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Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2015, 18:26
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By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group

Today's blog post is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not.  Because "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking."  Let us explain. Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  So congrats on that!  However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege.  Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number.  And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"

Again, let's rephrase the question entirely.  Don't think of this as a negotiation, but rather a request: "How can I request more aid?"  That is a much better frame of reference, especially in light of the the advice that follows.  Here's how we typically approach this process:

1. Be respectful. There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a little more scholarship money from a business school, but we know of one sure way that you WON'T get money and that's if you try to "hardball" them.  We have witnessed countless admits go from months of wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "you better wine and dine me" attitude.  Ditch it.  Immediately.  If you call an admissions office and try to leverage another offer or you give them the "so what can you do to sweeten the deal?" treatment, you will inevitably find yourself on the line with a tired and supremely annoyed member of that school's staff.  Go in polite, grateful, and professional.  Always.  This is not an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating" with anyone.  You are "asking" a business school to grant you more free funding.  Big difference and on that is not lost on the schools themselves, we assure you.

2. Instead, go for the heartstrings. Okay, you have your hat in hand and you are determined to avoid acting entitled.  Now what?  Not to be too blunt about it, but in our experience, a good old sob story seems to work best.  So if you have authentic hurdles - and most of us do - to paying over $100Kfor your MBA, share them.  You don't have to impress anyone at this point with your huge salary or countless offers from heavy hitters; they've already decided they want you to attend their school.  And they are far more likely to try to work something out if they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bit needy.  A long-term career goal that eschews riches is probably best, but there are a lot of ways you can be honest about your situation and paint a very realistic picture as to how an extra $20K could make all the difference for you.

3. Never lie! If you don't have the "heartstrings" story, then don't go there.  Of even greater importance is that you don't make up offers or dollar amounts from other programs.  It damages the integrity of the financial aid process (which is designed to get money to those who deserve it and who need it most) and the school may ask to see proof in making a decision on revising your award.

4. Wait a beat. One of the keys to even getting yourself in the running for more aid is to wait a little bit so the dust can settle.  Sure, on the one hand, the money could be gone and the class full and the school might have no incentive to sweeten the offer.  I've heard people worry that if they wait, this scenario could result.  And they are right - it totally could.  But here's the dirty secret ... they alwaysspend all the money!  When decisions go out, they throw out all the scholarship awards with them, hoping to entice and bring in the necessary yield.  It is only when people start turning down offers - and scholarship awards - that the directors and staff start to see where there might be A) enrollment needs and B) financial aid surplus.  In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarship last week, don't call *this* week hoping for more.  They won't have any more - at least not on paper.  That spreadsheet is going to show every dollar spent.  Wait for people to turn them down and for some of that paper money to flow back into the Booth coffers.  Doing so will give you a better chance at there even being something to ask for, let alone get.  Plus, while this isn't necessarily likely, if you wait, you might also catch a school getting shorted a bit on enrollment, in which case they will be far more likely to help you meet your needs.  (Think of what is better for a program - going to the waitlist and thereby increasing their "admitted student" number in the process, or getting a 1-for-1 right off the existing list by spending a bit more money.  It's a no-brainer.)

5. Follow up. If you talk to someone and they say they will get into it (most likely scenario other than "sorry" is "let me get back to you" ... "here's more money!" is a distant third), don't be afraid to follow up.  The squeaky wheel can get the grease given that an admissions office is like a battlefield this time of year - it's not crazy that your request might land on someone's desk for a full week.  In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars might funnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in the cold.  So wait a day or two and then call back to ask - respectfully, of course - if there has been any progress and if there is anything else you can or should do.  As long as you are really nice and polite about it, no one is going to fault you for being angst-ridden about your financial future.  And we should add here - since people seem to worry about it - you are not going to lose your offer by calling about this stuff.

We hope that these hints help you navigate that latest stress in this process.  Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honesty in the best policy, and patience is a virtue.  Armed with a few cliches, you'll do great.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2016, 09:26
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By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group
As we move through the winter months and host calls with b-school candidates for the upcoming cycle, it's interesting to note that some admissions questions come up a lot more this time of year than they do later.  We are going to try to use that as a cue to address these types of issues and concerns here on the blog - and we are starting with a very common question this far out from the process, which is "what round should I apply in?"

THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION DEPENDS LARGELY ON THREE FACTORS: [/b]
    Level of readiness (will you have everything done by Round 1, will have you time to put forward your best effort, are there any post-Round 1 events that would strengthen your case such that you should wait)
  • Which schools you are applying to
  • Your level of desire to keep your entire process "in lockstep" (having all your deadlines, interviews, decisions, etc. take place around the same time)
We can throw out #1 for the purposes of this post, as each person is different and there is no reason trying to cover every permutation.  #3 can be handled quickly.  Basically, if you are someone that looks to group things up, or avoid protracted periods of ambiguity, or even just logistically have things organized, you should probably try to pick a round and apply to your schools that round, rather than spread them out or try to "game" things.  If you don't care about that, or you even prefer to spread out a process, than a blend of Round 1 and Round 2 may be for you.

WITH THAT OUT OF THE WAY, HOW DO SCHOOLS PLAY A ROLE IN ALL THIS? 
Basically, you want to think about the schools as belonging to three groups: "Round 1 is better", "Round 2 (possibly) is better", and "It doesn't matter."
ROUND 1 IS BETTER
In my opinion, there are five schools where it is better to apply to the earliest round (technically, we've been using "Round 1" but what this means is basically the earliest deadline).  They are:
  • Columbia Business School Early Decision
  • Duke Fuqua Early Decision
  • Dartmouth Tuck Early Action (Decision)
  • MIT Sloan Round 1
  • Stanford GSB Round 1
Columbia is a full-on Early Decision, and both logic and stats bear out that it's better to apply early if it's a top choice (and/or you are willing to eat a huge deposit).  Duke and Tuck also have early application periods and in the case of Tuck in particular, they like to see real interest given the school's remote location, and applying early can be a good way to show that level of passion.  With MIT Sloan it's more of a feel thing - because they only have two rounds, I would much rather see someone apply to the "first" rather than the "last" round.

Stanford GSB is the one where it's more nuanced.  Because Stanford uses a more curatorial approach to building a class (think of most schools as customs agents stamping a long line of passports, whereas Stanford GSB is someone putting a seating chart together for a wedding reception), it follows that you want to be seen earlier in the process rather than later.  This is because you run a larger risk of them already have people "like you" from Round 1 if you wait.  We're obviously talking about the margins here, given the school's obscenely low acceptance rate, but then again, winning on the margins is often the key.
ROUND 2 IS (POSSIBLY) BETTER
  • HBS
  • EU Schools
Let's start with the EU b-schools, because these MBA programs are less controversial.  Most people will tell you that being "fashionably late" with the European programs is not only acceptable, but probably better.  EU programs have a ton of rounds and to apply in the very first one is not only unnecessary but also carries some risk of looking overeager.

With HBS, this take is a little more unique, but I actually believe you have a slight advantage waiting for Rd 2.  I wrote about Rd 2 in general here (http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog/2015/7/15/looking-for-an-mba-advantage-consider-round-2), but will quote the relevant part about HBS:
"Display of confidence.  I have seen more HBS clients of mine get in during Round 2 the last few years, honestly, and I think it's in part because it shows a really assured attitude.  It's almost "I don't need to scramble around like a maniac for your increasingly, insanely early deadline.  I'll lay back.  I'm good."  And I truly believe that confidence gets rewarded.  Again, I can't prove it, so I'm not going to tell all of my HBS clients to NOT apply Round 1 ... but I truly think they might have a slightly better chance if they wait."
The idea here is that as HBS continues to test how confident and self-possessed the applicants are, the more merit there is to possibly waiting.  You can let all your Type A peers rush to meet a deadline that gets earlier every year, while you hang back and show a little more confidence that your abilities and accomplishments are more than enough to carry the day.  It's once again a battle on the margins, but as with GSB, that can make a difference.

IT DOESN'T MATTER
All the other schools.  Seriously, you will hear them say Round 1 is better if you go to an information session before Round 1, but that is to drive applications.  If you go to the same session you will hear a new spin saying how Round 2 is just as good.  At every other top school in the world - I have seen no evidence (statistical or anecdotal) that there is a difference between Round 1 and Round 2.

So ... "If I am applying to Stanford AND HBS, what should I do?"

You should apply Round 1.  Unless you are someone okay with spreading out your process and using multiple rounds (which means doubling the length of this ordeal, having two waves of interviews, having competing enrollment deadlines, etc.), you are going to want to apply to your schools in lockstep.  And, to me, the upside of of applying Round 1 to GSB is much higher than applying to Rd 2 to HBS.
FINAL THOUGHT
It goes without saying, but we will say it anyway, that you need to apply with the best possible application.  If you submit something mechanical or shoddy or lacking depth or that fails to connect with program DNA, it won't matter which round you apply.

 

 

No matter the round, we have helped more than 1000 clients successfully apply to top business schools worldwide since 2008. Let us help you figure out your next step. Schedule a complimentary, one-hour consultation with a member of our expert admissions team. Email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us online at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 15:12
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“Focusing on creating flexible, adept leaders is critical for business schools to continue attracting top talent,” says Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School. This underlying sentiment will serve as the foundation for a landmark discussion between the deans of the nation’s top business schools as they come together to address critical questions about the future of management education.

“My fellow panelists are all esteemed leaders in the field, and I am hopeful we will bring forward innovative approaches to bridging theory and practice in the curriculums, experiences, and ideas we offer students,” Hubbard adds.

The panel, entitled “What’s Next in Management Education,” is one of three to be held during Columbia Business School’s Centennial Symposium on May 2nd.

Jan Hopkins, former anchor and correspondent for CNN and owner of the Jan Hopkins Group, will moderate the conversation, which will feature deans from the business schools of Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and Columbia and address critical issues such as:
  • Will the MBA degree continue to be valued in the future?
  • How can business schools evolve to meet the demands of a changing economy?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities facing today’s MBA programs?
In addition to the panel on management education, the Symposium will feature two other panels. The first will explore the changing face of global business and examine how multinational companies can continue to flourish in a rapidly changing business environment. The second will focus on how business can define and identify value in the twenty-first century.

As one of the premier events of Columbia Business School’s centennial celebration, this Symposium will commemorate the school’s landmark achievements in key areas of business over the past century, while challenging thought leaders in management education to look to the future and examine the major forces that will impact business in the years ahead.
Photo Credit: Paul Warchol

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 15:20
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Next week, Columbia Business School‘s Center on Global Brand Leadership will host BRITE ’16, an annual conference that focuses on emerging trends in technology, innovation, culture, and branding.

The event, taking place March 7-8th, brings together nearly 600 leaders from an array of industries to discuss how technology and innovation are transforming the ways that companies build and sustain great brands. Now in its ninth year, this two-day conference is designed to spark conversations with innovators, marketers, entrepreneurs, and champions of social enterprise.

Featured speakers at this year’s Brite conference include:
  • Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer, GE
  • Scott Erickson, Senior Director of HoloLens, Microsoft
  • Lew Frankfort, Chairman Emeritus, Coach, Inc.
  • Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer, Nickelodeon Group
  • Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & CEO, KIND Snacks
  • Gregg Renfrew, Founder & CEO, Beautycounter
  • Michael Schrage, Author, The Innovator’s Hypothesis
Presentation topics will include Columbia Business School’s Centennial Panel: reflections on the past and future of business and brand building; the danger of separating technology from the consumer; how successful innovators go beyond ‘user experience’ to build brands; how to market the smart home; value constellations: harness your stakeholders and differentiate your brand; and many more.

The conference will also feature panel discussions, case studies, research, demos of emerging technologies, as well as interactive discussions and peer networking opportunities.

A full agenda for the event can be found here: http://www.briteconference.com/BRITE16
Photo Credit: Paul Warchol

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 10:23
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Columbia Business School has announced the MBA application deadlines and essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. They are as follows:
January 2017 Entry
Final Deadline: October 5, 2016
August 2017 Entry
Early Decision: October 5, 2016

Merit Fellowship Consideration: January 4, 2017

Regular Decision: April 12, 2017
Essay Questions
Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

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? (100-750 words)

Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s students participate in industry focused New York immersion seminars; in project based Master Classes; and in school year internships. Most importantly, they are taught by a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (100-500 Words)

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 your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100-250 Words)

***

Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. For more information, visit the Columbia Business School admissions website.

Photo Credit: Paul Warchol

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 10:24
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Columbia Business School has launched its first student-led value investing portfolio, known as the 5x5x5 Student Value Investment Fund. The fund, named for its innovative structure, gives students the opportunity to connect value-oriented investment theories to real-world practice as they apply their classroom learning to the management of this fund.

“Five by five by five arose from my long-held belief that students ought to have an opportunity to derive deep and lasting lessons from student investment funds,” said  Thomas Russo, who has funded the gift and is also an advisory board member for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School.

The biggest lessons occur over time. The fund is trying to get investors’ horizons stretched out beyond five minutes, five days or even five quarters. I want the 5x5x5 portfolio to succeed and underscore the message that long-term investing is actually a worthy and profitable pursuit, Russo says.

Investment ideas for the portfolio are submitted by students in the School’s Value Investing course taught by Professors Bruce Greenwald and Tano Santos, faculty directors of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing. Each year, five students will be selected to participate in the management of the fund based on the strength of their proposed investments.

Companies pitched should be capable of delivering compound returns over a five-year holding period and students must provide no more than five clearly expressed, understandable, and brief reasons for their selection. The top 15 student recommendations will be submitted to the fund’s investment board, which will vote each year on the five new investments to be included in the portfolio.

Five new investments will be added yearly and by the fifth year, the fund will be comprised of a total of 25 investments. At the end of the five-year holding period, each selected investment will be liquidated to provide capital for future 5x5x5 fund participants to invest. The monetary amount will be increased to adjust for inflation, and the remainder of any gains will be used for student scholarships.

Each student participant has been requested to make a five-year commitment to return to Columbia each year to personally interact with the new student managers. “Each new class of student investors will have the benefit of hearing from the original sponsors of earlier portfolio selections why investments have or have not performed according to expectations,” said Meredith Trivedi, administrative director of the Heilbrunn Center.

Russo’s desire to help form and nurture the next generation of value investors prompted the donation. “I wanted to respect Columbia Business School with this gift for the great education that has been offered to so many people I have revered within the value investment community over so many years.”

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 10:24
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Just like people, each MBA program has its own unique personality — and each has its own idea of a perfect match. Knowing what a business school is looking for in potential students can help you frame your skills, experience, and personality around the qualities they most value.

I recently shared my insights with Business Insider on the six characteristics that Columbia Business School looks for in its MBA applicants. CBS is known for its intellectually driven students who come from a wide array of educational, economic, social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

While the student body is certainly diverse, students do have a number of qualities in common, including strong leadership skills, a record of achievement, and the ability to work in teams.

Follow the link above and you’ll find out exactly what are the qualities Columbia admissions committee members seek out in potential students to ensure they’re cultivating the learning community that’s unique to their top-rated MBA program.
Image credit: Columbia Business School

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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How Easy Is Columbia’s January-Start Admissions? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2016, 11:55
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts), http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: info@mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an MBA applicant? Get a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 25 years of work with MBA applicants: just fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com or send your most recent resume to info@mbaadmit.com

Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1595 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $985. Valid through May 3, 2016. Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications!





How Easy Is Columbia’s January-Start Admissions?

We at MBA Admit.com really like Columbia Business School for many reasons. It provides an excellent program. It attracts highly accomplished and talented students and promotes a very open, supportive culture (I have yet to have a client who did not absolutely love the CBS experience). Importantly, also, it is very possible with Columbia to override one relatively notable weakness, such as a low GMAT score or a low GPA, and gain admission – a well-written application can make all of the difference. Columbia Business School is great about taking one’s full candidacy into account.

When considering when to apply to Columbia GSB, many candidates ask us whether the January-start full-time MBA program is easier to gain admission to than the August-start full-time MBA program. The answer is yes. The January-start application pool is much less competitive than the August-start pools and it is usually easier to gain admission to Columbia under January-start.

For those of you who are not yet aware, Columbia has three application pools for its full-time MBA program. These are the January-start application pool, the Early Decision (August-start) application pool and the Regular Admission (August-start) application pool. Of these three, the January-start or “accelerated” program is the easiest of the three to which to gain admission because it is under less demand.

Why it is under less demand? Partly because it starts off-season in January. Partly because in order to do the January-start program, you must give up a summer internship, because you will be in school full-time during the summer.

As Columbia GSB explains on its website, you begin the January-start program with your first MBA semester in January of your Year 1. Your second semester will be in that year’s summer (hence, you will not have a summer internship). In your third semester, which will take place in August, you will be integrated with the full-time MBA applicants who gained admissions under Early Decision or Regular Decision. Your fourth and final semester will be completed beginning the next January.

Who is Columbia’s January-start program ideal for? Two types of candidates. The first set of candidates are those who simply don’t need an internship – because they want to return post-MBA to their current company, they have another post-MBA job lined up already, or post-MBA they will be returning to their own company (family business or entrepreneurial).

The second set of candidates include candidates who have a notable flaw in their profile – a flaw so great they would not likely gain admission to Columbia during Early Decision or Regular Decision. This could be a low GMAT score – perhaps around 620. This could be a poor undergraduate performance. It could be gaps in the employment record. Because the January-start program has the least competition for admission, among the three application pools, within the January-start pool you will have the best odds of overriding a notable flaw in order to gain admission to Columbia. So if you have such a flaw but you still aspire to gain admission to one of the top U.S. MBA programs, mull over whether Columbia’s January-start program might be right for you.






We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com
Email: info@mbaadmit.com
_________________

From MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable MBA admissions consulting companies. Comprehensive service for approx. $1695-$1995 for the first application and approximately $500-900 for work on the essays of a second application. Basic editing: $985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant to a top MBA program? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 17:40
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Columbia Business School is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. New York City is another aspect of the school that pervades its culture and defines some of the unique opportunities of the program.

Thorough school research is crucial to your preparation for this application. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to review the personal elements you will want to discuss.

Columbia offers several flexible options for admission, from full time MBA programs starting in the Fall, to a January entry session and an excellent executive MBA program. Columbia also offers an early decision option for candidates that are committed to attend the school.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

This is a simple question, but may require you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. Columbia presents several examples on their website, all of which have some unique aspect.

Rather than a generic statement like: “Work in finance” the goal is to infuse some specificity. Something like: “Work in real estate finance within a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals.

Note that the limited character count is intended to get you to the point quickly and that all of the examples Columbia has provided are concise and lack any elaboration.

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? (100-750 words)

Remember that this essay has two purposes: demonstrate that you know why you are interested in Columbia, and showcase why you are an excellent fit for the program. Both goals should be kept in mind as you answer the question.

This question is entirely future focused and specifically asks you to get away from a recitation of your resume. Spend the majority of the space describing your career goals and what you envision you will learn and experience at Columbia to help you achieve your goals.

As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals.

For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. You might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start up to round out your experience and start on your general management path.

Make sure your goals are both achievable and aspirational and that you have specifics about Columbia to support your assertion that it is the right place for you.

Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s students participate in industry focused New York immersion seminars; in project based Master Classes; and in school year internships. Most importantly, they are taught by a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (100-500 Words)

Columbia is a school that prides itself in the unique opportunities available in New York City (“the very center of business”) As you address this question make sure your answer is tailored to your individual goals for learning and career.

You should consider the industry you plan to enter, and either the important adjunct professors from that industry at Columbia or the access to major companies from that industry in New York City.

Consider your personal interests and how you might pursue them in the diversity of such an international city, and also the ways that Columbia’s alumni network can provide opportunities within the metropolitan area.

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions.

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 your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100-250 Words)

If you watch the linked video, you’ll see that CBS Matters is a part of the Columbia cluster experience that centers around a personal presentation. This essay is entirely about your life story and how you will be perceived by your peers at Columbia.

If you did not cover anything personal in the prior two essays this is your opportunity to stand out from the pack of other applicants.

This essay is somewhat about what matters most to you, and what you would share if asked who you really are. Dig deep into your passions and background and find the aspects that resonate emotionally with you and seem to convey a truth about who you really are.

If you are stumped by this essay prompt you may want to ask friends, family members or colleagues what they view as interesting and unique about you.

Once you have ideas about how to approach this question make sure that you are describing something about yourself that will be interesting both to your peers and to the admissions committee.

Something that is a passion point for you and that demonstrates a bit more about your background and motivations will likely be interesting both your clustermates and the admissions committee.
Image credit: Columbia Business School
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***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Columbia Business School Essay 2 asks you to watch a short video entitled, “The Center” and then use it to answer the question, “How will you take advantage of being ‘at the very center of business’?” The video and the essay question have enabled Columbia to regain its brand and market share.

Over the years, Columbia strayed from its core strength: its geographic location and the access that the school offers its students. As a reaction to New York’s financial industry shrinkage and then, a drop in applications, they began pitching teams, clusters, and close-knit communities. I’m sorry, but those words do not even begin to describe Columbia.

CBS is just like New York: historical, large, gritty, and filled with surprises. It doesn’t coddle its students, and its students don’t expect to be coddled. They are smart, resourceful, and assertive.

So what does it mean to be at the very center of business? Well, you have the usual suspects: access to corporate world headquarters, brown bags with executives, subway rides to everything. But I ask you, where else can you have an accidental meeting at a cultural event with the Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James Gorman, or award winning entertainer and entrepreneur Dr. Dre?

Columbia wants its students to embrace New York and at the same time not allow the abundance of everything to intimidate them.  Years ago, I watched a Columbia Business School PowerPoint presentation. The closing slide displayed a world map. The Columbia campus was superimposed on a big red apple that spread over half the Atlantic Ocean and an arrow pointing to the apple as the “Center of the World.” I keep that image in my mind as I offer my Accepted clients my best rendition of the song, New York, New York, “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” (High kicks and all. Fortunately they can’t see me when I dance).

As a former admissions dean and director, I would expect to see an answer to that essay that would enable me to identify (and admit) people who thrive in the hustle bustle of New York. I would want my applicants to capture the energy of the city that never sleeps. I would hope that the applicant understands the living laboratory we fondly call, “The City.” At the same time, I would filter out students who would be intimidated by New York. I would want my students to love their NYC experience: rats, roaches and all.
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By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, an accomplished Accepted consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.Columbia’s Adcom Chats With Accepted, podcast episode
• The Applicants That Stand Out At Columbia Business School
• Columbia Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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These essay questions focus mostly on the present and future, so don’t expect to elaborately portray your professional development as a prelude to your goals. Be guided by Columbia adcom’s focus and give them what they ask for, in aggregate: a vivid sense of engagement; focused career plans; and knowledge of the program and why you need it. Considering the lack of opportunity to discuss past professional achievements and experience, your resume carries all the more weight in the Columbia EMBA application – attend to it accordingly.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (51 characters maximum)

A factual phrase or bullet will suffice; don’t worry about responding with a whole sentence. Do include function and industry.

Essays:

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? (100 – 750 words)

You may want to start by discussing your current career situation to set the context, and clarify how the MBA education will enable you to achieve your immediate goals. You can then naturally move on to your future goals sequentially. Give more detail in the roles you plan immediately post-MBA and the several years following; this time frame should comprise the bulk of your goals discussion. Longer-term goals need less detail, but they still should present a clear direction. In describing your goals at any given point, indicate why you are taking that step.

In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: identify what skills and knowledge you need, and how the program meets those needs. Refer to specific aspects of the curriculum, structure and/or special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

As far as that length guideline, bear in mind that Columbia has always looked for practical discussion about how you’ll realize your goals, not just what they are. It’s unlikely fewer than 400 words or so would give you sufficient space to deliver the substantiating detail. I’d suggest an essay in the 500-750 word range.

2. Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA will challenge you by offering a rigorous academic experience, global exposure through the international seminar, and the opportunity to immediately apply what you learn to your career. How will you approach balancing the demands of the program with your professional and personal life while you are in school? (100 – 500 words)

Discuss the accommodations you will make at work, such as delegating more, adjusting travel schedules, etc. You don’t have to tell them every single thing you can think of – focus on the most significant two or three adjustments.

Also address your personal responsibilities and how you will meet them with this additional demand on your time and energy; even acknowledging that you’ll have less time at the playground with your toddler or mentioning the support of your significant other will show that you’re facing this issue squarely.

If you’ve already successfully balanced school and working full time, by all means mention it.

You may well not need 500 words for this essay, but don’t skimp at 100 either (you don’t want to look like you’re blowing it off). A range of 350-450 should be right for most people.

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 your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100 – 500 words)

It’s tricky, in that your audience for this essay is twofold: the adcom and your future Clustermates. Ideally you’ll want to pleasantly surprise both… Hence, let’s break down the phrase “pleasantly surprised.”
1. First, don’t repeat a resume point – “surprised” indicates something not obvious from the available information.

2. “Pleasantly” means something that will generate positive interest. It doesn’t have to be directly applicable or “useful” to your Clustermates.

It can be something from work or outside work – but if from work, do not make it a “great achievement” or “stellar leadership” type of essay – the tone of the question suggests something more revealing and touching about you as a person. If it’s far in the past, it should be something of continuing relevance. DON’T present a boring explanation. DO root your response in actual experience.

Most important: DO select a topic that will add something to your profile, something that lets the adcom know you better as a person.

If your answer puts a smile on the reader’s face, or even better elicits a happy, surprised laugh, high five!

Optional Essay. An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

This question invites you to present new material that will enhance your application, as well as explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not using a direct supervisor, etc.). As far as non-necessary points, since you are making the adcom read more than is required, there should be a clear value to the information you’re sharing. Finally, keep it short.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Columbia EMBA Deadlines:

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free  guide, Ace the EMBA. Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too - click here to get in touch!

 

Related Resources:
• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• 5 Key Qualifying Factors the EMBA Adcoms Look For
• 3 Key Ways to Stand Out Through Your EMBA Essays

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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There’s something for everyone at Columbia Business School.

Today’s AST podcast is a first: an in-person interview! Our guest is Emily French Thomas, Director of Admissions at Columbia Business School, and we’ll be talking about the menu of programs available at CBS. Welcome, Emily!

What is the common thread that unites the many programs at CBS? [1:18]

When people think of getting an MBA, they’re often thinking about shifting careers, or building their network. And we definitely provide those strengths. But the more intangible benefit of a Columbia MBA is learning to see the world in a more holistic way – gaining a framework for all the decisions you’ll make in your future career.

Our goal is to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. That doesn’t just mean starting your own company – it’s about identifying opportunity. We’re training business leaders who think entrepreneurially.

Our core curriculum (accounting, marketing, big data, etc) teaches students how to look at a problem from multiple perspectives. It’s really a transformative experience.

We bring theories into the real world. And students have access to so many industries and business leaders in NY, to learn how the knowledge applies in the real world. And the networking opportunities from that are also invaluable. (For example, our students have regular coffee chats with alumni.) There’s just an incredible amount of access that comes from being at the center of business.

Can you give an overview of the fulltime MBA program? [6:05]

There are two streams. One is a 20-month traditional program with August entry: there’s a semester of core, a semester of electives, a summer internship, then the second year. We take about 550 students a year for the August entry. They’re broken into clusters of 60-70 students and further divided into learning teams. So you have a home base of people you get to know really well.

We do have exemption exams, so you can test out of specific core courses if you have expertise in the area, and replace them with an elective. But generally students are happier if they have at least some core courses, in order to build relationships with their learning team.

What about the January program? [9:00]

This is an accelerated 16-month program. The difference between this and the August entry is the summer internship. January students start one semester later and take classes in the summer, and are in the same place as the traditional students when they start the second year. It’s a great way to minimize the opportunity cost.

It’s a wonderful option for students who are sponsored by companies or who are coming from family business.

If you’re changing your career in a major way (industry-function-geography) – you can probably change one area but not two through the January program. For more radical changes, in general, you need the summer internship. However, there are also school year internships, and JTerm students can do those.

You’re in a stronger position to succeed if you have a very clear sense of your goals and are proactive – that’s one of the things we’re looking for in applicants (people who have direction).

What else are you looking for in an applicant? [16:20]

We’re looking at the whole application. Any one part of the application is just a data point.

We’re looking for academic achievement: we require either the GMAT or the GRE. (If you’re planning to retake, it’s best to stick with the one you already took.)

Linda: Is it better to cancel a low score or show improvement?

Showing hard work to improve is worthwhile. We don’t need people to be perfect.

In addition to academics, we’re also looking for professional experience – particularly what you’ve achieved in your work.

Recommendations are important. People are often hung up on getting recommendations from people with fancy titles: but get the recommendation from the person who knows you best. They can write something more interesting and constructive about who you are.

Our essays are personality questions – we want to think about you as a human being.

What makes qualitatively impressive work experience? [21:25]

We’re interested in seeing what a person has done with what they have. Is your work impressive relative to your peers? Do you have leadership experience and have you taken initiative? Sometimes people working in small family companies or small firms have had more opportunities for leadership.

What are the hiring strengths at Columbia? [23:00]

It comes back to that question of access.

A recent grad had a lot of coffee chats with alumni and had met a lot of people at his target company, so when he went for his interview, it was much easier and more natural, thanks to his extensive research and networking, and he got the job.

There’s also a very strong career management service and very active clubs.

There are three EMBA programs (NY, Americas, Global) at Columbia. What is common to the three? [25:20]

The Columbia EMBA programs have the same core as the FT programs. The EMBA NY takes in around 144 students, starting in August, for a 20-month program (meeting on Fridays and Saturdays for 9 weekends/semester). There’s also a program on Saturdays only for 13 weekends/semester. There’s no summer internship. The Saturday-only program is 24-months.

The other programs are modular, with a 1 week intensive format. The Americas program is designed for people coming from farther away (outside NY) – students come from all over the country, and also from Latin America. There are even some students from Europe. There’s one week of class each month for the first three semesters.

EMBA Global is modular, too. [30:00]

It’s a partnership with LBS, and incorporates LBS courses. Students can take courses from either school, and can tailor their electives to whatever structure works better for them (Saturday vs modular week).

Finally, there’s the EMBA Global Asia program, which is a joint program with LBS and Hong Kong University; students actually earn a joint degree.

Would you consider the EMBA a part-time degree or a degree for more experienced students? [32:25]

It really feels like a full-time program.

It’s also lockstep – students take courses with their clusters, developing relationships in a way you generally don’t in a part-time program.

It’s not necessary to have reams and reams of work experience, but we do look more closely at work experience than academics for the EMBA. If you’re junior in your career, just think about how you’d contribute.

If you can, come and visit – talk to students. It’s the only way you’ll know how you’ll feel in the program.

What’s the EMBA admissions process? [35:40]

It’s a rolling process (just like the FT MBA, but different from our peer schools with rounds). It becomes more competitive closer to the deadline.

For EMBA: we look at your academics. We do require a test. We now accept the Executive Assessment, which has been popular with EMBA applicants.

There are three required essays. Instead of the question we ask FT applicants (about how they would take advantage of the New York location), we ask EMBA applicants how you will balance work, life, and school.

And we weight work experience a little more than academics.

What is the career benefit of the EMBA? [39:00]

Bringing new knowledge back to work in real time, and applying what you’re learning right away. It’s also a benefit to the company.

EMBA students also benefit from networking opportunities.

We had a recent student who came to the program after working in finance, and started thinking about how tough it was for vets to get services. He hooked up with other students, created a tech platform, and launched a company – it’s a real success story.

How much do EMBA and FT students mix? And is there mixing among the different EMBA programs? [44:20]

There’s definitely mixing among EMBA students.

EMBA students can take FT electives, and vice versa. International Seminars bring EMBA students together.

There’s also interaction in electives and clubs. And there’s leadership from the EMBA class in student government.

A lot of what clubs do is recruiting-focused, but they also bring speakers to campus, and EMBA students get involved with that.

As an applicant, what should I do? [48:20]

Think about your strategy. Know what you’re investing in. Visit if you can, but if you can’t, learn about the program in other ways: talk to a student on the phone; come to one of our info sessions. You need to know what you’re investing in. Also, the more you know, the stronger your essays will be.

Early decision vs regular decision for the FT MBA – how to decide? [50:00]

It’s a rolling process, so it gets more competitive later in the process.

Don’t apply Early Decision unless you know that Columbia is where you want to be, because it is binding. So make sure there aren’t any other factors determining that decision (ie a partner who might not move to NY, finances, etc).

You can still apply on the early side of the rolling process without the binding requirement of Early Decision. There’s a deadline in January for merit aid – that’s when most people apply. The final deadline is in April – by then, it’s very competitive.

Any last advice? [52:40]

Be yourself in the application. Sometimes we read an application from someone who seems to be trying to push their story into a preconceived idea of what they think the adcom wants to read, and it doesn’t match up.

You’re not competing with anyone else (especially because of the way our rolling deadline works) – you’re competing with yourself. We want students who are nice and engaged. If we get a sense that you’re completely transactional, we’ll think that’s how you’d be on campus.
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Related Links:

• Columbia Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Columbia 2016-17 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
Get Accepted to Columbia Business School [On-Demand Webinar]

Related Shows:

• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Mission and Admissions at Yale School of Management
• Too Old for an MBA? Check Out 3 Outstanding MBA and EMBA Alternatives
• A 20-Year MBA Admissions Veteran Shares His Insights

 

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Looking for the best possible admissions advice?

How about admissions advice from the admission committee members themselves?

Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted and host of the Admissions Straight Talk podcast has a collection of highly enlightening interviews with directors of admissions and adcom members of top business schools!

Listen in as Linda asks her adcom guests pointed and to-the-point questions about the school, the admissions process, how to get in, and…how to get rejected.

Listen, enjoy, and apply successfully!

Columbia Business School
Emily French Thomas, Director of Admissions

Yale School of Management
Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions

USC Marshall
Keith Vaughn, Former Assistant Dean of Admissions

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business
Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of Admissions and Doreen Amorosa, Associate Dean and Managing Director of Career Management


UCLA Anderson
Jessica Chung, Associate Director of Admissions 

MIT Sloan
Dawna Levenson, Director of Admissions

Rotman School of Management
Niki da Silva, Recruitment & Admissions Director

Tuck School of Business
Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions

Univ. of Michigan’s Ross School of Business
Diana Economy, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, and Terry Nelidov, Managing Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

The Fuqua School of Business
Liz Riley Hargrove, Associate Dean for Admissions

HEC Paris
Philippe Oster, Director of Communication, Development and Admissions

Johnson at Cornell University
Ann Richards, Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid

For a varied menu of thought-provoking and informative conversations with business leaders, entrepreneurs, MBA students, and more, check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast:

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Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Business School Announces Changes to Curriculum
During Columbia Business School’s Start-Ups Week held earlier this month, the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship kicked off the event by announcing they are reorganizing its entrepreneurship curriculum to help students better choose their areas of interest and plan their future career paths.

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For the uninitiated, Start-Ups Week is a four-day celebration of entrepreneurship that allows CBS students to network and build relationships with New York City’s fastest growing companies. The new curriculum changes focus on four categories:  where students are encouraged to think, start, scale, and invest and focus on different aspects of entrepreneurship.

CBS’s New Entrepreneurship Curriculum 
Roadmaps for the curriculum in entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School have recently been reorganized to enable students to quickly and easily understand what’s being offered and choose their areas of interest.  They are divided into the following categories:
  • THINK – this a curriculum  track for any student who would like to adopt an entrepreneurial way of thinking, problem solving and business growth and recognizes the value and importance of entrepreneurial thinking in today’s economy.
  • START – a curriculum track for students planning to start their own business during or after business school and these students are likely to be founders, CEO’s or hold some type of leadership role in that organization.
  • SCALE – a curriculum track for students interested in taking an existing business to the next stage, either growing their own business or a business founded by someone else or perhaps a family business that they will eventually control.
  • INVEST – a curriculum track for students looking to understand what is involved in investing in entrepreneurial companies and what it takes to become an angel investor.
 Students interested in entrepreneurship can also take advantage of the following programs at Columbia:

  • Lang Scholars – Structured as a semester-long independent study, in both the spring and fall, the Lang Scholars program pairs chosen students with teams selected to one of NYC’s top accelerator programs including Techstars, ERA and Dreamit. This semester 17 Columbia Business School students are paired with the 17 teams in the  Dreamit, accelerator.  Students benefit by experiencing entrepreneurship in a live setting, gaining exposure to the network and resources Dreamit brings while Dreamit companies benefit by gaining access to the world-class business knowledge, experience and talent of Columbia Business School MBA’s.
  • Fall Venture Fair – The Annual Fall Venture Fair provides students with the opportunity to practice their pitch and receive critical feedback from successful entrepreneurs and other knowledgeable practitioners from the Columbia Business School entrepreneurial community.
“We want students to understand the realities of entrepreneurship as early in their business school life cycle as possible so they can make the most informed choice about which career path to pursue,” says Vince Ponzo, Executive Director of the Lang Center. “We have created a unique, goal-oriented framework for the curriculum and programs designed to meet the long-term career objectives of our students.”

You may also be interested in:
What Does Columbia Business School Look for In Applicants?

Columbia Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Columbia Launches First Student-Run Investment Fund

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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During Columbia Business School’s Start-Ups Week held earlier this month, the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship kicked off the event by announcing they are reorganizing its entrepreneurship curriculum to help students better choose their areas of interest and plan their future career paths.
Image
For the uninitiated, Start-Ups Week is a four-day celebration of entrepreneurship that allows CBS students to network and build relationships with New York City’s fastest growing companies. The new curriculum changes focus on four categories:  where students are encouraged to think, start, scale, and invest and focus on different aspects of entrepreneurship.
CBS’s New Entrepreneurship Curriculum 
Roadmaps for the curriculum in entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School have recently been reorganized to enable students to quickly and easily understand what’s being offered and choose their areas of interest.  They are divided into the following categories:

[*]THINK – this a curriculum  track for any student who would like to adopt an entrepreneurial way of thinking, problem solving and business growth and recognizes the value and importance of entrepreneurial thinking in today’s economy.[/*]
[*]START – a curriculum track for students planning to start their own business during or after business school and these students are likely to be founders, CEO’s or hold some type of leadership role in that organization.[/*]
[*]SCALE – a curriculum track for students interested in taking an existing business to the next stage, either growing their own business or a business founded by someone else or perhaps a family business that they will eventually control.[/*]
[*]INVEST – a curriculum track for students looking to understand what is involved in investing in entrepreneurial companies and what it takes to become an angel investor.[/*]
[/list]
Students interested in entrepreneurship can also take advantage of the following programs at Columbia:

[*]Lang Scholars – Structured as a semester-long independent study, in both the spring and fall, the Lang Scholars program pairs chosen students with teams selected to one of NYC’s top accelerator programs including Techstars, ERA and Dreamit. This semester 17 Columbia Business School students are paired with the 17 teams in the  Dreamit, accelerator.  Students benefit by experiencing entrepreneurship in a live setting, gaining exposure to the network and resources Dreamit brings while Dreamit companies benefit by gaining access to the world-class business knowledge, experience and talent of Columbia Business School MBA’s.[/*]
[*]Fall Venture Fair – The Annual Fall Venture Fair provides students with the opportunity to practice their pitch and receive critical feedback from successful entrepreneurs and other knowledgeable practitioners from the Columbia Business School entrepreneurial community.[/*]
[/list]
“We want students to understand the realities of entrepreneurship as early in their business school life cycle as possible so they can make the most informed choice about which career path to pursue,” says Vince Ponzo, Executive Director of the Lang Center. “We have created a unique, goal-oriented framework for the curriculum and programs designed to meet the long-term career objectives of our students.”
You may also be interested in:
What Does Columbia Business School Look for In Applicants?

Columbia Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Columbia Launches First Student-Run Investment Fund

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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 12:37
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Multiple times every day, people in homes and offices across the country are faced with a daunting decision: do I speak up and risk being penalized by or embarrassed in front of my friends, family, colleagues, or superiors; or do I remain silent, refrain from influencing a conversation or decision, and go unnoticed?

In a new TED Talk titled “How to Speak up for Yourself,” Columbia Business School professor and negotiations expert Adam Galinsky offers viewers an answer to this time-weathered dilemma. Through vivid and real-world examples, Galinsky offers viewers five steps to follow to increase their power, overcome insecurity, and boost their assertiveness in public settings.

“Each of us has something called a range of acceptable behavior. When we stay within this range we are rewarded; when we step outside of this range we are punished by being dismissed, demeaned, or ostracized,” says Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. “To speak up, we need to both understand our range and also learn how and when to expand it. The key thing that determines that range more than anything else: your power.”

Galinsky provides a series of five tools that can be used to help increase power and improve assertiveness.
  • Advocate for others (aka, the “Mama Bear Effect”). Advocating for others is easier than advocating for oneself. Thus, people can speak up and use behaviors that traditionally fall outside their range of acceptable behavior. Doing so helps people not only begin to understand their own ranges but also know how to expand them.
  • Perspective-Taking.  Although this may sound easy, Galinsky calls perspective-taking one of the hardest – but most important – tools people have for better understanding and expanding their ranges of acceptable behavior. Research by Galinsky and others show that by better understanding what someone else really wants, that person is more likely to give you what you really want. Signal flexibility.  The most effective way to signal flexibility is by giving people a choice.  Providing people with a range of options and/or alternatives lowers their defenses and makes them more receptive to your point of view. Galinsky notes that this tool can work in a variety of situations, from selling a product to parenting a child. Gain allies.  People feel most comfortable when they have social support in an audience.  Galinsky advises that two easy ways a person can build allies are to be an advocate for others (see number one) and to ask people for their advice. Display expertise and show passion.  Displaying expertise garners confidence from others, which in turn increases one’s power and expands one’s range of acceptable behavior. Audiences grant greater permission for people to speak up when they display passion for a topic.

“Speaking up can be risky, but these tools will help lower your risk,” says Galinsky. “Whether you’re offering advice to a family member or friend, or deciding whether to confront your employer about a pertinent issue at work, these steps will help increase your confidence, elevate your power, and improve your assertiveness by expanding your range of acceptable behavior.”
Image credit: Flickr user Equipe Integrada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Image

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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Columbia Fri-Sat EMBA: Easier to Gain Admission To? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2017, 11:46
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts), http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: info@mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an EMBA applicant? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications! Ask about our current special, Once-a-Year 60% Off Discount: $1395 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $995. Valid only through March 7, 2017.





Columbia Fri-Sat EMBA: Easier to Gain Admission To?

Many candidates inquire whether the Friday-Saturday EMBA program offered by Columbia Graduate School of Business is easier to gain admission to than the Saturday-only EMBA program.

In our experience, yes, the Friday-Saturday program will be easier to access, since the demand for the Saturday-only program seems higher. That is good news for those of you who have a notable weakness in your profile to override.

Why is demand for the Saturday-only program higher? First, candidates do not have to maneuver their work schedules in order to accommodate attending the program when the classes are held only on Saturdays. Second, candidates do not have to get their companies to sign off on their participation in the Columbia Saturday-only EMBA program. When applying to the Friday-Saturday program, your company needs to issue a letter indicating they are okay with you taking the needed time from your work schedule to attend the Saturday program. While this letter is usually secured with great ease, some candidates prefer to apply to the program that does not require this letter.

The fact that the Friday-Saturday program is under less admissions demand is good news for all candidates, but in particular for candidates who have a flaw in their records such as a low GPA. It should, in theory, be easier to override that candidacy flaw in the Friday-Saturday pool.





We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com
Email: info@mbaadmit.com
_________________

From MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable MBA admissions consulting companies. Comprehensive service for approx. $1695-$1995 for the first application and approximately $500-900 for work on the essays of a second application. Basic editing: $985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant to a top MBA program? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

Direct email address: info@mbaadmit.com

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Re: Columbia MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2017, 21:40
ImageBy Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group
Let's talk about Career Goals for a minute.
This is always a good topic, honestly, because whatever time of year it is and whatever stage of the application process we are all encountering, the narrative of a candidate's career goals will always be paramount.  Therefore, in order to create something we can one day send to our own clients with a simple link, as well as something that will help those of you who do not become our clients, we want to present a crystal clear five-step process for how to handle the Career Goals aspect of your MBA pursuit.

STEP 1 - HAVE GOALS.
Who knew?  Call us naive, but we assumed that everyone applying to a top 10 business school would actually have, you know, goals for the process.  Apparently not.  The sheer number of people who have come to us this year with no idea what they want to do post-MBA has been staggering.  Remember, this is not a degree designed for 22-year old applicants, nor does it punt away the responsibility of asking the question (yes, Law School, we are talking to you).  The MBA is a career-focused degree and in almost every instance, the schools ask you what your goals are.  To embark on such a life-altering process (to say nothing of expensive and time-consuming) without possessing goals is bizarre.  Now, maybe your goals need some refining - particularly in presentation - but if you can't at least decide for yourself what you want to do with your life and why you want to spend $150,000 and two years to get there, you should not be applying to top 10 MBA programs.

STEP 2 - REFINE YOUR SHORT-TERM GOAL TO MAKE SURE IT CAN BE ACHIEVED.
Okay, now we are talking to the 95% of you who at least know you need to have goals to start the process.  We know that just as important as setting goals is the idea of setting realistic goals.  If you want to get in shape and you set a goal of running a marathon, great, you are on your way.  However, if you set the goal of winning Olympic gold in the marathon, you are probably setting yourself up for failure.  Therefore, it's not a good goal.  This is especially true when someone else shares in the responsibility for whether you achieve it.  Schools share the responsibility for helping you achieve your short-term goal.   Nobody bears any responsibility for the achievement of a long-term goal.  Nobody is tracking, measuring, or even checking.  Too much life is going to happen between now and 10-20 years from now.  So when you hear about making goals realistic or having them "make sense," it's almost always about the short-term goal, because that is what shows up on an employment report, what impacts career services, and generally has enough immediacy that everyone feels responsible for outcomes.

Some ways to check your short-term goal:

[*]Look at the employment reports of the school to see if they place people into the role and firm of your choice[/*]
Consider whether your previous experiences put you in position - with an added MBA - to impress recruiters for this job[/*]
[*]Contact someone in career services (usually at your alma mater) to quickly check your path[/*]
Ask your admissions consulting to give you a reality check on your goals (important point: don't try to "brainstorm" your goals and certainly never ask your consultant to "give you" goals - you should have goals in place that this person can look at and either approve or poke holes in)[/*]
[/list]
The main thing is you want to be sure that the following equation checks out:
YOU (and what you have done so far) + MBA (at this school) = ST GOAL.

If it does not, you will get dinged basically every time.
STEP 3 - SELL YOUR ABILITY TO ACHIEVE THE SHORT-TERM GOAL.
Normally we talk next about long-term goals, but we are going to stick with short-term goals for a minute.  Just because you figure out a short-term goal that can work does not mean your job is done.
Here is a quick case study of a client who received an interview at a top 10 school despite aiming for a difficult transition.  He was a task-oriented professional with little outside experience and little by way of management responsibilities (this describes a lot of people, so we are not worried about "outing" this person).  This presents a limited platform from which to work, but that doesn't mean his only short-term goal had to be something connected to his trade.  Indeed, if he were to pick a short-term goal in that area, he might fail the "why do you even need an MBA?" part of this whole test.  Remember, it's not just whether the MBA is enough to get you to your goal, it's also whether the goal is enough to warrant investing in an MBA (rather than just walking down the street for an interview).  For this individual, his long-term goals were entrepreneurial, so in the short term, he needed more exposure to business practices and frameworks.  He needed to take his upcoming MBA experience and expand on it, in order to continue broadening out and to see what works and what does not in new situations.  To gain those 360 degree skills that would enable him to be a successful large-scale entrepreneur down the road, two paths made the most sense: management consulting and brand management.  The former would expose him to lots and lots of scenarios in different industries, different geographies, and on different scales.  The latter would give him experience with all aspects of bringing something to market.  Either would allow him to broaden out the MBA experience of expanding frameworks, widening knowledge basis, and building up his network and pedigree.  All good things, to quote the old Martha Stewart Saturday Night Live sketches.  So, his work was done, right?  Of course not!  Just because he thought this was a good idea (or that we think it's a good idea), does not mean a recruiter or - by proxy - an admissions officer will see it the same way.

He had to:
  • First, explain the connection.  He had to say everything we just wrote above, about continuing to acquire experiences and skills so that he will be in the best position to achieve his eventual goals.
  • Second, highlight the transferable skills that make him a desirable candidate.  We wrote an entire blog post about this once (http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog/2012/04/16/the-art-of-transferability), but one of the most common mistakes we see among applicants is that they don't fill in the missing link and explain the skill set that will allow them to 1) get the job, and 2) thrive once they get it.  You can't assume the reader will know what someone in your exact job does and see the connection between projects within your trade and being a consultant or a brand manager.  You have to identify the skills critical to the ST job and then show that you have them.  It's very simple, yet we would wager to guess that 75% of applicants don't do this.  They never say "here is what I will need to be a good brand manager and here is how and when I developed those skills in my current job, through examples A, B, and C."  You MUST do this, whether you are young or old, American or International, a banker or a beekeeper.  You can't assume that the reader will do this extracting and matching for you.

STEP 4 - PUT "YOU" INTO YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS.
Unlike with short-term goals, the challenge with long-term goals is not to map out a perfect plan that everyone can achieve collectively.  Here, you want to dream big and put as much of you - your passions, your inspirations, and what you care about - into the answer as possible.  Think about goals the way Stanford GSB used to ask applicants to think about them: "What do you REALLY want to do?"  If you say that your short-term goal is consulting, you are creating the foundation for just about any long-term goal.  You might think it wise to say "I want to then climb the ranks to become a managing partner" and feel like that is a smart, safe play.  Well, it's boring.  Worse, it is impersonal.  Literally anyone on earth could write that.  What do you want to do?  Really?  If the real answer is to rise through the ranks and become a managing partner, well, why is that?  There must be some greater good you want to serve or some burning desire that drives that aim, right?  If it is just financial security, is there something in your past that makes that paramount, above all else?  There is always a way to make your long-term goals about you and that is what you have to do.  You do not have to make your long-term goals 100% achievable.  You do not have to make your long-term goals about connecting back to previous areas of expertise.  You just have to pick goals that are personal and that require this MBA path you are on, at least on some level.  There is an incredible amount of freedom in shaping your long-term goals, so be yourself, be interesting, and pick a path that you can truly own.

STEP 5 - OWN THE GOALS.
This is the part where perhaps we have come to assume too much over the years and where our case study client seemed to run into trouble.  Once he had a path that made sense, ensured that he had achievable short-term goals (complete with highlighted transferable skill sets), had a long-term goal that was interesting and personal, and all of that was wrapped up with a bow in his essays, the mission had been accomplished.  When he received an interview invite at a top 10 school, we prepped him for the interview and showed him how to bring that goal narrative through to the interview setting.  However, here is where it fell apart.  How and why?  As best we can tell, he got unlucky with his alumni interviewer.  Instead of hosting a friendly interview, this person demeaned the applicant and tried to poke holes in his resume and aspirations.  This is a tough break, for sure, but something that future applicants can deal with.  First, if this happens, call the school and ask for another interview.  The schools know that there is some risk inherent with a heavy reliance on alumni interviewers, so they won't be surprised nor will they likely refuse your request.  Second though, you have to ditch that experience and approach the new opportunity with the same level of confidence you had before.  This is where our case study client failed.  He got rattled by the first interview and lost confidence in his whole narrative.  Now, this is partly because he had bad luck but in equal part because he never truly owned his own goals.  He was too reliant on his consultant to formulate a plan and he was never strong in what he wanted from an MBA and his life.  When you don't own your story (the first piece of advice we give for interview prep, by the way), you can too easily be bowled over by the first raised eyebrow or harsh word.  And if you start scrambling to explain yourself or start getting wishy-washy with your goals, it is game over.  After all, if you can't sit there proud and strong and say "this is what I want" with conviction, what can you stand strong for?  So this is Step 5 and one we never realized we needed to hammer home: own your goals.  It's your story, not the interviewer's.  It's your life, not anyone else's.  If you can't get comfortable with the goals in the essay, rethink your goals until you do.

If you follow the above five steps, you will never fall victim to the pitfalls that have taken down thousands before you.  You won't be rejected for asking too much (or not enough) of the school in the short term, you won't lose the reader's interest with impersonal long-term goals, and you won't blow your interview by losing conviction in your own path.  Remember that if everything makes sense and follows these steps, nobody can tell you what to think about your life and path.

For an overview of our MBA admissions consulting services, visit http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba_admissions_consulting_services/

If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered by Amerasia, please contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.comor to set up a free consultation.

Source: http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog/2013/7/1/owning-your-mba-career-goals-in-5-easy-steps

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Still Time for Success at Columbia GSB? August-Start? Jan-Start? [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 16:09
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts), http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: info@mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as a top MBA applicant? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications! Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1895 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $995. Valid through March 30, 2017.




Still Time for Success at Columbia GSB? August-Start? Jan-Start?


At this time of the year, many applicants have received disheartening news, learning that they have not gained admission to their top MBA program choices. If you are in this situation, you may begin to think about whether you should try to locate a school you can still apply to now, so that you can still start an MBA program in 2017 rather than wait for Round 1 of this Fall, knowing that this will delay your start at a full-time MBA program for approximately 18 months until the Fall of 2018.

Many of you have heard about how hard it is to gain admission in Round 3 at many top U.S. MBA programs. One school that stands out from this, however, is Columbia Graduate School of Business, because it does not follow an admissions cycle based on “rounds”. Instead, Columbia has a rolling MBA application cycle in which the school reviews applications as it receives them. Columbia will continue to allocate seats until all of the seats are filled, and its admissions season does not come to an end until April 12, 2017, which is the last day to submit your full-time Columbia GSB application. The school also offers a January-start program that would allow you to start their accelerated (18-month) full-time MBA program in January 2018.

August-Start Program

Many candidates wonder, “Is it possible to still have success in securing a seat for the Columbia August-start full-time program if you submit an application in the next couple of weeks?”

You will be happy to hear that the answer is yes! At MBA Admit.com, we have helped many candidates to gain admission to Columbia even in the last weeks of the admissions cycle. We have enjoyed success with candidates of very varied backgrounds. From the American of Indian descent who is a highly successful entrepreneur, to the white American male from the mid-west who is working for one of the largest regional manufacturing companies, success is possible. The key is to present your candidacy in a compelling way, highlighting a wonderful blend of experiences and personal characteristics that can persuade the Admissions Committee that you will be a wonderful student. Because the Admissions Committee has already allocated so many seats, it is imperative that you present a truly outstanding application that demonstrates you put great thought and care into all parts of the application – from the essays to the resume to the application form. Your recommendations should also be stellar.

January-Start Program

When applying for the January-start program, you will need to wait for the new application to be released. Last year, Columbia released the questions in April and the application went live in May. This meant you could submit your application for admission for the January-start program as early as May! If doing so, you would know by around the end of June or early July if you had gained admission. This will likely be the same this year. For many candidates, this is a very attractive option, particularly since Columbia has gone to lengths to strengthen school-year internship options, which helps make up for the fact that during the January-start program, you will not have the summer off from school in order to complete a summer internship.


Thinking of applying to Columbia Business School? Feel free to reach out to us for a free 30-minute introductory call or sign up at http://www.mbaadmit.com for a FREE profile evaluation.


We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com
Email: info@mbaadmit.com
_________________

From MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable MBA admissions consulting companies. Comprehensive service for approx. $1695-$1995 for the first application and approximately $500-900 for work on the essays of a second application. Basic editing: $985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant to a top MBA program? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

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Benefits of Submitting Your Columbia Re-Application in May/June [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 16:11
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts), http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: info@mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as a top MBA applicant? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications! Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1895 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $995. Valid through March 30, 2017.



Benefits of Submitting Your Columbia Re-Application in May/June

Around this time of the year, some applicants have received disheartening news that they have not gained admission to their top MBA program choices, which might have included schools like Columbia. Some of those candidates will review their Columbia application and conclude that they did not put their best application forward. They may easily identify great room for improvement in the essays or recommendations. So, they decide they will reapply and begin to ponder what timing they should strive to achieve for submitting the new application.

Last year, Columbia Graduate School of Business (GSB) released information about its new essay questions in April and the entire new application was available in May. It will likely be the same this year. Whether you are applying to Columbia’s full-time MBA program in the January-Start, Early Decision (August start) or Regular Decision (August start) pools, you can submit your application as soon as the application is live. This means that you can submit your re-application to Columbia as early as May!

This has left many candidates wondering whether May or early June is too soon to submit a re-application to Columbia GSB.

Because Columbia GSB operates with rolling admissions, there are great advantages to submitting your application early. At the start of the admissions season, all of the seats for the new MBA class will still be available, thus you have better odds of securing one of those seats. Additionally, when you submit your application early in the season, you will likely hear your outcome within 2-6 weeks. Therefore, if you submit your application in May, you could learn by June whether you have admission! If Columbia is your top choice, you need not apply elsewhere and you can spend the rest of your summer celebrating. If you are interested not only in Columbia but also in other schools, the outcome you receive with your early reapplication can help you calibrate where else to apply. If you are accepted to Columbia, you might try to apply at other schools like Wharton or Harvard in Round 1. If you are not accepted to Columbia, you might consider applying to schools ranked near, but slightly below Columbia, such as Tuck, Duke or Cornell.

The good news is that we at MBA Admit.com have worked with many candidates who applied to Columbia on their own and were rejected, but then re-applied with our assistance and gained admissions in June, only a few months after their initial rejection! So, if you are considering a reapplication, think about submitting your new application with excellent early timing!


Thinking of applying to Columbia Business School? Feel free to reach out to us for a free 30-minute introductory call or sign up at http://www.mbaadmit.com for a FREE profile evaluation.



We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com
Email: info@mbaadmit.com
_________________

From MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable MBA admissions consulting companies. Comprehensive service for approx. $1695-$1995 for the first application and approximately $500-900 for work on the essays of a second application. Basic editing: $985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant to a top MBA program? Sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel. Fill out the form on our homepage at http://www.mbaadmit.com

Direct email address: info@mbaadmit.com

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Benefits of Submitting Your Columbia Re-Application in May/June   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2017, 16:11

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