2005 Chicago GSB MBA Admissions Chat with Kristen Pawlowski -

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Chat Transcript:



Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:11:51 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Chicago Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:12:05 AM)
I also want to welcome Kristen Pawlowski, Chicago's Associate Director, Admissions; Christine Balzano, Assistant Director of Admissions; Kurt Ahlm, Director of Admissions Operations; and Danni Sack, Class of 2005 and co-chair of the Dean's Student Admissions Committee.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:12:16 AM)
Danny, I know you interned over the summer in a brand management role at Fellowes. Could you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before coming to Chicago and this past summer? What do you want to do after you graduate?

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:12:27 AM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

leon (Jan 4, 2005 10:13:37 AM)
What are you looking for when it comes to diversity? Is this referring to academic background/work experience/cultural background or character/personality?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:13:41 AM)
I worked for five years at Motorola before coming to the GSB. I have been studying Marketing, Finance and Economics at the GSB, and will end up with concentrations in each. I chose to attend the GSB because of three primary reasons: 1) I really enjoyed talking to the people I met. 2) I wanted a quantitative focus to my studies. 3) I also wanted some freedom in my academic choices.

Back to China (Jan 4, 2005 10:16:31 AM)
Kurt, is there a cut of time for the application due on the Jan. 7th?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:16:31 AM)
The actual deadline is Midnight (12 AM) CST on January 7th.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:17:04 AM)
Hi Leon - When it comes to diversity, we look at a variety of areas, including where someone grew up, where they have studied, what they worked in, extracurricular and what their person experiences have been.

dan (Jan 4, 2005 10:17:17 AM)
Christine: What kind of impact does having earned the CFA designation or having passed a level of the CFA program have on one's chance of admission?

new caledonia (Jan 4, 2005 10:17:34 AM)
Kristen, as a reapplicant, can I provide a new recommendation letter from the same person who wrote for me last year?

Back to China (Jan 4, 2005 10:17:49 AM)
Kurt: What is the adcom trying to get at from the "Childhood hero essay?"

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:19:34 AM)
Hi Dan - A CFA is certainly valuable, as it indicates that you are educated in finance and able to be successful in rigorous educational/training programs.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:19:38 AM)
Danny, what do you like best at Chicago? What would you like to see improved?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:20:38 AM)
new caledonia - Yes, you can certainly use the same recommender if you are a reapplicant, but I would suggest that you have a conversation with the person so s/he knows what you are looking to highlight as your "new" experiences or how you have improved yourself for the application.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:20:39 AM)
Linda: What I like best about Chicago is probably the people that I have interacted with over the last 18 months. I have been continually challenged to excel and push myself in new directions. The net result has been a broadening of my perspective, both from a business level, and a personal level. What I would like to see changed: A greater focus on expanding some of the concentrations. Operations only has a half dozen courses right now, and that should change. I think the GSB is addressing this with some additions to the faculty, so I know this is something that is being worked on.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:21:13 AM)
Kristen, I am getting a lot of questions about how Round 1 application volume compared with last year's volume. Could you comment?

shashant (Jan 4, 2005 10:21:32 AM)
Christine: I reapplied to Chicago this year in Round 1; I applied last year in the third round. How does Chicago look at re-applicants and are their any statistics you can quote on this?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:22:25 AM)
Linda - Applications this year are about the same as last year. Overall, we've been very pleased with what we've seen so far, both from the Round One applications and the Round Two interviews and applications that have arrived early (our deadline for Round Two is January 7th at midnight).

GianniGaribaldi (Jan 4, 2005 10:22:32 AM)
Kristen: Is it possible to schedule an interview on-campus after the interview deadline date but before the application submission date, and still have your interview count as part of your application?

firstimeapp (Jan 4, 2005 10:23:06 AM)
Kurt: I also had a question about the essay on childhood heroes - are there any particular points that the applicants are supposed to touch on in that essay?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:23:40 AM)
Back to China, the childhood hero essay is trying to elicit an answer that captures what attributes you value in a person. What traits do you try to model yourself after and has that model changed over time.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:24:23 AM)
shashant - Reapplicants are generally looked upon favorably, as we see your on-going commitment to the MBA process. I think the more important factor though is addressing what you think are areas that were weak in your application.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:24:46 AM)
Kurt, how and when will Round 1 applicants be notified? How long will accepted applicants have to respond to an offer of admission?

beezwax (Jan 4, 2005 10:24:59 AM)
Hello Kristen. I have a friend, a Chicago Alumni, who wants to write a letter of support for me. Where should he send this letter to? Is there a format he needs to use?

aman (Jan 4, 2005 10:25:07 AM)
Kurt, the deadline response confused me: Is the deadline 00:00 hrs on the 7th or 23:59 hrs?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:25:28 AM)
GianniGaribaldi - Yes, interviews that are requested after the deadline will be considered in the application, so long as the interview is conducted on time for the application committee process.

Greg (Jan 4, 2005 10:25:53 AM)
How does Chicago GSB market its students to potential employers? What differentiates them from the other top business schools?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:27:10 AM)
beezwax - Letters from alumni and/or current students certainly are valuable information for the admissions team. I would encourage the person to either mail the letter to the Office of Admissions at our main address, or the person can feel free to email it directly to me at my email address, Kristen.Pawlowski@chicagoGSB.edu .

shashant (Jan 4, 2005 10:27:27 AM)
Kristen: Chicago lays a lot of stress on theory to build the fundamentals. But application of these fundamentals is really important. How does a Chicago GSB student apply these theories in practice before graduation?

makarand_malu (Jan 4, 2005 10:27:51 AM)
Danny - What do you want Chicago to focus on as it's getting a strong reputation as a quant heavy school. Does the school intend to change that image? What is the support for entrepreneurship and how many graduates start their own firm?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:28:37 AM)
Greg: The Career Services group does an amazing job facilitating connections between students and employers. The process starts with continued one on one discussions between the GSB rep and people from companies. I can't tell you specifics about this meeting (as I've never been in it) but I do know that the process is active, both for returning companies and for new companies.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:28:49 AM)
Round 1 applicants are notified of their decision online on the decision date - January 21st. We always try to beat the deadline so their is a possibility accepted applicants will receive notification prior to that date, but that is not a guarantee. Applicants accepted in the first round have until April 1st to commit to attending the GSB.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:28:50 AM)
aman - Either is fine. We're not going to not accept an application if it is one or two minutes late. Don't get too concerned with details such as this, we're looking for great people with great skills, not looking to exclude someone because of a minute or two difference on the deadline day. So, you have ALL DAY on January 7th to submit your application.

KellyLinstroth (Jan 4, 2005 10:29:49 AM)
Danny: I am very interested in the Giving Something Back student organization because it focuses on community work - can you tell me any more information about this organization (i.e. student involvement, activities done in the past, great accomplishments)?

Aniqa_luvsGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:31:15 AM)
Kristen: What kind of internship opportunities are there for Entrepreneur majors?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:31:28 AM)
Makarand_malu: The reputation as a quant heavy school may be a bit overdone. Most of the math is not extraordinarily complex, though there can be a lot of it. Much of this depends on the class. As far as Entrepreneurship, I know that this is a big area of investment for the school (Polsky Center) and will start showing results in the near future. I don't have a good answer for "how many graduates start there own firm." I can say that there are a good number in my class that are examining the opportunities. It is probably a non-trivial amount.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:31:32 AM)
shashant - Certainly being able to apply the fundamentals is very important. In almost all of your classes you will have both cases and lecture covering theory. From my experience (I'm a 2002 grad), most courses will have reading to prepare in both theory from a text, as well as a cases or business problems assigned by the professor. When in the class, you will apply the theory with discussion on the cases.

new caledonia (Jan 4, 2005 10:32:13 AM)
Kristen, can you explain the rumor that GSB only admitted financial background applicants or most of them?

dan (Jan 4, 2005 10:32:24 AM)
Christine: What kind of influence does institutional prestige have on admissions? For example, work experience as an analyst at Goldman Sachs vs. work experience at a small, relatively unknown firm. Or, in terms of academic experience, graduating from an ivy league university vs. graduating at the top of one's class at a small public college.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:33:00 AM)
Hi Aniqa - As Danny said, there are great opportunities for people interested in entrepreneurship, such as the Kauffman fellows, New Venture Challenge, etc. I would encourage you to take a look at the website to see more about the Polsky center as well as the Career Services employment reports.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:33:34 AM)
KellyLinstroth: I am a member of Giving Something Back (GSB). One of the best parts is the freedom to be as committed as you want. I try to participate in one event per quarter. These range from a Charity Auction, MBA Food Fight, and many other smaller events (like Junior Achievement).

JD (Jan 4, 2005 10:33:57 AM)
Danny: How do you view GSB's strengths in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship majors, especially considering Dean Snyder's concern on broadening the GSB's capabilities in fields other than Finance??

student (Jan 4, 2005 10:34:29 AM)
Kurt: I am trying to schedule my off campus interview, but have been unsuccessful. It has been cancelled once and I tried to schedule it again, with no luck.

ProspectiveGSBstd (Jan 4, 2005 10:34:58 AM)
Kurt: Can students send their transcript, recommendation letters after deadline?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:35:09 AM)
Dan, though the better known companies make it a little bit easier to assess an applicant since we are more familiar with them- the actual company or university is not what we are looking at. We are looking at the position (or positions) you have had, how you have progressed, what you have learned, and whether you have made a significant contribution, for example. As for what school you come from- we are really looking to see if you are academically prepared- and that can happen anywhere, it is just a matter of what you have taken and how you have done, and whether the curriculum was challenging.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:35:31 AM)
new caledonia - We actually seek a large amount of diversity in our student body. Finance and consulting are very common pre-MBA careers, no matter what business school to which one is applying. However, I think that because Chicago GSB also has a great reputation in finance, we attract this type of student more. Yet, when looking at the incoming student profile, there is significant diversity. When I was a student here, I studied with a children's book author, a professional athlete, and several people in various industries and functions, including operations, marketing, consulting, accounting, finance, etc.

jefferson86 (Jan 4, 2005 10:36:00 AM)
How will Round 1 decisions be communicated?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:36:31 AM)
JD: That's a hard question to answer. One real strength for entrepreneurship is the wide alumni network that has access to deep pockets. As far as Strategic Management is concerned, the curriculum seems to prepare students for work in both Corporate BusDev jobs and top Strategic Consulting firms. I think that the long term strategy of Dean Snyder is outside of my scope of experience.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:36:32 AM)
Dan, institutional reputation is certainly something we consider when making a decision, but to be honest we really concentrate on the breath and quality of experience a person has at whatever institution they are affiliated with. So strong academic performance, and significant recommendations and resumes will count for more than the reputation of an institution.

Aakash (Jan 4, 2005 10:36:45 AM)
Does Chicago have any special programs in place to accommodate spouses of MBA students?

katswhiskers (Jan 4, 2005 10:37:39 AM)
Kristen: on the question about our experiences abroad, the paper application asks how it enhanced our understanding of cultural differences, the online application asks how it improved foreign language skills - which one is right?

rajneesh (Jan 4, 2005 10:37:52 AM)
Danny, what are the specialties of Chicago GSB? What values does is proclaim?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:38:38 AM)
student - The off campus interview process is dependant on the availability of our alumni interviewers. Unfortunately, they are not always available or their schedules change. If an interview is not able to be conducted, we will waive the interview, which will in no way negatively effect your application. If we do need to chat with you, trust that we will be in touch over the course of reviewing your application.

Chi (Jan 4, 2005 10:38:49 AM)
Kristen: When we send in a letter of support from an GSB alumni/current student, should it be similar format and style required on the letter of recommendation?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:39:13 AM)
Aakash- we have a group called the Partners group that enables spouses to get involved in outside activities. There are not courses or programs that they can participate in that are for GSB students though, unless it is something that both students and spouses are invited to. My husband was a GSB student and there were plenty of activities that I was able to attend that were generally socially related. I think the GSB does a good job of making spouses feel welcome and important. At least, that was how I felt as a spouse before joining the GSB staff.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:39:45 AM)
jefferson86 - all applicants will be notified of their decisions via the online application system on January 21st.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:40:15 AM)
ProspectiveGSBstd, You can certainly send these materials after the deadline, but please note your application will not be evaluated until these materials have been received.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:40:32 AM)
Rajneesh- Are you asking about what kind of career possibilities there are in non-profits or what kind of extra curricular/community activities there are?

aman (Jan 4, 2005 10:40:43 AM)
Kristen: Can you please shed some more light on the Entrepreneurship program at GSB? What are the most recent initiatives taken by the GSB in this regard?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:40:45 AM)
katwhiskers - We are asking for both. From what I've see in applications, people are answering both: language skills and how it has enhanced their understanding of various cultures.

aspenxtrm (Jan 4, 2005 10:41:29 AM)
Christine: I would like to know a bit about how participating in the IBEP program impacts ones job search? How much of an impact does it have that you’re not physically on campus during some of the recruiting season?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:41:34 AM)
Chi - I've seen both - a formal letter with the various ratings, or just a simple letter/email. I would say that if you have two professional letter with the ratings, etc., then a basic message/letter is just fine.

Coolio (Jan 4, 2005 10:42:07 AM)
Kristen: I have heard that unlike some other schools, Chicago allots an equal number of spaces for each of the rounds, so there is no advantage to applying in Round 2 or Round 3 per say. Could you comment on this?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:42:11 AM)
Guest- you asked about retaking the GMAT after you submitted your application. You can submit your scores after your application has been submitted, and if a decision has not been made, we will take them into consideration. We won't hold your application for the new scores, though.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:42:25 AM)
Rajneesh: My personal opinion is that the GSB specializes in preparing students for any situation they may encounter. This goes way beyond any concentration, because I think that professors focus on teaching a working framework rather than a set series of steps. Thus I will often find that I apply skills from my finance classes in my marketing (and vice versa). I think the value question is really difficult to answer as well. I personally see that there is a focus on challenging each other to achieve greatness. It should be noted that this is done in a collaborative method - all boats go up in a rising tide.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:43:05 AM)
Danny, how have you taken advantage of Chicago's famed flexibility?

Jatin (Jan 4, 2005 10:43:30 AM)
Kurt: I am planning to apply for Round 2. I have already interviewed with Chicago GSB. After the interview, I took my GMAT's and I didn't fare too well in them. I am planning to retake them towards the end of Jan. Since, I am taking them after the R2 deadline, would I still be considered for R2 if I submit my application on time or would I automatically be moved to R3?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:43:51 AM)
Aman - Danny answered some of these questions earlier, though I will tell you that the entrepreneurship program covers two areas. The first is the traditional area regarding how to start a business. The other is how to value an entrepreneurial venture. This second area is helpful for both people interested in working in VC, as well as people interested in how to start a company and obtain funding for that company.

riefeb (Jan 4, 2005 10:44:09 AM)
Danny, can you comment on the bidding system for classes. Have you been able to take all of your "first choice" courses?

leon (Jan 4, 2005 10:44:30 AM)
Christine: Chicago GSB maintains a good standing among the top B-schools. I'd like to know what action will be taken to sharpen its standing in the next 1 or 2 years? And what will be strengthened on the students' part?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:44:43 AM)
aspenxtrm: The IBEP program can open doors that were not available before. Consider that you can recruit during your quarter abroad with companies in that region. The GSB name has a worldwide presence, so this does happen. One of my classmates spent a quarter abroad in China followed by an internship in Hong Kong. One made the other possible.

Ami (Jan 4, 2005 10:45:20 AM)
How are updates to a submitted application handled and would updated GMAT scores be considered?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:45:31 AM)
aspenxtrm- This may be a question better suited for a student or Career Services, but I will give it a shot. It is my sense from IBEP students that they generally arrange to be abroad during a time of year when they are not involved in recruiting. For example, recruiters in certain industries are all on campus at similar times each year, so this allows students to be able to work their class schedule around their recruiting needs. Certainly this depends on each individual's circumstance, but this is something that you can work with Career Services and the IBEP program office to plan.

Guest (Jan 4, 2005 10:45:44 AM)
Do spouses have the possibility to attend classes and participate in community lives?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:46:01 AM)
Coolio, that is definitely not the case, we accept more students in Round 1 and 2 because that is where we get the majority of applicants. Although we do save some spots for third round, there are not nearly as many as in the first two rounds.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:46:15 AM)
Linda: I have taken advantage of the flexibility. I finished my Marketing concentration before my internship. This gave me a deep toolset for my internship. This is not unique, as people going to banks did many classes in Finance and Accounting and people going to MC did a strategy concentration.

TK1 (Jan 4, 2005 10:46:17 AM)
How much weight does the interview have on the overall application process? For example, can a strong application (resume, recommendations) with a weak interview, may be due to interviewer's bias, completely shield one's chances?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:47:32 AM)
Jatin - The best option for you is to apply with the scores you currently have. If you are able to take the GMAT again, and improve your score, simply send the updated information to the admissions committee via the admissions@chicagoGSB.edu email address. If your GMAT score was a factor in making the admissions decision, then we would take that new score into consideration. However, it is very rare that the GMAT score is the only reason someone would be admitted or denied.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:47:58 AM)
leon- Good question. The GSB is always striving for excellence. As we continue to build classes of the top business school students, we are certain that the quality of our students will remain at the highest level possible. Additionally, we are continuing in our efforts to educate people about the GSB's strengths- outside those that are commonly known. Getting this information to our alumni, prospective students, and employers will allow the GSB to continue to draw the top students in those areas and continue to bring the top recruiters to campus. These are just some of the things we are doing and will continue to do in the coming years.

Coolio (Jan 4, 2005 10:48:23 AM)
Christine: What changes has Dean Snyder shepherded since being appointed Dean? How have his initiatives benefited the GSB?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:49:05 AM)
riefeb: I have not taken all of my "first choice" classes. However, I have taken many excellent classes during my time. I would say that on average people take "most" of the classes they want. The bidding system itself is very free market oriented and would take way too long to explain. Let me just say that if you want to take a class, you can as long as you have the points. Thus your bidding strategy goes out over 3-4 quarters.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:49:20 AM)
TK1 - The interview is only one part of the application. We take into consideration that at times an interviewer and applicant simply don't "click." Clearly, the interview is important, or else we would not have the entire process, which is very labor intensive. However, it is rarely one factor, even the interview, that would cause someone to be admitted or denied.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:50:16 AM)
Ami, we do accept updated information to applications (including new GMAT scores), however you need to get this information to us well before the decision deadline to assure the material will be reviewed. To submit updates you can either send the information express mail to the admission office or email it to our admissions@ChicagoGSB.edu account.

Katie (Jan 4, 2005 10:50:16 AM)
Kristen: Did Chicago ever accept students without full time work experience? I am a college senior applying for next fall.

makarand_malu (Jan 4, 2005 10:50:33 AM)
Danny, can you tell me more about the Polsky Center?

Aakash (Jan 4, 2005 10:51:02 AM)
Danny, Could you please describe your LEAD experience?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:51:16 AM)
Coolio- One example of what Dean Snyder has worked to do is to give the GSB greater visibility around the world. He has continued to build connections with top employers in a variety of industries, and that has certainly enabled our students to take advantage of greater opportunities.

chou_ni_ma (Jan 4, 2005 10:51:26 AM)
How is recruitment this year? Is it up or down?

formba (Jan 4, 2005 10:51:55 AM)
Christine: I am a reapplicant. Last year I had submitted recommendation from students. Will they still be on file, or do I have to send in new recommendations?

GianniGaribaldi (Jan 4, 2005 10:52:23 AM)
Christine: What does the adcom value more, receiving two recommendations from direct supervisors or one from a direct supervisor and another one from a peer?

AspirantX (Jan 4, 2005 10:52:38 AM)
Kristen - Do you look at any particular part of the GMAT for international applicants? If so, why?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:52:56 AM)
Katie - Yes, we do admit applicants who do not have fulltime work experience. That group of applicants is relatively small; additionally, work experience is considered an important of the program both for helping the student understand the complex business issues, as well as what the student can contribute to his/her peers in the program. I would encourage someone without fulltime work experience to play up various other professional, leadership, and team experiences.

Kamalpreet (Jan 4, 2005 10:53:20 AM)
I plan on applying in the third round. Does that negatively impact my chances of admission?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:53:45 AM)
makarand_malu - Polsky was a graduate from the GSB in the 80's who did some pretty impressive stuff in the energy sector. He endowed a bunch of money, I believe about $10 million, to increase the focus on entrepreneurship. This just happened a couple of years ago, so many of the initiatives have just gotten underway. One of the biggest is a clearing house that will help put PE/VC Shops into contact with possible interns and graduates. This will be a revolutionary change for those looking at that as a career path. I don't know many more specifics.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:54:02 AM)
chou_ni_ma, It is hard to say at this point in time, but we will have a better sense by the second round considering that is where we get the bulk of our applications. Based on the first round, we are fairly consistent with where we were last year.

rajneesh (Jan 4, 2005 10:54:11 AM)
Yeah Christine! I'm asking about that only because of a career possibility in non-profit and wondering if Chicago GSB has support for that.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:54:13 AM)
formba- your entire application will be on file as long as you applied within the past two years. You will be asked to submit an additional recommendation, from a different person than any from last year. But, all the pieces submitted with your last application will still be available for the reviewer.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:54:30 AM)
AspinantX - We look at both portions of the GMAT score for all applicants. For international applicants, we also look closely at the TOEFL. I would say that if an applicant is weak in one area (i.e. liberal arts with limited quant experience at university and work), then we would look closely at the GMAT quant score.

mathew (Jan 4, 2005 10:55:29 AM)
Kristen: This is a question on the "celebrity" essay. What are you looking for from the celebrity essay? Also it mentions 'one day' in the life of a celebrity; is it important to focus on that 'one day?'

Lynn (Jan 4, 2005 10:55:43 AM)
Hi, I am an international MBA aspirant and want to know the recruitment from international companies, especially from the Asian Pacific region?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:55:51 AM)
Aakash: LEAD typically serves as a baseline for the culture of the GSB. It is taught by second years, and is considered a "safe environment" where you can speak your mind. One of the best features about this program is its intensity at times. High ropes courses and public speaking preparation are two fun learning experiences. There is also intensive training on giving and receiving feedback.

gsbrocks (Jan 4, 2005 10:56:09 AM)
Kurt: My question is regarding online recommendations; my manager submitted his recommendation and mailed me later saying he realized he made some grammatical errors. How can he make modifications to his recommendation?

Vivek_Chicago (Jan 4, 2005 10:56:38 AM)
Kristen: What role does an applicant's salary increase have in the admissions decision? I have had good job performance, but not a single pay hike because of industry conditions.

Xavier (Jan 4, 2005 10:56:53 AM)
Kristen: Is GSB planning to put in place a so called fast track MBA, which would last between 1 and 1.5 years, such as other American or European schools have?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:57:05 AM)
GianniGaribaldi- I value receiving two letters of recommendation from people who know you well, what you have done, how you have contributed and what your potential is. Generally those come from a supervisor or supervisors. If you were to submit a recommendation from someone who is not your supervisor you should indicate why.

Chi (Jan 4, 2005 10:57:21 AM)
Christine - I can barely submit all required materials before the Jan. 7 deadline but I think everything will be completed at the beginning of Feb. Will my application be on hold for review and decision until the March deadline?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:57:27 AM)
matthew - I think it is important to step back from all of the questions with this theme. We are looking to get a sense of who you are, what is important to you, what do you value. The exact day is not necessarily important; I've seen people consider both a specific day when the famous person won/accomplished something, an average day, and a day when the applicant would do what they wanted in that person's shoes. Choose someone who you think is important to you and what you value.

KellyLinstroth (Jan 4, 2005 10:58:05 AM)
Danny: How does the diversity of the of the surrounding community affect a student's graduate experience?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:58:37 AM)
Kamalpreet, the third round tends to be a more competitive round primarily because there are the fewest amount of spots available. We get the most applicants in the first two rounds and therefore we accept the majority of our students from those two rounds.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 10:58:43 AM)
Danny, 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?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:59:00 AM)
Vivek_Chicago - Salary increases in and of themselves, are not very important, this is particularly the case when one is working in an environment where salary increases are not possible (if your company is struggling). What is important is that you show increasing responsibility in your role.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:59:02 AM)
Xavier: As far as anyone around here knows, there is no plan to institute a fast track program. One of the core strengths of the part time/full time programs is the fact that they are virtually identical. A fast track would be a completely new curriculum.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 10:59:08 AM)
Rajneesh- I would recommend that you take a look at the Career Services website and look at the employment report for statistics on this. In general, though, we are making strides in this area. We generally do not have a wealth of recruiters who come to campus from non-profits as they simply can't afford to. There are opportunities and generally students seeking positions in this area know the kinds of specific positions they are best suited to, and self-guided searches with the support of MBA Career Services have served them best.

Carlos Valencia (Jan 4, 2005 11:00:31 AM)
Kristen: What do you intend to asses with the second essay? Creativity or awareness of the attributes of Chicago?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:00:38 AM)
gsbrocks, to be honest I would not worry about the grammatical errors, this will in no way have a negative impact on your application. However if you manager really feels he needs to make the correction you can always contact our office and we can un-submit the recommendation for him to make changes to.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:00:59 AM)
Lynn- I do not know this information. If you can not find it in the employment report on our website, please send an email to the Career Services team. They can give you specific information about this and also talk to you about the strides we are making in this area. I know the Dean and our Associate Dean of Career Services have been making inroads in Asia.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:01:14 AM)
KellyLinstroth: I think that the diversity of the community serves to underscore the global scope of business. That sounds like a canned answer, but I can't think of any other way to describe working in a group of 6-8 people that came from 4 different continents. I've had that happen on two different occasions during my experience and both have really shaped me.

Cem (Jan 4, 2005 11:01:22 AM)
Christine, can you tell us how the number of applicants this year compared to the last two to three years?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:01:32 AM)
Carlos Valencia - We are looking at both, but the understanding of Chicago GSB and the program is more important to the adcom.

GSBApplicant05 (Jan 4, 2005 11:02:06 AM)
Kristen: Can you shed some light on the weight given to interviews? Is it weighted more heavily than the essays and the rest of the application? Do you have instances in which accepted candidates had a not-so-good student interview performance but presented an otherwise strong application?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:02:19 AM)
Chi- If all of your materials are not received by the January 7th deadline, you will be bumped to the March deadline. I would recommend putting together the strongest application possible and submitting it in whatever deadline allows you to do that.

Anupum Khaitan (Jan 4, 2005 11:03:16 AM)
Kristen: What are the relative merits of applying for the I-MBA program as compared to the MBA program with an International Business concentration? Is the IMBA internationally recognized by recruiters seeking individuals to assist in and manage international operations/projects?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:03:25 AM)
GSBApplicant05 - The interview is certainly important, but it is one part of the application. There are certainly times when the interviewer is not as keen on the applicant as the AdCom. Additionally, there are many times an applicant believes that the interview did not go well, but the interviewer is very positive.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:03:40 AM)
Linda: I asked a current student this question before I started. The answer that was given to me was, "Relax, and enjoy your time with family and friends before starting school." In retrospect, that was good advice. The program is intense and can suck up a lot of your free time. If I had anything to add to this, it would be to make sure that you update your address book before you come to school. Some of your contacts may be useful in the future, so you want to make sure that you can reach them if necessary.

Venkatesan (Jan 4, 2005 11:03:45 AM)
Christine: Does GSB look for diversity in an applicant's profile or the class diversity is achieved by selecting "specialists" in different fields?

Susan (Jan 4, 2005 11:04:09 AM)
Kurt: what is the minimum score required on the GMAT to be accepted to GSB?

ChadScott (Jan 4, 2005 11:04:22 AM)
Danny: What type of job search resources are available to spouses who will be relocating to Chicago?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:04:27 AM)
Cem- Currently business school applications across the board are slightly down. This has been a trend in the past few years. However, having just completed reading Round 1 applications, I certainly feel that the quality of applicants is greater than last year. Students are better prepared for business school and definitely know what they can get out of it, and are making better choices about when to apply.

KellyLinstroth (Jan 4, 2005 11:04:57 AM)
Danny: I am very interested in the Leadership Exploration and Development course. Is there anything that you can tell me more about this program beyond what I have found on the GSB website?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:05:06 AM)
Anupum Khaitan - We look at people considering the IMBA the same as we would would the "standard" MBA. We are simply looking to gauge interest in the program and possibly ways to reach out to applicants going forward.

Venkatesan (Jan 4, 2005 11:05:19 AM)
Kirsten: Are interviews waived due to logistics limitations or based on the applicant's profile?

ProspectiveGSBstd (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:06 AM)
Christine: Regarding the second question that asks about a mascot, can we have something imaginative or does it have to be real?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:13 AM)
Venkatesan- We look for diversity across many different areas of our application pool. Generally, the diversity of the class is taken care of by the people who apply. Since we are seeing more and more qualified candidates from all over the world with such a wide variety of backgrounds, it is resulting in a diverse class from ethnicity, to work experience to personal interests.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:14 AM)
ChadScott - There are no formal resources available through Chicago GSB for spouses. The MBA Career Services office maintains all of their resources for Full-Time students. However, there are some jobs available on campus (both the GSB and other University positions) that are posted on the University's HR website.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:24 AM)
Susan, there is no cutoff score for the GMAT; we evaluate all applications on their overall merits. Obviously a strong GMAT score will make you more competitive in the process but a GMAT score alone will not determine your prospect of being accepted.

Dong Chuhl (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:32 AM)
Kristen: One of my recommenders' job position is altered from the president of a government owned company to the Minister of Government affairs in Korea. Should I inform that to your school committee?

new caledonia (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:43 AM)
Kristen, as reapplicant, is the interview from last year still valid?

GianniGaribaldi (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:47 AM)
Danny: How would you describe life outside of the classroom?

aspire_mba (Jan 4, 2005 11:06:57 AM)
Christine, does the GSB adcom welcome updates from applicants once the application is submitted? I have been recently promoted and I would like to update the adcom about it.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:07:15 AM)
Prospective GSBstd- the mascot question is designed to give you the creativity to make it whatever you want while incorporating what you believe the GSB to be about. It is meant to allow you to be creative.

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:07:18 AM)
KellyLinstroth: I gave a couple of points above to Aakash. I think the primary benefit of the program is the baseline that it gives for first years coming into the program. The facilitators are second years, which can also prove to be a valuable resource between the first and second year classes.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:07:27 AM)
Doug Chuhl - If you think this change is would be notable to the adcom, sure, you can let us know. Feel free to send a message to admissions@ChicagoGSB.edu .

AspirantX (Jan 4, 2005 11:07:29 AM)
What is the TOEFL cut-off score? Are they strict or do they have any margin?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:08:09 AM)
Venkatesan, interviews are waived due to logistical limitations but not on an applicants profile. We make every effort to accommodate all interview requests regardless of profile.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:08:14 AM)
new caledonia - an interview is considered valid for one year. After that, you should certainly interview again. Additionally, all reapplicants are encouraged to interview again, if possible.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:08:46 AM)
aspire_mba- The admissions committee is making decisions ongoing. If you would like to make an update to your application, feel free to submit that information and if a decision has not been made, it will be used for consideration of your application. The better we are able to know you as an applicant, the better opportunity we will have to do a thorough evaluation of your candidacy.

victor (Jan 4, 2005 11:08:51 AM)
Kristen, is Chicago GSB thinking of adding more concentrations to its MBA program, such as health-care management or biotech/pharmaceutical management?

gsb or bust (Jan 4, 2005 11:09:02 AM)
Christine: If the only leadership experience I have is from my volunteer work experiences, not my professional work experience, will that significantly hurt me in the evaluation process?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:09:17 AM)
GianniG: Life outside of the classroom is divided three ways for me. 1) studying/group work, 2) hanging out with classmates socially and 3) hanging out with my fiance. The time devoted to each of these three items varies from week to week. I should also point out that during recruiting, that will be a fourth item for most students that takes up a great deal of time as well.

Verlin (Jan 4, 2005 11:09:41 AM)
Danny: How is the housing situation in Chicago?

sam (Jan 4, 2005 11:10:12 AM)
Kristen: what kind of leadership experience do you seek in a candidate? Specifically applicants with only two years of working experience?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:10:33 AM)
victor - At this time, to my knowledge, there are no such plans. However, there is a a program in Health Administration & Policy that you can do along with your MBA. Basically 6 of your 11 electives would be with this program. For more information go to www.gphap.uchicago.edu .

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:10:41 AM)
AspirantX, the TOEFL requirements are as follows: paper 600 (min 60 in all subsections) electronic 250 (min 25 in all subsections). These requirements are very strict so if you do not meet these requirement you application will not be evaluated.

gloriaSun (Jan 4, 2005 11:10:41 AM)
Kurt: I requested a off-campus in beginning Dec, but since I hadn't gotten any response, I requested to cancel it. The Admission officer asked me to request it again and now I still haven't heard from the alumni. Do you think I should sign up for the Super Saturday in Jan/Feb?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:10:47 AM)
gsb or bust- No, that will not hurt you. When evaluating a student we are looking at whether you would be a fit across the board. So, if leadership experience is gained outside of work, it at least shows your initiative and opportunity to have been a leader. Whatever will give us to complete the picture of who you are is what will serve you best.

chou_ni_ma (Jan 4, 2005 11:11:12 AM)
Christine: Is there a 80% cut off rate for the GMAT?

GSBwannabe (Jan 4, 2005 11:11:16 AM)
Danny: How should one prepare academically for the rigorous course load?

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:11:21 AM)
sam - Leadership is important for all applicants and can be demonstrated in many ways: work, student leadership, community leadership, etc.

architect (Jan 4, 2005 11:11:53 AM)
Kristen: what weight does GSB give academic records like GMAT and undergrad as opposed to other personal and professional qualities such as entrepreneurship and leadership?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:11:59 AM)
Verlin: I think what your asking is, where do people live? I think the breakdown is something like 60% of first years live in HP, and the other 40% are split between the Loop, and Lincoln Park areas. In the second year, this ratio flips. Rents are typically about $800-1300 for a 1BR. For those of you moving from a high cost living area, you will be surprised by how big the apartments are in Chicago.

GSB_general (Jan 4, 2005 11:12:12 AM)
Danny: Is the GSB experience what you expected?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:12:34 AM)
chou_ni_ma- I am not sure what you are referring to with the 80% cut off rate for GMAT. We look at a person's overall performance on the GMAT and their education as a way to determine if you are prepared for the academic rigor of our program, we do not have cut-offs for scores of any kind.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:20 AM)
Could you elaborate on the wait-list process at Chicago?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:24 AM)
GSBwannabe: A short answer would be that if you get in, you are prepared academically. I hadn't taken a single business course before school (I was a chem major in undergrad) and have had no problems in any classes. Take that time to read books for fun, since you won't have as much time for that during your MBA. Travel, or do something fun with your time.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:25 AM)
Gloria, first I am sorry for the difficulty you are having scheduling an interview. My advice would be if you can make it to a Super Saturday that would be the best scenario. Scheduling an off campus means you are at the will of an alumni interviewer which as you have experienced to this point does not guarantee you an interview.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:26 AM)
architect - Academic performance is certainly important, as we want to be sure that someone will be a successful student. It is never positive for a student to feel overwhelmed or unprepared for the rigorous academic experience at Chicago GSB. If one's academic record is not stellar, we would look for other areas that indicate strong academic potential, such as GMAT, post-undergrad classes, etc.

memoth (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:45 AM)
Kristen, I am trying to change my career to an Investment Banker after the part-time MBA program. However, most of the I-Banks hire through summer internship. Is there any program that helps part time students change careers?

KellyLinstroth (Jan 4, 2005 11:13:54 AM)
I feel that Chicago's GSB flexible and innovative academic approach will create a great environment for a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Can you tell me about any important points about GSB's program that support my belief that haven't already been discussed on the website?

KellyLinstroth (Jan 4, 2005 11:14:23 AM)
Danny: How are second year students that are given the opportunity to serve as course facilitators for LEAD chosen?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:15:30 AM)
GSB_general: No, the experience is not what I expected. It has actually been more fulfilling. I have been blown away by my experience in ways that I could never have imagined. I imagine it would be like experiencing a sunrise for the first time. Does that meet expectations?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:15:51 AM)
KellyLinstroth- There are GSB alumni who are real world examples of entrepreneurial success. The program is set up for you to design it to meet your needs. With the alumni connections that you will build and the excellent academic preparation that you will build here, you are certain to be prepared.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:16:13 AM)
memoth - all questions regarding the Part Time Program are best sent to them at eveningweekend-admissions@chicagogsb.edu .

chicago2005 (Jan 4, 2005 11:16:24 AM)
Danny: Are the first round decisions out yet? If not, what is the deadline?

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:16:53 AM)
chicago2005- our decisions will be available on January 21st.

Dweller (Jan 4, 2005 11:16:57 AM)
Christine: What is the purpose of essay #5? Only to explain poor grades, etc?

DannySackGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:16:58 AM)
KellyLinstroth: That question is way too difficult to answer here. Try the "askastudent" email on the website (you can direct it to me) and I'll give you some details. Short answer: it occurs in Jan-Feb of your first year

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:02 AM)
Hi Linda - Unfortunately we all have a meeting scheduled to start in a few minutes (and I believe that Danny has a student meeting). So, I think it best we get going soon. Again, all additional questions can be sent to our main email account at admissions@chicagoGSB.edu

poweryogi (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:02 AM)
Kurt - In most cases, what do you base your decision to waitlist a candidate on ? If waitlisted, are they offered the opportunity to provide additional materials, information etc.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:15 AM)
Linda, The waitlist process at Chicago allows for all waitlisted students to call and get feedback from our office on how an applicant can improve their application for admission. Based on their responses the WL feedback applicants will go through an additional review and based on space left available in the class they may be admitted. We always take people from the WL but the volume varies from year to year.

KristenPawlowskiGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:31 AM)
Thanks everyone for joining us! We look forward to reading your applications in the upcoming weeks!

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:34 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Kristen, Christine, Kurt, and Danny.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:17:47 AM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:01 AM)
UNC: Jan. 10 LBS: Feb. 3

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:11 AM)
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.

ChristineBalzanoGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:16 AM)
Dweller, the purpose of essay number 5 is to allow you to add anything additional about yourself that you were not able to include in our application because of the set-up and questions we ask. It is meant to give you the chance to teach us more about you, if you weren't able to give us the best snap shot of you in the rest of the application.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:23 AM)
Good luck with your applications!

gloriaSun (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:45 AM)
Thank you very much!

Carlos Valencia (Jan 4, 2005 11:18:48 AM)
Linda, Kristen, Kurt and all thanks for your time to discuss our questions!!

brusznicki (Jan 4, 2005 11:20:02 AM)
Linda, I am extremely interested in pursuing a career revolving around either Analytic Finance or Operations Management. I believe that my background in math coupled with my leadership experience in the military help show that I am a great fit for either program. Still, the military is the source of my only work experience and my undergrad education comes solely in the form of math/computer science studies. I have about a year and a half until my commitment to the military is satisfied. With that in my mind what do you recommend that I do in order to strengthen my application to the Chicago GSB? Also, I currently work within the acquisitions corps. of the army which is part of the research and development sector of our military if that helps at all.

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:20:26 AM)
poweryogi, we waitlist people whose applications are strong but perhaps not as strong as an admitted student. Therefore we give waitlisted applicants an opportunity to contact us to see how they can improve their application and hence increase their chances of being taken off the waitlist.

Marie (Jan 4, 2005 11:20:44 AM)
Thank you very much; it was very informative.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:20:47 AM)
brusnicki, Chicago values military experience, along with most MBA programs. If you can get involved in some community service that may help. Sharpen your career goals. Visit the school if given the opportunity. If your grades are weak, take some online courses and do well in them. Score highly on the GMAT.

Grace (Jan 4, 2005 11:21:22 AM)
Kurt, can you shed some light on how you evaluate pre-MBA graduate study in anther major, like public policy?

KurtAhlmGSB (Jan 4, 2005 11:21:22 AM)
Everyone, thank you for taking the time to learn more about ChicagoGSB and best wishes. Kurt

amit (Jan 4, 2005 11:21:27 AM)
Are decisions being released prior to 1/21 for successful applicants?

Maverick (Jan 4, 2005 11:21:53 AM)
Thanks Kurt!

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:22:40 AM)
My ebook Best Practices for 2005 MBA Admissions, deals with the steps applicants who start the process early can take to improve their profile. It is at http://www.accepted.com/ecommerce/teleseminar.aspx#mba .

brusznicki (Jan 4, 2005 11:22:41 AM)
My grades are great from a top 15 school, it's just that my undergrad background is in math and not business. Still I think the military has taught me a great deal about management. How can I express this in my application or interview?

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:23:14 AM)
Amit, they said they MAY release acceptances before 1/21. No promises.

SUBHASHIS (Jan 4, 2005 11:23:27 AM)
I have a background in relationship management in consumer banking for the last three years and I would like to pursue finance and join sales and trading as a private client specialist in an investment bank. Are my aims realistic?

pcrtcr (Jan 4, 2005 11:23:45 AM)
You have unrealistic aims Subhashis.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:23:56 AM)
Subhashis, if you have good grades, test scores, and reasons for wanting to attend Chicago, yes.

CB (Jan 4, 2005 11:24:32 AM)
If I did poorly as an undergraduate, but well as a graduate student for an MS and scored very well on the GMAT, will my undergraduate grades be largely ignored?

SUBHASHIS (Jan 4, 2005 11:25:01 AM)
Linda, I have a GPA of 2.7 in post graduation. Is that too low?

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:25:18 AM)
Subhashis, that GPA is a negative and a problem.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:25:55 AM)
CB, it won't be ignored, but it will be put into context. Certainly your MS record and GMAT will be looked at too, along with work experience and all the extras.

crs (Jan 4, 2005 11:26:49 AM)
How many schools to applicants generally apply to?

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:27:13 AM)
It varies but 3-5 is pretty normal now.

Linda Abraham (Jan 4, 2005 11:27:53 AM)
I need to get going. Thanks again for coming.