Breaking down columbia business school's 2012 2013 admissions essays


Published on

Breaking Down Columbia Business School's 2012-2013 Admissions Essays - Short Answer Question and Essays.

Published in: Business, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Breaking down columbia business school's 2012 2013 admissions essays

  1. 1. Breaking Down Columbia Business School’s 2012-2013 Admissions Essays
  2. 2. Breaking Down Columbia Business School’s 2012-2013 Admissions Essays Guide for Columbia Business School’s 2012-2013 Admissions Essays MBA Admissions Consultant |
  3. 3. Breaking Down Columbia Business School’s 2012-2013 Admissions EssaysSo what does this mean for you, the applicant?As I noted with last year’s (2011-2012) release of newessay questions – “whenever a school releases newessays questions, it serves as a sort of referendum onthe strategy of the prior year.”With essays that remain fairly intact, I can confidentlysay we have the school (and its essays) dialed in. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  4. 4. Short Answer Question2011 - 2012: What is your post-MBA professionalgoal? (Maximum 200 characters.)2012 - 2013: What is your immediate post-MBAprofessional goal? (200 characters maximum) MBA Admissions Consultant |
  5. 5. Our analysis remains the same as last year.We added the underline to “characters” for emphasis,because we can only imagine how many people willwrite 200-word responses to this question. The onlysmall change is that Columbia specifically called out“immediate” goals.We imagine that more than a few applicants failed toheed the specific examples that Columbia provides;taking liberty and stating goals that are so broad, nocareer center representative can comprehend passingonto a potential recruiter. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  6. 6. What Columbia wants you to do here is twofold:2.give them a specific thesis for your candidacy, and3.focus on your short-term goals.These are two aspects of applying to Columbia that we havehammered for the past year. Some schools favor a broad vision foryour career ... Columbia wants to know what you plan to do whenyou graduate. If you were a client of ours last year or even just hada consultation call, you will know that we have been espousing theviewpoint that Columbia cares most about professional potential -weve been saying it until we are blue in the face, really. The factthat they have pulled this little exercise out of the series of essaysand forced you to put it in lights underlines, highlights, and italicizeshow important it is to have a short-term goal that "checks out." MBA Admissions Consultant |
  7. 7. Again, the good folks on the Columbia admissionscommittee even give you a template. So no one shouldscrew this up. This essay is all about following orders -being realistic, tactical and pithy.“After my MBA I want to build my expertise in the energy sector andlearn more about strategy and decision making by joining aconsulting firm specializing in renewable energy and powercompanies.”“After my MBA I hope to work in business development for a mediacompany that is expanding its market share in Asia.”“My short term goal is to work with an investment firm that utilizespublic private partnerships to invest in community developmentprojects.” MBA Admissions Consultant |
  8. 8. Essay One - A and B2011 - 2012:Considering your post-MBA and long term professionalgoals, why are you pursuing an MBA at this point inyour career?Additionally, why is Columbia Business School a goodfit for you? (Maximum of 750 words). MBA Admissions Consultant |
  9. 9. 2012 - 2013:A. Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your career,and how do you plan to achieve your immediate and long termpost-MBA professional goals? (Maximum 500 words)B. Please view this video, entitled Community at Columbia.Diverse, tight-knit clusters and carefully selected learningteams are defining features of the first year at ColumbiaBusiness School. Along with more than100 student organizations and countless events eachsemester, the cluster system helps to create a supportive anddevoted lifelong community. Describe why you areinterested in becoming a part of the Columbiacommunity. (Maximum 250 words) MBA Admissions Consultant |
  10. 10. For Essay #1, this is basically the same as last year. Theonly notable exception is that Columbia broke the essayout into sections A and B. Other than that, its the sameessay.Now keep in mind, just because you bumped out yourthesis to the short answer field doesnt mean you are offthe hook in defining your goals again here. Indeed, youprobably wont have properly defined your path in thatshort answer, so you really have to immediately pretendthe Short Answer question above doesnt exist. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  11. 11. Your Essay 1A will need to feature What, Why, How,When, and Where - the purists career goals essay.And, as with last year, we will be putting an emphasis onColumbias unique desire to see an alternate career pathpresented, as well as really stress testing the ‘how’ orProof Paragraph, to make sure that transferable skills areon display - that you leave no doubt at all that you canland that post-MBA job.As in years past, Essay #1 will be the make-or-breakColumbia essay. If you cant define realistic goals basedon your background, and have those goals apply to whatColumbia can help you achieve – don’t even botherapplying to Columbia. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  12. 12. Essay 1B now breaks out the specific “why Columbia”aspect of the essay.We would guess applicants paid too much or too littleattention to this section. Either way, Columbia seeks toget rid of the variability by clearly defining 250 words here.Also, pay freaking attention - the fact that Columbiabreaks off this essay prompt and specifically calls out whyyou are interested is because they want to know that ifthey accept you, you will matriculate. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  13. 13. Essay 22011 - 2012: Describe a life experience that hasshaped you. The goal of this essay is to get a senseof who you are, rather than what you have achievedprofessionally. (Maximum of 500 words.)2012 - 2013: Describe a personal experience andhow it has influenced who you are today. This essayshould have a personal rather than a professionalfocus. (Maximum 500 words) MBA Admissions Consultant |
  14. 14. This essay remained unchanged.Again, we feel validated in our approach that we haveput forth for the last 2 years, which was to stress oneexperience or interest and build a theme around 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 should from your personal life and notfrom work. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  15. 15. In ConclusionIn all, it is great to see that Columbia is continuing to keep it real - realclear and concise.In fact, everything about the Columbia application brings clarity to theexperience. Instead of reinventing the wheel for 2012-2013 (comparethis with HBSs revised application essays), they are dialing it in.Columbia knows what they want - applicants who can get jobs, andare committed to strengthening the schools community (NYC offersstudents a lot of distractions.) If you can think like a recruiter, youre astep ahead of most applicants and in line with Columbias admissionscommittee. This means that the application is straight forward, but italso means that there is less room for error as mistakes are likely tobe punished even more severely than years past, when Columbiaalready loomed large as a program that had expectations for “good”essays and was fairly tough on those candidates who failed in thatregard. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  16. 16. If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at to request a free consultation. Additionally, you can download our free guides for applying to HBS, INSEAD and Columbia.