Business School Profile: Columbia
The MBA Exchange features a series of articles showcasing graduate management programs that our thousands of clients have found most rewarding. Our content is compiled from a number of credible sources and articles and expanded with our own observations based on nearly two decades of advising applicants. This profile looks at the Columbia Business School MBA Program.
Location. Location. Location. In business as in real estate, location can mean everything. As they say, “If it’s happening in the world of business, it’s happening in New York,” and Columbia Business School has access to it like no other MBA program.
New York City, with thousands of multinational companies and major stock, bond and commodity exchanges, is a global center of commerce — finance, real estate, manufacturing, marketing and entertainment. The advantages for students attending this leading MBA program are myriad, including Columbia’s proximity to industry leaders, which enables faculty members to work closely with corporations to test new theories that will influence business practice. Columbia MBA students realize the benefit of those connections when faculty bring that knowledge back into the classroom. Students here yield other advantages from Columbia’s location: for instance, this is one of the world’s largest opportunity markets for internships and post-MBA jobs – not an insignificant draw in today’s economic climate.
Icing on the cake is the vibrancy of NYC itself. Restaurants and cultural events too diverse and numerous to mention – from sports and film to music and the fine arts — all thrive here in the Big Apple, and it is all literally outside the Columbia MBA student’s door. But location is not the primary reason to seek this world-class MBA.
Columbia instills in students a complete entrepreneurial mindset. Through a rigorous and constantly evolving curriculum, the Program prepares students to recognize opportunity then provides the skills students need to take full advantage of it.
Columbia offers the best aspects of other leading b-schools. The financial roots of a Wharton, the marketing sizzle of a Kellogg, the academic flexibility of a Chicago, along with an Ivy League brand known worldwide. So, for those who are considering post-MBA career changes or who want to explore various disciplines in order find The One, Columbia is the place. And with construction of its Manhattanville Campus, Columbia provides a unique physical space fostering cross-functional, multi-disciplinary exposure. Students in such diverse fields of study as business, international affairs, the arts and neuroscience will find a state-of-the-art facility for research, for living, and for idea sharing.
To its credit, Columbia keeps an open mind when reviewing the background of applicants, being less rigid than some others in seeing the potential behind a liberal arts grad whose GMAT is less than stellar.
At the very beginning of this MBA program, students are assigned to highly diverse clusters of 60 to 65 who take most of the first-year core classes together. The Cluster System creates a strong sense of community and fosters strong professional and personal relationships. It is such an integral part of a student’s experience that, long after graduation, alumni continue to communicate with and maintain close connection to their cluster.
The Columbia MBA focuses on skills, equipping students with the tools that prepare them to lead and manage a constantly changing business landscape. Learning goes far beyond theory to applying cutting-edge concepts to real, relevant business problems and includes essential communication, leadership and teamwork skills. Through Master Class Program, Columbia students are immersed in real-time issues. The Columbia CaseWorks program brings faculty research and industry experience into the classroom through the development of new cases and teaching materials. Columbia CaseWorks challenges students to debate corporate decision making and to develop appropriate recommendations and solutions.
The Columbia MBA Program appeals to many of our clients for these unique offerings.
~ The Bernstein Center’s Individual, Business and Society (IBS) curriculum – thought-provoking sessions to address issues of individual leadership and personal integrity, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility through modules during new-student orientation, in core courses and through special sessions held throughout the year.
~ The Program on Social Intelligence – enhances students’ abilities as leaders throughout their careers, designed and led by Professor Michael Morris of the Business School’s Management Division, PSI draws on Columbia’s growing expertise in psychology and related social sciences. PSI imparts techniques for managing individuals, teams, organizations and networks in dynamic, global business contexts. Infused throughout the student experience.
~ Master Classes – linking academic theory and research to business practice, these are hands-on, project-based electives. Each Master Class focuses on a specific industry context (e.g., media, real estate, consulting) and draws input from group projects, guest speakers, adjunct faculty and alumni participation. More than theoretical study or simple reporting, Master Classes require substantial project work and involvement – the ideal format to provide students with perspective on how companies address complex business challenges.
Columbia has a nearly 150-member full-time faculty that is renowned internationally. Over half have lived and worked abroad and are knowledge leaders in their fields of specialty. These individuals are supported by some 100 adjunct faculty members who come to Columbia MBA classrooms directly from the world of business. Academic journals and media outlets seek out their perspectives on current issues, and the Columbia Business School community thrives on its extraordinary access to them. With so much happening in and around Columbia, it’s no surprise that the Program is so frequently in the news.
Student life is as varied and opportunity-rich as one would imagine, with some 100 cultural, professional and community service-oriented student organizations. There is a club for each area of academic focus at Columbia Business School. The Hermes Society is of particular interest; this group is composed of students who volunteer to serve as Admissions Office representatives. They conduct information sessions, interview applicants, organize Open House events and welcome new students to Columbia Business School.
Graduates will continue to find support through theExclusive Executive Education Modules offered through the Alumni Academy. These executive-level mini-courses, taught by b-school faculty, will help you hone the leadership skills you need to continue advancing in your career long after graduation.
If this is an MBA program that appeals to you, please request a free evaluation of your candidacy. If you are wondering how to get into Columbia, contact the MBA Exchange admissions consultants – including a former Columbia admissions officer and several Columbia MBA grads — can help you develop a strategy and tactics to maximize your chances for admission at Columbia Business School MBA and other top-tier schools.
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