2004 UMBS MBA Admissions Chat with Gwyneth Slocum Bailey

2004 UMBS MBA Admissions Chat with Gwyneth Slocum Bailey

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Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 12:59:03 PM)
Hi everybody.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 12:59:26 PM)
Greetings from Michigan! Thanks for joining the chat. At the outset, I want to inform you all that Leslie Lynn, Associate Director of Career Development, is with us, rather than Al Cotrone.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 12:59:53 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's UMBS Chat.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:00:14 PM)
I also want to welcome Gwyneth Slocum Bailey, Assistant Director, Admissions and Career Development at UMBS; Leslie Lynn, Office of Career Development; Tzveta Tchorbadjieva, CFA, originally from Bulgaria and currently a member of Michigan's Class of 2004; and Olivier Kazandjian, originally from France and currently a member of Michigan's Class of 2004.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:00:22 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:01:09 PM)
This is your chance to ask questions about Michigan's program and admissions policies. But I would like to start by asking Tzveta and Olivier to post a brief bio so that we can all learn a little about their interests and background.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:01:21 PM)
Gwyneth, what's new at Michigan?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:02:18 PM)
What's new? There is a a lot going on here. We've recently made changes to our scheduling for the core curriculum.  We've added space in the schedule for an additional elective in the fall semester prior to the career search/interviews that some have after the winter break.  We've added one additional week to our start-of the year Leadership Development Program, including more time on personal and business ethics and functional skills development, for example. 

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:02:28 PM)
I'm still under Al's heading, but I'm here and happy to answer your career related questions.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:03:19 PM)
Leslie (Al), could you please tell us what your role is at UMBS?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:03:52 PM)
I'm also curious, could the visitors tell us where they are logging in from?

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:04:23 PM)
Athens, Greece.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:04:33 PM)
Tzveta: I am originally from Bulgaria. I was working in Finance for 5 years before joining UMBS. Finance is my area of concentration at UMBS and I spent the summer in Investment Banking and I am going back to that for a full-time career.

Pablo (Dec 11, 2003 1:04:44 PM)
I'm from Madrid, Spain.

Freno (Dec 11, 2003 1:05:07 PM)

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:05:14 PM)
Sorry. Where is Freno?

Freno (Dec 11, 2003 1:05:20 PM)

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:05:23 PM)
Delhi, India (It is pretty late here.. so hope my questions will get a priority).

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:05:50 PM)
Nicholas, the U of Michigan alumni club is having an event in Athens next week. Contact me after the chat via umbsmbs@umich.edu with my name in the subject line, and I'll let you know the details.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:06:13 PM)
I oversee the Career Center, which provides education and training on your job/career search. We provide career counseling on self-assessment, mock interviews, resume, reviews, negotiation assistance, etc. We also provide support with workshops and help students in their self-directed (off-campus) search efforts. Many students come to business school to achieve a career switch so development of career search skill is important. Our large alumni network aids our students in conducting their career networking. The other side of our office oversees the relationships with 250 companies that visit on-campus each year.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:06:15 PM)
Olivier: I'm originally from Finance. I'm an engineer with an IT background. My areas of interest are Manufacturing/Operations and Finance. I'm also a TMI student (Tauber Manufacturing Institute) and I did my internship at Cummins Diesel engine.

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:06:35 PM)
Thank you.  I will.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:06:43 PM)
Another question: I have had 4 jobs in the past (application only allows for 3); which one do I not mention in employment history section?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:07:14 PM)
Leslie, Al was relatively optimistic during our chat in October. How has recruiting been progressing overall at Michigan for full-time positions and for internships?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:07:52 PM)
r2applicant, include the four jobs on your resume. For the form, don't skip a time period. You might be able to add additional spaces. Otherwise, we'll use what's on your resume.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:08:22 PM)
Gwyneth, if you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile are in the ballpark for a Michigan student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:08:55 PM)
Should international applicants be concerned about the ability of the adcom to interpret a foreign transcript?

msfr (Dec 11, 2003 1:08:59 PM)
Do you expect to give Round 1 admissions decisions before Jan 15?

Derek (Dec 11, 2003 1:09:08 PM)
Hi, Tzveta; was it easy to get the internship at Cummins Diesel Engine? What is your engineering background?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:09:39 PM)
Linda, we're looking for evidence of leadership; e.g., initiative and influencing outside the usual sphere. We look for students who will contribute to our diverse environment.  That may refer to work experience, but also to outside involvements, hobbies, etc. Having a good understanding of Michigan's philosophy and approach is also important, so folks should make good use of our website, this chats, etc. 

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:10:45 PM)
Full-Time recruiting has been progressing on-par with last year's numbers and actually a little bit ahead of last year. It appears the consulting industry is slowly starting to pick up more in hiring and expanding their presence on campus as both the consulting and banking industries were hit by the tough economy. Michigan has been able to maintain a good representation across a variety of industries. I encourage you to look at the 2003 Employment Profile now available on-line.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:11:44 PM)
msfr, decision notification will likely be on January 15. We try to beat our deadlines, but it's hard to predict.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:11:50 PM)
Tzveta and Olivier, what do you like best at Michigan? What would you like to see improved?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:12:16 PM)
Nanny welcome, from where are you logging on?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:12:35 PM)
Olivier: I'm typing under Tzveta name. My engineering background is in fluid mechanics but I spend all my previous career in IT. My internship was through the Tauber Manufacturing Insitute that has a great credibility and recognition in the industrial world. Companies that know the program come and propose internships or summer projects to Tauber manufacturing students. If this is your area of interest, you should definitively apply in addition to the regular MBA program.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:12:36 PM)
How are international students doing in the job market?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:12:49 PM)
Re: foreign transcripts: the adcom has a fair amount of experience with them. We also have international students on the adcom who help out, and we also have resources within the larger U of Michigan, if needed.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:13:32 PM)
In other words, you can interpret a foreign grading scale?

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 1:13:37 PM)
Russia, Moscow.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:13:44 PM)
Tzveta&Olivier: The best part of Michigan is the teamwork, people, and broad choice of electives.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:13:55 PM)
What personal attributes does UMBS value?

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:14:16 PM)
Linda, it has been more challenging for our international students in the job market and that is something to note. However, many international students have reported success with the on-campus and off-campus job search process. It can be more challenging to secure a position in the US depending on your interest area. We have been doing several initiatives to help international with their search such as workshops and a course designed for this population so you may use CPT visa during the internship.  International students CAN obtain internships in the US by using their Curricular Practical Training option and conducting a focused career search.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:14:24 PM)
Yes, we can deal with foreign grading scales.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:14:26 PM)
Tzveta & Olivier: Improvements needed - facilities, weather :)

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:14:47 PM)
Oliver and Gwyneth, could you tell us about the interaction between different departments in Michigan.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:15:28 PM)
Personal attributes we value: integrity; initiative; being "down-to earth," energy; varied interests, e.g., we have classical musicians who play rugby.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:15:31 PM)
Welcome Emiliano, from where are you logging on?

Pablo (Dec 11, 2003 1:16:06 PM)
Does Michigan take into account the GMAT essays? I've read nothing about them in your website. Only about the score out of 800. Are the essays really important?

Emiliano (Dec 11, 2003 1:16:09 PM)
Hi, I'm from Curitiba, Brazil.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:16:25 PM)
Welcome Michael Zhang, from where are you logging on?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:16:33 PM)
Can international students obtain internships in the US or are they limited to working abroad during that critical summer between the first and second year?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:16:55 PM)
Tzveta and Olivier: Do you feel that Michigan's Ann Arbor location is a negative for an international applicant?  I understand it's beautiful, but at least an hour away from the closest major business center (Detroit).

michael-zhang (Dec 11, 2003 1:17:03 PM)
Thank you Linda, I am from China.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:17:04 PM)
Departmental interactions: Tzveta will comment on our Multi-Disciplinary Action Program, a 7.5 week program at the end of the first year that brings together the work of the core courses.

rndoneapp (Dec 11, 2003 1:17:47 PM)
Can you please tell me what the characterization of the round one application pool are?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:18:15 PM)
I noticed that the MAP is taken at the end of the first year. Why? I was surprised it doesn't come in the second year.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:18:32 PM)
How many international students were admitted last year?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:18:36 PM)
Pablo, we definitely take the AWA score of the GMAT into account. We get copies of the essays, so we can review these.

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:19:24 PM)
Can you describe current recruitment trends in finance? I am particularly interested in finance.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:19:42 PM)
Tzveta: Interactions between departments: In the first year MBAs take their core classes, which covers different areas and relate to different departments of the school. In the second year, students can choose an area of concentration and take more classes in a particular department, e.g. Finance or Marketing. But the choice is broad and students are not confined to one particular area.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:20:12 PM)
International percentage of the Class of 2005 is about 29% - We usually have about 30% of the class as internationals, but it was a bit lower this year due to visa issues at the last minute, mostly for China. We do not have quotas. We look for top candidates from around the world.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:20:55 PM)
Hi Tzveta, would you please talk more about the multi disciplinary nature of MAP.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:21:38 PM)
What is the current schedule to send out interview invites for R1 applications? Also, how do you plan to interview applicants outside the USA, not based at one of your interview locations (as listed in the application)?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:21:46 PM)
Tzveta: The MAP project is during the first year and it is designed to give a real world experience in a consulting type of setting. Students work with companies on solving problems. Many of the suggestions are later implemented. It is a very practically oriented program and is a distinguishing feature of the UMBS MBA.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:21:55 PM)
Investment Banking is on a upswing as the economy improves. Corporate Finance continues to attract many of our finance focused students. We just finished our annual Wall Street Forum in late November, which attracted 100 MBAs, and almost 200 alumni. It's a great networking event and our finance students are able to conduct informational interviews with alumni and companies to really learn a lot during their visit.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:22:03 PM)
For MAP, please see our website at www.bus.umich.edu. The MAP projects take place in the USA and overseas. They also include projects with start-up firms in the Ann Arbor area.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:23:28 PM)
Michigan has an open INTERVIEW policy. That is, the applicant arranges for the interview him or herself prior to the application deadline. Information on interview specifics are on our website. An application is not complete without an interview, so if someone does apply without an interview, we may reach out for that interview.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:23:31 PM)
Is there an advantage to applying in different rounds? Do you accept more people first round than second, second than third?

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:24:18 PM)
Thanks, Leslie.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:24:26 PM)

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:24:38 PM)
We STRONGLY encourage internationals to apply in Round 1 or 2, as we offer scholarships to international admits in these two rounds. Also, for the sake of visa application, it helps to have the earlier decision.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:24:56 PM)
For students, why did you choose Michigan? Are you glad you chose an American MBA and specifically Michigan?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:25:16 PM)
Olivier: Ann Arbor is a great college town. You can have top notch musicians from all around the world in classical ( Alfred Brendel, John Elliott Gardiner....), jazz (Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock...) and ethnic music. You have foreign movies as well as blockbusters. You can find grocery stores from all around the world. You have the advantage of a big city with the quietness and charm of a college town. After two years here, I only visited Detroit once with my parents and if I can avoid going there, I will.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:25:46 PM)
Leslie, would you be able to comment on R1 application pool this year. Thanks.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:26:22 PM)
Welcome Jimmy and UMBS Blues.  From where are you logging in?

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:26:41 PM)
Thanks Gwyneth.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:26:47 PM)
As in the past, R1 is a strong round in terms of qualifications. Application numbers are down slightly.  This slight drop seems to be industry wide, from what my counterparts at other schools have mentioned. Also, we changed our essay questions from last year, and I think some folks are taking additional time to work on these.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:26:47 PM)
Ann Arbor campus continues to attract recruiters from across the globe. While 40% of our students stay in the Midwest, the rest of our MBA students pursue opportunities in the US and globally.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:27:10 PM)
Are US employers starting again to hire international students?

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:27:18 PM)
So you mean if international applicants miss the second round, they will have little chance?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:27:22 PM)
Tzveta: During MAP, students work on a real world projects with a company. It is similar to a consulting project and takes 7 weeks. Many of the suggestions are later implemented by the companies. It is a lot of fun., a great teamwork experience and a distinguishing feature of the UMBS MBA.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:27:48 PM)
Tzveta and Olivier, did you find it difficult taking classes in a second language or were your English skills adequate?

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:28:14 PM)
Thanks Tzveta.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:29:13 PM)
awei: People get admitted in Round 3, including internationals. But we generally do not have scholarship money available then. I usually advise people to apply when they feel they are ready, but the earlier the better. We have a weekend for admitted students in early April, so only admits from R1 and R2 get to that. It's a very helpful weekend, and another good reason to get in by R2.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:29:26 PM)
Olivier: I chose Michigan because I was looking for a top ten US program with a focus on teamwork. Furthermore, as my interest was in operations, I choose a school that has the necessary credibility in that area. With the TMI, Michigan was definitely my first choice.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:29:43 PM)
Does UMBS encourage its graduate students to work out of the US?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:30:14 PM)
awei: Do you mean our international students?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:30:24 PM)
Linda's rule: Apply as early as possible PROVIDED you don't compromise the quality of your application.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:30:43 PM)
Good summary rule, Linda. Thanks!

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:30:48 PM)
Gwyneth, yes.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:30:54 PM)
Tzveta: I chose Michigan because it is one of the top ten schools that has a very strong recognition in the US. I am concentrating in Finance and Michigan has a great reputation on Wall Street. But I also wanted to be exposed to a strong curriculum in Strategy and Marketing.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:31:07 PM)
Do any of you have any advice specifically for international applicants?

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:31:32 PM)
Did the quantities of the applicants decrease this year?

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:31:55 PM)
We have found that when the economy thrives, employers are more open to international talent. With the tighter economy, international students have faced more challenges. However, Johnson and Johnson is an example of a company that expanded their interest in international students even in this tight economy. We are optimistic that global opportunities will increase as the global economy improves.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:32:02 PM)
For international students it can be more challenging to visit the School, so I recommend that they go to our website and to the Day MBA Admissions ad find the list of Student Ambassadors. This is a list of about 60 MBA1' (first years) who take questions. If there isn't someone on the list from your home country, there may be something close, or the Ambassador may be able to connect you up with a student colleague from your part of the world, so make use of these ambassadors.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:32:50 PM)
Tzveta: I applied to a business school in the US, because I was living and working in Europe for a long time and I wanted to experience a different culture and a different work setting.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:33:57 PM)
Tzveta and Olivier: What do you wish you would have done before starting your MBA that would have made the beginning/transition easier? Did you do anything especially effective that helped you?

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:34:19 PM)
Do you consider the Dual degree applicants in a specific pool or in the general pool?

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:34:22 PM)
Tzveta and Oliver, could you tell us about the interaction with alumni and the Global Blue club?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:35:05 PM)
Jimmy, where are you from?

Jimmy (Dec 11, 2003 1:35:27 PM)
I'm from Bangkok, Thailand.

msfr (Dec 11, 2003 1:35:30 PM)
About how many students join dual-degrees program during the 1st year of the MBA?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:35:44 PM)
Tzveta: English - for international students it is more challenging to take a rigorous curriculum in a foreign language, so it is important that you have a good command of English. Classes require a lot of class participation, which can be somewhat overwhelming in the beginning. But your spoken English improves with an amazing speed as the year progresses, so reading and writing skills are most important.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:36:09 PM)
I am specifically interested in  the interaction with alums working on Wall Street. Tzveta, like yourself I am interested in finance, but want a school with a great strength in marketing as well.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:36:19 PM)
awei: For dual degree applicants, we see only the B-School side of the application. As with all candidates, we will be looking for a clear explanation of why you want an MBA/dual degree. Actually, a dual degree is a great way to take advantage of the strengths of the entire U of Michigan. ALL MBA students are able to take up to ten credits from U of M schools outside the B-School as a way to enhance/broaden/deepen their MBA experience.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:37:00 PM)
Awei, it's really up to each student and want you want to pursue. We encourage you to assess your interest and skills and find the best fit regardless of the location. Many times international students do want to experience the US business environment before returning to their home country. We live in a global market though and there are opportunities abroad for people familiar with the language and culture. Our employment stats indicate what percentage of students work outside the US.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:38:15 PM)
r2applicant: We have a fantastic Alumni Club in New York, with a good number of social and professional events, so there is great opportunity for networking.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:39:17 PM)
Should international students be worried about obtaining a visa?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:39:19 PM)
r2applicant: Your comment connects well with why people apply to Michigan; namely, our across the board strengths in all disciplines, and the breadth of companies that recruit at Michigan.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:39:41 PM)
r2applicant: Regarding Wall Street, see my previous answer about the Wall Street Forum. Every major bulge bracket bank recruits at Michigan. 

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:40:13 PM)
Thanks. I mean if you encourage international students to work globally to expand UMBS's influence.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:40:29 PM)
Olivier: Definitely the interaction between alumni and student are great either through the Global Blue Rep. or the Country Chairs (Student who are the information link between the administration and the alumni). Through those channels, students are involved in the relations between alumni and the school. In addition, Michigan has an incredibly wide alumni network that you can contact through the alumni database if you need advice or information.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:40:58 PM)
Obtaining a visa: Students should make sure they have time for the process, as it's become more complicated since September 11th. Those who had difficulties last year were from China, and specifically form Beijing, as I recall. A few Russians had initial difficulties, but then everything was fine.  U of M has a very active and helpful International Center. I don't have the exact URL, but those who need it can go to www.umich.edu and search for the international center.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:41:32 PM)
As for marketing, we are a core school for the leading consumer products and pharmaceutical companies. However, marketing in the US can be a challenging career path for international students.

michael-zhang (Dec 11, 2003 1:42:27 PM)
Is UMBS planning to do something to help Chinese students to get their visas?

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:42:30 PM)
We are fortunate to have an active Global alumni network that supports Michigan.

Pablo (Dec 11, 2003 1:42:32 PM)
About the GPA ... In Europe it is very difficult to get a GPA over 3. Do you consider this fact in international applications?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:43:58 PM)
Pablo - we absolutely consider the context of the GPA; if your school gives rankings, that can often help us, but it' not necessary.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:44:18 PM)
Tzveta to r2applicant: We also have a very strong Finance Club that organizes the annual Wall Street Forum (see Leslie's comments) and makes sure that people interested in Finance go well prepared into their interviews. The Finance Club also maintains relations with all the banks and FI that recruit at Michigan. There are numerous on-campus events organized by these companies (presentations, tailgates, deal analyses, case studies) that allow for a close interaction with recruiters before the interviews.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:44:54 PM)
What distinguishes Michigan: Three key things distinguish The University of Michigan Business School from other business schools: 1. First, we offer best-of-class training in all disciplines and functional areas — from finance and marketing to strategy and entrepreneurial studies. 2. Second, Michigan excels at fusing theory (core skills) with practice (hands-on opportunities). Multidisciplinary Action Projects — domestic, international and entrepreneurially focused assignments serve as the capstone experience for first-year MBA students 3. Third, The University of Michigan Business School is part of one of the world’s great universities, with breadth and quality matched by very few institutions anywhere. The Business School has cultivated those strengths and established active connections with the rest of the University to deliver unsurpassed depth and breadth in interdisciplinary studies beyond business.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:45:16 PM)
Tzveta and Oliver, are you planning to return to your home countries immediately after graduation or later on?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:46:11 PM)
Michael-Zhang - we help on a case by case basis, if possible, but we also provide some tips for students. The International Center has the experts, so we refer to them.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:46:28 PM)
Olivier: I plan to stay in the US even if the market is a little tough right now. However, my main concern is about the quality of the job. If I have a better offer in Europe, I will come back.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:46:50 PM)
Gwyneth, Tzveta and Oliver thanks for the information about networking with wall street.

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:48:18 PM)
Gwyneth: Regarding letters of recommendation: Is a letter from a colleague equal to a letter from a supervisor? Do you place more weight on the recommender's credentials?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:48:20 PM)
The alumni club information is on our website under alumni, if you want to write directly to someone.

Freno (Dec 11, 2003 1:48:21 PM)
Tzveta, have you had any problems with financing your studies, as you come from Bulgaria. Similar situation to us in Slovakia and CR.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:48:41 PM)
A question about how future career goals affect admissions chances: If I have a somewhat unconventional path to a long term goal (for specific reasons) and the transition might be rare, but I have good reasons for it, does that affect (either way) my admissions chances? My short term career goal I believe is pretty traditional.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:49:57 PM)
Nicholas: A letter from a supervisor can be more helpful than one from a peer, assuming the supervisor knows the applicant well. We're not so interested in the recommender's title as we are in his/her ability to comment on your work; strengths; how you've made an impact, etc.

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 1:50:26 PM)
Are you planning to send out the whole chat-transcript to the participants, so that those unable to take part today could get the answers for their possible questions?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:50:27 PM)
Tzveta: Freno, I have a Fulbright fellowship for my MBA. But UMBS is working with Citibank on financing the MBA program. As far as I know this works well for international students.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:51:16 PM)
We don't e-mail the transcript but we will post it. You will be able to link to it from http://www.accepted.com/chat/transcripts/ . It will probably go up next week.

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:51:29 PM)
How many students joined dual degree programs last year?

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 1:51:47 PM)
Thank you, Linda.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:51:58 PM)
Olivier: I can confirm that the partnership with Citibank works well. You don't have to worry about the financing. You fill the Citibank application and you receive your money (deducted of your tuition) by check. Simple and without problem.

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 1:52:11 PM)
Tzveta: Regarding financing:  Do international students need a third-party co-signer in order to obtain a loan?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:52:11 PM)
goals: Due to Michigan's diversity and across-the-board strengths, it's not unusual to see people with non-conventional career paths. An applicant needs to be clear, though, on how the MBA fits in. We suggest that applicants have someone who knows them well read their essays, and someone who doesn't know them well. The latter is helpful, because that person is in the same position as the adcom, so they can usually help to identify where the story isn't so clear; whereas your friend may be unknowingly "filling in the blanks."

niki (Dec 11, 2003 1:52:15 PM)
I was wondering what kind of backgrounds do those who are selected to join the Wolverine Venture Fund have?

Jsol (Dec 11, 2003 1:52:20 PM)
UMBS crew:  What role does the interview play when the admissions team is evaluating a candidate's applications?

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:53:57 PM)
That is a neat idea. Thanks, Gwyneth.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:54:12 PM)
Olivier: Nicholas, you just need to fill the application (1 page with just you name and few administrative question), sign it and give it back to the school which takes care of everything. No co-signer or third party needed.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:55:18 PM)
WVF:  It's a competitive situation, and backgrounds vary. I could guess, for example, that someone with a very strong career in chemical engineering or in software, but no experience in finance is taken, because the specialized knowledge is helpful in evaluating companies. Strong analytical skills are important, of course, and teamwork skills, as it's a group of 16 working closely together.  You can contact the Zell Lurie Institute directly - Paul Kirsch, pkirsch@umich.edu, helps with the selection, I believe.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:55:59 PM)
Follow up on goals. We have an article for career changers at http://www.accepted.com/mba/careerchanger.aspx . Many of the suggestions in that article would also be helpful to someone with non-traditional goals.

SKG (Dec 11, 2003 1:56:06 PM)
How are admitted students informed of the decision - email or snail mail?

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 1:56:09 PM)
What is your major criteria affecting your first choice candidate?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 1:57:12 PM)
Decisions: all applicants who applied online are notified online. Admitted students receive a letter and binder as well, and usually a phone call, depending on time zones.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:58:00 PM)
If you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Michigan student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

SKG (Dec 11, 2003 1:59:05 PM)
Thanks Gwyneth.  Do you mean the results are posted on their online account? Are rejections also posted ? Also are ALL decisions released on Jan 15th for Round 1 or is it on a rolling basis?

awei (Dec 11, 2003 1:59:11 PM)
Thanks, UMBS crew!

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 1:59:43 PM)
Thanks Leslie.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 1:59:50 PM)
Thank you Leslie.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:00:23 PM)
Are there things applicants can do now that will improve their chances of obtaining an internship and ultimately a job during and after their MBA program?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:00:24 PM)
Linda, solid essays that convey a clear understanding of why an MBA and how Michigan fits; evidence of leadership/initiative/influence. Interesting profile, e.g., hobbies; community service. Passion for career or other area to which the applicant is committed.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:00:58 PM)
Thanks Gwyneth!

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:01:33 PM)
Linda, great question and the answer is YES. Start doing some self assessment now. The time line is very aggressive when students enter business school so those students who know what career that want to pursue

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:01:50 PM)
Decisions are not rolling. All decisions are posted at the same time. We may start notifying admitted students a day or two in advance, since we have a tradition of phoning.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 2:02:01 PM)
Gwyneth, I have lots of community service, but Michigan questions seem bit too limited to talk about community service. Is it ok to use optional essay 2 to describe what community service means to me?

SKG (Dec 11, 2003 2:02:03 PM)

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:02:53 PM)
Is the interview a data point in the application evaluation or is it the last hurdle and decisive piece?

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:03:00 PM)
Or something in between?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:03:21 PM)
The optional essay can be used to communicate information about yourself that you think would be helpful for the adcom. Also, there is a space to list community involvement, and we also refer to resume for this, if it's included there.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:04:07 PM)
Tzveta: Common things found in the admitted students in our class: people with varied backgrounds, interesting experiences, high achievements and strong leadership skills.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:04:28 PM)
Olivier and Tzveta, do you have any specific advice for the many international applicants here?

Alexey (Dec 11, 2003 2:04:41 PM)
Regarding letter of recommendations, who could write such a letter for me if I used to be an entrepreneur having a finance company until 1997 from 1994, then I traded in stock as a private speculator, now I'm learning English to gain a good command of it.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:04:49 PM)
Knowing what you want to purse will be an advantage for you when talking with corporate recruiters in the fall. Once students decide to come to UMBS, we allow them to take the Career Leader instrument on-line which can be beneficial in assessing one's strong skills and career priorities and goals. I also encourage you all to keep your current networks alive as they can be helpful post-MBA once you hit the marketplace again.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:05:36 PM)
Role of the interview: not required for a complete application, but we recommend it. The interview can add depth to an applicant's profile and gives insight into interpersonal skills, for example. Also, the interview is a great opportunity for the applicant to talk with a representative from the Michigan community, as they are conducted by a staff member, a second year MBA on the adcom, or an alum. Please refer to our website, or write to umbsintv@umich.edu .

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:06:28 PM)
Career guidance is not my field, but from personal experience I can say that maintaining "old" relationships and maintaining your network of casual professional relationships is incredibly useful. It takes a little bit of effort, but it's satisfying and can really pay off professionally.

Jsol (Dec 11, 2003 2:06:43 PM)
Thanks Gwyneth.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 2:07:18 PM)
UMBS Crew: Michigan's web site mentions Michigan's innovative leadership training approach. Can you elaborate on that?

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:07:34 PM)
Olivier&Tzveta: Advice: Be clear about your goals and what you want to get from the MBA. Start thinking about this now! If you can, try to visit the school as early as possible or at the Go Blue Rendezvous for admitted students in April. This is more difficult for international students, but it is definitely worth it - it will give you a good sense of the culture and the people and help you in your decision.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:07:48 PM)
Recommendation letters: As an entrepreneur, if you had a partner, that would be one possibility, or perhaps a client. Also, if you have a strong outside involvement in an organization, especially in leadership or some other way of having an impact, there may be someone in that sphere who could write a letter.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:08:42 PM)
Do you prefer that a recommender responds to your specific form and questions? What if a recommender wants to write one letter for all the applicant's schools?

niki (Dec 11, 2003 2:08:49 PM)
Al, I was wondering about the job market is in Ann Arbor. If we come with a significant other (Marketing arena...also MBA), how are the opportunities in Ann Arbor or would they likely have to look for opportunities in the greater Detroit Metro area?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:10:35 PM)
Recommendation letters - Answering our specific questions certainly helps. We understand when a busy person prefers to write one letter to a few schools, but the applicant should still ask the recommender to be aware of what we are asking and try to cover that, even if it's not in the format of our questions.

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:12:07 PM)
I'm Leslie Lynn, filling in for Al today. But, yes, there are opportunities in Ann Arbor depending on your significant other's interests. The University is here of course, Pfizer, Borders, Dominoes Pizza, we have a large hospital system. Some folks seek opportunities in the Detroit suburbs as well where there is more companies represented.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:14:23 PM)
What are the most common mistakes applicants make both in their applications and their interviews?

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:14:37 PM)
Michigan's innovative leadership training: a big part of this is what we call "action-learning." The Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) are the biggest example of this, since students are doing a consulting project for a company or organization and actually applying what they learned in their core courses. They are providing important deliverables to the company while also doing a paper and presentation for the faculty. MAP provides this leadership experience while in the program. There are also other opportunities for this hands-on learning, whether through specific classes...

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:15:00 PM)
Olivier: About the innovative leadership, one of them is one of the most interesting and hands-on second year electives. It is called " leadership in crisis time" Your team plays the role of a leadership team in a company facing a real crisis. My team played the recent Xerox crisis and I was Xerox CFO. Your team make a presentation in class in front of the classmates who are playing analysts, regulators, journalists and you have to answer their questions. The real originality is that during the class the Xerox CEO was there with her team and she was able to compare our performance to what she faced during the last two years. To my knowledge, Michigan is really the only school to have this kind of class where you're not only on the spot but also have this interaction with top managers.

r2applicant (Dec 11, 2003 2:16:38 PM)
Thanks Oliver.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:17:26 PM)
Common mistakes: Not addressing the essay question as it's stated; poor proofreading of essays; lack of depth of thinking through an answer before writing; lack of knowledge about the School. i.e., "not doing their homework."

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 2:17:33 PM)
Yes, but excluding some mistakes like applying too late and so on - organizational matters, I mean. Thank you.  I mean crucial mistakes, mostly negatively affecting your choice.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:19:21 PM)
I used to love it when I would see students address the Why This School part of a question and reply in a way that would apply to any top school. They completely failed to answer the question, much less tie their reasons to their goals.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:19:57 PM)
Tzveta: Niki, back to your question about opportunities in Ann Arbor., which Leslie covered. I would like just to add that the great thing about the school is that recruiters come from all of the US and opportunities are by no means limited to the Detroit area. UMBS is not regarded as a local school. The same with applicants - there is the international pool and the US students are not necessarily from the Michigan area.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:20:04 PM)
Bear in mind that we see A LOT of strong applications and are faced with difficult choices, so it's not necessarily "big" mistakes - though Linda is correct that misspelling the School's name or placing us in the wrong location is a BIG mistake!  Actually, sometimes it's lack of goal clarity as to why an MBA. We are not expecting people to have life plans in stone, but we do expect to see clear thinking about how an MBA fits into where someone has been and where they think they are headed. The MBA is an outstanding credential, but it's more than just a relatively quick ticket to higher earnings. It's also an educational experience - and an expensive one, at that - so it's important to know why one is undertaking this. Also, this understanding/focus/passion makes for a much more successful career search.

niki (Dec 11, 2003 2:22:35 PM)
TzvetaUMBS...My questions was more in regards to how easily my significant other may be able to find work in the marketing arena while I am studying. I have heard that the Michigan economy is quite poor right now.  Are the figures exacerbated by the manufacturing industry...especially auto?

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 2:23:07 PM)
How many students considerably change their career after MBA in your school

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:23:08 PM)
Thanks Gwyneth.

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 2:24:52 PM)
Thank you that was quite clear, Gwyneth.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:25:55 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Gwyneth, Leslie, Olivier, and Tzveta for joining us today.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:25:55 PM)
Nanny - a good number of the applications I read are from people who would call themselves career changers, so that's not unusual. Often, too, people get an MBA to move from being a functional expert to being the person who is making higher level, cross-functional decisions. Again, a reason why people come to Michigan - because we are committed to general management, or, as I prefer to call it - the "big picture." Because MAP is by definition multidisciplinary; students get this opportunity as part of their educational experience.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:26:16 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:26:30 PM)
UCLA 12/15 6:00 PM PT/9:00 PM ET/2:00 AM GMT Haas 12/17 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT Chicago 12/18 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT MIT 1/8 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT Joint European Chat with CMU, Cornell, Darden, and Indiana on Jan. 8 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:26:41 PM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.htm#mba  for exact times and details.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:26:57 PM)
For further questions, feel free to contact umbsmba@umich.edu. We'd be happy to hear from you!

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:01 PM)
Good luck with your applications!

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:09 PM)
Thanks again for the interest in Michigan!

Nicholas (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:09 PM)
Thank you for your input. Goodbye!

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:11 PM)
Niki: If you are international, your significant other can only work if he/she have a working permit. To secure that, you must be under a J-1 visa and not F-1 (classical student visa). However, with the J-1 visa, you may be obliged to come back in your home country after graduation for at least 2 years before being able to come back in the US. So the ability to be able to look for a job (even before finding one) can be linked to your goal to stay in the US after graduation. However, there is plenty of volunteer opportunities in Ann Arbor and in this case no permit is necessary.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:43 PM)
Thanks, Linda, for moderating!

niki (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:45 PM)
Thanks everyone.

Linda Abraham (Dec 11, 2003 2:27:57 PM)
You're very welcome. Thanks for coming and sharing your questions.

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:28:42 PM)
Michigan has a helpful e-newsletter called M-Talk for applicants. Comes out two times per month. See our admissions website to sign up for M-Talk

Freno (Dec 11, 2003 2:29:15 PM)

Nanny (Dec 11, 2003 2:29:19 PM)
Thanks everybody and GOOD LUCK!!

GwynethSlocumBaileyUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:30:04 PM)
Thanks to all, especially to Tzveta, Olivier and Leslie, for joining me! We look forward to your applications.

TzvetaUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:30:06 PM)
Tzveta & Olivier: Good luck to all!!

AlCotroneUMBS (Dec 11, 2003 2:34:38 PM)
Yes, feel free to check out our student career services website on iMpact and e-mail us at umbscareercenter@umich.edu if you have any questions.

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