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Columbia Early Decision Questions

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Joined: 25 Jun 2013
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Columbia Early Decision Questions [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2013, 16:56

I am thinking about applying to Columbia Early Decision, but have two questions before doing so. If I don't apply ED, I will apply in December/January.

1st, the weakest part of my application is my extra-curricular experience, as I don't have a great deal of ECs post-college. To improve my profile, I recently took up a potentially high impact EC. If I were to apply during most schools' Round 2 (and apply to Columbia at the same time), it would be a 9-10 month EC. If I were to apply ED at Columbia, it would be closer to 6-7 months, which I fear is too short-term and may even hurt my application. Quality and impact aside, would only 6-7 months of participation invalidate this EC, or should I feel comfortable applying ED (assuming the rest of my application is strong)?

2nd, I would think that by applying ED to Columbia, they would be satisfied that I am genuinely interested in them as my top program. Nevertheless, I'm wondering how much value there would be in doing more to show interest, like attending a formal campus visit or speaking with professors/ad coms.

Thank-you for your insight,


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Re: Columbia Early Decision Questions [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2013, 08:56
An extensive, multi-year track record of extra-curricular involvement sends the message that you engage with communities you care about and have the energy and drive to be involved even when you are busy with work or studies. This trait is very attractive to admissions committees. It also reduces the suspicion that you've simply joined an organization to "pad" your MBA application. Nevertheless, I believe that the real reason MBA applicants with community service leadership are more competitive is that their involvement provides additional evidence that they have the desire and ability to lead. On that front, if you've only been involved for six month but taken a leadership role and made an impact, the experience will serve to provide evidence of your leadership potential.

I recommend you send as many signals of interest that you can to the MBA programs at the top of your target list. Recognize that schools are very concerned about yield (that if they offer you a spot you'll take it) so when they perceive a strong degree of interest on the part of a candidate, it increases the likelihood they will offer that candidate a spot. Overdo it is my advice -- attend information sessions, visit campus, interview students and alumni. An highly-engaged, knowledgeable MBA applicant is a more competitive applicant.

Tyler Cormney
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Re: Columbia Early Decision Questions   [#permalink] 06 Jul 2013, 08:56
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