Every so often, we like to put an excerpt out there from one of our school-specific Strategy Memos. Full disclosure, the main reason to do this is to show off how we approach the process and to give potential clients a sense of what they might get (across the board, with all their schools and all the questions) if they become clients. But we also try to coordinate these with moments where we can get some really helpful strategy out there - basic, core ideas that will help people avoid pitfalls, even if they don't have help in executing perfectly. In this instance, Columbia Business School's Essay Question 2 is a nice overlap that allows us to do both. So let's dive in.
Today's blog post concerns the tricky Columbia Regular Decision deadline, which starts the day after Early Decision (which had a deadline of October 3rd this year) and extends all the way into April. While long, rolling deadlines are commonplace in college admissions or law school admissions, they are strangely out of place in the MBA space, which creates a lot of consternation on the part of applicants everywhere. Here's the weird part though: normally when applicants ring their hands over something ambiguous and unfamiliar we tell them to buck up and have some courage ("Stop worrying so much," is a common refrain around here), but in this case, there actually is some very real strategy to consider. We take into consideration a few rules of thumb, some common sense, and our own experiences sitting in the admissions officer's chair to arrive at a recommendation.