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Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016

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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 12:53
That's great! I also scheduled my interview the second week of January, and asked the admission team about the timing - they said it was fine, they know there's gonna be a lag in interviews during the holidays.

Good luck to everyone!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 21:20
Hey guys

Hi all
Thought I might be able to help/ provide some information if needed.
I was fortunated to be able to directly chat with a CBS adcom when I was visiting campus in early Nov
Here is what I have learned...

1. All your applications are randomly distributed to a random adcom, and since each Adcom has his/her schedule and working preference,
your time to be invited to interview may vary (even though it is a rolling system, but there is still possiblity that you get an invite later than someone else who submitted a few days after you did)

2. If you are traveling and would prefer to complete your interview on the road (so that you can get the result ASAP), you can try to contact the Admission and ask them to change your profiled location (you should also explain your situation with them first though)

If there is anything I can do to help ease your nerve during this process, just feel free to ask :)
Look forward to meet you all next year on campus!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 21:29
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Just had my interview and it was really conversational.

I did feel a little pressure when it came to the following questions: why business school, why now, and why columbia over your other top choices. This was to be expected, but to echo other people make sure you have a solid answer with three or four concrete points as to why Columbia.

Cheers.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 22:35
Cant agree more with tdawg!!

it is common for applicants preparing the "WHY MBA, why XXX program" kinds of questions together
While they are seem to be related to one another on paper, but if you are making the assumption that interviewer will only ask one of these two questions
then you are playing with fire.

Take my own experience as an example, my CBS interviewer asked WHY MBA? Why now? followed by Why Columbia ? and ended the streak by asking
"What do you see yourself doing on campus during your first year?"

I think interviewer likes to test/make sure applicants' commitment to the program, so make sure YOU ARE WELL PREPARED!!!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2013, 00:32
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Great tips. I appreciate the advice.

I just submitted my application! Much later than I had planned, but happy that it's in.

Happy holidays
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2013, 19:38
To the point everyone else is making about interviews, I would honestly suggest trying to be really proactive about "Why CBS?" I tried to tie almost every question back to Why CBS (without making it seem too forced of course), and when I spoke to my interviewer after acceptance she mentioned that my passion for the program was obvious.

When asked why MBA, give your reasons but highlight why CBS is a particularly ideal program. For example, I come from a marketing background and answered Why MBA with something like "I'm looking to develop a more rounded skill set, which an MBA and particularly one with a strong core curriculum like CBS will help with. In addition I want to expand beyond the small business experience I've had thus far into a corporate role, which an MBA can offer, although none quite like CBS with the access to the NYC companies and the strong ties the Marketing Association of Columbia has." I was never even directly asked Why CBS, because I had given a good 5 reasons by the time we got to that point in the interview. Just one strategy to consider
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2013, 22:16
DG89 wrote:
Submitted on 15 Nov
Invited to interview on 19 Dec.

All the best to everyone!



Just to complete the timeline, interviewed on 24th December, and interviewer filled the feedback form the same day.
Time to sit tight and wait it out. They say two weeks from the date of interviewer feedback; hope I get a decision before the Tuck EA deposit deadline.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 01:40
I'm an international applicant who applied RD on December 3. Looking at the timelines people have posted, I shouldn't expect to hear anything before Jan 7-10. Do you guys reckon the holiday season will stretch this out even longer?
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 01:42
I'm an international applicant who applied RD on December 3. Looking at the timelines people have posted, I shouldn't expect to hear anything before Jan 7-10. Do you guys reckon the holiday season will stretch this out even longer?
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 13:00
sidvish wrote:
I'm an international applicant who applied RD on December 3. Looking at the timelines people have posted, I shouldn't expect to hear anything before Jan 7-10. Do you guys reckon the holiday season will stretch this out even longer?


I'm sure they are looking to speed this up, since deadline for fellowship is soon and they will get a flood of applications. If I have to guess, you might hear something between now and the second week of Jan.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2013, 04:27
Hi guys. I am working on my essays and I'm struggling to get my professional and personal "hits" in essay one (essays two and three are too specific (and short!) to write much).

In essay one I decided to focus on a professional story, preceded by a summary of my long-term vision, and then move on to why MBA/Columbia and immediate post-graduation goals. The problem is that I have a personal story which equally underpins my motivation and reason for pursuing an MBA.

Has anyone used the optional essay to add a story about themselves? I know this is generally frowned upon, but the essays are so short it may be OK as an exception in Columbia's case?

I have 10 years work experience so feel that essay one should be primarily focused on professional goals. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2013, 14:35
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dcr wrote:
Hi guys. I am working on my essays and I'm struggling to get my professional and personal "hits" in essay one (essays two and three are too specific (and short!) to write much).

In essay one I decided to focus on a professional story, preceded by a summary of my long-term vision, and then move on to why MBA/Columbia and immediate post-graduation goals. The problem is that I have a personal story which equally underpins my motivation and reason for pursuing an MBA.

Has anyone used the optional essay to add a story about themselves? I know this is generally frowned upon, but the essays are so short it may be OK as an exception in Columbia's case?

I have 10 years work experience so feel that essay one should be primarily focused on professional goals. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you.


I'm not really in a position to be giving anyone advice, but here's an independent perspective... :)

1) Is the personal anecdote really essential (= adding application value)? The way I think about essays, the point isn't to tell every story that's relevant - it's to tell those stories without which the application feels incomplete. You probably already know this, so if the answer is yes, move on to Q.2.

2) Ok to use Optional Essay? Yes. While one should definitely be respectful of Adcom's time, they provide this option for a reason - if there's something compelling enough which doesn't find mention elsewhere in the application, then this is the place to talk about it.

3) Optional the best solution in this case? I'm not convinced. First of all, I'm not sure the professional needs more space simply because of the 10 years of work ex (unless you feel it needs more explaining). Also, I do think that if your personal story relates to your motivation for doing an MBA, Essay 1 is a natural place for it. Could some aspects of your professional story/path be conveyed in the other essays (eg. if being in NYC is important to your professional story, then that may find its way into Essay 2) or in the data forms? If so, then you might be able to make room for the personal in Essay 1. If not, then go with the Optional, but keep it as short as you can.

Good luck!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2013, 14:49
dcr wrote:
Hi guys. I am working on my essays and I'm struggling to get my professional and personal "hits" in essay one (essays two and three are too specific (and short!) to write much).

In essay one I decided to focus on a professional story, preceded by a summary of my long-term vision, and then move on to why MBA/Columbia and immediate post-graduation goals. The problem is that I have a personal story which equally underpins my motivation and reason for pursuing an MBA.

Has anyone used the optional essay to add a story about themselves? I know this is generally frowned upon, but the essays are so short it may be OK as an exception in Columbia's case?

I have 10 years work experience so feel that essay one should be primarily focused on professional goals. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you.


I'm inclined to agree with rcmba. You should try to keep everything as succinct as possible. Before you launch into a optional essay (which in theory is meant for explaining gaps in work experience, a bad semester of grades, or something like that), I would try to edit down your other essays as much as possible. Really critically examine them and make sure every word is essential and every connection between story, accomplishment and skill is crystal clear and in line with your overall strategy. Just from personal experience, that extra work and evaluation of the essays was a huge difference between my app last year (denied) and this year (accepted).
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2013, 15:05
chains1910 wrote:
dcr wrote:
Hi guys. I am working on my essays and I'm struggling to get my professional and personal "hits" in essay one (essays two and three are too specific (and short!) to write much).

In essay one I decided to focus on a professional story, preceded by a summary of my long-term vision, and then move on to why MBA/Columbia and immediate post-graduation goals. The problem is that I have a personal story which equally underpins my motivation and reason for pursuing an MBA.

Has anyone used the optional essay to add a story about themselves? I know this is generally frowned upon, but the essays are so short it may be OK as an exception in Columbia's case?

I have 10 years work experience so feel that essay one should be primarily focused on professional goals. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you.


I'm inclined to agree with rcmba. You should try to keep everything as succinct as possible. Before you launch into a optional essay (which in theory is meant for explaining gaps in work experience, a bad semester of grades, or something like that), I would try to edit down your other essays as much as possible. Really critically examine them and make sure every word is essential and every connection between story, accomplishment and skill is crystal clear and in line with your overall strategy. Just from personal experience, that extra work and evaluation of the essays was a huge difference between my app last year (denied) and this year (accepted).


To add to this.... --> remember that everyone is operating within the **same** constraints.

The fact is that probaly 99% of applicants to any of these schools (not just CBS) have more than can fit within the constraints of any given school's application. Each applicant must choose what the best use of that space is.

Looking at it from the other side of the table - CBS has put together a structure that they feel will give them the information they want to know. If other things were more important than what they have on there, they would have included that question instead of something that is in the app they have right now.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2013, 05:53
WhatsInYourBackpack wrote:
chains1910 wrote:
dcr wrote:
Hi guys. I am working on my essays and I'm struggling to get my professional and personal "hits" in essay one (essays two and three are too specific (and short!) to write much).

In essay one I decided to focus on a professional story, preceded by a summary of my long-term vision, and then move on to why MBA/Columbia and immediate post-graduation goals. The problem is that I have a personal story which equally underpins my motivation and reason for pursuing an MBA.

Has anyone used the optional essay to add a story about themselves? I know this is generally frowned upon, but the essays are so short it may be OK as an exception in Columbia's case?

I have 10 years work experience so feel that essay one should be primarily focused on professional goals. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you.


I'm inclined to agree with rcmba. You should try to keep everything as succinct as possible. Before you launch into a optional essay (which in theory is meant for explaining gaps in work experience, a bad semester of grades, or something like that), I would try to edit down your other essays as much as possible. Really critically examine them and make sure every word is essential and every connection between story, accomplishment and skill is crystal clear and in line with your overall strategy. Just from personal experience, that extra work and evaluation of the essays was a huge difference between my app last year (denied) and this year (accepted).


To add to this.... --> remember that everyone is operating within the **same** constraints.

The fact is that probaly 99% of applicants to any of these schools (not just CBS) have more than can fit within the constraints of any given school's application. Each applicant must choose what the best use of that space is.

Looking at it from the other side of the table - CBS has put together a structure that they feel will give them the information they want to know. If other things were more important than what they have on there, they would have included that question instead of something that is in the app they have right now.


Thanks for all your input.

I should add that I have reviewed my essays quite substantially and managed to get the same stories into all the other applications, it is just that CBS has such a small word count (I never thought I would complain about writing less!).

I guess I will save the killer story until my interview instead *fingers crossed*

Best of luck to everyone! Only another week or so of refining that application and we can 'relax'!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 00:14
Hi guys, do you think that it's too late to apply to Columbia? If not... What date would be the maximum you advice me to send my application?

I'm trying to finish my other applications that have a fixed deadline first.

Thanks!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 05:44
TheApplicant02 wrote:
Hi guys, do you think that it's too late to apply to Columbia? If not... What date would be the maximum you advice me to send my application?


Columbia's deadline for merit fellowships is Jan 6, 2014. If you're aiming to be considered for any fellowship aid, you'd need to submit your application before then.
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 15:53
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Got the call this afternoon! No mention of any scholarship, but I'm not really expecting one.

What a way to end the year!
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 16:38
AdrianK86 wrote:
Got the call this afternoon! No mention of any scholarship, but I'm not really expecting one.

What a way to end the year!


Congrats!

When did you interview?
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Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 16:40
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Had my interview today, figured I'd report on it in case it helps anyone else.

What went well: The interviewer was extremely friendly (recent grad) and the interview was very conversational. I think the fact that she was a recent grad helped a ton in terms of being able to connect. We had very similar backgrounds & career paths, and spent a little over an hour overall.

What could have gone better: There were some questions I got that were pretty difficult (as compared to Stern & Anderson), and different than the interview reports I've seen. I think the interviewer has some flexibility in what he/she asks. I definitely should have spent more time understanding Columbia inside & out, as there were a few situations where he asked me "Do you know about x y & z?" and I did not (I recommend being versed w/the twitter / FB feed).

Overall: I think it went well, although I could've prepared a bit more thoroughly. Obviously make sure you have concrete short-term goals, long-term goals and back-up plans , but also make sure you are comfortable articulating exactly how your unique personal background, work experience, hobbies, and interests have fueled and driven your desire to to get an MBA, particularly at Columbia.

Hope this helps!
Re: Columbia: Calling all applicants - Class of 2016   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2013, 16:40
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