Columbia MBA Essay Questions and Tips

Columbia MBA Essay Questions and Tips

Applicants to Columbia Business School must complete one short answer question and three essays. These three questions together cover a wide range of information about your goals, plans on campus, personal stories and leadership styles. Avoid repeating yourself while ensuring that the three essays work together to paint an accurate and consistent picture of your candidacy.

Short Answer Question

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (Maximum 50 Characters)

Essay #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)

Columbia specifically asks that candidates not repeat their resumes in this career goals question. While some mention of your past is still expected, it should be brief and used as context to further elaborate on why your goals are attainable.

This question explicitly asks for both a short-term goal and a long-term dream job. These goals should show a logical progression from your current experience. If they do not, then a brief explanation is a good idea so that the admissions committee can understand how you will realistically attain your goals.

Discussing your long-term dream job is an opportunity to show the admissions committee your true ambitions and what really matters to you professionally. This is a unique chance to show not only how you envision your career unfolding but to give the reader a little more insight into who you are by adding at least a brief mention of why this career interests you.

Essay #2

Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 Words)

With only 250 words and a lot to cover, it is important to be focused and specific. Show that you have done your research on what options are available on campus and which specifically interests you. A fit should be made between these opportunities and your career goals.

This is the time to discuss the classes you hope to take, clubs you will join and other programs of interest to you.

Essay #3

Who is a leader you admire, and why? (250 Words)

This short essay prompts candidates to think about both their personal stories and leadership styles. To achieve this balance well, select a leader that you hope to emulate. Maybe the leader comes from a similar background or has a shared career passion or has a shared belief.

While some context on this leader is important, remember that this essay is about you. This is your chance to show the admissions committee the type of leader you are and will continue to be and how your experiences and passions have shaped this. Be sure to share the context behind your answer, helping the reader to understand how you developed your leadership style and philosophy.

Optional Essay

Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, 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. (Maximum 500 Words)

Do not feel compelled to answer this unless you have something specific to explain in your background such as a career gap, an unusual recommender, extreme personal circumstances, etc.