Columbia ED will be a longshot for you but I don't want to discourage you from giving it a shot. My concerns are your GMAT (sort of a threshold score--good enough but not an asset to impress them with), your age/work experience (2 years is at the low end and you'll be competing with folks who've done more than you), and the apparent lack of formal leadership in your work. You seem to have made up for this last concern to some extent in your extracurriculars, but still the total picture is not going to be as strong as many CBS applicants. Still, if you try to carve out a niche for yourself as a unique applicant you may have an outside chance. Applying ED is the best way to optimize your chances. I agree that retaking the GMAT is not necessary.
I am looking to apply to Columbia Fall 2009 FT-MBA Early Decision. I know the process already started and I would like to submit my application by end of August. Here is my profile:
Age - 24
Ethnicity - Asian
Languages - Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Japanese
1st - 640 (Q40, V38)
2nd - 640 (Q47, V31)
3rd - 680 (Q47, V35)
Graduated - May 2006
Major - Computer Engineering
Cumulative GPA - 3.437
Major GPA - 3.6
GPA by semesters - varied from 3.1 ~ 3.7
Field - electronic trading developer in a financial firm's equities program trading department
Experience - 2 years
I have demonstrated strong leadership, initiative, creativity, and personality in these two years. As an analyst I have not only contributed major efforts in building each of the program trading technology's applications - trading, booking, risk, reporting - but also earned major trust & recognition in my knowledge and ability to learn fast from both my team and business partners. I have been nominated for promotion within less than two years since I joined the workforce. I asked my two managers, a Principal and a VP, whom I work very closely with, to write my recommendations. Their writing will best represent my abilities and impact to the team.
- webmaster of an Asian society
- participated in event planning in major cultural shows
- media & distribution lead for all events in an Asian network
- lead event planner for lunar new year celebration
- lead event planner for relay for life cancer fund raiser
- catering coordinator for other Asian network events
Why Columbia MBA
I want to change my career to a more business/finance oriented role and eventually start my own business in Asia. Columbia is my first choice because - it has a well-rounded education, has programs that instill values/creativity/personality in students, strongly promotes entrepreneurship mindset, has an international awareness culture & diverse alumni pool - particularly in Asia. I don't have very good grades nor very good scores on paper, but I am very strong in practice. For a school like Columbia that offers practical/real-life scenarios in courses, I believe I can find myself a suitable yet challenging arena. I am currently doing more research on the school, and hopefully I can chat directly with a student.
Some Questions I Have
Given that my 3rd time is 680 and below Columbia's average, do you think I should take it again? I have been struggling with this question for weeks, but I have decided that I should move on with this score since I want to perfect other aspects of my application. As said in my most recent posting (FYI - 8-t66725), I am a poor standard test taker, but it doesn't reflect my ability to handle rigorous school work.
- If I do not re-take the GMAT, should I address my score in the optional essay section of the application?
- Is it still worthwhile to apply for Columbia ED in late September? (Columbia's ED deadline is early October)
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