Columbia Applicants – Have You Registered?

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Hey future Columbia students, have you signed up for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Columbia Business School?

During the webinar, Linda Abraham, Accepted’s CEO & Founder, will explain the do’s and don’ts of applying to CBS.

This is important stuff folks – you don’t want to miss it!

It’s not too late (though it will be soon), so grab your seat by registering now!

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Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

What Does “At The Very Center of Business” Mean for CBS Applicants?

Want to learn the secret to getting accepted to Columbia Business School?Episode 1 in our Big Brand Theory series for MBA applicants: Columbia Business School’s motto.

Columbia Business School Essay 2 asks you to watch a short video entitled, “The Center” and then use it to answer the question, “How will you take advantage of being ‘at the very center of business’?” The video and the essay question are Columbia’s attempts to regain its brand and market share.

Over the years, Columbia strayed from its core strength: its geographic location and the access that the school offers its students. As a reaction to New York’s financial industry shrinkage and then, a drop in applications, they began pitching teams, clusters, and close-knit communities. I’m sorry, but those words do not even begin to describe Columbia.

CBS is just like New York: historical, large, gritty, and filled with surprises. It doesn’t coddle its students, and its students don’t expect to be coddled. They are smart, resourceful, and assertive.

So what does it mean to be at the very center of business? Well, you have the usual suspects: access to corporate world headquarters, brown bags with executives, subway rides to everything. But I ask you, where else can you have an accidental meeting at a cultural event with the Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James Gorman, or award winning entertainer and entrepreneur Dr. Dre?

Columbia wants its students to embrace New York and at the same time not allow the abundance of everything to intimidate them.  Years ago, I watched a Columbia Business School PowerPoint presentation. The closing slide displayed a world map. The Columbia campus was superimposed on a big red apple that spread over half the Atlantic Ocean and an arrow pointing to the apple as the “Center of the World.” I keep that image in my mind as I offer my Accepted.com clients my best rendition of the song, New York, New York, “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” (High kicks and all. Fortunately they can’t see me when I do it)

As a former admissions dean and director, I would expect to see an answer to that essay that would enable me to identify (and admit) people who thrive in the hustle bustle of New York.  I would want my applicants to capture the energy of the city that never sleeps. At the same time, I would filter out students who would be intimidated by New York. I would want my students to love their NYC experience: rats, roaches and all.

And now I need an Accepted.com consultant to help me edit this blog down to 250 words or less. (Look for next week’s episode of the Big Brand Theory: Kellogg – Are you Growth Minded?)

Discover the Secret to Acceptance at Columbia Business School! Click here to register for the free webinar!

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , who when she’s not listening to old Frank Sinatra songs about New York, consults with Accepted.com clients and reminisces about her Admission Director days.

 

Related Resources:

• Columbia Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
How to Get Accepted to Columbia Business School
• Columbia Business School Hosts AIGAC!

2 Reasons Why You Love Columbia that You SHOULDN’T Share in Your App (and 2 that You SHOULD)

Register for our live webinar: Get Accepted to Columbia Business School!

Let’s face it, even if Columbia weren’t smack in the middle of NYC, it would still be an amazing business school, so you need to make sure that when you explain why CBS is the school of you, you don’t focus exclusively on the city, but include attractive aspects of the school itself.

2 Reasons You Should Keep to Yourself:

1. You love the underground world of tunnels and subways.

2. Sony Theater has the world’s longest free-standing escalator, and it’s only 11 minutes from CBS.

2 Reasons You Could Share:

1. You’re excited about the access and opportunities Columbia provides because it is at the center of an international business hub. And you can give specific examples of how you intend to take advantage of that accessibility.

2. You love the cultural richness that Columbia pulls from its central location in NYC – from Nobel Prize winning professors to unique consulting projects to clubs relating to the arts.

Listen, the fact that Columbia is in NYC is a perk – a huge perk – but remember, you’re applying to the school, not to the city!

Want more tips about how to apply successfully to Columbia Business School? Register for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Columbia Business School, which will air live on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST. Spaces are limited – grab yours now!

Save Your Spot at Get Accepted to Columbia Business School

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Top 10 Most Expensive Private Business Schools in the U.S.

In 2013-2014, b-school prices at private, elite business schools in the U.S. increased about $3,000 since the previous academic year. The average tuition for these 10 costly programs is almost $13,000 more than the average tuition of all ranked programs.

By contrast, one of the least expensive schools (not listed below) is Brigham Young’s Marriott School of Management with tuition and fees at $22,560 (and only $11,280 for students of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith).

Check out our B-School Zones to learn more about the top MBA programs!

Source: U.S. News “The Short List”

Check out our free webinar: How to Pay for Your MBA

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Related Resources:

• Which B-Schools Offer the Most Scholarships?
• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• MBA Scholarships: How Do I Apply and What Should I Emphasize?

Top MBA Programs Using Shared Letter of Recommendation Questions

Looking for application essay tips? Click here!

A Shared LOR = Good News for Applicants, Recommenders, and B-Schools

The number of top-ranked MBA programs now asking the exact same questions for the letters of recommendation is growing, which is good news both for recommenders and for candidates. LORs are very important to an applicant’s case, providing an objective assessment from a supervisor, former manager, or other professional that helps affirm (or not) what the applicant has stated about her own skills, traits and abilities. But different questions with different word limits were onerous for both applicants, who had to ask the same people to write varying assessments for their multiple applications, as well as the recommenders.

This year, Harvard, Darden, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Wharton are asking these questions:

 • How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. 

 • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Harvard, Wharton, and Yale have word limits for both questions, though the other programs do not. Not all schools had released their LOR questions for the 2015 application season as of this writing, so this list is not comprehensive, and other schools may be added to the list. Stanford has a helpful link to a transcript of a podcast on what elements make for successful and effective LORs. This advice is certainly applicable to LORs for any other MBA program as well.

Some schools also ask recommenders to fill out a personal qualities and skills grid form, evaluating applicants in a variety of areas. Currently, there is no unity among the schools on the use of a grid, so carefully check each school’s requirements.

Graduate school admissions consultants have lobbied to streamline this LOR process for years, and this convergence around shared questions is a direct outgrowth of those efforts. Last year, at the annual conference of the Association of International Graduate School Consultants (AIGAC), the topic of LORs became unexpectedly lively, with school admissions directors expressing concern over the integrity of what they were reading in LORs, and AIGAC members arguing that using shared questions would enhance the integrity of the process because it would take pressure off both applicant and recommender.

Anna Ivey, president of AIGAC, is pleased with the development of more schools converging around shared LOR questions. “Applicants have for years found themselves in quite a pickle because they have had to dump so much work on their recommenders. In some cases, their recommenders have had to write more words than the applicants do in their essays. That has created all kinds of distortions, despite good intentions.

“As AIGAC’s MBA Applicant Survey has shown since its inception, a sizable minority of recommenders ask applicants to write their own letters, and we suspect that’s because there’s only so much bandwidth they can dedicate to someone else’s application, let alone for multiple people for whom they might be writing letters. That multiplier effect makes for a daunting amount of work. Any convergence around common recommendation questions not only makes the application process easier for applicants and their recommenders, but also helps preserve the integrity of those recommendations and the application process. Cutting down on the duplication and extra work for recommenders will make it more likely that recommenders write their letters themselves, and that’s a great outcome.”

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Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.