Recently, CBS has published essay questions for those who determine to apply for studying there. Some of them have been changed, and some are similar to last years. Some of the students do great research before the application process; others decide that preparation is not necessary. The business school is looking for students with ambitions and enthusiasm, who can change the future. There are different programs to apply for. Remember, that the earlier you apply, the earlier you will receive a response. So, take it into account and do not forget to maintain a high quality of your application, especially essay. Let us proceed to questions Columbia has prepared for applicants this year.

columbia business school essay questions

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?

This is a short answer question, which requires your response to be not more than 50 symbols. The Columbia admissions committee expects a short answer concerning your plans for future right after graduation. You have to be brief and accurate. Try to think over your all goals and put it into one sentence to summarize them.

Essay question #1

Through your résumé 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?

Applicants will have to write a maximum 500 words essay answering this question. It is necessary to dwell upon the long- and short-term goals. The admissions committee will pay attention, not to information repeated from your resume and recommendations, but your own clear statements concerning career goals. What is more, you can make reference to your past work and experience. Tell how the experience gained a few years ago can help you reach goals concerning your future. Besides, you can also discuss how the CBS MBA program will help you and provide you with all means to convert opportunities into reality.

There is no need to make a business plan outline. Just show the reason why you should be the one, who will stand a chance to become a part of Columbia Business School. Show your ambitions and motivation.

Essay question #2

How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch a short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard.

CBS calls itself “center of business” as it is situated in New York, or in other words, at the crossroad of the most important industries. That is probably the topic of your essay. Come up with the ideas on how the location, faculty and other things CBS has to offer influence and benefit your career goals. You should find the connection between attending this business school and your future. Moreover, you can put an emphasis on courses, subjects, and professors that can be helpful for your development as a skilled specialist in areas concerning business. Think of all the advantages of joining Columbia.

Essay question #3

Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently?

Your answer to this question should contain about 250 words. Try to cover the topic of your cooperation in a team fully. The thing you have to begin with is the description of the task given to your team. Reveal the point when everything went wrong. What is more, for CBS admissions committee it would be interesting to find out how did you as a member of a team behave and what were the ideas in order to make a difference? Besides, you can devote one paragraph of an essay for your thoughts. Imagine that you stand a chance to turn the clock back and change the situation. How would you act in order to prevent team failure?

One more important thing worth attention is expressing your ability of acceptance your own mistakes. The committee takes into consideration the personality traits as well. Admitting your fault will show your intelligence, self-confidence, and fairness.

Columbia Business School optional essay question

Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, please 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.

The essay must be of no more than 500 words. You may use this essay to make any things that worry you clear. For example, you may ask questions concerning campus or bring up the topic of your low grades. However, you should not use it as an additional essay to your recommendation or resume. It can play a low-down trick with you.

Things to Consider Before Writing an Essay

Almost all institutions ask applicants to dwell upon their past and present experiences and tell how it can influence their future, in particular, career goals. You will have to tell not just the history of your life and connect it with your future, but reveal your personality and character, showing how it helps you in different situations. Having written that information, you can also add how the school can assist you in your goals.

How Your Past Can Help You to Reach Career Goals

It goes without saying, that one should definitely include work experience in a personal statement. However, if more than half of your essay contains the information about your past, you may fail the applying process. You can just come up with examples of your successful jobs and working experience in the past. Choose ones that have some reference to your present and is relevant to your future. Explain what exactly experience you have gained, what lessons you have been taught.

Besides, you have to be passionate about your goals. The admission committee looks for determined and focused students. Think of the ways you can reach your goal. The key to a successful essay is expressing your true desire and possible actions done in order to reach the goal. Do not try to meet committees’ expectations concerning your career goals. It will not work.

Another thing, most applicants want to bring up is their ability to fit both academically and in a career. One should also remember their fit as a person. You will take advantage by mentioning that during your last visit to business school you got acquainted with some professors, students, and life on campus.

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