Chat with CBS students

Today, I had a very lucky opportunity to talk to 2 CBS students over the phone.

Columbia Business School has a student organization called “Hermes Society” (not sure if it has anything to do with Hermes, the luxury brand) that connects currents students with future applicants.

I normally have bad luck with getting in touch with people I don’t know, but I was really touched this time - both replied to my email within an hour, and they were more than happy to talk to me, a total stranger who has nothing to offer to them. This was delightfully shocking and I was so happy that Columbia has this program for people like me.

Each call lasted for about half an hour and was very informative. I was able to get some insights that I could not find from reddit or gmatclub.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from the call:

  • Even though CBS is located in NYC which is hyper urban area, there’s a great sense of close knit community among students, whether it is through clusters or student organizations. My impression was that 2nd year students are very resourceful, actively helping first year students with recruiting/others. She said there’s a great supportive culture at CBS.

  • In addition to 2nd year students, there’s plenty of resources. Also, being in NYC, the school has a perk of Bulge Bracket banks kindly coming to recruit you. You get to meet with recruiters in person and you can also visit the office and actually see how it is, in addition to meeting people you will (potentially) work with. This allows you to have a better understanding of company’s culture/environment.

  • She emphasized that another thing that she really liked was CBS matters, a program in which students talk about what matters most to them. I believe this helps students to know more about their peers at greater depths.

  • CBS, again thanks to its location, offers In-Semester internships, through which you can get real life experiences. I’ve read on reddit people can do multiple in order to assess what you like the most. I’d also love to have this experience because obviously doing >>>> reading.

  • Another very interesting thing was that recruiting happens during Sep - Jan of first year, so once you have secured the internship/full time offer, you don’t really study that much during your 2nd year. He told me students go on a trip spree. In fact, today was the last day of their mid term exam, but some students are at Germany for Oktoberfest… Damn…

  • CBS adopts NDA policy, so the grades don’t matter as much (if at all..?).

  • Although CBS isn’t like Dartmouth Tuck where you are bound to see everybody everyday and become great friends, you are still going to maintain a lasting relationship because most people opt to stay in NYC, so you are going to see them often, even after graduating from the school.

Talking to real people was so much more helpful than spending time on forums because I could hear their real-life accounts of school experience. One surprising thing was that I had an impression that they didn’t spend too much time on the application process. Maybe they were stellar applicants, or they were lucky, but I think it also means, if I spend time actually visiting a campus and show more interest, it’ll all be favorable to me.

I certainly feel a lot less lost than this morning and am getting helpful clues here and there. This concludes my 3rd interview with CBS students and alumns. More to come!

Taeyang YouComment