2005 USC Marshall MBA Admissions Chat with Kellee Scott


2005 USC Marshall MBA Admissions Chat with Kellee Scott

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:10:59 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's USC Marshall Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:11:11 PM)
I also want to welcome Kellee Scott, Associate Director MBA Admissions; Missy Bailey, Director of Career Resources; Lida Jennings, Director, Program Office; Sonny Wong, 1st year student; Sarika Bhargava, 2nd year student; and Seth Weinger, 2nd year student.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:11:20 PM)
Sonny, Sarika, and Seth, could you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before coming to USC? Sarika and Seth, what did you do this past summer? What do you want to do after you graduate?

leonapp (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:05 PM)
I have 2 year WE, and will get an MS in statistics next summer, how will the school view this kind of applicant?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:15 PM)
Sure Linda. Before USC, I worked in Silicon Valley in high tech field doing project management and some product management. I came to USC because I'm interested in expanding my career into business development and overseas work.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:20 PM)
Hello all... I'm from New York and moved out to LA for business school. Before school, I traded at JP Morgan in international equities. I'm looking to switch careers and go into corporate strategy at an entertainment company. This past summer I worked in corporate strategy at a film production company.

Luis (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:29 PM)
Lida: How many students participate in the PRIME program?

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:54 PM)
All first year students participate in PRIME - so 275 students per year.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:13:59 PM)
Leon, it's about the depth of the work you do and your accomplishments. There is much more to the application than just your degree and WE.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:14:06 PM)
Hello everyone. Welcome! My name is Sarika and I am a second year student as Linda mentioned. I graduated from Michigan in 2000 and worked for a couple of years at General Motors as an electrical engineer. I decided I wanted to get into marketing and applied to MBA schools. I was very fortunate to work at Lexus this summer in Brand Management. It was an awesome job.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:14:20 PM)
Sonny, Seth, and Sarika, can you tell us a little about your PRIME experiences?

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:14:42 PM)
Kellee, if you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Marshall student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:15:29 PM)
Linda, I'm a first year but looking forward to the PRIME trip in May! We will soon select the countries we want to go to. Then, we will be given group projects where we will ultimately present our findings to the host company.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:15:47 PM)
Sonny, where would you like to go with PRIME?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:15:48 PM)
Linda, there are many factors besides meeting the statistics. What are your goals? Why Marshall? Who are you, not just your work life, but outside of work as well. We take a holistic approach. It's about challenging yourself and going outside your comfort zone.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:15:53 PM)
Linda, Sure... Prime was an amazing experience. My trip took me to Singapore and Thailand (two places I have never been to). My consulting project was at Canon where I presented to approximately 12 executives. It was a great time and I learned a lot about the culture of both Thailand and Singapore.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:16:22 PM)
Sure, Linda. I was on the Hong Kong/Shenzhen, China trip. It was an amazing experience. I got to work with Disney and the project was about comparing and contrasting the US and Chinese TV industry and make recommendations on how Disney could penetrate the Chinese TV industry. We also visited many different companies....12 in 5 days. We presented at 7 of the 12 companies. It was an invaluable experience!

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:16:23 PM)
Kellee, I previously applied in a late round 2 years ago. In re-applying, is it recommended that I resubmit all essays, though the requirement is only an update essay describing significant professional growth?

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 5:16:40 PM)
Lida, can anyone participate in the PRIME program or is it only for full-time students?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:17:14 PM)
Only submit the updated essay. The exception is if you are applying through the Consortium, then, you will have to complete their entire application..

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:17:29 PM)
Linda: There are many PRIME locations around the Pacific Rim. I'm targeting either China or Hong Kong or a step out and go to Latin America (Chile/Argentina). People pick locations based on interest (career wise) or just to be somewhere new.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:17:37 PM)
All of our MBA programs have an international component. It is one of Marshall's greatest features. So PRIME is only for 1st years, but there is a program for MBA.PM called GLOBE.

michael (Nov 8, 2004 5:18:11 PM)
Kellee, do the admissions officers look down on applicants wishing to switch fields?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:18:33 PM)
Michael, many folks in the program are career changers with no prior experience in their new industry. It's about learning and transferring applicable skills.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:19:27 PM)
Michael, I would like to let you know I am a career switcher, going from engineering to marketing and I have found that you can use the skills set you have (in my case, quantitative skills) to your advantage. I would suggest doing research on what you think you think you want to do. You can always change your mind, so don't think that if you decide on Finance that you can't switch to marketing

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:19:30 PM)
Michael, just make sure you do some research on the field you are changing to and the skills sets you'll need.

michael (Nov 8, 2004 5:19:51 PM)
So you are just looking for someone who is focused?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:20:18 PM)
Michael, to add some numbers, roughly 75% of ALL full-time MBA's are career switchers!

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:20:30 PM)
PRIME seems to me to be one of the outstanding programs and a unique opportunity offered by Marshall.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:20:35 PM)
Michael in my first year class there are many people who know what they want and then there's me. I've come in with engineering background and looking at finance or marketing. At Marshall, they encourage you to join clubs, talk with alumni and 2nd year students to find where you want to go

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:20:58 PM)
Michael: I mean, there are a lot of students like me switching too :)

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:21:00 PM)
Missy, how is recruiting going this year? Are there more companies recruiting on campus this year? More interviews scheduled?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:21:04 PM)
Michael, you may not have complete focus, but you should have some idea of a direction for your career.

leonapp (Nov 8, 2004 5:21:45 PM)
Kellee: I am targeting marketing; I have 2 year WE in high tech, and I am now an MS student in statistics, graduating next summer. How do you view this kind of applicant?

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:21:52 PM)
Sonny, Sarikha, and Seth, what do you like best at Marshall? What would you like to see improved?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:22:05 PM)
Linda, things have certainly picked up. However, since so many of our students want to stay in CA, we don't measure on how many companies come to campus since they can have students go to them.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:22:19 PM)
Missy, so what criteria do you use?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:22:44 PM)
Leon, as I said before, we take a holistic approach. You should go on our website at www.marshall.usc.edu and look up the profile of the class of 2006. That should give you an idea of your competitiveness.

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:23:11 PM)
Lida: It seems that a majority of the participating PRIME companies are Asian based. Are the Chile/South American opportunities as readily available, though not pursued?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:23:25 PM)
Linda, we keep track of the number of interviews, whether on-campus, off-campus, video-conference and/or job postings/resume drops.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:11 PM)
Missy, are any sectors particularly active or improved over the last couple of years?

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:15 PM)
Linda, I think what I like best is the culture at Marshall. I've been surprised to find how much I have been learning from my fellow students. I came to school thinking I would meet some good people, but I really have made life long friends and possible future business partners.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:19 PM)
Travis... Yes. There are many opportunities at each site. So they are equal in terms of opportunities for exposure and learning.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:25 PM)
Linda, I love the community at Marshall! With a class size of about 260, we all get to know each other well. There are so many different people from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries. I am learning so much more than just stats, finance, marketing....I have already seen some of the improvements that I wanted. For example, first years now have electives. That is something I would have liked as a first year, but I am happy the program listened to us and made that available to first years.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:38 PM)
Linda: Favorite: the students. We have many group projects or hard classes so it helps to leverage other student's skills and background. Improvement: room scheduling--everyone is on campus doing group projects so it's hard to get rooms sometimes.

Carlito (Nov 8, 2004 5:24:57 PM)
Sarika, Seth, and Sonny: I can see you all had very prestigious careers before you applied to USC. Do you know how important work experience was to your application? In my case I've only have about 12 months of full time work experience but I have over 36 months of part-time experience in asset financing at a respectable bank. Do you think work experience will be a problem on my application because of the relatively short full-time work experience?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:25:57 PM)
Linda, Sure. Banking and consulting have picked up a lot, primarily because they took such hits in 2001-2002. The corporate (i.e. company) piece has been more stable throughout the downturn. So, the issue with them is the number of hires, not whether they're recruiting at all or not!

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 5:26:14 PM)
What kind of clubs or programs, other than PRIME, does Marshall offer that are available to MBA.PM students?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:26:17 PM)
Carlito, let me field that one. We have taken people with less than two years work experience in the past, but we expect that other areas of your application will be very strong to compensate. Also, it's not just the years of experience, but the depth of what you've accomplished. The years will be based on months experience as of July 31, 2005.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:26:18 PM)
Carlito: Business school is an education. I would say schools want students who are capable of the handling the demanding curriculum as well as contributing. So, how long you work is not as important as what you have experienced at work.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:27:04 PM)
Carlito, I think typically MBA schools look for 3-5 years of experience, but you have 1 year and over 3 years of part-time experience. I think that is a good thing.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:27:08 PM)
Missy, whatever the source of the numbers, it sounds like things are looking up for Marshall MBAs.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:27:22 PM)
Carlito, I think every application is different. For me, I didn't have the greatest grades at Syracuse and my GMAT was in the range they were looking for. I think my work experience definitely helped me get over the hump and get accepted. But I will say, there are fellow students that do not have the work experience I have and made it in for other reasons. You want to be able to tell your story about what you plan to bring to Marshall and what you plan to do with your MBA.

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 5:27:29 PM)
Can you discuss opportunities for international business experience via Marshall?

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:28:15 PM)
Kellee, is there any advice that you have specifically for international applicants?

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:28:46 PM)
Miles, I am the VP-Student Organizations. I actually manage all of our Marshall clubs. Currently, we have over 2 dozen clubs. We have industry specific clubs such as the Finance club, Marketing Club, Real Estate Club, etc. We also have clubs that are food/beverage oriented clubs, such as the wine club, the Marshall Hospitality club. We also have a clubs for consulting and strategy people. It is a diverse set of clubs.

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 5:29:13 PM)
Also, how would you differentiate Marshall from other leading California MBA programs?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:29:18 PM)
Linda, things are looking good for Marshall students but for every student (and potential student) it's about what they want to do, not the aggregate numbers. So, while things are looking up, the most important thing we do is work with each student individually. It's something we do very well at Marshall.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:29:47 PM)
Missy, can you give an example of individual support that students find at Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:30:02 PM)
Sure. International applicants are advised to apply by Jan 15 to be considered for fellowships. Also, try not to wait until the Round 4, April 1st deadline because new government regulations make the processing of I-20's take longer these days.

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:30:32 PM)
Kellee: If ones undergraduate GPA is of a concern, though not GMAT scores, should this be addressed briefly in the open essay portion of the application? Possibly by focusing on work experience etc., or will the Marshall Admissions team's review of the transcripts suffice?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:31:33 PM)
We will review your transcripts, but if there are issues, you should address them in an optional essay. We do not look just at the number, we look for upward trends and a challenging course load.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:31:38 PM)
Sonny, Sarikha, and Seth, why did you choose Marshall?

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:31:45 PM)
Travis, that is the problem I encountered when applying to business schools and I focused my essay toward my work experience cause of it.

leonapp (Nov 8, 2004 5:31:51 PM)
Sarika, is there any website, etc. about the marketing club?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:32:11 PM)
lfinch, as for international business experience, there is the PRIME program in May in which first years present a study to a host country. On the immediate campus, there's opportunities to network with current international students. For career expansion, Marshall has a strong international alumni network to tap into.

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:32:33 PM)
Linda, we assign all students to a Career Advisor the day they walk in the door and we keep track of them until they graduate....and beyond, since we also have career responsibilities for alums. So, I spend a lot of time with finance types (my background is banking) working on individual career planning. For many Marshall MBA's, the issue is they want to be in the traditional careers, but stay local. So, we work on finding opportunities that fit both their industry/functional interests as well as the geography.

Luis (Nov 8, 2004 5:33:01 PM)
Sonny, Sarikha, and Seth: What areas in L.A. do you recommend to live in? (I'm from Mexico)

Viren (Nov 8, 2004 5:33:32 PM)
Missy: How was the recruiting scene at USC this year? Would the business week rankings impact the number of applicants this year?

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:33:35 PM)
Linda, I chose Marshall for a couple of reasons. I wanted to attend a top business school. It was also important for me to choose a school in which I thought could help me with my switching of careers (entertainment). When I visited Marshall in the Ambassador program, I really fell in love with the way students interacted with each other.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:33:50 PM)
Linda: I selected Marshall because I want to attend a top program with strong Asia Pacific ties. In addition, I think Marshall believes in the international aspect of the global business world by requiring all students to go on PRIME. Plus, I'm a city person and Los Angeles is great!

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:18 PM)
Linda, I got into other top 20 schools, but what stood out about Marshall was the students, the culture, and the administration. I had a friend who attended Marshall while I was applying and I visited him. I just got a different feeling about this place. It felt more like a close, family community. Everyone wanted to help me and offer advice.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:18 PM)
Viren, to address your questions about applications, it's too soon to tell. Our first application deadline is December 1st.

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:29 PM)
Viren, I can't speak to how it may impact applicant numbers but I can say we have had no resistance from recruiters as a result of the rankings.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:58 PM)
Luis, I moved here from New York and knew very little of the different areas in LA. I chose Santa Monica, about 3 blocks from the beach! But LA is so diverse, and there are so many areas to live in... Hollywood for the city feel, one of the beach towns, or even close to the school in downtown LA.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:59 PM)
Luis, I would recommend Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood, West LA, or the South Bay (Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, or Manhattan Beach).

michael (Nov 8, 2004 5:34:59 PM)
Kellee, will a low GMAT score sink an application if the other components are there?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:35:53 PM)
The question Michael is, how low is low? 80% of the class have a GMAT between 640-730. This means that 10% of the class are below 640.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:36:05 PM)
Lida, what do each of you view as Marshall's strengths?

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:36:26 PM)
Leonapp, The web-site for the marketing club is www.marshall.usc.edu/clubs/GMA.cfm?

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:37:48 PM)
Luis, I chose Marina Del Rey because I wanted to be close to the beach and LAX, so that's why I chose it. I moved here from Michigan where it gets very cold and wanted to be able to enjoy the Pacific Ocean!

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:37:57 PM)
Sonny, Sarikha, and Seth, 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?

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:38:49 PM)
Kellee, are there any special considerations for re-applicants at Marshall? Should reapplicants obtain recommendations from different recommenders?

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:38:51 PM)
Marshall's Strengths: Student community, PRIME and general management curriculum/focus. I could list many more, but those would be my top 3.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:38:59 PM)
Luis: I live in Santa Monica (in west LA). It's a good area and I have the option of hitting the beaches...

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:39:33 PM)
Linda, I wish I would have moved here earlier and got myself settled in. I moved here about a week before school started and didn't realize how busy I would be right from the beginning. Also, if you can... I would take off from work early and enjoy yourselves! School is very busy, especially that first year! It's nice to be well rested before starting.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:39:56 PM)
Linda, I did not take much time off before coming to school, so I wish I would have taken a nice, long vacation! I did prepare by buying the suggested book for accounting since I was nervous about taking that class and had never had it.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:40:05 PM)
Lida, how does the general management curriculum manifest itself? Is it a lot of the case study method? Is there an emphasis on the links between business functions? Could you provide a little more detail?

Carlito (Nov 8, 2004 5:40:44 PM)
Seth: Are you specializing in entertainment? If so, do you think Marshall has good connections to the entertainment industry and do you know of any well known companies that are recruiting at the university at this time?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:40:45 PM)
Good question! If you are a reapplicant, it is required that you send in one new recommendation from a different recommender. Actually, the rate of reapplicants getting in is good, as it shows a true commitment to being at Marshall. However, remember that each year brings a different pool of applicants. You are assessed in relation to the applicant pool that comes in the year you apply.

navs (Nov 8, 2004 5:41:09 PM)
Kellee: Hi, I just have one year of work experience, but I am passionate about doing my MBA; I believe its the right time for me.bIf I express this in my essays, how much would that impress Marshall?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:41:19 PM)
Linda: Before school began, I left my job and spent 2 months in China to study Chinese and start networking over there. For all applicants: I really believe you should take the summer to do something relaxing because business school is very busy.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:42:08 PM)
Yes, of course. We offer a range of elective courses, both for first year students (spring semester) and second year students. The range is broad enough to allow students to gain some depth in all of the "MBA" areas - finance, marketing, strategy, etc. We do use the case study method in most classes and there are links to the business functions through faculty, guest speakers and collaboration with student clubs and the Career Resource Center.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:42:33 PM)
Navs, it's about your strength relative to other applicants. The average work experience in the class of 2006 is 5 years, we do have some with less, but you need to be stellar in other parts of your application to compensate.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:42:34 PM)
Carlito, Yes, I'm looking to get into entertainment. It's a weird industry and recruiting doesn't follow the same rules as other industries. I know of alumni at NBC-Universal, Disney, Warner Bros. etc. The alumni at Marshall are pretty amazing. So many of them come back to speak about what they do and are open to meeting with current students one on one. I've definitely taken advantage of that.

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:43:34 PM)
Kellee: Obviously strong participation and what an applicant can contribute to the program and associated departments or clubs is of great value. Following my on-campus visit, is it appropriate, in the open essay section, to offer specific examples of how I perceive my skills may be applied to assist ongoing Marshall programs?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:44:03 PM)
International students need to demonstrate their English comprehension. We will look at the verbal GMAT as well as the TOEFL. We also try to interview all international candidates we are considering.

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 5:44:30 PM)
Sonny, Seth, Sarika: Is there one program or class that you would recommend as the most beneficial towards preparing someone for their post MBA career?

Viren (Nov 8, 2004 5:45:06 PM)
Lida and Missy: How does USC fare in the technology arena? I have a background in technology and I am looking for a school which offers a focus in technology and strategy.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:45:43 PM)
Travis, the majority of your essay space should be devoted to you telling YOUR story. We need to see what you've done outside of Marshall. It is quite probable that those who are active and are leaders will bring those traits to the program.

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:45:46 PM)
Kellee: In regards to recommenders, should all of their comments be limited to the existing form?

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:46:22 PM)
Miles... Hmmm.. good question. I don't think there is one class. But I will say there are a handful of classes that are really beneficial. For me, I would say the two strategy classes I took in my first year were pretty amazing. It takes a look at different companies and really gets you to think about different scenarios and the choices these companies make in the strategic environment.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:46:37 PM)
Miles: It really depends on your post-MBA career. Marshall starts you with a solid base of core classes. Afterwards, based on your career path, you select electives that will give you the skills for your chosen function/industry. The great thing is that we have recent alumni who come in and tell you which courses were extremely useful as well.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:46:44 PM)
If possible all the comments should be limited to the existing form, but if a recommender really wants to say more and they run out of space, they can mail the recommendation to us directly..

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 5:46:48 PM)
Thank you Kellee.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:46:54 PM)
Viren, we have some very good courses in technology and some even stronger courses in strategy.

michael (Nov 8, 2004 5:47:03 PM)
Kellee, what does Marshall do to encourage diversity?

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:47:17 PM)
Miles, I agree with Seth. I think strategy is a key class. We have amazing professors who teach it here. It's a subject that covers all industries. Operations and Pricing strategies are on the top of my list also.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:48:45 PM)
Sonny, Sarika, and Seth, does Marshall have programs for spouses and significant others?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:48:51 PM)
We are very involved in diversifying the class at Marshall. We are part of the following organizations: The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (www.cgsm.org); MBA Diversity Alliance (www.mbada.org); Managing Leadership for Tomorrow (www.ml4t.org), and The Forte Foundation (www.fortefoundation.org). Also, it's not just about ethnic diversity; we want students from a variety of work backgrounds and life experiences.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:48:51 PM)
I would agree with Sarika and Seth. Sometimes the best classes are those who improve the way that you think and approach problems, regardless of the specific subject matter. So strategy always, pushes students to learn a great deal about many different companies and topics.

leonapp (Nov 8, 2004 5:49:13 PM)
Lida: Does Marshall work with other departments, like CS, to bring some cutting edge tech, like data mining, to sharpen the marketing curriculum?

Carlito (Nov 8, 2004 5:49:24 PM)
Kellee: Are the interviews performed on campus or through the internet? Are international applicants given time to make traveling arrangements or are the interviews booked on short notice? Do you know approximately when they are performed, assuming the deadline is January 15

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:49:27 PM)
Viren, we have more companies interested in hiring Marshall students in tech than we have interested students! Strategy is a bit tougher since you have to bring something to the table immediately for a company to want to have you in that area. Now, if what you mean is you want to work for one of the Big for consulting companies in strategy, that's highly competitive and a different conversation!

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:49:50 PM)
Linda, There is a club called the Marshall Partners. It is actually run by a spouse of a student. It's a great way to socialize and meet other spouses. Also, you can stay involved with the school.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:50:04 PM)
Linda, yes... there is the Marshall Partners Club (I think that is what its called). Also, there are so many social events at the school where spouses are always invited. Many of my friends at Marshall are married, and they bring their partners to all the fun events at school.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:50:50 PM)
The interviews are invitation only. We travel to many places to do interviews. If we don't come to your area, or if you are unable to come to campus for the interview, we will connect you with an alumni in your area. The method of last resort is to do a telephone interview.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:50:56 PM)
Leon - we do leverage the faculty knowledge and relationships to get access to information based in other schools here at USC, like CS. But we also have many professors who specialize in those areas (such as data mining) within their own research and pursuits. Our most significant academic collaborations at Marshall are concentrations in Real Estate and Entertainment. But there are many others.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:51:16 PM)
Kellee: How are interviews used in the evaluation process?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:51:45 PM)
Leon: Marshall also works with other schools. For example, the Entrepreneurship club and Biotech clubs work with the School of Engineering and the Medical School to try to commercialize the technology. In addition, in terms of career search, Marshall also organizes trips to San Francisco Bay area and San Diego for first years interested in high tech internships.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:52:57 PM)
Well said, Sonny. I would say that some of the best collaborations are arranged by students. There are events and activities that support much of what is done in class.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:53:46 PM)
Missy, how has internship hiring and interviewing been going?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:53:48 PM)
Interviews are used to "validate" and dig deeper into the accomplishments the applicant has expressed in the application, but also to assess "fit". "Fit" is subjective, we know, but at Marshall, we want to make sure students we accept are those who 1) want to be here; 2) can "give back" in terms of helping others and improving the program; 3) will be an integral part of the Marshall MBA experience

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:54:53 PM)
So Marshall interviews are definitely not "blind."

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 5:55:12 PM)
Sarika, Sonny, and Seth: Do you have good interaction with the professors outside of class, or is it mainly just inside the classroom?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:55:26 PM)
Linda, internship recruiting doesn't really start until the New Year but we're already in the midst of the prep work and scheduling. So far, so good. Additionally, I'll be taking a group of students to NYC for Wall Street Week in December. A lot of the students interested in banking/the buy-side will be recruited then.

Viren (Nov 8, 2004 5:55:27 PM)
Kellee: Why does Marshall have invitation only interviews? The interview is very critical to assess an applicant and allows candidates to make his case strong. Most other schools have optional interview policy but highly recommend interview.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:55:41 PM)
Actually Linda, some can be blind, some not. We try to have the interviewer not be the person who did the initial read on the file. The attempt is to cut down on bias in the process.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 5:55:53 PM)
Thanks for clarifying.

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:56:24 PM)
Miles - Professors are very accessible. They are available for course questions as well as general chit-chat. My difficulty is finding the time!

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:56:47 PM)
Miles, to be honest... it depends on each professor. Most are very accessible outside of the classroom. All hold office hours and I think with any school, there are always some real special professors that really go out of their way to help students in academics, career advice, etc. Professors are also used as advisors to the student clubs. For example, a finance professor will be an advisor to the Finance club and help to get speakers ,etc.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:57:15 PM)
There is also a group of faculty who attend most of our MBA student events, too, which is really nice.

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 5:57:27 PM)
Lida and Marshall students: Any insight into non-profit/public sector courses and programs?

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:57:52 PM)
Miles: There are many opportunities to interact with professors. First years elect 2 "core reps" for each of the cores (we divide the incoming class into 4 cores) and as a core rep you get to have lunch with the professors, let them know how the class is going and you ask them how they think the class is going. It is a very informal chat. I have found that the professors are helpful. You just have to ask for help.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:58:43 PM)
For non-profit and public sector interests, we have a very active club - Marshall Net Impact - which has really grown over the past two years. That group has really enhanced our schedule of activities by bringing in speakers and activities that focus on this area. In addition, there are some classes that focus on this area within their course curriculum.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 5:58:53 PM)
Viren, unfortunately, our resources are somewhat constrained. However, if you are visiting us from outside of California, you can request an interview without necessarily having an application prepared.

Carlito (Nov 8, 2004 5:59:11 PM)
Kellee: If I had to choose from two recommenders, one who has in depth knowledge of my past work and accomplishments, but is a low ranking employee and then lets say, the well known president of my company who I've met barely often enough so he's willing to spend 15 minutes in writing my recommendation, who would you rather choose? And please answer honestly :)

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 5:59:30 PM)
Thanks.

leonapp (Nov 8, 2004 5:59:58 PM)
Lida: International students may demo their English ability with GMAT and TOEFL, but as non-native speaker, language is more or less an issue. Does Marshall give enough opportunity for international students to participate in class? How does the current international student group perform in class?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:00:09 PM)
Ifinch, from a career perspective there is a lot more interest in careers in non-for profit and public sector than ever before. The "tempering" of that interest level often sits with the reality of salaries paid!

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:00:24 PM)
Carlito, the expectation is that your recommender knows your work and can write a glowing review of your abilities. Titles are not the consideration, it's what they can say about you and the impact you've made.

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 6:01:13 PM)
Seth, Sonny, and Sarika: I plan to attend an information session on Wednesday - but will be too time-constrained to attend a class. Are there places on campus that I should visit to get a good "feel" for the culture and community of Marshall?

navs (Nov 8, 2004 6:01:41 PM)
Missy: Regarding the entertainment industry and more specifically big names like Universal and AOL; what kind of positions can Marshall graduates look for?

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:02:40 PM)
lfinch... I would walk around the campus to get the feel of the school. But to really feel the culture and community, stay at the building (Popovich) and sit in the courtyard and talk to students. 

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:02:45 PM)
lfinch: You should hang out in the Courtyard. You'll see students working in groups, relaxing in between classes. Don't' be shy--let us know you're a prospective and ask your questions!

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:02:53 PM)
lfinch, I would strongly recommend coming back to campus and attending a class if you can to get the feel for what it's like.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:02:58 PM)
Regarding public sector, I think that Marshall will continue to grow in that area, just FYI.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:03:27 PM)
Lida, can you say what's in the works?

MissyBaileyUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:04:39 PM)
Navs, entertainment is an interesting field because they have not historically had as many "MBA level" positions/job tracks as most other industry segments. So, the issue is often about getting a firm to value the MBA as much as getting them to hire you! The big firms do hire MBA's and tend to do so in marketing and finance positions. We also have a few students go into more creative roles, but they often do so after getting a certificate from one of the other USC schools, like Cinema.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:05:16 PM)
Every year the material appears more and more throughout the curriculum and community. Now with students who are actively involved in this area and their collaboration with faculty and staff, the evolution has been quick. And this is a very good thing for us. Having lots of interested students who reach out to the faculty encourages faculty to include students as often as possible, and encourages them to add the material to their courses, as well.

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 6:05:25 PM)
Lida & Kellee: Any comments on why the ranking of Marshall slid in the reports this year, namely Business Week?

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:08:10 PM)
As for rankings... we are growing and evolving along several metrics right now. We had a tremendous jump from 2000 to 2002 so change has been ongoing for many years. And with change and hard work, you hit the good times and the tougher times. We have a great deal of feedback from our students and many initiatives under way, as there are always areas for improvement. The rankings have just added to the encouragement we feel to keep pushing our program and our community.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:08:13 PM)
Essentially, the rankings in Business Week is based on opinion, not data. As there is always room for improvement in any MBA program, at Marshall, the issues have been addressed.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:08:33 PM)
lfinch, as a student I was upset by the rankings. The overall sentiment of the students is Business Week did not properly rank our school. We are all looking to improve the school and confident we will be back up to where we belong.

Viren (Nov 8, 2004 6:08:53 PM)
Kellee: Is TOEFL compulsory for US permanent residents ( not US citizens)?

navs (Nov 8, 2004 6:09:05 PM)
Lida: I see marketing would be huge in the entertainment industry; does Marshall have a Public Relations major?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:09:35 PM)
Viren, US permanent residents do not need to take the TOEFL.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:09:57 PM)
I mentioned earlier that the community is one of our great strengths. So with the rankings news, it has been amazing to see the community react in support of the program and the school - the Deans, students, faculty, staff, etc. As Seth said, it is not who we are. And the fact that we believe that is critical. When you visit, you will see what we mean.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:10:47 PM)
navs... entertainment marketing is an area students are interested in and there is a class by that name at the Cinema School. Personally, I'm looking at finance/strategy in entertainment, but I have friends interested in marketing and a good friend who worked at Warner Bros. in a marketing internship.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:11:43 PM)
We don't have a PR major. We don't have majors at all, actually. We have MBA concentrations that guide you in your choices according to the area you would like to pursue. And there are several different Marketing concentrations and we also have a certificate program in entertainment. So you can access the best information from both Marshall and USC's cinema-television program/school.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:11:47 PM)
I completely agree with Lida and Seth. The people who come to Marshall come from all over the world and from different backgrounds. The common thing is that we all want to make a difference and we we all care. This is truly an amazing community...from the faculty to the students. I would encourage you to visit us!

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 6:11:48 PM)
In conjunction with lfinch's comment above and the Dean's Letter, what administrative or curriculum changes are being suggested due to ranking results? Is there a loose timeline as the when significant additional changes may be applied, or have they been addressed for the near term?

lfinch (Nov 8, 2004 6:13:11 PM)
Lida: Can you provide more detail on "study abroad" programs?

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:13:29 PM)
Changes are being made all the time. The most recent significant change is the addition of electives to the spring semester of the first year. This allows our first years to start gaining depth and expertise before their internships. This is a big change for us, one that has been in the making for 2 years. Sonny's class will be the first!

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 6:13:33 PM)
Sonny, Sarika, and Seth: Is there much interaction between the MBA and MBA.PM students?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:13:38 PM)
Changes are taking place on a daily basis, all in very positive ways. This will be an ongoing dynamic.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:13:47 PM)
As for study abroad, we currently have 26 programs to choose from. A student in good academic standing can apply to study abroad for a semester of their second year.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:04 PM)
Lida, did that change reduce the total number of required courses or were some requirements moved to the second year?

navs (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:17 PM)
Hi Seth. Is the certificate from the Cinema school additional work, from the normal MBA?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:24 PM)
Travis: I'm a first year student and--to be frank--it is disappointing to see the rankings drop. However, as everyone says, we all believe the school is so much more than that and the Marshall community has united to improve the perception. For example, based on comments from students, my year is the first with electives.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:27 PM)
Linda... we reduced the number of required courses.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:38 PM)
Miles, there is not so much interaction in your first year. But in your second year, it is possible to have classes with some of the students. Also, PM students are able to be active in the clubs at Marshall.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:14:42 PM)
Miles: As a second year student, I have the opportunity to interact with PM students because I am taking evening classes. I think it's a great way to get to know your PM classmates and network.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:15:09 PM)
PM students are mostly fully employed, so it's a great opportunity to network!

Viren (Nov 8, 2004 6:15:27 PM)
Kellee: Some of the links on USC's website do not work. For example, the FAQ section. Besides this, the website is not very appealing. Are there any efforts to improve this?

SonnyWongUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:15:43 PM)
Miles: Interaction has been limited due to PM students having full-time jobs. However, we have weekly networking mixers and all events are open--it depends if people find time to go out to all those academic, club, and social events!

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:15:51 PM)
navs, to attain the certificate, you are required to take a certain amount of classes at the Cinema school. These classes can be used in the electives part of your MBA.

SethWeingerUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:16:32 PM)
navs, I took Making Money in Movies this semester and I'm taking a class for Television next semester.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:16:35 PM)
Yes. The website is a work in progress. We will be reviewing it this month to fix any glitches and make any changes as far as admissions information. As far as design, it's a university-wide endeavor, so our control is limited.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:16:40 PM)
Viren... I can jump in on the website. I believe that there will be many changes this year. We are all working to keep our content as updated as possible, but there seem to be major changes to the overall look and feel. I don't know the details, but I believe that plans are in the works, with ideas and support from our new Dean. We have a Tech Taskforce that involves students and technology staff that keeps everyone updated on the web-related happenings.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:17:54 PM)
If you have any issues, please send them directly to me at kscott@marshall.usc.edu .

navs (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:00 PM)
Hey Seth, that's a fantastic combination. Can I have your email address so that I can contact you with more possible queries regarding this?

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:29 PM)
You can email any of us at jkp200@marshall.usc.edu and I will be sure to forward to the right person!

TravisWalker (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:38 PM)
I agree with the overall USC and Marshall's sense of community being a strength and look forward to an opportunity to participate - Thank you for your time and the availability of this chat forum.

MilesMcClain (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:43 PM)
Kellee: I have heard that prospective students could sit in on a lecture to help get a feel of what to expect. Is this true, and if so how would someone go about this?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:43 PM)
Miles, call our office at 213-740-7846 to schedule an appointment.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:45 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Kellee, Missy, Lida, Sonny, Sarikha, and Seth.

LidaJenningsUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:52 PM)
Thanks for your interest in Marshall!

Carlito (Nov 8, 2004 6:18:54 PM)
There are many ways of telling a story, do you have any advise about the essay part of the application? It´s quite difficult to know how far you should go in complementing your own accomplishments without sounding like an ego-maniac :) ?

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:09 PM)
Thank you Linda for moderating!

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:21 PM)
Carlito, you can find a lot of advice on writing the essays at http://www.accepted.com/mba  and in back issues of our newsletter, Odds 'N Ends.

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:33 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:43 PM)
EU Chat with LBS, Insead, IMD ,HEC, IESE, Said (Oxford), Judge (Cambridge): December 7 Tuck: Dec. 15 Chicago GSB: Jan. 4

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:50 PM)
Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba ) for details and exact time, because we are varying our chat times this year to facilitate attendance from applicants in different time zones.

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:19:58 PM)
Carlito, just be yourself and highlight accomplishments and achievements. It's ok to brag, but let a friend read it before you submit so they can let you know if you're being too arrogant.

SarikaBhargavaUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:20:06 PM)
Good Luck Everyone! Fight on! Please do come and visit us if you haven't!

Linda Abraham (Nov 8, 2004 6:20:59 PM)
Good luck with your applications!

KelleeScottUSC (Nov 8, 2004 6:21:05 PM)
Thank you all for joining us! Information about Accepted.com's consulting and Editing Services

MBA Chat Transcript Index || Chat Room