Tuesday, 31 July, 2012

Columbia Business School - Bangalore Information Session

This last week was very eventful. A lot of things happened. I completed the Technology Entrepreneurship Venture Lab Course. I also attended the COSPAR-2012 International Conference on Space Research in Mysore. More on these two in next posts. Importantly, I attended the MBA Information Sessions of 2 business schools last week. I want to dedicate this post to the Admission Event of Columbia Business School before I forget about it. I hope this will help anybody else who might be interested in the school and might not have been able to attend the session. This will also be an account of my journey through the admissions process.
So, the Bangalore MBA Admission Information Session event was on 24th July at Hotel Royal Orchid, Old Airport Road. The event was scheduled to start at 6.30 PM. I managed to reach there just in time at 6.30 but the session was postponed to 7.00 PM considering the traffic conditions. When I entered the hall where the event was to happen, people were already engaged in chats with Michael Robinson (Associate Director, Admissions) and Angie (Class of 2009, Columbia Business School). I joined the chat with Angie where we asked various questions ranging from work permit scenario in US to her own experiences post-Columbia MBA.
The formal session finally started at 7.00 PM with Michael informing us about the CBS. Michael's presentation was important as it gave us a bird's eye view of the entire MBA program. Columbia has a great Alumni network. The key aspect of Columbia was shown as its location, New York. Being in New York, Columbia opens of enormous opportunities to network and explore various options in professional career. There was one key take away from Michael's presentation. During the course of his presentation, Michael told us that the Global Economic Recession had changed the way Admissions Committee looked at the applications. Now-a-days, admissions committee looks at people who are self sufficient and those who will need least assistance from Career Services. I feel that this may raise some Red Flags specially among International students. Companies still do recruiting on Campus, they still sponsor work visas for international students but things have changed a lot. Companies are more stringent in their process. Columbia seemed to gave a good importance to leadership traits in its students. The placements are great (this one is not a surprise given the New York location of the school).
Once the formal session ended, I again got back to chat with Angie. Angie was very open to all kinds of questions and gave detailed answers to each. We discussed her GMAT strategy, her experience at business school. Columbia has a great collaborative student culture. It was evident from the fact that Angie and her Columbia friends were in touch on a regular basis and used to make a trip together every year. Angie told that Columbia has a great brand value both in the US and here in India. Career Services is great at Columbia. During the informal chats, one very important thing came up. Michael advised us - No Matter which Business School you go, but always make it a point to attend the Speaker Series of the school whenever they invite a CXO. CXO speaker series are a great way to learn business outside the classroom. Even I feel that this is very true. The session continued with some specific queries by prospective students. I left the venue at 9.30 after having some refreshments.
Next up are my experiences of Venture Lab Opportunity Execution Project, Personal Business Plan of Venture Lab, Kenan-Flagler Information Session. For those who might be interested, this month Kellogg School of Management and Chicago Booth School of Management are coming to Bangalore for Admission Information Sessions.