MBA Admissions Chat — Jan. 6, 2011
We’re pleased to have the opportunity to talk with you about the Rady School and our MBA Program. I look forward to your questions.
I would like to attend a non-degree program, but I have not been able to find a course catalogue or information if it is possible to enroll in individual courses at the Rady School?
The Rady School offers some short courses through our Executive Development area. These are typically 1-4 day programs. We do not have an extended non-degree program. If you are a current student looking at a possible exchange experience here at UCSD, you will want to look at your own university and what exchange agreements and exchange programs they have organized. I don’t know whether your university has an exchange agreement with UC San Diego. UCSD’s Extended Studies area does offer some certificate programs. You can find them via the UCSD main website.
If we submit our application by an admissions deadline and take the GMAT after, is it considered an incomplete application? Will our application still be reviewed?
You will see on the application a place where you can let us know whether you are planning to retake the GMAT and when you will be doing that. We would typically hold your application for evaluation until we have those additional scores — we assume you would want us to take into account your new scores in our evaluation.
Could you tell us about the admission and selection processes?
Rady is interested in admitting a diverse class of individuals who will contribute to a vibrant, intensive learning community and who are interested in innovation and how innovation reaches the marketplace. Our selection process is very much geared toward looking at each applicant as an individual and understanding why Rady is the right place for you, why and how graduate management education will enable you to make an impact, and how you will contribute to the learning environment. The “usual” pieces are all there: an application form, essays, a current resume, recommendations, GMAT scores — plus an interview. We interview all applicants in whom we’re seriously interested, because we do want to learn more about you and about your fit for Rady.
I’m not sure what the differences are between the Full-Time, Flex evening and weekend program. Can you talk about that a little?
Rady has both a Full-Time MBA and a FlexMBA for Working Professionals. Program emphasis and the fundamental curriculum are the same; some other elements of the program and the student experience will differ.
Think of Evening and Weekend as formats. The curriculum is the same — you are getting a robust core curriculum and a full choice of electives (more than half the program), and you are completing the capstone lab to market sequence. Weekend is typically 8 academic quarters, and classes meet all day Friday and Saturday every other weekend. Evening is typically 10 academic quarters, with classes typically two evenings a week, and includes several short residentials. On average, Weekend students have more work experience — an average of 10 years vs. an average of 6-7. Although this is not a specific selection criteria we use, what we see is that more senior professionals are more likely to be in a position to negotiate the Friday class days.
I am interested in the Flex program. What is the selection process?
We begin with a review and evaluation of a completed application — which includes resume, essays, transcripts, scores, recommendations. Based on that evaluation, a decision is made about whether to invite you to interview. We prefer to do interviews in person, and will work with you to schedule a time that fits your schedule as well. Post interview, applicant files, now including notes from the interview, are forwarded to the Admissions Committee for decision. In reviewing applications, we are looking at (1) academic and intellectual capacity to perform successfully in a rigorous educational program, (2) your professional background and why an MBA and the Rady MBA make sense for you now; (3) personal attributes that will contribute to your success here.
I’m looking at possibly being out of the country for about 4 months this summer. Would that impact the application process?
Doesn’t need to create a problem. Our decision-making cycle from completed application to admissions decision is typically 4-6 weeks, and we evaluate applications on a rolling basis. So, you’ll want to do some planning in terms of your own timeline, and I’d encourage you to be directly in touch with our admissions staff as you begin this by letting them know what your needs will be in terms of information. Do be aware we begin almost immediately after Labor Day, and there is a required PreTerm period, regardless of program format for which you’re applying. PreTerm occurs before the formal start of the fall academic term here at UCSD. Talk with us as you move forward, and it should all be something we can manage jointly.
I have a strong interest in public health and organizational behavior. Do you offer classes in those topics within the curriculum? How flexible is the curriculum?
Organizational behavior and leadership are core areas in the curriculum and is also an area where there are electives as well. Rady does not teach directly in the area of public health — there are some possibilities for Rady student enrollment in electives elsewhere at UCSD as part of the MBA, but do be aware this depends on your schedule, the other program’s class schedule and course availability. Rady is, right now, working on a joint initiative with UCSD Health Sciences that will lead to some additional electives here around health care.
Can you please elaborate on what Rady’s definition or perspective on what "innovation" is?
We’re fundamentally interested in how new things move from idea (or research lab or think tank or...) to commercially viable products or services or service models. This is a key issue certainly for entrepreneurs and new/emerging companies, but it is also a critical area of business decision-making for existing companies. There are lots of ideas and lots of research and development — and making the decision about which ideas are worth investing time, effort, money on is about as important a business decision as there is — whether you’re a major consumer electronics company trying to decide what new product is a good bet, a pharma company trying to decide which potential drug candidates are worth developing, or a newspaper company trying to figure out how to survive when the internet makes free content ubiquitously available. We are developing entrepreneurially minded managers and leaders for a fast changing world, where identifying and seizing the RIGHT opportunities is key.
I saw that you’ve established collaboration with a Chinese institute. Are you adding more international components to your program?
The Rady program has a number of international elements. Most basically, business is a global activity, and core courses and electives acknowledge and incorporate that. In addition, we do typically offer some electives that focus on international business. Rady’s International Business Club each year organizes one or two student-run international trips involving visits to companies, cultural activities and some real vacation/relaxation. This year groups are headed to Brazil and Japan; past trips have also gone to China and India. We are also this year offering the first Global Business Intensive, a credit-bearing international trip. This year that trip is to China, with a focus on the Chinese Financial Markets. This is a faculty-lead trip with a tighter academically focused agenda (and less culture and tourism) We will continue to do these going forward, with varying destinations and focus.
I also suggest you take a look at our faculty bios. It’s a very diverse global group, and the perspectives they bring from their varied backgrounds is a significant educational value for students — and is part of why "global" is part of our basic identity.
I am a prospective FlexMBA evening student for Fall 2011. What would you say are some things that make the UCSD MBA experience unique? What are aspects of the UCSD FlexMBA that UCSD prides itself on?
Rady’s innovation focus and our innovation-focused capstone course sequence are important differentiators. Our most recent benchmarking has re-confirmed that the capstone is unique among US MBA programs. We are very much engaged with our campus, with lots of cross-collaboration, and we have extraordinary support and involvement from our business community. Our students tell us in exit interviews that the Rady MBA provides a real balance between knowledge of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks for business decision-making and an understanding of the application of these principles to real-world problems and situations — and opportunities within the MBA program to really do that on a variety of kinds of projects. For our Flex program particularly, we really pride ourselves on ensuring that you have the kind of experience of a learning community and a student community that can be hard to gain when you are at school only on a part-time basis.
One other comment — fundamentally, the quality and value of your educational experience depends on the quality of your faculty. I’d again suggest that a look at faculty bios would be helpful, and I’d note that the same faculty teach students in all our program formats, FT and Flex.
The best way to get a feel for what the program is like is to come and visit. If you connect directly with MBA Admissions, we will be glad to arrange a class visit and put you in touch with current students. You want to feel confident that you are making a good decision about which MBA program will provide the best learning environment for you and will give you the educational experience and value that you expect. The more you know and the more directly you take a look, the better.
I am a student at Ashford University but its business program is not accredited by the AACSB. If I began a program in Fall 2011, what is the possibility of any of the core graduate courses transferring?
Rady does not typically accept transfer credits. If you have completed comparable graduate coursework in a core subject area, waiver of a Rady core course is possible — allowing you to take additional electives. Core course waivers are typically considered after admission to the program and are reviewed by Rady faculty based on course syllabus and grade.
How important is networking to the UCSD FlexMBA experience?
Very important: your network begins in your class, moves out to the students in other years and other program formats, and then beyond. We have a very active alumni association, several mentoring programs that are available to Flex (as well as FT) MBA students, an extensive series of speakers from the business community — with many scheduled specifically so they are accessible to Flex students. We have an active network of business community advisors and coaches for the Lab to Market capstone projects, Industry Advisors who work with our career center, etc. I could go on!
Thank you for joining us today. If you have further questions or would like to come visit us, please contact MBA Admissions at MBAadmissions@ucsd.edu.