Sunday, September 30, 2007

Great comment from an alum

A recent CBS alum just posted this comment to my blog. I think its excellent stuff and is very crisp in answering some of the questions others have posted related to careers and J-term vs regular term vs other schools.

I just came across your blog today and found it interesting and entertaining. By the way, I am a CBS Alum (05). Although I belonged to the September class, I also had many friends in the J-term class. After reading comments of some of the folks on this blog, let me also add my observations of Columbia MBA.

First, although known as an accelerated MBA, Columbia J-term MBA is a 2-year MBA in terms of its academic depth (almost 17 months just like any September MBA program). For career switchers, this particular aspect definitely helps as it allows you to take more classes, gives you more time for networking and also helps recruiters establish more trust in your academic abilities versus a 10-month or a 12-month program.

Second, unlike Cornell or Kellogg’s accelerated MBA program, the Columbia’s accelerated program is not separated from the September class. J-termers start late but then catch up with their September peers by taking classes in the summer and in coming September, everybody (both J-term and Sep class) merge together to take electives for next 9 months or so. Plus, if you can exempt some of your core classes, you can start taking elective classes with Sep class as early as Jan.

Third, it should be noted that when Columbia Business School releases logistics related to its latest class (GPA, age range, GMAT etc), those numbers pertain to the full class (J-term and Sep). What it means that Columbia admission folks literally keep the standard of its admissions’ criteria same for both Jan and Sep class to ensure that overall logistics of the incoming MBA class remain as high as possible. It means that both Sep and Jan terms are equally competitive from admittance standpoint (although a lot of folks speculate that J-term would be a bit more competitive this year as CBS is planning on reducing its J-term class by one cluster. Columbia ED could also little easer to get into because of the bond but you never know).

Fourth, recruiting wise, let me categorically state that for management consulting jobs, internship is not a requirement by any means. For instance, top management consulting firms recruit more students from INSEAD (over 70% are career switchers) than any other B-school and INSEAD does not have any internship. For industry related jobs, there is no need of internship either. For financial services related jobs, internship does play an important role especially for career switchers. But I do know many J-term folks who successfully transitioned to IB jobs as career switchers. Obviously, they had to do more le work.

Fifth, I don’t know why but somehow in my class of 06, I found Columbia’s J-term folks more interesting, diverse and much more international (I am an international myself). Most of them were aspiring entrepreneurs with very interesting backgrounds. Whereas, my September class was filled with more traditional students (engineers, IT, finance). However, J-term also attracts a lot of high achievers who want to switch their career but they do not want to wait till September.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

John:

Awesome blog. Thank you so much. I am a current admit to J-2008. The bulk of on-campus recruiting at CBS, as I understand, happens in the first 4 weeks (Jan 11 - Feb 1) of each year. Generally, recruiting for finance and consulting positions happens first, followed by marketing, general management, real estate, healthcare, government, etc. If that is the case, were you able to participate in Jan-Feb 2007 recruiting or was it too early for you to think of recruiting as you joined the program in Jan 2007?

John said...

No problem and thanks for reading.

Actually, the on-campus recruiting for 2nd years starts in September with informational sessions and then interviews start in October. 1st banking and consulting, followed by general management, and other roles.

J-termers don't participate in recruiting when they arrive to start their first year because they don't have summer internships (they'll be in school) and it's way too early to recruit them for full time jobs (since they will have 16 months until graduation).

Dan said...

Hi John,
I'm also a recent admit to the J-Term class of '09. I have to make some big decisions in the next few days, and I'd love to learn from your experience. If you could find some time for it, I'd be very grateful if you could mail me privately to dantrusted at gmail.com

Thanks,
Dan.

Anonymous said...

how easy it is to switch from the j-term (accelerated)to the full-time MBA program?

John said...

I have not heard of anyone switching from one program to the other - don't even know if its possible. What would the logic be for the switch? My gut feeling is that you should apply for whatever program makes sense for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I need to apply to Columbia's J Term.....when is it an ideal time to apply by...I pan to send everything in by 02 Jun, 2008.

Thnx,

John said...

CBS does rolling admissions, so I think it benefits you to get your application in as early in an admission cycle as you can.

Of course, I don't mean that you should rush it and sacrifice quality for the sake of getting it in early.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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