Today is technically a holiday here in the U.S. – but we’re around reading essays just as fast as you are writing them! For those trying for schools like Stanford especially, we have a post today on a common practice used in MBA essays that doesn’t usually work. We see many essays that start…
Continuing our Round 3 MBA Strategy series today, we’ll follow up yesterday’s “no no don’t do it” post with a flip to the positive. There’s a few categories of Brave Supplicant for whom we’re more inclined to see a potentially positive outlook for a Round 3 app to a top school. The easy one to…
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!
Another reblahgolicious post today – because this stuff is important, and we realize that not all of you are digging far enough back in the archives to find all of it!
We’ve had this here little blahgolicious project going for three years now, [UPDATE: ALMOST SEVEN! -ES 2016] and while we recognize that it’s a virtual treasure trove of useful information on applying to a top MBA program, we also realize that much of the accumulated wisdom is a little spread out. We know we’ve talked about, for example, the utter criticality of a solid set of career goals as a key ingredient in a successful application to the vast majority of business schools.
But we don’t recall having said this straight-out and direct to all of you anytime lately.
So here’s a reminder: CAREER GOALS ARE IMPORTANT.
At almost every single school you can name, the goals are super mandatory to have nailed down. They will form the backbone of your application. The goals, and some clear statements around why you need an MBA, form what we call “the pitch.”
Another reminder: The most common flaw that we see in essays — and the #1 reason people are rejected — is unclear career goals.
There’s a vast array of reasons why goals might suck. And even sight-unseen, we can predict that you are likely committing one of these standard career goals sins in your essays. The odds are just not in your favor. (After all, who writes MBA admissinos essays for a living? It’s not like you’ve been trained in this task before.)
We are early enough out in the process that this is a fine time for you to leverage the resources available. The EssaySnark Career Goals App Accelerator is designed as a quick-hit tutorial that explains everything you need to know about how to craft a good set of career goals.
The tutorial portion of the App Accelerator:
- offers tips for positioning goals for a career changer
- provides a special option for review of reapplicant career goals
- touches on multiple paths and this year’s Stern essay 1
- includes a section for constructing goals if you’re going into family business
- features over 25 pages of guidelines, tips and advice
The App Accelerators are unique supports to your MBA application process: Not only do they lay out what you need to know to develop your own set of exceptional career goals for presentation to the adcom — but they also offer the opportunity for you to get personalized, private feedback from EssaySnark on the goals you construct.
The Career Goals App Accelerator is included in the Complete Essay Package or you can buy it standalone here (current price is $ 175.00). This is a cost-effective way for you to examine your own pitch and make adjustments to it early — while there’s still time.
When we read someone’s drafts, we almost always we point out ways where their career goals are off. It’s highly unusual for someone to have nailed the goals the first time out (unless of course they have been studying one of the many SnarkStrategies application guides that explains how very important the goals are). Even a decent set of goals typically has room for improvement.
The Career Goals App Accelerator has one of the best ROIs around: If your post-MBA career goals are off, your chances of getting in are seriously slim. Why risk it? Sign up today and find out if you’re on track with the most important element of your application.
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.
Along with the overall increase in interest in entrepreneurship, more and more people are wanting to use the MBA to build skills needed to go back home and take over their family business. These are almost always international students, particularly from Asian countries; for some reason we just don’t see the American applicant with the…
You’re slaving away on essays all weekend and we are too. To show you our support, we’re going to be posting some essay reviews this weekend. This is for Kellogg Essay 3 Part 1: “What career/role are you looking to pursue and why?” Here’s what we got: By working in a medium sized company I…
Some time ago, we answered a Brave Supplicant’s query about whether he had a shot at a Columbia admit when he didn’t have any work experience. The one glimmer of hope for this kid is that he’s wanting the MBA in order to prepare himself for a role in a family business. We gave some…
In Part 1 of this story, EssaySnark hears from a Brave Supplicant who’s finishing up his Indian college education and wants to join the family business – but he wants to do his MBA first. We shot down that dream pretty directly. 🙁 We also said that “there’s always exceptions.” And there are. And this…