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Chicago Booth Won’t Necessarily Scrap PowerPoint Component of Application, Admissions Director Says

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is currently planning next year’s application, including considering changing or eliminating the PowerPoint presentation requirement that has been one of the school’s application components for the past several years, according to Admissions Director Rose Martinelli.

In a post to her blog yesterday, Martinelli sought to clarify certain points made in a BusinessWeek article earlier this week entitled “Business Schools Revamp the Application.” The BW article cited Chicago Booth and UCLA Anderson as leaders among top business schools that are embracing new technology as part of their application process, noting Chicago Booth’s PowerPoint component and Anderson’s invitation to candidates to answer one essay question in audio or video format. But it went on to report that Chicago Booth had decided to eliminate the PowerPoint presentations starting with the 2010-11 academic year because they didn’t work.

“While the article covered the spirit of my conversation, it unfortunately missed providing the context,” Martinelli wrote on her blog. The BW article suggested that Chicago Booth planned to nix the PowerPoint slides because they didn’t help the admissions committee determine how well a candidate would fit the Booth culture. On the contrary, Martinelli wrote on her blog. “The PowerPoint presentation has been incredibly successful in our evaluation process in identifying students who are great fit and match for Chicago,” she wrote.

Over time, though – as candidates and consultants have become more familiar with the exercise – her office has begun to see more presentations that felt standard or rote, she continued. As it begins to design next year’s application, her team is considering each individual component, but the PowerPoint has not necessarily been eliminated, Martinelli says. “While this may be the last year of the presentation requirement in its current form, we have not yet made any final decisions as to what next year’s application will look like,” she wrote.

Of course, those of us here at Clear Admit will stay on top of the developments in Chicago Booth’s application and update our readers here as soon as any official changes are released.

Posted in: MBA News

Schools: U. Chicago Booth, UCLA Anderson


  1. I hope they eliminate the ppt! Essays are the way to go if the adcom wants to get to know me and my competence as a writer. If things get too creative, I fear that there will be less objectivity (if any even exists) in the admissions process. Does anyone agree with me?

  2. Sorry, Danica, I think the PowerPoints are a good idea. Chicago is wise to assess our ability to be (visually) creative, as I believe skills in this area are crucial to success in many areas of business.

  3. i agree with lin, the adcom has many opportunities to see our writing and analytical competence. i think the .ppt question will give them a unique perspective.

  4. I go to another business school, but I agree that PowerPoint’s are good. What distinguishes one business school candidate from another? Communication. There are smart people who can do well on tests. But in reality, they cannot communicate nor can they convey their ideas well.

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