Columbia #mba Application Essay: "what Is Your Immediate Post-Mba Professional Goal?"

Columbia Business School 2017-19 MBA Admissions Essays – Questions behind the Questions   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.   Columbia 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? (500 words or less) Columbia 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”? (250 words) Columbia 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?” (250 words or less) 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. (500 words or less)   Essay Questions behind the Questions Goal short answer   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)   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 technology 3. Are you trying to join or launch a start-up? (entrepreneur) Are you thinking of joining a start-up? Are you thinking of creating a new business by yourself or with others?   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     Columbia 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? (500 words or less) QUESTIONS behind the QUESTION What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? This question asks for a gap analysis. Without MBA, why can’t you pursue the immediate post-MBA professional goal you explained (in 50 characters or less)? 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 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 2. The Entrepreneur Path 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  Bottom line: 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.   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.    Columbia 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”? (250 words) 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”? QUESTIONS behind the QUESTION Who can you ONLY meet in NYC? Are you good at business networking? Can you identify the right people at the right time, and convince them to help you? As a student, you can contact alumni. Even those who don’t hold any degree from Columbia are more likely to help you because you are a Columbia MBA candidate.   Columbia 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? (250 words or less) What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? QUESTIONS behind the QUESTION What makes it pleasant?   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. (500 words or less) Please see  Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster 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. (Maximum 500 words) (found at http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/programs-admissions/mba/admissions/application-requirements#5; accessed 2014/05)   Recommendations 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: 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. 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.       Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum) Essay 1:Given your individual background, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words) Essay 2: Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world's business capital - Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words) Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (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 and reiterate how you plan to achieve your immediate and long term post-MBA professional goals. (Maximum 500 words). (found at https://apply.gsb.columbia.edu/apply; accessed 2013/06) LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION QUESTIONS Your relationship to the applicant. The applicant’s performance. The applicant’s interpersonal skills. The applicant’s written and spoken communication skills. How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts? How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace? The most important thing you would like the Admissions Committee to know. (found at https://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/admissions/applynow/apprequirements#recommendations; accessed 2013/06)   Emphasize clarity and concision   Analyze your career progress Emphasize Columbia's intellectual capital Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking that you are applying too soon or too late, or that you are only interested in Columbia's location, ranking, network or name Essay 2: how will NYC impact your CBS experience? Show and prove your fit with Columbia's community Identify unique NYC resources that leverage the Columbia MBA alumni network Identify Master Classes and Executives in Residence that best prepare you to achieve your post-MBA goals Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking you do not understand how Columbia utilizes NYC as a classroom and business incubator Essay 3: surprise your Cluster peers QbQ: Do I want you at my party? Good party guests differentiate themselves without alienating others You are unlikely to surprise Amanda and her team by telling them something they have never heard before Instead, surprise your readers by sharing something about you that they would not otherwise guess Or, simply tell an entertaining story that shows your unique experience Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking you do not understand Columbia Clusters and community Optional Essay: explain areas of concern (academic or personal) Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking you lack judgment Reapplication Essay: how you have enhanced your candidacy Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking you lack self awareness and drive Recommendations Minimize risk of Admissions Committee readers thinking you lack judgment in choosing recommenders who cannot answer the questions asked, or, worst of all, that you wrote your own recommendations Instructions: Please submit two recommendations from individuals who can speak directly about your managerial ability and professional promise. The Admissions Committee prefers that one recommendation be from your direct supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application. The other recommendation should be from a former supervisor, if possible, or another professional associate who is senior to you. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from an individual who can comment on your managerial abilities, such as a summer employer or another individual who you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor. Please note those who are reapplying to Columbia Business School are required to submit one additional recommendation. This recommendation must be from a recommender that you did not use in your previous application. Applications are not considered complete until all required information is submitted; this includes recommendations. All applications require two recommendations. 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 add personal insight into your candidacy. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less 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 who 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: Your relationship to the applicant. The applicant’s performance. The applicant’s interpersonal skills. The applicant’s written and spoken communication skills. How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts? How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace? The most important thing you would like the Admissions Committee to know.   (found at https://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/admissions/applynow/apprequirements#recommendations; accessed 2013/06) "Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays."   THE QUESTION Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world's business capital - Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words) Video 1 of 2: New York City - limitless possibilities Columbia Business School isn’t just located in New York — it’s enmeshed in it. From practitioners who double as professors to events with industry-leading CEOs and field trips to blue-chip companies and start-ups alike, Columbia leverages its relationship with the city to give students unparalleled access to one of the world’s business capitals. Video 2 of 2: Campus and New York City - fast paced and adaptable Columbia Business School isn’t just located in New York — it’s enmeshed in it. From practitioners who double as professors to events with industry-leading CEOs and field trips to blue-chip companies and start-ups alike, Columbia leverages its relationship with the city to give students unparalleled access to one of the hubs for global business. An Oasis in the City Nestled between Riverside and Morningside Parks, and a short walk from Central Park, Columbia’s campus in Morningside Heights is a sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Featuring Italian Renaissance–style architecture alongside cutting-edge modern buildings, sprawling plazas, lush lawns, and notable public art, the campus evokes a palpable sense of community. The neighborhood has the ambience of a college town but the convenience of a major city, with shops, restaurants, a farmer’s market, and — most importantly — a subway station that can transport you to the cultural and economic capital of the world.   Bottom line: Will you attend CBS if we admit you? What business opportunities have you identified that you can best capture by studying at Columbia Business School? 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: 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     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 Media Management Association Conference Retail and Luxury Goods Conference Social Enterprise Conference   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 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 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)   What do Columbia MBA students have? What do Columbia MBA students want? Why are you uniquely qualified to add value? Do you understand how CBS Clusters operate? Do I want you at my party? Do you know our student culture? Why do you best fit Columbia's culture? MY ASSUMPTIONS Good party guests differentiate themselves without alienating others You are unlikely to surprise Amanda and her team by telling them something they have never heard before Instead, surprise your readers by sharing something about you that they would not otherwise guess Or, simply tell an entertaining story that shows your unique experiences STORY PATTERN ONE Someone perceived to have "hard" skills shows their soft side (or vice versa) Steve Jobs calligraphy STORY PATTERN TWO Travels along the Silk Road One minute video with original music and photos; bands I joined or co-founed in each place I lived (and what each musical style shows about personality) California hardcore funk New York punk folk duo with spicy tuba Tokyo virtual 'Second Life' blues band KEYWORDS   Personal history concerns might include unconventional academic and/or career choices NOTE You do NOT need to use this essay to explain gaps in your employment history nor reasons for not providing a letter of recommendation from your current (or most recent) supervisor Columbia Admissions Committee gives you space to explain those areas of concern in the online application data form “Please provide an explanation for any gaps in your employment history” (1000 characters available) “Are you providing a letter of recommendation from your current (or most recent) supervisor? If not, please explain” (300 characters available)   ANALYSIS AND TIPS What if your GPA was significantly below 3.0 and/or your academic performance suffered during a particular period of your undergraduate academic career? If your transcript includes some low grades and/or your GPA does not show your academic potential, you might want to write something like this, “Here’s why my GPA was sub-par, and here’s what I’ve done to confirm my time management skills and academic competence. ” Do not make excuses or blame others. Hopefully, your GMAT and work experience compensate for low grades. Also, remember that AdCom members dig into your transcript to check if you took honors or advanced-level courses. The following template might help you get started.    “My 2.5 GPA at X University does not adequately reflect my academic potential. During school, I had to balance my time with [list of options] Varsity sports Health issues (had to take care of yourself or a family member) Personal tragedy (death of a friend or family member) Since then, I have improved my time management skills and/or [add concrete examples] If not, can you show recent examples of how you have successfully managed multiple tasks? At Columbia Business School, I will be able to manage my time more effectively.” Finally, please read this useful exchange from Wharton's Student2Student discussion board: Q: I have a bad Undergrad GPA (2.5) but I bounced back and later got a good Masters GPA (3.6). In both cases, my major was electrical engineering. My GMAT score is 680 (Q 46, V38). Do you think it's enough to negate my prior performance? If not, should I enroll in accounting and finance type courses to build my alternative transcript? Also, should I use the optional essay to mention my improvements? A: No one part of the application negates the other. The Admissions Committee (AdCom) will look at the coursework and trends in both of your programs to judge your academic abilities. Building an alternative transcript is a good idea for some but it really depends on what your weak areas were in UG. For example, if the low marks were in calculus, the master's degree in EE may clear up some concerns. However, if the low marks were in English, accounting and finance may not help much. The point is that you have to look at your UG transcript and assess your performance from all angles. I wouldn't use the optional essay to mention improvements. If you decide to take additional courses, this will be very clear to the AdCom. Reapplication Essay: how have you enhanced your candidacy? THE QUESTION How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application? Please detail your progress since you last applied and reiterate how you plan to achieve your immediate and long term post-MBA professional goals. (Maximum 500 words). (found at https://apply.gsb.columbia.edu/apply; accessed 2013/06) Recommendations Instructions: Please submit two recommendations from individuals who can speak directly about your managerial ability and professional promise. The Admissions Committee prefers that one recommendation be from your direct supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application. The other recommendation should be from a former supervisor, if possible, or another professional associate who is senior to you. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from an individual who can comment on your managerial abilities, such as a summer employer or another individual who you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor. Please note those who are reapplying to Columbia Business School are required to submit one additional recommendation. This recommendation must be from a recommender that you did not use in your previous application. Applications are not considered complete until all required information is submitted; this includes recommendations.   Recommendations All applications require two recommendations. 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 add personal insight into your candidacy. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less 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 who 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: Your relationship to the applicant. The applicant’s performance. The applicant’s interpersonal skills. The applicant’s written and spoken communication skills. How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts? How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace? The most important thing you would like the Admissions Committee to know. Please be aware, the Admissions Committee does require all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations. (found at https://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/admissions/applynow/apprequirements#recommendations; accessed 2013/06)   Class Profile Columbia Business School looks for intellectually driven people from diverse educational, economic, social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. Our students share a record of achievement, strong leadership, and the ability to work in teams. Columbia Business School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, nationality, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status. MBA Student Profile — Class Entering 2012 (January and August)   Applications Received ▸ 5409 January Entry Class Size ▸ 196, divided into 3 clusters August Entry Class Size ▸ 545, divided into 8 clusters GMAT Scores (average) ▸ 715 Undergraduate GPA (average) ▸ 3.5 Work Experience (average) ▸ 5 years Work Experience (middle 80%) ▸ 3–7 years At Least One Year of Work Experience ▸ 99% Average Age ▸ 28 Women ▸ 38% International Citizens ▸ 38%   •    Applications read in order received •    Show passion and commitment •    Longer is “easier” •    Takes time to turn a 500 word “Why MBA” essay into a 500 character response for your HBS application data form short answer question (more about that in my HBS video) •    You need space to explain to your goals •    Columbia gives it to you •    Personal essay well defined •    Essays might be transferable, useful for other schools •    Recommendations exhaustive, cover 80% of questions asked by other schools; no word limits, easier for recommenders than HBSj My assumption: Historically, Columbia has been a school for practitioners Access to experts (master classes, execs in residence) “NYC advantage” New emphasis on personal stories and soft skills Perhaps this has something to do with the increasing popularity of specialized masters programs such as MIT's new masters in finance Also, new AdCom director since last season My Columbia insights based on my personal experience I was admitted to Columbia Teachers College (plus Harvard Ed School) Served as founding technologist for a new multi-million-dollar education technology center in Butler Library Walked away from a great salary and free masters to attend NYU b/c I wanted action based learning     Essay 2 Describe a personal experience and how it has influenced who you are today. This essay should have a personal rather than a professional focus.   Share a story that supports your goals Is Columbia going soft? West Coast? Different questions reflect different business cultures Old money / new money rivalries, same the world over Columbia now wants students who will be successful not only involved not only on Wall Street but in entrepreneurial environments, or social sector or social entrepreneurship, or in manufacturing operations or even marketing What makes a good personal essay? Example New situation Progress Complications and higher stakes •    Jr. Giant Slalom racer hurts her knee •    Susie needs to learn slalom, fast! Final push •    Susie places third, so team wins overall Aftermath •    Courage to face any obstacle •    Gets job as trainer at ski school during university   •    Fearless negotiator •    Help struggling northeast manufacturing companies survive and thrive amidst fierce global price wars Before selecting the best topic you should consider all of the options Those options that you don't use for Columbia could be useful for another school   Different than the HBS or MIT setback essays Setbacks and failures often involve •    Damage to others (lost time, money, reputation) •    Some amount of personal responsibility for outcomes •    Persistent struggle and slow growth, rather than sudden breakthroughs Columbia’s increasing emphasis on soft skills interpersonal skills can be seen the recommendation letter questions as well Letters of Reference Please give an example of how the applicant has demonstrated leadership If you were giving feedback to the applicant regarding his or her professional performance and personal effectiveness, in what areas would you suggest he or she work to improve? How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts? How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace? Optional Essay “An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.” Some of you might share a professional leadership example here, but I advise against it Follow instructions and implied messages My admitted clients leave optional essays blank unless they need to explain issues like •    Extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance •    Explanation of why you do not have a Letter of Reference from your current direct supervisor •    Explanation of criminal conviction, criminal charges sustained against you in a juvenile proceeding, and/or court-supervised probation •    Explanation of academic suspension or expulsion Again, select and support recommenders who can testify to your leadership ability and potential Interviews 2.    Explain your goals and YMBA, research YCBS, but write it last 3.    Share a personal anecdote that supports your goals 4.     Show you have the core character to make it happen 5.    Avoid writing an optional essay you can 6.     If you must, keep it simple and make it concise 7.    Select and support recommenders who will highlight your leadership in a professional setting 8.    Select an interviewer who is different from you   One MBA, Two Paths Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The two paths, each comprised of four terms, merge in the fall of the second year to complete electives as a single class. The paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, however they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.   August Entry About 70 percent of Columbia MBA students begin their studies in the fall term. After mandatory orientation in the second half of August, regular classes begin in September. Most August-entry students complete a summer internship between their second and third terms. The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because the School uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.*  Early Decision Application deadline in early October Early decision applications are reviewed, and decisions rendered, before regular decision applications Candidates have decided that Columbia is their first choice and must sign the following statement of commitment within their applications: I am committed to attending Columbia Business School and will withdraw all applications and decline all offers from other schools upon admission to Columbia Business School. Applicants must submit a nonrefundable $6,000 tuition deposit within two weeks of admission  Regular Decision Regular decision applications are reviewed after early decision applications No statement of commitment required To be considered for merit-based fellowships, applications must be submitted by the specified merit-based fellowship deadline in early January Final application deadline in April January Entry  Students who do not want or need an internship may consider beginning their MBA studies in January and completing their second semester of classes during the summer. A January start may be ideal for students who wish to remain in the same industry after graduation or pursue entrepreneurial interests. About 30 percent of students enter in January. Please note that there is no early decision option for January entry and that, due the timing of the application cycle, January-entry applicants are not eligible for merit fellowship consideration. The Admissions Office begins reviewing applications for January entry once the application becomes available in June. The final application deadline is in early October. *The deadline for the 3-year MBA/JD program is February 15, 2012.   Recommendations  All applications require two recommendations. 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 add personal insight into your candidacy. If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less 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 who you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor. Recommendation questions include: What is your relationship to and how long have you known the applicant? Is he or she still employed by your organization? Please list three to five adjectives describing the applicant’s strengths. Please compare the applicant’s performance to that of his or her peers. What does the applicant do best? If you were giving feedback to the applicant regarding his or her professional performance and personal effectiveness, in what areas would you suggest he or she work to improve? How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts? How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace? Please rate the applicant’s individual vs. team orientation (1 = most effective as an individual contributor; 5 = focused exclusively on the team) Please elaborate on your rating: Please give an example of how the applicant has demonstrated leadership. Is there anything else you feel we should know? Please be aware, the Admissions Committee does require all application materials be submitted online, including recommendations.   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

Columbia #MBA Application Essay: "What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?" Columbia #MBA Application Essay: "What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?"

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