2009 USC Marshall MBA Admissions with Kellee Scott

2009 USC Marshall MBA Admissions with Kellee Scott

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Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:00:00 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 USC Marshall’s 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 welcome our guests for today:

  • Kellee Scott - Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions
  • Veronica Ho - Associate Directors of MBA Admissions
  • Alicia Valencia - Associate Directors of MBA Admissions
  • Janice Nishiyama - Associate Director of MBA Career Resource Center
  • Janella Chiang - Academic Services Manager of Marshall’s MBA Program.

Thanks to everyone for joining! Kellee, can you tell us what’s new at USC Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:02:04 PM)
USC Marshall just instituted a Society and Business Lab.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:02:07 PM)
Janice, How much is the financial crisis affecting full time hiring this year?

Annie (Jan 7, 2009 12:02:29 PM)
Janice: What are the different opportunities or events Marshall offers to a student who wishes to pursue an entrepreneurial focus?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:02:44 PM)
Kellee, what is the focus of the Lab?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:03:01 PM)
Linda, the lab focuses on non-profit and sustainability. It also connects businesses, mission based enterprises, and NGOs with the thought leadership of USC.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:03:22 PM)
Veronica: Is there a significant disadvantage to applying in the 3rd round as apposed to the 2nd?

jk (Jan 7, 2009 12:03:34 PM)
Alicia: Will everyone admitted to the full time program be interviewed? Or is it possible to gain acceptance without one?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:04:06 PM)
Janella, can you tell us about what some students have done for their PRIME project?

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:04:39 PM)
Linda, we are slightly below our percentage from last year for "employed" second year students. We are finding that companies are generally decreasing the number of full-time hires for this year, but are still actively recruiting interns.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:04:44 PM)
Danielle: Applying by the 2nd round (Jan 15) means you will also be considered for Marshall fellowships. If you are international, we also recommend applying by Jan.15 because of visa-related documents you will need if you are admitted. Other than those reasons, applying in Round 3 (Feb. 15) is fine.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:04:57 PM)
JK, because there are applicants from all over the word, it is impossible and unfair to only admit those who have an opportunity to interview. We do our best to travel and interview as many applicants we deem competitive.

vmuth (Jan 7, 2009 12:05:03 PM)
Hi Veronica, with the increase in applicants and as we are entering later rounds, have you noticed any significant difference in the class profiles thus far compared to previous years?

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:05:08 PM)
Hi Kellee, what is the situation for international students at the moment? I fear the current recession is affecting international applicants, and as per my findings, are international students being initially considered on GMAT scores basis?

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:05:44 PM)
Alicia: Happy New Year and thank you for hosting this chat session. I wanted to know how Marshall conducts interviews. Are they blind?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:01 PM)
Linda, we have a variety of PRIME projects, each related to the country to which the students are traveling. We have on our website a good sample of a project a team of our students completed last year for Tyson Foods in China.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:04 PM)
Ral, applications from international students are still fine. The difficulty will be the financial ability once a candidate is admitted. All candidates are assessed on more than just GMAT scores. We take a holistic approach.

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:27 PM)
Annie, the Career Resource Center really can't do much to help students find entrepreneurial opportunities. We do have the Grief Center that focuses on entrepreneurship and students are allowed to take elective classes there and connect with professors and staff to possibly connect with small businesses.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:33 PM)
Vmuth: Well, our largest round is usually Jan. 15 (Round 2) which has not yet ended, so we are still yet to see the majority of our apps. However, so far, the apps are on par with previous years with a slight increase, and they are competitive.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:34 PM)
Janice, are internship interviews and offers holding up better?

Neda (Jan 7, 2009 12:06:57 PM)
Kellee: Once the application has already been submitted, can I still retake the GMAT and resubmit the new score? If yes, what is the time frame to do so after the application has been submitted?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:07:08 PM)
Janella: How does the Prime Project work as far as to which country you can go? Are you able to choose, or is it an application process?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:07:09 PM)
Ken, interviews are by invitation only. You'll find that it may vary whether interviews are blind or not. The best advice is to be prepared and consistent about your story.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:07:29 PM)
Alicia, how do you recommend applicants prepare for their interview?

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:07:46 PM)
Linda, internship recruiting is just beginning, but so far what we are hearing form the companies is that they are not changing their recruiting numbers for internships.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:08:14 PM)
Neda, yes you can retake the GMAT and submit new scores. If you want a decision in the round in which you submitted, it is best to get the new scores in within 2 to 3 weeks, otherwise, you application may be moved to the next round. You can fax your unofficial scores to 213-749-8520 when you complete the exam.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:08:17 PM)
Janice, are any sectors particularly active?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:08:19 PM)
Hi Danielle, each year, we have 5-6 destinations and each students gets to "rank" their preferences. Most students get either their 1st or 2nd choices. Once destination is set, then the professor leading that trip will create the student team assigned to the company/project. Newly added this year, we will be traveling to Moscow for PRIME. This is in addition to Beijing/Chanping, Hong Kong, Vietnam/Thailand, Japan, Brazil/Argentina.

SS4 (Jan 7, 2009 12:08:35 PM)
Kellee: I noticed USC interviews a much higher percentage of applicants than most MBA programs, is there specific reason for this? Additionally, should we expect anything unique for the Marshall interview?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:09:18 PM)
Kellee, Alicia, and Veronica: When you are evaluating applications and the numbers are in the ballpark of a Marshall student, what puts one applicant in the admit pile, and others in the rejected or waitlisted piles?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:09:32 PM)
Linda, as I mentioned before, know your story (goals, what you've written on your essays) and remember specifics about the school and why you're applying. We understand you're applying to several schools and keeping your information straight is recommended.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:09:43 PM)
Janice: What is the percentage of students that get jobs outside of California? Are the USC Alumni networks strong on the east coast?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:09:56 PM)
SS4, we interview because we really do want to get to know you as a person, not just a piece of paper. Our culture of teamwork and collaboration dictates that we assess more than just test scores. The Marshall interview can be as diverse as we are. We all interview from different experiences. Just be sure to know your story. :-)

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:10:00 PM)
Linda, there aren't any sectors that are more active than others. The companies that are larger, older and more established will be the ones who will continue to recruit at similar levels as years past.

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:11:09 PM)
Janice: I have a question regarding job opportunities for international students. I see that it is difficult to directly break into marketing positions . Most take up consulting, and say it has something to do with companies' visa issues. What is your take on this?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:11:14 PM)
Linda, fit is an important part of the application process that is sometimes harder to define. Applicants who have researched USC and can understand the culture of the school, and the atmosphere - these are factors that can set a candidate apart.

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:11:15 PM)
Danielle, I don't have numbers on the percentage of students that get jobs outside of California. There are certainly more opportunities outside of California than in California. We do have strong alumni networks on the east coast.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:11:25 PM)
Janella, how does USC's program support entrepreneurship?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:11:46 PM)
Sounds exciting!

jk (Jan 7, 2009 12:12:12 PM)
Thanks Alicia! But for local candidates, is it most likely that an interview will be conducted to determine acceptance?

goodms (Jan 7, 2009 12:12:25 PM)
Veronica: Is it better to actually go to USC for the interview?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:12:27 PM)
JK, in many cases, yes.

Neda (Jan 7, 2009 12:12:34 PM)
Kellee: How open is USC to admitting students who very recently graduated from undergrad?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:13:05 PM)
Our Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurship has many different opportunities to meet with successful entrepreneurs in our community. Additionally, from an academic perspective, we have an entrepreneur track of courses that students could pursue.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:13:39 PM)
Neda, we prefer that candidates have at least two years of full-time post undergraduate work experience before they start. Our average is 5 years. However, candidates who demonstrate a strong case for doing the MBA earlier have a chance.

GameMaker (Jan 7, 2009 12:13:44 PM)
Kellee, What classes are a good idea to take to demonstrate quant ability and mitigate concerns from a low GPA? Would the admissions team be ok if the classes were taken at a local state school vs. a private university's continuing education program? (Significant difference in price).

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:02 PM)
Ral: A job opportunity for international students is a challenge. Many companies do not sponsor non-US-work authorized students, but some do. It is much more difficult for companies to hire non-US-work authorized students than ever before. Marketing doesn't differ much from other functions generally. It just depends on the company.

goodms (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:05 PM)
Veronica: If we live on the east coast, are the interviews conducted over the phone?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:14 PM)
Alicia: If I am not able to visit campus before applying, will that hurt me? Are there any ways to meet with students/alumni in my area (San Francisco)?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:15 PM)
Linda, with regards to the question about admit, waitlist, and deny; not knowing how the MBA is going to facilitate your goals is a major concern to us when considering and applicant.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:22 PM)
USC's program supports entrepreneurship through the following classes: Intro to New Ventures; Cases in Feasibility, Business Plan; Entrepreneurial Finance; Technology Feasibility; Technology Commercialization; Acquiring Your Own Business or Opportunity, etc.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:31 PM)
GameMaker, you can take classes anywhere, as long as it is college level. We suggest calculus, statistics, finance and high level accounting.

goodms (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:46 PM)
Kellee: What are the percentages as far as acceptance for the different rounds of applications?

SS4 (Jan 7, 2009 12:14:58 PM)
Janice: What internship opportunities are available for those looking for a career in sports management?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:15:14 PM)
Goodms: If you are in the Southern California area, then you should come to campus to interview. It's also an important way for the candidate to see the campus, etc. If you are in Northern California, a visit to the campus is also recommended. For out-of-state and international students, we don't necessarily expect you to visit the campus, but if a work/personal trip coincides, that is great too. However, we are fine to conduct phone interviews with out of state/international applicants as well. We also may travel in the Spring to some US cities and abroad for interviews. Early Round (Nov. 1) applicants should come to the USC campus for an interview.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:15:24 PM)
Goodms, that varies from year to year, but consistently, our largest round has been the Jan 15 deadline, and most of the class ends up coming from that round.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:15:46 PM)
Danielle, you will not be disadvantaged if you do not visit campus. And yes, you can definitely connect with alums in the bay area. Additionally, you'll find on our website a link to the ambassador program where you can chat with current students.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:16:42 PM)
Kellee, Veronica & Alicia: What 3 qualities do you want to see in applicants before you will admit them?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:03 PM)
Linda: Multi-interested, academically prepared, multi-talented.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:11 PM)
Goodms: Interviews on the east coast may be done by phone, sometimes with an alum, or if we are visiting the east coast, we may conduct interviews in person at that time.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:14 PM)
Linda -Leadership, teamwork, and passion.

Dan USC (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:20 PM)
Kellee, is the part time MBA program less competitive for admissions?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:33 PM)
Janella: How easy is it to cross register for electives in other schools? I'm interested in pursuing real estate/public service and would like to take electives in the SPPC.

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:17:34 PM)
SS4, I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to when you say "sports management". We have relationships with a couple of sports organizations, but generally, these organizations are not going to business schools to look for candidates. We do have a professor here on campus who is very connected to the sports world and has done a lot to help connect students.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:18:10 PM)
Danielle: Students who remain in good standing (GPA >3.00) have the opportunity to request up to 9.0 units of coursework from another USC school or department.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:18:23 PM)
Linda- Regarding qualities in an applicant, focus is also important. Why an MBA? Why now? How does it fit into your career and life goals? Why USC?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:18:42 PM)
Dan, we suggest reviewing the profile sheets. However, realize that the profile of students applying to each program is somewhat unique, as there may be different motivation for applying to part time versus full time. Both programs are competitive to get into, and both give you a fantastic USC Marshall MBA degree!

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:19:32 PM)
Kellee, has Marshall cut back or increased financial aid as a result of the economic crisis? Are there no-cosigner loans available to international students?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:19:34 PM)
Danielle: We have many, many students who complement their MBA coursework with other business-related courses with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the USC Masters of Real Estate Development, amongst many others.

EMS (Jan 7, 2009 12:20:12 PM)
Veronica: If a candidate has a GMAT score in the average range, but undergrad grades slightly below the minimum requirement, are the essays even reviewed, or is the application automatically rejected?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:20:56 PM)
EMS: All applications are reviewed! We will read all applications :)!

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:21:00 PM)
Alicia: What do you think differentiates USC from other top MBA schools in California?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:21:02 PM)
Linda, loans are definitely harder to obtain due to more stringent qualification requirements, however, as far as we know, nothing has changed as to what is being offered.

Jay (Jan 7, 2009 12:21:23 PM)
Kellee: I plan on applying for the evening program and have over 11 years of work experience. I have just taken the GMAT, but received a low score - is there a minimum score required? I plan on retaking the test in time to apply for the 3rd round.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:21:51 PM)
Veronica: Would you say that you are able to customize your education at USC, or is it more of a traditional MBA?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:22:13 PM)
Janella: What does Marshall offer students interested in Social Enterprise?

GameMaker (Jan 7, 2009 12:22:56 PM)
Janice: Have you found the economic situation hurting the number of internships/full time jobs at entertainment companies/production houses -- Disney/Warner Bros etc.? Do you think USC students have an edge when applying to these types of companies?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:23:06 PM)
Danielle, the first year, the Core year, consists of required coursework and the opportunity to take 2 electives. The 2nd year is entirely elective based so there is definitely a chance to customize the MBA coursework. We also offer 30+ clubs and organizations, case study competitions, and a lot of other opportunities outside the classroom.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:23:19 PM)
Danielle, there are a number of hallmarks which differentiate USC Marshall - PRIME, our centers of excellence, class size, alumni network. The best advice with regards to this question is for you to do research on those things which are most important to you and create a short list of schools.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:23:24 PM)
Jay, our scores range from year to year. The current 80% range 570-700, with 10% of students below that range. If you are re-testing, be sure to fax your unofficial scores to our office at 213-749-8520.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:23:40 PM)
Kellee: How do you use recommendations in evaluating applicants? If an applicant wants to submit a 3rd recommendation, will you accept it? Do you discourage them from doing so?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:24:04 PM)
Veronica: How much full-time work experience do you like to see in an application?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:24:17 PM)
Jay, there is no official minimum score, but realistically, scoring 50% below the lowest score may not be competitive.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:24:37 PM)
Linda, in terms of Social Enterprise, we recently launched our Society and Business Lab. We have a faculty member and team dedicated specifically to support students in their efforts, and to go out and connect companies with ways of reaching their triple bottom line.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:24:42 PM)
Alicia: Do many students live on campus, or are they spread out all over LA? How would you describe the community at Marshall?

vmuth (Jan 7, 2009 12:24:56 PM)
To add onto Danielle’s electives question- is it very difficult if we decide to apply to another school for a dual degree (wanting to keep the same time schedule) if we do not decide prior to when classes begin?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:25:18 PM)
Linda, for the full-time 2-year program, our average is 5 years of FT experience, after undergrad. We have younger students with 3 years, but usually those 3 years are pretty substantial and their focus for pursuing an MBA is clear.

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:25:24 PM)
GameMaker, we have strong recruiting relationships with many of the entertainment companies. Generally, they do not begin recruiting for full-time or internships until the late Spring. My best guess is that they will be hiring fewer people than they did last year, but we don't know yet. We have several opportunities for students to connect with alumni in these companies and building those relationships is what will give the students an "edge."

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:25:31 PM)
Linda, recommendations are used to validate your resume and the accomplishments you demonstrate to us. We prefer that you send only the 2 requested recommendations at the time of application. If a candidate is put on the waitlist, they can submit additional letters of recommendation.

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:25:32 PM)
Veronica: If one has applied to USC in R1, and is very keen on the program, is there a way to show continued interest by sending additional information, etc?

Jay (Jan 7, 2009 12:26:12 PM)
Kellee: Should I still submit my application now for round 2 or wait until I improve my GMAT score?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:26:16 PM)
Vmuth: Students pursuing a dual degree will still need to isolate consecutive fall and spring semesters to the MBA program to complete our 1st year "core" required courses. Once you complete the "core", you will have the flexibility to take MBA courses and courses from the other program in the same semester.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:26:17 PM)
I would encourage candidates to sit down with their recommenders and remind them of their accomplishments. An uploaded letter from a recommender is always a plus.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:26:34 PM)
Danielle, though most students live off campus, you'll find that because of our class size, the Marshall community is close-knit and collegiate.

Annie (Jan 7, 2009 12:26:41 PM)
Kellee: If an applicant went to USC for undergrad as well, does this hurt, help or have no affect on their chances of acceptance?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:10 PM)
Jay, If you are testing for the 3rd round, I would just stay in that round. Your application will not be reviewed until we have the score you want us to consider.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:12 PM)
Janella, what do your recommend students do before starting their MBA that would have make the beginning/transition easier? Is there anything specific to help them adjust to returning to academia?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:15 PM)
Ral: Your application should be complete when you submit it, so sending additional materials is not recommended unless there has been an update to something in your application, in which case you can usually email marshallmba@marshall.usc.edu. If you are invited for an interview, that is another opportunity to further express interest in the school. But to your original question, keep in mind, more materials are not necessarily better.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:18 PM)
Vmuth: The degree requirements for the MBA program is usually 63.0 units. That requirement is reduced to 48.0 units for students pursuing a formal dual degree objective at USC. Length of time to complete both programs varies depending on the "other" program.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:38 PM)
Kellee: How do you use the interview in the admissions process?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:27:39 PM)
Annie, it's neutral. You just get to waive the application fee as an alumnus! :-)

t.song (Jan 7, 2009 12:28:05 PM)
Janella: What is Marshall's plan in the coming years to improve its full time MBA ranking and to keep its competitiveness on the entrepreneurial side?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:28:37 PM)
Linda, absolutely! It is critical for an incoming student to have a base foundation in their quantitative skills. If you haven't seen math in quite a while, you'll definitely want to pick up a few books or take some remedial courses in a few basic quant areas. Your first set of courses at the very beginning of our program will include Financial Accounting, Statistics and Finance. So be prepared so you're not already behind on Day 1 of classes.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:28:51 PM)
Linda, the interview is another data point, but can be highly influential. Fit is very important to us, and I can say that there have been candidates who look great on paper and were disasters in the interview. Needless to say, the probability is low that they were admitted.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:29:23 PM)
Kellee: Are there any special considerations for re-applicants? Do reviewers also look at least year's application when reviewing the application of a re-applicant? Do they just look at the reviewers' notes? Or do they ignore last year's application?

Dan USC (Jan 7, 2009 12:29:45 PM)
Veronica: Of course there are no absolute numbers, but could you give an approximate number of the applicants that will be accepted in Round 2 compared to Round 3?

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:30:20 PM)
Alicia: How did application volume from Round 1 compare to last year's Round 1?

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:30:36 PM)
Janella: How much interaction do Marshall students have with students from USC's other highly regarded graduate schools such as Gould and Viterbi? Example: Do they do business plan competitions together?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:30:45 PM)
Linda, re-applicants are encouraged. It demonstrates that they are really interested in Marshall and willing to try again. We may review last year's file because we want to see what improved since their last application.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:30:59 PM)
Kellee: My GPA is lower than the 80% range due to personal challenges I faced in college. Will admissions take that into consideration and potentially overlook, if my application is competitive in the other areas?

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:31:08 PM)
Linda, we did receive more applicants in Round 1 when compared to last year.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:32:07 PM)
Dan USC: It's hard to say because it really depends on the quality of the applications. Since we usually get the most applications in Rd. 2 (Jan 15), we tend to admit more in that round, but if it's a particularly weak pool, we could admit fewer. We don't set quotas for each round. If we have solid candidates in Rd. 3 (Feb. 15), we'll definitely admit those applicants. I would just discourage folks from waiting until Rd. 4 (April 1).

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:32:12 PM)
Janice, how are interview spots awarded? Is there a bidding process or is it entirely at the recruiter's discretion?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:32:37 PM)
Alicia: Are you able to share what percentage of the incoming class has been accepted already?

vmuth (Jan 7, 2009 12:32:51 PM)
Janella: Is there any project or class interaction between MBA PM students and full time students? Or is there not much because they are separate programs?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:32:57 PM)
Danielle, we look inside the transcript at the strength of the curriculum and school, so it's not just about the number. However, the assessment is balanced with your GMAT score and work experience. We want to see quantitative proficiency, so if your grades were not good in those classes, we suggest you take a class.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:33:21 PM)
Danielle, we're actually in the midst of round 1. Numbers are not yet final.

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:33:21 PM)
Linda, interviews are awarded completely at the recruiter's discretion. Students apply for opportunities that they are interested in through the CRC system and the resumes are sent to the employer who selects the interview candidates.

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:33:35 PM)
Alicia, approximately when will we start hearing of invites from the R1 pool?

Annie (Jan 7, 2009 12:34:22 PM)
Veronica, in the 2008 full time MBA class, what is the ratio of female: male students?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:34:27 PM)
Thanks, Kellee. I have actually taken classes at UC Berkeley Extension to supplement my undergrad, so hopefully that helps.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:00 PM)
Ken: Our MBA students have quite a few opportunities to interact with other grad students at USC, both academically and socially. Other grad students may be taking MBA electives. USC has a Stevens Institute for Innovation which focuses on innovation and collaboration between the different schools and departments at USC.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:03 PM)
Ral, notification deadline for USC Marshall to applicants in R1 is February 6th

SS4 (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:08 PM)
Kellee: What percentage of applicants selected for an interview is accepted?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:09 PM)
Annie: We have 30% women in our entering 2008 class (Class of 2010). In our 2nd year class (Class of 2009) we have 35% women.

justin casale-savage (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:25 PM)
Veronica: If invited for an interview, when would one expect to receive an invitation? Based on when I submitted my application or based on an admissions block of time dedicated for conducting interviews?

Dan USC (Jan 7, 2009 12:35:54 PM)
Veronica: I attended UCLA extension and completed a Certificate program. Is that viewed as a degree? How could that be listed since it's fairly new?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:36:07 PM)
SS4, that varies from year to year, however, your chances of being accepted tend to be more favorable if you accept to our interview request.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:36:13 PM)
Vmuth: During the 1st year of the program, our full-time and part-time MBA students complete their "core" required courses separately. However, during the elective phase of the programs, our students can take electives with both full-time and part-time students.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:37:04 PM)
Are applicants better off applying R3 with a better app or applying R2 with a slightly rushed application?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:37:07 PM)
Dan, your certificate is not considered a degree. You can mention it in your optional essay.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:37:52 PM)
Janella, what do most students feel is most valuable about the Marshall experience?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:37:54 PM)
Justin: Invitations are partly based on when you submitted, but only by Round. Meaning, if you submit for Rd 2, as long as you submit a completed app by Jan 15 then you are considered for that round. We will review applications as they are completed (Letters of Recs, transcripts) and will invite candidates on an on-going basis.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:38:03 PM)
Danielle, one more thing on the GPA, you can use the optional essay to address the issue you had while in school.

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:38:52 PM)
Janice: In what ways can one Marshall student set themselves apart from another for job consideration? Are there concentrations, special certificates, or some other distinguishing element that a student can pursue to stand out?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:38:55 PM)
Justin: Not receiving an interview invite initially is not necessarily a bad sign. You could be invited later on in the application cycle.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:39:08 PM)
Linda, it is always best to take all the time you need to submit the best application possible. Having said that, keep in mind that the class is filled on a first come basis, so in competitive years, those applying in the later rounds may not be admitted if the class is full.

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:39:10 PM)
Alicia: Is student club involvement encouraged at USC? How many clubs does a typical student participate in?

Annie (Jan 7, 2009 12:39:49 PM)
Kellee: How much value is placed on having strong essays when compared to other factors like GMAT scores, GPA, work experience, etc?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:40:07 PM)
Linda, the sentiment we hear most often is: the PEOPLE! Our Marshall community (fellow students, faculty and administration) and its supportive environment make a huge impact. And, of course, the Trojan Family and Trojan Network are very, very strong.

justin casale-savage (Jan 7, 2009 12:40:16 PM)
Thank you Veronica.

jk (Jan 7, 2009 12:40:48 PM)
Veronica: You mentioned an applicant can be invited later in the application cycle, however if they don't receive an invite at all by Feb 7th, and they are local, can it be assumed that they may not have been admitted?

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:40:57 PM)
Janella: Are classes held 4 days a week? If so, which day is class not taught?

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:41:01 PM)
Ken, There are a number of ways that a student can set themselves apart. How one does that is completely dependent on what job(s) is/are being pursued. Generally, past work experience is a great place to start, but if you don't have direct experience in the area/function you are pursuing, the CRC can coach you on what you need to do.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:41:01 PM)
Annie, the value of essays is just as high. Statistics are just objective, but the subjective, your story, is very important to us. Considering that until we get a chance to meet you, this is all we know of you, tell a good story!

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:41:06 PM)
Danielle, of course student club involvement is encouraged. :) The pitfalls of too much involvement are falling behind in classes, so balancing and prioritizing are very important. The average student is involved in about 2-3 clubs.

t.song (Jan 7, 2009 12:41:41 PM)
Veronica: For the first year CORE courses, how flexible is it to select classes?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:42:10 PM)
Ken: We have elective courses offered every weekday (M-F). Core courses in the full-time program are usually Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with most Wednesdays isolated for career-related activities.

GameMaker (Jan 7, 2009 12:42:31 PM)
Janella: Is the Business of Entertainment route a popular choice? Would it be possible for the students interested in the business of entertainment to squeeze in a class at the film school if it's pertinent to their business interests -or is that just unheard of?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:42:50 PM)
Kellee: How is the Marshall school integrated into the greater USC community?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:43:03 PM)
Jk: If you are not invited initially and are local, it may not mean that you are denied. We may be waiting for application materials such as a transcript. Other times, we may waitlist a candidate but invite them later for an interview.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:43:22 PM)
Veronica, what advice would you give waitlisted candidates?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:43:28 PM)
T.song: First-year "core" courses are not flexible at all. They are all required and offered in a lock-step schedule. Students with significant academic or professional experience in a subject may be able to take the equivalent of the final exam before the course begins and "waive" out. But that is very rare. During the spring semester of our 1st year, students have the opportunity to select two elective courses of their choice, so they are better prepared in terms of depth in a particular business area before they head into their summer internship.

usc_hopeful (Jan 7, 2009 12:44:19 PM)
Kellee: On an average year, what percentage of those who apply to Marshall come from the non-profit / social enterprise sector?

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:44:30 PM)
Alicia: How can we know that our application is truly complete? Will we receive a notification if something is not in order?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:44:34 PM)
Danielle, Marshall is very active in the USC community and involved in many ventures. We raise funds for special Olympics through Challenge for Charity, we are the top MBA school for junior achievement in terms of volunteer hours, and we have Marshall youth outreach, where our students mentor and tutor in the neighborhood.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:45:26 PM)
GameMaker: Yes, entertainment is a popular choice for a small population of our students. We have a Management and Organization of the Creative Industries course here at Marshall. Additionally, students in good standing (GPA >3.00) can take a few classes at our world-renowned USC School of Cinematic Arts and can even earn a Cinema Certificate offered by the USC SCA.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:45:26 PM)
USC-hopeful, it is 4%. I would encourage people with this interest to check out our new society and business lab.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:45:35 PM)
Linda, waitlist candidates should email us (either your interviewer or marshallmba@marshall.usc.edu) and let us know if you are still interested in being considered for the program. If anything changes in your application, such as a new GMAT score, work promotion, etc., then you may also email that info to us. Some waitlist candidates may also send another letter of recommendation, which is fine, but it's not a requirement by any means.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:45:45 PM)
For Veronica, Alicia, and Kellee: What is a common mistake applicants make?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:46:37 PM)
Linda- here is my 2 cents (well, I'm sure it's worth .0005 cents these days), but spelling errors, names of other schools in their essay, and being unprepared for interviews. Yikes! Write who you are, not what you think we want to hear in your essays!

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:47:05 PM)
Ral- If you submit all required materials on time your application is complete. There are documents out of your control which are required (i.e. transcripts) which we will also need. If these do not arrive, we will contact you.

Dan USC (Jan 7, 2009 12:47:21 PM)
Janella: Is there any courses in an MBA that can help in Hotel management?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:47:22 PM)
GameMaker: Each semester, the USC School of Cinematic Arts usually offers 4 elective courses in the business of entertainment that are very interesting to our MBA students.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:47:40 PM)
Janice, what is the sector interviewing the most at Marshall?

GameMaker (Jan 7, 2009 12:47:57 PM)
Sound exciting! Thanks!

Annie (Jan 7, 2009 12:48:06 PM)
Kellee: What are you looking for, that can set us apart, in a strong essay portion?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:48:18 PM)
Dan, an MBA degree is a great general management degree that can be applied in any industry. Everything is a business in some aspect. Hotel Management is a major business!

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:48:40 PM)
Veronica: Is dedication to community service common among Marshall students? Is that something that is weighed heavily in the application process?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:49:21 PM)
Annie, the less generic you are, the better. Really give us some details and examples. We read a lot of applications and many will tend to sound alike. Bring out your uniqueness and show us the money (in your personality of course!)!

JaniceNishiyamaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:49:50 PM)
Linda, there really is no particular sector that is interviewing the most. The industries that our companies are in vary widely. The companies that we have strong relationships with and that continue to recruit are the larger, stable, established companies.

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:50:03 PM)
Dan USC: During our 2nd year, you have the flexibility to create your own personalized curriculum from our variety of MBA electives. It is certainly possible to formulate something related to your interest in hotel management. Additionally, we have a Hospitality Club.

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:50:31 PM)
Danielle: Community service is an important part of the Marshall MBA experience and is common in the MBA program. For those applying, we value community service in applicants, but also understand that some applicants may not have had the time to participate in traditional community service because of jobs, family, etc. We don't want to penalize those applicants, but rather, we try to look at the application from numerous aspects.

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:50:52 PM)
Does USC offer any employment assistance for spouses of admitted students?

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:51:44 PM)
Kellee: Obviously, there is a lot of focus on full time work experience, but how important is part-time experience in your eyes? Say, entrepreneurial experience during undergrad?

Ken (Jan 7, 2009 12:52:00 PM)
Janella: What are Marshall's strength in Marketing, Consulting,  and Investment Banking, etc?

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:52:13 PM)
Are there clubs that Marshall students can participate in that are outside of the business school?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:52:31 PM)
Ral, the focus really is on post undergraduate full time experience. Undergrad initiatives should focus on leadership and growth.

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:52:40 PM)
Ken- Although we do not offer employment assistance to partners, we do have a partners club and in true Trojan spirit, partners network with one another to help make their transitions easier.

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:53:26 PM)
Ken, yes to all of that! The majority of students go into those three areas!

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:53:30 PM)
Does USC participate in the Net Impact Conference?

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:53:48 PM)
Danielle: There are a lot of USC clubs (not just within Marshall) in which grad and undergrads can participate. However, most of our students are pretty busy with Marshall MBA clubs!

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:53:51 PM)
Danielle, yes we do. Our net impact chapter is very active.

t.song (Jan 7, 2009 12:54:39 PM)
Janella: What is the average total lecture/discussion hours per week for the full time MBA program?

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:54:54 PM)
Ken: Yes, those are our strong suits. Our students are also very interested in company finance, entrepreneurship, etc.

Esther (Jan 7, 2009 12:55:11 PM)
Kellee: Is it possible to take the GMAT before the Round II deadline but have the Official Scores sent after January 15, 2009?

goodms (Jan 7, 2009 12:56:14 PM)
Janella: Is the exchange program encouraged for students who want to stay in the U.S. post graduation? What would be the benefits of studying abroad for a semester?

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:56:29 PM)
Esther, you can self report your scores, we can get them within two weeks of your test completion online. If you are concerned, you can always fax the unofficial scores when you complete the test. 213-749-8520

JanellaChiangUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:56:31 PM)
T.song: On average, students should expect to be in class for about 15.0 hours per week. But of course, that does not include the amount of time students spend reading, preparing for class, with their team on group projects. Our full-time program is definitely full time.

Linda Abraham (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:13 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Kellee, Veronica, Alicia, Janice and Janella for joining us today.
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

Consortium January 14, 2009

Michigan Ross January 22, 2009

UNC Kenan Flagler February 19, 2009

UVA Darden February 25, 2009

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. Please check the website for additional details. Have a great day! Good luck with your applications!

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:21 PM)
Thank you everyone!

VeronicaHoUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:23 PM)
Thanks everyone!

AliciaValenciaUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:40 PM)
Thank you. Please feel free to visit our campus via the Ambassador program.

ral (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:43 PM)
Thanks a ton for your time. Happy new year!! Thanks again, Linda- great help :)

vmuth (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:48 PM)
Thank you!

Dan USC (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:57 PM)
Thank you all!

Danielle Sampiero (Jan 7, 2009 12:57:59 PM)

GameMaker (Jan 7, 2009 12:58:11 PM)
Thanks everyone!

KelleeScottUSC (Jan 7, 2009 12:58:14 PM)
Bye all!

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