Columbia MBA Essay 3 Tips (2016-17)

Essay 3: CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100-250 words)

Imagine that you are chosen for Columbia MBA. The GPA and GMAT scores were good, your essays proved demonstrable career progression, and your communication skills were at par with the students, but when the time came to interact and contribute for the learning cluster, a visible shield prevented you from opening up. You fear that your experience might be too trivial for the team, or it is better to listen than contribute.

The Columbia MBA admission team prefers candidates who are not only aware of their weakness but works actively to bridge the skill gap. If you are too afraid to share your worldview, from the fear that others in the learning cluster might know more than you do about the case, the opportunity to engage in meaningful learning experiences will be limited.

CBS Matters is a form of opening up on a personal level. Package your story in these two templates:


This is the most commonly cited personal level experience. You experience a personal tragedy or financial setback because of X or Y. When you were in a position to help your community or individual, you set up an organization Z or lead that organization to provide X or Y to the people who had gone through similar experience. Education is a common theme here.

Keep Reading Columbia MBA Essay #3 Tips

F1GMAT's Columbia MBA Essay Guide will show you:

1) How to create the 50-character post-MBA professional goal using Facebook’s mission statement as a starting point

2) How to use the 5-Step Process to write about Post-MBA Career Goals

3) How to write about long-term career goals connecting your pre-MBA experience and short-term career goals

4) How to Quote New York's Economy and match it with your post-MBA career path

5) How to write about Immersion Seminars and Master Class

6) How to use Internship and Full-time Jobs data for your Essay

7) How to write about your Hobbies/Extracurricular/volunteering in an interesting way

8) How to demonstrate fit for the Columbia MBA program

9) How to quote the right leader

Bonus: 11 Sample Essays

Sample Goals Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (496 Words)   
Sample Goals Essay 2: Healthcare (Finance to Consulting) (499 Words)   
Sample Goals Essay 3: FinTech (Product Manager to Strategy) (482 Words)   
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 1: Value from NYC (237 Words)   
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 2: Entrepreneur Mindset (Persistence/Creativity/Opportunity Seeking) (237 Words)   
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 3: Teamwork and Learning (242 Words)   
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #1 (Elon Musk) (250 Words)   
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #2 (Father) (244 Words)   
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #3 (Mother) (243 Words)   
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #4 (Math Teacher) (242 Words)   
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #5 (Co-Founder) (250 Words)   

Download F1GMAT's Columbia MBA Essay Guide (2020 Entering Class)

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