This simple sentence can be empowering – or it can really trip you up and even embarrass you depending on the context and to whom you are saying it. If you’re in Silicon Valley and you utter these words, you could get a range of reactions from an eyeroll to a shrug to a look…
…there is literally nothing stopping you.
You do not need an MBA.
You do not need a lot of money.
You do not need anything except the willingness to get started and actually go do it.
Sure, if you want to pursue the most expensive way in the world to start a business. EssaySnark is just not a fan of using the MBA to launch a company. And we really don’t think Harvard is the best place to learn entrepreneurship specifically. They were fairly late to jump on the entrepreneurship bandwagon…
A couple months ago we talked about pitching the adcom on this amazing idea you’ve had to do an in-semester internship or work a job while you’re pursuing your idea. In other words: You want to work while you do your MBA. Errr maybe not. Well OK fine, what about this company that you’ve got?…
Hi EssaySnark, I am currently applying to Michigan Ross and I was hoping you can help review my 2nd Essay before the deadline tomorrow. Best, [BSer] Doh! Yeah, sorry, never gonna happen, not even under the very best of circumstances like right now where there are very few deadlines hitting each week. We simply need…
Gosh, Columbia has tricked things out this year! Their career goals essay asks this: 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? That’s on top of…
This was originally posted two years ago. We’re reblahgging it now because a) it’s relevant, and b) it’s timely. There’s some comments at the bottom from BSers who have long ago been admitted to Columbia and other programs. We’re inviting you to post your own comments too if there’s anything we can do to demystify the process of applying to Columbia’s MBA program or whether you’re a fit to the specific program formats and options they offer.
Mostly though we’re reblahgging this because, well, Columbia nis always the early bird. Yes indeedy, the Columbia essay questions are available. Today is our chance to tell you about a one-of-a-kind program offered at Columbia Business School. It’s the J-Term.
The J-Term, in case you’re not familiar, means
Used to be, it was a fairly strict profile type who got admitted to Columbia’s accelerated January Start MBA program. Many years ago, in a different era of admissions at Columbia, we heard an adcom person say, “Don’t apply to the J-Term if you’re a career changer. We won’t admit you.” Yes, they were that black-and-white about it.
As a broad statement, the profile that’s a potential fit to the J-Term is still the same, because it’s still a Columbia MBA, but this “no career changer” stance has softened, and as a result, some of you BSers these days may be a good fit to this track without realizing it.
The J-Term is the exact-same full-time MBA curriculum and experience as the August Start, with the only exception being that you get through it a lot faster. You skip out on the summer internship and instead take your second term core courses during that three-month period. Then you join up as a second-year student with the cohort of students who started in August just prior to you, and you graduate with them.
So basically, if you were to join the Columbia J-Term this coming January (2018), you’d be the Class of 2019 and you’d graduate with everyone who’s currently gearing up to begin their MBA this coming fall. You’d be graduating with all the rest who went through the admissions process LAST YEAR. It’s kind of like leap-frogging time, in a way.
It’s especially attractive for anyone who missed out on applying this past season (2016-’17) and/or who just couldn’t crack the MBA admissions nut and is looking to be a reapplicant in the coming season.
But it’s not just any old applicant who’s a fit to the J-Term.
It’s really only appropriate to those who don’t need that internship.
So, if you’re making a radical career jump, then it’s going to be a tough sell to convince the Columbia adcom that you can do it without the advantage of the standard internship experience. That’s really the whole point of the internship, you know: To get you ready for the big post-MBA job that you’re angling for. If you currently don’t have much to build on, in terms of industry or function experience, then it’s not going to be so easy to convince an employer to take that risk on you – especially when you’ll be competing with all the full-time MBAs who DID do the internship (both the ones at Columbia, and at every other school that the recruiter is interviewing at).
However, if you’re using the MBA to advance your existing career path, to jumpstart your advancement in your current industry – say, you’re in PE and want to go back to PE – then the J-Term is absolutely perfect for you.
If you’re already in financial services in some capacity, then we can also see a potentially viable pitch to use the J-Term to transition to another niche within financial services.
Or, if you intend to start a business through the MBA experience, voila. J-Term.
And if you’re lucky enough to be sponsored by your current employer and you will be headed back to them after graduation: J-Term.
Someone ready to join their family business after bschool: J-Term.
And finally: Any true go-getter who is a networking genius and is at the top of his or her field already, who knows how to be the mover and shaker and everyday rainmaker and has accrued some valuable research and CONNECTIONS in her intended target sector… We can see how possibly a J-Term pitch could work out for you, too. Though that one is definitely a case-by-case basis sort of thing.
We specifically wanted to offer some advice for anyone who tried for Columbia August Start last season and didn’t make it, who is now thinking that maybe the J-Term is a better fit:
If you have questions on your situation and whether this might be the program for you, feel free to leave them in the comments section, we’re happy to serve as an initial sounding board.
Columbia candidates, J-Term and otherwise, it’s time to get started!
Yeah yeah yeah, we know the tagline is “Change” the world, not “Save” it, but it sorta amounts to the same thing, right? The GSB is selling a bill of goods that all those lofty-minded students are going to go out and make a difference. Where else do we hear the “make a difference” thing?…
We tend to talk about this a lot on the blahg because a lot of BSers toss out entrepreneurial goals in their MBA essays these days.
You may think that writing your MBA essays is something to happen so far into the future that you don’t need to worry about it right now. After all, it’s springtime. The questions aren’t even out for the Class of 2019 for most schools (Harvard and Columbia being the exceptions).
However, the MBA essays are a snapshot of all that you are to that point. They need to reflect the full package of you in submitting your plans to the school. If you’re thinking about pitching something entrepreneurial, then that is a very big deal – and you’re going to need backup to make it come through convincingly when you talk about it to the schools.
Plus, you’re going to need experience to have a fair shot of success at it. No, we don’t mean experience starting a business (though it certainly wouldn’t hurt). We do mean, you need to have a proper foundation set up in your background, to show the adcom that these goals are real.
That’s true for ANY goal but it’s really true for this.
Here’s some advice from a Duke alum who’s been successful with entrepreneurship in his life. He says you need to “get the reps in”:
(That’s true for writing your MBA admissions essays too BTW. When it does come time for you to put them together, reading up on how to do it is not going to help you nearly as much as doing it. Getting through multiple drafts, and many revisions — getting your reps in — is how you develop those skills. Nope, you don’t need to be in the midst of that process yet, but we’re just giving you plenty of warning so that you plan for it!!!)
Oh hey! Did you hear that we have written a special-purpose guide for figuring out how to pitch entrepreneurial goals to the adcom? There’s also a bunch of posts here on the blahg about getting into bschool with an entrepreneurial angle.
We’ve been waiting on Kellogg for awhile. They’ve seemed somehow a little bit stalled out for a few years. Yet now we’re feeling hopeful that there are glimmers of new things happening there.
We heard about their recent Trust initiative: The Trust Project (this video library highlights the different angles they’re tackling this from). We haven’t seen a lot of emphasis around the Trust project coming from the school publicly (yet?) but when we stumbled across it on the Kellogg website, we were obviously interested. We’ll be on the lookout for whether this becomes more prominent in the school’s marketing.
You may also have heard that they’re Growth-Minded. This tagline was announced in 2014 as they pivoted away from the original “Think Bravely” line. Apparently they’re now putting more focus on this in the curriculum and have a dedicated Growth and Scaling Pathway (what other schools might call a “concentration” or an “area of study”). Here you get some video snippets from their recent Growth conference where successful alum talk about what they learned about “growth” at Kellogg (all they really emphasize is “collaboration” which is understandable, since all of them attended Kellogg in a different era, and we already know that whole “teamwork” thing has been a key branding element for this school for ages).
Both of these topics – “growth” and “trust” – are certainly unique aspects of the bschool landscape. There are no other schools that we have noticed tackling either niche, at least not in these terms.
Mostly we get “leadership” and “innovation” and maybe some “social enterprise” thrown in for good measure.
And oh yeah, “entrepreneurship.” Lots of “entrepreneurship.”
Obviously the “growth” element at Kellogg has a lot of overlap with entrepreneurship; here’s their Growth and Scaling Pathway from the entrepreneurship side specifically, through Kellogg’s Levy Institute. There’s a lot of obvious need for such resources for many students pursuing a family business, too. Definitely applicable to many parts of the current MBA student population.
These two angles are not necessarily the things that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into when determining if Kellogg is the right school for you. It’s unlikely that someone chooses a school based specifically on these types of elements; they’re a little bit minor (not insignificant, but not weighty enough, probably, to sway your bschool decision-making, unless perhaps you’re in the family business category in which case the Growth curriculum may be more compelling). However, we’re very interested to get any reports from the trenches, if anyone is currently at Kellogg, or has been accepted this season and has attended DAK (Day at Kellogg – admit student weekend), in terms of what you’re hearing the school emphasize to its students and recent admits. What themes are they emphasizing? What matters most – to Kellogg? Anyone who has any firsthand insights, please share in the comments!
It’s inescapable that Kellogg continues to attract very high-calber students – at least, when measured by GMAT score. The Kellogg brand name has significant weight, regardless of where (or not) the school is improving. It’s kinda what we’re seeing at Wharton; these two schools have, in our honest opinion, been kinda coasting. For awhile now. Wharton sadly seems to be continuing to do so.
Kellogg, we’re happy to report, is showing glimmers of life. We’re looking forward to being impressed by this school again. We welcome any comments or observations from you folks close to the action!
More thoughts on growth if you’re interested.