Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98

Columbia Announces New App, Essay Questions

Columbia Business School. Ethan Baron photo

Columbia Business School’s application for 2019 will be available this Monday, May 21, the school announced Friday (May 18) in an email. And it will include two new essay questions among the three required.

CBS joins Harvard Business School as the two schools that have released application deadlines and questions for next year’s entry. The early-decision deadline will be October 3. The Merit-Based Fellowship application deadline will be January 4, 2019, and the final regular decision deadline will be April 10, 2019.

Columbia’s “goal” question precedes its essay questions; similar to last year’s, it opens with: “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?” with a 50-character limit. Also similar to last year, the next prompt states: “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 question has a 500-word limit.

Essay two varies slightly from the previous year. This year’s prompt, which allows 250 words to answer, is, “How will you take advantage of being ‘at the very center of business’?” Applicants are further asked to watch a minute-and-a-half video featuring Dean Glen Hubbard. Last year’s second essay prompt stated: “The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting, and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School?”

The biggest change comes in the third essay prompt, which states: “Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently?” Applicants applying to last year’s entry are asked to pick one of two prompts, which were: “Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life” and “If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?”


According to Betsy Massar, owner and operator of Master Admissions, the second question could be “problematic” for applicants.

“Even with the video of a very animated Glenn Hubbard, the second question is problematic because students get discombobulated by trying to understand what CBS is really looking for,” Massar wrote Poets&Quants in an email. “It also is difficult for students to articulate an authentic answer to this question that shows much differentiation. So that increases anxiety.”

Massar says she is unsure how applicants will respond to the third prompt.

“Unless they are an athlete, I think students will need to think really hard to come up with anything that wins the readers’ hearts and minds,” she says. “I’m sorry they removed the ‘CBS Matters’ question, because that one and last year’s question about being passionate really got people to be introspective. I worry this is just a process question, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

“On the good news side: I’ve been a big fan of the first question; yes, it is the same as last year’s, but that ‘in your imagination’ part really encourages students to think a little bit beyond, and to try to incorporate some vision or purpose in their goal. It’s also a good question for students to start with as they approach the entire business school application process, because if they think about it right, they can connect the dots between their past and their future.”


CBS is the second prominent school to announce application deadlines and essay questions so far this year. Earlier this week, Harvard Business School made big news by not only announcing application deadline dates, but also announcing the termination of the Round 3 application period. Harvard’s Round 1 application is due on September 5, a month earlier than CBS’s first round deadline. But the Round 2 deadlines for both schools fall on January 4.

During last year’s application cycle, nearly 6,200 people applied to CBS and 1,019 were admitted, for an acceptance rate of around 16.5%. The average GMAT score for last year’s entering class was 724, with a range of 530 to 790. The average work experience was five years and average age of students enrolling was 28. The class boasted 41% women, 43% international students, and 34% under-represented U.S. minorities.



Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (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)


Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)


Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

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)