Columbia MBA

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Columbia MBA – Introduction


The old saying at Columbia Business School had been as Wall Street goes, so do Columbia. It’s fortunes have been so closely aligned with the financial sector, that a prolonged downturn inevitably has a big impact on the uptown school. But that is now changing as the school and its students have increasingly diversified their career choices.

Among the latest changes, Columbia will now teach some technical components of courses online to free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions. The school also will increase the number of electives students can take in the first year to allow them to make a stronger impression on employers during their summer internships. In the second half of the second term, MBA students at Columbia will have no core courses at all but five different elective courses.

Columbia’s new core is made up of two full-term courses–Financial Accounting and Finance– and nine half-term courses that range from Business Analytics to Strategy Formulation. Incoming students at Columbia are assigned to clusters of 65 to 70 students who take all of the first-year core classes together. Before each term, students can opt out of a core course by exam and replace it with an elective.

Dean Glenn Hubbard, who had been chief economic adviser during the Bush administration, has worked hard to get the school a sorely needed new home in the Manhattanville section of New York in West Harlem where Columbia University is developing another campus. The business school will eventually be housed in two new buildings on that 17-acre campus at a cost of $500 million. And it’s location in New York City allows the school to tap into one-of-a-kind executive talent in a world capital.

Until it can occupy its new home, Columbia Business School remains centered in Uris Hall, a 12-story high concrete building that opened in 1964 following protests from architecture students who objected to its design, and Warren Hall, a 1999 facility it shares with the law school. Cramped conditions mean researchers share windowless cubicles and former basement space was cleared out to use as a laboratory. The problem is that the new campus won’t be complete until 2030, though the business school is expected to be among the first to move there years earlier.

Good Facts:

  • The top recruiters at Columbia Business School include McKinsey and Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Amazon, Deloitte Consulting, Bain and Co. and Goldman Sachs and Co.
  • Columbia Business School is home to 42% international students
  • Columbia sends a large number of students into finance; Although Columbia’s 4% placement in the real estate industry may not seem impressive at first glance, this figure is almost triple most business schools, which typically place in the 0.5–1% range into the real estate industry.
  • The overall median salary for the Class of 2018 was $130,000.

Not so good facts:

  • A mba from Columbia will put you back atleast 1.20 Crore.
Financial Times
The Economist
US News Ranking

Early Decision & January Term: 4 October 2019

Merit Scolarship: 3 January 2020

Final Decision: 10 April 2020

Decision 1: Rolling

Decision 2: Rolling

Decision 3: Rolling

Columbia MBA Sample Essays


Columbia Esssay 1: Through your resume 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? (500 words)

I grew up sorting diamonds. While my friends were at the beach I was studying the all-important 4Cs (carat, cut, color, and clarity). My father is past president of the Diamond Exchange and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. My grandfather was a founding father of the industry in my country. They taught me that to excel you must first understand the fundamentals. That is what brings me to CBS.

I have always known I would join the family business. My dream job is more than to become CEO; my goal is to become an exceptional manager, combining my passions for business, technology, and finance, to grow our company in innovative directions. Post-MBA I hope to join our New York office, armed with stronger tools in finance and international management, to implement my vision for the future.

That vision includes guiding the company, which is focused mainly on taking rough diamonds to polished, downstream in a consumer-facing direction. Online sales of fine jewelry are still only a fraction of total sales, but it is growing rapidly. I see huge potential for recent technological advances in the fields of imaging, modeling, augmented reality and virtual reality, to revolutionize the B2C market. I aim to develop pioneering online sales platforms that will service consumer-faced companies, such as the integration of the Diamond Exchange with eBay I am working on now, vigorously seeking solutions to the challenges inherent in this nascent market…Continue Reading Here

Columbia MBA Interviews


I received an invitation to interview and was matched with one alumnus in my area. The match was definitely not random since we are in the same under-represented industry, similarly sized companies, and have worked with the same people at some points in our careers.

I reached to my interviewer via email and he suggested two days to meet. After agreeing on date and time I also sent him my resume. Before the interview, I spoke to 10+ students and prepared extensively. On the day of the interview, we met at a cafe near his office. The atmosphere was very casual and friendly.

He read my resume in advance and just had a couple of clarifying questions specific to my background. Otherwise, questions asked were very typical for Columbia interviews.


  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Why MBA and why now?
  3. Why Columbia?
  4. Do you have any questions for me?

I asked several questions about his career and MBA experience, and my last question was whether he had any advice for prospective students. This question ended up launching a second phase of the interview… He expressed concern about my goals being unclear (I failed to explain properly and at this point said goodbye to Columbia), and started asking follow up questions:

5. What impact / achievement have you had in your current job?


He seemed unsatisfied with my answer and kept pressing until I gave him a quantifiable answer.
He said he will submit feedback to school and tell them my interest in Columbia seems genuine.
After the interview, he submitted feedback the same day. I was certain I failed the interview, but I got a call from admissions two business days later…Continue Reading Here

Columbia MBA Application Essay Tips

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