Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good questions and hopefully some answers

My last post was commented on quite insightfully by an anonymous blogger, and I think the answers to their questions are relevant in general, so I will answer then as a post. His questions are in italics:

You have done a fabulous job in updating your blog for J-terms. There is no other blog for J-term and therefore your efforts are highly appreciated.

Thanks, I appreciate the kudos. It's good to see people are getting some value out of it.

Though your future goals do not constitute moving into IB or consulting, majority of future J-term aspirants do want to make this transition. For career switchers, regular September term definitely makes more sense but many applicants, however, still end up applying to the J-term as it fits well in their schedule plus there is no other top class MBA program that starts in January baring INSEAD J-Intake which is more beneficial if some one wants to work in Europe or Asia.

Keeping this in mind, would you be kind enough to comment on J-term students’ experience with consulting/IB or even industry recruiting?

You are correct. Many of my classmates do want to switch careers. The jury is still out on my class with regards to jobs since the interviewing for the banks and consulting firms is starting in the next few weeks. I will be certain to report any big successess (or failures) that I hear from my classmates. I assume that the net success rate of career switching J-termers will be lower than career switching September termers because the September termers have had summer internships which often lead to full time jobs with the same firm. But, this is conjecture on my part. I don't have any empirical data. This might be a question to ask on the BusinessWeek boards (I know some CBS admissions folks hang out there).

I also think the degree of career switch is important. A J-termer from IB to private equity is probably not as big a stretch as the J-term theatre production manager-turned-MBA who wants to get into IB. I think the latter case is much more of a possibility if our imaginary theatre production manager was a September termer, because he could get an internship in that area and build some relevant experience.

I know some guys in J-term who are going for general management programs within industry, and I will also let you know how their recruiting goes.

Do recruiting firms exhibit any sort of bias towards J-term students?

Hopefully my last response addresses this. Another data point is that there were many top firms who came to do presentations this summer at school (and off campus) specifically for J-term. Bain came, I think Deloitte had something, Citibank, and others. This leads me to believe that they want to tap the talent in J-term.

My understanding is that starting September, the J-term students take classes together with regular 2nd year September class? Is that correct? Are J-term allow to recruit with September class?

You are correct although I will add that you can have classes with September termers as early as your 1st semester if you place out of any core courses and get into electives. For example, I had a Direct Marketing elective 1st semester because I placed out of CEO. In that Direct Marketing class I was the only J-termer out of 6 or 7 total students.

We participate in the same recruiting process as everyone else 2nd year. We all compete for the same spots. Think of it this way -- regardless of being September term or January term, we are ALL Class of 2008. Everyone has the same rights and privledges when it comes to recruiting.

As a J-term, did you ever had “almost there” type feeling in terms of band equity and social hangout.

I'm a little unclear about this question but I think you're asking if we have the same social oportunities as September term? Absolutely. I tend to hang out with more J-termers (sometimes I think of us as one giant cluster) but J-termers also hang out with September termers, too.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for such a detailed response to my comments. I am debating between INSEAD J-Intake and Columbia J-term (admitted to both) and your response definitely helped a lot although a part of me still wants to go to INSEAD due to its extremely diverse class, strong international outlook and top notch consulting recruiting. This is precisely why your blog is so important as it helps a lot of potential Columbia J-term students in educating themselves about several issues such as J-term students’ social and academic life, career opportunities etc. Not to mention that your honest and blunt commentary on variety of issues add an extra flavor. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Hi John and the previous poster. I am also debating between INSEAD J-intake and Columbia J-term (also admitted to both). My plan after MBA is to head back to Asia (preferrably somewhere near Hong Kong which is where my family is) and work on bd or corporate strategy. I'm also interested in technology vc. Do you know many j-termers who might have similar goals as I do so I can get their opinions? I understand that you probably don't know much about INSEAD's program but in general, how do you feel about Columbia's connection with Asia in terms of placing students there etc.

John said...

I would contact one of our students at

There are a bunch of folks from outside the US and they might be able to speak to the opportunities they're looking at abroad.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Thanks for providing me with the link!