If you can do this in 50 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?
CBS applicants accustomed to Twitter’s 280-character allowance may find CBS’s 50-character limit here more than a little challenging—especially considering that it includes spaces!
To get a sense of how brief your opportunity really is, note that the school’s prompt is itself exactly 50 characters. Pursuing business education, it’s a huge investment in time, in money, in effort, in energy, and I think this 50-character exercise is as much for the candidate as it is for our team, and we want to know that people are serious, they’re focused, and they’re ready for this kind of adventure.
Note: Despite all our kvetching about the lengths of the essays, we do have to point out that Columbia made it to our list of Five Favorite Schools back in 2014. We also cover best practices and guidelines for what makes a good length for each of these questions in that Columbia essay guide.
In August we talked about the dangers with choose-your-own-length variable word count thing that Columbia has implemented – 100 to 750 words for Essay 1? In 20, Columbia began processing Regular Decision applications in mid-November.
This question started out ages ago as a 200-character response. We know exactly what they respond best to; we have quite the track record of helping BSers with successful apps to this great school.
Columbia has been whittling away at it until last year it was down to 50 characters. All of it is fully explained in the 2016 Columbia MBA Application Guide – which has been expanded almost 10 more pages from last year’s edition.
(500 words) if context is absolutely needed for your stated goals to be understood and/or believable—perhaps if you are making a fairly remarkable career change.
Pay particular attention to the phrases “dream job” and “in your imagination” with respect to the long-term portion of the question.
The CBS does not explicitly ask how it will factor into the achievement of your professional goals, but if you feel that particular resources the school offers could or will be uniquely influential and advantageous to you as you advance along your path, we believe you have sufficient room and leeway to mention these.
However, generic claims or empty pandering have no place at all in this rather compact essay.