write successful MBA applications

Columbia MBA Essay Questions and Tips


Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (500 words)


What is your ideal first job after graduating? Show which industry, what role, and what you want to achieve through that role. How have your past experiences, interests, abilities and values come together to set a clear direction for your career? To excel in the future role, what do you want to learn and experience at business school? How will specific aspects of this MBA help you obtain the learning?   


Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (250 words)


Think about the industry connections, consumer insights, employment and networking opportunities that the New York city location of the school will offer to you. How will all these assist you to move forward on your planned career path?   


Essay #3: CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (250 words)


What is that one unique thing that your professional colleagues are unlikely to know about you? Show a different side to you.    


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. (Maximum 500 words)


Address any weaknesses here: low grades, GMAT score, employment gaps, anything that you think raises a red flag in your profile.