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Columbia J-Term vs Harvard

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Columbia J-Term vs Harvard [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2011, 05:07
Hello everybody!

I am new to this forum and looking for some "expert" advice on what may easily be one of the most important decisions in my life.

I have been recently sponsored by my Firm (management consulting) to pursue a MBA at a top-ranking U.S. Business School. I could easily leave for the January 2012 term or September 2012.
I am now at a dilemma whether to go for the January term at Columbia or wait until september 2012 to try to get into Harvard. In other circumstances, Harvard would have been my very first choice (with Columbia being my second choice). Still, I don't know whether my profile would be strong enough for Harvard in september.

I have 2 years work experience at a top management consulting Firm in Italy. 700 GMAT (taken in July 2007)with 44 (97%) verbal and 42 (66%) quantitative. 117 TOEFL (taken february 2011). Undergraduate degree in Business Administration (major in Finance) from Bocconi University (final graduation mark 110/110 cum laude).
Most of my current colleagues are Columbia MBAs, so that it would be easier to obtain a strong recommendation from them; whereas none of my supervisors are Harvard MBAs.

Columbia would allow me to start earlier (January vs September) and for a shorter program (18 vs 24 months, as I would not need to do an internship).
Application for Columbia January 2012 term will open in May 2011, whereas Harvard applications for the Fall 2012 term will open in October 2011.

If I apply to Columbia for the January intake and get admitted, I will no longer be able to apply to Harvard in October unless I turn down Columbia.
If instead I choose to apply to Harvard for the september intake, I would run the risk of losing one year in case I do not receive admittance. By then I would have lost the chance to get into Columbia as well .

Is Harvard worth the risk? What do you think?

I am also quite worried about my GMAT scores getting too old by the time I apply to the September 2012 intake...
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Re: Columbia J-Term vs Harvard [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2011, 05:11
neoatlantean wrote:
Hello everybody!

I am new to this forum and looking for some "expert" advice on what may easily be one of the most important decisions in my life.

I have been recently sponsored by my Firm (management consulting) to pursue a MBA at a top-ranking U.S. Business School. I could easily leave for the January 2012 term or September 2012.
I am now at a dilemma whether to go for the January term at Columbia or wait until september 2012 to try to get into Harvard. In other circumstances, Harvard would have been my very first choice (with Columbia being my second choice). Still, I don't know whether my profile would be strong enough for Harvard in september.

I have 2 years work experience at a top management consulting Firm in Italy. 700 GMAT (taken in July 2007)with 44 (97%) verbal and 42 (66%) quantitative. 117 TOEFL (taken february 2011). Undergraduate degree in Business Administration (major in Finance) from Bocconi University (final graduation mark 110/110 cum laude).
Most of my current colleagues are Columbia MBAs, so that it would be easier to obtain a strong recommendation from them; whereas none of my supervisors are Harvard MBAs.

Columbia would allow me to start earlier (January vs September) and for a shorter program (18 vs 24 months, as I would not need to do an internship).
Application for Columbia January 2012 term will open in May 2011, whereas Harvard applications for the Fall 2012 term will open in October 2011.

If I apply to Columbia for the January intake and get admitted, I will no longer be able to apply to Harvard in October unless I turn down Columbia.
If instead I choose to apply to Harvard for the september intake, I would run the risk of losing one year in case I do not receive admittance. By then I would have lost the chance to get into Columbia as well .

Is Harvard worth the risk? What do you think?

I am also quite worried about my GMAT scores getting too old by the time I apply to the September 2012 intake...


If you are looking to return back to your firm and are not looking at a career change and if Columbia has a big presence in your firm, I would just do the J-term at Columbia.
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Re: Columbia J-Term vs Harvard [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2011, 05:16
Salve neoatlantean,

You are discussing these two application options as if though Columbia and HBS were mutually exclusive, which makes no sense: why not do CBS ED and HBS R1, given that they run on the same schedules? Sure, the J-term is preferable to the regular two-year because you're being sponsored by your firm, but at least this way you get to apply to both.

As for your GMAT, it's probably going to be too old for September 2012. It depends if your GMAT must be valid at the time of matriculation, or the time of application; if the former, then it's too old, and if the latter, then you're fine, but just barely. By the way, your quant percentile has surely gone down at this point (a 43 is now 65th percentile - GMAC and Pearson VUE will continually update your percentiles, while leaving your raw and total score unchanged).
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Re: Columbia J-Term vs Harvard [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2011, 07:11
osbornecox wrote:
You are discussing these two application options as if though Columbia and HBS were mutually exclusive, which makes no sense: why not do CBS ED and HBS R1, given that they run on the same schedules? Sure, the J-term is preferable to the regular two-year because you're being sponsored by your firm, but at least this way you get to apply to both.

I believe the Columbia ED is a binding decision. I'm not sure how they actually enforce those, but you're supposed to withdraw all other applications if they accept you. The shady part of ED is that they can still defer you without removing the binding application.


neoatlantean,
The J-Term makes a lot of sense for your situation. If timing isn't an issue, the best of both worlds is to apply to HBS in the fall and to J-Term the following year if HBS doesn't accept you.
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Re: Columbia J-Term vs Harvard   [#permalink] 25 Apr 2011, 07:11
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