2009 Michigan Ross MBA Admissions Chat with Soojin Kwon Koh
2009 Michigan Ross MBA Admissions Chat with Soojin Kwon Koh
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Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 11:57:38 AM)
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.
• Soojin Kwon Koh, Director of Admissions
• Kimberli Keller, Associate Director of Admissions
• Zach Beiser, Ross Class of ‘09
• Mike Zarrilli
Zach and Mike, could you please tell us a little about yourselves? What did you do before you entered Ross? Over the summer? What do you want to do with your MBA?
Now it’s your turn. Please post your questions.
vivek97 (Aug 20, 2008 12:00:04 PM)
Hi Soojin.. How many people from India do you take a year on an average?
ahembeea (Aug 20, 2008 12:00:27 PM)
Zach and Mike: Hello Ross team, can you please tell us in what ways do the students at Ross co-create their MBA experience, apart from MAP ? How exactly is action based learning a core feature of Ross ?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:00:36 PM)
Hi Vivek - we don't have a set number of admits from any region. It varies from year to year based on the applicant pool.
ross_geller (Aug 20, 2008 12:00:39 PM)
Kimberli: As a result of the global slowdown, is Ross looking at increased size of applicant pool and do you foresee a more competitive admission process?
winnie (Aug 20, 2008 12:01:06 PM)
Soojin: I have a question about the working experience: How many years experience is preferred by Ross?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:01:49 PM)
Mike Zarrilli, Class of '09 - Prior to school I was at Deloitte Consulting for 4 years doing Strategy & Operational consulting. At school, I have had a strong desire to enter into the airline industry. Over the summer I joined Booz & Company in their airline practice. In addition, I worked at a hedge fund in NYC.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:02:16 PM)
Hi All, I am a 2nd year MBA student from Israel. Before business school I was working as a software engineer for 5 years. I spent my summer at Microsoft working as a product manager intern.
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:02:47 PM)
Ross: It's difficult to predict what each admissions cycle will be like, but it is a general trend that economic slowdown results in more people returning to school. We'll have to see where this year takes us.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:02:49 PM)
Winnie - the average has been about 5; the range is typically between 2 - 10 years. The length of time is not as important as the quality of the work experience. Some folks are able to make an impact and advance in their careers sooner than others. Some have an opportunity for higher levels of responsibility early in their careers. So we take a look at what applicants have done in their jobs, not just how long they've been working.
Vasudha (Aug 20, 2008 12:02:59 PM)
Kimberli: What kind of alumni networks do you have in governmental agencies like UNESCO, UN, IMF etc?
Aravind (Aug 20, 2008 12:03:22 PM)
Soojin: How do the institutes and research centers contribute to the academic curriculum? Do the institutes offer certain electives or the institutes offer separate stream of courses?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:04:29 PM)
Hi Vasudha. We have alumni in all industries across the globe, but I couldn't be that specific off the top of my head.
ross_geller (Aug 20, 2008 12:04:40 PM)
Kimberli: What percentage of students applied for financial aid and what percentage of those who applied got some aid?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:05:35 PM)
Ahembeea - In response to action based learning, it is at the core of everything you do at the school. For example, in the classroom you are constantly working in teams with your classmates and outside the classroom, there are numerous opportunities to gain real life experience. An example of this in the Wolverine Venture Fund, which invests REAL money in start-up companies. In addition to that, there is the community consulting experience, which pairs teams of students with local non-profits to improve their business.
Shobhit (Aug 20, 2008 12:05:51 PM)
Hey Mike... I hear a lot about "Action-based Learning" and most of the time, the answer revolves around MAP.. Other than MAP, what else constitutes the Action-based learning approach?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:06:19 PM)
Ross--A majority of our students applies for and receives some form of financial aid.
Rick (Aug 20, 2008 12:06:38 PM)
Kimberli: When reviewing resumes, are there certain areas of experience that you are looking for (leadership, teamwork, involvement in the community, etc) that would stand out in an application?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:07:17 PM)
Aravind: The institutes and centers offer a variety of opportunities for students - both curricular and extracurricular. All contribute MAP projects in their various domains, many offer summer internships or will provide financial support for non-traditional internships. The Entrepreneurship Institute (ZLI) offers case competitions, business plan competitions, seed money for start-ups and venture fund opportunities; Erb (sustainability) influences our courses, brings in speakers, and has a joint degree with Natural Resources; Nonprofit offers a board fellowship program. There are many more opportunities - you can check them out on each institute's website. Link here: http://www.bus.umich.edu/FacultyResearch/ResearchCenters .
Syreeta (Aug 20, 2008 12:07:26 PM)
Soojin: What are the best ways for someone interested in applying to a dual degree program to get more information about the other school? (Education, etc.)
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:08:37 PM)
Rick, we definitely take a holistic approach to looking at all aspects of the application, including the resume. That said, we certainly are looking for evidence of leadership and teamwork ability, alongside a number of other factors.
Chintan (Aug 20, 2008 12:08:48 PM)
Kimberli: How do you divide the admissions in the different rounds? Is it favorable to apply in a specific round or all rounds are treated equally?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:08:54 PM)
Syreeta - first, you should check out each program's website. I'd also encourage you to connect with a current student who is pursuing a similar dual degree. Many of our student ambassadors are pursuing dual degrees or can connect you with one of their classmates who is pursuing one: http://www.bus.umich.edu/Admissions/Mba/Tours/ambassadors.htm .
Aswani (Aug 20, 2008 12:08:59 PM)
Soojin, what constitutes an ideal demonstration of leadership skills in the Ross application?
jprintzian (Aug 20, 2008 12:10:41 PM)
Mike or Zach: Can you please give us some example MAP projects and how they helped develop your leadership?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:10:44 PM)
Aswani - leadership comes in many different forms and through many different situations. It can be through work and/or extracurricular activities. It is less about what your title or position in an organization is and more about the impact you've had on an organization.
TinaHTFeng (Aug 20, 2008 12:11:40 PM)
This question is for Mike and Zach - What made you choose Ross as the school to obtain your MBA?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:11:53 PM)
Jprintzian: As mentioned, the "action-based learning" component can be found in numerous parts of the Ross MBA. Examples include the Frankel Fund, Wolverine Venture Fund, Community Consulting, etc. The core of action based learning is real-life experience and MAP is the centerpiece, but opportunities for these experiences are abundant at Ross
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:12:19 PM)
Jprintzian - in regards to MAP, mike and I were on the same MAP team, working for a Brazilian petrochemical company, assessing the Chinese market and coming up with a market entry strategy for them.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:12:28 PM)
Currently, the incoming class' GMAT average is at 706. The middle 80% is at 650 - 760. The number isn't final yet since classes have yet started. But it will likely stay in that range.
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 12:12:58 PM)
Soojin: How much of an importance is paid by the school to an applicant's involvement in social bodies and charity organizations? Is one at a disadvantage if one has not been involved in some sort of social work?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:13:12 PM)
Chintan: We always encourage candidates to apply when they can submit their best application. All things being equal, it is to your advantage to apply early because our new process will provide multiple reviews for waitlisted applicants. In other words, if you are waitlisted in Round 1, we will consider your application again in Rounds 2 and 3. Similarly, your application would be reviewed again in Round 2 for scholarship consideration.
DanH (Aug 20, 2008 12:13:28 PM)
Kimberli: My background is abnormal. For starters, I have more experience than most applicants do - 6 years already, but (because my wife and I have committed to serving in the Peace Corps from 2009-2011) I'll have 9 years experience by the time I enroll. And, by that time, I will have changed employers and industries three times. Between promotions and my desire to be helpful, I've filled multiple roles at each stop - scheduling production, managing inventory, running projects, analyzing finances, teaching computer skills, collecting logistics data, planning large R&D demonstrations, updating accounting procedures, talking with customers, helping secure new business. What issues do my age and non-standard experience raise with the admissions committee? How would you like to see them addressed?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:13:29 PM)
Last year's class had an average GMAT of 700.
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:13:42 PM)
Atypical may be a better word than abnormal, Dan.
An (Aug 20, 2008 12:13:59 PM)
Soojin: Hello. I would like to know whether I need to send my transcript evaluation report via ECE with the application.
Allison (Aug 20, 2008 12:14:15 PM)
This question is for Mike Zarilli. I am a senior At Deloitte in the audit practice. How challenging do you think it would be for someone to transition from audit into a consulting role, and do you think a concentration in Management Consulting at Ross would help me attain this?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:16:12 PM)
Abhishek - extracurricular/community involvement is one of the things we look at. We recognize that in some industries or some countries, outside activities are not the norm or are not possible. What we're trying to understand is what an applicant does with his/her time - what drives him/her, what is he/she interested in and passionate about. That could be work, it could be something outside of work.
Leander Tendulkar (Aug 20, 2008 12:16:16 PM)
Hey Soojin.. How do you look upon candidates with no professional managerial experience, but good extra curricular leadership experience?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:16:24 PM)
TinaHTFeng :Why Ross?: In short I choose it for the community. I think the students, administration and faculty at Ross are some of the most generous on earth. What this enables is constant learning from everyone you come in contact with. During my first year, I learned a lot in the classroom, but I also learned a lot more from my classmates. It really is amazing, how at Ross, everyone works together to improve their performance in a class, for case interviews, on career progression, etc.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:16:31 PM)
An - what is "ECE"?
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:17:05 PM)
It's an organization that translates foreign transcripts into US GPA. I forget what the acronym stands for.
An (Aug 20, 2008 12:17:15 PM)
It's the evaluation agency which evaluate international transcript.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:17:15 PM)
jprintzian - I think that MAP contributed in two folds - first of all, for me it was the first time working directly with a "customer" - a learning experience in itself. Secondly, the MAP team members had to learn how to work together, where to take initiative and where to let others lead. Dividing the work streams and providing CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to each other
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:17:38 PM)
Educational Credential Evaluation?
An (Aug 20, 2008 12:17:53 PM)
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:18:13 PM)
Leander - it depends on the extracurricular leadership experience, along with every other piece of the application (e.g., GMAT, GPA, recommendation letters, essays), interview. It is difficult to say whether someone with no professional experience would be more or less admissible than someone with many years of professional experience since we take a holistic approach to the application review.
Shanice (Aug 20, 2008 12:18:28 PM)
Soojin: In conveying fit in the application essay, what tips would you give applicants who are having a hard time describing that Ross "just feels right." How do you demonstrate that Ross is the right place for you without sounding like you are just flattering the admissions officers?
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:19:08 PM)
Zach & Mike: What do you like best at Ross? What would you like to see improved?
Pranab (Aug 20, 2008 12:19:32 PM)
Kimberli: Hi, I am from India and this question is for Soojin. In India, in lieu of an MBA, students are awarded with a Post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM). How do you view the applications of such candidates (who possess this diploma) when they apply to Ross?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:19:34 PM)
An - we require an official or unofficial transcript with your application. The official should come directly from your undergrad institution, or the unofficial can be uploaded via our online application. We require an official transcript in order to enroll.
ahembeea (Aug 20, 2008 12:19:54 PM)
Mike, 2 questions regarding MAP - how do students choose their MAP project & is there a bidding system in place? Second, is there any kind of a follow up regarding how the MAP solutions were implemented by the third party, and any evaluation by Ross based on the same?
jingh (Aug 20, 2008 12:20:04 PM)
Hi Soojin, does the business school accept the GRE score?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:21:42 PM)
Pranab, keep in mind that we do require the equivalent of a four year. If you have a three-year undergrad, you need a two-year master's or postgraduate diploma. If you have those things, a postgraduate degree in management would be viewed strongly.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:21:51 PM)
Shanice - great question. We'd love to know what about Ross "just feels right." How do you know? What is the basis for this "feeling?" Have you visited the campus? Attended events? Talked to our students or alumni? Sat in on a class? Reviewed our curriculum and extracurricular opportunities? What about our offerings gives you that "feeling" that you might not have experienced at another school?
rosswin (Aug 20, 2008 12:21:53 PM)
Hello Ross team and Linda, thanks for organizing this chat. It’s an immense help for prospective students like us. Soojin: Would you be so kind to quantify short-term goal and long-term goal timeframe post-MBA?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:22:12 PM)
Rosswin - could you clarify your question?
Kate (Aug 20, 2008 12:22:32 PM)
Soojin: I have read so much about being able to demonstrate your career trajectory and goals in the admissions process, and yet it seems that many MBA students end up doing something completely different after school. Do you think this is a fair assessment or do you find that most students do stick with their initial career goal?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:22:33 PM)
Jingh - Ross does not accept the GRE. We only accept the GMAT.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:23:28 PM)
Allison – I think there are a lot fundamental traits that as an auditor you can apply to management consulting. Most notably, you work with clients, which as you know is an art rather than a science. To be an effective consultant, it is essential you develop and utilize this talent. As a prior auditor, you have this initial experience to build from. As for a concentration in strategy for a career in management consulting, I think it would be very helpful. In addition to the classroom, Ross has a fantastic Consulting Club, which provides substantial support (education, interview practice, etc.) for those who want to pursue a career in consulting.
ross_geller (Aug 20, 2008 12:23:52 PM)
Kimberli: Does Ross look favorably at late-career MBA aspirants? I am talking 13-14 years of varied experience.
Ramona (Aug 20, 2008 12:24:42 PM)
Mike: Can you comment on study abroad opportunities for Ross students?
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:24:50 PM)
Linda - I like the great balance between classes, recruiting and social life. Great professors, great companies that come to recruit on campus and a lot of social events as well. The community at Ross is great and people work hard together both at school and when prepping for recruiting, which construct strong friendships that last beyond the classroom and Ross.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:24:59 PM)
Kate - it's hard to say what percentage of students stick with their original career goals. I think that it's helpful to come in with a pretty good idea of a couple things you may be interested in rather than starting with a blank slate since b-school goes at a rapid pace. If you haven't narrowed it down by the start of school, you'll soon be drowning.
gltnforpnshmnt_ROSS_MBA1 (Aug 20, 2008 12:25:19 PM)
All: as an incoming Ross student, let me emphasize Soojin's choice word, "impact." In your applications, it is very important to show the impact you've had on the organizations you've been a part of.
George Tan (Aug 20, 2008 12:25:28 PM)
Soojin: Does Ross discourage re-applicants?
Abhinav (Aug 20, 2008 12:26:12 PM)
Soojin: Can you talk about the Entrepreneurship programs at Ross. What is the school doing to enhance this part of the curriculum? Outside the academics, what are the options in this area and what facilities and resources are available to the students at Ross to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:26:50 PM)
Ross, the number of years of experience is viewed in conjunction with leadership, impact on organization, and other quality-related factors. Though our average is five years of full time work experience, we have successful candidates with more and less.
TinaHTFeng (Aug 20, 2008 12:27:55 PM)
Mike or Zach - What are some of the extracurricular activities (clubs, organizations, etc) at Ross that appeal to you the most?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:28:02 PM)
Robert - the number of JD/MBAs varies from year to year. We don't limit the number of dual degree students; the numbers reflect interest.
vinitb (Aug 20, 2008 12:28:28 PM)
Soojin: Would you consider conducting training for new hires and mentoring other consultants a leadership experience? My job as a consultant mainly entails working on clients’ sites. I had voluntarily applied for the trainer/mentor position in my company and was selected. Will my training experience be considered as extra-curricular activity (leadership outside my job)?
Suhas (Aug 20, 2008 12:28:57 PM)
Kimberli: For someone interested in Human Capital Management how ideal is Ross? Is Ross strong in general management?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:29:06 PM)
Ahembeea - The selection process for MAP is very effective. An individual selects their "top 10" projects from ~90 possible projects. From that, the MAP office selects teams, based on prior work experience, for each project. The overwhelming majority of people get one of their top 3 choices. As for follow-up from the MAP client, the team is still in regular contact with the client. As for the company, they decided to pursue our recommendation and I believe have been quite successful in doing so. As for an indication of MAP clients’ impression of MAP, they plan on hosting another MAP team this year, so I think it was a great success on both sides.
PR Consultant (Aug 20, 2008 12:29:19 PM)
To Linda, Do you have any suggestions to reapply?
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:30:11 PM)
I have lots. Please see: http://www.accepted.com/Ecommerce/BetterSequel/MBAreapplicant.aspx and http://www.accepted.com/mba/reapplicants.aspx .
raghuformba (Aug 20, 2008 12:30:20 PM)
Mike & Zach: I am a huge fan of Prof. C.K. Prahalad. Does he teach many courses for MBAs?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:31:54 PM)
Vinitb - the activity you describe would be viewed holistically. We aren't looking for "number of leadership experiences" and we don't have categories of leadership that we're looking for. I'd focus on the impact you had, how that experience developed you as a leader, what you learned from that experience that will enable you to be a stronger leader in the future, etc. When we look at leadership, we're not just looking at actual experiences, we're looking for "indicators" and "signals" for future leadership potential as well - qualities in applicants that indicate to us that he/she has the makings of a future leader.
DONA (Aug 20, 2008 12:31:56 PM)
Soojin: Hello. I am a re-applicant. I read from the homepage that a re-applicant need only one additional recommendation. In that case, when my supervisor didn't change from the last year, would it be okay for me to get an additional recommendation from a peer group? Or would it still be better to get one from my current supervisor?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:32:16 PM)
Suhas: Ross is a very strong general management program. In terms of Human Capital Management, we have an excellent management and organization department with really strong professors (Kim Cameron, Bob Quinn, and Jane Dutton) who founded the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (www.bus.umich.edu/positive/center-for-pos ).
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:32:56 PM)
Soojin, to follow up on your previous response, what are some of the qualities that demonstrate future leadership potential? I want to emphasize that any positive quality should be demonstrated, not claimed.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:33:48 PM)
Tina Feng – The extra-curricular activities that I am involved with include the Habitat for Humanity club, Ski Club, Wolverine Venture Fund, Consulting Club, Emerging Markets Club, etc. My club selection is really based on my interests in my career and extra-curricular life. For example, giving back to the community has always been important to me and that is why I got heavily involved in the Habitat for Humanity club.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:33:51 PM)
Dona - at Ross, we prefer recommendations from supervisors, not peers. Even if your current supervisor is the same one who wrote your original recommendation letter, you can use that person again. Hopefully he/she will have something new to write about since the last letter. Another option is to ask someone from a significant extracurricular activity who may know your abilities and skills in a different setting.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:34:22 PM)
TinaHTFeng - The consulting club was a great resource for students to prepare for interview sessions. The basketball club plays on a weekly basis on campus - great opportunity to meet new people and have some fun. I also took part in the annual comic show - Rock N' Roll B-School - a series of adult skits written and performed by students revolving around school atmosphere and pop culture. I was also a member in the high-tech club
Kapil (Aug 20, 2008 12:34:23 PM)
Hello Kimberli, Is it the case that a person from software background would find it difficult to find an internship or job in a marketing company?
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:35:06 PM)
Zack and Mike: What are the opportunities at Ross for students interested in Entrepreneurship?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:35:43 PM)
Linda: Some of the qualities that are indicative of future leadership potential are: initiative, results-orientation, solid interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, etc.
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 12:35:55 PM)
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:36:32 PM)
Raghu – C.K. is a great professor. I am unsure of how many classes he teaches but I know his most popular one is “Special Topics”, which is taught to MBA 2s in the fall. C.K. also gives several speeches and is very visible throughout the MBA experience.
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:36:45 PM)
Kapil, a big reason many people go to business school is to change careers, so there are numerous resources on campus to assist with this process and it is something recruiters expect. Without knowing a great deal more about a particular student, I couldn't make any other generalization as to how a specific career switch would work.
Chris (Aug 20, 2008 12:37:08 PM)
Mike: Does the Ross Business School use the Case Method as an important factor in order for the students being capable of exercising the skills of Leadership and Teamwork?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:37:39 PM)
First Generation: the name of the school and company are taken into consideration but will not result in a positive or negative outcome on the basis of the name. For example, we know that some schools and companies are more competitive to get into, but we also consider your performance within those schools and companies. Someone who was a superstar at a less competitive school or company may stand out above someone who was an average player at a more competitive school or company.
goldie (Aug 20, 2008 12:37:45 PM)
Soojin, what 3 things do older applicants need to highlight in their application?
mayank (Aug 20, 2008 12:38:43 PM)
Hello Soojin, I am a re-applicant to Ross and with regard to this I have a few questions. 1) The Ross website states that re-applicants may choose to re-write some of the essays from the past application. Do you have any recommendations on this?
2)There is a requirement to write a Cover Letter explaining what the Re-Applicant has done since the last application. How long should this essay be?
3) I had this as a problem last year and I am still confused on how to answer this, i.e. What alternate career would I take up if I did not get to do what I want to? How would this alternate career help me complete multi-disciplinary tasks? Can you please explain what are you looking for in this essay? Thank you for your help!
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:40:09 PM)
Goldie, we review all applications the same, regardless of age, so the focus areas for an older candidate would be exactly the same as those being discussed (impact on organization, leadership, depth of experience, etc.).
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:40:11 PM)
Goldie - older applicants should be sure to highlight career progression and impact. Our expectations of someone who's worked for 10 years will be greater than someone who has worked only 2 years. I'd also be clear on why an MBA now and how the MBA fits into your goals. We need to be convinced that you're interested for the right reasons and will be an active and valuable contributor to the class and the community.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:40:42 PM)
Linda: The Zell Lurie institute (http://www.zli.bus.umich.edu ) is in charge of providing the curriculum, program initiatives, and community involvement for entrepreneurial students at Ross. Also, the Entrepreneur and Venture Club offers members exclusive networking opportunities with potential employers and alumni
pleni (Aug 20, 2008 12:40:44 PM)
Kimberli: How does Ross see someone who has not had a chance to be in a leadership role for long but has had a healthy experience?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:41:36 PM)
Linda: Regarding Entrepreneurship, several opportunities exist. At Ross, the Zell-Lurie Institute is the hub of all of these opportunities. For example, there is the Dare to Dream grant, which provides initial funding for students looking to start-up a company. There is also the Marcel Gani Internship Program, which is for students interested in applying for an entrepreneurial internship at a start-up company or venture capital firm. Additional programs include the Wolverine Venture Fund, Frankel Fund, etc. More information can be found on the Zell-Lurie website.
scott (Aug 20, 2008 12:41:46 PM)
To Mike, what do you mean by that you wanted to get in airline industry? Did you just have the crave to work at a company like Boeing?
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 12:42:11 PM)
Zach: What are the most popular courses on campus at Ross? Is bidding the common criteria for enrolling yourself in these courses?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:42:45 PM)
Pleni, demonstrating leadership can go beyond a formal leadership role. You can highlight experience where you've taken the lead even if you were not technically in a formal leadership position. Certainly, formal leadership roles are clearer indicators, so if you have not been in that position for long, be sure to highlight other instances where you've taken the lead, shown initiative, and had an impact.
Swati (Aug 20, 2008 12:42:59 PM)
Kimberli, is there a difference between round 1 and round 2 in terms of chances of admission?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:43:15 PM)
Swati: Some unsolicited advice here - I highly recommend applying in Round 1 or 2 so you can maximize your chances of consideration for admission and for merit scholarships.
Matt F (Aug 20, 2008 12:43:16 PM)
Soojin: What would you look for in an application from someone who is applying to Ross with only one or two years of work experience?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:44:51 PM)
Scott – When I stated airline industry, I meant to work for companies like Continental, American, Emirates, BA, etc. In addition to that, I knew I wanted to stay in management consulting because I really enjoyed the culture and work environment. Fortunately, Booz & Company had an internship opportunity in their airline strategy practice. It turned out to be a wonderful experience.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:44:53 PM)
Matt - for applicants with less work experience, we look at the quality of the work experience. What responsibilities has the applicant had? How quickly have they progressed, what kind of an impact did he/she have on the organization? What is their maturity level? Would they be able to play a "teacher" role in the classroom? Do they have sound reasons for wanting an MBA now rather than later?
Ankit Raheja (Aug 20, 2008 12:44:56 PM)
Hi Soojin , I have take GMAT Multiple times , my score in English has constantly increased in all the attempts . But in the last attempt my Math score fell from 50 to 49 , So does ROSS look at maximum individual scores in two sections or maximum GMAT score?
scott (Aug 20, 2008 12:45:06 PM)
(To Mike continued) If so, did you need an MBA? I bet you could’ve gone to the industry even without an MBA?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:45:38 PM)
Ankit - we look at the highest TOTAL score on the GMAT, and we also look at the score history.
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:45:56 PM)
Swati: In terms of chances for admission, there is not a significant difference between Rounds 1 and 2; however, there are definite advantages to applying in R1 or R2 vs. R3, as Soojin just highlighted.
RossApplicant (Aug 20, 2008 12:46:16 PM)
Kimberli: Does Ross expect applicants to have prior experience in the field they want to have a transition to?
raghuformba (Aug 20, 2008 12:46:33 PM)
Zach: As an international student in the US at Ross, what do you think of the job search facilities on campus?
rosswin (Aug 20, 2008 12:48:10 PM)
Soojin: I understand, generally, short-term career goal is immediately after graduation. What about long-term career goal?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:48:17 PM)
Folks - don't forget to spend time polishing your resume. It is the first thing we see in your application so it "introduces" us to you. Use the real estate wisely. Don't give us every detail of every job. Focus on the things you think we should know about you. Many times, applicants seem to overlook the importance of the resume.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:48:18 PM)
AbhishekSengupta - during the 1st year the majority of the courses are core classes that everyone takes - Finance, operations, stats and so on - not a lot of bidding takes place in the 1st year. 2nd year is all around bidding, which is how students prioritize their preferences. I was able to get all the classes I wanted and usually students get the classes they want. The most popular course was a course in negotiation.
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:48:32 PM)
Ross Applicant: We do not expect applicants to have prior experience in the field to which they want to transition. Career transitions are extremely dependent on individual circumstances, but as I said before, many MBA students are indeed looking to transition and we see many applications that reflect this trend.
pleni (Aug 20, 2008 12:48:55 PM)
Kimberli: This is a follow up to your response on "right fit" question. For an international student who is unable to visit the campus what should he/she do to get acquainted apart from speaking to the alumni?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:49:02 PM)
Scott – The MBA provides me the experience and leadership qualities I need to really succeed in upper management in the airline industry and in any industry. Having looked back at my first year, I have grown in countless ways that I believe I could not achieve without the MBA. The MBA provides the foundation necessary for me to effectively manage and lead. It also provide valuable insight into functional areas (i.e. finance and operations) that I had little prior experience in.
scott (Aug 20, 2008 12:49:06 PM)
Soojin-Does one's goal affect the chances of admission? Say, 10% of spots will go for consultant-to-be, and 15% for I-Banker-to-be?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:49:07 PM)
Rosswin - you can define "long term" in your own terms.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:50:19 PM)
Scott - we don't reserve spots for certain goals. That said, if someone's goals don't clearly require an MBA, then chances of admission won't be great. We are looking for compelling reasons for an MBA, now, at Ross.
WaLt (Aug 20, 2008 12:50:26 PM)
Soojin: What advice would you give to business owners? Meaning, I have no superiors, no senior management. Who would you advise for a reference letter?
Steven (Aug 20, 2008 12:51:05 PM)
Can Mike or Zach share the opportunities in international business, especially in emerging countries, at Ross in terms of courses/professors/center/club..?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:52:25 PM)
Walt - for business owners, I'd suggest getting long term, significant customers/clients or loan providers to write recommendation letters. If you're in a family business, definitely do not get a family member to write a recommendation letter.
RSF (Aug 20, 2008 12:52:40 PM)
Soojin: Are students who are interested in sustainable enterprise looked at differently by Ross based on their choice to apply/not apply for the dual degree with Erb?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:52:41 PM)
Pleni, we certainly encourage everyone to visit campus but do understand this isn't always possible. I would certainly use the website to learn as much as possible, but one of the best ways to learn about the Ross community from afar is to speak with our current student Ambassadors (http://www.bus.umich.edu/Admissions/Mba/Tours/Ambassadors.htm ).
Suhas (Aug 20, 2008 12:52:52 PM)
Kimberli: Could you throw some light on the Center for International business (CIBE)?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:54:06 PM)
RSF - no, we do not look at students interested in sustainability any differently than we do other applicants. Most who are interested in sustainability end up going the dual degree route, whether they apply to both simultaneously, or decide to apply to the other program during the course of their 1st year.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 12:54:30 PM)
Steven: International opportunities are abundant at Ross. Whether it be through one of the several class offerings, the Emerging Markets Club, MAP (I was in Brazil for MAP) or through an internship (Several opportunities), you can definitely get significant emerging markets experience.
Praveen (Aug 20, 2008 12:54:52 PM)
To Soojin Kwon Koh: I am looking for a MBA program in International Business with emphasis on Marketing and Finance. How is Ross in International Business program?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:55:47 PM)
Suhas, can you be more specific on your question?
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:56:08 PM)
Steven: Also in regards to emerging market - this year we had a business trek to India to facilitate networking between Ross students and local businesses
George Tan (Aug 20, 2008 12:56:49 PM)
Soojin: Conversely, what 3 things should less experienced applicants highlight in their application?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:57:02 PM)
Praveen - our international opportunities continuously expand. The biggest int'l. opportunity is through MAP - about 50% of our MAP projects are international. And because MAP is full-time, for 7 weeks, (i.e., no other classes during that time), that is a significant int'l. experience. Also, many students choose to study abroad during the second semester of their second year. We also offer electives with international project experience.
Bala (Aug 20, 2008 12:59:07 PM)
Soojin: Can someone clarify about the phrase," Impact on the organization "?. What is the scope for the words "impact" and "organization" over here?. For example a software developer with 4 years of experience in a company of 20000 employees would have not done something to impact the organization as a whole. Quite possibly, his actions could have had only ripple effects.
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 12:59:20 PM)
This is a question to Zach. How has it been living in Ann Arbor for you? How comfortable is it for people from different ethnic backgrounds to live in Ann Arbor?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 12:59:51 PM)
George - similar to the more experienced applicants, less experienced applicants should show the impact they've had on their organization. For example, how will your 2 years of experience enable you to be competitive with someone who has 5 years of work experience? Will you be able to contribute to the classroom discussion in a "teacher" role? Second, we'd look for signs of maturity and ability to "hold your own" in the classroom among more experienced classmates. Finally, similar to the more experienced person, we'd want to know, "Why an MBA now?"
RossApplicant (Aug 20, 2008 1:00:26 PM)
Soojin: Does Ross offer any kind of incentives for students going to work in developing countries?
Dan (Aug 20, 2008 1:00:40 PM)
Kimberli: I noticed that Ross does not ask for a GPA for secondary degrees (at least as part of the data component of the application). How valuable is a graduate degree considered when compared to two years of work experience that the applicant could have gotten instead?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:01:30 PM)
Bala - "impact" and "organization" are for you to define. We don't have a set picture of what an organization looks like or parameters for what we consider "impact." We can only evaluate the quality of your experience in context, and that's what we're interested in. Next, we compare that to the quality of the experience of the rest of the applicant pool.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:01:42 PM)
Vasudha – Contributing to the MBA experience is individual to every student at Ross, but the combined energy to contribute to the community is what makes Ross a special place. For example, everyone contributes in the classroom by taking an active role in discussion. In addition, having been a prior consultant, I spend a significant amount of time discussing my experience with students interested in consulting. Also, in courses that I excel at, I always offer help to fellow students who need it and I receive help when I need it.
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 1:02:35 PM)
Soojin: Does the career services team at Ross have industry specialists who can leverage their contacts to help students with their summer internships and post-MBA placements?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:02:41 PM)
Ross Applicant - through the William Davidson Institute, we offer financial support for students doing internships in developing countries. Also, after graduation, we have a loan repayment assistance program for those students who go into fields with lower paying salaries.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:02:45 PM)
Vashudha - students often speak their mind and reasoning in class in regards to cases - this is a great opportunity to get someone else's opinion and learn from people with a different view. Students also bring up in class daily items from business news and start a conversation about that which is always interesting. And of course helping your classmates outside of class if help is needed.
Dan (Aug 20, 2008 1:03:47 PM)
Kimberli: Would somebody who took the GMAT once and got a great score be viewed more favorably (with regard to just the GMAT component of the application) than one who took it several times to achieve the same score?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:03:59 PM)
Dan, we certainly do value all other graduate degrees as a data point for potential academic and professional success. Whether or not one is better than the other for any given candidate would depend on individual circumstances and professional goals.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:04:44 PM)
Abhishek - our career services offices is organized by sector on both the recruiting side and the counseling side. On the recruiting side, our staff have relationships with recruiters and alumni at all the major companies and organizations. Also, our alumni database has been a very useful resource for students seeking positions in specific companies or industries. Mike Zarrilli could speak to that...
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:05:24 PM)
Dan, we look at the highest GMAT score regardless of how many times an applicant has taken the test. The number of times you take the GMAT does not impact our review.
nyadguy (Aug 20, 2008 1:05:40 PM)
Soojin, unfortunately, I cannot ask my current supervisor for a recommendation. I know with my current work environment, it would jeopardize my short-term situation. Does the admission committee frown upon this? I am planning to submit recommendations from previous clients and previous supervisors.
RajaS (Aug 20, 2008 1:06:25 PM)
Kimberli: For career changers, do you think there is a threshold beyond which it becomes unrealistic? More specifically for someone with 10 years of IT experience, is it unrealistic to think of changing to investment banking?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:07:07 PM)
nyadguy - great question. We recognize that not everyone can ask their current supervisor for a recommendation letter. In that case, getting a recommendation letter from a previous supervisor or client would be good. Also, you should mention in an optional essay why you didn't choose your current supervisor or else we'll wonder why you didn't.
ZachBeiserROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:07:24 PM)
AbhishekSengupta - I love Ann Arbor. AA is a typical small college town. After graduation I will end up at one of the bigger cities and this was my chance to experience something different. There are 45,000 students so the vibe in Ann Arbor is young. There is always something going on in town and game days are great, the city is all maize and blue and the games are a lot of fun. Overall people are VERY friendly and even though this is not home for me, I feel very comfortable there and can’t wait for the year to begin.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:08:07 PM)
Abhishek: The Alumni database is tremendous at Ross. As my interest lies within the airline industry, I made several contacts at United, Virgin America and some consulting firms through the database. In addition, as Ross accentuates it’s community, I can’t tell you how helpful each and every alumnus was. I was truly amazed at their generosity.
PLin (Aug 20, 2008 1:08:40 PM)
Zach, Mike, could you share your experiences recruiting? How effective is the career resource center at Ross?
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:09:05 PM)
RajaS, I wouldn't want to say it is wholly unrealistic, but particularly in the current economy, banking is an extremely competitive industry.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:09:36 PM)
Abhishek: The other benefit to note about our alumni network is that not only do you have access to the 40,000 Ross alumni around the world, but the almost half a million University of Michigan alumni around the world who constitute the largest living alumni network in the world. The passion of Michigan's alumni runs deep, so your network is even bigger than just the Ross alumni network.
Sandy (Aug 20, 2008 1:10:12 PM)
Soojin- Does Ross has a kind of quota for students coming from certain industries? Say Software, Banking, or Arts?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:10:26 PM)
Sandy - Ross does not use any quotas of any kind.
George Tan (Aug 20, 2008 1:10:27 PM)
Kimberly: It is said that the state you go to law school in is where you'll most likely end up practicing law. Is that the case with business school? What geographical area do most Ross students end up in upon graduating?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:11:03 PM)
Rohan – I believe you can apply 99.9% of what you learn at Ross immediately. From the start of the MBA program, you immediately work in teams and from that you really learn to work with other people. In addition, the strategy business cases can provide valuable insight into the strategy of your firm. The list goes on forever, but I think everything learned in the Ross MBA is immediately applicable.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:11:25 PM)
George - very few Ross grads stay in Michigan. The vast majority of our graduates head to one of the coasts (East, West) and Chicago.
mayank (Aug 20, 2008 1:11:37 PM)
Soojin: 1.What advice do you have for re-applicants? I.e., which essays would recommend us to re-write. 2. What is Ross looking for from the essay on the alternate career? 3. How does it affect my candidacy if I don’t have a recommendation from my current employers?
Ankit Raheja (Aug 20, 2008 1:12:29 PM)
Mike:, Can you please tell me about the teaching methods at Ross, i.e. whether it is Case Study method or Experimental learning method ( In which we put everything we study in practical use) . Thanks!
KimberliKellerROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:13:53 PM)
George, that is absolutely not the case for Ross. We places our graduates all around the world. A very very small percentage of our students stay in Michigan. In terms of students who are placed domestically, 29% of our 2007 graduates went to larger cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Minneapolis), 26% to the northeast, and 21% to the West Coast.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:14:39 PM)
Mayank: re-applicants should write a cover letter describing what they've accomplished in the past year. It's your choice as to which essay to rewrite, if you choose to rewrite one at all (it's not required). I'd suggest reviewing your original essays and figuring out which one did the weakest job of answering the question and portraying who you are. The alternate career essay seeks to get at what you are passionate about or interested in, outside of the path you described in the career goals essay. Finally, if you don't have a recommendation from a current supervisor, then we'd want to know why. It is always best to ask someone who has supervised you, preferably the most recent person, and of course, someone who will say something positive about you.
goldie (Aug 20, 2008 1:15:20 PM)
Soon, thank you for your insights to my earlier question. I wanted to follow-up on that and ask how the Adcom views compensation progression, especially where progression is decent but total compensation is not very high (because of part of country I'm living in and because of the industry I'm in). Thanks
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:15:56 PM)
PLin – Recruiting at Ross is comprised of the Office of Career Development (OCD), fellow students, and the specific career clubs (consulting, finance, marketing, etc.). Overall, each part complements the other and provides unbelievable opportunities in terms of jobs. OCD gets the companies on campus and organizing a substantial career counseling operation for students. In addition, the specific clubs provide significant insight into job functions, company culture, etc. Overall, while the recruiting process is intense, it is a very smooth and effective process at Ross.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:17:03 PM)
Goldie - compensation progression is a small piece of our review. We understand that some industries and some regions pay less than others do. The recommendation letters are generally a better indicator of career success and progression, as well as the progression in responsibilities.
DanH (Aug 20, 2008 1:17:06 PM)
Soojin: I was expelled from college more than 10 years ago for plagiarizing a math paper. I admitted it and accepted the punishment - the hardest thing I ever did - and later went on to earn a degree with a solid GPA and a reputation for unique work from another college. I took a lot of math and writing courses to ensure that I'd never be tempted again and it worked: I'm quite comfortable now with math and writing. But given Michigan's emphasis on integrity, is that old plagiarism incident something the ADCOM would like addressed in the essays? Or is it too long ago to be worth dedicating a few hundred words to? If you'd prefer I address it, would you rather see it in essay 4 (it would fit, but so would a few more recent events) or in the optional essay?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:18:09 PM)
DanH - if you view it as a significant challenge that you overcame and learned something from, it would be worth writing about in essay 4.
goldie (Aug 20, 2008 1:18:59 PM)
Soojin, for someone located in the continental US, is coming to interview on campus (vs. off campus interview with alumni) taken as a sign of interest in Ross?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:19:29 PM)
Manan- I'd suggest checking out our nonprofit and public management center website: http://www.nonprofit.umich.edu
Anuj (Aug 20, 2008 1:20:31 PM)
Mike: How is the grading system at Ross? Is it competitive (i.e. relative grading)? Are grades disclosed to peers?
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:21:27 PM)
Ankit – Teaching methods for a specific class are dependent on the class material. Obviously, Strategy is taught in the case study method and is quite effective. But for classes like statistics, it is a more academic approach with some very appropriate cases added in. Overall, Ross has a very good mix of case study and regular academic learning approach in the classroom.
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 1:21:37 PM)
Everybody. This is a great chat with lots of participation. That's the good news. The bad news is that it is impossible to post all the questions.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:21:57 PM)
goldie - it is to your benefit to interview on campus. It gives you a first-hand opportunity to experience the campus, the community, and the classroom. It gives you an opportunity to speak with someone who is closer to the program as it is today (i.e., a staff member or a 2nd year MBA student). and, inevitably, it does convey a level of interest. But we consider all interviews equally in the process, whether conducted by an alum, student or staff member.
Tanet (Aug 20, 2008 1:22:14 PM)
Soojin: Can you be more specific about the "impact" that you referred to earlier?
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:24:04 PM)
Tanet - impact is not something that we define and put into buckets; it's something that depends on the situation, the environment, and the person. So I can't really give you a definition. Moreover, each person will describe impact differently from the next. That's one of the things we're interested in knowing - how you define impact and when you've had it.
MikeZarrilliROSS(Aug 20, 2008 1:24:57 PM)
Anuj – Grades at Ross are not formally (and mostly informally too) reported to recruiters at Ross. This creates are very supportive and motivated academic environment at Ross. Although grades are not highlighted, students are focused on attaining high grades because they really appreciate the learning component of the MBA experience.
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:25:02 PM)
Grao -in order to put everyone on a level playing field, we only look at full time work experience post-college. As far as length of time goes, we measure by months, as asked for in the application.
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 1:25:06 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Soojin, Kimberli, Zack, and Mike. We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats in the next several weeks:
*Sept. 11 -- Insead
*Sept. 15 -- Wharton
*Oct. 2 -- Columbia
*Oct. 6 -- UCLA Anderson
*Oct. 7 -- MIT Sloan
*Oct. 29 -- Haas
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 .
SoojinKwonKohROSS (Aug 20, 2008 1:25:40 PM)
Thanks to all of you for joining us! These were great questions! I hope to see you on campus or to see your apps come through!
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 1:25:43 PM)
Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba ) for additional details.
Good luck with your applications!
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 1:27:04 PM)
Thanks a lot Linda for arranging this chat for us MBA aspirants!
Ankit Raheja (Aug 20, 2008 1:27:06 PM)
Soojin : Lets Hope we get to meet each other .. Me as an admitted student at Ross and you guiding prospective Students :-) .
ross_geller (Aug 20, 2008 1:27:18 PM)
thanks to Soojin, Linda and the team at Ross.
Tanet (Aug 20, 2008 1:27:36 PM)
Linda: How can I view the chat log? The link I followed does not seem to be responsive.
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 1:27:46 PM)
The transcript should be up late next week.
AbhishekSengupta (Aug 20, 2008 1:28:02 PM)
Thanks for your time, Kimberli
Tanet (Aug 20, 2008 1:28:08 PM)
Thanks Soojin, Linda, Zach, and Mike
Bala (Aug 20, 2008 1:28:15 PM)
Thanks to the Ross team and Linda Abraham
TinaHTFeng (Aug 20, 2008 1:28:16 PM)
Thank you all
Linda Abraham (Aug 20, 2008 1:28:23 PM)
You're all very welcome! This was a great event thanks to you questions and participation.
Thanks for getting up in the middle of the night to chat with us Heejin Woo!