Joined: May 25, 2012
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]
This review is for CBS
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2015
My first suggestion would be to evaluate schools based on what current students say. Talking to people is the best way to figure out if the school is a good fit for you. There are a lot of stereotypes about schools online that get perpetuated by people who know the stereotype but don't actually know the school.
I had a truly wonderful experience at Columbia. It is a larger school so allows you to be a part of a diverse group with a lot of different backgrounds and a part of an alumni network that is that much larger. It was amazing to meet people from all over the world and with such varied experiences and backgrounds. As large as the student body is, it is still tight-knit and feels much more manageable given the cluster system and the way that you get to meet people through clubs, activities, and recruiting.
One thing that I was nervous about due to stereotypes I read before school was the culture. The stuff I read (and am hoping still doesn't get put out there) could not have been more wrong. I couldn't believe how supportive my classmates and learning teammates were in their willingness to help me both academically and in terms of my career. The community is incredibly strong. Nearly everyone who is there wants to be there and wants to take advantage of the two years. I don't think being in NYC worked against that. It just meant we had more options available to us for our outside of school activities.
In terms of the NYC location, I would say the only negative is that it is really expensive. B School is already expensive and the money you're going to spend on rent/activities/meals/subway will be that much more in NYC. I would say that there also are so many trips/events that happen at school so there is a bit of pressure to spend money if you want to feel like you're fully involved in the community. While this isn't necessarily the way everyone feels, I would point out that some of my friends felt that way. This is especially true in second year as there is a lot more time to travel and you often find yourself on trips with 70+ classmates.
Other than the cost, I couldn't think of a better location to go to business school especially if you're looking to stay on the east coast after school. Because of the NYC location, a lot of our professors are business professionals as well as professors. Not only does this give a unique perspective to what we're learning, but I also had many professors who said they wanted to help people in the class find jobs and were successful in setting classmates up with opportunities. Classes can also get more real-world perspective through projects/internships. I had friends in a venture capital class where each student was given a VC internship for the semester; that sort of experience can't happen everywhere! In addition, there are always business leaders passing through New York, so the companies and the leaders that come to school are just fantastic. I would also add that took advantage of the small business consulting program which gave me really great experience that I leveraged as I made my career switch.
I found the academics at CBS to average, some classes were great, some were just ok. I was so thankful for grade non-disclosure which was something that I didn't originally consider when looking at Bschools. Not only does it help just get rid of that extra layer of stress, but it really makes people that much more willing to help, there is no competition at all.
I really can't say enough about my experience there, I left with lifelong relationships and having secured a job with a company that I had pinpointed before even starting b-school.
The only thing I would add would be that I suspect the program offerings are very similar between top schools in terms of academics, clubs, and travel opportunities. I also actually suspect the community is probably pretty similar at most schools in the sense that there will be tons of social events going on at all times and chances are you're going to be surrounded by people who are excited to be involved. What might differ is whether you're hanging out in people's apartment complexes or on campus or at a local bar. I would talk to current students and think about what your priorities in terms of location, career, alumni network, and personal fit.
I would just say to look at the employment reports / talk to students to get an understanding of which companies recruit from a given school and also to understand what the hiring practices are like at the companies you're interested in. In some industries, companies can be very particular about which schools they hire from and only will hire from certain schoos.
I recruited for Marketing, so not what people typically think of when they think of CBS. I would say CBS excels at essentially every career path other than marketing. That said, I was able to get the exact job I wanted by going to CBS. I was a career switcher from finance to marketing. I found the marketing club, classmate support, small business consulting, and company events themselves to be essential to me being successful in finding a job.
In general, if you're looking to work in CPG, which I was, at CBS you're mostly going to get east coast based CPGs (which is what I wanted, I knew I didn't want to work in midwest). Even then, you don't get all of them coming to campus. So you need to do a bit of legwork yourself by networking with alums (which I found to exceed expectations on all fronts) and putting yourself out there if there are companies you're interested in that don't come to campus. I was actually happy to have gone to CBS for marketing because there was less competition for jobs/positions than you would get at some of the other schools where the career choice is more popular.
Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)
Student body, diversity
Culture & Student Support
Curriculum, Classes, Professors