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The Deferred Enrollment Program at Columbia Business School

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The CBS Application

Robinson says, the CBS “application is also more streamlined with fewer requirements for the Deferred Enrollment Program, so applying is much easier. As a current college student, your academic mindset may also be an advantage in that studying and preparing for a standardized test may be more manageable while you are still in school.”

Matalon adds, “The semester I spent applying to CBS was actually quite a motivating one. The DEP application has been tailored to students that are still wrapping up their undergraduate education. I felt that this effort effectively made the workload to complete the requirements manageable.  Furthermore, while I was applying to the DEP, I tapped into the Contact a Student Portal organized by CBS’s Hermes Society, in addition to LinkedIn, to find and contact students and alumni with interests similar to mine. I asked for their personal anecdotes of how CBS benefited their careers, which allowed me to more deeply gauge the advantages that the program would offer me. When I engaged with members of the CBS community, I was encouraged not only by their eagerness to share their MBA experience, but also by the consistent message I received that Columbia appreciates the diverse passions and pursuits that make applicants unique.”

The online application form requires academic transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, a current resume, one letter of recommendation and responses to three short answer questions.  Janela adds, “We also want to note that we know many colleges and universities moved to a pass/fail structure. We want to assure you, that this will not put you at a disadvantage during the review process and we always conduct a holistic review taking many elements of your application into account.”

Typically, CBS makes the application available in November and the deadline to apply is in mid-April.

Framework for Timing

The journey to and through business school takes personal and professional reflection.  Robinson advises, “The most important advice that I give to candidates is that they first have to look inward before looking outward at schools.  They need to engage in intentional, thoughtful reflection where they map out a vision of their best self as a manager and leader of enterprise and the path required to get there.  It means that they have a clear sense of short-term, mid-term and long-term goals while also being flexible and adaptable enough to identify new and more fulfilling opportunities as they arise.

“I’ve long been a fan of the work of Sheena Iyengar, one of our superstar professors.  I’ve reworked some great career advice that I’ve heard her give to make it helpful to MBA applicants.  It’s counsel that I’ve given many times.  Ask yourself:

  1. What are you good at? Better yet, what do you have the potential to be really good at?  Can you make an evidenced based argument for this?  Would an expert practitioner in this field agree with this assessment of your potential?
  2. What problems intrigue you? What problem would you be excited by, and challenged by, even if you had to work on that problem for an extended period of time?  Think broadly and don’t just limit yourself to pursuing job titles.  This framework allows you to think about your career goals in the context of your values and what you truly care about.
  3. How do you want to be known? Can you think of five qualities that you want to be known for on your path to growing and developing as a leader?”

Now is the time to consider your future.  Learn more about Columbia Business School and their Deferred Enrollment Program through their online events here.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.