MBA Snapshot: Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School is located in the energetic business capital of the universe, but that’s not the only reason why this ivy league business school remains consistently in the top ten.  Here’s a snapshot of the three things Columbia is most known for…

1)      Finance-driven megaforce

With the exception of NYU, which is just a hop away, Columbia sends more grads into high finance careers than any other top tier business school.  That kind of track record has created a powerhouse alumni network which only further grows their ranks in this high paying industry.  There was a time when Columbia siphoned off a huge percentage of investment banking jobs each year, but partly because that field has diminished in popularity and partly because Columbia has been making efforts to diversify their graduating MBA job offers, i-banking now makes up less than half of the jobs chosen by finance majors finishing at Columbia.

2)      Manhattan Location

Seems obvious, but their geographic location is so important to the school’s ethos, both taglines over the past two decades have promoted it. Having “the New York Advantage,” and being “At the very center of business” has really paid off for Columbia, where they receive over 6000 applications annually for only 1000 slots.  With only three ivy league schools having an MBA program, being the only ivy league school offering an MBA in Manhattan essentially makes Columbia a unicorn.  Fewer than 18% of those who apply are offered a seat.  Even though Columbia is above the upper West side in Morningside Heights, they still manage to bring in over 450 guest speakers each year, so despite being a 30 minute subway ride north of Wall Street, their location remains their most treasured characteristic.

3)      Experiential Learning

Columbia leads the way in utilizing both Theory and Practice in their MBA curriculum.  With a goal to create holistic business minds who see the bigger picture when analyzing complex business issues, Columbia goes to great lengths to train up their MBA candidates to connect the dots in the classroom.  Leveraging their location, Columbia can place students in the real world without disrupting the traditional classroom approach.  Columbia students are then expected to frame their analyses with an eye on the complex nature of globalization and social consequences, always mindful of how decisions affect both their local and broader communities.

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