Tag Archives: Chicago Booth

B-Schools Affected by Budget Deficits, Too

Though the labor protests in Wisconsin have focused our nation’s attention on state budget woes, many other organizations have been adversely affected by budget shortcomings, including top business schools.

Though the labor protests in Wisconsin have focused our nation’s attention on state budget woes, many other organizations have been adversely affected by budget shortcomings, including top business schools.

In the article “Business Schools Get Lean,” BusinessWeek‘s Francesca Di Meglio reported that many b-schools have been forced to reduce spending, due to decreased endowments and state cuts to higher education in the wake of the recent recession. Avoiding layoffs has been a priority for most schools, but could not always be avoided. Here are a few of the cutting-back strategies employed by the b-schools featured in the article:

Tuck School of Business – Reorganized existing tasks, such as centralizing the school’s recycling system, which saved labor hours. Also reduced travel in favor of technologies such as videoconferencing.

Chicago Booth School of Business – While Booth didn’t lay off existing faculty, the school held off on filling openings and has reduced its temporary and contract workers. Like Tuck, Booth has also cut its travel budget and implemented a policy requiring approval from the dean’s office for travel.

Wharton School of Business – One round of layoffs in executive education department. Renegotiated contracts with vendors and cut down on travel and entertainment expenses.

Harvard Business School – Turned off heating and cooling systems during non-business hours. According to Meghan Duggan, assistant director of sustainability and energy management at HBS, this simple action resulted in six-figure savings.

Program cuts aren’t the only concern for potential b-school students. As businesses also struggle with their budgets, many of them are cutting back on tuition assistance programs, another BusinessWeek article reports. In “Tuition Benefits Drying Up,” Erin Zlomek writes, “In 2010, 56 percent of employers offered graduate school assistance, down from 69 percent in 2003, according to annual benefits data collected by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).”

Posted in Chicago Booth Advice, Dartmouth Tuck Advice, General, Harvard Advice, UPenn Wharton Advice | Tagged , , , ,

Interviewing for the Chicago Booth MBA Program

In the latest update to the Full-Time MBA Admissions Blog at Chicago Booth School of Business, associate director of admissions Kelley Curtin takes a moment to dispel a few of the many misconceptions regarding the …

In the latest update to the Full-Time MBA Admissions Blog at Chicago Booth School of Business, associate director of admissions Kelley Curtin takes a moment to dispel a few of the many misconceptions regarding the interview process that have cropped up during her recent meetings on the road with prospective students.

Here are some of the key points to remember after hitting submit on your application to Chicago Booth while you await an interview.

  • After submitting your application, Chicago Booth will process it to make sure the application contains all necessary materials.
  • Once complete, admissions will review the material to determine if the applicant should be invited to interview.
  • As a rule of thumb, Chicago Booth invites approximately half of the applicant pool to interview each year.
  • Those invited to interview may do so with alumni in the city they live/work in, or on campus with an Admissions Fellow (second-year students who assist admissions in reviewing/evaluating files).

Curtin stresses that Chicago Booth truly has no preference as to where you interview, as admissions understands that many applicants may live too far away or have work obligations that hinder travel.

“We are fortunate to have an outstanding network of alumni who are willing to conduct admissions interviews,” she says.  “Scheduling an interview with one of our alums is a great way to learn about the Chicago Booth alumni network in your city.”

Opportunities to interview with Chicago Booth abound, whether you choose to do so on or off campus, Curtin assures applicants. She also notes that in the case where the school doesn’t  have adequate alumni representation in a city,  a member of the Admissions team might be sent to that city to conduct interviews.

Whether you’re gearing up to apply in Round 2, or finalizing your essays for the October 13th Round 1 deadline, take a look at our Chicago Booth essay tips for advice on how to demonstrate your strengths in the three core elements on which Chicago evaluates candidates.

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To see our Chicago Booth School of Business Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.


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Chicago Booth’s Top Ten Tips for Recommendation Letters

The latest Chicago Booth Admissions Insider newsletter offers the admissions committee’s Top Ten Tips on how to get first-rate recommendation letters…letters that can solidify–or improve–a perspective the reader already has about you. After browsing this …

The latest Chicago Booth Admissions Insider newsletter offers the admissions committee’s Top Ten Tips on how to get first-rate recommendation letters…letters that can solidify–or improve–a perspective the reader already has about you.

After browsing this list, check out yesterday’s Booth Insider post on the biggest mistakes Chicago Booth admissions has seen when it comes to recommendation letters…don’t let these happen to you!

  1. Your first letter should be a professional recommendation from a supervisor. If it’s not feasible to ask your current supervisor to formally write a letter on your behalf, find a professional contact that can speak to your strengths and your weaknesses, such as a past supervisor or client.
  2. The second letter is up to you. The purpose of the second letter is to give us a different perspective of your skill sets and provide you with an opportunity to add a new voice to your application. There is no preference on who supplies your second recommendation; our only guideline is that it should add new and valuable insights to the application.
  3. Choose people who know you well. Make sure your recommenders are close enough to provide specific and relevant examples of your work for Chicago Booth’s admissions.
  4. Meet with your recommenders beforehand. Take this opportunity to refresh their memory on your past projects and goals. Recent connections can make for richer and more powerful letters of recommendation, which is important in making a great impression.
  5. Provide recommender with background information. In addition to meeting with your recommender, you might want to consider providing a packet of materials to help him/her have a better idea of why business school is the next step for you. This could include an updated resume, your application essay question responses, and information about the program you hope to attend.
  6. Don’t rush your recommender. Be mindful of a recommender’s time. You want them to feel they have enough time to write a great letter, not just a good one. We suggest a month notice at minimum if possible. Plus that gives you time to meet with him/her before they write the letter and for a follow up meeting.
  7. Don’t write your own letter. In today’s busy world where everyone is multi-tasking and overscheduled, it’s not uncommon for a recommender to suggest that you write your own letter. But take our advice – please don’t do it!  Since the committee can usually recognize your writing style from other parts of the application, it’s best that the recommender draft the letter.
  8. Submit names of recommenders online. Once you access the online application system, you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders. The system will then send them an email message providing the link to the online form where they should submit their letters. If you have any problems with the online system or questions about this process, contact us at admissions@chicagobooth.edu.
  9. Monitor the progress of your letters.  You can see if your letters have been submitted by logging into the online application.  If the application deadline is approaching and a letter has not been submitted, then you might want to send a friendly reminder to the recommender.
  10. Send a thank you note.  Your recommenders took time to write letters on your behalf so it’s important that you follow-up with a thank you note or card.  They’ll know that you appreciated their help.
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To see our Chicago Booth School of Business Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.


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Tuesday Tips – Chicago Booth Essay Tips

Chicago has published the essay questions for 2010-2011 applications. With the return of the powerpoint question, a new essay, and a longer career goals essay you will need to strategize carefully about how to approach these essays, and these tips are your first step.

The updated Chicago Booth essay questions have been posted with commentary from Admissions. Chicago Booth Business School evaluates candidates on three core elements: Curriculum, Community and Career. Curriculum refers to your demonstrated academic ability, and will largely be communicated through your GPA/GMAT, transcripts and other fixed data points, though intellectual curiosity can be demonstrated in essays and the interview. Community focuses on your 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 famous power point question is back this year, and confounds many candidates. Take a step back from the unique format and think about the question as if it was an essay. The power point format simply gives you the freedom to express that answer in words, images, graphics or some combination. The best presentations will be simple, evocative and expressive. Remember, content is far more important than creativity of presentation.

Chicago Booth 2010-2011 essay questions
1. The Admissions Committee is interested in learning more about you on both a personal and professional level. Please answer the following (maximum of 300 words for each section):
a. Why are you pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in your life?
b. Define your short and long term career goals post MBA.
c. What is it about Chicago Booth that is going to help you reach your goals?
d. RE-APPLICANTS ONLY: Upon reflection, how has your thinking regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application?

These three short essays make up your entire career goals essay. As you explain what your goals are and incorporate your background into that discussion, make sure you describe both why you made the choices you did, and think about why you didn’t make other choices. Self-awareness about your career and goals will go far to distinguish you in this essay.
Why Chicago Booth and Why Now are explicitly asked this year. Think about the specific classes and programs at Chicago Booth that appeal to you. Are you looking for flexible program? International experiences? How will these aspects of the program fit with your future career goals?
If you are reapplying, make sure you have done the work to evaluate your candidacy and have made changes this time around. Reflecting upon why you want to go to Chicago Booth and the MBA process will certainly be part of that work. This is your opportunity to show the adcomm why Chicago is a great fit for your and your refined career goals.

2. Chicago Booth is a place that challenges its students to stretch and take risks that they might not take elsewhere. Tell us about a time when you took a risk and what you learned from that experience (maximum of 750 words).

This situational essay question is seeking to understand how you think about risk, and what you do in a situation that challenges you. Though the admissions committee says there is endless latitude about the type of risk you describe, it will be useful to you’re your story based on the entire application strategy you have mapped out. What are the personal qualities you want to highlight in this set of essays? Do you have a story from work that can also demonstrate teamwork or leadership, or is this essay an opportunity to showcase your activities outside of work.
While your risk does not have to be something that ultimately paid off, it should be a situation that was defining for you, taught you a valuable lesson or otherwise can reveal a bit about how you think, act and approach life.
Spend a significant amount of time in this essay describing how you felt, what you said, and what you did. Be truthful and introspective here.

Slide Presentation
3. At Chicago Booth, we teach you HOW to think rather than what to think. With this in mind, we have provided you with “blank pages” in our application. Knowing that there is not a right or even a preferred answer allows you to demonstrate to the committee your ability to navigate ambiguity and provide information that you believe will support your candidacy for Chicago Booth.

The power point is back, though the question has changed. This time Chicago Booth offers you “blank pages” that will allow you to express yourself with any content you choose. When approaching the question focus first on content, and then on delivery.
This is the ideal opportunity to bring in any aspect of your overall story that does not fit in any other essay. Think about the aspects of leadership, team work and intellectual curiosity you have already presented in the previous essays, and where the gaps are. If you wrote about a professional situation in essay 2, consider a personal or community story in essay 3.
To present the content effectively in a power point or pdf slide, refine your story to its key elements. Four slides is limited space to communicate a lot of detail, and you are discouraged from simply pasting an essay into the slides. 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.

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To see our Chicago Booth School of Business Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.

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Students Fight Against Renaming Trend…And Win

Almost 170 alumni of the University of Alberta School of Business have donated C$20 million to prevent the school being re-named after a corporate donor or wealthy alumnus, bucking the recent renaming trend at business …

Almost 170 alumni of the University of Alberta School of Business have donated C$20 million to prevent the school being re-named after a corporate donor or wealthy alumnus, bucking the recent renaming trend at business schools that, most notably, includes Chicago Booth, renamed after David Booth’s $300 million donation.

Three years ago, a fundraising committee at Alberta School of Business thought it could set up a rich endowment by changing the name and joining the ranks of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management or Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, a piece in the Edmonton Journal reveals.

Although the committee found interested buyers, members had a change of heart, and the alumni driven pledge has resulted in a signed certificate saying the current name will be preserved in perpetuity.

“This school is owned by its alumni. It’s owned by its community,” says Mike Percy, dean of the business school. “Always has been, always will be.” Preserving the name is a way of thinking for the future, he adds. The school could have chosen one of its most famous alumni, and “at the end of the day, after one generation, no one knows who they are.”

Alberta is not the first business school to resist the naming trend, The Economist reports. In 2007, Wisconsin School of Business alumni raised $85m to prevent renaming at their school. And in 2008, Imperial Business School dropped the name of major benefactor Gary Tanaka so that it could re-emphasise its links to Imperial College.

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SBC_Harvard_Essay_Guide-150x150

If you are feeling stumped by your application essays and need some additional guidance, check out our NEW series of essay guides for MBA applications. Columbia, Harvard, Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton available now. They are seriously terrific and we are proud to say that almost every person who has ordered one has come back for more!

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Gender Differences and the MBA

While its true that both men and women seek an MBA education to broaden their skills and seek credentials that will lead to a better job and more money, the end result is often quite …

While its true that both men and women seek an MBA education to broaden their skills and seek credentials that will lead to a better job and more money, the end result is often quite different, Andy Holloway wrote recently in Canada’s Financial Post.

In What Women Want…From an MBA, Holloway examines some of the motivational and practical differences between male and female MBAs, the number-one distinction being that women are more conscious of family and achieving a work-life balance than men.

“In some ways, male C-suite execs haven’t progressed much beyond the dinosaurs: They pass on their genes and figure they’re done,” Holloway writes.

The author cites several studies which support the notion that, on average, women choose post-MBA careers which allow for better work life balance. One such study, led by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2008, found that many female MBA students were already thinking about how children fit into their professional lives.

Furthermore, when asked what they would like to see from their MBA programs, 34% said childcare, 30% said events that showcased alumnae mothers, 34% wanted career programming about addressing work/life balance and 40% wanted information on how to solicit work/life balance information from recruiters.

For a closer look at some of the stereotypes and realities of women in business, including salary disparities and gender mix at schools, follow the link to the full article.

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SBC_Harvard_Essay_Guide-150x150

If you are feeling stumped by your application essays and need some additional guidance, check out our NEW series of essay guides for MBA applications. Columbia, Harvard, Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton available now. They are seriously terrific and we are proud to say that almost every person who has ordered one has come back for more!

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