GMAT Club

Columbia Reviews

MBA Program rating [19]
(4.5)

November 26, 2016
MC15

Joined: Oct 02, 2013

Posts: 5

Kudos: 10

Self-reported Score:
680 Q42 V41
700 Q42 V44

Leveraging Location

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

Anyone that is considering Columbia is also likely considering a bunch of great schools that have many of the same positives; namely access to a great network, excellent professors, smart classmates, professional opportunities, and (everyone's favorite) Grade Non-Disclosure. From what I can tell there are 2 things that make Columbia stand out: New York City and finance classes/opportunities. I chose Columbia because it was a top 10 school (I didn't think anything less was really worth the investment) and I wanted to live in NY (mainly for personal reasons).

However, after going I can say that I think there are a few other things that make Columbia awesome:
- A surprising level of community, especially for a "city school." Orientation is definitely weighted towards the community side of things with a dash of academic and professional things scattered throughout, I think this is to make sure we have that community despite nobody really living on campus (not a lot of on campus housing, usually only goes to international students and a small set of west coasters). Throughout the year there are weekly happy hours on campus that are typically preceded by CBS Matters where 1-2 people from your cluster (~70 students you have all your core classes with) present about their life and what is important to them. CBS Matters is definitely my favorite thing about Columbia. In addition to on campus happy hour on Thursdays there is Rugby Happy Hour on Wednesdays at a bar a few subway stops away. It is open to the whole school, not just the rugby team (although I would highly recommend joining the rugby team because it's awesome), and usually has equal or better attendance than school-sponsored happy hour.
- A ton of travelling. This is something I haven't done as much as many of my classmates, mainly because it can get really expensive/often eats into time I could be spending with my husband. However, there are TONS of opportunities to travel. In the summer before school starts a huge chunk of the school takes part in the "pre-MBA World Tour" which includes student-organized trips pretty much all over the world (I got to take part in the final leg in the Hamptons with about 200 classmates). Then over fall break every cluster organizes a trip, we went to the Dominican Republic (one of my clustermates is from there so he planned most of it) and during winter and spring break the school offers “Global Immersion” classes and study tours to a ton of different places (Israel, Japan, South Korea, India, and Argentina are usually offered) to tour companies and sights. I took a Global Immersion class in Madrid about the European Financial Crisis which included full days of speakers who experienced the crisis first hand and evenings seeing the city, eating a lot of great food, going out to clubs, and touring the soccer stadium.
- NYC. I really only thought about this from a personal perspective coming in but it is a helpful resource since every industry and almost every big company has offices in NY you can find time to meet with people from any industry or company you might be interested in without having to plan your whole day or week around it. I took an immersion seminar last year where every Friday we visited a different consulting firm (BCG, Deloitte, PwC/Strategy&, and 10eqs) and there were a bunch of others offered too (big data, luxury goods, innovation). There are also conferences hosted on or near campus almost every week (I went to the media, marketing and women in business conferences). I just don't see those kind of things being possible outside of NY.

There definitely are some downsides to Columbia as well...
- Business school is expensive and NYC is expensive, put them together and you end up paying a painful amount of money. You pay a premium for being in NY for sure, so if you aren't getting value out of that location then you can probably get a lot of the positives of Columbia somewhere cheaper.
- It is generally understood that our marketing professors aren’t very good. My core marketing class was painful and electives were generally taught by mediocre visiting professors – pretty disappointing when you see the industry legends teaching the finance courses.
- The facilities are...for lack of a better word...bad. They are working on a new campus that should be opening around 2018 and so they aren't putting much work into the current one. It is small and below the standards I would expect from such a great school. Very few dining options and the library is pretty consistently overrun by undergrads.
Tough answering whether it is worth it right out of school (especially for me since I am still on the job hunt). I would say that if you have a good sense of what you want to get out of it and you focus on that it will be worth it (but since priorities vary so much person to person it is also very easy to get distracted).


Overall BSchool experience (3.0)
Schools contribution (3.0)
Classmates rating (3.0)

Strengths of the program:

Alumni Network
Location
Brand/Ranking

Best fit at this program:

Finance
Investment Banking
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Facilities


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December 06, 2015
mappleby

Joined: Oct 04, 2011

Posts: 432

Kudos: 124

Self-reported Score:
700 Q44 V41
750 Q48 V46

Excellent

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This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2015

Experience during the program

On the career front the program at CBS is well designed and I would highly recommend it to anybody interested in Finance and Consulting. The major consulting companies all recruit on campus and the alumni base in finance is incredibly active. Many students have internships during the school year because there are no classes on Fridays. Getting that chance to work for a hedge fund during class can be the difference for many in getting the job they want at graduation. The school is also strengthening the tech/entrepreneurship offerings with a new startup lab. The venture market is New York is growing rapidly and many students start a business with their classmates before reaching graduation.

On the social front the school is very active. The cluster system gives a core group of students you will know well and they travel together, go drinking together and take classes together. The city has more opportunities than you can possibly take advantage of with your limited time. Despite many students having already lived in NYC they still are very active in the school's social scene. The reputation of people scattering after classes is unfounded.

The facilities are sub-par but a new campus is under construction that will remedy that issue.

About professors, classes and curriculum

The Core curriculum is not difficult but provides a good foundation and gives the clusters a great chance to bond in their first semester. The electives have a broad selection and the Value Investing Program is unmatched at any other school for access to hedge funds and real world applicability.

About job placement process

All the major banks, consulting firms and large mutual funds recruit on campus. Hundreds of other smaller companies post to the school's job board but non-traditional career paths (healthcare and retail in particular) need to spend a good amount of time networking on their own to find opportunities.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Career opportunities provided by school
Location

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Facilities
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)


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October 19, 2017
tiger66

Joined: Sep 24, 2017

Posts: 17

Kudos: 5

At the heart of business

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for CBS

Program EMBA NY

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

I had a choice between HBS, Columbia and MIT. I chose Columbia for two reasons : one I wanted to be in Manhattan, the financial capital of the world and two HBS was going way over my budget. I had attended some programs at HBS earlier and I knew that while case method is very interactive and interesting but at the same time it leaves you yearning for some basic concepts and learning. Columbia was the right choice, it combined best of learning with humdrum of NYC. Location gives it solid advantage in terms of best of visitors who give you real insights in business and then you can really learn.
Another great thing at Columbia is the research that is being carried out. You will learn a lot!

About professors, classes and curriculum

Professors are solid and you will really love some the classes particularly on negotiations and operations.

About job placement process

All major banks and corporations are at the campus


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Alumni Network
Location
Brand/Ranking

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Career opportunities provided by school
Admissions Team


Read More

June 06, 2017
ronnock

Joined: Oct 31, 2014

Posts: 4

Kudos: 7

Self-reported Score:
740 Q49 V45
760 Q50 V41

Mission Accomplished at CBS

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This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

I went to Columbia to get hired at an MBB consulting firm, and that's ultimately what happened, so I can certainly say the school met my expectations and goals. A few random thoughts about the school from a recent graduate:

FACILITIES
They suck. However, a brand new campus will be completed soon(ish), and that should solve that problem. One thing I didn't appreciate about CBS is since the school is located literally in Manhattan, it's much more difficult (and orders of magnitude more expensive) to construct new buildings, so this issue ultimately gets a pass from me.

COMMUNITY
Kellogg and Fuqua seem to have a lock on the community rep, but I think that CBS should be included in that conversation. Even with the myriad distractions in NYC (more on that below), CBS students have an incredibly strong connection to each other and the school. If I wanted to fill up every night of the week with club and social events purely with CBSers, it'd be very easy to do. The generally held viewpoint that CBS is internally extremely competitive and cutthroat is completely false.

CHOICE
This is something that I've always emphasized to prospective students: more than anything, CBS is about choice. Between academics, clubs, social events, networking, coffee chats, internships (in school and summer), mentoring, and the general distractions of NYC, there's always something to pull you in a different direction. Some of my classmates held essentially full-time jobs in Connecticut, others had three kids in Long Island, and others could always be counted on to be in Watson (the library) when not in class. Some were club kids who were constantly jet-setting, and others were at every single on campus event. The really nice aspect of this is that you could be part of one of these groups one week and another the next - the fluidity and frequency of events were strengths. After the core curriculum, academics is literally a choose-your-own-adventure, with no majors or departmental requirements to fulfill. A caveat here: if you're the type of person who needs more hand-holding and structure to your MBA experience, you may feel more lost at CBS. Those with a strong sense of self-direction and motivation tend to be more successful.

About job placement process

Of the big three placements (consulting, finance, tech), CBS excels in two of them and performs reasonably well in tech - all the big firms are on campus and seems like half my friends are going to Amazon. If you're not going into one of the bigger industries, your career search will have to be much more self-driven.

From a consulting perspective, CBS is amazing. I'm speaking from a biased perspective, as I was on the board of the Management Consulting Association and gave 100+ cases to first years, but the MCA is well-recognized as one of the best MBA consulting clubs for a reason. I was exposed to easily over a dozen top consulting firms with minimal effort on my own part, and formed solid relationships with recruiters and alumni at virtually all of them. Second year students actively help prep and recruit first years, and the recruiting atmosphere is collegiate and encouraging without being overly competitive.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Marketing
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Facilities
Admissions Team


Read More

December 24, 2017
zeyneppektoylan

Hello thanks for useful insight. Just one question are you a us citizen? The reason I am asking is because I heard that is is much harder nowadays to find sponsor in NY for top management consultant firms like bcg?
Do you have any information about that? Thanks in advance

May 31, 2017
cynthsk

Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Posts: 2

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
760 Q48 V46

Best of all worlds at Columbia!

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This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2014

Experience during the program

I was happily impressed by the close-knit, collaborative, and supportive culture at Columbia Business School. The school's unparalleled location and opportunities across all industries makes it an obvious choice for those looking for and a fun and rewarding experience along with brand recognition and location. The alumni network is top-notch, and I never would have encountered the number of post-MBA opportunities I have without it. Columbia helped me achieve all of my post-MBA goals and I would not have been as happy or as satisfied at any other business school. Columbia Business School really is the best of all worlds!


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Brand/Ranking

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Facilities


Read More

May 25, 2017
HumbleAp

Joined: Oct 23, 2012

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
770

CBS: Location, Location, Location

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2015

Experience during the program

Columbia Business School is an excellent choice, especially for those pursuing finance jobs in New York. There is a huge alumni network and the school places well at all the top investment banks and other finance roles. When it comes to finding other opportunities, though, people can have a very different experience. For example, in my year it seemed as if most of the people recruiting for consulting did not land jobs in that industry. People recruiting for other, less standard, career paths also had a more difficult time than they might have expected.

Academic experiences can vary greatly by class. I had a couple that I thought were a little useful but most were a waste of time. Overall, I think CBS does a good job of teaching the basics of accounting and corporate finance but don't expect to get much more than that.

CBS is good if you want to go to B school in NY and stay in the city after. Two years after graduation, most of my friends are still in the city. This is helpful to keep professional and personal relationships.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Alumni Network
Location
Brand/Ranking

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Facilities


Read More

January 11, 2017
gravedigger

Joined: May 13, 2015

Posts: 20

Kudos: 9

Verified score:
760 Q50 V41

At the very center of business

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2019

Experience during the program

Columbia offers the most dynamic global business, finance, and media and technology curricula. Columbia’s core curriculum could help you build a strong foundation in all areas of business, while the 200+ electives and 4,000+ graduate-level courses across Columbia University will allow you depth of understanding in your targeted areas.

You will have the opportunity to engage with NYC-based industries to learn how they function. Columbia's Master Classes and Immersion Seminars will help you experience your desired industry in the NYC ecosystem. Only Columbia will offer you the opportunity to learn from the stalwarts of your industry. Columbia does offer a microcosm of diversity like no other program.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Location
Admissions Team

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking
Tech
Entrepreneurship
Management

Can be improved:

Brand/Ranking


Read More

January 10, 2017
sunnysun33

Joined: Nov 04, 2014

Posts: 4

Kudos: 7

Best two years ever

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Till this day, I'm still amazed to learn the diverse background of my classmates and I really like the "CBS Matters" sessions, which gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about you and what leads to who you are today. Also the career support is tremendous. We have the best executives in residence here, who are all retired industry leaders such as the former CEO of Deloitte.
Also we get support from second years who have gone through the entire process. CBS has a career fellow program where selected second years from various industries can meet and help the students in person. It's particularly helpful for those who would like to get hand-on experience in terms of interview process, internship experience, etc.

About job placement process

Almost every company I know recruit from CBS... lots of job opportunities posted on school career website everyday and strong alumni network to support the enterprise search students as well.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Location

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking
Tech
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Facilities


Read More

December 13, 2016
edukredensir

Joined: Jul 05, 2013

Posts: 55

Kudos: 13

Self-reported Score:
680 Q47 V36
680 Q44 V39
720 Q49 V39

CBS MBA review

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Columbia Business School has a great MBA program if you want to either (i) leverage your career in finance, especially portfolio management; or (ii) want to land a job in NYC, in several industries, ranging from consulting to investment banking to start-ups.
It may seem a little bit cliche, but the school does a tremendous job to create a network of professionals in NYC. Also, being in NYC makes it super easy for speakers to go to class. And since most of the professors are not just academic professors but also practitioners, the content of classes are very up to date of what is in the marketplace.
On the negative side, I can mention the lack of classes in other areas other than finance, especially leadership. In later years the dean is increasing the focus on this particular area, but my feeling is that it is behind other schools such as HBS, Wharton, etc.
The facilities (Uris Hall, the MCA building) are kind of old but, hopefully, by 2018 the new campus would be ready and we will see major improvements on that front.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (3.0)

Strengths of the program:

Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)

Best fit at this program:

Finance
Investment Banking
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Alumni Network
Brand/Ranking
Facilities


Read More

November 27, 2016
TheStriver

Joined: Feb 19, 2012

Posts: 4

Kudos: 6

Self-reported Score:

It's all about the location

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for CBS

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Columbia still primarily feels like a finance school, in terms of where the best professors and speakers are from. The school is trying to move away from that image, but could do a better job. It has the reputation of being a very competitive school, but I have found that to be largely untrue in my experience. My expectations of a diverse student body have been largely met. While New York is probably the school's biggest strength, at times it can be a distraction as well, for you and your classmates. The facilities are also due an upgrade. I would suggest that future applicants visit the school, at least if they live in the USA, to get a better sense of the culture.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)

Best fit at this program:

Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Brand/Ranking
Facilities


Read More