2004 Carnegie Mellon MBA Admissions Chat with Laurie Stewart


2004 Carnegie Mellon MBA Admissions Chat with Laurie Stewart

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Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 8:58:11 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Carnegie Mellon Admissions Chat.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 8:58:15 PM)
Hi Linda--nice to see you.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 8:58:29 PM)
I also want to welcome Laurie Stewart, CMU's Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid; Dr. Ken Keeley, Executive Director of Career Opportunities Center; and Angel Hollis, MBA 2004. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, Accepted.com editors.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 8:58:35 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 8:58:43 PM)
Hello Paul and Cindy too.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 8:59:35 PM)
What's new at CMU?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 8:59:56 PM)
Linda--this year we're beginning the implementation of our MBA tracks.  Our first year students will be the first to pilot test some of the tracks this year, with 9 tracks available to students who join in 2004. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:00:07 PM)
Angel, could you please post a brief bio, including your prior work experience, summer internship if relevant, and post-MBA goals?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:00:54 PM)
Angel--perhaps you can mention our new student government, too.

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:01:18 PM)
What is campus life like?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:01:24 PM)
Laurie, could please explain " tracks" to us?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:01:24 PM)
Laurie - this is the first year of our student government - we have seen exceptional changes over the past year!  Not only has it given students additional leadership opportunities, but it has also increased the "voice of the students." 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:01:35 PM)
Can you please briefly run us through the application scrutiny process - since the Round 1 deadline was just yesterday. How does the procedure work?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:01:35 PM)
Our tracks include Wealth and Asset Management, E-Business Technologies, Biotechnology and General Management. 

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:02:21 PM)
Jay--a track is a sequence of approximately 8 electives that allow interested students to develop specialty skills in various areas, like those I mentioned above. 

anujd (Nov 11, 2003 9:02:45 PM)
What types of jobs do students in the Biotechnology track go to? Are they more research oriented?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:02:58 PM)
The COC is going to take advantage of physical facilities in Manhattan and the Silicon Valley to conduct "on-campus" interviews in those locations between January 5th and 9th (the week before the 3rd Mini begins.)

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:03:06 PM)
My background - I worked for 4 years at Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta. I worked on the design, development and implementation of information systems. I will be returning in a consulting. However, I worked at Ford this past summer on Technology Strategy in Detroit.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:03:13 PM)
Preete--we are beginning our review process of the applications that have been submitted for Round I.  All candidates are reviewed by individual members of the admissions team and then as a group. 

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:03:32 PM)
anujd, this is the first year for tracks. Therefore, there is no placement history surrounding them.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:03:48 PM)
What is the motivation behind setting up the track system? Practically speaking, what does cross-campus collaboration mean?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:04:12 PM)
What are the biggest Do's and Don'ts for the essays?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:04:37 PM)
What percentage of 2003 grads have jobs at this point? Were there any relatively strong markets for CMU grads this past year?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:04:49 PM)
Linda--our Dean and Faculty are seeking ways to provide greater access to some of the strength areas at Carnegie Mellon--not only in the b-school.  The biotechnology track will include coursework in the college of science, for example.  The goal is to prepare people for leadership positions in the biotech industry, for example. 

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:04:56 PM)
Does every accepted applicant have an interview?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:05:03 PM)
What type of background do students opting for the biotechnology track usually have and what field are they specializing in - like marketing, etc?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:05:14 PM)
Thanks Laurie. Do you have any idea on how many applications you have received so far? It's really okay if you don't have that info yet-just curious.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:05:39 PM)
Linda - cross campus collaboration allows us to work with other exceptional programs, right on campus! (computer science, bio tech, etc). This allows us to differentiate our MBA program, which allows you to differentiate yourself when you get back out in the marketplace.

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:05:43 PM)
I visited CMU recently and I was in a way disappointed to see that the facilities at Posner Hall weren't remarkable. Do you intend to do anything in this regard?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:06:00 PM)
Our placement statistics for 2003, in keeping with the standards published by the MBA Career Services Council, are on-line. Go to the COC home page, then Salary/Placement statistics.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:06:17 PM)
Ken, do you see recruiting picking up?

chasingdream (Nov 11, 2003 9:06:25 PM)
How long does a phone interview last? What are some of  the typical questions?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:06:52 PM)
Henry--I think the most important thing in preparing the essays is to know yourself and your goals well--and have a clear understanding of how Carnegie Mellon will help you achieve your goals. I think a big pitfall in essays is that some candidates don't actually answer the question we ask.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:07:06 PM)
Jay - there has been significant efforts to re-vamp many of the facilities here at Posner, including brand new interview rooms, flat screen TV monitors to post activity events, a new admissions area is even planned for next year.  The new interview rooms are top notch!

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:07:17 PM)
The application form asks for EVERY job since high school graduation with the kind of details I just HONESTLY do not remember anymore (dates of employment, address, salary). If some jobs were "selling bagels-type-jobs," do you still want them listed?

janetkim (Nov 11, 2003 9:07:22 PM)
Did you see an decrease or increase in number of applicants this year?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:07:53 PM)
chasing--a typical phone interview is 30 minutes or so.  We're looking to explore your background, teamwork/leadership experiences and aspirations--not too many 'curve balls.'

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:08:12 PM)
Part two about job details; what if I do not remember the address of a bagel shop I worked at for 3 months (I've moved to another country since then), how do I go about filling out this information, please?

anujd (Nov 11, 2003 9:08:22 PM)
What types of things does the CMU career services office do to entice recruiters to come to Pittsburgh to recruit?

janetkim (Nov 11, 2003 9:08:26 PM)
Are there any differences between on-campus interviews and phone interview in terms of decisions by the admissions committee?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:08:32 PM)
The advice I gave returning students was to assume the market conditions were about the same as last year. That was due to my desire to give them accurate info, but also to motivate them for the job search. Since recruiting began on October 27th, I have sensed more optimism from the consulting firms in terms of their need for people based upon business in their pipeline.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:09:19 PM)
Janet--we offer admission to candidates with both types of interviews! I think the big advantage of visiting is really getting a sense of the environment at Carnegie Mellon.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:09:49 PM)
How do you view somebody who had to work full time in their *professional* field (same field they work in after graduation) while attending university [to pay for tuition]? Do you COUNT this work experience?

2mba (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:03 PM)
Can you suggest where I can find information on social and professional clubs that MBA students take part in? I looked everywhere, but did not find that information.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:17 PM)
Do you have an informal network with other schools for discouraging applicants from submitting essays that are not their own?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:23 PM)
The key to MBA recruiting is your alumni base. We market heavily to that population. In addition, we actively visit companies (65 to 70 this summer), and accompany student "treks" to areas of high interest.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:34 PM)
henry--we're looking for as much information about your job experiences since high school as we can get. It helps us get an idea of how you've been spending your time, etc.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:35 PM)
Janet - from a current student point of view, I cannot speak to the interviews. However, I can tell you that visiting campus (if possible) is valuable for you to get a feel of the culture here and for you to interact with current students.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:10:57 PM)
Do you evaluate an applicant's record in the context of the opportunities available to him/her and what obstacles he/she had to overcome to get where he/she currently is?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:11:55 PM)
henry--yes, we're trying to get a complete picture of each candidate. 

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:11:56 PM)
2mba - current club info can be found from the main GSIA website, under student clubs.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:12:02 PM)
Ken, do you see any industries or functions that are recruiting more than they have in the last two years?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:12:22 PM)
I worked for 2 years in India and just when I got promoted, I left the job and moved to the US to take up a different job. During the 3 years I have been at US, the progress in my career  is nothing much to speak off. The recession made sure that it was hard to keep the job itself. How will CMU look at the lack of progress in my career?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:12:29 PM)
What kind of pharmaceutical/biotech stats and companies recruit marketing majors at CMU?

Wayne (Nov 11, 2003 9:12:35 PM)
Laurie or Ken, I know CMU is a great place for entrepreneurs. Has GSIA ever considered setting up an incubator?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:12:52 PM)
Linda, as I said before, the only area showing increased demand seems to be consulting.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:13:10 PM)
Paul--not sure what you mean exactly--but it is sometimes obvious when a candidate is trying to make an essay they wrote for another school 'fit' in response to our essay questions--and that's when the question we asked may not get addressed well.

chasingdream (Nov 11, 2003 9:13:16 PM)
Is it possible to gain admittance before the published deadline?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:13:51 PM)
In my native country they do not give out multiple transcripts. I have only one original. Is it OK to send a notarized copy from a Canadian Notary public [I've moved to Canada since attending college]?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:00 PM)
How do you view volunteer experience outside the context of an "formal" volunteer organization?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:20 PM)
Jay--we take everything into consideration when evaluating candidates. Certainly the tough job markets has impacted candidates for the last couple of years.  If you're concerned that your job progress may be perceived as a weakness, you should take advantage of the optional essay question. 

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:26 PM)
I hear scholarships for international students will increase in 2004. How true is that?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:30 PM)
Preete, if you look at our on-line stats, you will see (under industries) an entry for pharma/healthcare etc. Companies that recruit on campus include Pfizer, Merck, J&J, Hoffman-LaRoche.

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:37 PM)
Are the interviews "blind" interviews?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:14:52 PM)
Thanks Ken.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:15:21 PM)
henry--yes, we can use a notarized copy to make our decision.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:15:24 PM)
Has the current job market changed CMU's attitude towards career changers?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:15:34 PM)
How friendly are the students and how approachable is the faculty?

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:15:42 PM)
Do you have an exchange program? If so, have many people normally participate?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:16:13 PM)
jay--we expanded the availability of scholarships to international students for this year. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:16:21 PM)
Angel, what do you like best at CMU? What would you like to see improved?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:16:42 PM)
Laurie, how much have you increased the scholarships?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:17:11 PM)
chasing--the published reply dates are our best estimate of when decisions will be out, though we will be releasing decisions as we make them this year, rather than all in one batch. 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:17:31 PM)
Are international students grouped together by nationality for evaluation purposes or is each applicant evaluated as an individual....Do you have a quota of how many students from each country, or is it more a concentration on overall diversity not just nationality?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:17:35 PM)
How good is the general management training that students get at CMU?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:17:57 PM)
Linda--we offered merit scholarships to some of our international students for the first time this year.

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:17:57 PM)
I should let the students talk about the students, but I can honestly tell you that one of the things I really enjoy about working at Carnegie Mellon is the quality (not referring to their obvious intellectual capabilities) of the students. On the whole, great folks to work with. There are of course one or two that ...........

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:13 PM)
All - Sorry, I was disconnected. I'm back.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:21 PM)
That's good to know Laurie. Welcome back Angel.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:34 PM)
Laurie, how many students do you think will benefit from these merit scholarships?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:43 PM)
Rachel--we have a study abroad program that is available in the second year--it usually encompasses 20 students or so.  The study abroad program will be part of our new International Management track, too. 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:47 PM)
Laurie, how are those merit scholarships awarded- GMAT, GPA, etc?

2mba (Nov 11, 2003 9:18:50 PM)
How long are the campus admissions interviews?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:19:17 PM)
Angel, what do you like best at CMU? What would you like to see improved?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:19:25 PM)
2mba - my interview was about 30 minutes or so (that was 2 years ago, though). Laurie may have an updated time.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:19:46 PM)
Preete--exactly. Everything in the MBA application is considered (no separate application needed). Many candidates learn about scholarships with their admission letter.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:19:57 PM)
2mba--the interviews are typically 30 minutes or so, maybe a bit more.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:08 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:11 PM)
Laurie- Do you have scholarships available for part time students? If a part-time student is to move to the full-time course (after spending 1 year in the full time course)- will he/she be considered for a scholarship?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:24 PM)
Why do you think the percentage of international students decreased to about 26% from about 35% a year back?

chasingdream (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:40 PM)
I can not afford to visit campus, so I am worried that the phone interview can not tell everything about myself.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:41 PM)
Sure Preete.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:20:48 PM)
Linda - that's a hard question. I'm very impressed with both the Curriculum and the People. However, I'm also very impressed with the leadership opportunities and the openness of the faculty to listen to us students (to our ideas...our questions...etc.).  Everyone here is so willing to help - all of the time -- the professors, the faculty, other current students...

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:21:34 PM)
GA--since our part-time students are employed, we direct our scholarship resources to full-timers.  It is possible for part-timers to transfer to full-time--when that happens, our financial aid office works with each student to assess what aid they're eligible for. 

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:21:35 PM)
Career question: What are some of the "job titles" of people going into E-Business type jobs right out of CMU MBA program? I've looked on the website but all I see is industry and function info.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:22:05 PM)
Angel, what would you like to see improved?  I appreciate the positives, but we would also like to be aware of the other stuff.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:04 PM)
Laurie, I had my off campus interview with Mr. Frick. I did not know how you guys would connect that to my online application so I just wrote it down in my cover letter - you think that would suffice or do I need to send an email to the adcom about it?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:13 PM)
Although we have come along way since last year, and there are even more plans for improvement underway, I would like to see the facilities improved. However, like I mentioned, they are currently being worked on....

Wayne (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:15 PM)
Are we allowed to take courses in other departments?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:19 PM)
Angel, did you go for an internship in the summer? If so, where?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:32 PM)
Preete--we will have no problems connecting your interview report with your application.

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:23:53 PM)
Henry, good question, but I am on-line from home (eating dinner as we speak) and I do not have that info with me. If you want a list, send Linda/Laurie an email, and I can provide them with a spreadsheet of current job titles & employers for the Class of 2003.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:24:07 PM)
Wayne--yes, you can take courses at other departments and in many cases count them as electives toward the MBA degree

CindyTokumitsu (Nov 11, 2003 9:24:15 PM)
How do you use the resume in the application review process (since you have a detailed employment section)?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:24:24 PM)
Jay - yes, I did intern this summer. I worked at Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, MI.  I interned in their Information Technology Leadership Program. It was a great experience....it was every informational to work for such a global organization.

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:24:35 PM)
Angela, what made you decide on Carnegie Mellon?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:24:44 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

Wayne (Nov 11, 2003 9:25:14 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:25:23 PM)
Cindy--besides the details, we want to have a 1-page overview of each candidate's background--see how they summarize their experience credentials--what they view as most important, etc. 

janetkim (Nov 11, 2003 9:25:39 PM)
Does CMU try to interview most candidates or if you were invited for an interview, it means the admission committee is interested in you?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:25:52 PM)
Rachel - I wanted a program with a quantitative background. Not necessarily because this was a strength of mine, but because it was a weakness which I wanted to improve.   I was also very impressed with the people. I think with a smaller program, such as this one, you really do get more time to interact with your professors, get to know your classmates, etc.

2mba (Nov 11, 2003 9:26:29 PM)
Have you had students in the past send their GMAT score to Heinz school? How do you handle such cases?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:26:34 PM)
Janet--if you're invited for an interview it is a positive sign--but not everyone who is interviewed is offered admission. Everyone offered admission is interviewed.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:26:35 PM)
Angel, how did you explain this weakness of yours without overplaying the weakness in your essays?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:26:56 PM)
What percentage of interviewed applicants did you accept last year?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:27:02 PM)
2mba--we actually just call the Heinz school and request they forward the scores to us. 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:27:20 PM)
Laurie, are there any GA opportunities for first year students or is the workload too much for a part time 10-15 hours/week job?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:27:23 PM)
Linda--good question--I haven't calculated it though.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:27:39 PM)
How well does the school teach "soft" business skills, what are some example courses and outside projects/clubs/activities?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:06 PM)
Preete--because of the busy academics, we discourage our students from any working or GA opportunities--especially in the first year.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:13 PM)
Are there more offers in Round I compared to other rounds?

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:20 PM)
Laurie- I believe that the Tracks program is currently only available to the full-time students. Are there any plans to roll this out to the flex-time students? If yes- what is the timeline?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:22 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:36 PM)
Preete - in my essays, I tried to convey why I wanted to attend this MBA Program. I mentioned some of my quantitative skills, background experiences. However, I also mentioned that if I wanted to achieve my career goals, these skills would have to be strengthened - which is one of the reasons why I was applying.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:51 PM)
Thanks Angel.

chasingdream (Nov 11, 2003 9:28:53 PM)
Hi Angel.  What did they ask you during your interview?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:29:26 PM)
GA--I think that some of the tracks may become available to part-timers--especially the ones that the coursework is exclusively in the b-school (Entrepreneurship for example).  Can't give you a timing on that yet.  When we know more, it will be posted on our site. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:29:45 PM)
In reviewing CMU's materials and Web site, including the tracks, one of the qualities emphasized was "Interdisciplinary Collaboration" and that is one of the ideas underlying the tracks I assume. Concretely, what does it mean? Does it imply that professors in marketing and finance collaborate in presenting a case? Do they consult during the term on curriculum or issues that come up in class? How far does that that collaboration go? Or is it simply a matter of making it easy for students to enroll in other faculties at CMU?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:30:21 PM)
henry - I think the program does a great job of also teaching the "soft skills" - including written and oral communications classes, business acting classes, networking events, etc. 

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:30:29 PM)
Linda--it begins with collaboration between faculty in and out of the b-school in research projects.  It leads to knowledge presented in classes--sometimes with faculty collaborating in teaching classes. 

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:30:33 PM)
Is there a place/club for people with families?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:31:00 PM)
So the faculty are consulting with each other to present a cross-functional program?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:31:23 PM)
Our Integrated Product Development track is taught together by Marketing, Org Behavior, Design and Engineering professors.  Our tracks are also designed to make it easier for interested students to take courses outside the b-school. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:31:45 PM)
Thanks. The difference is becoming clearer.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:31:59 PM)
chasingdream - it was 2 years ago =)....however, to the best of my knowledge, in my interview we discussed why I wanted to attend CMU, what my future career goals were, my background, etc...I don't remember any "trick" questions. =)

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:32:07 PM)
Considering the fact that job opportunities for internationals are very few, have you taken any steps to increase their chances? Thanks.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:32:16 PM)
Laurie, did you mention that applicants are informed, as in when their case is decided instead of waiting for the deadline for all decisions?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:32:47 PM)
Accepted.com's MBA Interview Feedback database has 100's of responses from MBA interviews at all the top schools, including CMU.  You can access it at http://www.accepted.com/mba/interviewfeedback.aspx .

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:32:50 PM)
Preete--Yes, we plan to begin releasing decisions before the final notification date, and having all of them out by the notification date.

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:33:24 PM)
Angel, do you feel that the professors are approachable?

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:33:26 PM)
Laurie Stewart, what's your email address please. I'm going to ask you for the career spreadsheet from Ken.

chasingdream (Nov 11, 2003 9:33:33 PM)
Thanks Angel.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:33:38 PM)
henry, my email address is lstewart@cmu.edu .

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:33:52 PM)
Laurie, do you have any statistics that you are willing to reveal on the number of applications so far this year with respect to previous years?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:34:23 PM)
Rachel - Absolutely! In fact, much more than I ever expected the professors to be. In fact, during my first year I was very surprised how available they made themselves and their 5 or so TA's!

janetkim (Nov 11, 2003 9:34:49 PM)
Do you allocate certain number of slots each round?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:34:52 PM)
jay--our first deadline was just yesterday--it looks down some--though applications have been up a lot the last two years--and the mail is still coming in.

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:35:09 PM)
Jay, your statement about job opportunities for international students is not accurate at Carnegie Mellon. It is more difficult for international students (and frustrating when a given company will talk to your friends, but company policy prevents them from hiring you). However, take a look at our placement stats: some of them are broken down by international versus domestic. I think you will be surprised.

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:35:19 PM)
Angel- Do you think that the Pittsburgh market is receptive to CMU MBA’s? How important do you feel location is for an MBA school (I am comparing CMU to MIT and Columbia)?

Rachel (Nov 11, 2003 9:35:59 PM)
How should one handle getting recommendations if they worked in a family business?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:36:00 PM)
janet--we don't have an allocation per round. To avoid over-offering admissions early, we may delay some decisions from one round to the next round. 

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:36:18 PM)
What type of people is the school looking for?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:36:25 PM)
Ken, I saw some statistics that say only 26 of the 60-odd companies are willing to recruit internationals...I guess that certainly translates to lower number of offers.

janetkim (Nov 11, 2003 9:37:23 PM)
Does that mean it might not be to an applicant's advantage to apply earlier?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:37:27 PM)
GA - I do think Pittsburgh is receptive to MBAs. There are MANY companies from Pittsburgh that recruit here. The location is important - but in my opinion - it's more important to look at where you are getting the best education, where you have the most support from your career service office, etc.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:37:40 PM)
Rachel--since you cannot ask a family member to write a reference, you need to try to find another professional colleague--perhaps a client, etc. 

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:38:06 PM)
What are some of the more memorably creative or bizarre approaches applicants have taken in the essays?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:38:29 PM)
Jay, there is a timing chart among our many stats tables. It shows offers and accepted offers by graduation and by 3 months after graduation. It is broken down by US citizens and permanent residents as one classification, and international students as a second classification. The percentages are very similar.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:38:34 PM)
Please describe the school's culture?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:38:35 PM)
janet--we always recommend that you apply early--but don't rush it! The most important factor in being admitted is the quality of your application--not timing. We have space throughout the process.

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:38:47 PM)
Angel- Thanks. And how would you rate the career services office at CMU?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:39:33 PM)
How do you view reapplicants? Are they at an advantage or disadvantage? Do you review their original application as well as the new application?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:39:58 PM)
Ken, what kind of recruiting efforts does CMU have in place for non Midwest companies- that is east and west coast?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:40:36 PM)
Paul--I think one thing I'd mention is that some candidates list their websites on their resume and we will visit them. We've seen some amazing and creative things documented via websites that have really added to our impression of some candidates. 

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:40:59 PM)
GA - the COC office here at CMU not only increased their staff this year, but have gone all out this year. They have increased non-traditional recruiting events, such as interview sessions in NY & CA over winter break. They have visited many more companies this past summer and increased relationships with recruiters. All in all, they have really done an outstanding job, especially given the job market last year.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:41:08 PM)
Thanks, Laurie.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:41:26 PM)
Do Canadian International students have any easier time getting jobs in the US vs .other international students?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:41:31 PM)
Laurie, do I have a choice in selecting the dates for scheduling my interview?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:41:47 PM)
Preete, if you look at our placement stats, you will notice that the east coast is very significant right now. Before tech dried up, we were placing about 25% of our students in the west region.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:41:55 PM)
Linda--we have students join the program every year who were reapplicants. They need to compete against the new applicant pool, so they aren't at any advantage or disadvantage as a reapplicant. We don't ask reapplicants to pay another application fee. 

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:42:07 PM)
Thanks Angel- that is good to know!

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:42:11 PM)
Jay--we try to be as flexible as we can.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:42:19 PM)
Laurie, how do you view applicants with graduate degrees in sciences if it is related to their professions -for instance, I have an MS in chemistry and worked for the pharmaceutical industry. Is that taken as a handicap or a plus because the applicant spent that much more time studying and that much less time working?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:42:58 PM)
What about biotech companies on the West?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:43:36 PM)
Preete--it depends very much on how you present it in your application. We are interested in how you've developed the skills that will make you successful in b-school and in business. Advanced degrees can certainly be a plus. 

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:43:44 PM)
When the economy was healthy, our major markets were consulting (nationwide), hi-tech (west coast), financial services (east coast) and diversified manufacturing/energy/service firms around the US. This is not a regional/local school, but one whose placement is truly national in scope.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:43:58 PM)
If one of my recommendations comes from my current boss, can the other one be from a colleague/peer or does it have to be from another department's MANAGER?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:44:28 PM)
Linda--to finish the question you asked on reapplicants--we consider everything--the original application and the new material. We pay attention to what has changed since the first application. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:12 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:14 PM)
henry--we want at least one from a supervisor whenever possible. If you have that, it is fine to have another from a professional colleague. 

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:35 PM)
Laurie- As a large number of the CMU students have a technical background, how do you feel the students from non-technical backgrounds fit in?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:40 PM)
We have a ways to go with biotech companies. We have some alums in leadership positions, and a recent grad who just joined Amgen. But I think it is fair to say we have to convince THEM that they should pay attention to the products from the new biotech track.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:44 PM)
I think someone asked if we do interviews 'blind' earlier--and I don't think I answered that.  We actually prefer to review the application before an interview, so that we can ask any questions we have about the application.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:45:46 PM)
Thanks Ken.

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:47:07 PM)
Do you have any problems with hand-written recommendations?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:47:08 PM)
GA--our students are roughly 50/50 split of tech/non-tech backgrounds. We think the mix is important to our environment.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:47:09 PM)
Thanks again Laurie. 

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:47:13 PM)
Is there an industry that is consistently recruiting much more at CMU today in percentage terms than it did, say, 5 or 10 years ago?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:47:27 PM)
Paul, right now financial services (even with all the blood letting that has taken place in Manhattan) is a much more significant player at Carnegie Mellon then even 5 years ago. On the negative side (a nationwide phenomena), you have the demise of consulting as a result of economic conditions. But as I said before, I think their business is starting to build again.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:01 PM)
How can a person show a fit with CMU?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:02 PM)
Jay--sometimes we do get recommendations which are handwritten--but most of them are typed these days.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:14 PM)
Do you prefer (like some schools) that reapplicants wait more than a year before reapplying?

JJ (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:23 PM)
If I am working in a family company, whom should I find to write a reference for me? Would a client be the best person to write one?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:51 PM)
Laurie, this may have been mentioned before -how do you usually inform candidates of your decisions - email/written letter/phone call?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:48:56 PM)
Paul--no, we don't have a preference for waiting longer--though some may choose to do so to better enhance their candidacy.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:49:04 PM)
Angel, how is the housing situation near campus?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:49:12 PM)
Angel, how do you like Pittsburgh?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:49:21 PM)
Preete--our decisions are disclosed via our online system--candidates receive an email to let them know to check when it is available.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:49:58 PM)
Thanks Laurie. 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:00 PM)
Angel, what clubs are you a part of at CMU?

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:05 PM)
Thanks, Ken.

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:08 PM)
Laurie, I completed my application for Round I. I haven't yet received a confirmation email saying it is complete. Do I need to worry?

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:14 PM)
Linda - Most housing is between .5 - 2 miles away. Many students walk to school, take the bus (it is free) or take campus shuttles.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:31 PM)
How are rent prices?

CindyTokumitsu (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:36 PM)
What advice do you have for applicants you may wait-list? Do you provide feedback? Do you accept additional recommendations, update letters?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:42 PM)
Jay--the processing staff is working very hard on that right now--you should be hearing something soon--please don't worry. 

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:50:54 PM)
What is the role of the students in the admissions process?

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:51:18 PM)
Thinking of consulting, just to help those who don't know the industry well, the major firms such as McKinsey, Bain, Booz Allen and Hamilton - have all continued to recruit and seem positive. It is the next level of international/national firms and the niche oriented firms that have retrenched the most.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:51:28 PM)
Jay - Regarding Pittsburgh... I moved here from Atlanta. It has been a pleasant surprise. Strong performing arts district, great sports teams, great restaurants, nice places to go out...Overall, I have been very happy with the experience (except the winter weather last year).

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:51:54 PM)
Cindy--we invite candidates on the waiting list to submit anything additional that they would like us to consider. We aren't able to provide feedback during the year, but many candidates already know what areas of their application they could strengthen.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:51:58 PM)
Is there a Partners club, and how active is it? How much are spouses involved in the CMU MBA experience?

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:52:01 PM)
Laurie, how does the application scrutiny work? How many/what type of people read the application?

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:52:04 PM)
Nice to know that Angel. I love Pittsburgh too.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:52:20 PM)
Preete - I am involved in Student Government (Admissions rep) - this is not considered a club, but takes up much time, Graduate Women in Business and Finance Club. 

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:52:44 PM)
Thanks Angel. 

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:53:01 PM)
henry--the partners group has been extremely active. They help welcome new families to the community, help with job networking, participate in our social activities--many things!

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:53:43 PM)
Linda - Rent for 1 bedroom vary; prices range from $500 - 900.  Rent for 2 bedrooms also vary. I pay $1,075 for a 2 bedroom.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:54:10 PM)
Compared to West LA, that sounds pretty reasonable.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:54:17 PM)
Preete--applications are reviewed by admissions committee members-main review is done by the interviewer in most cases, then reviewed by our committee--then by me. Typically 3 reviews.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:54:17 PM)
Which school(s) do you consider your main competitor(s) and what do you believe your competitive advantage over them is?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:55:17 PM)
Linda--Angel leads the admissions activities in our student government.  Her team plays the key role in activities such as campus visitors, Welcome Weekend, answering questions, attending chats, helping us think about new initiatives--so many things!

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:55:20 PM)
Do you have any international recruiters? - Companies who wish to place students abroad.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:55:31 PM)
henry - regarding partners. There is an active partners club. Partners are very involved in activities. I know (and am friends) with many partners.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:55:58 PM)
Laurie, will we hear from the processing staff unless the application is incomplete - I already received a confirmation of my online submission - that probably was auto generated. The rest of the materials were sent by mail.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:56:41 PM)
Do they also review applications and have a say in admissions?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:56:55 PM)
Preete--you'll be notified either by email or the online system of anything we need.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:57:03 PM)
Thanks for all your help guys. Very informative session.

Jay (Nov 11, 2003 9:57:28 PM)
Thanks to Laurie, Ken and Angel. thanks also to Linda

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:57:32 PM)
Linda--our students don't read applications for us.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:57:46 PM)
OK, but it sounds like they are busy anyway.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:58:01 PM)
They sure are!

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:58:28 PM)
henry - from a student perspective, we consider our competitors to be MIT, Wharton, Chicago, Cornell. Our competitive advantage - cross-campus studies, smaller program with high faculty to student ratio, ability to intersect business and technology.

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:58:38 PM)
Henry, from a placement perspective, our students are most similar to those at MIT and Chicago. However, in different markets, we have different competitors.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:12 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Laurie, Ken and Angel for joining us and to Paul and Cindy for their assistance.

Preete (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:18 PM)
Thanks Laurie.

Paul_Bodine (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:20 PM)
Thank you CMU and good luck everybody.

Wayne (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:22 PM)
Thank you very much for your time. Good luck to all.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:32 PM)
Henry--my answer would be it depends on the student and what their goals are. We overlap with different schools depending on the student's interests.

henry (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:36 PM)
THANKS!

GA (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:36 PM)
Thanks CMU.

CindyTokumitsu (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:38 PM)
Thank you, everyone from CMU, for an informative chat. Good luck to the applicants!

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:52 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 9:59:54 PM)
Thanks very much everyone for being here.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:02 PM)
Thank you Linda and all for the invitation.

AngelHollisCMU (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:02 PM)
Thank you everyone. Thanks for joining the chat! Good night and best of luck!! - Regards, Angel.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:03 PM)
Here are the currently scheduled chats:

KenKeeleyCMU (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:06 PM)
Best wishes!

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:11 PM)
Good luck everyone with your MBA applications!

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:19 PM)
MIT - Nov. 20 USC - Dec. 9 UCLA - Dec. 15

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:27 PM)
We have already hosted chats this year with Haas, Darden, Michigan, NYU, Chicago, UT and Cornell. You can access the transcripts at http://www.accepted.com/chat/transcripts/#mba .

henry (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:38 PM)
Will the transcript be posted on Accepted.com?

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:44 PM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba  for exact times and details about future chats.

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:00:58 PM)
The transcript will probably go up sometime early next week. Maybe over the weekend.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 11, 2003 10:01:21 PM)
Thank you again and good night everyone!

Linda Abraham (Nov 11, 2003 10:01:23 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!



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