Tag Archives: Columbia Business School

Tuesday Tips: Columbia Business School MBA Application Essay Tips

Columbia Business School is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. New York City is another aspect of the school that pervades its culture and defines some of the unique opportunities of …

Columbia Essay TipsColumbia Business School is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. New York City is another aspect of the school that pervades its culture and defines some of the unique opportunities of the program. Thorough school research is crucial to your preparation for this application. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to review the personal elements you will want to discuss.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

This is a simple question, but may require you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. Columbia presents several examples on their website, all of which have some unique aspect. Rather than a generic statement like: “Work in finance” the goal is to infuse some specificity. Something like: “Work in real estate finance within a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals. Note that the limited character count is intended to get you to the point quickly and that all of the examples Columbia has provided are concise and lack any elaboration.

Essay 1:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (Maximum 500 words)

Remember that this essay has two purposes: demonstrate that you know why you are interested in Columbia, and showcase why you are an excellent fit for the program. Both goals should be kept in mind as you answer the question.

This question is entirely future focused and specifically asks you to get away from a recitation of your resume. Spend the majority of the space describing your career goals and what you envision you will learn and experience at Columbia to help you achieve your goals. As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals.

For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. You might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start up to round out your experience and start on your general management path. Make sure your goals are both achievable and aspirational and that you have specifics about Columbia to support your assertion that it is the right place for you.

Essay 2:
Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars, and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

As you decide how to approach this question make sure that your individual goals for learning and career are impacting how you answer. You should consider the industry you plan to enter, and either the key adjunct professors from that industry at Columbia or the access to major companies from that industry in New York City. Consider your personal interests and how you might pursue them in the diversity of such an international city, and also the ways that Columbia’s alumni network can provide opportunities within the metropolitan area.

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions.

Essay 3:
CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

If you watch the linked video, you’ll see that CBS Matters is a part of the Columbia cluster experience that centers around a personal presentation. This essay is entirely about your life story and how you will be perceived by your peers at Columbia. If you did not cover anything personal in the prior two essays this is your opportunity to stand out from the pack of other applicants.

This essay is somewhat about what matters most to you, and what you would share if asked who you really are. Dig deep into your passions and background and find the aspects that resonate emotionally with you and seem to convey a truth about who you really are. If you are stumped by this essay prompt you may want to ask friends, family members or colleagues what they view as interesting and unique about you.

Once you have ideas about how to approach this question make sure that you are describing something about yourself that will be interesting both to your peers and to the admissions committee. Something that is a passion point for you and that demonstrates a bit more about your background and motivations will likely be interesting both your clustermates and the admissions committee.

Optional Essay:
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue. For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since.

If you do not have a weakness to address here, it’s an ideal opportunity to provide any information that you were unable to work into the other three essays. If you have an unusual background, hobby or extracurricular experience, this may be an opportunity to showcase your unique profile.

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Columbia Business School 2015-2016 MBA Essays, Deadlines

Columbia Business School has posted the deadlines and tweaked the essay questions for the 2015-2016 MBA application cycle. For those interested in the school’s January entry option, that application is now available. January 2016 Entry …

columbia MBA deadlines

Columbia Business School has posted the deadlines and tweaked the essay questions for the 2015-2016 MBA application cycle. For those interested in the school’s January entry option, that application is now available.

January 2016 Entry

Deadline: October 7, 2015

August 2016 Entry

Early Decision: October 7, 2015

Merit Fellowship Consideration: January 6, 2016

Regular Decision: April 13, 2016

Essay Questions

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Essay 1:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 2:
Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars, and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 3:
CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Optional Essay:
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

***

Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. For more information, visit the Columbia Business School admissions website.

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B-Schools Showcase Green Business Practices

Today’s global economy has two faces: one of exponential growth in developing countries, and the flip side—a voracious ravaging of resources by developed nations. While some business leaders continue to march in step to the …

Today’s global economy has two faces: one of exponential growth in developing countries, and the flip side—a voracious ravaging of resources by developed nations. While some business leaders continue to march in step to the “more is better” mantra, others are realizing that business as usual is not sustainable for our planet.

Earth Day may be commemorated officially on only one day of the year, but business schools around the country are using the occasion to show their dedication to tackling issues of climate change and sustainability that are at the core of doing green business.

sustainability and business

Here’s what’s going on this week at some of the top MBA programs:

Business Takes the Lead: How Innovation Will Drive Our Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change 2015 Conference, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Fight Less, Collaborate More: How to Solve the World’s Greatest Environmental Challenges, Thursday April 23, 2015, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

UCLA Anderson School of Management is on day two of its annual Social Innovation Week, which runs April 20-23, 2015. Panelists and speakers will discuss social entrepreneurship, social impact in media and entertainment, corporate social impact and one-for-one models.

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business announced yesterday that the team from the full-time MBA program took first place in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, at Morgan Stanley’s London Headquarters on April 17. The winning team’s investment thesis was about drought mitigation innovation.

University of Michigan Ross School of Business announced today that influential Indian business leader, GV Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman GVK, will be the keynote speaker for Commencement on May 1st, 2015. At the event, he will share his views on the power of positive business, and how it creates a social impact on society.

And finally, Columbia Business School deserves a ‘shout out’ for its great article on the business case for going green.

This is just a sampling of the activities currently taking place on business school campuses, where sustainability and good stewardship are more than just buzz words—they are the very key to long-term economic growth and a better planet for future generations.

Earth image courtesy of Flickr user woodleywonderworks, CC 2.0

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Columbia’s Dean Hubbard on MBA Rankings

Business school rankings are forever a hot topic, and we really liked the assessment strategies put forth by Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School in a recent essay for Fortune on whether MBA rankings really …

Business school rankings are forever a hot topic, and we really liked the assessment strategies put forth by Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School in a recent essay for Fortune on whether MBA rankings really matter.

Glenn Hubbard dean of ColumbiaIt’s human nature to want to experience the best of anything, Hubbard points out, which explains why so many applicants flock to the business school programs that continuously top the rankings. But the dean suggests that applicants take a closer look at the students of the programs they are targeting as they come up with their shortlist of schools.

“It’s in the student network that you will find the metrics that matter for assessing any business school: inputs and outputs,” he explains. The economist that he is, Hubbard speaks of inputs as in applications—the volume of applications a school receives and whether that figure is trending up or down over time.

“It stands to reason that the marketplace of prospective students will send the most applications to the best schools, which will, in turn, have more selective admission rates,” says the dean.

The other side of the coin, the outputs, refers to what happens to MBA grads once they enter the job market. Employers want the best employees money can buy, and, says Hubbard, students will receive good job offers if the job market believes they have received a valuable education. “Schools that routinely graduate classes at full or near-full employment, with good job satisfaction, have reason to believe they’re receiving a vote of confidence from the market,” he says.

Aside from inputs and outputs, Hubbard urges future applicants to consider other, no less important, points of comparison, which we have always advocated for as well. Candidates should determine how the location of the school will affect recruiting prospects, whether it has a strong reputation for the particular career path they plan on pursuing, and what kind of alumni network will they be able to tap into.

Ultimately, it’s about finding the best business school for you, and with a fair amount of introspection, plus exhaustive research, the options will become crystal clear.

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Face the Challenge of Round 3 Business School Applications

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com Round three is the most competitive one at most business schools, since the vast majority of acceptances happen in the first two rounds. …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

Round three is the most competitive one at most business schools, since the vast majority of acceptances happen in the first two rounds. If you weren’t able to apply earlier because you were busy studying for the GMAT, dealing with a family crisis or completing an all-consuming work project, you’ve got to bring your A-game if you hope to land a seat at the end of the admissions cycle.

With fewer slots available, fine-tune your focus on schools where you’ll be a compelling candidate. A strong, well-thought-out application is critical. Make sure your academic profile aligns with the school’s median GMAT and average GPA and that you add something special to the class that the admissions committee didn’t see earlier in the season.

Special means unusual work experience, substantial community service, a diverse background, compelling leadership examples, unique or uncommon interests outside of business or entrepreneurial success of some sort.

“We actually enjoy round three,” Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, recently told The Wall Street Journal. “It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.”

You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain to the admissions committee your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply. You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.

[Read more about the best round to submit your business school application.]

Applicants who graduated from college more than five years ago should also give serious consideration to applying in round three. While every situation is different, time is of the essence, especially at programs that tend to focus on younger applicants.

Plus, it’s unlikely your candidacy will improve significantly over the next eight months after you’ve already been in the workforce for so long. If this is your situation and all you need to do is put the finishing touches on your materials, go for round three.

It’s worth noting that being admitted to some schools is not as challenging in round three as others. Elite European business school INSEAD has four rounds, and provides options for a January start date in addition to the traditional September intake. This allows later applicants who don’t mind waiting to start school to have a stronger chance at admission.

The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has five rounds, and Columbia Business School also offers a January intake for candidates who don’t need an internship between the first and second year.

[Get advice on what matters most in MBA admissions.]

Finally, it’s important to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. You can always apply to a set of schools in round three knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new ones next season.

Though the initial rejection may sting, you’ll be in a great position for round one in the fall with your essays, recommendation letters and transcripts already in hand. Or, you may find that the soul searching required for an MBA application sets you on a different path altogether. Perhaps you will decide to make a career switch now and pursue higher education later.

Round three is certainly a gamble, but you just might be that missing element the admissions committee is looking for to spice up the mix.

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Endowment Creates Social Enterprise Center at Columbia

A new center created at Columbia Business School will help develop the next generation of business leaders’ understanding of how management impacts society and the environment. In a statement released Wednesday, Columbia Business School announced …

new Tamer social enterprise center

A new center created at Columbia Business School will help develop the next generation of business leaders’ understanding of how management impacts society and the environment.

In a statement released Wednesday, Columbia Business School announced that Sandra and Tony Tamer made a “transformative endowment gift” that will also serve as the educational, curricular, research, and strategic hub of all social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia.

Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard thanked the Tamers for their generosity, noting that the new Tamer Center will build upon the school’s existing Social Enterprise Program, “(…) allowing for a more robust array of options for the growing number of Columbia community members who are looking to put social problem solving at the heart of their careers.”

The new Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School will:

  • Establish the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures: The Fund will provide seed grants of up to $25,000 to select nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid early-stage social ventures that demonstrate a high degree of social innovation and impact.
  • Enhance the Loan Assistance Program: This program helps alleviate the financial burden of repaying education loans while pursuing a career in the public, nonprofit and social entrepreneurial sectors. The new Center will increase the number of alumni who can receive financial support, as well as the duration of that financial commitment from a maximum of five years to 10 years.
  • Broaden the Summer Fellowship Program: The Summer Fellowship Program pairs social enterprise students with organizations that are creating social and environmental value. Currently reserved for business school students, the program will now include graduate and undergraduate students from across Columbia University so that social ventures may benefit from student talent across disciplines.
  • Support Social Entrepreneurs at the Columbia Startup Lab: The Tamer Center will offer additional financial support to social entrepreneurs who are participating in the Columbia Startup Lab and who receive funding from the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures.
  • Develop a Social Entrepreneurs Network: Aspiring social entrepreneurs need to tap into an advisory network of seasoned professionals and experts. To create such a network, the Tamer Center will leverage the School’s Social Enterprise Leadership Forum, a collection of 100 leaders, practitioners, funders, policymakers, and faculty members who regularly participate in social enterprise and entrepreneurship events at Columbia.

“Columbia is uniquely qualified and positioned to serve as a source of inspiration and education for budding social entrepreneurs,” said Tony Tamer. “Combine that with its already well-established Social Enterprise Program and its strategic position in New York City (…) and you have all the ingredients necessary to be the preeminent center and source of leadership talent for the social enterprise community.”

“One of the most exciting opportunities is bringing the diverse interdisciplinary perspectives of Columbia together,” added Sandra Tamer. “Students studying business, engineering, law, medicine, or public policy will now be able to come together to develop new ideas, innovative solutions, and practical models to solve emerging challenges facing society today.”

To learn more about the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/socialenterprise.

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