2008 Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions Chat with Liz Riley Hargrove


2008 Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions Chat with Liz Riley Hargrove

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

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:54:07 PM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. It is critical to your decision making process and your admission chances that you know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask experts about this top business school.  I also want to give a special welcome Liz Riley Hargrove, Fuqua's Assistant Dean, MBA Daytime Program and Kimberly Radford, Fuqua Class of ’08.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:54:22 PM)
Kimberly, while I post information about logistics, could you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before arriving at Duke? What is your concentration? What did you do over the summer and what do you hope to do post-MBA?

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:54:28 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 12:54:36 PM)
Hello All- I am a Second year at Fuqua, and prior to business school I worked in Real Estate Consulting in New York. I am a career switcher and worked at Unilever over the summer in Brand Management.  I am pursing a concentration in Marketing.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:02 PM)
Kimberly are you looking for a position in brand management post MBA?

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:19 PM)
Liz: What’s new at Duke?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:24 PM)
Yes I am. I will likely be returning to Unilever as a full-time employee.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:41 PM)
Great! Congratulations!

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:46 PM)
Linda, there is a LOT that is new at Duke!  First off, we have a new dean.

shiloh (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:52 PM)
How does R1 application volume look?

Tina (Nov 29, 2007 12:56:58 PM)
Kimberly: I also plan to pursue Brand Mgmt. I have had 4 years of media and consumer insights experience. Is it important to highlight the relevant work experience I've had to my future career?

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:57:29 PM)
Liz, that's a significant change.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 12:57:58 PM)
Yes it is Tina.  In brand management you will find it is important to highlight the importance of working in cross functional teams and being able to lead people from various levels of the organization.  Also, it is key to highlight why you want to make a transition into brand management and why you feel your relevant experience will help you in brand management or any type of new role you are looking to enter.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 12:58:06 PM)
Can you highlight a few of the plans he has for Fuqua?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 12:58:14 PM)
Yes, Blair Sheppard came back to Fuqua in July and we're very excited.  Blair is very focused right now on getting reacclimated to Fuqua. His vision will include more interdisciplinarity across the Duke campus and key global partnerships that will strengthen the Duke brand.

Way To Go (Nov 29, 2007 12:59:33 PM)
Kimberly: When you say .. you are a career switcher, does it mean , you have had no prior experience altogether .. or is it just no such prior professional experience? Kindly throw some light. I want to switch careers but then how could I justify seeing my career progression to date?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:00:31 PM)
Linda, as you know we've just passed our first application deadline.  Applications appear to be up at most business schools and this is true for Duke as well.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:00:59 PM)
Liz, how did this year's application volume compare to last year's?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:01:05 PM)
Way To Go: When people mention they are a career switcher they are looking to enter a new field of work ie. going from Non-profit to Finance or consulting to marketing, or finance to general management. I had no prior experience in the brand management sector because all of my previous work experience was in real estate consulting.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:01:13 PM)
We're up more than 20%.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:01:16 PM)
Wow!

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:01:23 PM)
Yes, it's very exciting!

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:01:32 PM)
Liz: What constitutes extra curricular while working? Does it contain things only outside office or does it also contain things in office like helping with recruitment, part of Best Practices team , knowledge share sessions for the team etc.?

shiloh (Nov 29, 2007 1:02:11 PM)
Kimberly: Did the ethics scandal affect the attitude around campus at all?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:02:24 PM)
Anything you've done outside of the regular "9 to 5" is what we're interested in. If you've taken on leadership positions within your organization or community, we're interested in learning about what you've been doing.

kris (Nov 29, 2007 1:02:40 PM)
Liz, due to the surge in applications, would your screening process become more stringent? Do you have plans to increase the class size?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:03:32 PM)
Kris, there are no plans to increase the class size. The application process has always been competitive at Duke so in that respect there won't be changes to our evaluation process.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:03:45 PM)
Shiloh, I think people were very shocked about the events at the end of last year, but overall everyone feels that Duke responded very well and students are proud that they upheld the standards of this institution, and honestly I feel it brought us closer as a community.

chandra (Nov 29, 2007 1:03:49 PM)
Liz: I will be looking at scholarships options at Duke. What are the chances of scholarship?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:04:18 PM)
Chandra, great question. All students who are admitted to Duke are automatically reviewed for merit based scholarships.  We will review the same criteria as your admission profile and then the criteria is scaled up. About one-third of each incoming class is awarded a scholarship.  You should plan to apply in round 2 though if you are interested in merit based funds as they are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Way To Go (Nov 29, 2007 1:05:19 PM)
Thanks for the reply Kimberly. Could you let me know how you justified your move then? Why did they chose you over other applicants who might have had a relevant prior experience?

GG (Nov 29, 2007 1:06:16 PM)
Hi Liz. One of my recommenders posted a not so great recommendation for me highlighting several great traits as well as two weaknesses that she saw when I worked under her. How much emphasis do you and most top MBA programs put in recommendations? Should I try to get the recommendation retracted from my applications?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:06:58 PM)
GG, honestly, the best recommendations I've read do a great job of highlighting a candidate's strengths AND areas for improvement.  It is not necessarily a BAD recommendation because it points out weaknesses.

SL (Nov 29, 2007 1:07:19 PM)
Hello Liz, I was wondering how decisions are released and if you will be releasing decisions prior to January 18th?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:07:39 PM)
Way To Go- great question, however this warrants a pretty lengthy response. We can chat further about this offline if you would like to make sure I answer all your questions about being a career switcher, please feel free to email me at kmr23@duke.edu.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:08:35 PM)
SL, our standard policy is that decisions are released "on or before" a given date. In most cases, we release the decision on the actual date and not before. You will be notified via e-mail that you decision is ready for review.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:08:35 PM)
It doesn't seem to have hurt Kimberly. She already has a job.

Tina (Nov 29, 2007 1:08:50 PM)
Liz: You say the quantity of respondents has gone up vs. last year. Has the quality increased?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:09:37 PM)
Tina, absolutely. We are in the process of reading the applications right now and I can say with confidence that our pool of candidates to choose from is excellent.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:10:17 PM)
I think that people coming to campus to recruit Duke students is up this year according to the numbers from CMC and having talked with my employer this summer they said the way Duke handled the situation worked in our favor. So regardless it hasn't changed the way recruiters look at Duke students and the desire to hire full-time MBA students.

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:10:22 PM)
Liz: Your answer is self contradictory or I misunderstood. You said things outside 9 to 5. My question is what about things which you did inside 9 to 5 but not part of your regular job profile. For example as an IT I helped HR in recruiting and worked with other teams in setting up Best Practices for team's benefits.

08Aspirant (Nov 29, 2007 1:10:47 PM)
Hello Linda and Liz - Thanks for organizing this chat.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:10:54 PM)
You're welcome.

GG (Nov 29, 2007 1:11:08 PM)
Thanks Liz. That helps!

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:11:22 PM)
JB - sorry for the confusion, my "9 to 5" comment was meant to mean the things outside of your normal day to day job responsibilities.  It certainly can include work related activities which will further the mission of the company your work for.

shiloh (Nov 29, 2007 1:11:38 PM)
Liz: I wasn't able to interview for a variety of reasons. Will this impact my application even though Duke is my top choice?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:12:21 PM)
Shiloh, interviews are not required for admission, however they are strongly encouraged.  I would recommend that you send a statement in to match with your file as to the reasons you were unable to interview.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:13:13 PM)
Kimberly: Why did you choose Fuqua?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:13:37 PM)
Hi My name is Grant Newman, I am also a second year student here at Fuqua. I worked at GE prior to b-school and I will be going into Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank after graduation. I am also happy to answer any questions you might have.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:13:54 PM)
Grant, why did you choose Fuqua?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:14:06 PM)
Chandra, the interview carries equal weight in the admission process so it is just as important as your GMAT, recommendations essays etc. It is just one way you can illuminate your qualifications for the ADCOM.

Varun (Nov 29, 2007 1:14:33 PM)
Hi Liz.  Generally speaking, what percent of the incoming class is interviewed each year? I am an Indian candidate and interviews have been tough to come by in this part of the world.

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:15:06 PM)
Thanks Liz for clarification.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:15:12 PM)
Varun, we interview approximately 85% of our applicant pool and closer to 90% of the students who are admitted.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:15:30 PM)
We have a policy change this year for alumni interviews.  This year, alumni interviews will be by invitation only. This is so that we can accommodate the large number of requests we get for alumni interviews.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:16:13 PM)
Grant, can you also tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before arriving at Duke? What is your concentration? What did you do over the summer and what do you hope to do post-MBA?

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:16:47 PM)
Liz: How much is average scholarship amount assigned to students?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:16:59 PM)
I chose Fuqua because it provided a level of academic rigor that allowed me to build my skill sets based on breadth and depth. It is also a student led school, so Duke provided me numerous opportunities to work on the softer skills, especially my leadership and how to manage change. And also the PEOPLE. Everyone I have met prior to even applying went above and beyond to answer any questions I had and provided support throughout the process.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:17:44 PM)
JB our scholarship awards range from 5,000 per year up to full tuition with the average award greater than 25% of tuition.

Way To Go (Nov 29, 2007 1:17:57 PM)
Liz: Besides merit school chances, is there significant difference in the 1st and 2nd round applications? I mean, is it as good as the first round time to apply or I stand a little less chances now?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:18:01 PM)
I chose Fuqua for several reasons. First and foremost for me was the culture. I highly recommend that you come down and visit the campus, see it for yourself and get to know the students. Second, Duke has a great finance program which was important for me going into IB. And the international element is very important to me. I really wanted a place that I could work in a diverse environment and get exposure to international business elements. (I have done 2 international trips so far and will be studying in Argentina this spring.)

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:18:54 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: What do you like best at Fuqua? What would you like to see improved?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:19:53 PM)
Way To Go: We will admit students from each round of admissions. Round 1 & 2 are equal in terms of opportunities. Round 3 will be more competitive but we extend offers.

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:20:16 PM)
Linda, prior to my MBA I worked in corporate finance for GE Plastics. This summer I worked for Deutsche Bank in their Real Estate and Industrials groups. I just accepted my summer offer from DB a couple of weeks ago and I am very excited about going back.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:21:02 PM)
Congrats to you too.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:21:52 PM)
What I like best about Fuqua, is that you really get to know your classmates inside and outside of the classroom. Because we are in Durham, NC it facilitates an environment where people really enjoying hanging out with their classmates. Also the ability to customize your MBA experience. There are a wealth of electives that are available to students inside and outside your concentration.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:22:00 PM)
Saurabh: The types of students who come to Duke are students who are successful in their careers and are committed to improving their communities. Because our students represent a microcosm of the world, they will represent various backgrounds, professions and extra curricular activities.

Suresh (Nov 29, 2007 1:22:07 PM)
Hi Kimberly/Grant: I heard about the GATE trip and the unique opportunities it provides to students. Can you please share your experience?

08Aspirant (Nov 29, 2007 1:22:15 PM)
Liz - I did an interview with an alumni member last week. How does the interview feedback factor into the application process?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:23:33 PM)
What do I like best? Again for me it is the culture. I did a lot of looking around when I was applying for b-school and I definitely made the right choice for me in terms of location and people.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:23:49 PM)
For improvement, I would like to see the school have more breakout areas for team meetings- but that is already in place with the new building- which will be ready in June!

SL (Nov 29, 2007 1:24:18 PM)
Thanks for answering my previous question, Liz. I was also wondering how much weight is placed on the essays and the interview?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:24:29 PM)
08Aspirant: All interviews (campus and alumni) are evaluated equally and are folded in with the overall review/assessment of a candidate. It can definitely help differentiate you in a competitive pool as you become more than a file number.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:24:53 PM)
SL: All factors carry equal weight. We care about them all.

Way To Go (Nov 29, 2007 1:25:10 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: If you have to state - Duke is the best place to graduate in ________ field of management. What would your reply be?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:26:44 PM)
Tina: Honestly, everything is important. I can tell you the things that normally stand out for me are usually found in the essays. The essays provide context for why you want an MBA and what you plan to do with it. In addition, we learn more about who you are and what you've accomplished.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:26:48 PM)
That is tough question. Duke is really strong in several areas- marketing, finance, consulting, healthcare with all the top companies from each field coming to recruit. So its hard to name just one.

jptrish (Nov 29, 2007 1:26:59 PM)
Hi Liz, this is JP here. This question might be a repeat, but could you answer this, one more time. Not being granted an Alum interview - Does this indicate a reject?

Saurabh (Nov 29, 2007 1:27:22 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: How strong is technology consulting recruiting at Duke?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:27:40 PM)
Suresh, regarding the GATE trips - I did two last year. The first was a look at devolving countries vs more developed countries. We went to Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:27:47 PM)
As far as improvements I agree with Kim and if I can think of something else I will come back to that question.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:28:42 PM)
Jptrish: No, it doesn't mean an automatic reject. We will have some students who will be admitted without alumni interviews or who will be waitlisted. If you end up being waitlisted, you may be offered an alumni interview at a different point in the process.

Way To Go (Nov 29, 2007 1:28:52 PM)
Liz: How is one perceived by the Adcom committee, if one has selected not to be interviewed?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:29:45 PM)
All the major companies come here as well. If you go online to http://mbaa.fuqua.duke.edu/mbaa/index.html you can learn more about the BTC (Business Technology Club).

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:30:03 PM)
The second GATE was the East Asia trip. We went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, and Beijing. The format of both trips is that you study about business, culture, government, etc. about the areas you will visit during the term then at the end of the term you spend 2 weeks visiting companies and talking to government officials (as well as seeing the cultural sites). Last year I visited a total of 9 countries in Asia. I highly recommend the GATE trips. We also offer the opportunity to study abroad for a term during your second year which I will be doing during 3rd term this year.

Tina (Nov 29, 2007 1:30:09 PM)
Thanks Liz.

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:30:12 PM)
Grant what does GATE stands for? Who pays for the international trips? It must be expensive.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:30:26 PM)
Way To Go: Well, honestly...an interview is one way you can demonstrate an interest in our program. I would strongly encourage you to interview if you have the opportunity to do so - especially if you live in the U.S. I realize it's not easy for everyone to come to campus but I do believe it is worth the visit.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:30:43 PM)
Liz: How is hiring going this year? We know that last year was a great recruiting year. How does this year compare? Are any sectors particularly active?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:31:39 PM)
I think one of the strengths of Duke is that you truly get a generalist education but with the opportunity to specialize if you want to. That is why I chose to come here. I could get a concentration in finance but since I have finance experience and am going back into finance I want to study other things while I am here so I will probably do my concentration in strategy. There is no best field in my opinion.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:31:45 PM)
Linda: The information we've received from our career management center indicates another strong recruiting year. The number of companies visiting Duke this year is up as well as the number of students who have received offers from their summer internships. Good news all around!

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:32:30 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: What are your favorite classes? Who are the best "profs"?

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:33:44 PM)
Liz, are you feeling any fallout from the credit crunch?

Suresh (Nov 29, 2007 1:33:55 PM)
Grant - Thanks a lot for sharing about GATE. 

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:35:06 PM)
GATE stands for Global Academic Travel Experience. Students do pay for the trips they are usually around $3000-$5000 depending on where you go. You can apply for additional financial aid to cover them. That cost includes all airfare, hotels, transportation, and some meals. Plus you get 3 credits for the course. In my opinion (I've done two) totally worth it.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:35:10 PM)
Most businesses are still hiring for long term planning so we've not seen a drop off in the number of hires.

BMW (Nov 29, 2007 1:35:16 PM)
Liz: I heard more than half of international students can't find job till now, but the campus recruiting is almost ending, could you talk about this?

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:35:46 PM)
Grant can you elaborate how Fuqua finance program is great. Is it faculty or anything else? Can you be specific here?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:36:29 PM)
My favorite classes here to date are marketing communications, power and politics, financial statement analysis, and the list goes on. Because there are 8-6 week terms over 2 years- you have the opportunity to take a number of interesting and stimulating classes. My favorite professor has been Gavin Fitzsimmons- who teaches the CORE marketing class. He has this unbelievable energy and even those who aren't interested in marketing were able to walk away with a sound understanding of how marketing is applicable to all industries.

08Aspirant (Nov 29, 2007 1:37:09 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: What do you think about the quarter system? Was this a factor for you when you chose Fuqua? Do you think the system adequately prepares you for your post-MBA career and beyond?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:39:23 PM)
BMW: I'm afraid I don't know the exact placement figures for our international students right now. The H1B visa situation here in the U.S. makes it difficult for ALL business schools. Our Career Management Center has developed a proprietary database called H1Blue Devil to assist international students with their job search process. It has been very helpful to students. Hopefully new legislation will enable more work authorizations. It is a difficult position to be in since we can not control what happens.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:40:07 PM)
I personally love the term system we have here. It allows you the opportunity to get an introduction to a particular subject matter and if you find you are interested in a particular field you have the opportunity to take a number of electives that help build your knowledge base. I do feel like it adequately prepares for the business world at large because the business world is fast paced as you know and you need to be able to leverage several skill sets and adapt to change.

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:40:07 PM)
There are lots of good profs but I'll just give you a couple of tidbits on some of my favorites: Shane - very active with the students and frequently attends social events. Makes a point to know every student by name... He received teacher of the year last year. My section only gave two standing ovations last year one was Shane, the other was Dr. V who teaches core accounting and believe it or not can actually make that subject interesting and entertaining. Fabulous sense of humor and very effective teaching style.

Tina (Nov 29, 2007 1:40:32 PM)
Grant, I want to experience the full breadth of Duke's international program. Besides GATE and study abroad, what else can I take advantage of from a global/international perspective?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:41:33 PM)
Hi Tina- you can take advantage of a global/international perspective by talking with your classmates here.  People come from a variety of backgrounds and have a lot of share about doing business from an international standpoint.

Ron (Nov 29, 2007 1:41:35 PM)
Kim, Liz and Grant, thanks for taking your time to answer our questions. A quick question - I am a Navy pilot far from home, and really have not had the time to visit Duke. Do you have any insights about how "friendly" Duke is to military applicants and what you look for in them (beyond the usual GPA and GMAT numbers)?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:41:49 PM)
I like the quarter system, it lets you get a good understanding of all the core topics with the flexibility to choose more electives to explore areas where you want a deeper understanding.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:42:46 PM)
Ron: Duke is a very military friendly school! In fact, we've just begun an Armed Forces club at Fuqua this year. What I've found over the years is that our military applications do a great job of demonstrating leadership and have many valuable contributions to make to the Fuqua community.

M (Nov 29, 2007 1:43:02 PM)
Liz: Sorry if this is a repeat, but I'm interested in Fuqua's view on people with less than average work experience. I have heard that there is a trend to admit more early-career applicants in top programs; is this true with Duke? I will have 21 months by the time the program starts; what would you look for to overcome this below average experience?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:43:54 PM)
Tina, there are several way. First 40% of your classmates are international so there are always diverse perspectives in the classroom and group setting. I am also taking specific courses like international strategy and Mandarin (other languages are offered). International cases are woven throughout the curriculum. On the personal side I could have taken my job offer in Hong Kong.

Suresh (Nov 29, 2007 1:44:15 PM)
Kimberly and Grant: I have a specific interest in the area of "Managing a growing company under entrepreneurial settings". Please suggest to me whether Duke has specific courses in this area. How do I get more information?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:46:15 PM)
M: We recognize that everyone's work experience will not be equal when they arrive at Fuqua - and that's ok. It is the quality of your experience that is evaluated, not the quantity of experience. The range of experience at Fuqua is 0 - 20 years. There are many students who have the ability to make a valuable contribution after 2 years. It varies by individual. If you can articulate what your contribution to your classmates will be and how an MBA will help you meet your career goals, then you may be ready to apply to business school.

shiloh (Nov 29, 2007 1:46:27 PM)
Liz: Will an on-campus interview that is conducted after the R1 deadline be considered with a R1 application?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:46:54 PM)
Shiloh: Interviews for round 1 must be completed by December 3rd.

Kris (Nov 29, 2007 1:46:59 PM)
Liz, Do you give special/less attention to reapplicants?

GrantNewmanFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:47:18 PM)
An earlier question asked about our Finance program. Part of it is the structure that I touched on briefly (6-week classes/ electives) the other part is the profs: e.g. John Graham (famous for the CEO survey), David Robinson - entrepreneurial finance - excellent teacher with great contact in the field.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:48:49 PM)
Kris: No, I wouldn't say that we give less attention to reapplicants. If you are a reapplicant, I would definitely encourage you to apply early though. Our focus when reviewing reapplicants is on the ways in which you've become "better" since your last application.

Suresh (Nov 29, 2007 1:48:55 PM)
Kimberly and Grant - As I understand from several students, Duke has a great breadth and depth of courses/electives. I am interested to know some of the unique General Management courses offered at Duke but not in any other top B-schools. Can you please mention a few you have come across?

cylusp (Nov 29, 2007 1:49:07 PM)
Hi guys, can anyone tell me a little more about CASE experience, I've heard that it is a kind of entrepreneur competition?

Kris (Nov 29, 2007 1:49:42 PM)
Thanks for your responses, Liz and Kimberly.

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:49:45 PM)
Thanks Grant for providing details on the Finance Program. I come from IB industry so it looks exciting to me.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:49:47 PM)
Suresh: As far as entrepreneurial businesses...We have a great entrepreneurial program here that includes courses like entr. finance, real estate entr., entr. implementation and strategy, and several others. We also have mentored study programs with local entrepreneurial programs.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:49:56 PM)
Cylsup, if you visit http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/centers/case/about/ you will learn more about the case program here at Duke.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:51:24 PM)
Grant is going to need to leave on the hour, but Kimberly and Liz can extend for ten minutes.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:51:26 PM)
I have never compared our course offerings with that of other schools. However if you want to learn about the numerous classes offered at Fuqua please visit http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/courses/listings/

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:51:41 PM)
There are still questions in queue and I will attempt to get through as many as possible.  Thank you to Grant for his participation.

ankur seth (Nov 29, 2007 1:52:46 PM)
Liz: Though Interviews are not considered an essential, most people admitted have had their interviews, so in case we don't get an interview call should we consider it as a negative sign? If no, till when can one expect the interview call (I have already applied in the first cycle, so am waiting).

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:53:48 PM)
Ankur: No, it is not necessarily a negative if you don't get the interview invitation. We are still in the process of identifying the candidates we will interview.

Kris (Nov 29, 2007 1:53:55 PM)
Liz, What is your advice for reapplicants?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:54:09 PM)
Kris: 1 - apply early.  2 - really go through your application to identify points to clarify and ways in which you might be able to strengthen your essays.  Kris: 3 - use the essays as a way to differentiate yourself from the applicant pool. What's different about you? For some candidates it may not be your work experience it, it may be other aspects of your background.

cylusp (Nov 29, 2007 1:54:23 PM)
Thanks for the responses.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:54:54 PM)
From what I have seen there are a number of companies that recruit from the pharma/biotech sector. I have a number of friends pursing a job in the industry and they have all participated in the HSM. To learn more about this program please visit. http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/health/.

Suresh (Nov 29, 2007 1:55:13 PM)
Thank you Grant for spending time for us.

TonyH (Nov 29, 2007 1:55:25 PM)
Thank you for the response.

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:55:39 PM)
Liz: Will part time business along with a full time job come under professional career or personal extra curricular activity? Also I feel its good idea to take a third recommendation from my part time business mentor. Comments please.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:56:15 PM)
Kimberly: 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 return to academia?

Kris (Nov 29, 2007 1:56:24 PM)
Thanks again, Liz.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:57:02 PM)
JB: You can include part time business experience in with your full time work experience -just make sure you explain it. While I wouldn't recommend 10 additional recommendations, if you think a third can provide valuable insight that is NOT addressed in the initial two recommendations, then a third is acceptable.

vishal (Nov 29, 2007 1:57:17 PM)
Liz: I am a re-applicant and my essays are much better compared to last year. Are the older essays also read through again ?

cylusp (Nov 29, 2007 1:57:39 PM)
Kimberly: I heard about the health sector management program and I wanted know what kind of interactions/support do you have with Duke medical school ?

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:57:42 PM)
Vishal: The older essays are still part of your file, but we will begin our evaluation using the new essays.

Varun (Nov 29, 2007 1:57:56 PM)
Liz: How do you look at poor undergraduate grades from a top program? Especially for younger candidates with 3 years of experience?

JB (Nov 29, 2007 1:58:33 PM)
Thanks Liz, that answers my question.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 1:59:02 PM)
Liz: When you are evaluating applications and the numbers are in the ballpark, what puts one applicant in the admit pile, and others in the rejected or waitlisted piles?

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:59:05 PM)
I took a calculus course over the summer to prepare myself for getting back into academia. I have found that a number of my classmates took classes in either accounting or stats to prepare themselves for business school since they had not studied business in undergrad. The one thing I wish I had done prior to starting school was take more time off from my job prior to moving to school. They also offer a math bootcamp which I would recommend as well.

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 1:59:56 PM)
I am honestly not sure the level of interaction that HSM has with the medical school, but feel free to email them directly at hsm@fuqua.duke.edu to found out more.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 2:00:09 PM)
Varun: Hmmm... poor grades from a top program? Tricky question. The committee will review any trends in your undergraduate grades and we'll be looking for evidence of academic success. If you have sub par undergraduate grades, it would be good for you to explain why you think your grades were sub-par. In addition, you could take a few additional classes that would demonstrate your ability to succeed academically at Duke.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 2:02:30 PM)
Linda: It is tough for an applicant to differentiate themselves in a competitive applicant pool. Those who have been successful really do a great job of showing why they want to come to Duke, what they will contribute to their classmates and how their experiences might be different and unique. Many times the differentiators are not work related factors, they are experiences and challenges they've had outside of their professional careers. Hope this helps.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 2:01:00 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Liz, Grant, & Kimberly for joining us today.  We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

  • INSEAD: Dec. 3 
  • Consortium: Dec. 11 
  • London Business School: Dec 12

Please check the Web site for details and exact time, because we are varying our chat times this year to facilitate attendance from applicants in different time zones.  Good luck with your applications!

KimberlyRadfordFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 2:01:56 PM)
Best of luck to all of you!

JB (Nov 29, 2007 2:02:20 PM)
Thanks Linda, Liz, Kimberley and Grant.

ankur seth (Nov 29, 2007 2:02:22 PM)
Thanks all, especially Linda for this great forum.

Linda Abraham (Nov 29, 2007 2:02:27 PM)
You're most welcome.

LizRileyHargroveFUQUA (Nov 29, 2007 2:04:21 PM)
Thanks to all of you for joining our chat. Please feel free to contact the admissions office at admissions-info@duke.edu if you have other questions.

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