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I recently completed the first draft of my Columbia essays. For reference the questions were
1.) Post MBA Goals. Why Columbia?
2.) Entrepreneurship experience
3.) Changing business environment - based on speech
4.) Greatest passion
Now, I got one of my senior colleagues to have a look. His comments are
1.) There is almost no mention of my current job in the essays --- this is my greatest problem. Essay 3 and 4 do not pertain to my current job except in the most superficial way. My Post MBA goal leads to a career change so Essay 1 is also gone. Left is Essay 2 where I mentioned something I did in college. What do I do?
2.) My Why Columbia sounds like a list of whats good about Columbia. He says I should reduce the list and talk in detail about a lesser number of things. Again, what do I do??
Mate welcome to the pain. I am on my 3rd draft for essay 1 with similar headaches. Your friend's comments about cutting down and giving more details about fewer aspects of Columbia seem spot on. I have read about 'depth over breadth' in the essay writing guide.
If you leave out your job totally its going to look like you don't actually do anything worth noting and thats a dangerous thing to have them think. You need to get some work elements in somewhere. Take skills you use at your job that will transition into your future career and talk about how they will benefit you. Schools care not only about how you will do but also if you can find a job post grad and your previous work experience still has some importance in that even if you change careers...you need to show how your past helps you in the future.
You can also show how yours skills from your job will benefit your classmates, you don't have to come out and say it but you can get it across in many different ways.
Columbia has the reputation as being a school that limits admits to control its yeild so talking about one or two specifics they don't share with other schools is going to be a lot more helpful to getting an admit than listing 5 things they have that you love but also work at other schools.
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