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Ask a Booth Student

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dmateer25 Community Manager
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Ask a Booth Student

Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:26 pm
Want to talk to a Booth student about the Booth student experience? Ask here!

We're lucky to have one of our own BTG members to answer your questions!

*Cory Burns, 1st Year (in the fall)

Please note that this isn't a discussion thread (or forum) for application advice. It's meant for talking about life inside the Booth program.

A big thanks to our Booth volunteer!

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
ultraeasy MBA Student
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Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:05 pm
Hey. I'm new to this business school thing. I've never taken a business class, in fact. But, like many of you here, I spent a full year reading forums, contacting current students and alum, visiting campuses, refining career goals, and searching for that perfect match between my mission and an institution. With admissions behind me [big sigh of relief], I feel fortunate to now be a member of the Booth community.

This school has done an exceptional job communicating every step of the admission's process and, once admitted, an even better job of hazing us with phone calls, local happy hours, admit weekends, career discovery exercises, and active email groups, leaving us no doubt that we have already begun the transformative process that top business schools boast before classes have even begun. Cool.

I will have much more info to share as classes begin, but my research was exhaustive, and I can rattle off any Booth fact recently published, and can even back some of it with personal testimony. Why are you considering Booth? Can community exist without cohorts? Are the professors as good as they claim? Should you be a Cubs or Sox fan?

I'll do my best to answer your questions as they arise.

amit_2010 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:20 pm
Hey Cory Burns,

I am Amit, from India. I am really interested for booth, but i am not sure whether i am a competitive for booth or not, i am sharing my profile with BTG please let me know where i need to be improve.

Amit
GMAT:740
GPA:66.4 out of 100
Indian
Having 2.3 yrs of experience in IT


currently my salary is 8500 $ P.A. and average fees for a MBA program is around 100000(+) $ (including living expenses), so my question is : MBA Abroad is it worth the money?.

If I'll start to return money to bank then it will take around 5+ years, so will you please guide me what to do for that condition.

Hope for reply.

Regards,
Amit
Strength is life, weakness is death.

ultraeasy MBA Student
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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:55 am
Hey Amit, you have the right idea by starting now to research schools and the application process in general by reaching out on these forums. I'm not the best resource for profile evaluation because I have only put together one set of applications--for myself. You should ask an admission's consultant so that they can help you identify your strengths and make the best possible story for your application. You can post your profile on this site, or contact individual consultants (there are plenty around on this site) to get started.

Whether an MBA abroad is worth the value is a tough question too. You need to compare your current income against your projected post-MBA income, which will vary with the industry you enter, and the location and your ability to be competitive during recruiting. Most sources still claim that attending a top MBA program is worth the premium paid in tuition.

Good luck in your research and let me know if you have any Booth-specific questions that I can answer for you.

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asamaverick Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:13 pm
Hi Cory,

It's great to have you here on the forum to answer our questions. I have a few questions pertaining to Booth, it will be good to have your thoughts on these.

1) How is the teaching method? Case method, theoretical (lectures) or a blend.

2) What makes Booth different from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and the likes?

3) What was the main reason you applied to Booth?

Thanks,
Arun

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Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:34 pm
thanks a lot ultraeasy Smile

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:12 pm
Thanks so much Cory for representing Booth in the Beat The GMAT community! You're providing an amazing service to us all. Smile

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ultraeasy MBA Student
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Post Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:46 pm
Hey Arun, I have a quick answer to all three of your questions: Booth has the most flexible curriculum on the planet.

The classroom teaching method varies by the class. I can't give you an accurate case/lecture split, but know that you can often have a choice between instructors who employ different methods for the same course and you can register for the method you'd prefer. I think they lean towards lectures in general.

I didn't apply to Harvard or Wharton, so can't provide much analysis there. But Booth is different from Stanford in that there are no core classes or cohorts. I take that back--there is one required course, LEAD, a soft-skills, student-led leadership course. Both schools have high energy on-campus and one is closer to the East Coast. Booth offers greater flexibility for students who want to specialize their degree. If you already have a finance background, you can take advanced finance classes in place of the basic quantitative courses. Chicago does have 9 required courses in specific function areas, but you can take any one of several different course options to satisfy each area. You choose the flavor and method. Oh, and Chicago has something that Stanford will never have: seasons. How this relates to the classroom...it doesn't, but will certainly change clothing choice.

I applied to Booth for job placement. They have the clout to make me competitive for jobs in a different industry and function with seemingly unrelated work experience. I also really like Chicago and have been searching for an excuse to move back.

Admissions is a challenging and confusing process. I had a friend accepted into Berkeley after being denied from Chicago and UCLA, while I was accepted into UCLA and Chicago, but denied from Berkeley. We couldn't come up with a reason for this other than adcoms don't all think alike. For this uncertainty, I encourage you to research and apply to as many programs as your time/cash allows, to better your chances of being accepted to the best program with your best fit possible.

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Post Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:53 am
Thanks so much Cory, really appreciate that.

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Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:29 am
Cory - now that classes have started, I have a few questions:

1) The flexibility that you mentioned - does it seem too open-ended, or is the menu of options serving you well?
2) What can you tell us about the culture so far? Student/Faculty culture?
3) Many other business schools group incoming business school students into cohort groups for the first semester or year - these groups take several classes together. How does Booth handle the incoming students with the vast diversity of class schedules?
4) Do you haved any comments on the Booth Career Services department?

Feel free to ignore my questions if they are irrelevant - mainly, I'd just like to read an update now that classes have started. Thanks for the info thus far.

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Post Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:52 pm
Hey.

My experiences since orientation began on the 7th have been pretty amazing. This organization is top notch and is one of the tightest ships that I've been on (schedules are honored to the second). Classes officially begin on Thursday, but I took an optional one-week financial accounting boot camp that showed me that the intensity in the classes will be high (as will learning).

The flexibility works great for me, and anyone else I've met. There are 3 foundation courses, Financial Accounting, Business Statistics, and Microeconomics, that serve as prereqs for many of the others, so my choices in this first quarter were pretty much limited. The exception would be for those who already had a background in those subject areas and will substitute higher level material under the same subject areas. But you can choose to take 4 classes, or even 5 if you like pain. Next quarter, there will be lots of options for us to choose from though and we'll mix it up with more second-year students.

The culture is far different from what I expected...it is very much a party crowd. Our first 48 hours together were in Lake Geneva at a resort going through scores of problem solving games, ice breakers, and high ropes courses by day, and continued to drink until around 5AM with no less than 50% participation by night, all with not too much difficulty making it to breakfast by 730. This bonding experience has led to multiple unofficial Booth gatherings every night of the week so far. We like to get together and take over whatever venue someone organized: restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, river cruise. My contribution so far was organizing a pub crawl in Lincoln Park and planned for about 50 - 75 person turnout. Well, at the gathering place of my apt (a remodeled pickle factory in Lincoln Park), I distributed 250 wristbands and had people asking for for some all night. We had an easy 300 people who were down to stay out from 8PM till 4AM. Perhaps it's the current lack of graded classes that account for such participation, but we may just have an awesome class.

How faculty will interact with us will soon be revealed when classes begin. But the staff is very talented and welcoming.

Everyone is in one of ten Cohorts, with about 58 people per cohort. We go through LEAD together, which is very group oriented and we are forced to perform for the class often in various personal interaction exercises, and even took an improv class together...it's like they are trying to shake this "quant jock personality-void" reputation or something. And it's working. We are also broken into 8-person Squads that have been active with dinners and small Booth-sponsored activities. Once LEAD is over, the cohort remains active by cohort vs. cohort competitions and activities. We have a short film producing competition called Golden Gargoyles that we are pretty excited about and held a brainstorming session today about good ideas to win the competition. I was also elected my cohort Community Chair, so will be solely responsible for organizing cohort events and competitions throughout the year. So even though we only take one class together, our unity will remain strong. Also consider that many first-year students take the same three classes during the first quarter so you can make more friends early on.

Booth Career Services is truly amazing. The Economist just ranked them #1 in the world, based on high placement and student evaluations. They took the time to meet with every student, hear their plan, and map out a plan for classes and strategies to get an internship that makes sense in their path. They've even talked people out of stated goals after hearing their priorities and knowing the jobs very well. They are no nonsense and very skilled. We have completed several multi-hour exercises trying to pinpoint our ideal function and industry in orientation. Tomorrow they are throwing an all-day event called Industry Immersion where they have presentations and workshops with employees and recruiters from all of the big name companies across every function area. It's designed for us to figure out what it would really be like to work as a banker, consultant, marketer, etc... straight from the mouths of people already doing these jobs before we invest too much time and classes working towards a goal that we are unsure of. This is perfect for career switchers like myself.

Last thought, the free drinks, dinners, and receptions are probably at a yearly peak right now, but it has been really fun. Booth is first class, baby!

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:21 pm
Sounds like an AWESOME time! Thanks so much for sharing, makes me a little envious. Smile

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Post Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:54 pm
Wow, I'm so jealous... good to hear that you can rock out at Booth! Also, it sounds like there's more community there for incoming students than has been reported. Good for you - please post more as you begin classes and go through experiences. Industry Immersion sounds very helpful (and timely at the beginning of your first year).

A few follow-up questions:
1) Regarding the "lack of graded classes" -- I've heard about this once before, but I'm a little unclear about it. Can you explain Booth's grading policy? Is it pass/fail, or are classes graded normally, but grades are sealed? I asked about this in a Booth admissions online chat, but the question went unanswered (drowned out by all the "how do I get in" questions).
2) What clubs have you joined, or sound the most interesting so far?
3) Is there a strong military veterans' presence (shot in the dark - you may have no idea)?
4) Financial accounting boot camp - beneficial, or do you wish you had spent that time doing something else (or maybe you'll have to wait until finance class starts before you answer)?

Thanks for the great post - I truly look forward to reading you chronicle your experiences at Booth.

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Post Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:48 pm
I was happy to find that it has been such a fun class too! There will be many more events and similar reports.

Let me clarify the "lack of graded classes" comment. The first 2 and a half weeks are only orientation and our LEAD classes. LEAD is graded pass/fail and the only way to fail is to not show up. So people haven't felt like they needed to go to bed early to prepare for a tough class yet. The Grade Non-Disclosure Policy simply means that we cannot disclose our grades to any company or recruiter until after we have graduated. They know the rules too, so they won't be asking us. We do have normal grades with an option to change to pass/fail for a limited number of classes. I think it's a useful policy because that means that the classes won't be as competitive as if everyone knew that our internship and job chances were directly tied to classroom performance.

I joined the Management Consulting Club, Soccer Club, Sailing Club, AudioBooth and am considering joining the High-Tech Club. There have lots of options to choose from.

I wouldn't say that there is a strong military presence but there are certainly veterans in the class. That number may be published somewhere.

Financial boot camp was definitely worth it. It was good for the knowledge but it was better for the networking. It was an easy way to meet 120 new friends before the remaining 460 came all at once a week later. Recommended.

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Post Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:58 pm
ultra - 3 questions:

1) What are you hearing about the new dean? Are you guys gearing up for any major changes? Rumblings, rumors, etc?

2) Is Rose Martinelli still in charge of admissions there? I ask because her name no longer appears on the admissions site - no real reason for asking, just curious.

3) Any Chicago specific advice regarding admissions? Tips, trends, secrets, aside from all the good (albeit generic) advice that is already out there? Is there something about the school that is not well known or understood that could help applicants with the "Why a Booth MBA" portion of essays?

Thanks - btw, I am armyoftim - I had to create this username to play the facebook game.

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