More about ChatGPT

Last week, I had one of those rare father-daughter moments when I took my 22-year-old daughters out to dinner. Our dinner discussions ranged from work to sports to concerts and maybe a few other topics. Somehow, the topic of ChatGPT surfaced.

Both of my daughters graduated from college in 2022, before ChatGPT was widely known. One of them mentioned that her friend(s) said that a tool was developed to detect ChatGPT for plagiarism in class assignments. Her sister mentioned an email circulating around her office with the answer to a brain teaser question that a colleague submitted to the app. After a few laughs about the app’s response, I volunteered to show them how I use it when we returned home.

Sitting down at my computer, I logged into ChatGPT. The next step was choosing a question. One of our dinner topics was the merits of attending graduate business school for an MBA. I asked ChatGPT “how hard is it to get admitted into the Fuqua School MBA program at Duke University?” (Duke is my undergraduate alma mater). The response is below:

The admissions process for the Fuqua School of Business MBA program at Duke University is highly competitive, and admission is not guaranteed even for highly qualified applicants. The acceptance rate for the Fuqua MBA program varies from year to year, but it is generally around 20-25%.

Fuqua takes a holistic approach to admissions, considering a range of factors beyond just academic achievements and test scores. These factors include work experience, leadership potential, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities such as character, integrity, and passion. Therefore, a strong application will need to demonstrate a range of skills and qualities that align with the values of the Fuqua community.

To increase the likelihood of admission to the Fuqua MBA program, applicants should have a strong academic background, a minimum of two years of work experience, and a competitive GMAT or GRE score. In addition, applicants should demonstrate strong leadership potential, a clear sense of career goals, and a strong fit with the culture and values of the Fuqua community.

Overall, getting admitted into the Fuqua MBA program at Duke University is challenging, but not impossible. Applicants should take the time to carefully craft their application, showcase their unique qualities and experiences, and demonstrate a strong fit with the values and culture of the Fuqua community.

After reading this, I suggested that either of my daughters interested in applying to Fuqua should speak to their uncle, a Fuqua grad, or my friend’s son who graduated from Fuqua three years ago. The app’s response appeared to be aligned with information that someone could have obtained from the Fuqua website.

The next question I posed to ChatGPT related to my research area of interest. “What are the major reasons why students drop out of college?” The answer from ChatGPT was succinct and a reasonable overview given the numerous books and articles available on the topic of college student persistence.

There are many reasons why students drop out of college, and the specific reasons can vary depending on the individual circumstances of each student. However, some of the most common reasons why students drop out of college include:

  1. Financial difficulties: College can be expensive, and many students struggle with the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses. Students may drop out if they are unable to pay their bills or if they need to work to support themselves and cannot balance their work and academic commitments.
  2. Academic challenges: Some students may find the academic demands of college to be too difficult or overwhelming. They may struggle with coursework, fall behind in their studies, or fail to meet the expectations of their professors.
  3. Personal issues: Students may drop out of college due to personal issues such as family problems, mental health issues, or a lack of support from family and friends.
  4. Lack of engagement: Some students may feel disconnected from the college community, or may not find their coursework or extracurricular activities engaging. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of isolation, which can in turn contribute to dropping out.
  5. Career goals: Some students may have a change of heart regarding their career aspirations, and may decide that college is not the right path for them. This can happen when students realize that their intended major is not a good fit, or when they discover new career options that do not require a college degree.

It’s important to note that these reasons are not exhaustive, and that each student’s situation is unique. Additionally, many students who drop out of college go on to succeed in other ways, and may find fulfilling careers and personal growth outside of the traditional college system.

The great thing about ChatGPT’s response to this question was the conversation it stimulated between my daughters and me. Their stories about their college experiences and the experiences of their friends was informative but not surprising (to me).

The next question we asked related to my daughters’ experiences as life-long equestrians. “What is the relative importance of competing at the Wellington Equestrian Festival for junior riders?” We agreed that the answer was accurate (see below). The time it took for the response and the fluidity of the writing was impressive.

The Wellington Equestrian Festival (WEF) is one of the most prestigious and competitive equestrian events in the world, attracting top riders from all over the globe. While competing at WEF can be an incredible opportunity for junior riders to gain experience and showcase their skills, the relative importance of the event will depend on a variety of factors, including the rider’s goals and aspirations, their level of experience and skill, and their resources and support network.

For junior riders who are serious about pursuing a career in equestrian sports, competing at WEF can be a valuable opportunity to gain exposure and experience competing at a high level. The event attracts some of the best riders in the world, and the competition can be fierce, providing junior riders with a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to test their skills against some of the best in the sport.

At the same time, it’s important to note that not all junior riders may have the resources or support necessary to compete at WEF. The event can be costly, both in terms of entry fees and travel expenses, and may require a significant commitment of time and resources. For some junior riders, competing at smaller, regional events may be a more practical and achievable goal, while still providing valuable experience and opportunities for growth and development.

Ultimately, the relative importance of competing at WEF for junior riders will depend on a range of individual factors, including the rider’s goals, level of experience, and available resources. For some junior riders, competing at WEF may be a crucial step in their development as riders, while for others, it may be a more aspirational goal.

With Microsoft incorporating ChatGPT into their Bing search engine and the announcement of Google’s Bard product, the generative AI answer technology is here to stay. Regardless of your occupation, I recommend using it. It will get better. That is both the exciting news and the scary news.

Subjects of Interest


Higher Education

Independent Schools


Student Persistence