Friday, July 18, 2008

Columbia Fall 2009 Essays Released!

This morning at 9:30 am, Christina (from the Columbia adcom) confirmed that the Fall 2009 ED/RD essays have been finalized. They are same as the first 3 essays from the J-Term application. These essays are "Goals/Why Columbia?", "Practice v. Theory", and "Team Failure". They've eliminated the short 4th essay on "Passion." The link to her post, along with the full questions, is below:

She also confirmed that the official application will be released next week. This is interesting because only a month ago, the adcom was confirming (over the phone) that Essays 1 and 4 would remain the same. Now they've eliminated 4. I guess we shouldn't be too surprised since many viewed the 250-word "Passion" essay as less important. It was the essay where the adcom trys to learn about the personal said of the applicant but I guess that's not as important given the spike in applications they're expecting this year. So only 3 essays. Sadness. I just finished my final draft of my "Passions" essay three days ago so I guess I wasted all that time. I'm going to write my first draft of the "Team Failure" essay this weekend. I have a decent topic in mind. However, I'm absolutely flabbergasted over what to write for "Practice v. Theory"... in fact, I've spammed the BW forums asking for ideas (at the risk of everyone discovering my identity and hating me but oh well, I gotta pull out all the stops!) hehe.

I guess it's time to cut back on the basketball and to dig in deep on my essays. I still think I'm on track. The activity and work resumes shouldn't be too difficult. I'm saving those for last. I'm also interested in seeing if the recommender questions have changed so I can really start harping on my recommenders. Don't worry, I'm not really that much of an ass. I just write like one.

In other news, I just got a new functional manager this week and she is hot. Also, hooray for the stock market finally showing signs of life!


HappyBunny said...

yeah practice v theory is the one i'm so frustrate about. I want to know when they are going to release the application!!!! I look at gmatclub, it looks like the EC and work history takes long time to fill out

check this out

My problem is I don't remember that much details about the ones I did in college! I wish I kept a journal. EH!!!!

TienyChesney said...

According to Christina, the app will definitely be out next week (but then again, someone from the Admissions Office said that essay #4 was going to be re-used so...). GMATclub is a good forum, very informative! I'm surprised I didn't obsess on it already! I am asking everyone i know about ideas for the practice v. theory essay. Not a happy Tieny right now. I'm not too worried about the Activities history though... if you force yourself to sit down for a couple hours, you'd be surprised the things you can recall.

Anonymous said...


I also am applying to columbia in ED round, and read your blog regularly :)..
just started to work on my essays,,not understanding whether i should use a work example or extra-curricular example for the team failure essay. any advice?

TienyChesney said...

Hi anon,

I don't think it matters if you use a work or extra-curric example for the Team Failure essay... i think it's most important that your collection of essays (all 3 of them, or 4 if you do the optional), reflect multiple dimensions of your candidacy. So if one of them is already about work, then maybe the other one could be about an extra-curric. Find out what your strongest stories are, and try to fit them to the essays (if they work that is... if they don't fit at all then don't do it!) At least that's what the consultants have been saying!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much tienychesney..That was helpful.

Anonymous said...

like u, Columbia is my first choice too. When r u planning to apply. I am not sure how long my recommendors are going to take. I told them around 3 months back, but they are so busy.

How is your team failure essay coming. I did not start it yet?

are you done with the rest 2?

TienyChesney said...

Hi Anon,

I'm trying to get my app in as soon as it's the strongest possible (that's the typical wisdom). Hopefully first half of September by the latest. Looking at BusinessWeek forum applicants last year, there wasn't a large difference in response time from people who applied the first day of the review cycle and people who applied in early September. The problem is the essays! They can really drive you nuts because you can always re-read them a million more times and tweak something. Argh.

I actually did Essay #3 before #2 because I thought of a good topic for 3 first and didn't want to waste days/weeks brainstorming a good idea for #2 just to maintain sequence. I think my #3 essay is good right now but I'll probably still have a few more editing rounds in me. I'm happy with how it looks thus far (keep in mind we're still 3 weeks away from the opening of the review cycle so there's room for plenty of tweaking!) I still don't have a good topic for Essay #2 (Practice v. Theory) but i've had a couple ideas... too bad when I tried to outline them, they were either boring or completely lacking in specifics. Blah.