Five Things We Like About Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School attracts no shortage of competitive applicants. It’s no wonder, given the school’s strong ties to the banking sector and its Ivy League heritage. You would be surprised, however, by how many applicants don’t really know the school before they apply. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their Columbia applications.

Are you thinking about applying to Columbia Business School? How do you know if Columbia really is a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the Columbia admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for the school? Today we look at five things that set Columbia apart from other top-ranked MBA programs:

The New York Advantage
This used to be Columbia’s tagline, and we feel it still holds true for this school. The wealth of resources available — and the wealthy resources — are all potentially advantageous to a student at Columbia Business School. Columbia had over 400 speakers on campus last year. While the “other” New York business school is perhaps better situated in terms of the geography of the Isle of Manhattan, the reputation and clout of Columbia Business School continues to pull New York’s movers and shakers up to Morningside Heights.

Master Classes
These project-based electives are superlative in terms of offering the ability of second-year students to roll up their sleeves and apply what they have learned. This is one element of Columbia’s focus on combining theory with practice.

Value Investing
A cornerstone of Columbia’s finance program is the Value Investing Program in the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing. Perhaps the most famous value investor in the world is Warren Buffett, a graduate of this program. The basic approach of value investing is evaluating fundamentals against market price to determine intrinsic value for a long-term buy-and-hold strategy. A variety of Value Investing classes and resources are available to Columbia’s entire MBA and EMBA student bodies, however the Value Investing Program is only open to MBA students, with a competitive application process for admission. The advantages? It’s taught by more than 25 investors who serve as adjunct faculty. These are practitioners, not just academics. Students also benefit from an impressive roster of guest speakers, and invaluable mentorship and recruiting support. About 40 students are selected based on interest and “aptitude” for investing as expressed in an application essay, mandatory interview, and a two-page writeup of a proposed long or short investment. Many classes in the Value Investing Program require students to pitch ideas, usually multiple pitches per class. This type of hands-on training — and the exposure students get to marquee Wall Street firms – puts Columbia’s Value Investing Program in a category by itself.

An Accelerated Option
Columbia is the only full-time day MBA program in the U.S. that offers two intakes, September and January — and the J-Term allows students to progress through in the quickest possible time, at just 16 months end to end. No other American business school makes its same full-time MBA curriculum available in such an accelerated format. If you’re interested in accelerated MBA options and want to study in the U.S., Columbia is a must for your short list.

A Broad Range of Excellence
While certainly Columbia is known for finance — after all, value investing was invented here — it also has well-regarded faculty from, and deep connections to, media, real estate, marketing, and other fields.

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