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# Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!

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Current Student
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 11:59
solaris1 wrote:
I guess we all should use Columbia's system count. I figured out the different character counts happen because the word processing programs don't count each space as one character.

Ugh! The name alone of one of the organizations I was involved with in college is 50 characters long!!

Perhaps you can abbreviate it? For instance if it is the Department of Redundancy Department try:
Dept. Redundancy Dept. (That saved 13 characters!)
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:13
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!
_________________

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:17
fatb wrote:
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:31
ryguy904 wrote:
solaris1 wrote:
I guess we all should use Columbia's system count. I figured out the different character counts happen because the word processing programs don't count each space as one character.

Ugh! The name alone of one of the organizations I was involved with in college is 50 characters long!!

Perhaps you can abbreviate it? For instance if it is the Department of Redundancy Department try:
Dept. Redundancy Dept. (That saved 13 characters!)

I'm definitely going to have to try and do a bit of that. My activity titles are so long!
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:33
What do you guys think of this from the Ask Columbia thread on BW:

You wrote, "On the application, there is a question enquiring whether the applicant has spoken with a CBS program representative. Should we mention the student ambassadors as well?"

Yes. Admissions officers, students, alumni, and other members of the CBS community can all be included in this section.

Best,
Christina

So, we should list every single student and alum we've talked to!?
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:34
ryguy904 wrote:
fatb wrote:
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!

Dude you got 2 days to cut 200-250 words if you want to be the 8/13 reapp early bird.... time to call in sick from work and get crackin!
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:38
Umm...never thought about that. I only put the admissions persons name there, but I've spoken to a handful of recent alumni since then. Not sure if I must put their names down as a response to that question, too.

And I'm proud to stand at 741 words for my goals essay!

ryguy - good call on using abbreviated titles for the EC's.

IHateTheGMAT wrote:
What do you guys think of this from the Ask Columbia thread on BW:

You wrote, "On the application, there is a question enquiring whether the applicant has spoken with a CBS program representative. Should we mention the student ambassadors as well?"

Yes. Admissions officers, students, alumni, and other members of the CBS community can all be included in this section.

Best,
Christina

So, we should list every single student and alum we've talked to!?
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:39
ryguy904 wrote:
fatb wrote:
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!

You think just got down to 800 is enough? that's less than 10% extra guideline which is at 825....
_________________

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:40
I initially only had the name of the adcom also. It just seems weird to me to list the 2-3 alums plus 2-3 students I've been in contact with for that question. I interpreted it to mean admissions officer. Maybe we should just act like we never saw that on BW? Btw, did you specify whether you were on campus or off when you met the adcom?
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:41
fatb wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
fatb wrote:
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!

You think just got down to 800 is enough? that's less than 10% extra guideline which is at 825....

I was at 800 but really felt like that was pushing it to much. So, I cut it down to 770 (which was really tough for me, had to get rid of something I didn't want to drop). Also, my other 2 essays are within the 500 word limit. I think you should only go over for 1 essay.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:45
I just checked that box to say yes, I attended an information session. That's it - nothing about on campus or off-campus.

IHateTheGMAT wrote:
I initially only had the name of the adcom also. It just seems weird to me to list the 2-3 alums plus 2-3 students I've been in contact with for that question. I interpreted it to mean admissions officer. Maybe we should just act like we never saw that on BW? Btw, did you specify whether you were on campus or off when you met the adcom?
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 12:54
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
fatb wrote:
Yay for essay 1 of 841 words... need to trim another 91 words!

Dude you got 2 days to cut 200-250 words if you want to be the 8/13 reapp early bird.... time to call in sick from work and get crackin!

I'm at home as we speak

My goal is to hit the submit button on Friday.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 13:11
ryguy904 wrote:
IHateTheGMAT wrote:

Dude you got 2 days to cut 200-250 words if you want to be the 8/13 reapp early bird.... time to call in sick from work and get crackin!

I'm at home as we speak

My goal is to hit the submit button on Friday.

Wow.....
My target date is end of August...
As AdCom put it, just need to submit 1 week earlier before the deadline to gain 500 spots....
_________________

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 16:02
Wow, a lot of activity on this thread today! Guess I picked the wrong day to take an internal company training class... anyway, I thought I'd chime in with what I've done and what I know...

Regarding the 400-character activity word limit... you are correct if you've noticed that Columbia's app counts more characters than Microsoft Word. I went with Microsoft Word's count. I know Columbia's app count is "safer" but to be honest, I don't think five or six characters will matter. The reason is because you can save and click on the "print my application" option on the bottom left toolbar. If you do this, it formats your entire app in the format that I suspect the Adcom uses to print out and package our apps in. You'll notice that the print-out format does not cut out words past 400 characters or anything like that. So the difference between 399 and 401 and even 410 is nearly zilch. The word limit was put in to keep applicants from writing every detail about their activities (according to Christina once again). They won't notice if you're slightly over the word count. I completely agree with abbreviating names though. For instance, Harvard University Beer Pong Team can be "Harvard Beer Pong."

Similarly, the word count for the essays are "recommended word limits", not hard and fast rules. I called the Adcom and they confirmed that they do NOT stop reading after a certain point nor do they know whether you've gone over. They said basically it is a recommendation and you can go over a little if you need to (they didn't clarify how much was okay but I do subscribe to the 10% rule like everyone else). If you do the same "print my application" trick above, you'll see how your essays look when they print it out and realize that the difference between 750 and 825 (aka 10% over) is about one small paragraph. Since we know the Adcom doesn't count words and doesn't stop reading at a certain point, there isn't really much of a difference when you're reading. I really think Columbia is one of the more lenient schools with regards to the essay limits so I wouldn't sweat 825 for Essay 1.

Sorry for the detailed analysis. Just my 2 cents

P.S. As for the "Have you spoken with CBS Representatives" question, I am going to call the Adcom tomorrow. I agree that Christina may have mis-spoke (or mis-typed) when she said that students are okay. Most of us have probably talked to many students already! I'll post whatever answer I get tomorrow.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 16:43
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
What do you guys think of this from the Ask Columbia thread on BW:

You wrote, "On the application, there is a question enquiring whether the applicant has spoken with a CBS program representative. Should we mention the student ambassadors as well?"

Yes. Admissions officers, students, alumni, and other members of the CBS community can all be included in this section.

Best,
Christina

So, we should list every single student and alum we've talked to!?

IMO, you should just list the ones with whom you've had really meaningful contact. Whether that is 5 or 10, they'll get the picture, especially in your essays.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 16:45
IHateTheGMAT wrote:

I was at 800 but really felt like that was pushing it to much. So, I cut it down to 770 (which was really tough for me, had to get rid of something I didn't want to drop). Also, my other 2 essays are within the 500 word limit. I think you should only go over for 1 essay.

770 is perfect.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 16:55
TienyChesney wrote:
Wow, a lot of activity on this thread today! Guess I picked the wrong day to take an internal company training class... anyway, I thought I'd chime in with what I've done and what I know...

Regarding the 400-character activity word limit... you are correct if you've noticed that Columbia's app counts more characters than Microsoft Word. I went with Microsoft Word's count. I know Columbia's app count is "safer" but to be honest, I don't think five or six characters will matter. The reason is because you can save and click on the "print my application" option on the bottom left toolbar. If you do this, it formats your entire app in the format that I suspect the Adcom uses to print out and package our apps in. You'll notice that the print-out format does not cut out words past 400 characters or anything like that. So the difference between 399 and 401 and even 410 is nearly zilch. The word limit was put in to keep applicants from writing every detail about their activities (according to Christina once again). They won't notice if you're slightly over the word count. I completely agree with abbreviating names though. For instance, Harvard University Beer Pong Team can be "Harvard Beer Pong."

Similarly, the word count for the essays are "recommended word limits", not hard and fast rules. I called the Adcom and they confirmed that they do NOT stop reading after a certain point nor do they know whether you've gone over. They said basically it is a recommendation and you can go over a little if you need to (they didn't clarify how much was okay but I do subscribe to the 10% rule like everyone else). If you do the same "print my application" trick above, you'll see how your essays look when they print it out and realize that the difference between 750 and 825 (aka 10% over) is about one small paragraph. Since we know the Adcom doesn't count words and doesn't stop reading at a certain point, there isn't really much of a difference when you're reading. I really think Columbia is one of the more lenient schools with regards to the essay limits so I wouldn't sweat 825 for Essay 1.

Sorry for the detailed analysis. Just my 2 cents

P.S. As for the "Have you spoken with CBS Representatives" question, I am going to call the Adcom tomorrow. I agree that Christina may have mis-spoke (or mis-typed) when she said that students are okay. Most of us have probably talked to many students already! I'll post whatever answer I get tomorrow.

825 is pushing, but you need to be absolutely certain that everything in your essay is a must. The 10% rule is nothing set in stone, and word limits are also imposed because they want to test your ability to be poignant. You don't want them to they think that you went over the word limit unnecessarily. You want everything to be in your favor...no matter how good an applicant you are. Use your discretion wisely! FYI, I was at 771.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 17:47
I completely agree... in an ideal world, i would never go over 775 for a 750 word essay. I guess I'm just trying to relieve the cognitive dissonance from going over so much. After a million drafts, I really didn't think I could cut down any more. I guess I'm unique because my backstory is somewhat unusual so I felt like I had a bit more background explaining to do (even tho I know Columbia asks about future, not past). In the end, I was able to cut down my 1,600 word first draft to low 800's so I'm happy If only my first draft was 1,400 then I probably would've made the 750 cut hehe.

BTW, how much time are ya'll spending on each essay? 5 hours? 10? 25? 50? It's kinda difficult to tell when you're at the point of over-editing. I'd estimate about 30 hours so far for my Essay #1 and maybe more like 15 hours each for my other two essays... just ballpark guesses at this point. And maybe still more to go, yikes.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2008, 20:39
My rule of thumb is (and it's only my rule of thumb) is that when I'm happy with the essay, I give it another 3-5 days in case I brainstorm something new to add to the essay. After the 3-5 days are up, I submit and never look back. I've done it so far for Kellogg and plan to do so with the rest of my apps.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2008, 05:45
Hey All,

So I just called CBS Adcom today and they replied that you can list anyone that you've spoken to at Columbia for the question about which representatives you've had contact with. Does that mean I'm going to list ten students on it? Probably not cuz I don't think that'll benefit my app but if you're hurting for someone to name, I guess this provides more options now hehe. I'll probably stick to Adcom only but it's pretty open-ended now...
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2008, 05:45

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