9/12/07 UNOFFICIAL FUQUA TALK CHAT TRANSCRIP ON ADMISSIONS PROCESS. ENJOY!
Alli : Hello! Welcome to The Duke MBA Application Process Fuqua Talk. My colleague and I are happy to answer any questions specific to the application process at Duke. We will post a transcript of this session in the next 5-7 business days should you wish to review any of the application topics discussed. Thank you for your interest- we look forward to answering your questions.
Lindsey : Hi Alli and Katie, I attending the World MBA tour this Saturday in DC and am excited to find out more information about various top schools. I would consider interviewing but I have not taken my GMAT yet. What do you suggest I do to get the most out of this fair?
Katie : We look forward to meeting you on Saturday. We will have a current student and alumni attend the event along with an admissions officer. I would take advantage of the opportunity to talk to those who have been through the program and learn about The Duke MBA experience.
Denise Calizaya : Hi, this is Denise Calizaya Jayne, international student from Peru, checking in from Norfolk, Va
Katie : Welcome, Denise. Can we answer any questions for you?
Denise Calizaya : I am planning on submitting my application for the first round, however I graduate in Dec (i`m taking my last 2 classes this semester), so my transcrips will be incomplete, it`s that ok?
Katie : That will be fine. If you are admitted, we will request a complete transcript before you begin classes at Duke.
nervousgmat : hello! Thank you organizing this chat for prospective students. My questions is the following: what differentiates Duke MBA from other b-schools and how would you describe the advantages Fuqua students have over other students in business programs?
Alli : Hello nervousgmat- great question! The Duke MBA is a transformative experience that gives you a broader perspective, a competitive advantage, and lasting value for your career. The depth and breadth of our academic program, the superb faculty and research advantage, the professional resources, diversity of our program, and vast peer, company, and alumni network set Duke apart. Duke MBA graduates are excellent team players, team buliders, and leaders. Our collaborative leadership culture gives you the tools to be succesful throughout your career.
Lindsey : Thank you. I have printed off copies of my resume and have completed some initial research on the schools I am most interested in. Is there anything else you recommend I should do to prepare?
Katie : I would also suggest reviewing the websites of the schools you are interested in so that you can focus on questions you have that do not have answers available on the website.
Lynne : Do you offer alumni interviews in New York City?
Katie : We do not offer alumni interviews in New York. We encourage our applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Duke by interviewing on campus. Campus interviews are open to all applicants and you may sign up for an interview on our website. Alumni interviews are by invitation. If you are located on the west coast of the US or overseas, you may request that you be considered for an alumni interview on your application.
audrey : What does the admissions committee consider when evaluating applications?
Alli : Hi Audrey- thanks for your question. We consider a number of factors when evaluating applications for admission. We are interested in your academic profile (undergraduate transcript, GMAT, and TOEFL/IELTS if applicable), your work experience, any activites you are involved in outside of your professional commitments, letters of recommendation, and your essays. All factors are weighted equally as we strive to learn who you are and what you will bring to The Duke MBA community.
jdcmiles : Hi Katie and Allison, thank you for taking the time to answer questions. My name is John Miles, and I am reapplicant this year. As part of the process, I was hoping to confirm whether there is a particular preference for the type of additional letter of recommendation that a reapplicant should seek. Having submitted letters from professional contacts last year, as well as a non-professional letter during the waitlist period, is it OK to perhaps use another non-professional contact? i.e. from an organization or activity in which the reapplicant had a significant role? Thank you!
Katie : Hi, John, Yes, you may use another non-professional contact for your recommendation provided that you do have a significant role (personal recommendations are of little value to the admissions committee). You may also use a recommender that you have previously used as long as they provide an updated recommendation.
nervousgmat: Do you notify applicants who submitted their applications way before the R1 deadline prior to the decision date or is everyone get notified on the same day regardless of the time the application was submitted?
Alli : All applicants for a particular round are notfied on the same day. We do not offer rolling admission. However, we do recommend applying in our early application rounds as the competition for admission is intensified with each subsequent round.
nervousgmat : I will be interviewing on campus before submitting my application for R1. Will this affect my candidacy in a negative way?
Katie : No. By interviewing before you submit your application, you will have the opportunity to incorporate your campus experience into your application essays.
Lindsey : I have not taken a Calculus class but received an A in my Statistic courses, can I still be considered for admission?
Katie : Hi, Lindsey, Yes we will still consider you for admission without having taken a calculus course. However, we do not substitute statistics for calculus, so if admitted, we will require you to take a calculus course before beginning classes.
audrey : Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Alli : We recommend that you seek letters of recommendation from someone who has worked with you in a supervisory capacity. These individuals are best equipped to address the questions we ask in our recommendation form and give us insight into your work style and fit for The Duke MBA community. We discourage recommenations from peers, college professors, and family.
Denise Calizaya : Is there a waitlist after each round?
Alli : Yes Denise, we do place applicants on a waitlist after each subsequent round of admission. The competitive landscape varies from year to year and in some application cycles, we may be able to extend admission to a fair number of candidates. In other years, such as this past cycle, we were limited in the number of applicants we could take from the waitlist given the enormously positive response we received from our offers of admission. If an applicant is placed on the waitlist, we provide a chat, such as this one, to address questions applicants may have on ways to improve their candidacy going forward.
Lynne : Alli, what kind of activities are you looking for when you say outside of professional commitments? I`m involved in a community service group at my company.
Katie : Hi, Lynne, Please do list community service that you are involved in as a part of your company. We are also interested in any activities that you participate in outside of your company. These could range from volunteering at the animal shelter to taking a leadership role in a local non-profit organization. There are many opportunities for students at Duke to take on leadership roles outside of the classroom, and we feel that what you are involved in currently is indicative of how you will be involved at Duke.
nervousgmat : Allison and Katie: my quant GMAT score is under the 80th percentile. However, I received all A`s in quantitative courses, such as Calculus and Statistics in undergrad. Do I need to address this issue in one of my essays? Will my quant score affect my application in a negative way?
Katie : We will look at your undergraduate record in combination with your quant score to evaluate your readiness to enter the MBA program. If there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the test, you have the opportunity to explain them in the optional essay, but you do not need to address your test score in your application.
Lindsey : On your website you mention an interview with a 2nd year student. Is this interview part of the admissions process?
Alli : Lindsey, while interviews are not required, we highly recommend traveling to campus to spend a day with us. You can attend class, visit with students, and participate in an interview. Interviews are both informative and evaluative. They provide you with the opportunity to address any questions you have specific to Duke and for the interviewer to glean your fit for our collaborative leadership culture. The interviewer will takes notes on the conversation and they will be added to your file. I like to think of interviews as an additional recommendation for your application- they expand our insight on who you are and what you will bring to Duke.
Raj : I have a 750 GMAT score - will I be admitted?
Katie : In considering applications for admission, we take into account several areas, not just your GMAT score. These include academics, which includes your undergraduate record as well as your GMAT score, your work experience, your involvement in community service activites outside of work, your recommendations, your essays, and your interview if you choose to have one.
Matt : How many years of work experience do you require?
Alli : Matt, you raise a great question. There is no set formula for how many years of experience one should have when they apply for an MBA. Some applicants are ready to fully avail themselves of the opportunity after working for as little as two years. Other applicants choose to return later in their career, perhaps with as many as ten years of work experience. The average among Duke sutdents is just under six years. All this to say that you should puruse an MBA when it makes the most sense for your individual career path. As that varies by individual, there is no set requirement for number of years worked prior to program entry.
Denise Calizaya : Would a letter from one of the leaders of the community and leadership organization I belong be ok?
Katie : That would be fine as long as the person interacts with you on a regular basis. Recommendations from people that do not know you very well are limited in the insight that they can provide to the admissions committee.
jdcmiles : Allison and Katie, I am planning to take the GMAT again prior to the Round 1 deadline and just wanted to reconfirm that, although a reapplicant, I`m correct in that any new test scores must be valid and have occurred prior to an application deadline? Thank you again
Alli : Yes, you are correct. Any new exam must have been taken prior to the appliction deadline with a request that the scores be forwarded directly to Duke.
Alli : Thank you for your interest in Duke today. Katie and will be happy to take a few last questions. We encourage you to reference our website to view our travel schedule to see when Duke will be visiting you. We travel throughout the US and the globe and invite you to join us as an information session or fair. In addition, if your schedule permits, come spend a day at Duke. We would love to host your visit!
nervousgmat: I can`t ask my current supervisor for a letter of recommendation as I do not want her to know about my plans to go to the business school. Do I need to provide an explanation as to why I am not requesting a LOR from my current manager?
Katie : Yes, I would recommend that you use your optional essay to explain the reason why you have not asked your current manager for a recommendation. It is common and understandable that you are not able to ask your current manager, but please do explain the reason.
Raj : I heard that applicants in India were not able to get an alumni interview last year - is this true?
Katie : Hi, Raj, In the past we were only able to offer alumni interviews based on the availability of our alumni. This year, we have changed our policy and will only offer alumni interviews by invitation. You may request consideration for an alumni interview on your application.
Denise Calizaya : In regard to work experience, by the time I apply I will have completed 4 internships (I am a non-traditional student who alternated semesters of work and coops, as I discussed with admissions officers during my visit to Duke, I believe that could be a sign on how proactive the student is in seeking complete formation, not only academic but profesional, I am fooling myself thinking that I have a chance to get admitted?
Alli : Hi Denise, you raise an interesting question. As I mentioend when responding to Matt, there is no set formula for work experience. We do on occassion have students enter our program with internship experience only. We review every application regardless of test scores, years worked, etc. Every applicant is given full consdieration for admission. In your case, I recommend that you take advantage fo the opportunity you have in our essay questions to illustrate your career journey thus far.
nervousgmat : Do you have any tips on how to demonstrate that Duke is my first choice MBA program?
Alli : nervousgmat, my best advice is to take the time to thoroughly address our essay questions. The questions give you an opporutnity to demonstrate your understanding of an MBA and why pursuing this gradaute degree at Duke is critical to your professional and personal growth. We want to understand what your expectations are and how we can meet them with our program. Similarly, we are interested in what you will bring that will enhance the classroom and your team`s learning experience.
Katie : This concludes our chat today. Please feel free to direct any further questions about The Duke MBA to our office at (919) 660-7705 or you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org