Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Booth Connect!

New for the 2009-2010, the Admissions Office at Chicago Booth has launched Booth Connect, an online portal designed to provide you with a customized look into everything Chicago Booth.

Our aim for the site is to provide you with a deeper, more individualized look into the Chicago Booth experience. By registering for the site and sharing your interests, we'll be able to tailor content toward your MBA aspirations. The sections of "Mind", "Life", "Leadership", and "Impact" reflect some of the core components of the Booth experience, and within those sections you'll be able to experience things like faculty discussions and debate, student profiles, entrepreneurial success stories, alumni profiles and more!

We encourage anyone interested in applying to Chicago Booth to check out Booth Connect! Click here to register your profile now.

As always, should you have any questions (or even suggestions) about Booth Connect, don't hesitate to email us!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

DSAC: 2009-2010

Hi there!

Welcome to the 2009-2010 version of the Chicago Booth DSAC blog. With the end of Summer approaching, we second years are gearing up for our return to classes, and we’re sure you applicants for the Class of 2011 are gearing up for the application season ahead of you.

For those just coming here for the first time, this blog is for the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee to document some of the aspects of student life here at Booth, and provide some (hopefully helpful) insight into the application process at Booth. We’ll talk about anything from classes to clubs and everything in between. Please let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to address.

For now we’ll open things up with links to some of the most important resources you’ll need as a Booth applicant...

The first, and most obvious, are the main website to Chicago Booth, and more specifically the Full-Time MBA program. Use this to learn more about our program – academics, faculty, students, clubs, career resources...the list goes on.

Second, check out the details of the admissions process. This will provide you with more details about the steps required for applying to the Class of 2011. Take special note of the application deadlines – October 14 (Round 1), January 6 (Round 2), and March 10 (Round 3).

Finally, the link to the application itself. You’ll use this to actually submit your application.

We’re looking forward to being a part of the application process with you, and wish you all the best this year.

- The Chicago Booth Dean’s Student Admissions Committee (2009-2010)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ciao, Adios, G'bye - from the graduating DSAC co-chairs!

The DSAC passes into new hands and us, old co-chairs with only a few weeks left before we graduate, we’d like to say a few words before we pass on the reins…

JSV | “What can I say?? Two years goes by fast! I’ve recently been asked several times how I feel about graduating and whether I am happy I got my MBA. Graduating is bittersweet. I certainly have no desire to look at yet another HBS case and who really uses the CAPM anyway, but I also don’t want to leave my friends and all the opportunities that are so easy to take advantage of here. B-School also has this sort of safe haven feel that I will miss dearly where I can be on my own schedule, ask any questions, and use “networking” as an excuse for going out any night of the week.

I never thought I would be having a conversation with the CEO of Whirlpool, hearing the Vice President of Colombia speak, or take a class with the author of Freakonomics. But here at Chicago Booth, that all happened in just one week!! The experiences are real and have given me such perspective not only on business but life in general. Of course I am glad I got my MBA! I love being a Boothie and always will.”

NJSS | In an ideal world, the MBA would be a 3 year course without any opportunity costs and at the end of it, a 6 figure job and world-changing opportunities would await us all… But hey, this is 2009, the year of the deficits, crunches and rescinded bonuses… and so, here we are at the end of 21 months with our promised jobs yet intact and our MBA almost over. Personally, I would LOVE a 3 year program – there’s tons of rock-star professors and fantastic courses that I would love to try (not to mention the TNDCs I missed out) and of course, we want it all!

But that’s the way it is… classes apart, I’ll also miss the other stuff that’s kept me on my mental and physical toes. Be it writing for Chibus or managing the DSAC blog, I have enjoyed flexing my limited non-academic muscles at Booth and I wonder how I’m going to fill up the free time until work kicks in. Blogging, sourcing blog content, launching Twitter, manning discussion boards, hosting breakfasts, calling new Admits… me and Jen have been at the centre of a very interesting intersection where the school, students and applicants meet and interact and I am sure we will thoroughly miss all the action.

Working with Rose, Andrea and the rest of the admissions team as a DSAC co-chair has been amazing! We not only got a peek at the other side of the Admissions window but also have started to appreciate how the different aspects like culture, academic performance, background, work experiences come together to shape applicants and the school’s personality. It’s a small consolation that as alumni, we may get to evaluate future Booth MBAs (some DSAC habits die hard!) and I look forward to that… although I doubt if the trauma of not attending another TNDC or Admit Weekend will ever really wear off! ;-)

So here’s to the best B-school in the galaxy – with its brilliant professors, startling theories, weird Noble prize jokes, super-smart students, friendly staff… and it's awesome new DSAC co-chairs - we’ll miss it all!

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No cosignor loan for international students @ Chicago Booth

Great news for international applicants - Chicago Booth has signed up for a new loan program in coordination with GMAC's ISLP program ; international applicants can apply for a loan without a co-signor for an amount that covers their MBA expenses.

The official press release is available on our
website and FT in this article believes that this is a sign of the credit crunch easing at Chicago!

That should ease some of the stress in the admissions process - good luck everyone!

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Prep & The Story (Part 3 of 3) - EARLY ENTRANTS

In the final concluding section of this series, we bring to you two students who were "early-entrants" - students who were way younger than the average B-school student.

Carmen Magar from Germany, worked across the world with SAP while Nidhi Patel worked as a agricultural consultant before school.

Brief Profile/ Background
Carmen: I worked at SAP in a rotational general management program, completing my undergrad degree at the same time. I am German, but lived in Saudi-Arabia, UAE, China, and well, here of course. This summer I interned in consulting.
Nidhi: I spent 2 years working in agricultural consulting and education programming before my MBA.

What motivated you to pursue an MBA?

In that program at SAP, my favorite department was the internal strategy group. There I got to meet some wonderful people, and what they had in common was an MBA. Plus, I didn't feel like I was done learning yet.
Nidhi: To bring to the public/development sector the know-how of the private sector.

How did you prepare for the admissions process?
I was terrible at school research, my interviewer told me about the reputation of the schools. I knew what to classes to take though ;) I put a lot of emphasis on the GMAT in my preparation because I'm calculator addicted,. I really enjoyed the essays and encourage you to be yourself in them. The process of writing them was self-exploratory, so either way its not a waste. If you know what your motivation for going to school is, it's not hard to decide on a school. Being German (and naive, I guess) I didn't know that B-School is a lot about recruiting and networking, not only academics. Hence the one factor for me that helped me decide were the classes/ academic quality - really superior at Booth.
Nidhi: I tried simply to state exactly what it was I wanted to get out of the program. I had to develop and really understand my own reason for applying and once I could get that in story-form, it was just transferring that message to the interviewers and the application. I took the GMAT, no classes, just used the Kaplan book for studying about 2 months prior to the exam. Luckily for me, I was only 2 years out of college and therefore studying was still easy for me. This is an advantage because I know many smart people who felt they needed classes even if to simply structure their studying.

How has your school experience been so far?
Having come here expecting "only" a great academic environment, I have been wowed and blown away by 1) my classmates 2) the service orientation of the school 3) the doors that have opened to me.
Coming in with a different career goal than most of my peers, it has been difficult to gain a support system and be able to utilize the career help of the students/faculty. That being said, the classes have significantly shaped the way I approach strategy issues and has increased my financial analysis capabilities. Great academics but can be challenging if you are not going into one of 4 major career buckets.

What has surprised you the most about B-school till now?
Carmen: Same as my previous answer... and how beautiful the winter garden is in reality!
Nidhi: How nurturing the professors are - not all of them of course, but you will find world-renowned professors take the time to answer rudimentary questions and even engage in helping students with their inidivudal career/academic goals. They show a sincere interest in student development if you are willing to take the opportunity to engage with them.

What kind of activities are you involved in outside of classes?
Carmen: Co-Chair of the Leadership and Influence Group, co-directed the cohort movie, organizing the fashion show, just got done with case preparation help for first years numbering 587!
Nidhi: Last year I participated in 3 consulting projects through the student groups - that kept me plenty busy. I also became a LEAD facil - that experience was a great way of connecting with the larger Booth student body.

How was the transition from work back to school?
Carmen: Easy for me because I came straight from undergrad.
Nidhi: Again, I was only out for 2 years and quite frankly, I was very happy to be back in a classroom. The transition seemed almost seamless though it was rather difficult leaving a job I enjoyed having only worked there for a short time.

Any advice that you might have for other early-entry applicants?
Carmen: If you're like me, you really really want to get your MBA, and decided to try despite lower chances as an early applicant, show that passion. You know you're ready, help them understand. Explain how you'll be able to create value for your later entry classmates, what you can contribute to their experience.
Nidhi: Job-wise, you are at a disadvantage with only 2 years of experience behind you. The class generally has around 4-5 which seems to be the average without having looked at the stats. I focused on getting some extra interview prep and help so that I could be a stronger candidate despite not having the same amount of experience as other applicants. You can leverage your limited experience by showing greater motivation to excel and move forward. It depends on the case, but there is always a way to spin a weakness into a strength :)

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Monday, February 16, 2009

Follies Time @ Chicago Booth!

Its Follies Time @ Chicago Booth and everybody gets into the mood... As you can see below, even Ted pretty much got into the act last year!

PS: Julie (Morton) is the head of Career Services @ the school and Sean Singleton was from the Class of 2008.

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Friday, January 30, 2009

This is just to say...

This is just to say
That we are now on Twitter.

Follow us from here

To wherever a Chicago MBA

Can take you.

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Striking the balance - The MBA Spouse

In this post, Huma talks about life as an MBA spouse. Huma’s husband, Dilshad is a student in the Class of 2010 at Chicago Booth.

Name: Huma Shabbir
Nationality: Pakistani
Country of residence before Chicago: United Kingdom

Life before Chicago Booth | I did my undergrad from the UK, while studying I met my husband, Dilshad and we got married. I was working for SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) for their Major Businesses Sales & Marketing division as a manager before moving to Chicago in August '08.

Are you considering any career options while at Chicago? | Given my work experience and background, I had expected some promising options here, but but because I am on F1 (dependant of student) visa there is a restriction on obtaining any work unless a company sponsors me for a work permit (H1-B) which is generally difficult, and has proven to be even more so in this economic environment.

How did both of you decide on Booth? | We decided on Booth mainly because it suited my husband's criteria, as he was after a finance driven program and Booth is well known as a top finance school with very strong academic rigor and flexible curriculum and secondly because of it's location, as we are "big city people" and Chicago met our requirements well.

How do you like Chicago? | Chicago was a pleasant surprise. It was our first visit to the US so we were excited and didn't know what to expect. The whole process from the first entry to settling in to our accommodation downtown was very smooth. We felt at home instantly as Chicago gives you the privileges of city living yet it has quieter parts like the lake-side and its beautiful parks. So while my student is away on campus there are plenty of things to keep me busy in the city. I found the public transport to be reasonably convenient too as we don't have a car.

How are facilities at Chicago Booth for partners? | The Harper center is very accessible to partners; you can sit there to do your work and there are plenty of weekly events like the LPF on Fridays (which is an evening gathering that gives you a chance to meet other students and partners over food and drinks). There is also a Partners Club, which I joined as soon as we arrived. They have various events such as parties, dinners, day-outs for kids and their mums etc. They have been fairly active so far and the events give you an opportunity to meet partners in similar situations and make friends!

What other activities are you involved in? | On top of Partners Club activities and LPFs, the main activities you would engage in are the Thursday Night Drinking Club (TNDC) - a fun Thursday evening outing to a bar/pub. There are also other social clubs like the Epicurean club (which organizes dinners, potlucks, farmers markets), Rhythmix (teaching salsa, tango etc and have dancing events) which partners can join in. There are also volunteering opportunities (tutoring, animal shelter etc) in the city as well as the university which you can participate in. I guess in the end it is a personal choice as to how busy and engaged you want to be.

What do you like and dislike about the city/experience? | So far I like the city, the diversity of the student body and campus facilities for us which makes our life very convenient. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the weather! :) No amount of warning prepares you for 0F! However, you'd be surprised at how quickly one learns to acclimatize and carry on with life.

Any advice for partners in choosing a school/ pursuing life with an MBA spouse? | Think about all aspects before you choose a school: location, facilities, social clubs etc, and balance these with your “student's” academic requirements; it’s very important that you both are happy with this crucial change in your lives. I think Chicago Booth was the right choice for us and so far we have enjoyed the experience.

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More on the elusive "fit" question - Visit,Visit,Visit!

In an earlier post, I had spoken about some ways of finding if you and your dream B-school make for a right "fit". In this recent post from a BW MBA Journal, Erin Rupprecht from Stern talks about how "fit" is not made up and how it links up with your school experience. She also strongly advises domestic applicants (and internationals, if possible,I guess!) to "visit,visit,visit" schools.

In fact, we have two members in the DSAC totally dedicated to organizing visits that include hosted lunches, class sit-in sessions and building tours from September to May. We also host "Chicago Booth Live" - full day events that allow you to spend a day in various activities on campus, culminating in an LPF (Liquidity Preference Function) where you can down a couple of beers as you chat with current students. If you are interested, feel free to sign-up for the program here - we would love to host you and share our MBA experience with you!

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Military MBA – The Prep & The Story (Part 2 of 3)

Applicants with a military background bring unique and practical leadership experiences to an MBA program. At Chicago Booth, we have quite a few classmates with extensive military experiences.

Frank Hauben was in the US Army for six years. His specialty was in communications and he spent three years in Germany as a platoon leader and operations officer, a year at Fort Hood, Texas, leading a communications team for an air cavalry squadron, and 15 months in Baghdad as a strategic planner. Jean Park was a U.S. Army officer in the Signal Corps (communications). She worked in various roles throughout her service – Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Assistant S-3, and a brief stint as a Liaison Officer to the Korean Army in Iraq. In this post, Frank and Jean share their experiences before and after admissions at Chicago Booth.

What motivated you to pursue an MBA?

FRANK: While I had fun during my Army time, I wanted to shift to a career in the private sector. An MBA provides the perfect opportunity to transition to the business world. A large percentage of people who go through business school are career switchers, and the career services office has the whole process down to a T. There are inexhaustible opportunities to learn about new industries, companies, functions, and to prepare students for the application and interview process.

JEAN: I realized that I needed to learn a lot of the business fundamentals that I did not have exposure to. I had a lot of operational experience before business school from my experience in the Army and at GE. However, I wanted to expand my business knowledge foundation and explore more opportunities that could put me on fast-track to senior management.

How did you prepare for the admissions process?


GMAT - I used the Official Guide for GMAT, The Princeton Review, and the Kaplan guide. I found the Princeton Review the most helpful as far as test-taking strategies, and Kaplan had the hardest questions. The Official Guide had actual previous tests, so I found it to be the best assessment tool. I studied an hour every other night after I was finished with work. Since I was deployed to Iraq at the time, I never had a 3 hour block of free time for the practice tests. So I took the practice tests in 30-45 minute blocks and then put it on pause for the next day (which I would not recommend). I took the test during my two week R&R in Europe, which is also something I would not recommend. Luckily I did well, but this strategy leaves no time for a re-test.

ESSAYS - I highly recommend the book How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs. A friend at another top business school recommended it, and it proved invaluable. This book helped me frame my experiences to best answer the essay questions. I also had friends in grad school (both business and law) critique my essays.

SCHOOL RESEARCH - I emailed alums and current students through the Armed Forces Group. I also spent time reading MBA journals on the Business Week website, and looking through student comments on Vault.com.


I had to do a lot of soul-searching to find out the true reasons why I wanted to go to school. This was extremely beneficial in crafting my essay themes and ‘why business school’ questions. I realized how passionate I was to go to a great program and become a part of a solid alumni community.
GMAT - I think the most important thing is to do full-length practice tests. I wish I had done more of these, because it was a little difficult to sit through the entire exam on GMAT day. I wish I had done more full-length practice exams to simulate the actual test taking experience.
ESSAYS - I found it difficult to find examples from applications with similar experiences to mine. This was mainly because I had military experience in addition to business experience. Instead of looking at other example essays, I thought of my strengths and weaknesses and how a business school experience would give me the tools to have a successful career. Veterans have extraordinary leadership experiences that should definitely be highlighted in essays.

What were the top 1 or 2 factors that helped you decide on the choice of school?

FRANK: What impressed me most about Chicago was how polished everything was, from the smooth application process and proactive admissions reps, to how welcome everyone made me feel as an admitted student. Chicago Booth students and administration go that extra mile, and were the biggest factors in choosing this school.

JEAN: Career Services was a huge factor for me, because I wanted to have an extremely solid support staff who had built long-lasting relationships with outstanding companies. The alumni community also played a large role because I wanted to be part of a community which had strong ties to the school and was still a part of the overall community once school got officially over.

How has your school experience been so far?

FRANK: The social atmosphere has been great and there is a real sense of community at the school. I love how many students live within a few blocks downtown, so there is always someone to work out with, study with, or go out with for some drinks. School has just been a lot of fun!

JEAN: It’s been amazing to be surrounded by a group of peers that’s so diverse in their experiences, knowledge, and backgrounds. It’s also very humbling to experience my business school career with such a phenomenal group of people. Much like the military, there is a certain sense of camaraderie with your classmates and it’s been an awesome experience to be a part of.

What has surprised you the most about B-school till now?

FRANK: I’m surprised at how much I learn outside of the class, just from talking with other students. I have learned so much about business functions, industries, and companies that I had no idea even existed.

JEAN: The amount of time I actually spend with “school.” Before I came to school, I almost had a sense of relief once I got into school because I thought that it would be less stressful than the work grind. However, I soon realized that times flies and that I had to prioritize my academic, career, and social interests. Business school is all about juggling your priorities and I never thought I would be this busy!

What kind of activities are you involved in outside of classes?

FRANK: I am most actively involved in the Armed Forces Group, which is a networking group that also helps military applicants navigate the admissions process, and Give Something Back where I am a tutor for children at Ray Elementary School at Hyde Park. I am also a member of the MCG, CMSG, and DSAC groups.

JEAN: I am a Class Agent, an elected Alumni Relations representative of my cohort. It’s been a great experience to get involved in alumni events, especially since I have a strong interest in building a strong alumni community. I am also involved with the Armed Forces Group, DSAC, Management Consulting Group, and CWiB.

How was the transition from work back to school?

FRANK: I found the process to be very smooth. Grade non-disclosure certainly helps keep the stress off of things, and if you can apply that military work ethic to academics, you’ll be just fine.

JEAN: I think I’m still transitioning....there’s something new every day! Just be prepared for things to start running at 100 mph once you hit ground at school. The best thing I ever did was to ensure that I was moved in and settled before school and orientation ever began. There is definitely little time to unpack things and explore your neighborhood once school starts!

Any advice that you might have for applicants with a military background?


  • Contact the Armed Forces Group and talk to other MBA veterans – their experiences and advice are invaluable.
  • Be aware of positive and negative military stereotypes. Certain stereotypes will work to our favor: leadership, work ethic. Others will not: uptight, not creative, relies too much on rank.
  • Be aware of these and actively work to combat these with prepared stories about how you needed to come up with a creative solution or how you got a senior officer (someone who you didn’t have any rank authority over) to do what you needed. Finally, even if you’re deployed during the application window, you should still apply.


  • Each school definitely has its own vibe and feel.
  • Get a good sense of what this is like and see if you can see yourself as being a part of that community for the rest of your career.
  • Reach out to current students and alumni...you’d be surprised how open people are to speaking about their experiences and helping out!
  • As a veteran, use your leadership and team building experiences to your advantage. You’ve been in stressful situations where you’ve had to deliver results with very little resources...be sure to highlight your strengths!
B-school students with a military background are known for their analytical abilities, no-nonsense approach and people management skills - traits that make them prized picks for consulting firms and industry leadership positions. If you are a military applicant and would like to know more about the Chicago Booth MBA, feel free to reach out to the Armed Forces Group or DSAC.

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago Booth Discussion Forums