Tag Archives: Columbia Business School
February 23, 2015
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.
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.
June 30, 2014
Friendfactor, the LGBT rights organization for straight friends founded in 2009, has announced the results of its second MBA Ally Challenge, a friendly competition among business schools to build as many impactful ally initiatives as they …
Friendfactor, the LGBT rights organization for straight friends founded in 2009, has announced the results of its second MBA Ally Challenge, a friendly competition among business schools to build as many impactful ally initiatives as they can over the course of the school year.
The MBA Ally Challenge ranks schools’ efforts on three criteria: the number of students who participate, the number of activities with an ally-specific component they execute, and their results on a survey that measures LGBT awareness and the inclusiveness of campus culture.
Columbia Business School took first place; Kellogg School of Management came in second; and Michigan Ross School of Business ranked third. The Darden School of Business received the Most Improved Award.
The 12 participating schools engaged over 4,300 students through more than 100 ally-focused activities throughout the school year. All schools appear among Businessweek’s top 20 U.S. MBA programs, and include—in order of final ranking—MIT Sloan, UCLA Anderson, Duke Fuqua, Chicago Booth, UVA Darden, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, Harvard Business School, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Dartmouth Tuck.
Friendfactor reports that the schools improved the LGBT-friendliness of campus culture such that nearly 50% more LGBT students felt comfortable being out to everyone on campus by the end of the school year – an increase from 42% to 62%.
As of June 2014, 23 business schools are pre-registered to compete in the 2014-2015 MBA Ally Challenge, which will kick off in August 2014. The participants and winners of this year’s MBA Ally Challenge will be honored, alongside the winners of Friendfactor’s new Workplace Ally Challenge, at the first annual Ally Challenge Awards Dinner on July 26th in San Francisco.
You may also be interested in:
Embrace LGBT Identity in Business School Applications
June 24, 2014
Columbia’s updated essay questions are consistent with last year, with a new video about Columbia and New York City as a defining feature. As usual, Columbia is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of …
Columbia’s updated essay questions are consistent with last year, with a new video about Columbia and New York City as a defining feature. As usual, Columbia is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to make sure you have done as much school research as possible.
Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 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: “I plan to work in finance after Columbia” the goal is to infuse some individuality. Something like: “After my MBA I plan to pursue a career in real estate finance within a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals.
Essay 1: Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (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.
Columbia has traditionally asked a similar question to determine why you are pursuing an MBA and why Columbia is the right program for you. It is likely that part of your answer to this question deals with your future career goals. When you think about your future plans it will add credibility to describe how you tend to approach goals in general. Are you determined despite obstacles? How have you demonstrated your persistence in your career thus far? This essay is not a recitation of your resume and should focus only on relevant examples from your career, but often the best indicator of future performance is the past, and therefore examples can support your position that your goals are achievable with a Columbia MBA.
The question is open ended enough to allow you to describe other details about your background. If you have a unique path to the MBA this is the place to describe it. If your cultural or family background is interesting and relevant to your application examples featuring details about your experiences could also be appropriate in response to this question.
Essay 2: Please view the video below: The Center
How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)
The video Columbia asks applicants to watch can give you a few clues about the selling points that Columbia Business School sees in their New York City location. Leading edge research, access to heads of companies, and the major industries of New York City are all mentioned in the video. Watch carefully and determine what resonates most for you.
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: What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)
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. If you are stumped by this essay prompt you may want to ask friends, family members or colleagues what they view as an interesting and unique fact 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. Facts about your prior work experience, any international experiences or travel, or extracurriculars that are a strong passion for you are all both potentially interesting to the people in your Cluster and the Columbia Business School 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.
May 20, 2014
The Columbia Business School Class of 2016 MBA application is now live, and here is a preview of the essay questions for the 2014-2015 admissions season. Applicants must complete one short answer question and three …
The Columbia Business School Class of 2016 MBA application is now live, and here is a preview of the essay questions for the 2014-2015 admissions season.
Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.
Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)
Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy.”
“Work for an investment firm that focuses on real estate.”
Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)
Please view the video below:
How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)
What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.
For further details, please visit the Columbia Business School admissions website.