Columbia Business School’s 2011-2012 Essay Questions

Last week we shared Columbia Business School‘s newly posted deadlines, and the school has now released its updated essay prompts for the 2011-2012 application season. Applicants must complete one short answer and three essays:

Short Answer
What is your post-MBA professional goal? (Maximum of 200 characters.)

Examples of possible responses:

“After my MBA I want to build my expertise in the energy sector and learn more about strategy and decision making by joining a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy and power companies.”

“After my MBA I hope to work in business development for a media company that is expanding its market share in Asia.”

“My short term goal is to work with an investment firm that utilizes public private partnerships to invest in community development projects.”

Essay 1
Considering your post-MBA and long term professional goals, why you are pursuing an MBA at this point in your career? Additionally, why is Columbia Business School a good fit for you? (Maximum 750 words)

Essay 2
Describe a life experience that has shaped you. The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally. (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 3
(Select and answer one of the below questions)

Option A:
The annual A. Lorne Weil Outrageous Business Plan Competition is a student initiative managed and run by the Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). The competition encourages Columbia MBA students to explore creative entrepreneurial ideas that are sufficiently ambitious in scope and scale to be considered “outrageous.” Students explore these ideas while learning firsthand what goes into the development and presentation of a solid business proposal.

Develop your own “outrageous” business idea. In essay form, compose your “elevator pitch.” (Maximum 250 words)

Option B:
Columbia deeply values its vibrant student community, the building of which begins at orientation when admitted students are assigned to clusters of 65 to 70 fellow students who take most of the first-year core classes together. During the first weeks of school, each cluster selects a Cluster Chair. Further strengthening the student community are the nearly 100 active student organizations at Columbia Business School, ranging from cultural to professional to community service-oriented. Leadership positions within the cluster and/or clubs offer hands-on management and networking opportunities for students as they interact with fellow students, administrators, faculty members, alumni, and practitioners.

You are running for either Cluster Chair or a club leadership position of your choosing. Compose your campaign speech. (Maximum 250 words)

Option C:
Founded nearly three decades ago, the Executives in Residence Program at Columbia Business School integrates senior executives into the life of the School. Current executives in residence include more than a dozen experts in areas ranging from media and investment banking to private equity and management. A hallmark of the program is one-on-one counseling sessions in which executives advise students about their prospective career choices.

Select one of the current executives in residence with whom you would like to meet during your time at Columbia. Explain your selection and tell us how you would best utilize your half hour one-on-one session. (Maximum 250 words)

Optional Essay
Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? Please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. (Maximum 500 words)

Reapplication Essay
How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied, reiterate your post-MBA and long-term professional goals, and address why Columbia Business School is a good fit for you. (Maximum 750 words).

For more information about Columbia Business School, read my section with Columbia advice here.

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