First, congratulations on your acceptance to Columbia! Typically I am a huge fan of CBS, and I think that the J term is a great opportunity to more efficiently complete one's MBA studies. However, as you pointed out, it may not be ideal in your case since you would not be able to do an internship, which is very often critical for successfully changing industries.
I do think that as a re-applicant you would be very successful at Haas. I also think you should strongly consider schools such as Kellogg and Wharton, and even HBS and Stanford. At Stratus Prep
my colleagues and I have helped applicants with GMAT scores nearly 100 points lower than yours and comparable work experience into these schools. For example, we had a client with a 3.2 GPA and 640 admitted to Kellogg and a client with a 3.0 and a 690 admitted to Wharton (with a merit-based scholarship). I think that you could probably significantly improve your application in the upcoming admissions cycle, which would make a huge difference in your results. As you may know, the application essays and recommendations are the first and second most important factors in admissions. Clearly you have the numbers to get in to a very top school, so you should not let an average (or even just slightly above average) application prevent you from gaining admission to the schools of your dreams. You need exceptional applications which I am sure you can create (especially if we were to collaborate on them).
The additional schools I mentioned above would be also be great launching pads for your transition into strategy work for a technology firm, so it is worthwhile to apply to them with a new application strategy. When we work with re-applicants at Stratus Prep
, we don't just edit the essays you used last time. Instead, we start from the brainstorming stage and decide how to modify every aspect of your application to best represent yourself in the admissions process. Believe in yourself and in your ability to produce a much stronger application, and I am virtually certain you will end up at a top 5 school!
If you would be interested in working with a Stratus Prep
MBA Admissions Counselor and I on your applications, please send me a private message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can get started.
Good luck making your decision!