2008 Michigan Ross Part Time MBA Admissions Chat with Jim Hayes
2008 Michigan Ross Part Time MBA Admissions Chat with Jim Hayes
(Apr 15, 2008 5:59:00 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 University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. It is critical to your decision 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 extend a special welcome to the Ross representatives who have taken the time to meet with us today.
Admissions - Jim Hayes, Senior Associate Director of Admissions
Office of Career Development - Pyper Alpern, Assistant Director, Recruiting
Academic Services - Evonne Plantinga, Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid and Academic Services
Marwan, while I complete the introduction, could you please tell us a little about yourself. What’s your ‘day job’? What do you want to do with your MBA? Why did you choose a part-time program over the full-time program?
For all of the Ross Participants, when do you recommend a part-time MBA and when do you recommend a full-time MBA?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:01:38 PM)
Hi All, my name is Marwan Rateb, I work for Ford as a Project Manager. I've been at Ford around 6 years, and started my Evening MBA in January of 2005. I chose the part-time program partially because I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do, and I liked the flexibility of the program.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:02:02 PM)
I would not recommend one over the other. It depends on each individual's circumstances and what ever else she/he is balancing.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:02:40 PM)
Each student has to consider his/her own family and/or financial constraints in that choice.We offer the same faculty to both programs but each has its own timelines and attractions.
David Coe (Apr 15, 2008 6:03:13 PM)
Evonne: What is the typical time commitment for an evening student (hours per week)?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:03:15 PM)
I agree w/ Jim & Evonne. It depends on your personal situation.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:03:43 PM)
David, Typically take two classes in a full term, meeting one night a week each (7-10 PM EG).
Assume 2 hrs of homework for each hour of class.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:03:57 PM)
Jim, if you are looking at an application and the numbers & basic profile are in the ballpark for a Ross student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?
snitban (Apr 15, 2008 6:04:19 PM)
Yvonne: could someone give me information about MBA courses, starting in early 2009,
(Apr 15, 2008 6:04:33 PM)
Pyper, how is hiring going so far this year? Can part-time MBA students use the Office of Career Development?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:05:01 PM)
Snitban, sure...but that's a very broad question. On www.bus.umich.edu , click on Academics; and then the left side bar has a link to course descriptions.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:05:29 PM)
Linda, In many cases, career focus and the quality of the work experience can make the difference in being accepted or denied. We also view the input from recommenders as being important to making a difference in situations where the decision is not so clear cut.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:05:42 PM)
Evonne: et al: How do some of the learning resources at the satellite locations (Dearborn, Southfield, etc.) compare to what is available in Ann Arbor?
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:05:53 PM)
Jim: Does applying early for Eve MBA improve the chances like Full-Time Program (which has 2-3 rounds)?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:06:20 PM)
Ryan, Dearborn and Southfield lack the Ross Library and the Tozzi Center (but you knew that)...
(Apr 15, 2008 6:06:28 PM)
Marwan, how are you handling the juggling of full-time work and evening MBA?
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:06:40 PM)
Linda, Our Office of Career Development has two sides -- counseling and recruiting. Evening students are welcome to see the counseling side at any point during their MBA. They may only recruit during the fall preceding their graduation.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:06:53 PM)
Ryan, More opportunities for student mingling at AA, but classroom infrastructure sound at satellite locations.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:07:04 PM)
Pyper, are there any restrictions for sponsored students?
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:07:21 PM)
Singh, applying earlier than the published deadline does not make a difference in the Evening MBA program. We have two intake cycles in the Evening program vs. one for the full time program. Even in the full time program, applying early for one of the individual cycles will not provide an advantage over those applicants who apply on the deadline date.
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:07:56 PM)
Linda, none for students recruiting for full-time positions.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:08:06 PM)
Linda, It varies from week to week. Since I started the program, my weekends have been very hectic and my lunchtimes are spent studying or doing homework. It really depends on the course and what is going on at work. It is a lot of work, but if you prioritize and manage your time well, it is very doable and a lot of fun.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:08:39 PM)
Jim: What 3 qualities do you want to see in applicants before you will admit them to the evening program?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:08:53 PM)
Marwan, Why did you choose Ross?
Nicole (Apr 15, 2008 6:09:48 PM)
Jim: Please advise how to fully utilize the employment history section of the application if you have only worked full time at one company... but maybe have held many different positions.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:10:31 PM)
Pyper: Are you seeing a decline in recruiting among financial institutions as a result of the sub-prime fall-out?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:10:44 PM)
Linda, I chose Ross because of the portability of the degree. Ross has alumni all over the planet and the reputation of the school is great, and having access to the rest of U of M's resources is a great opportunity. It really is the best school in the area and I wanted to be part of the best.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:10:56 PM)
Linda, the same qualities that we value in the full time program are valued in making admissions decisions for the evening program: intellectual capacity (the ability to learn), team work (the ability to teach), "fit" (how you will contribute to the community, and interpersonal skills (how our recruiters will view you).
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:10:58 PM)
Nicole -- I can help on this question. Treat each successive role at your company as a "new" position, then list your enhanced responsibilities with each advancement.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:11:18 PM)
Evonne, do part time MBA students also participate in a Multi-disciplinary Action Project?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:11:49 PM)
Jim: How does application volume this year compare to last year’s?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:12:10 PM)
Marwan, what do you like best at Ross? What would you like to see improved?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:12:24 PM)
Linda, short answer NO -- not a mandated MAP project. This is because our evening students are working and cannot free up 7 weeks! Many evening student do participate in a 4-week elective class very similar,
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:12:26 PM)
Nicole, if you have only had one employer but several positions within that company, you should only make one entry in the employment history section. The resume should provide your progression up the ranks in that company.
Tom Poznick (Apr 15, 2008 6:13:06 PM)
Marwan: Do you travel for business? Does it ever interfere with your MBA commitments?
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:13:23 PM)
Linda, Application volume to the evening MBA program is up slightly year to year -- commendable in a difficult economy.
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:13:33 PM)
Linda, we still have a large number of financial institutions coming to recruit here at Ross and a large number of students accepting positions at financial institutions. Any downturn in the numbers would be very slight. I hesitate to comment on how the downturn in the financial sector may affect recruiting for newly admitted Evening students, however, due to the length of time between now and the time these students will be actively involved in recruiting.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:14:27 PM)
Evonne, how long do most students take to complete the evening MBA?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:14:49 PM)
Tom, regarding travel-related absences from classes: Different instructors handle this differently, as you'd expect. Always work with the faculty...and in a few classes, too many absences are just not allowed. Others have more flexibility.
Our average time to complete the degree is right around 3.5 to 4.0 years. We allow up to 10 years!
(Apr 15, 2008 6:15:20 PM)
That's pretty flexible!
(Apr 15, 2008 6:15:32 PM)
Linda, I like my classmates and professors the most. The quality of the student body and the diversity of our experience is a great asset, also having access to the faculty on the cutting edge of their fields is very educational. The facilities can use some improvement, but the new building should be up and running next winter, so that may be a moot point. I also dislike the lack of courses in the spring/summer, but as part of the Evening MBA Association we are working with the school to help have more offerings.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:15:46 PM)
Linda, Average time directly relates to each student's situation, and some students have found ways to temporarily reduce work load and accelerate their course load.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:16:17 PM)
For all of you, other than the obvious differences in length and time commitment, what are the differences between the part-time and full-time MBA at Ross?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:17:02 PM)
Marwan is correct in that Spring and Summer terms have the lightest course offerings...issue is finding faculty available...and students sometimes have less predictable enrollment opportunities then.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:17:16 PM)
Tom, I do not travel for work, however I have friends who travel quite a bit while in the program. It depends on the Professor. But they are usually quite accommodating if you need to miss a couple of classes. Of course you can't miss too many, but in general the professors are quite flexible and understanding of out work obligations.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:17:46 PM)
Linda, faculty find the Evening MBA students much more dedicated to their studies -- the students have consciously chosen to add on this responsibility rather than leave work to focus much more on work.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:17:51 PM)
Linda, the full time MBA program is more of an immersion experience. Students are studying either alone or in groups for a good chunk of the day. They have no other priorities competing for their time other than school. Evening students have to be able to balance family, work, school, social life, etc. so the challenges are greater.
Liz (Apr 15, 2008 6:17:52 PM)
Jim: How would you feel about a student who was only about 4 years out of college and happened to have a single failing grade in a freshman writing class their first semester freshman year at a different college than they eventually got their degree from? If the student had averaged a 3.5 for the rest of their 7 semesters at a new school, would this failing grade be an issue?
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:19:28 PM)
Yvonne: If travel is unavoidable and you've already missed some classes, are there any online offerings as a last resort?
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:19:41 PM)
Liz, one failing grade would not keep a person out of our program, especially if the optional essay explained what caused the failure. The GPA is what it is! It is never going to change. What you did previously is less important than what you did next! So a higher GMAT, solid work experience, great recommendations and strong essays take the failing grade out of play.
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:19:50 PM)
Linda, from a recruiting standpoint, many of the Evening MBA students have more work experience than the typical day student, making some of the jobs offered during on-campus recruiting a poor fit. There are many opportunities, however, for networking at company presentations and other events. Evening students with more experience will frequently use these networking opportunities to secure positions at companies at a higher level than the typical MBA entry-level jobs offered via on-campus interviewing.
Nicole (Apr 15, 2008 6:20:08 PM)
Jim: Please explain the "Interview by Invitation" aspect of the application. Should you consider yourself on the cusp of getting in if you are extended an interview? Conversely, should I be worried if you haven't been contacted for an interview?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:20:15 PM)
Ryan, Ross does not offer any online courses. Most evening students are able to anticipate travel for each term and plan accordingly.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:20:31 PM)
Linda, regarding the differences between the Day and Evening - Full time allows you to have the MAP as well as internship recruiting, however I don't know how they find the time to learn the material since the day students start networking/recruiting before the first day of classes. The evening is more flexible from a time perspective, and while we cannot participate in MAP, we have an IDP (Inter-disciplinary Projects Course) and you can search for an internship outside the system if you desire. It is the same degree either way.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:20:47 PM)
Marwan, What’s been your not-to-be missed class/professor?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:20:50 PM)
Ryan, some evening students who travel are able to get back to Ann Arbor for weekend-intensive classes.
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:21:37 PM)
Jim: Are the chances of acceptance greater when applying in Fall or they remain the same for winter admissions as well?
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:22:13 PM)
Nicole, we do interviews by invitation only to build efficiency into the process. There was a time when we interviewed anyone who applied. We were interviewing people who had little chance of admission. If you are invited for an interview, that is a good thing. It does not guarantee admission, but it means that you are being carefully considered.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:22:27 PM)
What do each of you view as Ross part time MBA's' strengths?
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:23:23 PM)
Flexibility to accommodate each individual's personal situation while obtaining a top-notch education.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:23:27 PM)
One key strength is the flexibility for each student to determine speed through program and series of taking the classes.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:24:08 PM)
Singh, the chances of admission do not vary much based on whether you are applying for the winter or the fall term. We generally receive more applications in the spring for fall starts, but if you submit a high quality application you will have an excellent shot at admission for either cycle.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:24:10 PM)
Linda, I'd also say the dedication of our faculty. One regularly invites the whole class to his home for dinner.
David Coe (Apr 15, 2008 6:24:23 PM)
Jim: What is the time frame for interviews for fall?
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:24:35 PM)
Evonne: For Evening MBA does one need to have more years of work experience compared to full-time program?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:24:46 PM)
Marwan, What is your biggest take-away so far from Michigan?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:25:00 PM)
Linda, I think it depends on what you are interested in pursuing. I think most students agree that Profs. Ahuja and Karnani's strategy courses are great. Prof. Caprioni's Management and Organization classes and Prof. DeSimplare's Accounting classes are not to be missed!
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:25:56 PM)
Singh -- while Jim may augment my answer, I would lean to saying no...we look for leadership and initiative in the work you have done. We recognize that you will grow in your professional career while spending 2.5, 3+ years with us.....
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:26:13 PM)
David Coe, With a May 15th application deadline, we should be ready to begin interviews in early June.
Liz (Apr 15, 2008 6:26:33 PM)
Jim: Are applicants expected to submit transcripts from study abroad institutions (credits were granted by my home university)?
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:26:50 PM)
Marwan: Has anyone taken any entrepreneur-related classes? If so, were they valuable?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:27:09 PM)
Linda, my biggest take away from Michigan so far has been that anything is possible. I have had so many excellent experiences at Ross that I never even expected.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:27:44 PM)
Ryan -- Evening MBAs regularly take ES courses...and an Evening MBA won the Dare to Dream $10K award recently to start her own business.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:27:56 PM)
Liz, we ask that you submit transcripts from all of your studies. Even if the credits are granted by your home university, we would like to see the study abroad transcript with the grade earned.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:28:00 PM)
Linda, I had a friend who took one of the entrepreneurial classes and started a business from it. If it is something that interests you they are definitely useful.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:28:02 PM)
Jim - You bring up a good point about the immersion experience of full time versus part time. Since evening students are balancing more, doesn't it make sense for the evening classes to focus on group work even more? Or are they the same as the full time classes?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:28:42 PM)
Ryan -- evening classes have no more or less group work than the daytime students/classes.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:29:37 PM)
Marwan, would you please answer Ryan's last question. I think a student's perspective would be helpful here.
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:29:53 PM)
If one has done both Bachelors and Masters, which transcripts are accepted?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:30:31 PM)
Singh..we require all transcripts where credit was given.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:32:24 PM)
Besides the Evening MBA Association, what other organizations are available to students?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:32:43 PM)
Ryan, I think group work depends on the specific course. There is a significant amount of group work in the evening classes, however I don't feel that it is any more or less than in the day classes I have taken. Group work can be very time consuming and difficult to coordinate with full time schedules, however it is very rewarding. Did that answer your question Ryan?
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:33:33 PM)
Yes, thank you!
(Apr 15, 2008 6:33:34 PM)
Ryan, Evening MBA students can join any other club at Ross and other clubs at the University. I think you are limited by the time you are able to commit, although I think the clubs are a very valuable part of the Ross experience.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:34:06 PM)
Marwan, Do you have advice for prospective MBA's that may make their transition back to being a student easier?
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:34:35 PM)
Ryan, there is a group called the Evening MBA Ambassadors. They assist us with Evening MBA recruiting and counseling. You could also participate in business plan competitions like Dare to Dream. Just about anything that you could join in the full time program is available to you as an evening student. The only limitation is the amount of flexibility you have at work!
(Apr 15, 2008 6:35:25 PM)
Linda, I would recommend enjoying yourself before you start school up again because it is very hectic juggling work & school, and also plan to come to school with an open mind and be ready to get involved. It will make the experience that much more rewarding.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:36:16 PM)
Linda, others recommend that Evening students have a great working agreement with their significant other/spouse re sharing responsibilities, as the student quickly gets very busy.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:36:36 PM)
For the panel, is there anything you think prospective students should know about the part-time MBA experience at Ross?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:37:11 PM)
Linda, many of our Evening students come with a Masters degree already earned, and believe the MBA will be similar to that experience.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:37:52 PM)
One major thing to keep in mind is that the full time program and the part time program share faculty, facilities, curriculum, and grant the same MBA degree!
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:37:53 PM)
In fact, the collaborative, action-based nature of classes mean that the time commitment and engagement is much greater than previously experienced in many Masters program. Students are typically amazed and excited about the strengths of their fellow students.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:38:48 PM)
Linda, I think one thing prospective students don't realize is how great the students, faculty and facilities at Ross are. I think Evonne & Jim stole my thunder on this one.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:38:51 PM)
Students set a high bar for each class, for the instructor but also each other.
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:39:35 PM)
Employers place a great value on evening students. They appreciate the students' ability to balance work and school.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:40:52 PM)
What percentage of classes are taught by teaching assistants as opposed to actual professors? How accessible are the professors?
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:41:41 PM)
Ryan..we do not have "teaching assistants" teach at all (thinking you mean PhD students, here). All our instructors are incredibly accessible.
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:41:47 PM)
Can Evening MBA be effective as Full-Time Program for switching careers?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:42:15 PM)
Ryan, I've never had a Teaching Assistant. All classes I've had have been taught by full Professors. All the Professors I've had have been very accessible either via e-mail or in person and they're flexible to meet with you outside their office hours. Some of them also come to student events.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:42:16 PM)
All our classes use an online Michigan resource called C Tools. Faculty can post discussions, PowerPoint slides, etc there.
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:43:10 PM)
Singh, yes, we have many Evening students who choose to switch careers and do so successfully. We are planning to hire two new staff career counselors this year, one of whom will focus, among a few other student groups, on Evening students.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:43:37 PM)
Networking is a huge focus for MBA students, and I'm hoping for some international exposure... Does the evening MBA have any international opportunities? How diverse is the evening student body?
(Apr 15, 2008 6:44:05 PM)
Singh, I think it depends what you want to go into and how motivated you are. If you are interested in Investment Banking or Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing, then being a day student is easier for switching careers, although there are plenty of Evening students who switched into those careers. Otherwise, I haven't noticed a difference.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:44:16 PM)
Piggybacking on Ryan's question, do most student come from the auto industry? Manufacturing?
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:44:44 PM)
Ryan, the international career opportunities are the same for Evening MBAs as for day students.
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:45:13 PM)
Ryan, Re international exposure and Evening MBA experience. Truth be told, the fulltime program will get students from around the world -- literally --- while the evening program has students with varying backgrounds but now located in our region.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:45:30 PM)
Linda, I think the last time the Evening MBA Association sent out a student survey, I think around 60% or so of respondents were from the auto industry, however there are a lot of entrepreneurs, marketers and even MDs in the evening program. Taking classes in Ann Arbor, you meet more of the non-auto students.
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:45:45 PM)
Ryan, there is a lot of diversity in the program along several dimensions. Our class profile on the web site indicates that 19% of our staff are international. There is also diversity in their backgrounds.
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Jim, Pyper, Evonne, and Marwan .We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:
If you would like to automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA event list at http://www.accepted.com/chat/subscribe.aspx#MBA_Admissions .
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:47:45 PM)
Last question!! Since all of U of M's campuses are so close to the Big Three, is it an advantage to be from a different sector of business?
Singh (Apr 15, 2008 6:47:49 PM)
Thanks a lot ...the information was invaluable
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:47:56 PM)
Thanks to all of you for your participation. Please feel free to let your friends know about the Evening MBA program at Ross! Ryan, we value diversity. If you come from outside the auto industry it could be helpful -- dependent upon some of the other things we have discussed this evening.
Ryan (Apr 15, 2008 6:49:33 PM)
(Thanks Jim) Thanks everyone - this was a big help.
Nicole (Apr 15, 2008 6:49:38 PM)
Thank you, this has been extremely helpful!
EvonnePlantingaROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:50:00 PM)
Glad we could help!
JimHayesROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:50:11 PM)
PyperAlpernROSS (Apr 15, 2008 6:50:16 PM)
Best of luck to you all.
(Apr 15, 2008 6:50:22 PM)
Good Luck All!
(Apr 15, 2008 6:50:33 PM)