Columbia Business School Essay Tips

Columbia Business School does not have many essay questions – all the more reason to choose your examples wisely in order to provide a well-rounded picture of you. Again, the most important advice is be your true self, show your personality, values, and humor.

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (Recommended 750 word limit)

This is a forward looking question. They have NOT asked for your past career experiences. You may briefly touch on them to explain your future goals, but you should not dedicate an entire section of this essay to your past.

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals?
Take this opportunity to reveal your values by explaining why your goals are meaningful to you (and maybe how your goals were inspired). Your career vision need not be one and the same with what matters most to you, but that there should be some correlation. You could touch on your previous career (or volunteer or personal) experiences to articulate how you developed your goals, but do not dwell on past experiences. Also note that they ask “post-MBA” not just “career” goals, so your plans can encompass more than just your career. Further, you need to be concise as you articulate a realistic but ambitious plan and be sure to include both short-term and long-term goals.

How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals?
As with every school, you must be specific about how Columbia Business School will help you. Research their classes and clubs and articulate how you will add to them. They want to see that you are ready to make a difference in their community. Further take note of what’s unique about Columbia Business School and how this will impact your career and future plans. Think about how Columbia Business School can help you to develop as a person and a professional and not just how it can help propel you towards that “dream job”.

In a recent speech delivered to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Dean Glenn Hubbard discussed the new, essential elements of the 21st century MBA. How will your MBA prepare you for a rapidly changing business environment (Recommended 500 word limit)?
First, read the speech provided by the link. Next, do some thinking on the rapidly changing business environment and your future. This question asks you to think not just about Columbia Business School but why you need an MBA overall. Consider what you want to gain from your time at school, personally and professionally, and how this will help you navigate your personal and career goals. Remember that in revealing your priorities for business school, you are communicating what is important to you in how you live your life.

The entrepreneurial mindset is an integral component of the Columbia Business School MBA. Please discuss a time in your own life when you have identified and captured an opportunity (Recommended 500 word limit).
Again, pay attention to what professional and personal examples you are providing across your essays so you can balance them. This question is similar to the greatest accomplishment question in that Columbia Business School wants to see that you set goals and reach them. But they also want to see your creativity and passion. As with all questions of this nature, focus on your thoughts and actions instead of just describing the situation.

Please tell us about what you feel most passionate in life (Recommended 250 word limit).
Even though the word limit is tight, you want to SHOW them instead of just telling them what you feel most passionate about. To that end, provide a colorful and well-rounded examples from your life.

(Optional) Is there any further information that you wish to provide to the Columbia Business School Admissions Committee? Please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.
As with all essays of this nature, stick with the facts and explain the situation succinctly.


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To see our Columbia School Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.

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