Tag Archives: Chicago Booth School of Business

Tuesday Tips: 2014 Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips

Chicago Booth is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community. This application is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to …

Chicago Booth is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community. This application is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to handle the Chicago curriculum, contribute to the community, and grow in their careers. This year Chicago has eliminated most of the essays in favor of the creative and popular PowerPoint presentation question.

Academic ability will largely be communicated through your GPA/GMAT, transcripts and other fixed data points, though intellectual curiosity can be demonstrated in the essays and the interview. Chicago will be looking for demonstrated leadership, team building skills and community involvement, as well as your fit with Chicago Booth and the perspective you will share with your classmates. All MBA candidates are ultimately looking for a degree that will enhance their career. Chicago Booth wants to know about your track record of success, expectations for the MBA, and plans for the future.

Chicago Booth’s open-ended creative presentation or essay confounds many candidates. Whether you choose to write an essay or prepare a presentation, take a step back from the unique format and think about the question strategically. The PowerPoint format simply gives you the freedom to express who you are in words, images, graphics or some combination. The best presentations will be simple, evocative and expressive. Remember, content is far more important than visual drama of presentation. Stacy Blackman Consulting has significant experience coaching applicants through the Chicago creative essay. Contact us to learn more about our strategic approach.

Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?

This creative essay offers you a blank slate to express yourself with any content you choose. When approaching the question focus first on content, and then on delivery.

As your one opportunity to showcase why Chicago Booth is the right place for you to pursue an MBA, think about how you want to present aspects of leadership, teamwork and intellectual curiosity. Perhaps there is a formative work project you would like to highlight. If there wasn’t enough opportunity to outline your core career passions in your resume or through recommendations, this could be a place to illuminate that detail. This is also the ideal opportunity to bring in any aspect of your overall story that may feel personal.

Keep in mind what Chicago Booth represents. Booth is a school with a tradition of intellectual rigor, non-conformity, and innovation. When you introduce yourself to Chicago Booth you can share anything from any context, from work to home to extracurricular activities. Think outside basic essay parameters to aspects like travel experiences or the unique relationships in your life.

If you decide to write an essay response, you have enough space to tell a story that describes something new about yourself. If you decide to prepare a PowerPoint in response to this essay question, refine your story to its key elements. While this year Chicago Booth permits any length of essay or presentation, in prior years the limit has been four slides. To keep a presentation visual and interesting, consider how you will format. Can you use photos? Drawings? If you use words, keep them clear and focused. Take every point up a level, so you are communicating a vision rather than a thesis.

Reapplicant Question: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

This reapplication essay question gives you the opportunity to focus on your thinking and development rather than any tangible changes you have made since you last applied. Of course, if you do have new accomplishments like a promotion or higher GMAT score that will be of significant value to your re-application. If you do not have any new, hard changes to your profile, this essay is an opportunity to show that you have done the work to evaluate your candidacy and have made changes this time around. The word reflection is explicit in the question, and the admissions committee will be looking for your thoughtful consideration of Chicago Booth, your future and your MBA plans.

Posted in Application Tips, Chicago Booth Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Chicago Booth Update on Round 2 Decisions

The admissions team at Chicago Booth School of Business recently updated the Booth Insider blog to let applicants know what’s going on behind the scenes as the department moves into the final stage of the …

The admissions team at Chicago Booth School of Business recently updated thechicago booth MBA application Booth Insider blog to let applicants know what’s going on behind the scenes as the department moves into the final stage of the application evaluation process.

The interview period is now over, and the committee is focused on reviewing each application—which includes a new interview summary—again. The review process at Chicago Booth is a lengthy one and involves the input of several different people in order to arrive at a “fair and holistic” impression of your candidacy, explains Carrie Lydon, associate director of admissions.

Final admissions decisions on Round 2 applicants will be released on March 27th, and applicants can log on to the online application system after 9 a.m. to view their decisions.

If you’re preparing to apply in Round 3, or just have some burning admissions questions on your mind, the Chicago Booth full-time MBA admissions committee is hosting a live Twitter chat on March 19th from noon to 1 p.m. CST. Ask the admissions committee your application questions, or follow @Booth_Insider and use #BoothMBA in your tweets.

You may also be interested in:

Waitlist Guidelines from Chicago Booth, UCLA Anderson

Chicago Booth Admitted Student Profile

Posted in General | Tagged , ,

Waitlist Guidelines from Chicago Booth, UCLA Anderson

While the waitlist may not seem like the ideal status for your MBA application, the good news is you’re still in the running while the school looks more closely at your application package in the …

While the waitlist may not seem like the ideal status for your MBA application, the good news is you’re still in the running while the school looks more closely at your application package in the context of the next round of candidates.

UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Chicago Booth School of Business recently posted advice for Round 1 applicants who have been waitlisted, and since their suggestions are nearly identical, we’re sharing them together in this post.

  • Waitlisted applications are considered in subsequent rounds, so these applications are reviewed side-by-side with those under review from Round 2.
  • Waitlisted applicants will, in most cases, receive an admit or deny decision by the Round 2 notification date. The decision deadline at UCLA Anderson is April 2nd. Final decisions are released on March 27th at Chicago Booth.
  • Some candidates may be invited to remain on the waitlist into Round 3.
  • Both schools offer waitlisted candidates the option of submitting additional information in support of their candidacy.
  • UCLA Anderson would like to hear from you if you’ve improved your GMAT score, received a promotion at work, or had a recent extracurricular accomplishment.
  • Chicago Booth suggests applicants take a closer look at their application to determine any weak points, and reminds waitlisted applicants of the option to submit a short video explaining why you are a fit for Booth.

No matter which school’s waitlist you may land on, make sure every interaction you have with the admissions department adds value to your file. As UCLA Anderson aptly states, quality is more important than quantity. An information overload will likely have a negative effect on your candidacy, so use your good judgement here!

Posted in Application Tips, School News | Tagged , , , ,

Jobs in Finance Will Take a Hit, Says New Recruiting Trends Report

The job outlook for 2014 MBAs keen on working in the financial sector is worrisome, according to Michigan State University‘s new survey of 6,500 employers—the largest of its kind conducted in the United States for …

The job outlook for 2014 MBAs keen on working in the financial sector is worrisome, according to Michigan State University‘s new survey of 6,500 employers—the largest of its kind conducted in the United States for the college labor market.

Phil Gardner, an economist and director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, predicts hiring for new MBAs will drop 25% over 2013 figures due in large part to widespread layoffs in the banking industry. As banks eliminate positions in mortgage units and other departments, Gardner says we can expect to see ripple effects in areas such as real estate and underwriting.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There’s good news for other sectors seeing a hiring increase: manufacturing reports gains of 23%, nonprofits are up 11%, education is up 9% and retail is up 2%. MBAs may also be in high demand in the computer science and programming sectors, where more graduates are expected to be hired, the report says.

BusinessBecause checked in with students at top U.S. MBA programs set to graduate in the spring, and found the general mood to be optimistic despite the gloomy employment predictions.

Eric Yang, a second-year MBA student at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, says, “I can say that coming from a top-rated MBA program, there is no major concern that my classmates and I will not find a job; we know the value of the Georgetown MBA and employers know that as well.”

Meanwhile, Alejandro Correa at Chicago Booth School of Business expresses only mild concern about the outlook for those with their hearts set on finance jobs. “But I would argue that for the most part the people from top-ten schools find a way to get into the field they want. I have seen a lot of interest for management consulting this season,” he adds.

Despite the unsettling forecast for this year’s grads, Gardner predicts the labor market for college graduates will continue to improve. “Several years of potential double-digit expansion may be in our immediate future,” he says, noting that “The best jobs will go to the graduates who know where they want to go, know how to get there and have a network of professional relationships they can tap for assistance with their job search.”

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , ,

Are B-Schools Targeting Older Applicants?

Is there such thing as being too young or old for an MBA? In case you missed it, Bloomberg Businessweek ran an interesting article a few weeks ago called the Graying of Harvard Business School …

Is there such thing as being too young or old for an MBA? In case you missed it, Bloomberg Businessweek ran an interesting article a few weeks ago called the Graying of Harvard Business School which pointed out some of the stats of the incoming class and noted that the percentage of students who received their undergrad degrees at least six years ago increased from 20.8 percent in 2011 to 22.9 percent in 2012, and to 23.3 percent this year.

The most notable increase, however, occurred within the age group who received their college degree ten or more years ago. The class of 2013 had a dozen students in that category; the class of 2015 has 23, Businessweek revealed.

Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite five to seven years of work experience under their belts. The prevailing wisdom held that older candidates would have more to contribute to class discussions because of their substantial real-world experience. But now, more and more schools are specifically targeting younger applicants—some with programs tailored for those right out of college.

Deirdre Leopold, HBS’s admissions director, tells Businessweek there’s no special agenda to offer admission to more older applicants; it’s always a case of looking at candidates as individuals and what they can contribute to the class.  Stacey Kole, deputy dean for the full-time MBA program at the Chicago Booth School of Business, shares a similar sentiment: “If you have eight-plus years of experience and you think the MBA has passed you by, it hasn’t,” Kole says. “If you’re a good fit for the school, you can get in.”

When a client asks, “Am I too old (or too young) for an MBA?” I respond that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career. If you’re contemplating business school in your mid-30s, the key is to demonstrate confidence, how you’ve progressed professionally, and what you’ve contributed on the job. To find out how our client Max, age 37, crafted a successful application to Harvard Business School, read this SBC Scoop.

The important takeaway from this data is that older applicants do get in to the very top programs, so your age should never be the sole deciding factor of whether to apply to business school.

Posted in Application Tips, General, School News | Tagged , , , ,

Chicago Booth on Less Traditional MBA Career Paths

Applicants with unconventional or less traditional work/academic experience prior to business school often worry about how admissions committees will assess their record. First off, applicants should know it’s ok to be different, because no MBA …

Applicants with unconventional or less traditional work/academic experience prior to business school often worry about how admissions committees will assess their record. First off, applicants should know it’s ok to be different, because no MBA program wants to fill an entire class solely with folks coming from investment banking or consulting.

With that in mind, Meghan Keedy, Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth School of Business, attempts to clarify matters in the latest post to the Booth Insider blog.

Early career candidates—those with three or fewer years of full-time, post-undergraduate work experience, including college seniors—are encouraged to apply, but should be prepared to clearly answer the question: Why an MBA, and why now? Chicago Booth highly values work experience and evidence of leadership potential, and will look for evidence of readiness and ability to contribute to an engaged community, both inside and outside the classroom, throughout the application.

Military applicants, meanwhile, should focus on illustrating the qualities Chicago Booth is looking for, which would include leadership, a strong work ethic, the ability to work with diverse groups of people, and confidence under pressure, Keedy writes. The school understands that veterans often don’t follow a typical career trajectory, but many of the qualities developed during military service are just those that make up a great business leader.

For entrepreneurs who may not have any traditional work experience, Keedy advises these applicants to connect the dots on how and why you put your ventures together and what you learned from it. Convey to admissions how a business education will help develop your entrepreneurial vision, and Keedy suggests discussing how you could improve in the delivery of future businesses.

To individuals coming from professions where an MBA is not typically a requirement, Keedy notes that the key attributes Chicago Booth is looking for remain the same: show a record of growth in your role, and that you’re a self-starter who has  actively sought out leadership opportunities. Explain why an MBA makes sense in your career progression, and make sure to demonstrate that you will be able to handle the quantitative components of the curriculum through undergraduate coursework, GMAT score, or other supplemental, college-level classes.

Also, MBAs in non-profit, government, media and entertainment or education industries are becoming more and more common, and Keedy advises applicants to probe their  own networks  for other non-typical business school graduates to find out how they framed their transition into something different.

In the end, it comes down to a clear, honest reasoning of why an MBA is the next logical step in your career journey, and why your unique insights and experiences will enrich the learning environment of those around you.

Posted in Application Tips, General | Tagged , , , , ,