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Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017

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Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2015, 10:16
kygojags wrote:
For those of you still on the waitlist, I just forfeited my deposit and withdrew my application. Hopefully this makes someone really happy - good luck all!


Well kygojags, it may or may not be a coincidence, but I was admitted off of the waitlist yesterday. Either way, a) thanks, b) congrats, and c) shazaaaaaaam I'm stoked!
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Re: Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2015, 14:59
horatiothehermit wrote:
kygojags wrote:
For those of you still on the waitlist, I just forfeited my deposit and withdrew my application. Hopefully this makes someone really happy - good luck all!


Well kygojags, it may or may not be a coincidence, but I was admitted off of the waitlist yesterday. Either way, a) thanks, b) congrats, and c) shazaaaaaaam I'm stoked!


Yeah man yeah!!!! CBS Rocks!!! So happy for you dude!!!
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Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2015, 00:54
The webinar aired live last week and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.

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Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application properly? View Get Accepted to Columbia Business School for free now!

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Excerpt from our How to Apply to Columbia Business School Guide  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2015, 21:22
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By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group

We recently updated our How to Apply to Columbia guide and wanted to call attention to a specific section here on the blog, because it should prove helpful to people as they apply this year. We will soon be updating our free guides for HBS, Wharton, and INSEAD as well, so be on the lookout. And, as a reminder, we offer school-specific Strategy Memos for all schools for our clients. Without further ado:

"[Essays are] the most patently important step in the entire process and it is easy to understand why candidates fixate immediately on essay writing when it comes time to apply to Columbia (or anywhere else). However, if that eagerness and singular focus results in skipping over the previous seven steps in this guide, the best essays in the world won’t make a shred of difference. You must reach this step in the process armed with the insight, perspective, and tools to succeed, or you are just wasting your time and money. That said, for the candidate who has properly prepared, the essay stage can be conquered just like everything that comes before it.

Our firm provides clients with an elaborate Strategy Memo for each and every top school and Columbia is no exception. That document creates a blueprint for how to attack the CBS essay set. Below are some brief examinations of the questions that can guide even those candidates who cannot become clients.

Essay 1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (500 words maximum)

Columbia long featured one of the purest Career Goals essays around, which is no surprise given that area of emphasis (as covered in this guide). In recent years, they took apart their traditional 750-word question and split it into two parts. This year they threw the first real wrinkle, by basically asking candidates to not talk about transferable skills (here we talk about why Transferable Skills are important; I suspect CBS will miss this information, so be sure to have it ready for your interview). So here is what you must keep in your Columbia 1:

What – you need to state What your goals are. Clearly. Short-term and long-term.
Why – you need to explain why you possess your long-term goal. A long-term goal needs to speak to who you are and what you value. What makes you tick. Therefore, make sure to explain why you hold this goal. What motivates you? Who or what inspired you? It’s absolutely stunning how many applicants miss this when they are not clients (almost always observed through Ding Analysis), but if you think about it, it’s so obvious: you want to advertise who you are as a person and this is the best place to do it.
When – usually just a line or two, but since the MBA is a “floating” degree pursuit (meaning not tethered to the end of something, like college follows high school), it pays to explain why now is the right time.
Where – Why Columbia is the right school.

Essay 2: Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars, and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business.” (Maximum 250 words)

This is where you need to show what you bring to the table. We talked a lot in this guide about Columbia’s desire for a robust and active community … well, here is your chance to talk about it. And you get to build on the hustle and bustle of CBS’ location in a positive way (i.e., prove you don’t just want to go to school in New York), while also showing how that location is going to allow someone like you (a leader, a team player, an innovator, etc.) to really make a massive impact. This essay should more or less be translated to: “Columbia is full of resources, located in the heart of the world’s true business capital, and so what we need are people who have the heart, engine, and desire to max this experience out. Is that what you plan to do? Also, prove it.”

This is a tough and tricky essay, but one that can elevate your chances.

Essay #3 – CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you?

This is kind of a fun question that allows each individual applicant to assess what they need more of in the application. Do you need to articulate some key skills or traits that CBS (or any b-school) is looking for? Or do you have the type of strong resume that screams “captain of industry” and, therefore, you should be bringing more personality to the table? This is a “read and react” essay and there is no set path – it’s specific to each individual applicant and you would be wise to get counsel on how to broadcast yourself within the context of your application.

The one thing that has been made pretty clear by the way the question is posed this year is that “goofy” answers are not appropriate. If you watch the video for CBS Matters you will find basically a “share your tear-jerker stories with your peers” program in place, so it’s pretty clear that you need to seek out some depth in your answer here."

If you enjoy the free guides and out blog posts, be sure to check out our full services, which offer the highest level of school-specific insight in the industry. Email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Soliciting Letters of Recommendation: Remember the Rule of 10%  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2015, 16:07
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By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group

When it comes to recommendations, the first thing that any applicant needs to understand is how they work and, therefore, how they should handle them as part of the process.  We sum up this analysis with something we call “The Rule of 10%”: they count for about 10% of a decision, they should be about 10% of your focus during application season, and you should contribute about 10% of the work that goes into their outcome.  Obviously, these are all gross estimates and generalizations, but it shakes out to about right and its easier to use 10% than “a percentage that is a LOT less than you think it is.”  The bottom line is that most applicants assume a much higher level of importance, they spend far more time thinking and worrying about them, and they get far too involved in their production (the biggest issue of all).  Let’s work through all three:

 

1. Letters of Rec Make up About 10% of the Decision.

There are basically two ways to analyze how recommendations work within an admissions decision – one is to think of it from a process standpoint and the other is to consider the “weight” they carry, more or less, and using the former can help us understand why the answer to the latter is “more or less about 10%.”

Within the process, the typical way in which a letter of recommendation is utilized by an admissions officer is as a verification tool.  A reader will sit down to review a file (in much less time than you think, by the way) and typically work through the “one sheet” (name, biographical data, test scores, undergrad, major, GPA, age, etc.) so they can get the basics.  This frames the expectation going in and is why some of these data points become obsessed over.  A low GMAT tells the reader “long shot” (and that’s the best case scenario).  An extreme age makes them extra sensitive to the appropriateness of the degree.  There are a lot of ways the perception can be framed at this very initial stage, and while nobody’s mind is made up yet, there is definitely an influence on the way the file is read.

Next, it’s the application itself (transcripts are usually skipped or skimmed unless there is something to investigate, like a really low GPA next to a monster GMAT score), which is very quick.  The resume brings to life work experience in a snapshot, which is why you must always construct your resume as a sales tool.  Now, the reader has a much better sense of how qualified this applicant is, how well this person has done professionally, and so forth – the reader can probably prognosticate admissions chances with about 60% accuracy at this point.  The essays are where the variance kicks in.  Some who look good on paper will blow it, by either failing to articulate proper reasons for the degree, or writing bland content that they think is what someone wants to read, or for failing to really connect to the school in question.  Others will rise far above the initial impression with “great” essays (that do accomplish the things above).

Once the essays are completed, the reader is about 90% of the way there and more or less has decided.  The only thing left is to check the recommendation letters to make sure that other people – people who know the applicant better – concur with the assessment.  Again, we want to stress that this is about validating an already-formed opinion.  If you were an experienced professional who prided yourself on bringing in a great class of students every year and you know what works and what doesn’t, are you going to cede the power of making the decision to someone writing a letter?  Of course not, so unless it is an extreme case (like Stanford, where far more stated importance is put on letters of recommendation), you can assume that your letters will account for about 10% of the ultimate decision.  Good letters will help affirm a reader’s decision to “admit” (note: this just means you will get an interview invite at this point, but within admissions offices they flag people as admits until they are demoted down to wait list or deny), is basically what it comes down to.

 

2.  You Should Spend About 10% of Your Time on Letters of Rec.

The second Rule of 10% is how much time you should be spending on the letter of recommendation – and 10% might be generous.  This is a letter written by someone else, after all.  How much time should it really take you?  Not much!  Note though that we did not say 0% of your time.  You do need to take some steps to set your recommender up for success rather than failure.
  • First, you should indeed sit down with the person writing your letter and talk to that individual.  Thank them for taking the time, solicit their advice on schools and even whether now is the right time (even if you are just doing it to make them feel valued), buy them a cup of coffee – whatever you do, make it personal and don’t just email them a one-liner asking them to write you a letter of recommendation.
  • You should also state clearly what you are asking them to do, which is recommend you.  This is not a performance evaluation.  Ask the person in question whether he or she is comfortable recommending you wholeheartedly to business school.  Avoid anyone who caveats the answer or who seems intent on performing a rigorous exercise just to prove how smart they are.  You want someone who is excited to help your chances by extolling your virtues.
  • Finally, you should provide your recommender with some ammunition.  This is admittedly a tricky area, because you neither want to influence the letter too much, nor do you want to overwhelm the recommender with reams of documents that they have to sort through.  Our advice is to give them three items: your resume, a “query letter” that formally asks them for this favor and details some of your key accomplishments and interests (2-3 pages, max), and a sample (if they would like to see one) of a good letter.  From there, your work is done.  Get out of the way and don’t mess with the process.

 

3. You Should Do About 10% of the Work on Your Letters.

This leads us to our third 10% Rule, which is how big your role should be in the production of the letter.  That 10% is already accounted for above – in the prep work to set that person up to succeed.  Any other involvement is not only unethical (some schools will ding you for leaving your fingerprints on the letter), but also counterproductive.  Remember what these are used for: to verify the findings of an experienced admissions professional.  They don’t want to read more essays!  They don’t want to see you embedding more statements about how awesome you are in another part of the application (commonly referred to as “synching the letters”).  All they want is an authentic, positive letter that says, “yes, I vouch that this person is great – if you liked the application, you will like the actual applicant.”

Now, just to make it clear that we’re not in some utopian society where all recommendation letter writers are created equal, let’s discuss quality.  Is there a disparity between a good letter and a great one?  Yes, absolutely.  A great letter is well written, provides specific examples of discussed traits, offers context for its remarks, and – best of all – establishes a baseline from which to assess this one person (“in all my years on Wall Street, during which I have encountered hundreds of MBA candidates, Timmy is the best…”).  However (and this is a key point!), the same disparity does not exist between the value of a great letter versus a good one.  Great letters don’t pull victory from the jaws of defeat and magically make your ding an admit, so the marginal utility of a “great” letter is somewhere between zero and “not much.”  Sure, there are cases of amazing letters playing a big role, but that is unpredictable and rare, meaning you don’t build your application strategy around it.  More to the point, the downside of a manipulated letter is that you can get denied – either on ethical grounds or because the reader simply has no way to validate previous findings (which is their entire objective in reviewing them).

Remember: if the role you play in your own letters of recommendation is greater than 10%, you will not only fail to gain an advantage, you create a great possibility that you will shoot yourself in the foot.  Engaging in this process beyond 10% of the work is basically minimal upside, big downside.

If you can take this tip to heart, you will create less stress for everyone involved and allow the letters of recommendation to serve the very basic function they are intended for.

 

For an overview of Amerasia MBA Admissions Consulting services, please visit http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba_admissions_consulting_services/

If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered by Amerasia, please email mba@amerasiaconsulting.com to inquire about setting up a free consultation.

 
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Re: Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2015, 10:16
The MBA Recruiting Process – Insights from Darden ’15 Grad and CEO of RelishMBA

Hello from the RelishMBA team, and congratulations on being admitted to the MBA Class of 2017! My name is Sarah, and I’m a recent Darden School of Business graduate who founded RelishMBA, an online recruiting platform built specifically for the business school recruiting market. As a recent grad who works full-time in the MBA recruitment space, I wanted to share some recruiting advice and tips to help you prepare for arriving on campus at CBS.

The first thing to be aware of is that MBA recruiting is a long and intense process. Recruiting activities begin quickly once you’re on campus and they take up a huge amount of your time and energy for most of your first year. While virtually all top MBA students have great jobs available to them, finding those jobs can be frustrating and stressful, with relevant information often hard to find and a complex networking process that can be tough to effectively manage. I started RelishMBA to address these problems and make the process more efficient for both students and employers.

The summer is a great time to get started with recruiting processes (while you don’t have to worry about school, student clubs, social life, and the dozens of other activities that fill up your time during first year). Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare before school starts in August: Relax. Explore. Prepare.

Relax – business school is a big change from the working world; take a bit of time off. You deserve it and you’ll need the break!

Explore – In your time relaxing, begin checking out what industries and companies recruit MBAs. This is something RelishMBA helps with. Sign-up at RelishMBA.com to begin exploring employer’s company pages on MBA Careers specific for your school (“day in the life” alumni testimonials, on-campus presence, key points of contact, etc.).

Prepare – And lastly, get your resume ready. Below are some tips from my experience.
It’s also important to remember that once you’re on campus, you’ll be networking with recruiters and alumni frequently – and RelishMBA will help you here too, through relationship management tools that make it easy to stay on top of your networking game. Have any questions? Reach out anytime at recruit@relishmba.com.

Resume Tips:

1) Writing your resume is your first Marketing assignment

Your resume is essentially a one-page advertisement designed to sell your brand to employers. But as your first year marketing class will tell you, marketing is about a lot more than just a fancy design and a few well-placed buzzwords. Think about your audience (i.e. who will be reading your resume? Finance recruiters? Consultants? Marketers? Others?) and how you are positioning yourself with that audience (i.e. what work experiences would be most relevant or interesting to the recruiters reading your resume?).

For example, if you’re headed up to Wall Street, focus on the more quantitatively rigorous parts of your work experience, and try to make sure that your resume as a whole reflects an interest in and passion for finance and its associated disciplines. Future consultants will want to highlight problem-solving and analytical thinking. Marketers could talk about leading cross-functional teams or point out examples of especially effective communication.

And if you are not sure what you want to do, don’t sweat it – there are lots of you out there, and it’s no big deal for the next few weeks or months. But regardless of your eventual industry or function targets, remember: your resume is not just a chronicle of your past work achievements; it is an advertisement designed to effectively sell you and your brand to recruiters.

2) Be concise but specific

This is one of the more difficult parts of honing your resume: providing specific examples of relevant work accomplishments in a way that a recruiter can easily digest in a few seconds. Try starting each bullet point with a strong action word. Instead of saying something like “Helped to more than double sales during tenure in catchment area,” try something like “Launched blogger outreach program that increased web traffic by 72% and increased sales by 120%”.

These sorts of hard numbers are really helpful, especially since many recruiters will spend only a few seconds looking at your resume and those numbers stand out on the page. So it’s also important to be sure that your bullet points can be read and processed easily. And if you don’t have a lot of specific numbers to add to your resume, it’s still important to be specific about your accomplishments and to pick your words wisely.

3) Add some flair

You should be careful with how much flair you add to your resume, but it’s a good idea to think of ways to set yourself apart from the competition. The “Personal” section at the bottom of your resume, where you list hobbies, activities, and interests, is an easy place to hook a recruiter (or break the ice in an interview). Only mention things that are truly a part of your life, but still consider your audience and which of your hobbies or experiences might be of interest to the recruiters reading your resumes. Once you reach campus, you’ll hear plenty of stories about students who were able to land first or even second-round interviews largely on the basis of what seem like minor resume items.

Other ways to add flair:

-Were you kind of a big deal in college? It’s worthwhile to mention any particularly important or impressive extracurriculars from your undergrad days (particularly leadership roles), and including club affiliations and other school-specific positions can be a good idea once you get onto campus

-Recruiters are looking to hire real people, not business robots. Make sure your resume – the accomplishments you choose to mention, the structure and content of the Personal section – reflects your personality.

4) Don’t be careless

This is the part where we tell you that a few people every year submit resumes with misspelled words or mismatched fonts or other significant but easily avoidable mistakes, and that you could be one of those people if you’re not careful, and you think “I’d never be that much of an idiot,” and then you send your resume to McKinsey or Google with your name spelled wrong at the top. Don’t be that person.
Seriously, just get a friend to read it. Several friends. Have a resume-reading party. But don’t spell your name wrong.

Have any questions? Reach out anytime at recruit@relishmba.com

Sincerely,
RelishMBA Team

_________________
RelishMBA is a centralized recruiting platform designed to streamline how students at top business school connect with the companies that recruit them. With filtered search tools and customizable profile pages, students and recruiters can find and target candidates and firms with the best fit. Access all of your school’s recruiting resources from one platform and easily track your networking relationships. An exclusive network for MBAs, Career Services, and Employers.
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Re: Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2015, 11:20
good information here
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Re: Calling all CBS Applicants - (2015 Intake) Class of 2017   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2015, 11:20

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