During my recent trip to New York City, I met with Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions, and Christina Selby, Director of Admissions, at Columbia Business School. The weather was cold and dreary, but the enthusiasm and warmth in the CBS admissions office was palpable. Since I wasn’t conducting a formal interview and didn’t record our conversation, I can only share impressions and highlights. Here they are:
- New Core Curriculum Amanda and Christina shared with me the new core curriculum, which will be used starting Fall 2013. It will increase the number of electives students can take in the second semester of the first year of the full-time MBA program by one full class and two half courses. One of the goals here is to enable students, especially career changers, to take classes relevant to their career goals early in their MBA, enhance their productivity and value during the internship, and ultimately improve the prospects that they receive job offers from their internship employers.
- Application volume. Application volume at CBS is up, to date.
- Executive MBA and MBA admissions in the same office. This change actually occurred three years ago. Both women believe the change allows for a more efficient admissions process for both programs. They feel they can better guide applicants to the right program for them.
- Executive MBA or Full-time MBA. I asked about the more experienced applicants deciding between EMBAor full-time. They said at CBS there are a few key factors to consider, especially for more experienced applicants.
- The full-time MBA is more appropriate for someone wanting to change careers. EMBA students are not eligible to participate in the on-campus internship recruiting.
- EMBA students tend to be more advanced in their careers; applicants need to decide with whom they want to study - and network - more experienced students or students at an earlier stage of their careers.
- EMBA students spend as much time in class and have the same professors as the full-time MBA students.
- Amanda has just finished her CBS EMBA-Global Asia program. While happy to finally get some free time back into her life, she was thrilled with the program. She repeatedly spoke enthusiastically about the professors, but she particularly enjoyed their ability to bring leading practitioners to her classes. For example she recently completed a retail marketing class and had the executives from Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales, among others, present as part of this class. She feels she can apply much of what she has learned directly and immediately to her work.
I deeply appreciate Amanda and Christina sharing their time and knowledge of Columbia Business School. While the sky may have been a dull, ho-hum gray, Columbia Business School clearly buzzes as much as the streets of New York.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.