News, advice and resources for business school applicants
Nov 19, 2014

The Chicago Booth MBA Admissions Interview: A Special Guest Post from Naija MBA Gal!

booth

The following is a guest post from Naija MBA Gal summarizing her Chicago Booth MBA admissions interview that was originally published on her blog. Naija MBA Gal is a consultant specializing in risk assurance at one of the big consulting firms, and she is aiming to get into a top 10 business school this year. You can follow Naija MBA Gal’s application journey on her blog

I had an amazing interview with Booth!!! And I am super busy at work trying to make up for the three hours I took off work yesterday.  But it is totally worth it.

The interview was supposed to start by 2pm, my interviewer and I had agreed to meet at a restaurant half way between our offices. About, one hour to the time, we had to reschedule for a slightly later time but that wasn’t an issue.

Continue reading…

Posted in: Interview Reports, Interviews | 0 comments

Nov 17, 2014

Booth MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / On Campus

interview10The following is a report from an applicant who was invited to interview at Chicago Booth. The applicant shares their Booth MBA admissions interview questions: 

Basic Stats: 
45-minute interview with the first 30-minutes focused on him asking me questions and the last 15 reserved for my questions and a more free flowing discussion. Blind interview with a second-year student. The interviewer was from Germany and had a pretty strong accent, which was a bit unnerving. This also meant there were a few nuances that wouldn’t have happened in other interviews, i.e., he was unfamiliar with what an animal shelter was so didn’t understand one of my volunteering activities and asked what it was. 

Overall Impression: 
The interview was actually really laid back and easy-going. My interviewer was super nice and quite “smiley,” so that calmed me down a lot. We laughed quite a bit throughout the interview. The biggest surprise to me was how short the interview felt. It felt like I prepared a lot and then got to say about 1/5th of what I could have said/wanted to have said. Also, my interviewer worked in management consulting, and so had a very traditional view of what consulting is. I work at a relatively new mature start-up consulting firm that is not very traditional. This resulted in some questions that were oddly worded/a little confusing to me (e.g., “when you’re kicking off a project and you’re introducing yourself to your client and team, what do you say? What do you say to the team?”). This could have been a result of a little-off translating too, as for that last example I think he was asking “what role do you play on a team? what’s your client team leadership style?”, which is the question I answered. He also didn’t outright ask me at any point ‘Why Chicago?’, which I found a bit constraining, so instead I tried to plug that into throughout the questions. For instance, I asked him about Chicago’s biggest asset and he talked about the supportive culture, so I talked about how that was important to me and I would really contribute to that. He also said the biggest weakness/challenge was having to design everything for yourself and I talked about how I would thrive in that ‘entrepreneurial environment.’ Below are more or less the questions we walked through:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your post MBA career goals?
  3. Why MBA and why now?
  4. Tell me about a time when you suggested / recommended something to the client that they did not do or did not like.
  5. Provide an example of a time when you failed.
  6. How do you introduce yourself to clients and teams? What do you say?
  7. What is [Organization Name] (animal shelter volunteering)?
  8. Why did you major in Latin?
  9. Any questions for me?
  10. What clubs would you join at Booth?
  11. How would your colleagues describe you on a team?


Final Impressions:
I understand the role of the interview much better now. It’s just too short for it ever to be a 100% decision-influencer on the positive side – i.e., “we have to let her in now!!!!”, but I can totally understand how it might be a deal-breaker – i.e., the prospective student doesn’t speak English as well as they said they did. So, I understand now how it can be a sort of a “check the box” thing. As in, “okay this student is enthusiastic and personable, did their research on Booth, and knows why they want an MBA and their career goals.”

Posted in: Interview Reports, Interviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nov 11, 2014

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business Tops Latest Bloomberg BusinessWeek Ranking

fuquaDuke University’s Fuqua School of Business shot to the top of Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial ranking of full-time MBA programs, released today, up from No. 6 two years ago. In the process, the North Carolina school unseated the reigning University of Chicago Booth School of Business and pushed Harvard Business School (HBS) out of the top five for the first time in the history of the rankings.

The formula Bloomberg BW employs to arrive at its rankings is as follows: 45 percent of the score is based on how recruiters rate MBA hires from the school, another 45 percent is determined by how graduating MBAs judge their program and the remaining 10 percent is based on faculty productivity, as measured by a tally of research published in leading journals. Continue reading…

Posted in: MBA News, News, Rankings News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nov 11, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Chicago Booth’s Functions, Management, and Business Environment Requirement

U of ChicagoIn today’s installment of Trivia Tuesday, the column in which we feature program elements and requirements that distinguish leading business schools from their peers, we’re looking inside the Clear Admit Guide to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to learn more about their Functions, Management, and Business Environment requirement:

“To fulfill Chicago Booth’s Functions, Management, and Business Environment requirement, students must take at least one course each from six of the seven academic categories that fall under this category (see Figure 2.4). The Functions area of the curriculum is separated into three disciplines: Finance, Marketing and Operations. While each
of these categories offers at least one basic course, Chicago encourages students with prior background in these subjects to substitute any of these courses with higher-level options. For instance, approved substitutes for Introductory Finance include Advanced Investments, Fixed Income Asset Pricing and Portfolio Management.

The Management courses are also further divided into three categories: Decisions, People and Strategy. Within each of these categories, students may choose from among three or four fundamental courses. Unlike in other areas of the curriculum, though, no advanced substitutes are offered.

The final category is Business Environment, in which students can choose to take Macroeconomics; The Firm and the Non-Market Environment; or Business, Politics, and Ethics. Substitutions, which include Understanding Central Banks and International Commercial Policy, are available for students with an extensive background in economics and political economy.

Together with LEAD and the Foundations Courses, the Functions, Management, and Business Environment requirement aims to educate students in core business disciplines while allowing students to take advantage of the school’s reputation for flexibility.”

That’s all for this week’s Trivia Tuesday. For more information on Chicago Booth’s requirements, electives, or other academic opportunities, be sure to check out the Chicago Booth website or the Clear Admit School Guide to Booth!

Posted in: Tell Us Tuesdays, Weekly Columns | 0 comments

Oct 14, 2014

Chicago Booth Releases Interview Notification Timeline

Chicago Booth Releases Interview Notification Timeline

Did you apply to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business Round One this year? Tyler Smith, an Assistant Director of Admissions at Booth, has written a post titled “Behind the Scenes of Round One,” where he provides crucial details of Booth’s admissions process for Round One applicants, including Booth’s timeline for Round One interview notifications.

The Admissions Committee at Booth is currently reviewing Round One applications. Applications are read in random order and interview decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Booth will notify candidates whether they have been invited back for an interview beginning in mid-October, and all candidates should receive notice of their status by October 24th.

The Booth Admissions Committee strongly encourages all applicants who are invited to interview to come to Booth for their interview. The on-campus interview gives applicants another chance to explore the Booth community and learn more about the school. However, the school understands that not everyone can travel to Chicago, so they are also making alternate interview arrangements available in cities across the world. On-campus interviews are conducted by Booth second-year student fellows, and off-campus interviews are conducted by second-year students or alumni.

After the interviews, the interviewers will submit reports to the Admissions Committee, and the Admissions Committee will review the applications again to make final decisions about candidates. Booth’s final admissions decisions will be released at 9:00 AM CST on December 18th.

Best of luck to everyone who is applying to Booth this round!

Posted in: MBA News, News | 0 comments

Sep 9, 2014

MBA@UNC Infographic Demonstrates ROI of MBA

unc_roiMBA@UNC, the online MBA program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, has created an in-depth infographic to help demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of the MBA degree generally – as well as some specific benefits offered by online programs.

The infographic notes that 96 percent of MBA graduates rate the value of their degree as outstanding, excellent or good and would recommend a graduate management education to others, citing data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Three out of four of those surveyed by GMAC said they could not have obtained their current job without their degree. Continue reading…

Posted in: MBA News, News | 0 comments

Sep 8, 2014

Admissions Director Q&A: Kurt Ahlm of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean, Chicago Booth AdmissionsKurt Ahlm is a 12-year veteran of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business admissions office, and he has been at the helm for the past four years. During that time, he has helped welcome a new dean, Dean Sunil Kumar, and seen the school continue its international expansion.

Ahlm started his career in undergraduate admissions at Northwestern University and then spent time working as a corporate recruiter before coming to Chicago Booth. “I really liked higher education but I also liked the more professional type of atmosphere that the corporate world offered,” he says, adding that MBA admissions provides a great mix of both. Chicago Booth benefits, in turn, from his strong background in both admissions and recruiting. Continue reading…

Posted in: Admissions Director Q&A | 0 comments

Jul 21, 2014

Chicago / Booth Essay Topic Analysis 2014-2015

With Booth’s announcement of its 2014-2015 presentation/essay topic last week, we’re following up with some thoughts about how applicants might approach this ever-challenging task.

In a new twist on a familiar format, Booth is again asking applicants to “show themselves” to the admissions committee via an essay or a visual presentation. Perhaps the most interesting change for this season is the removal of any length restriction; whereas in previous years Booth has set forth a strict four-slide or 600-word maximum length for this element of its application, this year the adcom leaves this entirely to the applicant’s “best judgment.” While it will likely be prudent for essay-writing applicants to at least be cognizant of the word count of previous years, this change affords applicants choosing the presentation route a good deal of freedom to play with space and timing (while still being mindful of the adcom’s time and attention span, of course).

Let’s take a closer look at the prompt itself:

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

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

  • Be reflective. We’ve learned a lot about you throughout the application, but what more should we know?
  • Interpret broadly. “Who are you?” can be interpreted in many different ways. We encourage you to think critically and broadly about who you are, and how your values, passions and experiences have influenced you.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
  • Choose the format that works for you. You can design your presentation or compose your essay in the format that you feel best captures your response. However, please consider the specific technical restrictions noted below.
  • Think about you, not us. Rather than focusing on what you think we want to hear, focus on what is essential for us to know about you. Simply put, be genuine.

This somewhat unusual and unstructured prompt speaks to Chicago Booth’s interest in the applicant’s interests, personality, and skills in self-expression. All of this “white space”—whether in essay or presentation format—might be daunting to some, but an easy way to approach this process is to ask oneself a few simple questions. What new and important information about yourself can you introduce to the adcom? How does that information lend itself to the formats available (essay vs. presentation)? Are you more of a visual presenter/thinker who will be very comfortable showcasing information in PowerPoint or other software, or is writing more your strength/comfort zone? In terms of organization for a presentation or an essay, are there separate topics to which you would like to devote a slide each or essay section? Or would you prefer to use the framework of your presentation or paragraphs of an essay to create a sense of progression through a current activity, past experience, “day in the life,” etc.?

We’re hesitant to provide too much guidance given the free-form nature of the task; the best advice we can offer is to think about who you are (and how this might be of interest to the Booth adcom in light of their stated values), consider how you could translate this into words and images, and then give it a try. Showing the initial result to someone who knows you well could be a great way to determine the effectiveness of a working draft. You might also wish to refresh yourself on how to present your “fit” with aspects of Chicago Booth’s culture, such that taking the time to learn more about the school’s MBA program – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Chicago Booth.

We understand that this question can seem extremely challenging, so feel free to contact us for a free consultation in which a Clear Admit Admissions Counselor can help you think through the elements of your profile and determine how to best approach Booth’s application.

Reapplicant Essay: 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)
Whereas some reapplicant essays focus on material improvements in the applicant’s candidacy (e.g. promotions, improved leadership skills), this brief response is more focused on personal growth and changes in perspective since the applicant last applied. Specifically, this prompt seems to invite comments about ways the applicant has calibrated career goals, become better acquainted with Booth, or gained a better understanding of how an MBA will fit into a larger career trajectory. Those material improvements we mentioned before are worth commenting on, of course, but the tone of this response should be reflective, with a focus on how the events of the past months or years since being denied fit into a larger plan and understanding.

Posted in: Essay Topic Analysis, Essays | 0 comments

Jul 17, 2014

Chicago Booth 2014-2015 Essay Topic

Chicago Booth 2014-2015 Essay Topic

Along with the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 admissions season, the Chicago Booth adcom has announced its 2014-2015 presentation/essay topic, which is as follows:

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

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

  • Be reflective. We’ve learned a lot about you throughout the application, but what more should we know?
  • Interpret broadly.  “Who are you?” can be interpreted in many different ways.  We encourage you to think critically and broadly about who you are, and how your values, passions and experiences have influenced you.
  • Determine your own length.  There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length.  We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
  • Choose the format that works for you.  You can design your presentation or compose your essay in the format that you feel best captures your response. However, please consider the specific technical restrictions noted below.
  • Think about you, not us.  Rather than focusing on what you think we want to hear, focus on what is essential for us to know about you. Simply put, be genuine.

Technical Guidelines

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats:  Acceptable formats are PDF, Word and Powerpoint.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.
  • Preserve Your Formatting: We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting to ensure that everything you see matches what we see.

Chicago Booth also requires that reapplicants to its program complete the following essay question:

Reapplicant Essay: 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)

For more information, visit Booth’s admissions website.

Posted in: Essay Topics, Essays | 0 comments

Jul 17, 2014

Chicago Booth Deadlines 2014-2015

Chicago Booth Deadlines 2014-2015

The 2014-2015 Chicago Booth deadlines have been announced. This year’s three deadlines are below:

Round One
Application Deadline: September 25, 2014
Final Decision: December 18, 2014

Round Two
Application Deadline: January 6, 2015
Final Decision: March 26, 2015

Round Three
Application Deadline: April 7, 2015
Final Decision: May 26, 2015

Interview invitations will be distributed to select candidates following an evaluation of the submitted application materials. More information about the specifics of the Chicago Booth admissions process can be found on the school’s website.

Posted in: Deadlines | 0 comments

Jul 10, 2014

MBA Students from Leading Global Business Schools to Help Child Cancer Charity

wcc_logo_circleA United Kingdom charity focused on helping children with cancer in developing countries will receive an infusion of expertise and energy this summer as more than 40 students from top business schools in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas develop plans to tackle business problems faced by the organization.

The students, working in teams as part of the Financial Times MBA Challenge, will assist the FT’s seasonal appeal partner, which this year is World Child Cancer (WCC). Seven teams of students – who hail from schools including Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Oxford Saïd Business School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, London Business School, ESADE and IE Business School, among others – will each be partnered with a mentor and required to submit a business plan in September on a set topic. Continue reading…

Posted in: MBA News, News | 0 comments