Columbia Essay and Recommendation Questions – 2014-2015 Intake

Essay Questions

Columbia Full Time MBA 2014-2015 Application Essays

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy.”
“Work for an investment firm that focuses on real estate.”

Essay Questions

Essay 1. Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 2. Please view the video below:

The Center

How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 3. What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Optional Essay: An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

Knight-Bagehot Fellows: Rather than answer Essay 1, current Knight-Bagehot Fellows applying to Columbia Business School should use the space allocated to the first essay (500 words) to complete the Wiegers Fellowship application essay.

Wiegers Fellowship Essay Question: What are your career goals? How has the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship affected these goals? How will an MBA help you achieve these goals? (500 words maximum)

Recommendation Questions:

We ask recommenders to consider the following guidelines when writing their recommendations:

  1. How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.


Please limit your recommendation to 1000 words.

Recommenders will submit their letters in a Word or PDF document.  This gives them a little leeway on length, although we don’t recommend going over 1,250 words, and 1,100 or less is preferable.  As with your other recommendations, the key here is to find recommenders who can write strong specific examples and organize them into coherent messages about your candidacy.