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Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!

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New post 25 Sep 2008, 13:41
Some more ED activity on BW today. One interview invite and 2 dings. It seems that Columbia is finally starting to roll out updates.
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New post 25 Sep 2008, 22:44
1
As promised, here is my debrief from thursday's interview with Sarah (let's just call her that), a mid-30's management consultant at a Big 4 accounting firm. We met at her work...

Sarah took me, not to her office and not to a coffeeshop, but to a tiny interview, empty interview room. I didn't like this but as soon as we sat down, it was obvious that it'd be a friendly interview. It wasn't super casual but it was friendly. I tried to sit up straight and watch my posture (one of my flaws) the entire time which made me feel very business-like. But it went GREAT! It turns out that she went to my undergraduate alma mater as well and even walked onto the women's varsity basketball team! This is great because I am a basketball junkie. She asked for suggestions on where to play pickup games and I told her I still play at our alma mater's gym, and she said she has a friend who plays there. It turns out that her friend is actually on my intramural team!! That friend is also on another team that I played for over the summer where we won the championship. Small world huh? I felt great after that.

The interview went very smoothly. There were no questions that gave me a hard time. Everything was expected from the other debriefs that I've read on Accepted.com or the Clear Admit wiki. We basically went through my resume and I told her my goals and career story thus far. We talked about why Columbia and why MBA. She asked me about my thoughts on leadership and the infamous "ethical dilemma" example. I had answers ready for all of these. There were no questions about technical matters or even current events. She asked me about my current job and what I liked about it and what I actually did day-to-day. She asked me about my extra-curriculars and what I want to be involved with while at Columbia. She asked me what I would bring to Columbia that other applicants wouldn't. All easy stuff! That was about it- pretty obvious, straight-forward questions. We were done in only 40 minutes which was fine by me. Obviously the longer the better but she revealed that she was going to be in a meeting from 6-9 pm so I knew she was busy (she revealed that when I asked what she was doing the rest of the day). We got through everything I wanted to say (for the most part) and I left the interview feeling great and energized.

She gave me her business card at the beginning and I made sure to send her an email thanking her when I got home from work. Oh, by the way, at the end she asked me if I had any questions for her. I asked her if she had any feedback for me and what she thought about me. I think this caught her slightly off-guard and she didn't really answer the question. She did say, though, that CBS is obsesssed with identifying applicants who are "extremely enthusiastic about the school." This is a well-known fact due to their ED policy and obsession on yield. She reiterated this a couple times in her answer and I took that as a good sign since she knows that I am super enthusaistic (I was great at conveying this) and she even knows that I submitted my application 3 days before the review period cycle. She told me she was surprised to start interviewing so early this year since she's been an alumni interviewer for a while now. I also asked her what the "next steps in the process" were. She replied that she would submit feedback and that I would then receive a decision in probably a week to a month. That's a bummer. I was hoping she would say that she'd submit her feedback that very day or something but oh well. Still a great interview. Definitely won't hurt me and should actually help me a little. But from the sounds of it, I think most people enjoy their CBS alumni interviews so it won't give me much of an edge.

All in all, a very pleasurable interview. I'm very happy though it sound slike she'll be too busy to submit her feedback quickly.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2008, 03:22
TienyChesney wrote:
Oh, by the way, at the end she asked me if I had any questions for her. I asked her if she had any feedback for me and what she thought about me. I think this caught her slightly off-guard and she didn't really answer the question.


Well done Tien, but I've heard from more than one source that asking "how did I do" or anything related is usually bad form. How do you think she reacted?

It's usually better to just stick to questions about their profession or school experiences.
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 03:43
Nice, Tien. Sounds like it went very well, and she was from your undergrad alma mater! That's a huge bonus.

This "demonstrate enthusiasm for CBS" is a bit troubling, do the interviewers not realize we're committing to ED precisely because Columbia is by far our #1 choice?

Oh and anyone notice how the BW thread descended into complete madness?
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 07:00
Hey Soni and Solaris,

You guys are right- if I could go back, I wouldn't have asked for feedback but nothing I can do now. It shouldn't hurt me much cuz it went very well. It's not that weird that she talked about "expressing enthusiasm for CBS" because she was probably trying to give a politically correct answer instead of guessing at my chances of admission. She's well aware of the ED policy and her answer didn't really apply to me because I think she just wanted to find something to say to answer the question. Oh well. And yes, the BW posters are going crazy... at least it's not boring though!
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2008, 09:16
TC-

Congrats on the solid interview!! Looking forward to getting the acceptance train rolling on g-club.
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 09:22
I got an interview invite today!!!! Oh my god oh my god oh my god....!!!! Any advice?!?! =)
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2008, 10:22
hey when did you go under review?

loathetheapps wrote:
I got an interview invite today!!!! Oh my god oh my god oh my god....!!!! Any advice?!?! =)
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 10:28
Submitted Aug 18, went under review the same day. :)
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 10:50
loathetheapps wrote:
Submitted Aug 18, went under review the same day. :)


Congrats on the invite! Looks like we're starting to see some mojo flow around here. TC's recap seems to be pretty on tap with what to expect.

-Walk through the ressy
-Goals (By the way, CBS looks pretty closely to make sure that your stated goals jive with what you say in the interview)
-Why CBS
-Ethical Dilemma
-Interests outside of work

Good luck and keep us posted!
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 10:56
Thanks! Any idea whether they typically ask about work experience during college as well, given that we had to fill out our entire work history from college up? I barely remember what I did in college!!
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 11:01
loathetheapps wrote:
Thanks! Any idea whether they typically ask about work experience during college as well, given that we had to fill out our entire work history from college up? I barely remember what I did in college!!


I assume your college jobs aren't on your resume. If that's the case, there is no reason for an interviewer to ask about them (he/she will not have access to your app). When you select your interviewer, the CBS online system will ask you to upload your current resume for the interviewer to have a copy. Make sure you bring extras, my interviewer didn't bother to print out a copy when I interviewed last March (I'm not sure if he had even reviewed it yet).
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New post 26 Sep 2008, 11:13
ryguy904 wrote:
loathetheapps wrote:
Submitted Aug 18, went under review the same day. :)


Congrats on the invite! Looks like we're starting to see some mojo flow around here. TC's recap seems to be pretty on tap with what to expect.

-Walk through the ressy
-Goals (By the way, CBS looks pretty closely to make sure that your stated goals jive with what you say in the interview)
-Why CBS
-Ethical Dilemma
-Interests outside of work

Good luck and keep us posted!


Hey RyGuy,

That's a good summary. A couple more questions came up though that I think you guys might be interestd in. She did indeed ask me about whether I've visited campus and if I've spoken to both alumni and current students and if I've visited classes. She also asked me what I would do if I did not get into Columbia. She also asked what other schools I was applying to. I remembered some of these and added them to my blog post after my initial posting but didn't update my debrief here on the thread. Any questions are welcome, btw. I look to help everyone as much as I can if I am lucky enough to be finished with the process soon.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2008, 11:32
Congrats on all the interviews!
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New post 28 Sep 2008, 01:44
Hi all,

Close to hitting the submit button.. had some queries before that. Would appreciate if you can answer some of them-

1. Since resume is optional (only for people looking for fellowships- most probably all applicants) and essays have word limits, how does one highlight his detailed achievements in the application?

2. In the employment history, in the duties section, do i put just the duties or the achievements as well?

3. Is it necessary to hold an office position for every activity i am involved in? My interest is in photography, sports & fitness. Where do i highlight these in the application?

Thanks
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New post 28 Sep 2008, 10:01
chaser9 wrote:
Hi all,

Close to hitting the submit button.. had some queries before that. Would appreciate if you can answer some of them-

1. Since resume is optional (only for people looking for fellowships- most probably all applicants) and essays have word limits, how does one highlight his detailed achievements in the application?

2. In the employment history, in the duties section, do i put just the duties or the achievements as well?

3. Is it necessary to hold an office position for every activity i am involved in? My interest is in photography, sports & fitness. Where do i highlight these in the application?

Thanks


Hey Chaser,

Congrats on almost finishing your app. Here's what I did regarding your questions...

1) There really isn't a way to highlight "detailed" achievements. The resume is indeed optional so you're best bet is to touch upon your achievements with mentions as to your career progression in Essay 1 or by passing mentions in the other 2 essays. The alternative, which might annoy the adcom slightly but definitely feasible, is to put them in your "duties" for your work history.

2) You are technically asked to put only duties but what's to stop you from putting an achievement? For instance, if you are in charge of Task B, you could also write that you set the company standard for quickest completion of Task B.

3) Columbia devotes very little room (800 characters total for 6 activities, college and post-college), so that should reveal that they don't emphasize extra-currics as much as some other schools may. Anyway, you don't need to have a position for everything (e.g. player for varsity lacrosse team). Just choose your most important (or impressive) 3 for each time period and describe as concisely as possible. If there was an office held it will probably sound better (aka more leadership shown) but if it was important enough like the lacrosse team where you spent 5 million hours practicing each month, then I would still include that.

Hope this helps a little!
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New post 28 Sep 2008, 17:45
So another first-time applicant received an interview invite last week on Friday, (s)he applied and went under review September 2nd. That should make next week a rather nervous one for me, since my ED application went under review September 2nd, too!

IHateTheGMAT and ryguy - no word yet for you two either, right?

Sorry, I just had to post :)
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2008, 18:21
solaris1 wrote:
So another first-time applicant received an interview invite last week on Friday, (s)he applied and went under review September 2nd. That should make next week a rather nervous one for me, since my ED application went under review September 2nd, too!

IHateTheGMAT and ryguy - no word yet for you two either, right?

Sorry, I just had to post :)


Will be 6 weeks tomorrow. Nuttin' yet.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2008, 19:31
solaris1 wrote:
So another first-time applicant received an interview invite last week on Friday, (s)he applied and went under review September 2nd. That should make next week a rather nervous one for me, since my ED application went under review September 2nd, too!

IHateTheGMAT and ryguy - no word yet for you two either, right?

Sorry, I just had to post :)


She probably had her interview invite from the first reviewer?
Sounds kinda fast.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2008, 19:39
Yeah, I'm going completely overboard I know but I'm not sure how the timing of the interview invite is not related to the strength of your application, and subsequently your overall chances at admission.

I mean, if the 1st reviewer is inviting you for an interview then obviously there's something the reviewer finds very strong about your application, no? Similarly, if the initial reviewers don't invite you for an interview, and then the admissions committee does, then surely there must have been something mediocre about your application as compared to the rest of the pool?

Oh, well. Not sure how I'm going to deal with 6 more weeks of this. :?

fatb wrote:
solaris1 wrote:
So another first-time applicant received an interview invite last week on Friday, (s)he applied and went under review September 2nd. That should make next week a rather nervous one for me, since my ED application went under review September 2nd, too!

IHateTheGMAT and ryguy - no word yet for you two either, right?

Sorry, I just had to post :)


She probably had her interview invite from the first reviewer?
Sounds kinda fast.
Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! &nbs [#permalink] 28 Sep 2008, 19:39

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