2004 USC Marshall MBA Admissions Chat with Kellee Scott


2004 USC Marshall MBA Admissions Chat with Kellee Scott

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Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 8:58:18 PM)
First I want to welcome you to Accepted.com's USC Marshall School of Business Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 8:58:38 PM)
I also want to welcome Kellee Scott, Associate Director of Admissions and Gita Runkle, Class of 2004 and President of the Black Graduate Business Leaders.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 8:58:49 PM)
Gita, I hate to put you on the spot, but could you tell us what you did before you arrived at Marshall and what you intend to do after you graduate?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 8:59:03 PM)
Sure; I come from an education/social work background.  I did my undergrad at UC Berkeley...film/photography.  My first grad degree was in education at NYU...continued working at NYU afterwards as an academic advisor.  I am now pursuing marketing...specifically brand management at USC.  I interned at P&G in Puerto Rico over the summer.  

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 8:59:04 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 8:59:25 PM)
Thank you from USC admissions committee as well.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:00:18 PM)
What's new at Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:01:37 PM)
What's new at Marshall: updates on PRIME locations, new members of our Career Resources, review of curriculum.

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:02:03 PM)
Kellee, I was wondering about the PRIME requirement for MBA students; I am on an non-immigrant visa and plan to hold an F1 while at School - a visit to anywhere outside the US would, according to current regulations, requires me to visit my home country to get a stamp in the passport. That could mean a wait period/denial etc., halfway in the program. How is the situation to be dealt with considering your PRIME requirements?  Sorry for the lengthy question.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:02:32 PM)
Hi Kellee; how's the placement of the 2004 class? In what areas are USC students most competitive compared to students at UCLA, UC Berkeley, or Stanford?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:02:33 PM)
PG, you will know your PRIME location way before you actually go.  Our PRIME office will take care of this issue. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:03:09 PM)
heng, I can't compare to other schools except to say we are on par.  The majority of our grads tend to go into the finance area.  Marketing is also very big for us. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:03:38 PM)
Gita, what do you like best at Marshall? What would you like to see improved?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:03:54 PM)
I like the support at Marshall best.  Improvements...I'll have to take a minute to think about that.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:04:27 PM)
Gita, support in what way? Could you give an example?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:04:57 PM)
What are the three qualities you like to see in Marshall students?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:05:15 PM)
Sure, Linda.  I chose Marshall largely because the support from the school was quite evident; from Admissions to the Program Office to Professors and other students.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:05:26 PM)
Thanks for the answer Kellee. So do students get offers from East Coast for finance jobs as well or is it mainly West Coast?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:05:38 PM)
The main qualities we like to see are leadership, decision making ability, involvement!

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:05:39 PM)
So Kellee, the location has to be outside the US? (The reason I ask is that my husband is applying for US residency and my visa stamp will surely be delayed/denied and if an international location is a requirement of your program - that would be tough on me) Is there anyway I can discuss this with a PRIME official? Thanks.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:06:12 PM)
They get offers from both the east and west coast, the majority in the west due to our location, but you can go anywhere. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:06:43 PM)
Coming from a social science/education background, Gita, did you have a tough time with the quant demands of Marshall's program? Do you have any advice for applicants coming from that background?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:06:59 PM)
PG, you are only gone on PRIME for 10 days, the majority of time is in the US. We have not found this a problem so far. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:07:18 PM)
Thanks.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:07:44 PM)
In terms of improvement, I think keeping up with the needs of students is something that Marshall has been working on. For example, the caliber of students has been increasing steadily and our standards also dramatically change from year to year. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:08:31 PM)
What determines "quality?" Are you referring to academic stats, work experience, or. . .?

neil (Dec 9, 2003 9:08:37 PM)
Hi.  What is the distinguishing characteristic of the USC program given the fact there are other good schools like UCLA, Haas and Stanford around?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:08:44 PM)
Yes Linda, keeping up with the academic demands was very challenging for me.  My advice to those hailing from a similar background is to take an accounting and/or finance class as preparation.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:09:34 PM)
Linda, quality includes all of those parameters.  It's stats, work, activities. What makes a person who they are and how that fits with what Marshall has to offer. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:10:16 PM)
Neil, we have programs such as PRIME, that no other school has... but all programs you mentioned are excellent programs...You will get a good education at each. Your best bet is to visit each school, talk to students, alums, admissions... and decide what's best for you. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:10:43 PM)
Quality of students, I'd say, are increasing in terms of stats (GPA & GMAT), work experience, and educational backgrounds.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:10:52 PM)
How many applications did Marshall receive last year? So far this year? How do these figures compare to 2002's and 2001's application volume?

neil (Dec 9, 2003 9:11:43 PM)
How do you guys use the GMAT scores; is there any pooling- e.g. Indian engineers need to score higher than others, etc?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:12:10 PM)
Linda, last year we received 2000 applications.  We've just had our first round for this year and are still counting.  We are down from 2001, but 2001 was a year with many layoffs after 9/11, so more people were applying to school.  The overall number of people taking the GMAT is down, which also translates into less applications.  We are on par with our counterparts.  Mostly all schools have seen a downward trend beginning with 2002 applications. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:12:42 PM)
I was wondering about your marketing program- how is the recruiting for marketing majors with Biotech/pharmaceutical background?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:13:07 PM)
Yes, 2001 was a banner year.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:13:37 PM)
PG, from a student perspective, biotech/pharmaceutical seem to be a strong presence at our school.  I've seen companies such as Amgen, Guidant, Agilent, Genentech, etc., recruit at our school. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:14:30 PM)
Gita, do you know what are the major pharmaceutical/biotech companies recruiting at USC?

Jshueh (Dec 9, 2003 9:14:31 PM)
Hi Kellee, about the application pools, are students from Taiwan in the same pool as students from China?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:15:16 PM)
Neil, GMATs are important and candidates are scrutinized based on the same principals.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:15:34 PM)
PG, I couldn't really say which ones are the "biggest" since I'm in a different marketing niche (consumer packaged goods), I don't concentrate on too many other industries.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:15:45 PM)
Jshueh, students are in pools based on the round they apply in.

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:17:40 PM)
About your TOEFL requirement for international applicants - Is it waived for applicants who have a graduate degree from a US university?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:17:54 PM)
If the English speaking university is in a country where English is not the official country language, you must still take the TOEFL.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:18:09 PM)
Kellee: given that USC has around 22% international students, are they getting additional help in landing a job in US?

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:18:29 PM)
Kellee - I have a graduate but not an undergrad degree from a US university. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:19:18 PM)
The waiver is only based on undergraduate degree, not graduate, so if your undergrad was not in a country where English is the official language, you must take the TOEFL.

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:19:43 PM)
I had a great time visiting USC. Of course I would highly recommend every prospective applicant visit. It's a great way to get a sense of the school and figure out if it's the right place for you.  USC makes the whole visiting process incredibly easy. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:20:22 PM)
International students have as much access to Career Resources as other students. Also, we have a person in the Program office whose sole responsibility is international students. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:20:52 PM)
Do most international graduates of Marshall obtain jobs in the US or abroad?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:21:49 PM)
Linda, most now go back abroad. It is a function of many things... the US reduction in work visas for internationals, some markets such as China are booming so many choose to go back there because of that. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:22:22 PM)
Well, thanks for your help Kellee, I guess I cannot apply to USC because of the TOEFL requirement even though I have 3 years of graduate school and teaching. I wanted to meet the Jan. 15th requirement and cannot take the TOEFL.  Have a great evening.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:22:58 PM)
PG, you don't need to hit the Jan 15th deadline, we have two other deadlines:  Feb. 15 and April 1.  As long as we have a TOEFL before the decision, you will be fine.  Your decision PG.  Thanks for joining the chat.....

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:24:16 PM)
How should an applicant address a low GPA? My GPA is not stellar, but I've taken courses and got As, and also participated in professional educations, like CFA. Is there anything else I should do?

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:24:32 PM)
Kellee: Do you have any idea what the PRIME city choices will be for the class of 2006? I'm specifically interested in Japan.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:24:47 PM)
heng, you are already addressing your GPA situation.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:25:04 PM)
Japan will still be an option for your PRIME city choices. We do Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto...

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:25:20 PM)
Back to the industries/functions; your job searches will definitely be a bit easier than a lot of people because you are staying in the same industry and have great experience.  People who are career/industry switchers have much more work to do!

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:25:28 PM)
USC is particularly strong on the Pacific Rim and the Prime program is one of the keys to that strength..

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:26:48 PM)
Gita: what is your background? Forgive me if you already answered that question...I had some modem issues and was a bit late to the chat.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:26:56 PM)
Gita, that's true, but if they can show the connection and relevance of previous work experience, along with excellence, commitment, perseverance and achievement in their earlier careers, the MBA can be an excellent catalyst for a successful career change.

neil (Dec 9, 2003 9:27:06 PM)
Does it matter as to which round of admission one applies to?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:27:23 PM)
Linda, absolutely! AHoward, I'll mention again....undergrad: UC Berkeley in photo/film, NYU MA in Education, worked at NYU 2 years before going to USC b-school. Now pursuing marketing/brand management.  Interned at P&G, Puerto Rico this past summer.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:28:15 PM)
neil, it really doesn't matter.  We just ask you apply when you think your application is at it's best. 

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 9:29:01 PM)
Can you comment on the chances of international students getting scholarships at USC?

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:29:27 PM)
I've noticed that the percentage of female students and international students is on the low end amongst top 20 B-schools.  Do you have any intension to increase students in these pools?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:29:30 PM)
gowell, the chances are just as good an any other student.  We look for top students in each round. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:30:29 PM)
heng, recruiting efforts have been full force this year to increase those numbers. Last year, female, international, and minority students overall experience the sharpest drop in applications for all B-schools.  USC is normally 34% female and over 24% international... because the pool was sooo small, quality applicants had numerous choices. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:31:40 PM)
Gita, so you moved from NYC to CA.  Which city do you like better?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:32:16 PM)
heng, I prefer CA.  NYC living got to be harsh after a while. CA offers a great quality of life. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:33:01 PM)
Kellee, if you are looking at two files with similar stats and profiles, what will make you accept one and reject the other?

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:33:01 PM)
Gita: I see. How about job opportunities in these two cities? Similar?

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:33:06 PM)
Do you live near campus Gita? Where do most SC students tend to live?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:33:32 PM)
heng, job opportunities have been pretty similar in my experience in marketing. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:33:52 PM)
Ahoward, this year I live close to campus, 10 blocks!

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:34:18 PM)
Gita: Did P&G recruit on campus or did you find your internship through another channel?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:34:22 PM)
Linda, it can be many things; extracurricular activities are important, values are important, but remember, we still get over 2000 applications for a class size of 262-275, so there still are a lot of decent candidates we just have no room to accept.  I would advise people not to wait until the last minute to apply. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:34:29 PM)
Kellee, I heard that the competition among IT applicants is especially fierce  Do you see many female IT applicants?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:34:39 PM)
AHoward, I found that through another channel...networking.  Heng & AHoward: In this economy, I found that people who network, informational interview, and contact companies (way before school even starts!), are the ones who do great in terms of jobs opportunities. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:36:15 PM)
So are there equal number of seats allotted for all rounds?

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:36:34 PM)
Gita: What made you pick USC?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:36:39 PM)
heng, female IT applicants are still somewhat scarce. Remember, all schools want to diversify in backgrounds, gender, nationality, ethnicity.... Qualified female IT applicants have a good shot as any qualified applicant would. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:36:55 PM)
Kellee, what is a common mistake applicants make in their applications?

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:37:08 PM)
Gita, how is the living environment/safety for women living on their own?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:37:09 PM)
AHoward, I was looking for a supportive program, also, location was key for me.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:37:32 PM)
Gita, what aspect of Marshall's location attracted you?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:38:09 PM)
PG, the living environment/safety is good. As in any city, it's important to have safe practices.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:38:13 PM)
Common mistakes include:  Not following instructions- essays says 1 page and applicants write more than one.... Simple things like spelling and name replace.  We get many essays that mention other schools as the target.  Sloppy, handwritten applications are not good. Submitting online is best.  Not using the optional essay(s) to explain gaps and highlight achievements is also a common mistake. 

PG (Dec 9, 2003 9:39:15 PM)
Kellee, for essay 1, would you like the essay to be a total of 1 page with each part A,B,C under separate sections?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:39:28 PM)
Linda, living in Los Angeles was a great attraction for me beyond what the program had to offer. I realized when in NYC that quality of life affects my happiness and productivity and I really paid attention to that.

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:39:31 PM)
Kellee: Any idea when interview invites will start going out? And do they continue up until Feb. 1?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:39:47 PM)
PG: All of essay 1, all parts, should be 1 page. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:40:21 PM)
Kellee, do international students have to apply by Jan 15 deadline?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:40:35 PM)
Interview invites may begin going out as early as late this week or beginning next week, with interviewing to begin Jan. 5th. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:41:06 PM)
Kellee, what makes for a powerful letter of recommendation?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:41:28 PM)
heng, the deadline is only suggested due to new SEVIS timing for getting visas. Also, if you want to be considered for scholarships, it's suggested you make the Jan 15 deadline, as money is finite! :-)

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:41:42 PM)
When they interview invites come, remember to check out Accepted.com's MBA Interview Feedback Database. You can read feedback from earlier interviews at all the top schools, including Marshall.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:42:27 PM)
Thanks Kellee. What percentage of the class will be filled in the first two rounds?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:42:43 PM)
A powerful letter of recommendation gives specific examples of accomplishments/contributions the applicant has made to the organization the recommender is referring to.  The recommender should not make the applicant seem to walk on water and always have specific examples, not just comments such as... "Joe is a nice fellow...."

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:43:28 PM)
Do you prefer that recommenders use Marshall's form? Or are you satisfied if a recommender writes a letter for all the schools that an applicant is applying to?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:43:47 PM)
heng, the first three rounds gives us approximately 85% of the class. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:44:11 PM)
Gita, what's the culture at USC? More competitive or cooperative?

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:44:20 PM)
Thanks Kellee.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:44:36 PM)
It's definitely a cooperative environment.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:44:36 PM)
Yes, general declarative statements damn with faint praise. Thanks Kellee.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:44:43 PM)
The form is good, as it's just a check off grid, but we really like to see the letter from the recommender. 

neil (Dec 9, 2003 9:45:23 PM)
What is your average GMAT for an engineer?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:45:37 PM)
This is a little early for this chat, but any suggestions if one gets wait-listed by Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:45:57 PM)
We don't have an average GMAT for an engineer.  We don't break it down like that; we look at the class as a whole. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:46:42 PM)
What kind of offer do students with engineer backgrounds usually get? Any product management jobs?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:47:15 PM)
If you get waitlisted, that is the time to continually let us know you are still interested in us. Some people choose to send in additional letters of recommendation, contact students, drop by (if possible)....However, if you do accept at another school and are no longer interested in Marshall, it would be professional and courteous to let us know so we can remove you from our waitlist. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:48:21 PM)
heng; as far as offers, it's based on what YOU want to do. Engineers go into all types of things!

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:48:49 PM)
In terms of engineers, it really depends on what they're interested in going into. For example, I have a friend who is an engineer and she wants to go into entertainment marketing and has gotten some great internships. 

AHoward (Dec 9, 2003 9:48:54 PM)
Any idea what percentage of applicants you aim to interview this year?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 9:49:07 PM)
Hi Figher, where are you dialing in from?

neil (Dec 9, 2003 9:49:17 PM)
Are interviews the final step to admissions or another parameter used along side the rest of the applications?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:49:19 PM)
Neil, the role of the interview is to get an overall feel of the candidate, their commitment to and knowledge of Marshall, and whether there is mutual "fit."  The interview is just another parameter.  Not every admitted student has been interviewed. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:50:25 PM)
ahoward, we always aim to interview all applicants, but that is just not possible.  I mean 100% of anyone we are considering to admit. 

kb111 (Dec 9, 2003 9:51:06 PM)
How are interviews scheduled? When are applicants notified?

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:51:28 PM)
Are telephone interviews or alumni interviews viewed as lack of enthusiasm?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:51:41 PM)
The applicants from Round 1 will be notified in the next week or two.  The actual interviews will begin Jan. 5.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:53:17 PM)
heng, you will have some sort of face to face interview if possible.  Members of the admissions committee (especially me) travel to Asia and major cities in the US just to do interviews. A telephone or alumni interview could be scheduled, but they are not perceived any less than an interview by an adcom member. 

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 9:53:53 PM)
Kellee, when do you plan to travel to Asia for interviews and which cities will you visit?

Aleja (Dec 9, 2003 9:55:43 PM)
Kellee, Is it true that GMAT scores for International students are considered within the pool of applicants of their own countries?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:55:55 PM)
Traveling strictly for interviews is usually after Round 3 applications are in, in late Feb., early march.  In the past we have gone to Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore... and others. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 9:56:13 PM)
Thanks Kellee. Do the admissions officers come to Canada? Or there will be Canadian alumni available for conducting interview?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:56:26 PM)
Aleja, you are considered in the entire pool of students who apply in the round you do. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:57:28 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?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:57:30 PM)
heng, I have been to Toronto only, but usually end up doing phone interviews, as the pool for us from Canada, combining all rounds, tends to be really small. 

Aleja (Dec 9, 2003 9:58:16 PM)
Aha! Thank you, Kellee.

chef (Dec 9, 2003 9:58:21 PM)
I was wondering how much cross-pollination there is between Marshall and USC's engineering school?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:59:05 PM)
Re-applicants are not at an advantage or disadvantage, they just need to do one essay, update the resume, and demonstrate to the adcom how they have improved their application since they last applied.  If it has been two years or more since their last application, they need to do the entire application again.

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 9:59:09 PM)
Kellee, you said earlier that not all admitted students are interviewed. However, I am just curious if USC prefers to interview international students to learn more about their communication/language skills before offering admissions?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 9:59:24 PM)
FYI: we do not defer. You must re-apply.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 9:59:34 PM)
Is it advantageous to apply in Round 1... even if some part of your application isn't particularly strong?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 9:59:36 PM)
Does Marshall allow students to go into great depth in one area of business management, or does it focus on more of a general management perspective emphasizing the inter-relationship between different business functions?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:00:18 PM)
gowell, you are correct. We have found in the past that high TOEFL and GMAT scores do not necessarily translate to an appropriate level of English comprehension.  The classes go fast and are very conceptual and high level.

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:00:47 PM)
Kellee, thanks for the clarification. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:00:48 PM)
Linda, Marshall allows students to create their own concentrations, which gives students a great opportunity to fine-tune their curriculum to their interests.

kb111 (Dec 9, 2003 10:01:11 PM)
How do the applicants in earlier rounds compare with the pool in later rounds - better, same?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:01:55 PM)
Rounds 1-3 seem to be on par.  Round 4 is really a hodge-podge.... each year is different, so it's hard to give a real definitive answer to this one. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:02:02 PM)
Galt, Kellee can agree or disagree (and go with what she says) but here is Linda's rule: Apply as early as possible PROVIDED you don't compromise the quality of your application.

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:02:03 PM)
Kellee, for round 1 international applicants, will phone interviews be granted in Jan. or will they be asked to do an interview later when the admissions officer travels to their countries, ex Asia, in late Feb or March?

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:02:51 PM)
Why do schools ask you about the other schools you are applying to? Does this affect the admission decision in any way?

Aleja (Dec 9, 2003 10:02:58 PM)
Kellee, would you happen to know what is the lowest GMAT score you have ever accepted? 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:03:17 PM)
gowell, we will probably ask to do interviews later..... the decision may be delayed, but being asked to interview is a GOOD thing, so don't despair.

kb111 (Dec 9, 2003 10:03:46 PM)
Are waitlisted applicants interviewed?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:03:48 PM)
Also, two members will be doing a tour in Asia in late Jan., early Feb., so Round 1 and Round 2 applicants may be called to interview then. 

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:04:17 PM)
Kellee, thanks for the interview schedule information. It's useful.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:04:21 PM)
So Kellee, you would review the application, then decide whether or not that person requires an interview... and consequently extend an invitation?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:04:28 PM)
kb111, waitlisted candidates can be interviewed, but it's still at the discretion of the admissions committee. 

bett (Dec 9, 2003 10:05:28 PM)
Kellee, what's the minimum GMAT score for applicants without working experience?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:05:31 PM)
Galt: yes and no. Sometimes, we use preliminary info and not the entire application to base a decision to interview.  We like our interviews to be blind so the interviewer is not biased.  We try to make sure the person who reads your application is not the person who interviews you. 

heng (Dec 9, 2003 10:06:07 PM)
So that means the interview is blind?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:06:28 PM)
"Blind" means that the interviewer hasn't reviewed your application or formed any impression of you.  In this case, they are blind.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 10:06:32 PM)
Oh, you've mentioned that. Sorry I missed it.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:07:16 PM)
Work experience- we have no minimum, but understand on average, you are competing with folks who have 5 years or more of work experience. Where you are weak, you need to be strong in other areas, and the GMAT is certainly in your control.  Look at our 80% range which is 640-730 and try to be as high as possible. 

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:07:22 PM)
Are all essays of equal importance, or would you agree that the Career goals question carries the most weight?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:07:36 PM)
Thank you Linda. That is what blind means to us. 

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:07:45 PM)
Kellee: When can a Round 1 applicant get the interview invitation?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:08:22 PM)
Galt, all essays carry the same weight. It's about putting the entire puzzle of you together.  No one element is a single determinant for a decision. 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:08:53 PM)
Interview invitations will be going out late this week or next week. Interviews will begin Jan. 5.

ahoward1 (Dec 9, 2003 10:08:57 PM)
Kellee: How is financial aid determined? Is it merit-based, need-based, or a combination of both?

kb111 (Dec 9, 2003 10:09:22 PM)
Are interview invitations extended via e-mail, phone,?

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:09:23 PM)
Gita:  What is the scenario for Marshall MBAs this year?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:09:47 PM)
N2L: In terms of jobs?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:10:05 PM)
Scholarships are merit based.  We offer 100% or 50% tuition only.  Domestic loans are need based, and there are two loans for international students, both need based. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:10:32 PM)
Jobs are looking good. There is a swarm of on-campus recruitment in the fall and then again in the spring when companies have figured out their needs.

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:10:37 PM)
Gita: My current function is financial research but I'd like to do strategy consulting after the MBA. Is it possible in such economic situations?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:10:59 PM)
kb111, we will use different methods, both phone and email.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:11:02 PM)
Does recruiting look like the trend is up?

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:11:10 PM)
Kellee, for merit-based scholarships, are international students and domestic students considered on the same level?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:11:33 PM)
I'm not that familiar with strategy consulting...but, if you're willing to put in a lot of hard work, I'm sure you can find what you're looking for.  Consulting does seem like a field that's been hit hard by the economy, but there have been consulting companies visiting our campus and many people in the field have mentioned that Consulting is looking up again.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:11:36 PM)
gowell, yes, for scholarships, all applicants are in the same pool, in each round, without breakdowns. 

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:11:44 PM)
Is it true that the GPA score becomes less significant for a particular applicant that has been out of school for say 7 or 8 years?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:12:04 PM)
Linda the trend is hard to predict, as we have only gotten through Round 1, which we are still counting.... Thanks for asking Linda.

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:12:27 PM)
Kellee, will scholarship decisions be released at the same time as admission decisions?

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:13:08 PM)
Gita: What impressed you the most at Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:13:13 PM)
Galt, it depends. However, if the GPA is not so good, what has that person done to overcome that.  This is what must be demonstrated in your application.  We realize you can't go back and change your GPA (as much as some of us wish we could,,,, me included! :-))

ahoward1 (Dec 9, 2003 10:13:14 PM)
Kellee: Are the merit scholarships determined largely by any one factor? GPA, GMAT, experience, etc? Or is it a combination?

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:13:56 PM)
Thank you Kellee.... and not to mention the fact that some of us weren't as focused then as we are today :)

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:13:58 PM)
N2L: The support of the program definitely impressed me the most. As a first generation college, graduate, and MBA student, I definitely needed a program that cared about me and could ensure my success.  Marshall has been a great experience for me and has provided me the support I needed academically as well as the professional network to get my dream internship: Procter & Gamble, Puerto Rico (marketing/brand management). 

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:14:10 PM)
Scholarship decisions may or may not go out separately, it just depends on when the decision is given per round. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:14:39 PM)
Galt, we have an article on mitigating a low GPA. It is at http://www.accepted.com/mba/lowstats.aspx .

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:14:46 PM)
ahoward1: Merit scholarships are based on the combination of all factors in the application.  We look at everything!

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:14:53 PM)
Thank you Linda... much appreciated.

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:15:04 PM)
Kellee, can you elaborate a bit more on the scholarship decision process?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:15:04 PM)
You're welcome.

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:15:48 PM)
Gita: Thanks.  The Trojan family spirit really impresses me.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:16:29 PM)
gowell, round by round we consider who gets offered a scholarship and it varies by year, depending on the pool of applicants.  Just try to be above average in all statistics, and really make a case as to why you want an MBA from Marshall.  It should be about what you offer us and how our program can help you achieve your goals....

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:16:59 PM)
N2L: Yes, the Trojan family is quite amazing...even abroad. When working in Puerto Rico, a Trojan grad in the company at the Cincinnati office offered to mentor me through my internship and really was a great resource through some challenging situations I encountered.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:17:02 PM)
Kellee, how can an applicant demonstrate "fit" at Marshall?

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:17:04 PM)
Kellee: Could you talk about some points on the loans for international students?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:18:12 PM)
Gita, have you started interviewing already for a permanent post-MBA positions?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:18:37 PM)
Yes, I've started interviewing with several companies.  I've been using a few methods for my career search: On-campus recruiting, Marshall alums, and cold-calling.

Aleja (Dec 9, 2003 10:18:43 PM)
Thanks for that article Linda! Would you happen to have an article mitigating low math section in the GMAT?  Would you take into account a general Stat/Math courses as part of someone's application?  If so... would this help someone with a weaker GMAT?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:19:02 PM)
As far as fit, it's about knowing what is Marshall's culture.  We're a team-based collaborative environment.  Some people thrive in this environment, some do not.  The best bet is to contact current students, visit our campus or check out our ambassadors on our website at www.marshall.usc.edu . Ambassadors are first year students who agree to be contacted concerning these types of questions. Ask away!

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:19:04 PM)
Gita: What's the presence of Marshall in Asian places like Hong Kong, Shanghai?

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:19:21 PM)
Aleja, that's covered at the same URL. The article title is something like "MBA Admissions: Mitigating a Low GPA/GMAT."

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:20:01 PM)
It sounds, Gita, like you're leaving no stone unturned.

heng (Dec 9, 2003 10:20:42 PM)
Thanks for answering our questions Kellee & Gita. Thanks for hosting Linda. I'm going to log off now.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:20:44 PM)
For international students, there is a loan administered by Chase which requires a US Citizen co-signer. Call 800-242-7339 for more info.  Information on the other loans, which is purely need based, is given to international applicants only after they are admitted to the program. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:21:00 PM)
N2L: I'm not sure what the presence is in terms of numbers in Asia. I can say that I've met many people from Asian places like Hong Kong & Shanghai...so I imagine there must be a nice presence out there for those alums who have returned home.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:21:02 PM)
Are the GMAT AWA scores really an important part of the decision making process?

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:21:54 PM)
Gita... could you tell us about the PRIME program. Have you been able to visit any country via this program, and what was the experience like?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:22:00 PM)
Bye heng! Thank you!

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:22:28 PM)
Kellee: Does Marshall offer co-signer-free loans for international students?

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:22:53 PM)
Galt, I went to Mexico City/Cuba for my PRIME trip. I had been dying to go to Cuba for years, but needed a special visa to go and PRIME was the perfect opportunity for me.  The experience was great in terms of the exposure to business practices abroad, both through our domestic lectures and international business site visits.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:23:05 PM)
The GMAT AWA is used as a back-up, only if we can't gauge your essays well enough.  It's important, but your actual application essays are more important.

chef (Dec 9, 2003 10:23:22 PM)
How does Mexico City figure into the Cuba PRIME trip?

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:23:22 PM)
Thank you so much for that answer Kellee.

Purvi Patel (Dec 9, 2003 10:23:41 PM)
Hi, I've got a question. I have actually called a couple times but I'm still worried; my current university is taking forever in getting my transcript to me, I was told to hold of on sending the recommendations to USC and just to send everything together, but I really wanted my application to be reviewed in this round.  I finished the online application by Dec. 1st and sent that part off, but I'm having trouble getting my transcript from my current school.  I keep calling and I never get called back.   I put in the request on Nov. 17 and still haven't received my transcript, this is really getting quite frustrating; I'm afraid it will affect my application.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:23:56 PM)
Sorry, the correct term is Mexico City/Havana (Mexico/Cuba) trip.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:24:06 PM)
Gita... have wondered what that was like. Did you think a week or two was enough time to get a real sense of the business and political environment in Cuba/Mexico?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:24:06 PM)
Nothingtolose: Yes, but information is only given to international students AFTER they are admitted to the program. It's new and it's high risk to us, so we don't make the particulars public to other than admitted students. 

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:24:20 PM)
We did about 4-5 days in each city/country...making it a Latin American trip of sorts.  Since Cuba is a communist country, I imagine the PRIME program also wants us to see other types of businesses, such as those in Mexico.  The experience was great and just enough time.  We go a couple days after the last day of class.

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:25:17 PM)
Gita: What methods do you find the most helpful in job-seeking, on-campus fairs, alumni recommendations, or self-supported?

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:25:31 PM)
Purvi, you may need to send the form to your school.   We could potentially make a decision, but the university will not let you take classes if you are admitted without the transcript. 

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:24 PM)
You've been a great group!

Purvi Patel (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:30 PM)
I've sent the form and everything together, but I'm getting pushed in many different directions.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:31 PM)
Thank you guys very much!

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:35 PM)
Kellee: Thanks for the info. Another question:  For international students, is the interview a face-to-face one with Adcom or alumni or a phone interview with second yearer?

Aleja (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:40 PM)
Thank you so much Ladies! Good night!

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:49 PM)
You're most welcome.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:55 PM)
Thanks Kellee, Gita and Linda.... Hope to meet you all in LA some day soon :)

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:26:59 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:03 PM)
We don't use students to interview.  All other options are possible.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:11 PM)
Michigan-- 12/11 at 10:00AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT UCLA -- 12/15 at 6:00 PM PT/9:00 PM ET/2:00 AM GMT Haas - 12/17 at 10:00AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT Chicago 12/18 at 10:00AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:12 PM)
N2L: I find all of those job-seeking methods useful, the most is definitely networking, though.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:17 PM)
Purvi, keep trying to get that transcript...

gowell (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:22 PM)
Thank you all.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:23 PM)
Good luck to everyone!

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:30 PM)
Thanks to everyone!!!

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:34 PM)
You're most welcome.

Purvi Patel (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:34 PM)
Should I just send in my recommendations and my transcript from my junior college, where all I took at the junior college was dance classes?

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:44 PM)
Thanks Kellee and Gita. Hope to meet you in LA.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:51 PM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba  for exact times and details on the future chats.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:27:56 PM)
All college transcripts that you received credit for.

Galt (Dec 9, 2003 10:28:08 PM)
Good night all... signing off.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:28:13 PM)
Nothingtolose:  Come visit us on campus if you haven't' already.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:28:17 PM)
Thanks again for coming.

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:28:23 PM)
Night Galt!

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:29:01 PM)
Kellee: I will try to arrange a campus visit!

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:29:15 PM)
Thank you to everyone again! if you have any further questions, email me at kscott@marshall.usc.edu !  Or call 213-740-7846 to arrange a visit.

Linda Abraham (Dec 9, 2003 10:29:29 PM)
Good night. Good luck!

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:29:38 PM)
Thank you! Bye!

Nothingtolose (Dec 9, 2003 10:29:43 PM)
Good night, bye.

GitaRunkleUSC(student) (Dec 9, 2003 10:30:04 PM)
Good bye to all! Feel free to contact me if you have questions: gita.runkle.2004@marshall.usc.edu .

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:30:25 PM)
Good night all. Thanks for logging in. There were some really good questions! :-)

KelleeScottUSC (Dec 9, 2003 10:30:29 PM)
BYE!

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