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# Any Chicago folks going to the Top MBA tour?

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Any Chicago folks going to the Top MBA tour? [#permalink]  26 Sep 2006, 14:21
Any chicagoans going to the top mba tour on Thursday?

http://www.topmba.com/

http://www.topmba.com/bschool/wmt_regis ... =2&city=40

Huge list of attendees..... heres some of the more interesting ones.

Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
Haas School of Business - UC Berkeley
HEC MBA Program
IE (Instituto de Empresa)
IMD (International Institute for Management Development)
London School of Business & Finance
MIP - POLITECNICO DI MILANO
Purdue University, Krannert Graduate School of Management
SDA Bocconi
Stockholm School of Economics
Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University - MBA Program
Thunderbird-The Garvin School of International Management
UCLA - Anderson Graduate School of Management
University of Chicago GSB
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Yale University, Yale School of Management
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I went to the one in New York, It was alright, you gotta put in effort to speak to the adcoms/alumni present as there will be a lot of people waiting to speak to them. but i still got to speak to a few schools I wanted to apply to.
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gmatmba wrote:
I went to the one in New York, It was alright, you gotta put in effort to speak to the adcoms/alumni present as there will be a lot of people waiting to speak to them. but i still got to speak to a few schools I wanted to apply to.

So are there no presentations then? Just stand around waiting to talk to an adcom for 10 seconds? The presentations are what I find critical.
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rhyme wrote:
gmatmba wrote:
I went to the one in New York, It was alright, you gotta put in effort to speak to the adcoms/alumni present as there will be a lot of people waiting to speak to them. but i still got to speak to a few schools I wanted to apply to.

So are there no presentations then? Just stand around waiting to talk to an adcom for 10 seconds? The presentations are what I find critical.

In my opinion, these fairs serve no other purpose than to get hard facts (which typically can be found on their websites). I also feel they cater more to people who are on the fence about an mba, which i dont beleive describe the the majority of people on this forum who seem to be deep in the thick of mba apps.
All the people I spoke to at the booths just gave really generic info and they dont serve as a good representation of the school since some booths only had adcom people and some had only students...but in all, none had more than 3-4 people, with most being only 1-2

The info sessions onthe other hand have been much more uselful. I live in NY and so far have been to MIT, Chicago and Wharton. Thru these sessions, you can get a much better sense of the school thru the number of (or lack of) alumni that show up, the diversity of the alum, the general attitude of the alum towards the school, how proud they are to be graduates from XYZ, how happy they are to reminisce about the fun (or total stress) that they went thru, the fields they were/are in, etc...
Today at the Wharton session, many of the students were also part of the GA, which is the student committee that reviews apps...so they were a good source for some insight.

The value of it also is in the networking time after the presentation where you can really get to meet these alum and ask away. And though there are a lot of people at these info sessions, the percentage of alum&adcom to prospectives is much greater than these mba fairs.

It is very also very difficult to get intimate and deep at these fairs because there are 5 people waiting behind you and naturally you wouldnt want to make everyone wait for an unreasonable amount of time.

bottom line - I personally think the fairs are a waste of time unless you are in need of the school brochures.
GMAT Club Legend
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cma762 wrote:
rhyme wrote:
gmatmba wrote:
I went to the one in New York, It was alright, you gotta put in effort to speak to the adcoms/alumni present as there will be a lot of people waiting to speak to them. but i still got to speak to a few schools I wanted to apply to.

So are there no presentations then? Just stand around waiting to talk to an adcom for 10 seconds? The presentations are what I find critical.

In my opinion, these fairs serve no other purpose than to get hard facts (which typically can be found on their websites). I also feel they cater more to people who are on the fence about an mba, which i dont beleive describe the the majority of people on this forum who seem to be deep in the thick of mba apps.
All the people I spoke to at the booths just gave really generic info and they dont serve as a good representation of the school since some booths only had adcom people and some had only students...but in all, none had more than 3-4 people, with most being only 1-2

The info sessions onthe other hand have been much more uselful. I live in NY and so far have been to MIT, Chicago and Wharton. Thru these sessions, you can get a much better sense of the school thru the number of (or lack of) alumni that show up, the diversity of the alum, the general attitude of the alum towards the school, how proud they are to be graduates from XYZ, how happy they are to reminisce about the fun (or total stress) that they went thru, the fields they were/are in, etc...
Today at the Wharton session, many of the students were also part of the GA, which is the student committee that reviews apps...so they were a good source for some insight.

The value of it also is in the networking time after the presentation where you can really get to meet these alum and ask away. And though there are a lot of people at these info sessions, the percentage of alum&adcom to prospectives is much greater than these mba fairs.

It is very also very difficult to get intimate and deep at these fairs because there are 5 people waiting behind you and naturally you wouldnt want to make everyone wait for an unreasonable amount of time.

bottom line - I personally think the fairs are a waste of time unless you are in need of the school brochures.

Yea, I find the presentation sessions are the most helpful because they really dive deep into the philosophy of the school in a few ways and typically highlight 2 to 3 programs. Very helpful stuff. Sounds like this top mba tour is going to be a waste - I wondered how so many schools could show up. Now it makes sense - 50 8x3 tables, two people behind each one, yea, I think I can picture it.
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I don't live in Chicago but I was kind of looking forward to going to the MBA tour here in the bay area. Not so sure now.

On another note, I attended the Chicago GSB information session in San Francisco earlier tonight. It was decidedly different that the Kellogg presentation I went to last week down in Cupertino. The presenter for Chicago was much more dynamic - she really made me want to apply. I did note a few things of interest.

1. She actually said that she valued undergrad GPA more highly that GMAT. I wasn't expecting this and I'm not sure what to make of it. I have actually heard from other reliable sources that most business schools do not value GPA very highly because most people are many years removed from college and because it's very difficult to accurately compare GPAs from different schools, across different majors, etc.

2. She also said that if your GMAT isn't high enough, then spending $250 for a re-take was a small thing compare to the scholarship that you might get with a higher score. I absolutely took this to mean that scholarship awards here were based largely on GMAT score, according to what she said. 3. Event demographics were much different than the Kellogg session. There were about 1/2 as many people at the Chicago event. Largest group seemed to be white males, as compared to about 70% Indian males at the event last week. I guess it's a function of location (San Francisco compared to Silicon Valley). More females at the Chicago event as well. 4. The Chicago alumni attended in much larger numbers than the Kellogg alumni, and seemed to be much more involved. I'm not sure if this was a function of event organization or of their actual feelings for their schools. 5. After 2 events, I'm starting to feel like there is a distinct difference between what we here at GMATclub call "ultra-elite" and "elite" schools. When describing Chicago, the presenter compared various factors frequently with Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia & Stanford but made nary a mention of Berkeley (surprising given our location), Michigan, Darden, etc. I think one of my tasks will be to try to find out what things are really like for graduates of these schools. Overall conclusion, I had a good time at the Chicago event while I was bored out of my mind at the Kellogg event. Have not made a decision on which one(s) I will apply to. GMAT Club Legend Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society Joined: 05 Apr 2006 Posts: 5926 Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009 GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45 WE: Business Development (Consumer Products) Followers: 288 Kudos [?]: 1838 [0], given: 7 [#permalink] 28 Sep 2006, 03:39 pelihu wrote: I don't live in Chicago but I was kind of looking forward to going to the MBA tour here in the bay area. Not so sure now. On another note, I attended the Chicago GSB information session in San Francisco earlier tonight. It was decidedly different that the Kellogg presentation I went to last week down in Cupertino. The presenter for Chicago was much more dynamic - she really made me want to apply. I did note a few things of interest. 1. She actually said that she valued undergrad GPA more highly that GMAT. I wasn't expecting this and I'm not sure what to make of it. I have actually heard from other reliable sources that most business schools do not value GPA very highly because most people are many years removed from college and because it's very difficult to accurately compare GPAs from different schools, across different majors, etc. 2. She also said that if your GMAT isn't high enough, then spending$250 for a re-take was a small thing compare to the scholarship that you might get with a higher score. I absolutely took this to mean that scholarship awards here were based largely on GMAT score, according to what she said.

3. Event demographics were much different than the Kellogg session. There were about 1/2 as many people at the Chicago event. Largest group seemed to be white males, as compared to about 70% Indian males at the event last week. I guess it's a function of location (San Francisco compared to Silicon Valley). More females at the Chicago event as well.

4. The Chicago alumni attended in much larger numbers than the Kellogg alumni, and seemed to be much more involved. I'm not sure if this was a function of event organization or of their actual feelings for their schools.

5. After 2 events, I'm starting to feel like there is a distinct difference between what we here at GMATclub call "ultra-elite" and "elite" schools. When describing Chicago, the presenter compared various factors frequently with Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia & Stanford but made nary a mention of Berkeley (surprising given our location), Michigan, Darden, etc. I think one of my tasks will be to try to find out what things are really like for graduates of these schools.

Overall conclusion, I had a good time at the Chicago event while I was bored out of my mind at the Kellogg event. Have not made a decision on which one(s) I will apply to.

Wow, how interesting. I had almost an entirely opposite experience. The GSB presentation seemed to me as if they were "trying" to be friendly. They had music playing in the background before the presentation and a slide show up showing photos of students with large red text plastered on top with words like "Experiential" or "Question Everything". I honestly felt as if I was about to pitched a timeshare.

The quality of the GSB presentation and the Kellogg presentation were on par. I'd venture that the GSB directors made themselves more avaliable, were generally a little bit nicer than the Kellogg ones - but, I'm not picking schools based on how the adcoms handled themselves.

Where I really saw a difference was in the alumni. Kellogg did a great job of perpetuating the myth that it's ex-models who go there. Six gorgeous people lined up on a panel. This frustrated me, because it really is true, Kellogg does seem to have a very homogenous look. But.... back to the point.

Where I saw the difference.... the alumni. So, at Kellogg, I'd ask an alum what made their experience great, and they'd inevitably be able to answer with a very clear example of two. "Oh you have to do ..... it was so amazing because ....." At the GSB, I got responses I would expect from a bad application: "The GSB was just great. The people are just great. So are the faculty. The people too." Ok, how are they great? Cause so far, they dont seem to be great on that communication front.

The adcoms also contradicted themselves at the GSB. The adcom gets up and says that "we are not a finance school, we are not all about quantative. We have four core concepts, accounting, statistics, behavioral org, and economics." Not the best sales pitch considering at least two of those cores, if not three, are primarily quant. Whatever. Twenty minutes later I'm chatting with an alum who says "Yea, if you are big on math, this is the right school for you."

The alumni at the GSB were so much weaker in being able to convey why they enjoyed their experiences, I was shocked. The KGSM alumni understood what they liked and backed it up with examples. I asked a Kellogg student what made him glad he chose Kellogg, and he went off talking about a professor he had thats just been really great helping him with research and even helped get him an internship with bla bla, and how the whole department was avaliable etc etc. I asked the same question of a GSB alum and he said "My interviewer". Confused, I said "Your interviewer is what made you glad you came to the GSB?" He says "Yes, because I saw how nice people at the GSB are. The people are so great."

So great? Nice? These are the best adjectives you can come up with? This is your story? Your interviewer? Seriously?

I asked similar questions to other graduates and got similarly wishy washy answers. Even specifics like "What do you like about thte GSB?" was met with catatonic responses.

In general, I found the GSB students to be colder -- equally approachable -- but more reserved in their comments, showed weaker enthusiasm than those at Kellogg, and generally seemed less capable of articulating their thoughts.

I also noticed a lack of cohesion among the GSB alumni's. It was clear no one knew the other person, and no one much cared who the other was. At both events I made a mental note see how the alumns interacted among themselves before the presentation. At Kellogg, they were hard to miss - a lot of laughing and smiles coming from their corner. At the GSB they walked around on their own munching on food or talking on cell phones.

I used to work for a company that had, as an interview question, "Would you like to be stuck in an airport with this person?". I can say yes about everyone I met at Kellogg. I can only say maybe about the GSB students I met. They were just detached with poor enthusiasm.

I distinctly got the impression that Kellogg is the kind of place where the team projects drive friendships, and the GSB is just a place where you focus on your own individual work. The adcoms said it was a team oriented place, but then never backed it up with an example. The students didn't volunteer any either.

And maybe this makes sense - after all, how many deep friendships are you going ot develop at a school were your unlikely to have classes with the same people precisely because the program is so flexible... It's a flipside to that coin.

Overall, I was much much more impressed with Kellogg than with Chicago.

Just goes to show you how incredibly different two people can experience things eh?

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Well, I can't withdraw my application because I won't be applying until a little later for R2. Your comments regarding your experiences with each school are very interesting. I guess it must be differences in the alumni pools in Chicago and the bay area. Of coure, there could also be a difference in the alumni pools in San Francisco (Chicago gsb) and silicon valley (Kellogg).

You are right though about Chicago and finance. Off the top of my head, I recall that 4 of the panel members worked at Barclays, on with Citigroup, one with Goldman Sachs, one with a hedge fund and two in private equity; there were a couple in marketing as well. With Kellogg, I recall on with Ebay, on with Paypal, a couple with HP in different capacities. Chicago for finance and Kellogg for marketing - nothing really to challenge that belief from what I've seen.

I did recall one other thing from the Chicago presentation. The adcom said that she estimated they would get about 1500 apps in round one and would probably admit around 4-500. In round three she estimated 2500 apps and admitting 5-600. She made absolutely no mention of round three, and given the admit numbers and yields, it certainly looks as though there are few if any spots reserved for round three. The admit percentage looks higher in round one, but I think that may just indicate that some of the strongest applicants, those that have been planning for this moment for the past 5 years, get their applications in early. As I read somewhere, the sharks are out for round one.
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