Nov 19, 2011

Inside Chicago Booth's Admissions Office

This post is one in a series of posts trying to decipher what happens once you click that "submit" button in the application portal of the top business schools. As told by the admissions directors themselves! Follow us on twitter and facebook to keep yourself updated with the next set of schools. Like our facebook page to get fan specials or visit our website to know what makes us different than other top admissions consultants. 

What happens once applications are submitted?

Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions - Chicago Booth - When applicants hit the submit button on our online application system, essentially what happens is that from the backend we have a team that compiles the applications and verifies that these applications are complete. Once that is been verified, the applications are put into the reads cycle, which starts with a second-year students team that goes through a pretty extensive training on reading and evaluating applications. These students, or the Admissions Fellows, conduct an initial evaluation of the applications and come out with a recommendation of whether to interview a candidate or not.

Each of these Admissions Fellows reports up to an admissions director who does his or her own read of the application, independently, after which he or she also votes whether or not to interview. If there is a a match, the candidate is invited to interview, otherwise the application will then come to me for a third review.

Those students invited to interview can then set up their interview either on campus or with an alum. In either case, it will be a blind interview – meaning the interviewer does not have a sense, other than through the resume, of who that candidate is.

After the admissions interview, the interviewer submits a feedback report that is added to applicant's file and it goes through another round of review, at this point through another director who has not seen that application before. The admissions director will then make a recommendation to admit, deny or send the file to be reviewed by the admissions committee. The ones that go to committee are seen by the entire team and evaluated as a group.

At any given time any candidate is going to get at least three reviews, and at most can get anywhere from five to six. So it is a very holistic as well as iterative process.

BizSchoolPrep Comments:

  • Every application is read seriously. No cutoffs. Seriously, even if you have a 200 GMAT and 0.4 GPA!
  • Applications are read twice, at minimum. Hence, do not get worried thinking one person's perspective (who is in a bad mood) will break your application!
  • Your application may be read by a student member. They are usually extremely loyal to their school and hence, it is always to keep this fact in perspective while writing your essays. Weak essays, showing not much of homework on the school, may not really work.
  • Blind interviews - The interviewer has not read your application so you may want to reinforce those goals and why this school story during interviews.
  • The application reading process may be a little random so do not try too hard to find a coorelation between the submitted date to the interview invite date with that of your friend.
  • Do not submit an incomplete application. Period.

School Stats -

Booth School of Business

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Admissions: 773-702-7369
Apply Online:

Tuition & Fees: $109,272
School Recommended Two-Year Budget: $170,976

Median GMAT: 720
GMAT Range (middle 80% range): 660-760
Average GPA: 3.53
Acceptance Rate: 22%
Full-Time MBA Enrollment: 1160
International: 33%
Female: 35%
African American: 7 %
Asian American: 21 %
Hispanic or Latino American: 9 %
Mean Age: 28

Median Base Salary: $107,000
Median Signing Bonus: $25,000
Median Guaranteed Other Bonus: $25,000
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers at Graduation: 86%
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers Three Months Later: 93%

Where Booth’s Class of 2011 Went to Work:
Financial Services — 41%
Consulting — 28%
Technology — 10%
Consumer Products — 8%
Health Care — 2%
Manufacturing — 3%
Non-Profits — 1%
Energy — 3%
Media/Entertainment — 1%
Real Estate — 1%
Source: Collected from internet/clearadmit/Poets&Quants

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