We actually go quite in-depth about what to do (and what NOT to do) in our Columbia SnarkStrategies Guide.
For those of you who’ve not yet availed yourself of the incredible advantages lurking within that little book, here’s an exercept.
We find that people sort of, uh, don’t really get what they’re asking in Columbia’s Essay 3 Option A.
For all three essay question choices, you’ll need to, uh, actually spend some time RESEARCHING what Columbia has to offer in these three areas. The business plan competitions through the Weil Center. The cluster system and the student clubs. The Executive in Residence programs.
That’s, uh, sort of the POINT of the question. To get you to interact with the school and find out about the community. Etc.
Here’s one tidbit from the SnarkStrategies Guide on question A, on the “outrageous business plan”:
in constructing your pitch, it would be helpful if you had a clear
idea of what should go into a pitch. Yes, those elevator videos are
pretty corny, but most them had the key elements required. We’ve seen
Brave Supplicants submit their essays without these elements, which
makes them seem to not quite “get” what an elevator pitch
is. (Don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be perfect — after all, you
have not gotten your MBA yet! And the adcom knows that.) EssaySnark
coincidentally wrote a blog post not long ago called “The
Pitch” that will point you in the right direction with some
links and references that you might find useful.And,
here’s one more: Is
Your Startup Solving a Worthwhile Problem? Seven Questions to Ponder
by Kellogg Professor Mohan Sawhney. (Sure, it’s perfectly legitimate
to leverage resources from other schools like this. Any good
businessperson takes advice wherever she can get it!) Your
“outrageous idea” certainly does not need to meet all these
criteria, but it could. It should definitely meet at least the first
two, and hopefully the fifth one as well. Being easy to explain is
critical for a successful pitch (this is important for your career
goals, too!). Besides the full elevator speech (or two paragraphs in
your 250-word essay), you should distill your product (or service)
idea to a single sentence. Then test it out on your mom and see if
she gets it. If not, revise. And revise again.Make
it shine, dear Brave Supplicant. This is what you would do if you
were really pitching a product. And are you not really
pitching a product? Like,
YOURSELF? To the adcom?