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Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Joined: 03 Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2019, 18:14
Thanks for the consultation, Great help!
Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1028
Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2019, 10:35

Columbia business school has changed the
questions for essay #2 and essay #3 this year, retaining its longstanding goals essay for the 2019-20 application
season. The new questions about' fit
'with CBS and leadership have been introduced this year. The short-answer question and the optional essay remain unchanged.

The admission deadlines and timeline are as under:



Entry: August 2020

Early: October 4, 2019

Merit Fellowship Deadline: January 3, 2020

Final: April 10, 2020


Entry: January 2020

Deadline: October 4, 2019

.All deadlines are at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Business School is one of the first business schools to release its application
essays every year. CBS makes its essays available early because it is one of
the few programs to offer an early decision round. From CBSadmission website, “Columbia Business
School uses a rolling admissions process, which means applications are reviewed-
and decisions rendered- as they are received.”


Here is MER’s analysis of CBS’s essays:

Answer Question

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

This is a straightforward question about the
candidates’ career goal immediately after graduating from Columbia Business
School. In a mere 50 characters, including space (approximately 8 words) you
have to mention the job you wish to have after completing MBA. Please make sure
that your post-MBA goal aligns with your long-term goal that you will discuss
in essay # 1.
the character limit is so stringent, you may not stress yourself writing
complete sentences. I would encourage you to look at the
sample answers on the CBSwebsite. Please reveal your true goals, and not what CBS wants to hear.

take a closer look at the essays now:

Essay 1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of
your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5
years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500

CBS is going with this prompt again this
year and begins this essay prompt by clearly stating not to repeat the
information already given in resume and recommendations. In other words, the Admission
Committee is shoving you away from wasting their time in repeating your résumé!
Though the question asks only about short
term and long-term goals, a bit of context about professional history is
required to explain what has led you to your career goals. Now, if you must mention some of your
achievements, it should be done only to carry your career path forward.

forget to build your essay from the immediate post-MBA goal already stated in the
short answer question. Make sure to keep the short-term and long-term goals
aligned. Talk about your career goals over the next 3-5 years, sharing how you
intend to progress from your short-term goals to the long-term dream job. Notice
the phrases in the essay question “dream job” and “in your imagination”; CBS is
urging you to be creative, imaginative and think big, and craft this essay
prompt using illustrative examples. CBS is interested to know your dreams- your long-term goals. You may not
need to conform to prescribed norms; after all, you could be the one who may
pave way for others.

You may tend to get a bit too carried away with “dream job”. But you should resist the temptation and be as realistic and grounded as possible while detailing out your goals. Try to highlight how things may change for the community or people around you when you will succeed in getting your dream job. Your plans could be ambitious, but they should be viable and realistic. You may have an out of this world goal or a dream job in mind, but CBS is also looking for the viability of your “dream”. So, you should also stress your ability to fulfil your dream.

Although CBS does not ask how MBA from CBS will
help you reach your goals, we believe that you can wrap up the essay with a
comment on (only one sentence) how CBS will open the doors to your dream career
path. You don’t want to go into details since you will talk about CBS in detail
in the second question.  

2: Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

Previously, CBS’s
second essay talked about the school’s New York City location and the benefits
that it conferred, but the admissions committee has now amplified the scope of
the prompt to encompass everything the program offers. The best way to write an effective response is to do thorough research about Columbia’s intellectually driven alumni
from varied backgrounds, curriculum, experienced faculty, clubs, extracurricular
activities, strategic location, and recruiting strengths. Discuss your plan of action,
how you intend to use the CBS MBA program to reach your short term and long-term goals already
mentioned in short answer question and essay 1.

It is a good idea to highlight strengths listed on the CBS website, “Only Columbia
Business School gives you the opportunity to shape your career in the very
centre of business. There’s something about being positioned in New York City,
where access to leaders across industry is truly
advantageous”. CBS takes great pride in its strategic location i.e. New York,
I suggest you put across your plan to make the best use of CBS being at “the
very centre of business “. Having access to the leaders across the world is
emphasized by CBS as it is one of the key benefits of the program. You may indicate
how you can make use of CBS’s close ties to the business, non-profit,
and government communities to succeed in the fast-moving competitive
environment. Make
a list of the opportunities you hope to get at CBS and in the New York City and
then link each of these to your goals. Reviewing CBS website, conversing
with the alumni, attending CBS events for prospective students and campus
visits could all work to your advantage by setting your case apart.

Writing an impactful essay, highlighting how the
strategic location and resources at the CBS can be a great choice for
accomplishing your short-term and long-term goals in mere 250 words is not an
easy task. To meet the
stringent word limits, you need to be extremely precise in presenting your case
and make every word count.

3: Who is a leader you admire, and why? (250

This question is brand new for 2019-2020, replacing last year’s
question about a team failure. Despite being very short, this question asks you
to cover a lot of information. This essay prompt is a window to your
thought process. Here is your opportunity to show the admission committee your
idea of leadership style. Value-based essays like this one are extremely
important to make your case to the admission committee.

Choose a leader you admire. Here,
“why” becomes more important than “who”. You can watch this video
by CBS which discusses business leadership worldwide. Of course, it is a lot
easier to pick popular leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates but if you
want your essay to stand out, you may not choose the world figures. Also, avoid
using parents as your favorite leaders. Instead, choose a leader who is
innovative and entrepreneurial. This way, you will be able to draw parallels
with your life. You can choose your teacher, mentor, or boss, or anyone in the
community you admire. For instance, if you want to lead in the field of
environment management, talk about a person who either has innovative
mechanisms to his credit or has made an immense contribution in this field. Dwell
on his specific traits and leadership style and how you have imbibed these
values yourself. While explaining why you admire that leader, you are in fact sharing
your own leadership styles and values.

These 250 words essay should not only focus on that
leader; it should reflect on your own leadership style as well. I would say the
first two paragraphs will be about the qualities of a leader (1 quality each
paragraph with reasons why you like this quality).  Provide examples of his/her personal and
professional achievements owing to the leadership style. The third paragraph
should be about how you feel that the leader’s qualities and leadership style
resonate with you. Make sure to focus on why the qualities of the
leader you have chosen are inspiring for you and try to build some connection
to your profile or background.

Optional Essay:

there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions
Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of
concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to
be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

An optional essay is an
opportunity for you to give relevant information to the Ad Com that you could
not provide in other parts of your application, essays, and resume. For
example, if you have a lower than average GMAT score, any grades below a C on
your transcript, academic probation or a significant employment gap, you can
explain in this essay. To provide a context for a weakness in your profile,
make sure your reason is genuine to convince the Ad Com that your low grades or
employment gap occurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control.
Your response should be positive, straightforward, and fact-focused and should
not sound like you are making excuses for a weakness in your profile. Also, if
you cannot get your recommendation letter from your current supervisor, please
explain that in the optional statement.

If you do not have any weakness in your profile but think that you
didn’t get a chance to throw a spotlight on a significant professional
accomplishment, extra-curricular accomplishments or community involvement, you
may sure use this essay  to share that key aspect of your candidacy.

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview)  has helped many
applicants get accepted into top 20 MBA programs including Columbia Business
School. (Poonam is  one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)

further assistance in developing your application essays, you may review the general Essay Tips.

For essay analysis  of other
schools by MER, click here.

You may e-mail Poonam at">  with questions about your CBS application.

 This article first appeared in myEssayReview blog.

Web /BlogFree resources/LinkedIn/ Facebook/
Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1028
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New post 09 Sep 2019, 10:04

Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash

This article first appeared on Sia Admissions Blog

An MBA’s general core curriculum offers an excellent opportunity for future business leaders of virtually any sector to gain insight into the fundamentals of business. Over time, business schools have also developed strengths in specific industries, allowing for a deeper understanding of various fields. With the commercial real estate market now exceeding $16 trillion in the United States alone, the sector offers many opportunities to have a meaningful impact. It comes as no surprise, then, that candidates are interested in MBAs that provide insight, exposure, and training to prepare them for a career in the real estate sector.

If your objective is to launch or enhance a career in real estate post-MBA, you should evaluate these programs. To help with your school selection process, we have outlined five (5) top MBA programs with strong resources and ties to the industry. Backed by impressive job placement records of their respective students, earning an MBA from any of these institutions may yield a high ROI in your post-MBA career in real estate.

The Wharton School


For candidates interested in real estate development, real estate finance and economics, urban fiscal policy, real estate law, and housing markets, Wharton offers an MBA with a focus (major) in Real Estate. Through the required courses and electives, students gain insights related to the many tangents of real estate. Furthermore, The Samuel Zell & Robert Lurie Real Estate Center offers deep international and national industry insights. Their sponsorship of research, conferences, seminars and special programs for Real Estate MBA students provide a web of knowledge and connects for students to be “in the know.” The Center also hosts annual panel discussions whose topics run the gamut from geopolitics affecting real estate and real estate technology, to real estate investment trends and capital markets. In addition to an active alumni engagement, students also gain first-hand experience and insights through annual treks. 

UNC Kenan Flagler Business School


Of the top 20 U.S. MBA programs, University of North Carolina (UNC) Kenan Flagler tops with 11% of its 2018 graduating class accepting positions in Real Estate. Kenan-Flagler’s Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies offers students exposure to and preparation for a successful career in the sector. Comprehensive coursework and hands-on training, conferences, treks, and certifications, are all components of the Real Estate Center’s effort to prepare future leaders for successful careers. The alumni network is also very active, serving as mentors to students and helping them develop into leaders the sector needs.  

Columbia Business School


With its central New York location, Columbia Business School offers MBA candidates opportunities to enroll in electives that pave the path for a successful post-MBA career in Real Estate. With a spirit of entrepreneurship, students with a career-focus in Real Estate have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Real Estate Finance and Investment Management. Through the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia’s MBA candidates gain theoretical and practical insight incorporating both national and international themes. In the classroom, students work on over 60 proprietary cases to increase critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills. The center also hosts a speaker series where industry experts – which often includes Columbia alumni – are invited to discuss the trends in the real estate market.

UCLA Anderson School of Management


The UCLA Anderson MBA program offers students opportunities to choose a Real Estate career path through a variety of electives, applied management research project,  and other resources. MBA candidates benefit from resources sponsored by the Ziman Center for Real Estate and participate in the annual symposiums, competitions, speaker series, and conferences to hone their understanding of the sector and build essential skills for a successful career. About 4% of UCLA Anderson’s 2018 MBA graduates accepted jobs in Real Estate spanning the gamut from development, strategic planning and analysis, and diversified commercial and development companies, including REITs and private real estate regional firms. 

The University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business


The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers excellent resources for students interested in careers in Real Estate. The Real Estate Center at McCombs helps MBA Real Estate concentration students prepare for careers in real estate finance, investment, and development. In this program, students have opportunities to participate in career training and development, competitions, industry conferences, etc. To gain hands-on experience, students also have the chance to manage both REITs and Private Equity funds, one of the country’s only business school to offer this privilege.
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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2019, 10:04

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