Chat with MBA Admissions — June 24, 2011
Thanks for joining us to talk about the Rady School and our FlexMBA program for working professionals. We look forward to your questions.
I'm interested in the FlexMBA program. What is the deadline for applying?
Next Monday, June 27th is the FlexMBA deadline.
I was looking at your application deadlines. I'm still studying to take the GMAT, and probably won't take it until the end of July. Is that too late to be considered for this fall?
We always continue to review applications and admit additional class members through mid-summer, on a space available basis. We always find great people - this is a time when new developments in your workplace or professional life may mean that gaining new knowledge is time-critical. That makes you especially ready to learn, and we feel that it also is a great attitude to bring to school. Consult directly with MBA Admissions on timeline - and complete and submit your application so that we have a file in process for you and have been able to do a preliminary review in advance of receiving your GMAT score.
While I have taken college level calculus classes, my grades were not above a B-. Will this affect my meeting the calculus prerequisite?
We'll look at your calculus coursework in conjunction with your quantitative readiness, as indicated by the quant score in your GMAT. If we are interested in admitting you and having you join the class, the Admissions Committee may recommend some additional math preparation. If you're applying for this fall, we'd recommend a summer on-line Math for Management program; if you're applying early next year for Fall 2012, we might suggest some additional work at the community college level.
What is the average GMAT Score for applicants?
For our FlexMBA students, the average GMAT score is in the 610-620 range. We take into consideration all the elements of a prospective student's application, however, when evaluating whom to admit.
Is it a problem with your admissions office if my undergraduate degree came from University of Phoenix? I've run into problems with other schools that I've looked into.
We don't have any real issue here. Of course as with any undergraduate degree, we will be looking at the academic rigor of the program you took and how well it prepares you for graduate work.
Is the FlexMBA workload comparable to that of the Full-Time MBA? Do previous FlexMBA working professionals find it difficult to balance work and school?
FlexMBA students are enrolled in fewer courses per academic quarter than our Full-Time students, so your overall course load and work load will be lower in each term. Courses are taught by the same faculty across the various program schedules, and faculty expect the same level of work and cover the same material regardless of whether it's during the day, in the evening, or on the weekend.
What qualities does UCSD look for in MBA applicants?
We're interested in three broad areas. (1) Academic and intellectual preparedness: are you ready to undertake graduate management education in a program we believe is fairly rigorous. (2) Why an MBA, why Rady, why now? There isn't a "right" answer here - what we're interested in is your self-reflection and self-evaluation. We want to learn about you as an individual and about the motivations that bring you to Rady. (3) Personal characteristics important for success here at Rady and beyond. This is a highly collaborative program focused on developing leaders: how will you contribute to the learning of your colleagues? Where have you demonstrated creativity, teamwork, initiative, resilience, integrity?
I do not currently have California residency status, how will this affect me in terms of tuition and financial aid?
Residency is not a factor in fees for the FlexMBA program, only in the Full-Time program.
What percentage of applicants are accepted into the FlexMBA program?
We find that most Flex applicants are applying to 1 or perhaps 2 MBA programs - unlike FT applicants who are often applying to 3 or 4 or more. Nearly all Flex applicants have had individual discussions with a member of the Admissions team prior to actually submitting their applications. These things together mean that a very high percentage of Flex applicants possess the fundamental qualifications to be admissible - and then that a high percentage of those we admit decide to attend.
You guys only offer one start in the year, right? Fall? Why not a start in spring?
Yes, at this point, we have a fall class start only. Our core curriculum is sequenced to ensure that classes can build on each other and give you the best learning experience possible. So, you need the fall classes to be able to learn the material in winter and spring.
Who make good recommenders? Should we ask professors who knew us from a long time ago, or stick with coworkers and bosses?
We always suggest you take a look at the question we're asking your recommenders, and think about who is in the best position to speak about you and for you in response to these questions. In general, we find that unless you have a faculty member with whom you worked closely - beyond being in a class- that faculty typically tell us about your academic performance in their course, which is information we see on your transcript. What you want are people who can add information, provide us with perspective on you that we can't get from the other parts of your application. We do generally expect at least one recommendation from your workplace. If there's a reason you can't do that, it may be helpful to write us a few sentences explaining this in one of the optional essays.
How many people do you expect to have in your flex programs this fall?
We're expecting an entering FlexEvening group of about 40-45; an entering FlexWeekend group that’s a little bit smaller. We've found these class sizes enable very effective interaction and exchange in class and out.
I'm retaking the GMAT because I did not score very well for the first time. Will that affect the consideration of my application into the program?
We always look at your best GMAT score. If you want to go ahead and submit your application in advance of your retake, you can do so - you'll see the application has a place for you to tell us that you are retaking the GMAT and when. That allows us to begin our preparation of your admissions file while we wait for the GMAT results.
How would you best describe the Rady MBA program as compared to other MBA programs?
We're really focused on innovation and how innovation reaches the marketplace. Whether it's new products, new service models, new business units, new companies, how do businesses engage in a rigorous decision-making process, using all the tools and frameworks that are the core disciplines of business, to make the best decisions possible under conditions of uncertainty. We are also highly collaborative - more than any other business school I’ve been part of - with a real culture as a learning community. Our curriculum involves multiple opportunities for action-based learning, applying what you're gaining in class to real problems, real situations.
Does Rady's FlexMBA program have a lot of contact with the rest of the UCSD campus?
Perhaps a little less than our Full-Time students, but we certainly try to ensure you're both aware of events and activities elsewhere on campus that may be of interest (speakers, seminars, social activities, etc), and that you have direct access to possible projects from UCSD for your Lab to Market sequence. Every year, student teams work with investors and scientists across campus that are looking at commercializing their work and want to engage a Rady MBA team in their business planning process.
How are the courses scheduled for the Rady FlexMBA?
You will be in a student cohort (Evening or Weekend) that will complete the core curriculum as a group, working together as a class and in assigned study teams. Weekend students are typically enrolled in three courses/term for the core; Evening students in two/term. When you move into electives, you can slow down and/or speed up if you need/want to for professional or personal reasons.
Can you talk a little bit about why it would benefit me to attend an MBA program that's a bit longer than some other MBA programs?
One important thing to note about Rady's FlexMBA - it is identical in overall academic requirements to our Full-Time MBA program, including the full core curriculum and a comparable selection of electives. As you look at part-time or weekend programs elsewhere, you may find that the curriculum is less extensive than in the full-time program at the same school.
Do you have career services to help us reach the next level in our personal development? if so, how does it compare with the results of the average MBA program?
MBA Career Connections is completely available to our FlexMBA students at any point - and has a targeted series of workshops and activities focused on Flex students in the summer before your graduation. That is typically when we find Flex students are most likely to be looking at their next career steps. We've not found a good way to track FlexMBA results - some Flex students are seeking upward movement in their current organizations, some are looking at significant career change, and some career movement starts almost immediately. I know one first year FlexWeekend students who has now had two moves upward in her company. Other students choose not to begin a job seeking process until graduation. Overall, we see a lot of movement during and after the program.
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 MBAadmissions@ucsd.edu.