Chat with MBA Admissions — March 29, 2011
Thanks for joining us to talk about the Rady School and our MBA program. We look forward to your questions.
What about the classroom environment? How would you describe that? Will it all be lecture and discussion? Does it depend on the class?
Classes always involve a variety of teaching methods and activities: lecture, discussion, business case discussion, simulations, projects, guest speakers, etc. The exact mix will differ from course to course, depending on the material and the methods the specific faculty member has found most effective for that subject matter. Interactive discussion and teamwork are the norms.
What is the average GMAT score for applicants who are accepted?
The average GMAT score for our last incoming class was about 680. You can view more information regarding the profile of the full-time MBA class that started last fall here: http://rady.ucsd.edu/mba/fulltime/profile/.
What can I do to present the best picture of myself on the application? In other words, what are you guys looking for in a candidate?
We don’t have one specific “model” candidate — we’re interested in a wide diversity of backgrounds and experiences and goals. What’s common among great Rady applicants is intellectual preparedness for a rigorous program, a real commitment to learning and to being part of a learning community, a passion for innovation, a commitment to collaboration and teamwork, and a desire to make an impact.
I was wondering how the Admissions Committee evaluates grades that do not correspond to a 4.0 system. My transcripts are in percentage form.
With the diversity of our student body, we’re familiar with and used to working with a pretty broad range of grading systems. Often, transcripts from specific school provide some information on how the grading system works. Equally often, we’ve seen similar transcripts. So, please don’t be concerned. What we’re interested in is the overall quality of your academic record and your overall preparation for graduate management education.
How do your students find internships? On their own, or do you guys offer help? Is there any chance of finding an internship outside of the country?
MBA Career Connections is our Rady career center, and its staff works very closely with students on preparing for the internship and job search and creating access to interesting, valuable opportunities. They begin working with incoming Full-Time students in the late summer on career assessment, and then start regular programs during our PreTerm (orientation) period. We’ve seen a few students get internships outside the US. Career Connections would be glad to help, but you’d want to identify this as a priority and really start working with them early on in the fall.
How much weight does the GMAT have in the decisions of an applicant?
I am applying for your MBA program, but I am a 52 year old woman. Do I need to take the GMAT?
The GMAT is required for all applicants unless you have an M.D. or a Ph.D. in a quantitative, scientific or technical area. If you do have such a degree, please be in touch directly with MBA admissions by email, as we will want to review your credentials and formally waive the GMAT, if that is approved.
I’m afraid that math has never been my strong point. How much at a disadvantage will that put me?
Some of the fundamental disciplines of business depend on math — economics, finance, operations, etc. A rigorous MBA core curriculum provides the analytical (i.e. including quantitative) and conceptual frameworks for effective business decision-making. So, there’s no way around some math. However, math isn’t the end goal — it’s a means to understanding critical concepts (return on investment, cash flow, demand). If you’re uncomfortable with your current level of math knowledge, I’d encourage you to do some pre-work at a community college or to consult with us directly about your preparation. Rady does have a calculus prerequisite — it’s not a prerequisite for admission, it is one for matriculation.
Can you elaborate on Rady’s sustainability focus?
We’re interested in innovation-driven and emerging industry sectors, and alternative energy and clean technology are clearly in that group. These are areas where a great deal of interesting research is being done at UCSD, in southern California, and where we have growing industry presence — i.e. companies in solar, bio-fuels, and wind. Our Net Impact chapter is very active, and we have some elective courses in areas of sustainability; we always have student projects focused in this area.
Is there a minimum on verbal?
I assume this is about GMAT? We don’t have an absolute minimum for the GMAT verbal score. We do look at both the verbal and the analytical writing scores, and have been known to read those essays, as well as the formal ones in your application. UCSD does have requirements for TOEFL scores (or other test of English). If those are required for your application, the TOEFL minimum is 80 (ibt).
Are there government loans for the Flex MBA?
FlexMBA students who are eligible for federal funds are encouraged to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). UCSD’s Financial Aid office will complete a financial aid award letter for admitted students. Students can then decide how much they wish to take out in federal loan funds.
Since you’re a relatively new program, how well known is Rady outside of California? Will I be at a disadvantage if I choose to apply to your school instead of an established business school? Will I be able to find a job outside of California after graduation?
Yes, you will. UCSD has a national and international reputation for excellence, and a global network of alumni. Rady is rapidly growing our own alumni network, with pods of alumni in LA and the Bay Area, Boston, NYC, Seattle, Washington DC — and elsewhere in the U.S as well as in Tokyo and Taipei. We have found that Rady’s focus on innovation and our highly teamwork-driven, collaborative environment resonates very strongly with companies from many industries, in many locations. MBA Career Connections maintains a large national network of employers and communicates with them regularly.
Is there a difference between the courses taken by the FlexMBA and Full time MBA? Is the FlexMBA tailored to individuals that already have business experience?
The fundamental curriculum for the two programs is the same. Flex is not a watered down or shorter version, and Flex students have access to a full range of electives. Courses are taught by the same faculty. Classroom discussion is different because Flex students are currently working. They bring current business situations and problems to class, and turn around and take what they learn and apply it immediately. While the large majority of our Full-Time students have had work experience, the fact that they aren’t working while taking classes means that the discussion isn’t based on immediate issues. Our faculty, broadly, are experienced in teaching working professionals.
FAFSA is not available for international students?
In order to be eligible for federal funding (i.e. loans), students must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. There are other stipulations on being eligible for federal funds (you can’t have defaulted on any previous federal student loans that you may have borrowed for your undergraduate work). To see more about what you need in order to complete the FAFSA, you can check out their website: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
I live in San Diego, and I’m considering the FlexMBA. Is lodging included too?
The lodging and catering that are provided as part of the FlexMBA program are designed to enable FlexMBA students to have the kind of experience of student community that it’s easy for Full-Time students to gain. This community facilitates and supports learning, enables the development of strong professional and personal networks with classmates, and allows for informal interaction with faculty outside of class.
For anyone interested in the FlexMBA programs, it’s useful to know that FlexMBA students are eligible for educational loan programs. UCSD’s Financial Aid Office works directly with our Flex students to assist them with this. In addition, we do have a small pool of merit-based fellowship funding for FlexMBA students. Similar opportunities are available to Full-Time applicants.
Is there a deadline for when we apply to FAFSA, or is it the federal deadline stated on their website? The website lists the deadline as June 30, 2012 for 2011-2012.
There isn’t necessarily a deadline for FAFSA, per se. You can apply for FAFSA at any time. However, if you want to have your financial aid awarded in a timely manner, you’ll definitely want to complete the FAFSA before June 30th. It’s all a process, and you'll receive your financial aid award letter in a more timely fashion if you complete your FAFSA sooner rather than later. Also, please be sure to put UCSD’s school code so that we receive your information.
What is UCSD’s school code for the FAFSA?
UCSD’s school code is 001317
Can you talk a little about the kind of faculty you have working there? Are they all tenured professors? Visiting lecturers?
We’ve got a great mix. We do have a strong group of full-time, tenure-track faculty (and have just recruited a few more who will join us this coming academic year — stay tuned for announcements). These professors have come to us from top institutions around the country — UChicago, Kellogg, UT Austin, UCLA Anderson. MIT Sloan, Yale. We also have an amazing group of experienced business experts who teach for us, typically in electives that draw very directly on their areas of knowledge and experience. New Product Development is taught by someone who’s been CEO of a design firm....our Biotech Industry course by someone with deep experience in major pharma and in smaller biotech...our course on CEO and Board of Directors by a long-time member of major public boards. Each year, we have a few visiting faculty who join us from other universities and teach specific courses.
Do you have in-state, part time tuition?
In the UC system, MBA programs for working professionals are defined as self-supporting (i.e., not supported by state tax dollars), and there is no differentiation between resident and non-resident fees. Only in the Full-Time MBA is there such a difference.
Is financial assistance available for international students?
All applicants are considered for merit-based fellowship funding. Educational loans are available, with some caveats and restrictions (if you’d like details, our MBA Admissions group can point you towards the documentation from UCSD Financial Aid). Some students, international and domestic, will find TAships, particularly in their second year of the MBA.
Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. We’ve enjoyed answering your questions, and look forward to speaking with you again. Please feel free to contact us directly with any other questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.