Here are some Columbia MBA essay examples and tips for how to write your own! Columbia Business School is at the top of MBA rankings, and getting accepted is very competitive. This means your MBA admissions essays for Columbia need to be very strong, meaning well-written and captivating for the admissions committee. In this blog, we’ll look at how to write a great MBA essay for Columbia, the essay requirements and some Columbia MBA essay examples to help inspire you.

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How to Write a Columbia MBA Essay Columbia MBA Essay Requirements Columbia MBA Essay Examples FAQs

How to Write a Columbia MBA Essay

Your Columbia MBA essay examples need to be strong and well-structured but also add something significant to your application. Columbia Business School is home to one of the best MBA programs in the world, so getting accepted is competitive. Your MBA essays can be a significant strength in your overall application, along with your MBA resume and MBA interview questions.

Columbia MBA asks applicants to respond to MBA essay prompts, so to write an effective Columbia MBA essay, you should address the prompt as thoroughly and in-depth as possible, while keeping to the word count and exhibiting strong writing skills. For each prompt, reflect on your experiences to identify the ones most relevant to the prompt, and most important to you. You can also talk to an MBA essay consultant for brainstorming and writing help. Lastly, be sure to do some research on Columbia’s MBA program to find out what the admissions committee values.

What Columbia Business School Looks For

The Columbia Business School’s mission statement and values reflect a commitment to transformative leadership, the dissemination of knowledge and a respect for diversity and inclusion. Columbia Business School’s values statement is:

“To achieve our vision of developing innovative ideas and inspiring leaders that transform the world, the members of CBS strive to build and sustain a welcoming and intellectual community that values and respects individuals’ different and shared identities and perspectives.”

The Columbia MBA program is looking for applicants with strong, proven leadership skills, intellectual curiosity and high academic ability, as well as students who will contribute meaningfully to the school culture. Although you don’t need to write an MBA diversity essay for Columbia, the admissions committee does want to see your unique perspectives and meaningful experiences in your Columbia MBA essays.

Columbia MBA Essay Requirements

The Columbia MBA requirements include a section for three required MBA admissions essays and a short answer question. There is also an optional MBA essay and additional MBA essay questions for the deferred enrollment program.

Columbia MBA Essay Examples

Here are some MBA personal statement examples from the Columbia MBA program.

Columbia MBA Essay Example #1

Through your resume and recommendation, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next three to five years and what is your long-term dream job? (500 words)

 Over the next three to five years, my career goals revolve around developing expertise in strategic management and honing my leadership skills within a global organization. Building upon my academic foundation and professional experiences, I aspire to assume roles of increasing responsibility and contribute to driving sustainable growth and innovation.

 In the short term, I aim to secure a position in a renowned financial consulting firm where I can immerse myself in diverse industries and work closely with senior executives to solve complex business challenges. This would provide me with valuable exposure to different sectors, sharpen my analytical and problem-solving skills, and allow me to cultivate a deep understanding of strategy formulation and implementation. Simultaneously, I intend to pursue advanced certifications in areas such as project management or data analytics to enhance my skill set and stay abreast of emerging trends and technologies. These additional qualifications will equip me with the tools needed to navigate the ever-evolving business landscape and add value to my future employers.

To achieve these goals, I plan to take on progressively challenging projects that allow me to expand my knowledge base, strengthen my decision-making abilities, and cultivate strong relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, I will seek out mentoring opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals and gain insights into effective leadership practices. Looking beyond the next five years, my long-term dream job is to serve as a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) or Chief Financial Officer (CEO) of a global organization. As a CSO or CFO, I would have the opportunity to shape the strategic direction of the company, lead transformative initiatives, and foster a culture of innovation and inclusivity.

In this role, I envision myself leveraging my strategic acumen and business expertise to drive sustainable growth, adapt to disruptive market forces, and navigate geopolitical complexities. I aspire to create a positive impact not only within the organization but also on a broader scale by addressing societal challenges and promoting sustainable business practices.

Columbia MBA Essay Example #2

Tell us about a time when you were challenged around one of these five skills (Creating an Inclusive Environment, Mitigating Bias and Prejudice, Managing Intercultural Dialogue, Addressing Systemic Inequity, and Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking). Describe the situation, the actions you took, and the outcome. (250 words)

During my sophomore year in college, I was confronted with a challenging situation that tested my ability to create an inclusive environment. As a member of the student council, I was responsible for organizing a campus-wide Cultures of the World event. However, I soon realized that there was a significant lack of representation from certain underrepresented student groups in the event planning committee. This was a clear indication of a potential bias and a missed opportunity to create an inclusive environment.

Firstly, I initiated a dialogue with the committee members, expressing my concern about the lack of representation and the importance of incorporating diverse voices in the planning process. I also encouraged everyone to reflect on their own biases and be mindful of the need to mitigate prejudice in our decision-making. I reached out to student organizations representing underrepresented groups, inviting them to join the event planning committee. I also organized brainstorming sessions focused on ensuring that various cultures and perspectives were represented in the event's activities, performances, and discussions.

The outcome was incredibly rewarding. By actively involving underrepresented student groups in the planning process, we created an event that showcased the true diversity of our campus. The inclusive environment fostered open and respectful dialogue among students from different backgrounds, promoting a sense of unity and understanding. Moreover, the event received positive feedback from attendees, who appreciated the efforts made to address systemic inequity and highlight marginalized voices. The experience taught me the importance of taking action in promoting inclusivity.

Want more MBA personal statement examples?

Columbia MBA Essay Example #3

Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you academically, culturally, and professionally? Please be specific. (250 words)

Academically, the school's commitment to experiential learning and its emphasis on real-world applications would provide me with the practical skills and insights necessary for success, especially in working with non-profits through the Non-Profit Board Leadership Program, as working in the non-profit field is my goal. Moreover, the opportunity to engage with distinguished faculty members, such as Melissa Berman, would allow me to delve deeper into the business and organization of non-profits and broaden my intellectual horizons.

Professionally speaking, Columbia Business School's location in the heart of New York City offers unparalleled access to global business opportunities, particularly in the non-profit sector. The school's strong ties with industry leaders, alumni network, and career resources would provide me with invaluable connections and internships, enabling me to translate my academic knowledge into practical experiences.

Culturally, CBS is an ideal fit for me as an individual passionate about collaborating with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. The school's diverse student body would provide an enriching environment for cross-cultural learning and networking. Additionally, the plethora of student organizations and initiatives, such as the Social Enterprise Club, would enable me to contribute to causes I care about while building lasting relationships with like-minded individuals.


1. How hard is it to get into Columbia MBA?

Columbia’s MBA program is considered one of the best in the world, with an admissions rate just over 16%. Getting accepted to Columbia’ MBA program is quite competitive, considering the amount of applicants the business school receives every year and its fairly rigorous academic standards.

2. What MBA essays does Columbia require?

There are 3 required MBA essays at Columbia, plus an optional essay. Columbia also requires deferred program applicants to answer two different MBA essay questions.

3. Is Columbia MBA prestigious?

Columbia’s MBA program is considered one of the best in the world and at the top of the business school rankings. As of this year, Financial Times' Global MBA rankings puts Columbia at the very top of the best business schools worldwide.

4. How long does my MBA essay need to be?

Your Columbia MBA essays will have a word limit of 500 words for the first required essay, and a limit of 250 words for the second and third required essays. The optional essay has a word limit of 500.

5. Is the Columbia MBA essay important?

Yes, the Columbia MBA essays are a significant part of your overall application and can be a big asset to your candidacy. It’s important to take your time and write well-structured and stand-out essays that will add to your application and help you get accepted.

6. Does Columbia use MBA video essays?

At this time, no, Columbia does not use video essays for its MBA program.

7. How do you write a good MBA essay for Columbia?

To write a good MBA essay for Columbia, read the prompts very carefully and brainstorm ideas that relate to the prompts directly. Any experiences you highlight should be meaningful and impactful to you, personally or professionally. You should also choose experiences which highlight the values of Columbia Business School, such as diversity, intellectual curiosity, leadership and innovation.

8. What should I say in my MBA essay?

If you’re not sure what to say in your MBA essay, do a bit of brainstorming on the provided prompts or essay questions. Write down a few key experiences that relate to the prompts or answer the questions. You can also talk to an MBA essay consultant or MBA admissions consulting service for help with your essays.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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