Analyzing the 2012 columbia business school essays


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Analyzing the 2012 Columbia Business School Essays - What Columbia wants you to do.

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Analyzing the 2012 columbia business school essays

  1. 1. Analyzing the 2012 Columbia Business School Essays
  2. 2. Analyzing the 2012 Columbia Business School EssaysWhenever a school releases new essaysquestions, it serves as a sort of referendum onthe strategy of the prior year. When a schoolmoves far away from certain strategies, yourealize that you dont have the DNA of theschool completely wired. When they movetoward your strategies, you know youve beenright on point.
  3. 3. Short Answer - What is your post-MBAprofessional goal? (Maximum 200 characters.)We added the underline to "characters" for emphasis,because we can only imagine how many people willwrite 200-word responses to this question.What Columbia wants you to do here is twofold:4)give them a thesis for your candidacy, and5)focus on your short-term goals.These are two aspects of applying to Columbia that we havehammered for the past year.
  4. 4. Essay 1 –Considering your post-MBA and long termprofessional goals, why are you* pursuing anMBA at this point in your career? Additionally,why is Columbia Business School a good fitfor you? (Maximum of 750 words).
  5. 5. For Essay #1, this is basically the same as last year. Just becauseyou bumped out your thesis to the short answer field doesnt meanyou are off the hook in defining your goals again here. Indeed, youprobably wont have properly defined your path in that shortanswer, so you really have to immediately pretend the SA doesntexist.Your Essay #1 will need to feature What, Why, How, When, andWhere - the purists career goals essay. And, as with last year, wewill be putting an emphasis on Columbias unique desire to see analternate career path presented, as well as really stress testing thehow or Proof Paragraph, to make sure that transferable skills areon display - that you leave know doubt at all that you can land thatpost-MBA job. As in years past, Essay #1 will be the make-or-break Columbia essay.(*We took the liberty of fixing what appears to be a typo in the question prompt.)
  6. 6. Essay 2 –Describe a life experience that has shapedyou. The goal of this essay is to get a senseof who you are, rather than what you haveachieved professionally.(Maximum of 500 words.)
  7. 7. Essay #2 has been refined from last year, when a veryvague prompt sent candidates scattering in a milliondirection.Again, we feel validated in our approach, which was tostress one experience or interest and build a themearound it, rather than just rattle off your resume.Columbia has further zeroed us all in by asking for a"life experience," but the big takeaway here is that theywant a story, not a list. Furthermore, it should be fairlyobvious, but this could from your personal life and notfrom work.
  8. 8. Essay 3 –Choose from three options ("outrageousidea," "campaign speech," and "one-on-onesession") (250 words).
  9. 9. Essay #3 is a new wrinkle in that it gives three choices, much likeHBS and GSB have provided options in recent years.For us and our clients, the choice will usually be simple and willalmost always be 3b.Why? Because we have been hammering "community building"already. If you have read any of our thoughts on CBS over theyears, you know that Columbia battles both a reality and aperception that it is a commuter school and - at times - a bit of aghost town.This means that each and every applicant needs to bring somecommunity building skill to the table and they need to showcase it. The inclusion of Essay 3b just makes it much easier to do so,rather than having to weave it into Essay 2.
  10. 10. In all, it is great to see everything about the Columbia applicationbringing clarity to the experience. The things we suspected arenow up in lights.This means that the application is even more straight forward, butit also means that there is less room for error as mistakes arelikely to be punished even more severely than they were last year,when Columbia already loomed large as a program that hadexpectations for "good" essays and was fairly tough on thosecandidates who failed in that regard.If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us to request a free consultation. We arecurrently offering some great promotions for Round 1. Additionally, youcan download our free guides for applying to HBS and Columbia.