News, advice and resources for business school applicants
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…

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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.

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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

Jul 8, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Chicago Booth’s International MBA

Trivia Tuesday: Chicago Booth’s International MBA

internationalWelcome once again to Trivia Tuesday, our weekly examination of the offerings that help distinguish the top business schools from each other.  Today we’re focusing on Chicago Booth’s International MBA, as featured in the Clear Admit Guide to Booth.

“Chicago Booth is one of the only leading MBA programs that gives students the opportunity to pursue a specialized International MBA (IMBA) degree.  To receive the IMBA, full-time students must spend one academic term abroad, complete five courses related to international business and demonstrate proficiency in a non-native language before graduation.  Chicago requires interested students to declare their intent to pursue the IMBA in Autumn Quarter of their first year, significantly earlier than most of their peers.

“The IMBA shares the same core requirements as the traditional Chicago Booth MBA, which means that students first receive a solid foundation in general business principles before focusing on international topics.  In addition to completing the 10-course core curriculum, IMBA candidates must take at least five more courses in international business, at least three of which must be offered by Chicago Booth.  Because this course sequence is meant to provide them with a deep understanding of the global economy, IMBA students are not permitted to concentrate in international business, as the designation would be redundant. Continue reading…

Posted in: School Guides, Trivia Tuesday | 0 comments

Jun 25, 2014

Some Business Schools Adopt Tracking Software in a Bid to Increase Yield

tracking softwareA number of top-tier business schools have begun to use software to track prospective applicants’ interactions with their school in an effort to gauge how interested they are in attending, according to a recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The data points – which can include whether a student has emailed admissions staff, how many admissions events they’ve attended and whether they requested program information – are now included in candidate profiles alongside test scores and essay responses, Bloomberg BW adds.

Most schools report that student interest isn’t a main factor in admissions decisions, but the fact that increasing numbers of schools are using the tracking programs suggest that the data gathered counts for something. Continue reading…

Posted in: MBA News, News | 0 comments

May 30, 2014

Fridays From the Frontline

Post 7. PastPresentFutureHello and welcome to Fridays From the Frontline, Clear Admit’s weekly summation of the soliloquies of the b-school blogosphere. This week, even as we are about to announce the winners of the Best of Blogging 2013 contest, we have two new bloggers to feature with interesting and thoughtful updates on the application and admissions process, while current students and recent graduates also  share their perspectives.

GrantMeAdmission starts off  a busy week by outlining how he carefully selected the schools to apply to, along with a list of 8 questions every application should ask before applying. Once finished with that process, the next question is ‘what are my chances?’. Given his prolific posting, it’s no surprise that GrantMeAdmission has hit 1000 views in 10 days!  LifeInTransitMBA is thinking about how much life will change once he matriculates at Booth, even as other, life-long habits will continue.  Timbob is also looking forward to matriculating at Harvard Business Schooleven though he’s been busy with many life changes, including getting married and planning a transatlantic move.  MBAReApplicant‘s reasons for choosing Anderson continue to grow, and he’s invited current and future students to share their experiences with the school as well.

While most of our current student bloggers are taking a break from both school and blogging, a few recent grads have taken the time to provide some perspective. MBAManchester reviews what he really learned from the MBA, while Cambridge alumnus Samuel Harrison gives a thorough account of lessons learned on launching an app. Finally, ahron at MilitarytoBusiness discusses the process of selecting a summer MBA internship, now that the first year is completed.

 

And that’s all the news for this week’s edition of Fridays From the Frontline, but don’t forget to check back later for the winners of the Best of Blogging Competition! As the East Coast of the United States has  reached the unofficial start of summer,  we are enjoying the warm weather and the slower pace of MBA admissions. We  also hope that current applicants continue to update us with information about statuses and future plans, and that current students and recent grads also update their blogs with summer activities or as they transition into post MBA careers.

Final-Badge_180w_jpg122Want to join the Fridays From the Frontline community and see your blog featured regularly in this column? Just follow this link and add the FFF badge to your blog and then  email us at bob@clearadmit.com with your URL so we can make sure to add you to our weekly roundups.

 

Posted in: Fridays from the Frontline, Weekly Columns | 0 comments

May 27, 2014

Submit an MBA Interview Report from Chicago Booth, INSEAD, Northwestern / Kellogg, UT Austin / McCombs, Yale SOM, or Michigan / Ross and Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Welcome to our weekly edition of Tell Us Tuesday, where we highlight MBA interview reports that have recently been posted to our Interview Archive! The following is an excerpt from a Round 1 HBS applicant’s report submitted last week:

My interview was conducted by two adcom members. One asked the questions, and one feverishly scribbled notes. The interview was exactly 30 minutes.

Thanks to all of you who submitted interview reports over the past week!

If you’re interested in sharing your experience from the 2013-14 season, we’ll be awarding a $10 Amazon gift certificate to each applicant who submits an interview report for Chicago Booth, INSEAD, Northwestern / Kellogg, UT Austin / McCombs, Yale SOM, or Michigan / Ross  through 4pm EST next Tuesday, June 3rd!  All you have to do is send us your interview field report for any of the above programs and we’ll send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  We will notify the winners by e-mail (Limit: one gift card per person).

The most helpful and informative reports usually include the following information:

  1. Date/Admissions Round
  2. Description of visit and/or interview atmosphere
  3. Type of interview (alum vs. adcom, blind vs. application-based)
  4. List of interview questions
  5. Commentary (What did you think of the interview? What surprised you? What didn’t surprise you? What might you conclude about the school based on this experience?)

Applicants who would like to supplement the information available on the Interview Archive can check out our Clear Admit Interview Guides, which provide school-specific insight about admissions interviews.  Good luck to those still interviewing!

Posted in: Tell Us Tuesdays | 0 comments

May 2, 2014

Economist Ranks Top 20 North American MBA Programs, Chicago Booth Leads

300px-UChicago_Booth_School_exteriorIn case you missed it, the Economist earlier this week broke out the top 20 North American full-time MBA programs, as a follow-up to its global ranking. As an introduction to this North American-specific list, the Economist calls America the “spiritual home of the MBA,” noting that the first MBA was offered there more than a century ago and that today, U.S. schools dominate the publication’s global ranking. (Eight of the top 10 business schools in the worldwide ranking are located in U.S.)

Among the Top 20 North American MBA programs, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business claimed the top spot (as it did in the global rankings). Among the other highest-ranking North American schools were several prestigious U.S. names, including Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, MIT Sloan School of Management and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Continue reading…

Posted in: News, Rankings News | 0 comments