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Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 16:01
Tarmac wrote:
Freedom Angel I think you are a bit too young. I would not worry about the GMAT, use the next couple of years to get some really interesting work experience.


Agreed. It's quite rare for engineers to get admitted to top schools with only 2 years of WE.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 16:22
terp06 wrote:
Tarmac wrote:
Freedom Angel I think you are a bit too young. I would not worry about the GMAT, use the next couple of years to get some really interesting work experience.


Agreed. It's quite rare for engineers to get admitted to top schools with only 2 years of WE.


Yeah, that sucks! seems that this year has been one engineer rejection after another. screw all that talk about, "blah blah, we want people with strong quantative skills" I like to see all those accountants and CFA people do la'place transforms (yes it is easy I know).
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 16:31
It's really all about employment opportunities and placements. Engineers will be more difficult to place during a soft economy.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 17:38
terp06 wrote:
It's really all about employment opportunities and placements. Engineers will be more difficult to place during a soft economy.


Not exactly sure I follow?

I am not sure why some think engineers need more years of experience to get good WE. I am not arguing against it, but I would really like some insight on what makes engineers WE less credible then other undergrads that are going to a top business school with 2-3 years of experience.

I am not sure if my role as a ChemE at a manufacturing plant is not in the norm, but I do feel that at my work, my function gives me a lot of responsibility from the start. Can any engineers please elaborate on why engineers are facing such hard admission rates?

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 18:31
89nk wrote:
terp06 wrote:
It's really all about employment opportunities and placements. Engineers will be more difficult to place during a soft economy.


Not exactly sure I follow?

I am not sure why some think engineers need more years of experience to get good WE. I am not arguing against it, but I would really like some insight on what makes engineers WE less credible then other undergrads that are going to a top business school with 2-3 years of experience.

I am not sure if my role as a ChemE at a manufacturing plant is not in the norm, but I do feel that at my work, my function gives me a lot of responsibility from the start. Can any engineers please elaborate on why engineers are facing such hard admission rates?


Not an engineer..but I think bschools like to see some management/exposure to the business side from the typical engineer, and that usually doesn't come after you get to be a little higher level...hence the requirement for more work experience...just my guess.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 18:36
Having studied engineering myself, I think its more of a matter of perception. This is my own opinion so feel free to trash it.

Business schools gauge applicants through the applications and essays. I think engineering applicants focus heavily on their analytical skills through the very nature of their jobs (engineering jobs often have lesser team and business interaction compared to other industries). Moreover managerial skills dont usually come with engineering jobs, especially at the entry level. After a few years of work, the managerial skills come to play as you get to be in charge of projects and do some solid decision making. For example, if you were an entry level civil engineer, you would be doing a lot of field work, estimations, valuations, site survey. You tend to work solo, with little interaction with other groups or teams and you report to a supervisor, and then after a few years (usually 4-5), you would be in charge of your own projects.

Now compare this to a fresh graduate who works in finance or management. While the analytical skills are strongly required, there is more need for business and leadership skills, since the majority of finance jobs require interaction at all levels. You have to work with the analyst, associate, director or even the CFO (rare in big firms) on several projects.

This is just a hypothesis. So, when you present this on paper, through your application or essays, a student with an engineering background loses out to folks from other industries, since the analytical part is top heavy while the business or leadership segment is weak.

Yes, there are several exceptions, but I guess this is one way of looking at it.
Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 03:38
Based on the limited Columbia ED stats being compiled on BW, I think the trend this year has been pointing towards younger applicants. I don't think it was your age that did you in, Freedom Angel.

Take a class or two (need not be calculus) to assuage any adcom concerns about your quant score, maybe think about retaking the GMAT if you think you can swing another 30 points or (your GPA is below CBS's class average, too)? That said, the GMAT and GPA don't really matter so much in the larger scheme of things. This I can attest to from personal experience.

Good luck if you decide to reapply next year.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 06:30
thanks alot all for the comments! hope CBS shed love on the rest of you!

i think it has a lil bit to do every aspect - whether that be my age, WE, or GMAT. i knew from the beginning i was shooting for a high target. if i decide not to pursue any program this year, i will still retake my GMAT for next year, but i actually have a strong GPA in math/analytical related courses.

regarding the comment about a typical engineer - there are definitely exceptions. i had an engineering education for undergrad and am now working as an IT developer in a large financial firm. quite frankly i expected myself to sit behind some wall and whack up some code straight out of college, but in fact i find myself understanding how the business operates, interacting with traders, and taking lead roles on projects. now that i think of it.. i might need to re-evaluate how much of that comes out from my essays...

i guess nothing i can do about GMAT and GPA at this point... though im less confident im still aiming to apply for other high targets (sloan and duke) and try my chances... moving on to round twos! if not... next year!

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 06:51
Hey FreedomAngel, sorry about the ding. Sometimes maybe it's just luck. I can't pin point anything weak in my package. High GMAT, good GPA, essays reviewed by students & alums (I talked a lot about the project I sponsored and interaction with clients to avoid the nerdy engineering perception), leadership in good quality extracurricular activities, good rec, good interview (at least I thought it was, because we talked for an hour and half, talked about business,economy, emerging markets, hiking and rock climbing. In the end, he said he think I would be successful in what i want to do.) but who knows.

Well, it's like playing poker. even you are dealt with a pocket AA, you can still lose to a off-suit 35. The thing is you don't know what are the table cards, and you probably would never know. They could be throwing half of the application into trash, because they don't want anyone unlucky. (Please don't take this comment seriously, it's all my vivid imagination) HAHA... but in the end if you play pocket AA, you get pretty good odds. So keep your hopes up. :lol: That goes to the rest of the forum.

And thank everyone on the forum for the support and encouraging posts. Still cross fingers for my opposite sex "twins" GoBruins :banana

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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My only 2 cents in all of this is that, based on what alumni I work with who went to HBS, Columbia, Stern etc have said, that the admissions panels look for ppl who are going to make their school proud - i.e. if you talk about wanting to go into management consulting after graduating, that doesn't grab their attention. Everyone wants to go into MC...it doesn't differentiate you. It's so funny though given the large percentage of ppl who do go into MC after graduating, but from what I've heard, this is not a topic you want to talk about as future goals if you truly want to differentiate. It's all about piecing together, and leveraging, your work experience and interests into goals that will really stand out in the Adcom's eyes.

Sounds pretty obvious but I thought it was worth reiterating.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 08:32
loathetheapps wrote:
My only 2 cents in all of this is that, based on what alumni I work with who went to HBS, Columbia, Stern etc have said, that the admissions panels look for ppl who are going to make their school proud - i.e. if you talk about wanting to go into management consulting after graduating, that doesn't grab their attention. Everyone wants to go into MC...it doesn't differentiate you. It's so funny though given the large percentage of ppl who do go into MC after graduating, but from what I've heard, this is not a topic you want to talk about as future goals if you truly want to differentiate. It's all about piecing together, and leveraging, your work experience and interests into goals that will really stand out in the Adcom's eyes.

Sounds pretty obvious but I thought it was worth reiterating.


So 15-30% of the class should effectively lie on their application to "stand out"?
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New post 29 Oct 2008, 08:52
I'm not saying to lie - I'm just saying to be strategic in how you market yourself. There are ways to talk about doing consulting w/o flat out saying I want to go into MC as my LT goal. These apps are completely about strategic marketing - you just have to figure out how to play it.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 08:54
loathetheapps wrote:
I'm not saying to lie - I'm just saying to be strategic in how you market yourself. There are ways to talk about doing consulting w/o flat out saying I want to go into MC as my LT goal. These apps are completely about strategic marketing - you just have to figure out how to play it.


Who do you think is more likely to be involved as an alumni and donate money to the school - a conservative, establishment oriented senior partner at McKinsey in New York, or some guy who is a middle manager in a niche industry?

As you can tell, I don't really buy the argument that you need to "differentiate yourself". As long as you have good reasons for going into MC and you've done your homework and speak intelligently about it - you'll be fine. If you come from an IT background and say that you want to go into MC without explaining what drives your interest or what research you have done - you likely won't get in.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 09:00
I mean that's fine - I'm just offering a different side.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 09:10
how about interest in the entrepreneurship program at CBS? does that stick out alot?

although when i applied i said that my ST goal is MC and columbia has a good program/outcome for that, ultimately LT i want to start my own business, and i think CBS's entrepreneurship program is very good for that. that was my highlight, and i even put in specific ideas of what kind of startup in my essay.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 09:13
TheFreedomAngel wrote:
how about interest in the entrepreneurship program at CBS? does that stick out alot?

although when i applied i said that my ST goal is MC and columbia has a good program/outcome for that, ultimately LT i want to start my own business, and i think CBS's entrepreneurship program is very good for that. that was my highlight, and i even put in specific ideas of what kind of startup in my essay.


It's very difficult to attempt to connect long-term goals to your education at CBS. It should be a logical order => education at CBS -> ST goal -> LT goal. You should speak about how MC will position you for entrepeneurship. Realistically, you're not going to remember squat about the CBS Entrepeneurship program when you're looking to start a company 8 years out of business school.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 09:57
Does not seem like a good day for Columbia applicants today. BW is just having a barriage of dings/dongs.



HappyBunny, haha I love that metaphor.
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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 11:46
GoBruins wrote:
Does not seem like a good day for Columbia applicants today. BW is just having a barriage of dings/dongs.



HappyBunny, haha I love that metaphor.


My friend got an invite today. I will be filing in a bit:)

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 12:18
happybunny wrote:
Well, it's like playing poker. even you are dealt with a pocket AA, you can still lose to a off-suit 35. The thing is you don't know what are the table cards, and you probably would never know. They could be throwing half of the application into trash, because they don't want anyone unlucky.


so true. but at least you're only *in* for the $250 app fee. no shame in paying that to see the flop if you ask me.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009! [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2008, 21:29
Hey Guys -

Rejected without interview.

Profile:
730 GMAT (Q 79%, V 97%, Total 96%), GPA 3.21 Economics
Work ex: 5 yrs, 4 yrs mgt. consltng (US) + 1 yr M&A (India) both with globally well known, reputed firms
ECs: Decent
Leadership: Decent
Origin: Indian

Applied ED on Sep 24. Thought I submitted a top-notch application but obviously not. This was a dream school for quite some time so the rejection is disappointing to say the least.

Congrats to those who are in. Good luck to those waiting. And f*ck this shit for us who got rejected.

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Re: Calling all Columbia Applicants for 2009!   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2008, 21:29

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