May 24, 2019

Columbia MBA Essay Analysis, Short Answer

Columbia CBS

CBS MBA Short Answer Essay

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Examples of possible responses:

  • “Work in business development for a media company.”
  • “Join a strategy consulting firm.”
  • “Launch a data-management start-up.”

That’s right, folks. 50 characters. This question used to be 200 characters. Then it was 100. A few years ago it was 75.

CBS is not fooling around – they want you to get to the point. And fast. 50 characters isn’t dinner, a stroll around the park, a lovely nightcap against a backdrop of smooth jazz, into “who knows.” It’s more… the 1-hour motel model. Lay it on ’em.

Perhaps the most liberating way to approach this is to see this NOT as an opportunity to impress, but rather to inform. All they want is a RUDDER to help frame the rest of your essays. That’s all. It’s the equivalent of “state your name and occupation” – a measure taken just so everyone has their bearings.

Ergo, don’t overthink it.

The prize here is clarity, not intrigue. Don’t feel the pressure to wow. And don’t waste precious air-time writing stuff like “My immediate post-MBA professional goal is to…” because that would have been half your response. 1-hour motel, folks. Getterdone. Résumé-like brevity, but… good-résumé-like CLARITY.

Once you lock your strategic application positioning in general, and develop a clear, precise brand for what makes you the strongest possible applicant… just say it as clearly and leanly as you can. In going from longer character allowances in the past to the current limit of 50, CBS is sending a message, which is that anything that gets in the way of their understanding of what your immediate goal is, is simply unwelcome.

Got it? Noice. Onward…

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