities into your life.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:54:47 PM)
boderek: Another good reason I feel to apply in the 1st round this year is that since apps were down majorly last year (2000) they will not get a feel of the applicant pool until the 2nd round, and are more likely to admit you if you're a strong candidate in the 1st round itself.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:54:57 PM)

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:55:23 PM)
? A general question about interviews Is it appropriate to go to an informal meal, like a brunch or lunch?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:56:06 PM)
boderek: Yes that can be fine, especially if it is an alum interview, but I do feel it should be suggested by the interviewer rather than by you.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:56:25 PM)
Let's take 2 more questions.

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:56:28 PM)
In Chicago essay B, actually it is a traditional one about strength& weakness, right? So the one should not be confined to "annual review"?

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 10:56:47 PM)
720Indian: Hmm. Good point. I guess this is especially true for schools that may have an image problem because of changes in rankings, scandals, etc.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:17 PM)
Here is the question:

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:19 PM)
b. Your boss has given you the opportunity to write your own annual review. Knowing that your boss wants you to provide an unbiased appraisal, please provide an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. List your accomplishments and provide a plan to address areas of improvement. (All applicants;300 words maximum)

DMZ (ID=39) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:23 PM)
? in Columbia essay, what do you think they want to know about a failure? about academic or personal life?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:24 PM)
edward: It is supposed to be a professional review versus an academic one. Be honest. When dealing with weaknesses be straightforward, concise, and then redirect to another positive trait.

krumm (ID=25) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:30 PM)
? - I have heard that one should request to be interviewed by someone from admissions if possible as opposed to a student? sounds a little pushy to me? However, I can understand that the admission folk probably have a bit more influence (or care) than students who are interviewing for jobs, etc. Linda/Maxx?

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:31 PM)
Maxx: On "Proof of Financial Support". What is the best way to show funds are available? Nobody keeps idle cash lying around. Is a line of credit good? Or is there anything better?

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:36 PM)
Hold the questions.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:57:44 PM)

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:58:25 PM)
DMZ: Leaders fail. I would look at the professional environment for something you did not achieve.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:59:12 PM)
krumm: The advantage of an admissions officer interviewing you is that this is a voting member of the board, but you are not going to have control over who interviews you. Do take the interview as an opportunity.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 10:59:25 PM)
I concur.

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 10:59:31 PM)
?Maxx, as a Chinese IT professional, I had a 10-month experience working in financing/leasing business, do you think this can made me stand out of the crowd for Chicago?

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 10:59:47 PM)
720Indian: I don't really work with financial form, but it sounds like a line of credit would be good.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:00:46 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Maxx Duffy for her invaluable insights and to Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu for their assistance.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 11:00:49 PM)
edward: I would need to know a lot more about your professional experience before I could comment on a 10-month time frame.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 11:00:53 PM)
boderek: Especially at Chicago (With it down to 10), though I doubt if the really serious applicants will be deterred by this.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:00 PM)
They left early because they have been extremely busy.

Maxx Duffy (ID=21) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:06 PM)
Thank you Linda for having me this evening. Good luck to everyone.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:11 PM)
I would like to invite you all to our next MBA chat on November 6 with three representatives from MIT, including Rod Garcia, the Director of MBA Admissions. We look forward to seeing you again at these events.

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:18 PM)
Finally, I would also really appreciate feedback from all of you on tonight's chat. Please send your comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future chats to

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:29 PM)
Thank you all again for coming.

720Indian (ID=34) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:33 PM)
Thanks Maxx & Linda. Once again, great! *Thumbs up*

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:36 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

edward (ID=38) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:39 PM)
Maxx and Linda, thanks a lot!

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:40 PM)
Thank you!

boderek (ID=30) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:43 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:46 PM)
You're welcome.

Alx (ID=35) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:48 PM)
Thank you

krumm (ID=25) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:53 PM)
Thanks much

DMZ (ID=39) (Oct 10, 2000 11:01:53 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=24) (Oct 10, 2000 11:02:00 PM)
You're welcome. Good luck!