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Admitted to Kellogg Saturday MBA Program

Congrats! Tell us how you did it
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Admitted to Kellogg Saturday MBA Program

by Hydropower » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:11 am
Just thought I'd share my story with the community:

Profile:
MBA PT Programs
WE: 5 years engineering consulting (2.5 years fossil power, 2.5 years hydropower), with one year of project management experience
GMAT: 710, 5.5 AWA (47Q, 40V) Only took once
UG GPA: 2.97 BS in Electrical Engineering from Top 5 undergrad program (Used optional essay to talk about low GPA)
EC: Marketing Director for Engineers Without Borders - Sacramento Chapter, Epic Relay Races, BPeace member, Graphics and Layout Editor for company newsletter
Career goals: Energy consulting, management (very clear career goals in essays)

Went into depth in essays on Why an MBA? Why from that particular school? Why Part-Time? Since everyone is very different, won't go into detail on my specifics.

To study for the GMAT, I completed two practice problem books. They weren't like Kaplan or Princeton Review, they didn't have tips, strategies, etc. Just problems and solutions. Personally, this was a better method of studying that I enjoyed. Was shooting for 720+, but decided it wasn't worth taking another exam for 10-20 point increase. Instead, spent time developing and writing my essays.

Applied to:
Kellogg - Saturday MBA
Booth - Evening MBA

Got the call a week ago that I was admitted to Kellogg's Saturday Program. Still waiting to hear from Booth as my second recommender hasn't submitted his LOR yet. If I get in to both, it'll be a tough choice.

Booth has Harris and EPIC, which would be great for tapping into energy sustainability and public policy. Also has a great entrepreneur center (aspiring to open a company later in my career). The flexibility of the classes I can take, the order I take them in, and availability of all majors is a huge selling point. Very quant and theory heavy studies, which as an engineer, I should be comfortable in.

Kellogg, in very general terms, would be better for teamwork building, collaboration, management, and the over used term "soft-skills". I think this would be an incredible opportunity to complement the skills I have already been building. It would be more out of my comfort range, which I believe is a great thing. The Saturday Program is a lot more structured (cohorts) but I believe this would be better for getting to know my class and building relationships. Sadly, they only offer three majors in the Saturday program, but we're free to take evening courses to pick up a major in other fields. They also have a huge selling point which is 6 free classes you can take in the 2 years following your graduation! That's over $30k! I definitely think I would utilize this.

Clubs I want to join - Tie
Strength of Faculty - Tie
Brand recognition - Tie
The "feel" I got visiting downtown campuses, classes, and talking with current students - Tie
Responsiveness of admissions committee and student services - Tie
Ties to companies I'm targeting - Tie

Either way, I'm stoked that I got into Kellogg. Whether or not Booth dings me, I know I'll be starting b-school this coming summer. If I get an acceptance from Booth, I'll definitely have a tough choice to make, but I'm not going to lie, it'll be a choice I'd be happy to have.

Very long story short, do not skimp on your essays. I spent 6 months writing, re-writing, outlining, and just thinking about what I want the general theme and sub-themes of my essays to say. These are personal questions and should be answered with an honest and carefully thought out response. All my first drafts were completely scrapped because I realized I was writing what I thought the adcom wanted to hear (and it usually is very obvious). When I got my acceptance call, the admissions committee member said "We loved your essays." Not "We loved your work experience", or "We loved your GMAT score", or "We loved your GPA (HA!)". Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but I thought it was worth noting!

I feel very blessed and humbled to have an acceptance. I met some incredibly impressive people with even more impressive profiles while networking with students, so it's an honor to be a part of that community. I'm fully motivated to really take advantage of all the opportunities (student clubs, foreign country travels, snowboarding trips!) that Kellogg or Booth will provide.

I'm sure that people with higher GMAT scores, GPA's, and better work experience were dinged. There's so little we have control of in this whole process. The essays, and to a lesser extent, the GMAT score is our chance to really shine. Put forth your best effort, take your time, enjoy the self-reflection, and be honest.

Last note, I tried to make the essay process a little more fun by thinking of it as a time capsule. 3 years or so down the line, when I graduate, I can look back on all my essays and remember my exact mindset, goals, and career/life passions. Even 10 years down the line, I can still go back and see how accurate I projected my career or if I went a completely different direction. I can see how my way of thinking has changed over the years since I have a fairly complete description all laid out on paper of where I wanted to go.

How cool is that?

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by wmalum2006 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:14 am
Congratulations!

It's nice to have the problem that you may have on whether to pick Chicago or Kellogg. I'm assuming you live in Chicago? I find it kind of a shame that there aren't many other cities where there are multiple A-list part time MBA programs. Even in New York, there's NYU, and then everyone else.

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by Hydropower » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 am
Thanks for the reply wmalum! Just got the phone call yesterday that I was also accepted to Booth Evening MBA program. They have a stellar program and the admissions committee has been an absolute pleasure to work for. Judging from the well-oiled machine that is their adcom, I'd have to assume that their career services and entire administration would be just as efficient.

I'm actually living in California right now but will be moving to Chicago soon. Luckily, my company has offices around the world so I'm hoping for a simple transfer. And I agree, Chicago seems to be the only city that offers part-time programs in multiple prestigious schools. Obviously for FT programs, there's a number of US cities with multiple incredible MBA programs (Boston, Bay Area, NY, and LA come to mind).

As a side note, I only applied to programs that I knew I would enroll in if only accepted to their b-school. I've spent the past couple weeks breaking down the two programs and which better fits my personality, career goals, and style of learning (just in case I got accepted to both).

My tentative, final decision is Kellogg. Particularly for the part-time programs (which tend to have students with more work experience), I'm looking forward to the collaborative study environment and learning from my peers as well as my professors. Also, the response from alumni has been nothing short of spectacular. Really shows how much they care about the program and how connected they still feel.

Still have until this Friday to make my official decision. I'm not sure how much more I could research on Booth and Kellogg to sway my current selection, but you never know.

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by wmalum2006 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:52 pm
Cool. With part time programs that have a weekend only option, I do know that many guys come from outside the local area.

I'm still in my decision phase and waiting on one school for the MBA. I'm from the Washington, DC area. Got into Maryland/Smith and GW (with a scholarship) so I am really digging into these programs. I was waitlisted at Georgetown for the 1st round, but they did allow me to re-take the GMAT, and I got my score up. But now, the real waiting game begins with the waitlist for them...

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by Hydropower » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:17 am
Congratulations on your admission to Smith and GW! Extra kudos for the scholarship! Did you apply for the FT or PT programs? I'm guessing FT since most b-schools reserve scholarships for FT students, but correct me if I'm wrong.

McDonough is an excellent school that I researched because my wife wanted to move to the DC area. Awesome to hear that you spent your time wisely and upped your GMAT score instead of waiting around, shows a lot of moxie! I wish you the best and hope you get the acceptance phone call soon.

Just curious, what's your order for your MBA programs? Is McDonough your first choice? Or does the scholarship from GW sway your decision now?

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by wmalum2006 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:59 pm
Georgetown is the #1 choice because it is the only Top 25 school in the DC area, and provides the best national brand should I move out of the DC area. The major con about the program is that it has a lockstep program to the Nth degree, which very few other part time programs do, including those ranked in the Top 10. I don't have a job requiring extensive travel, etc., so this isn't an issue for me for now but who knows what happens in the next three years. Still, if I get into Georgetown, I'll make it work should something happen.

I've seen guys outside DC call refer to Georgetown as McDonough more (it is named after Robert McDonough after all), but everyone inside the program is calling it Georgetown MBA more instead, my guess is because of the general university reputation, which is drawn heavily from the law school (GULC), international affairs school (Walsh), and governmental figures who graduated from there like President Clinton and Justice Scalia, so the MBA program is kinda overshadowed. Still I think the B School is on the rise.

If Georgetown ultimately dings me (still a real possibility), then it's going to be tough. Smith has a stronger MBA reputation than GW nationally, though locally, both schools seem to be equal. The scholarship at GW certainly has swayed me, so I'm leaning toward there because of that, the curriculum is flexible so I won't be slammed if my life changes for whatever reason, not to mention GW has a strong brand in DC with all the big employers in the area.

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by steiny » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:57 am
Hydropower-

It looks like we have near identical stats and applied to the same schools. I have a 710 gmat (49Q/39V) and ~2.9 gpa in chem/bio engineering from a top 15 undergrad school. I spent 2.5 years in petrochem refining (process and project) and 2 years in biogas (various engineering and PM). I am also looking to get into energy consulting/management, which I made clear in my essays.

I just got the acceptance last week from Kellogg's weekend program and am shooting Booth an email to see if they would be able to expedite my decision for their weekend program so that I know before the April 30th deadline. I will have to take a look at Harris and EPIC (not too familiar) and if accepted to Booth, I too will have a very tough decision.

I will be very interested to see how you decide.

Best of luck either way!

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by udowado » Thu May 03, 2012 12:19 pm
I'm in a similar slot- admitted to the Saturday program and trying to make a final decision. I fly out to Brazil this weekend for work but my deadline for my acceptance is 5/10 for Kellogg so I need to decide this weekend. Still waiting on Booth but I'm excited that I'll be starting this summer either way. Kellogg is a phenomenal program. I have 4 yrs in Power Transmission and Distribution/Precision Machinery and, at the moment, am looking to either continue onto a GM tract or move into consulting. If you'd like to connect or if you have any words of advice feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or you're social network of choice. Good luck with to each of you with your decisions!

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by jarredpatidar » Tue May 08, 2012 4:04 pm
Anyone have any updates on booth? I called adcom today and they said they're releasing a bunch of results this week? i think the evening people should have already heard back and the weekend people on the verge of?

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by goillini2001 » Fri May 11, 2012 6:54 am
Does anyone know the status of the decisions with the Kellogg Saturday program?

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by steiny » Fri May 11, 2012 4:04 pm
I had to pester the Booth admissions office a couple times to get an answer before I had to make my decision for Kellogg. Fortunately I was informed of the good news from Booth with only a day before I had to send my decision to Kellogg. Ultimately I chose Booth over Kellogg on a gut feeling; even though the two schools have different strengths, I can't put my finger on anything specific that led me to my decision.

On a separate note, I saw that Kellogg recently announced a fast-tracked part time MBA program for those with prior business classes under their belt. Had I taken the 5 pre-req classes, I would have undoubtedly leaned towards Kellogg (less tuition and time).

I do know from speaking with the admissions office at Booth recently that they have been incredibly busy as of recent with a large amount of evening applications that they had to review for a specific deadline. I think that they were trying to knock through the evening students prior review weekend students unless an applicant had a pending deadline.

Best of luck to all those still waiting and feel free to PM if you have questions or if you are also doing the weekend booth program.

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by Hydropower » Mon May 14, 2012 11:12 am
Congrats Steiny! I hope you have a great experience at Booth and wish you nothing but the best.