CMU Tepper Admissions Chat with Laurie Stewart

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Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:23 AM)
Hello! First I want to welcome you all to’s Carnegie Mellon Tepper Admissions Chat. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the Tepper chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about CMU Tepper. To make a sound decision and to get accepted you know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask the experts about this outstanding business school.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:24 AM)
Hi Linda and everyone

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:31 AM)
I also want to welcome Laurie Stewart, Carnegie Mellon's Director of MBA Admissions; Gwen Stanczak, Assistant Director of Masters Admissions; and Joe Muscari, a second-year Tepper MBA, who have joined us today. I asked Joe to tell me a little about his background and here is what he sent me.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:47 AM)
Thanks for hosting us, Linda

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:48 AM)
Welcome everyone, thanks for stopping in to chat with us today!

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:56 AM)
You're most welcome.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:57 AM)
Hello and welcome

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:46:59 AM)
“Prior to business school I worked for seven years as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State, most recently serving in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to the State Department, I studied systems engineering at UVA. While at Tepper, I am concentrating in finance, accounting and marketing. This past summer I worked at Barclays Capital investment bank in the Consumer and Retail group and plan to go back full time next year."

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:47:12 AM)
Thanks Joe.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:47:18 AM)
You're welcome

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:47:22 AM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:47:22 AM)
Thanks for joining us, Joe

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:48:29 AM)
Laurie: You wrote me about Tepper . I checked it out briefly before the chat. It almost looks like a high quality online magazine for MBA applicants. Can you tell us a little more about it?

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 9:48:34 AM)
Joe: I have heard about the entrepreneurship in the social sector provided by CMU... I would like to know how is it different from other fields... How will it be beneficial???

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:48:57 AM)
Gwen: What 3 qualities must you see in applicants before you will put their file in the admit pile? What are the necessary but not sufficient qualities for admission?

SID (Nov 9, 2006 9:49:05 AM)
Thats' really amazing Joe, So can you details us on your Tepper experiences?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:00 AM)
Sure Linda--we developed this year--to provide a resource for candidates that are considering business school. Each month, there will be a different topic of discussion. So far, the topics have been 'Careers' and 'Confidence'--includes articles, blogs, podcasts--lots of resources

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:23 AM)
Linda - We look at all of the components of an application in order to make our final decision. We take a very holistic approach in our decision making process. In general terms, we seek students that have analytical decision making abilities, leadership and team experience and strong communication skills.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:27 AM)
I could only look at it briefly, but it looked excellent.

SG (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:34 AM)
Laurie: Do the first round notifications go out ON December 22nd or BY December 22nd?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:44 AM)
Thanks much for the feedback, Linda--we've heard great things from candidates too

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:50:45 AM)
GAU0007 -- Great question... entrepreneurship is one of Tepper's strengths. And one frankly, that we could probably advertise some more. The Social Sector focus is one part of the program and is geared toward working more with NGOs around the world.

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 9:51:47 AM)
Gwen: What is a typical interview like? What should an applicant bring with him/her to the interview?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:51:50 AM)
SG--First round notifications go out on Dec 22nd (we work pretty hard to meet our decision timetables and it is hard to get them out before the published date) :-)

SL09 (Nov 9, 2006 9:52:00 AM)
Laurie I want to know two or three key attributes that CMU is looking for in the students.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:52:21 AM)
SID - Thanks for your kind words. Most of the work I did prior to school was focused on non-proliferation and most recently working with countries in SE Asia on the Proliferation Security Initiative or PSI

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:52:47 AM)
Sounds like you're changing careers, Joe.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:52:52 AM)
MBA09 - Great question. Our interviews are meant to be more of a conversation, so don't be worried! We want you to be yourself and it's an opportunity for you to highlight strengths in your background whether they be academic, professional or personal. That being said, it's good to be prepared, study up on the school, know yourself and your background, be prepared to answer questions about your leadership and team experiences. Treat this like a job interview, dress the part and most importantly, be yourself!

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:53:34 AM)
SL09--there is no set background profile for an ideal Tepper student, but some common threads emerge: analytical skills, people who get things done, people who are great to work with, people who like to solve problems, lots of things

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:53:52 AM)
Gwen, what is the role of the interview in the evaluation process? Data point? What percentage of the pool do you interview? Are all admitted applicants interviewed?

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 9:54:15 AM)
Laurie, what is the process that you deal with each file? How many reads does a file get? How do you distinguish fakes from those really interested at Tepper

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:55:01 AM)
MBA09 -- I can second Gwen's all comments... my interview was one of the more relaxed and professional interviews I have had. I left the interview feeling that I was given the best possible opportunity to present my credentials.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 9:55:17 AM)
Joe: How will this entrepreneurship in Social sector be different from normal entrepreneurship???

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:55:21 AM)
Linda: Yes, I'm definitely career switching, as are a good percentage of my classmates

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:55:31 AM)
Linda- We interview over half of the applicant pool and ultimately interview all admitted students. We take requests for in-person interviews up until December 4 (either on campus or in our travels) and after that, we do require you to submit an application and we will send invitations for interviews.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:56:12 AM)
Gwen, and how are interviews used in the deciding between candidates?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:57:16 AM)
GAU0007: Well probably the biggest difference is that the stakeholders change when switching from a purely entrepreneurial focus to one with a social sector. Be it the inclusion of govt. decision makers, NGO's, etc. Also, some recent work has been done on different types of funding for social sector entrepreneurship, but I'm less directly familiar with the details

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:57:27 AM)
Dominic--every file gets at least 3 reads, twice by counselors, once by me--also candidate files are discussed by our admissions committee. Without getting into too much detail, we have several things we do to ensure authenticity through our process. We also use an outside agency to verify the application credentials of all enrolling students.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 9:57:50 AM)
Joe, what do you like best at CMU? What would you like to see improved?

anne (Nov 9, 2006 9:58:03 AM)
Laurie: Applicants are required to fulfill 2 pre-requisites: College Calculus and Statistics or Linear Algebra. Do Pre Calculus and Business Statistics courses count towards fulfilling the pre-requisites?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:58:37 AM)
Linda - The interview provides us with some insight on a candidate that more quantitative components of the application do not. I think it's an opportunity to learn more about a student and decide whether they will be a good fit for our school in terms of not just their professional/academic background but also their personality and vice versa.

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 9:58:49 AM)
Gwen: For US based students, is interviewing off-campus (or by phone) inferred as a somewhat lack of interest in the program?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:59:37 AM)
Hi Anne--good question. You need to take one more class beyond pre-calculus before enrolling at Tepper. We often make admission offers to great candidates who need to take calculus or statistics before enrolling, so if you're interested in Tepper--don't let the math pre-requisites hold you back from applying.

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 9:59:47 AM)
Laurie, What type of real-life practices does the program support? What kind of experiential learning opportunities are part of the curriculum?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 9:59:56 AM)
Linda: Great question... definitely the small size of our class is a huge benefit. For example, just yesterday we had Steve Miller, CEO of Delphi, at school to speak and 10 of us had the opportunity to meet with him privately for an hour prior to his speaking to the whole class. That has been a big highlight of being at Tepper. The week before, Glenn Tilton, the CEO of United was at school to speak. So opportunities like these as well as interaction with professors is a big benefit of the program

SJ-30 (Nov 9, 2006 10:00:10 AM)
Joe: How many students in CMU come from Technology background and aspire for NGO work after completion ?

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:00:31 AM)
Joe, you may not have the exact number, but can you give us a feel percentage terms.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:00:41 AM)
MBA09 - No, we certainly love for applicants to come to campus to learn more about our program, but understand that you can't always make it! There is no preference given to individuals based on whether they do a phone vs. an on campus interview. That being said, I think visiting the select schools you are interested in can be powerful in your decision making process!

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:00:54 AM)
Tepper is a highly collaborative program. A common criticism levied against such programs is that in an individual setting people can get indecisive. Gwen and Joe, I would appreciate your comments on that.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:01:16 AM)
Linda: Regarding improvement... definitely getting the word out about our strengths. We're a small school, which is a huge plus, but it also means we have fewer voices out and about talking about our strengths. For example, before I came here, I really had no idea just how strong our Marketing and Entrepreneurship programs were.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:02:20 AM)
Joe, why did you choose Tepper?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:02:31 AM)
Linda: Do you mean percentages re: career switchers? It's definitely more than 50% and probably well above that. Out of 165 classmates, I can probably count on 2 hands the students I know who are staying in a similar career trajectory.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:02:38 AM)
Satwik--good question. There are lots of opportunities to work on company-based projects, entrepreneurial ideas or company-sponsored case competitions here at Tepper. This weekend, there is a great event happening at Tepper--an international business case competition focusing on Latin America--more info here:

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:03:08 AM)
I think that he wants a feel for the number/percentage of students coming from IT who want to go into NGO work.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:03:30 AM)
Laurie: How much % of students get scholarship/ assistantship and what % of total expense is it?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:04:02 AM)
Linda: Why Tepper? Easy... small class size, great access to world class professors (6 Nobel Laureates come from Tepper), and the ability to hone my analytical skills. Also, having lived in Washington DC, Tokyo, Bangkok and New York, my wife and I really enjoy being in Pittsburgh. It has 95% of the benefits of a large city, with almost none of the drawbacks (traffic, overcrowding, high prices, etc)

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:04:45 AM)
Joe, what extra-curricular activities are you involved in?

Guest (Nov 9, 2006 10:04:56 AM)
Gwen - I believe Tepper offers many forms of financial assistance, notably the Dean's scholarship of full tuition waiver!! How does the admissions committee arrive at a decision for awarding scholarship?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:05:26 AM)
Dominic - I think that collaboration is inherent in the business world and being able to work in a team setting sets you up for success. That being said, although we have a collaborative environment, the foundation of the curriculum is based on being able to utilize quantitative tools to make creative decisions. Does this answer your question?

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:05:26 AM)
Gwen: Your first deadline was Monday. How did volume compare this year to last year?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:15 AM)
Linda: Re: % students moving from IT to NGO work. I really don't have a good feel for a number on that. But one of Tepper's strengths is that the professors and administrators are actively willing to work with students toward their career goals. So, I feel comfortable telling someone if they're interested in an entrepreneurship with an NGO/social sector focus, they'll find professors and administrators here willing to make sure they reach their end goal.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:23 AM)
gau0007--thanks for the question. We do offer scholarships more than assistantships--awarded on the basis of merit. Typically at least a third of our full-time MBAs receive a scholarship--ranging from small to full-tuition. Our Dean's Scholarship covers tuition and fees for both years--this year 15 of 137 first year MBAs were selected as Dean Scholars. You can find more info on scholarships here:

SJ-30 (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:31 AM)
Joe: How did Tepper school help you get one step closer to where you wish to be ? Can you give an example ?

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:36 AM)
Excellent question.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:44 AM)
Linda - Yes, our first deadline just passed and we are happy to report that the volume is up 10% and the quality is outstanding. That being said, our first round is generally our smallest round and we typically receive the majority of our applications in our second, Jaunary 8 deadline.

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 10:06:48 AM)
Lauire: I know probably you have answered this question before but can you please comment on Tepper's 2006 BusinessWeek ranking? Especially "C" on communication by recruiters and "B" on career services by students?

anne (Nov 9, 2006 10:07:11 AM)
Gwen: Almost 50% of admitted applicants are from Engineering backgrounds. Does an applicant need to emphasize/showcase tech-savvy ness to be more competitive?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:07:58 AM)
Linda: Re: extra-curricular activities: I'm Director of the Tepper Mentoring programs, which works to help 1st years acclimate themselves to being back at school. I'm also involved with the Graduate Finance Associate, the Operations Club, the wine club and the golf club.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:08:14 AM)
you sound busy.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:08:46 AM)
Joe, 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?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:08:56 AM)
To couple with Joe's comments on interest in the non-profit, we offer a dual programs in Public Policy and Management as well as a dual program in Health Care Policy and Management with the Heinz School here at CMU.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:08:59 AM)
And as Director of the Tepper Mentoring program do you have any additional suggestions.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:09:32 AM)
Gwen: How are the placements?? How many % of total students gets placed???

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:09:46 AM)
Anne - We like to see students from many different areas and so having a non-technical background is just fine!

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:11:02 AM)
Gau- 3 months after graduation, 96% of the students had offers. You can find complete career stats for our 2006 graduating class at:

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:11:11 AM)
Laurie, What is the teaching type at Tepper ? Case studies, team work, projects etc ?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:11:11 AM)
SJ-30: Well the easy answer is that the school provides you an analytic framework for attacking business problems and then attracts a number of world-class recruiters to come hire you. Along the way, we have the opportunity to learn from our classmates. And at Tepper, you're encouraged to take risks... as an example, even though I was focused on going into investment banking, I've always had an interest in operations and had the opportunity to work with Equitable Resources on an class project during the 2nd half of my first year. Things like that are pretty common at Tepper and I believe I'll leave school as a more well-rounded business leader because of it.

Shrey (Nov 9, 2006 10:11:23 AM)
Joe: CMU has other great programs such as from the robotics institute. Being from an engineering background and aspiring to pursue entrepreneurship, I am very interested in the level and channels of interaction available with such students. Could you enlighten me on any such program or activity within the MBA curriculum?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:13:58 AM)
Linda: Re: transitioning, one of the things we instituted with the mentoring program this past year was to put 2nd year students-to-be in touch with incoming 1st years as soon as they accepted their offer of admissions. So, often this would occur anytime between Feb through the start of classes. This gave incoming students the benefit of meeting classmates, asking questions about apartments, classes, etc... all the things you need to know, but couldn't ask until you knew which city you were going to be in. The feedback from the 1st years was that it was a real benefit and they plan to keep it going next year.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:14:08 AM)
MBA09--thanks for the question. In terms of the BusinessWeek rating, we appreciate that our programs are highly ranked in all of the major publications. I always encourage candidates to consider which factors are most important to them when selecting a school--and also understand the methodology for each of the rankings to make sure which factors are most relevant to them. Our students have unlimited opportunities to enhance their communication skills--one great program that our student government (GBA) initiated in cooperation with our career center is called 'Tepper Prepper'--second year students and career staff provide resources, mentoring, workshops, etc for first-year students: more info here

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:14:21 AM)
Laurie, for Tepper students how are the internship opportunities in Asia and esp. Indian sub continent ?

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:15:03 AM)?
Joe: Do the Nobel laureates give classes at Tepper? I know a couple of schools where they cater to the Ph.d crowd only?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:15:26 AM)
Great question Satwik--but I don't have that info right here--feel free to email me offline on that

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 10:15:44 AM)
Laure: Do you have any evidence to believe that recruiters find it easier to accept international students if they have worked in the US before going to Tepper?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:16:12 AM)
Shrey: Great question. This is another of Tepper's strengths is the cross-cultural learning experience. There's no set curriculum to interact with the robotics institute and that means you have the ability to help set your own path. So from an entrepreneurship perspective, it's literally a matter of walking across the courtyard and connecting with the professors and researchers and putting together ideas and business plans...

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:16:55 AM)
Joe, what are you favorite classes, professors?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:17:15 AM)
Shrey: To help support this type of activity, a group of 2nd years started a program called the Idea Factory which is designed to link grad students from across the campus (engr, cs, public policy, business, robotics) to help network and foster the types of relationship you need to be successful in such endeavors

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:18:00 AM)
MBA09--Good question. No, I don't think so. Communication skills are important for candidates who may not have English are their first language though. Typically, about two-thirds of our international students have job opportunities in the US after graduation.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:18:55 AM)
Laurie:Is Tepper planning any curriculum reforms ala Yale or Stanford?

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:19:42 AM)
Gwen: Do we have opportunities to work at live projects with companies during the program?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:20:10 AM)
Linda: Favorite classes... that's a tough question. probably marketing research, financial engineering, and managing organizations. With regards to preparing me for an internship on Wall St. -- definitely international finance and investment analysis -- where most of the topics covered are part of the 2nd year curriculum at other schools and I felt gave me an advantage this summer on the job.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:20:23 AM)
Satwik--re: your earlier question on teaching methodologies: it is very much a hybrid approach at Tepper. Each professor chooses whichever methodology will be optimal from a learning perspective--so its a mixture of lectures, cases, projects and computer simulation.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:20:26 AM)
Joe & Laurie: Since the subjects in MBA are more of commerce related like Economics, Accounting... So what would you suggest for a student coming from Engineering background to do before joining the college so that it would be easy to understand the concepts???

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:22:03 AM)
Linda--we have an ongoing curriculum review process at Tepper. Changes happen rather continuously in courses, new electives, etc.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:22:36 AM)
GAU0007: Coming from working in international diplomacy where spreadsheets really don't exist, I feel comfortable saying that the coursework builds on itself, starting with the basics. Like most schools, Tepper provides some accounting workbooks to cover prior to school that will help ease the transition and I felt that was more than enough to make a comfortable transfer into the world commerce.

perezhan (Nov 9, 2006 10:22:58 AM)
Laurie:How important is it to apply in the first round?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:23:19 AM)
Satwikreddy - Certainly. In the second year, many students will do company sponsored projects. Like Joe mentioned earlier, he took advantage of an opportunity to work with Equitable Resourcess on a class project, so the opportunities are there.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:23:22 AM)
Joe: How much % of total program do we have practical and how much for theory???

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:23:46 AM)
gau0007--great question. Our program is designed to provide the foundation in courses like economics and accounting within the core--so you don't need to have taken them before. In a typical year--half of our students come from technical backgrounds like you do.

anne (Nov 9, 2006 10:23:54 AM)
Gwen: Have you admitted applicants to the Flex time program who come from different/far states and who have ultimately relocated and/or changed jobs? Is a Flex time applicant at a disadvantage if she/he is not from the immediate Pittsburgh area?

Guest (Nov 9, 2006 10:24:16 AM)
Laurie, how big is the Tepper alumni network?

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:24:57 AM)
Laurie, does Tepper have any international exchange program with schools overseas ?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:25:31 AM)
GAU0007: That's a tough question to answer. Often it's both practical and theoretical. We're learning the ideas that drive business in the classroom and then putting together practical solutions on our projects, case studies, and school sponsored projects with companies such as Caterpillar, Bosche, and Equitable Resources

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:25:59 AM)
perzhan--thanks for the question. The round you apply is not a factor in your chance of admission--we have space throughout all of our deadlines to offer admission. We get the largest volume of applicants for our January deadline--but definitely still have space for candidates that may apply later.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:26:29 AM)
Joe, what is the #1 take-away so far from your experience at Tepper. How are you different or how has your perspective changed as a result of your Tepper education?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:26:34 AM)
Anne - We have. Actually we have a student in the flex program who works for a multi-national company that is based in Pittsburgh and was transferred from their offices in Germany here, so he can continue working and take part in the program. That being said, it's definitely something that we question in the application, so be prepared to explain this. We don't people to leave their jobs and bank on finding a job in Pittsburgh and take that risk, but depending on your situation, it might work out, like for our German flex-time student.

ds (Nov 9, 2006 10:26:44 AM)
laurie: this year the Wall street journal ranked CMU @ 1 amongst employers in the energy sector....was surprised to see no energy club @ CMU?? any activities amongst students interested in energy sector?

SJ-30 (Nov 9, 2006 10:26:58 AM)
Gwen: Do you offer deferred admission in case a candidate has valid reasons ?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:28:24 AM)
Satwik--we do offer study abroad options for our MBA students in the 2nd year. One includes Germany and Slovakia. There is also a China study trip this year.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:28:25 AM)
SJ-30 - We typically to not grant deferred admission. That being said, we do hold onto your application materials for 2 years and only require some additional documentation to reactivate your application during that time.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:28:29 AM)
Dominic: Fynn Kidland is still with the university, but I believe he is on leave or was as of last year. He's the most recent Nobel laureate. The others such as Miller and Modigliani were some of the pioneers modern finance but passed away several years ago

Guest (Nov 9, 2006 10:28:55 AM)
Laurie, there is a question in here for you: Joe, I’m very glad to hear that the students and the faculty are that accessible. Really bolsters my resolve to try for Tepper. Another question, though. Laurie, I have talked about the Management of Innovation and Product Development Track of Tepper with some of Tepper’s Alumni. However, I seem have got the picture that it focuses on the Mechanical aspects of Product development. Are there opportunities for Software and electronics engineers on these programs with respect to industry exposure in the relevant fields?

tepper07 (Nov 9, 2006 10:29:02 AM)
Laurie: Typically how many students start their own companies by the completion of their MBA?

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:29:11 AM)
Thanks Joe

tepper07 (Nov 9, 2006 10:29:14 AM)
Joe: Are their any commodity trading companies recruiting from Tepper? Is there any student club relating to that?

perezhan (Nov 9, 2006 10:29:32 AM)
Gwen: How successful are international students in getting an aid?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:30:36 AM)
DS--good question--I'm not aware of any--Joe, any thoughts on energy-related clubs? You may be interested in the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. More info here:

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:30:48 AM)
Laurie, what's the one thing that you would want to change at Tepper?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:30:53 AM)
Linda: #1 Take-away... hard to say. Learning is a continuous life-long process. Tepper has really allowed me to push myself in areas I wanted to (finance, accounting) as well as other areas that I just found to be really interesting but don't plan to pursue (such as marketing).

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 10:31:15 AM)
Joe, Can you describe a typical weekday and a typical Sunday for the first year MBA student at Tepper?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:31:39 AM)
Tepper07: Yes, there are commodity trading companies recruiting. A good friend of mine is in Europe this week for a 2nd Round interview with one. The best part about Tepper is that because of David Tepper's success, the name opens eyes on Wall St. and at other hedge funds (so even if someone isn't recruiting at school, there's still a great opportunity to get in front of them for an interview)

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:31:40 AM)
Perezhan - We review all admitted students for merit based scholarships at the time of admission. Scholarship offers vary from small partial scholarship to a full, Dean's Scholarship based on the strength of your application in comparison to the rest of the admitted student pool. All students are automatically reviewed, no separate application is necessary

krish (Nov 9, 2006 10:31:56 AM)
Gwen: How strong are Tepper's ties with management consulting firms? Do they collaborate with the school extensively, by way of real time assignments, case competitions and internships?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:33:17 AM)
Tepper07--entrepreneurship is a really strong interest among our students. Not everyone starts a company right away--although there are some each year. We surveyed our alumni a few years ago and found 40% had been involved in a start-up. Here is more info on a recent venture:

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:33:31 AM)
Laurie: How is hiring for the class of 07? Any particularly active sectors?

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:33:35 AM)
Joe are you taking advantage of the opportunity to enroll in classes outside Tepper at CMU?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:34:29 AM)
Linda--things are very strong with recruiting on campus this fall. Consulting and Financial Services are really active at Tepper.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:34:39 AM)
Krish - Many of our students find themselves in Consulting Careers post - Tepper and Consulting companies are active recruiters and sponsors of many of Tepper's activities. 25% of students accepting positions in Consulting companies

Shrey (Nov 9, 2006 10:34:52 AM)
Laurie, an age old question, but important all the same: Is there any significant difference between applying in the first and second rounds with regard to number of seats and scholarships available? Is there a portion of the seats reserved for students applying in the second round? Are any students who apply for the first round kept on the waitlist for the second round?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:34:54 AM)
Linda: Taking classes at other schools, such as the Heinz school of public policy, has been on my list of things to do, but I've stayed focused on classes at Tepper. We're registering for Spring classes right now and I suspect I'll be taking at least one across campus.

SJ-30 (Nov 9, 2006 10:35:18 AM)
Gwen: with as many as 50% from tech background, how do you ensure diversity ?

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:35:39 AM)
Joe are you able to sit in classes that you want with those bid systems that are practiced at schools?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:36:30 AM)
MBA09: Typical weekday at Tepper is probably pretty similar to a lot of schools. But make no mistake, as a 1st year, you will be working a ton. Fortunately, it will pay significant dividends at your internship. From talking with classmates last year, students spent anywhere between 50-90 hours working each week...

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:37:00 AM)
Joe: Does the alumni involve itself for career guidance, aid in the learning experience of the students and provide with internship opportunities ?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:38:29 AM)
SJ-30 - We look at diversity from a lot of different perspectives not just academics, but professional experience, cultural diversity and personal qualities and interests. Because we take a more holistic approach to making our admissions decisions, many factors are taken into consideration to create a diverse academic environment.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:38:54 AM)
MBA09: A typical day would be classes from 830-1230, corporate presentation at lunch. More class from 130-330. Then either some reading, group work or hit the gym for a quick work-out. Dinner sometime around 6pm. Then after 7pm, it's more group work or individual assignments. Tepper focuses a lot on teamwork, so you might have 3-4 classes per mini-semester where you are working on team assignments. Scheduling logistics will mean that you are frequently working at least one full day on the weekend and often a bit more. That said, there's still plenty of time for fun. We have a weekly pub crawl at a local pub/tavern, plus nearly every Friday we have a social event at school... so it's a lot of work-hard, play-hard. And with a class of 165 students, you get a chance to know everyone.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:38:59 AM)
Gwen: What are the fields in which CMU has expertise in?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:39:53 AM)
Dominic--great question. This is a great time to be at Tepper--lots of positive momentum at the school and great opportunities for students. One thing--I would like to see more women candidates considering Tepper.

Shrey (Nov 9, 2006 10:40:13 AM)
Laurie, this is really a question for you: Joe, I’m very glad to hear that the students and the faculty are that accessible. Really bolsters my resolve to try for Tepper. Another question, though. I have talked about the Management of Innovation and Product Development Track of Tepper with some of Tepper’s Alumni. However, I seem have got the picture that it focuses on the Mechanical aspects of Product development. Are there opportunities for Software and electronics engineers on these programs with respect to industry exposure in the relevant fields?

MBA09 (Nov 9, 2006 10:40:24 AM)
Thanks Joe

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:41:00 AM)
Gau - Within our general management program, we offer 12 areas of concentration. I think those that we are most highly regarded for are Finance, Entrepreneurship, Operations and IT with Marketing beginning to find a strong foothold here at Tepper.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:41:04 AM)
Dominic: I'm not sure I understand entirely your question, but I'll share my scheduling experiences with you... to the point, I've been able to take every class I've wanted to so far. Each semester, you'll rank order the classes you're interested in and then student services literally sits down and tries to accommodate each student as best they can. I'm sure some people have had to wait a semester to take a class, but I haven't heard about any problems. The biggest complaint I hear is that there too many classes students want to take and too little time to do so

tepper07 (Nov 9, 2006 10:41:34 AM)
Joe: With such a hectic schedule in the first year, how do you ensure students get to socialize and do networking?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:42:29 AM)
Shrey--regarding your question on rounds. We do manage our process to have seats and scholarship availability throughout all of the rounds that we offer admission. So we may waitlist or delay the decision of some candidates in earlier rounds until we have the chance to review those that apply later. Candidates should apply when they're confident that their application is ready--and not rush it.

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:42:41 AM)
Gwen: for those with partners/better halves, is Pittsburgh a place for them to find jobs? Can they find some reasonable work in offices of CMU?

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:43:12 AM)
Satwikreddy: interesting question and the short answer is yes. For example, I've had the chance to speak with the CEO of GE Asia each of the last two years as he's come back to speak with alumni and students. There are plenty of alums doing this. Re: internships, often its alums at the companies driving the recruiting process so you see a lot of that. Plus, there are students who reach out to alums via the alumni database to connect individually. Another benefit of being a small school is that the alumni recognize this and are often more willing to share their time and experience with students.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:44:42 AM)
Shrey--regarding product development--I think there is interest in that and I'd invite you to stay in touch with me regarding any new offerings coming in the future

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:44:50 AM)
Dominic - Great question. We have a fantastic Partners Club at Tepper which is a great opportunity for Partners to have their own network. They provide help to partners in job search as well as volunteer opportunities and generally provide a network of support. You can find more about the Tepper Partners Club along with contact information for our Partners Club co-chairs at Feel free to drop them a line.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:44:56 AM)
Gwen & Joe: Can I please have your mail ids for future communication???

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:45:16 AM)
Sure, Gau and all. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at!

Guest (Nov 9, 2006 10:45:20 AM)
Gwen: How do students arrange for the Tuition Fee? International students require co-signer, but suppose one doesn't have then, what are the alternatives

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:45:28 AM)
Tepper07: You just have to prioritize... like in the real-world. Time management is critical and Tepper does a great job of building your skills in this area if you don't have them prior to school. The other side of the coin is that this is a small class size and we're all going through the same experience, so students are always willing to help each other. So the person with the finance background helps the rest of us get up to speed, and then we help the finance person on organizational behavior or something else. My best friends at school are those I worked on projects with during my first year.

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:45:30 AM)
Laurie, approximately what percentage of International students were placed within 3 months of graduation ?

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:45:43 AM)
Gwen: , Does the Tepper school have tie ups with any banks in providing education/study loans, if required, to international students ?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:46:17 AM)
Satwik---the overall percentage this year was 96% with offers within 3 months. That includes both domestic and international students. Hope that is helpful.

ds (Nov 9, 2006 10:46:33 AM)
Laurie: How would someone looking to make a career switch.......justify his/her the essays..... is it good to present career graph has hit a plateau?

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:46:41 AM)
Thank you very much Joe, your response is encouraging

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:46:56 AM)
Sure, my email is for any questions you may want to ask offline

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:47:18 AM)
Satwikreddy: My pleasure. I'm happy to help.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:47:46 AM)
DS, I would recommend that you emphasize what you want to move towards more than what you want to leave (a stagnant career).

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:47:52 AM)
Thanks Gwen

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:48:12 AM)
Last call for questions.

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:48:19 AM)
Satwik - We do not back any loans for international students. International student would need a US Cosigner to obtain a loan in the US, unless you have 36 months or more of established credit in the US in which case there are loans available. For more information on financial aid visit: or email our Financial Aid Guru, Bonnie Lack at

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:48:32 AM)
ds--we see many candidates who are looking at the MBA to either change directions professionally--or because they need new knowledge to continue to grow on the path that they're following. We do want to see some specifics in your essays about what path you would like to follow.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:48:46 AM)
Gwen, are there experience requirements for admission to Tepper?

satwikreddy (Nov 9, 2006 10:49:05 AM)
Thank you for the information Gwen.

Dominic (Nov 9, 2006 10:49:10 AM)
Laurie, in your sixteen plus years of association with Tepper, what has changed the most?

SJ-30 (Nov 9, 2006 10:49:33 AM)
More specifically, is there a management experience requirement for admissions in Tepper ?

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:51:23 AM)
Linda - No, we do not require students to have a minimum number of years of work experience in order to apply. We 92% of our full-time class had previous work experience. We will look at internships or other experience a candidate might have if they do not have post undergraduate work experience. We look at the quality of the experience in terms of initiative, team and leadership. Typically, however, students with little or no experience need to have strengths in other areas of the application in order to balance out this weakness.

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:51:27 AM)
Dominic--well, I'm a lot older :-) Fundamentally, Tepper is the same great place. I'd say the thing that has really enhanced over the years is the wide range of academic options that our students have--more than 120 electives, ability to take classes across campus, tracks, etc. I would love to be a student again here myself!

ananpere (Nov 9, 2006 10:51:48 AM)
Laurie: Is there a specialized stream in Supply Chain Management for MBA-s at Tepper?

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:52:43 AM)
ananpere--we cover supply chain within our Global Enterprise Management track, as well as through the operations electives we offer.

gau0007 (Nov 9, 2006 10:52:46 AM)
Joe: Where can we get contacts of current yrs i.e. 2006 batch and 2005 batch's student's contact no. ??? and is it possible to get faculty members contact???

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:27 AM)
Thank you again all for participating. Special thanks to Laurie, Gwen, and Joe for joining us today.

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:29 AM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. On deck:

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:38 AM)
Nov 13 Michigan Nov. 30 Great Application Essays for Business School Dec. 5 Consortium Dec. 7

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:41 AM)
Thanks everyone for coming and all the great questions!

Linda Abraham (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:44 AM)
Please check the website ( ) for exact dates and times.

JoeMuscariCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:46 AM)
GAU0007: there's a link on our website to connect with current students. if you can't find it, pls drop me a note

LaurieStewartCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:49 AM)
Good luck with your applications all!

GwenStanczakCMU (Nov 9, 2006 10:53:50 AM)
Gau - You can find our "Contact a Current Student" on the Tepper Talk section of our website at: