Columbia Business School #ColumbiaMBA Written Application

Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.

ESSAYS

Goal short answer

  • What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters or less)

Columbia Essay #1

  • Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Columbia Essay #2

  • Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

Columbia Essay #3

  • Tell us about your favorite book, movie or song and why it resonates with you. (250 words)

Columbia Optional Essay

  • Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

Short Answer Question: post-MBA goal

THE QUESTION

  • What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters or less)

Questions behind the Questions

  • What job do you hope to have when you graduate?
  • This is your short-term goal (STG)
  • Most goals fit into one or more of these three categories: vertical move (CEO), horizontal move (career changer), start-up (entrepreneur)

My assumption: Admissions Committee readers prefer goals that are both realistic and ambitious

Are you trying to use your MBA to change careers, or advance your current career?

My assumption: Most short term goals fit into one or more of these three categories


1. Are you trying to move up in your current industry? (vertical move)

  • Move towards a C-suite office (CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, CIO, etc.)

2. Are you trying to change your career? (horizontal move)

  • Go into financial services
  • Go into consulting
  • Go into consumer goods / marketing
  • Go into technology
  • Go into media / entertainment
  • Go into non-profit / social ventures

3. Are you trying to join or launch a start-up? (entrepreneur)

  • Are you thinking of joining a startup?
  • Are you thinking of creating a new business by yourself or with others?

Which of these three are you pursuing?

Are you ambitious yet realistic?

  • If you are seen as a "triple jumper," you might be too ambitious
    • A triple jumper expects to change country, industry and function
  • Meanwhile, if you are writing that you plan to return to your current job, then you are probably too realistic

THE QUESTION BEHIND THE QUESTION

Can you get a job?

Are you a double switcher or a triple jumper?

A double switcher is an applicant who seeks to change two of three variables post-MBA. And a triple jumper seeks to change all three

The three variables are

  1. industry
  2. function
  3. location

Admissions Committees might be concerned if you are a double switcher or a triple jumper if you appear to have unrealistic career expectations


Concision is critical

If you know your plan, you can express it concisely

If you can express your short-term goals concisely, you are more likely to achieve them

Columbia Essay #1

  • Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Questions behind the question

Long term career goal

What job do you want in ten or more years?

A good long-term goal represents the next logical step after you achieve your short-term goals. For instance, if you plan to spend a few years in management consulting, then it might make sense to move into a management role at a leading company in your coverage area. Doing so would allow you to utilize the expert knowledge and skills, as well as the professional relationships that you established during your consulting career.

Most long-term goals can be simplified to fit one of two paths

1. The CEO Path

Lead an existing organization as a C-level executive role such as CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, CIO, etc.

2. The Entrepreneur Path

Join or create a new organization as an entrepreneur


1. The CEO Path

How does an MBA best prepare you to transition from your short-term goal to your C-level executive role?

A future CEO might be trying to use an MBA to help transition

from specialist to generalist

from tactician to strategist

from problem solver to problem finder


If you plan to lead a large organization, you need to know how to

scale a business

hire the right people

drive growth to match market conditions


2. The Entrepreneur Path

How does an MBA best prepare you to start a company?


If you plan to create a company, you should know how to

identify and capture opportunities

create products and services that reflect market conditions and excite customers


Perhaps you could reach a C-suite office or create a company without business school. Still, earning your Columbia MBA accelerates your progress and maximizes your potential.


More tips on how to write the "goals / why MBA" essay,

Columbia Essay #3

  • Tell us about your favorite book, movie or song and why it resonates with you. (250 words)

Questions behind the question

Columbia Essay #2

  • Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

Why Columbia?

Why is Columbia a good match for you? What will you gain from the program?

Think about the three P's:

People

Program

Place


What professors or programs best prepare you to achieve your short and long term goals?

Can you define Columbia's unique student culture in your own words?

Can you mention the names of students and alumni? Who do you know?

Cite your sources. Include quotes from current students and alumni who can verify and elaborate on your reasons for choosing Columbia

What did you discuss with them? How did those discussions confirm and deepen your insights into the Columbia MBA experience?

How do the people you know embody Columbia MBA? Can you find something in their personality that matches yours?

Perhaps it is something about their sense of humor

Or their way of solving problems

Or their way of communicating and collaborating with teams

How did Columbia MBA change them?

Why do you want to experience a similar transformation?

THE QUESTIONS BEHIND THE QUESTION

Will you attend CBS if we admit you?

What business opportunities have you identified that you can best capture by studying at CBS?

What academic and social opportunities have you identified that you can best capture by studying at CBS?

MY ASSUMPTIONS

Those who prioritize studying in an urban location will prioritize CBS.

STORY PATTERN ONE

NYC as business incubator

STORY PATTERN TWO

NYC as academic and cultural community


KEYWORDS

limitless possibilities

fast paced and adaptable

QUESTION BEHIND THE QUESTION

Why do you fit Columbia's student culture?

What can you contribute to that culture?

What community and social opportunities have you identified that you can best capture by studying at Columbia Business School?

Do you understand the Columbia Business School community?

Please start by learning as much as you can about life at Columbia.

Develop your hypothesis about why Columbia best prepares you to accomplish your post-MBA goals.

Then, contact current students to confirm your hypothesis.

Columbia Optional Essay

  • Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)
    • QUESTIONS BEHIND THE QUESTION
      • What aspects of your academic record might concern Admissions Committee readers?
      • What aspects of your personal history might interest Admissions Committee readers?

Short answer questions


①Add Employer (Duties/Responsibilities)

(###/500 incl. spaces)


②Please provide an explanation for any gaps in your employment history: 1000 characters


③Extracurricular Activities

Instructions: List up to 3 collegiate extracurricular activities and up to 3 post-collegiate extracurricular activities in order of importance.


■During College

- Order of Importance : 1

- Type : During College

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

- State :

- Dates of Participation :

- Frequency of Participation :

- Description of Participation


- Order of Importance : 2

- Type : During College

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

-State :

-Dates of Participation :

-Frequency of Participation :

-Description of Participation


- Order of Importance : 3

- Type : During College

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

- State :

- Dates of Participation :

- Frequency of Participation :

- Description of Participation


■Post College

- Order of Importance : 1

- Type :

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

- State :

- Dates of Participation :

- Frequency of Participation :

- Description of Participation


- Order of Importance : 2

- Type : Post College

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

-State :

-Dates of Participation :

-Frequency of Participation :

-Description of Participation


- Order of Importance : 3

- Type : Post College

- Organization Name :

- Role :

- Country :

- City :

- State :

- Dates of Participation :

- Frequency of Participation :

- Description of Participation


④Hobbies

Please list other activities or interests that you regularly engage in

Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.

Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)

All first-time applications require two recommendations. Reapplicants are required to submit one new recommendation. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can share their insights on your candidacy.

If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for fewer than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities. You may ask a summer employer or another person whom you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.

We ask recommenders to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendations:

  1. How do the candidate's performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.

Please be aware: The Admissions Committee requires that all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations.

Please limit your recommendation to 1,000 words.

(found at http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/programs-admissions/mba/admissions/application-requirements#5; accessed 2014/05)

International Applicants

International students who do not have a degree from an institution in which all instruction is conducted in English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). You may be exempted from the TOEFL or the PTE only if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. We will not accept requests for exceptions to this policy.

The TOEFL and PTE scores are valid for two years. Your TOEFL or PTE score must be valid when you submit your application.

Be sure to self-report your TOEFL or PTE score when completing your application. If admitted, you must submit an official score report. For the TOEFL, Columbia’s ETS code is 2174, MBA department code 02. For the PTE select "Columbia Business School" from the list of schools provided by Pearson. The Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application.

(found at http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/programs-admissions/mba/admissions/application-requirements#5; accessed 2014/05)

Archive

for reference

Columbia Business School 2016 MBA (Class of 2018) Essays

Instructions: In addition to learning about your professional aspirations, the Admissions Committee hopes to gain an understanding of your interests, values and motivations through these essays. There are no right or wrong answers and we encourage you to answer each question thoughtfully. The “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?” question, Essay

VINCE SUMMARY

  • Goal short answer (50 chars) Essay 1 (500 words), Essay 2 (250 words) and Essay 3 (250 words) are all required.
  • Please watch these videos, and then read the tips below.

Student Organizations

There are more than 100 active student organizations at Columbia Business School, ranging from cultural to professional to athletic tocommunity service–oriented. Together, they host more than 100 events every week, with many held during the School’s dedicated “Club Time” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. These organizations provide a valuable and stimulating complement to the academic curriculum and social environment. Leadership positions within the clubs also offer hands-on management and networking opportunities for students, and faculty members and alumni frequently get involved as advisers, event moderators, or panelists, while corporations often generously sponsor events.

See the list below for a sampling of some of the more popular student organizations at Columbia Business School.

Affinity | Community Service | Career and Professional

Social and Athletic | Student Government and Leadership

Affinity Clubs

  • Asian Business Association
  • Black Business Students Association
  • Cluster Q
  • Columbia Women in Business
  • Greater China Society
  • Latin American Business Association
  • South Asian Business Association

Community Service Organizations

  • Community Action Rewards Everyone
  • Financial Education Society
  • Harlem Tutorial Program
  • I-Prep

Career and Professional Clubs

  • Columbia Investment Management Association
  • Green Business Club
  • Healthcare Industry Association
  • Investment Banking Club
  • Management Consulting Association
  • Marketing Association of Columbia
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital Club
  • Real Estate Association
  • Retail and Luxury Goods Club
  • Social Enterprise Club

Social and Athletic Groups

  • Gourmet Club
  • Military in Business Association
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Rugby Football Club
  • Wine Society
  • Women’s Touch Rugby
  • World Tour Club


Student Government and Leadership

  • Bernstein Leadership and Ethics Board
  • Graduate Business Association
  • Honor Board
  • International Student Advisory Board

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/organizations; accessed 2013/06)

Speakers and Conferences

The convenience of Columbia Business School’s New York location and its close ties to the business, nonprofit, and government communities means that students are constantly afforded the opportunity to hear from the very leaders who are actively shaping the business landscape.

Many professors invite practitioners to guest-teach a class session, while other leaders address larger groups of students at on-campus events organized by student clubs, research centers, and regular speaker series such as the Silfen Leadership Series, the Nand and Jeet Khemka Distinguished Speaker Forum, the Sir Gordon Wu Distinguished Speaker Forum, the Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics, and more.

Conferences led by student clubs also attract well-known guest speakers, participants, and alumni from across industries and around the world, providing students with greater insights into the current business environment. These conferences are entirely student run and give club members the opportunity to build industry connections while applying the management skills they learn in the classroom.

Some of the larger student conferences include:

  • Black Business Student Association Conference
  • Columbia Investment Management Association Conference
  • Columbia Women in Business Conference
  • Healthcare Conference
  • India Business Conference
  • Marketing Association of Columbia Conference
  • Media Management Association Conference
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference
  • Retail and Luxury Goods Conference
  • Social Enterprise Conference

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/speakers; accessed 2013/06)

Diversity at Columbia

Student collaboration that brings together a variety of perspectives and experiences leads to truly effective learning and leadership development. With this in mind, Columbia Business School is committed to promoting diversity in all its forms by recruiting students from an array of professional backgrounds, socioeconomic upbringings, racial and ethnic identities, and geographic locations. Nowhere is this commitment more apparent than in MBA clusters and learning teams, which are designed to bring together students from a range of backgrounds to help them learn together, both about the material and one another.

Student Initiatives

The School is constantly finding ways to further promote diversity, particularly through its more than 100 student organizations. These student-led groups provide opportunities throughout the semester for all students to celebrate the many different cultures present at Columbia Business School, and many are also involved in the career recruiting process and student-run conferences. The goal behind clubs affiliated with particular affinity groups is not only to provide a network of support for those students, but also to promote collaboration among clubs across the School.

Affiliations

In addition to the fellowships and scholarships designed to foster diversity in the full-time MBA program, the School is also closely affiliated with several national organizations that work to improve the diversity of leaders in the business world.

  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow
  • National Black MBA Association
  • National Society for Hispanic MBAs
  • Riordan Fellows Program
  • Sponsors for Educational Opportunity
  • Ten School Diversity Alliance

On-Campus Diversity Events

Throughout the year, the Admissions Office hosts recruiting events for underrepresented minorities. These events, which include Spotlight On: Diversity and Diversity Connect at Columbia, immerse prospective students in the Columbia Business School community, imparting a holistic understanding of the dynamic academic and social environments that exist on campus.

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/diversity; accessed 2013/06)

Women at Columbia

Columbia Business School strives to lead top MBA programs in reflecting a more equitable gender balance among its population by actively recruiting talented and accomplished female students and faculty members, sponsoring events that address issues relevant to women in business, and providing on-campus support for recent mothers.

Student Initiatives

Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) is one of the most popular and successful student organizations on campus. CWIB hosts a series of events each semester specifically geared toward further strengthening the role of women in the business world, building connections with female alumni, and facilitating career recruiting in a range of industries. The annual Columbia Women in Business Conference, run entirely by students, attracts high-profile women speakers and industry insiders to discuss the various paths to success taken by women business leaders.

Affiliations

Columbia Business School is proud to partner with organizations both on and off campus that are devoted to supporting women in business.

  • Forté Foundation
  • 85 Broads
  • 10,000 Women Initiative
  • Office of Work/Life

On-Campus Events

The Admissions Office hosts two annual recruiting events designed for female applicants, Spotlight On: Women and Women Connect at Columbia, where prospective students have the chance to visit campus to meet current women students, alumni, and faculty members, discuss issues unique to women in business, and learn more about the experience for women at Columbia Business School.

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/women; accessed 2013/06)

LGBT at Columbia

Located in the heart of New York City, Columbia Business School prides itself on being an open and welcoming community for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, faculty members, and administrators. The School’s population of LGBT students cuts across geography, experience, ethnicity, and gender to create one of the largest and most diverse LGBT groups among the world’s top business schools. In addition, Columbia Business School has the largest representation of straight allies among all business schools, and the School’s relationship with New York City affords LGBT students powerful networking opportunities and an extensive LGBT community.

Student Initiatives

Cluster Q, Columbia Business School’s LGBT student organization, has grown in membership for four consecutive years. The club provides a strong network for LGBT students within the School, as well as with alumni, recruiters, and students from across Columbia University. Cluster Q organizes a variety of social and career-oriented events throughout the year, helping to foster the LGBT community on campus and develop relationships with recruiters.

Cluster Q maintains relationships with many top firms – from finance to consulting to brand management – who actively recruit members of the Columbia Business School LGBT community .

Affiliations

Columbia Business School encourages students to network with their peers from other business schools. Each year, Cluster Q sends a large cohort of students to Reaching Out MBA, an LGBT-specific MBA career and networking conference.

The Admissions Office also actively participates in CHecK uS Out, a multi-school admissions event for LGBT prospective students organized by Columbia, Harvard, Kellogg, and Stanford that takes place in New York City and San Francisco each fall.

On-Campus Events

Each year the Admissions Office hosts LGBT Connect, an on-campus admissions event geared towards prospective LGBT students. This event gives prospective students the opportunity to visit campus and meet admissions officers, current LGBT students, and LGBT alumni.

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/lgbt; accessed 2013/06)

Veterans at Columbia

The Military in Business Association (MIBA), Columbia Business School’s veteran student organization, has continually grown in membership as the veteran presence within the School community has increased. MIBA provides an incredibly strong network for veteran students within Columbia Business School, as well as with alumni, recruiters, and students from across the University.

Members come from all branches of the armed forces within the United States and internationally. By leveraging the experiences of current and former members, MIBA seeks — through camaraderie, support, and networking — to enhance the career success of all those with a connection to the Columbia Business School military community.

Student Initiatives

MIBA organizes a variety of social and career-oriented events throughout the year, strengthening the veteran community on campus and cultivating relationships with recruiters. MIBA also organizes events with current and former high-ranking military leaders such as former US Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman Jr.

In addition, MIBA has also sponsored student-wide happy hours, raised over $6,500 for Survivor Joe (an organization that supports currently deployed service members), and co-sponsored a successful social event with Cluster Q (Columbia Business School’s LGBT student organization) that raised over $3,000 in donations for The Trevor Project and Team RWB.

MIBA also maintains close relationships with many recruiters from top firms — from finance to consulting to brand management — who actively recruit MIBA members of the Columbia Business School veteran community.

Affiliations

The Admissions Office actively participates in several organizations related to veteran recruitment, including the Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition, a MIBA member attends the annual Service Academy Career Conference in Washington DC in order to speak with prospective students about Columbia Business School.

On-Campus Events

MIBA and the Admissions Office host an annual Fleet Week event for prospective students who have served in the armed forces. This event is held during Fleet Week and is open to Fleet Week participants as well as other active or former member of the military.

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/veterans; accessed 2013/06)

Spouses, Partners, and Families

Starting graduate school can be a big adjustment for anyone, and that includes a student’s spouse, partner, or children — particularly when moving to a new city. While the transition can seem daunting, the Office of Student Affairs is committed to helping students and their families alike become part of the Columbia Business School community. In addition to online resources for you and your family, a student-led interest group, Columbia Better Halves, creates venues for significant others and families of students to meet. Activities include family-friendly events such as Halloween Family Day, playground activities, dinners, cultural excursions, and an important initiative during orientation to better prepare partners for the demands of an MBA education.

New York is an exciting place, and it offers plenty to do. Visit the University’s Exploring New York City for a resource listing to give you a head start on some aspects of life in New York, including museums, neighborhoods, transportation, and more.

(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/life/families; accessed 2013/06)

for reference

Reapplications to Columbia Business School

Those reapplying more than one year after their previous application should adhere to all the requirements of new applicants. Those reapplying one year or less from the date of their previous application need only do the following:

  • Submit a new application fee (US$250).
  • Update the “Personal,” “Family,” “Employment,” “Education,” and “Extracurricular Activities” sections of the online application.
  • Update the “How Will You Finance Your MBA?” section of the online application.
  • Submit transcripts of any additional courses taken since your previous application.
  • Submit one new, two-part essay:
  • A. How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied, and address how you plan to achieve your post-MBA and long-term professional goals. (Maximum of 500 words)
  • B. Please view this video, entitled Community at Columbia. Diverse, tight-knit clusters and carefully selected learning teams are defining features of the first year at Columbia Business School. Along with more than 100 student organizations and countless events each semester, the cluster system helps to create a supportive and devoted lifelong community. Describe why you are interested in becoming a part of the Columbia community. (Maximum 250 words)
  • Submit one new recommendation letter, preferably from your current employer, but if not, another colleague in a supervisory role or a client will suffice.

Reapplicants with questions should contact the Admissions Office at apply@gsb.columbia.edu or 212-854-1961.

Please note that candidates may only apply once to a given term of entry.


(found at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/admissions/applynow; accessed 2012/07)

Why MBA?

NOTE: Columbia does not specifically ask why you want an MBA, but I encourage you to think about it

First, why are you NOT pursuing a specialized masters (Masters in Finance, Master in Technology) or a Ph.D.?

Most importantly, how does an MBA best prepare you to build the skills you need? For example, you might need:

technical knowledge of finance and accounting

analytical skills, including corporate strategy, strategic planning (long-term thinking)

interpersonal skills to motivate experts in finance, accounting, sales, marketing, engineering, and operations

Clients sometimes ask me to explain the difference between technical skills and analytical skills. Here is my answer: Technical knowledge and skills is the type of knowledge you need to understand a task. For instance, the accounting knowledge you need to understand what auditors do.

According to NYTimes columnist David Brooks, "Technical knowledge is like the recipes in a cookbook. It is formulas telling you roughly what is to be done. It is reducible to rules and directions. It's the sort of knowledge that can be captured in lectures and bullet points and memorized by rote." (found at http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/opinion/Brooks-The-Practical-University.xml?f=76; accessed 2013/04)

Analytical skills sometimes involve technical knowledge (finance and and accounting knowledge) but they are often more complex and more sophisticated than technical skills. Sometimes, they require creativity and intuition. For example, strategy consultants display analytical skills when they form (and test) a business hypothesis. Business schools teach technical skills like finance and accounting so that students can apply these skills when analyzing business cases.

DISCLAIMER

Information is subject to change. Please, verify all data with the schools.