Building a Career after Graduation: Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School MBA Career Advice

Huzzah! You made it through the b-school ringer! Now ready for the fun part? Finding a job!

Columbia Business School is one of those names that immediately gets your foot in most doors—it should; you certainly paid for it. CBS engages in no false modesty when it comes to its 40,000 strong alumni network or its stellar track record for job placement. Its promotional literature boasts:

“Columbia MBAs are actively sought by corporate recruiters, who represent hundreds of employers each year. Students chose their positions primarily based on a firm’s culture and people, job content, opportunities for advancement, and a desire to be in a particular industry or function. Many students found their positions through on-campus recruiting activities, while others secured full-time employment through our enterprise job search process, including savvy networking and job postings on COIN, our career management portal.”

But with more MBAs than there are SoundCloud rappers, what can an ambitious business school graduate do to differentiate him or herself from the pack? Let’s take a deeper dive, shall we?

Columbia Business School MBA Career Advice

Founded in 1916 with a “generous gift from banking executive Emerson McMillin,” the inaugural CBS class consisted of 61 students. By 1945, the school began conferring MBA degrees. Columbia currently offers both full-time MBA and Executive MBA programs. The school writes, “Today, as CBS has evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing business world, both our numbers and our reach have multiplied. And tomorrow, the evolution continues at our new campus in Manhattanville.”

What About Jobs?

The Columbia Business School class of 2016 boasted an average starting salary of roughly $125,000 plus a $25,000 signing bonus. Around 97 percent of graduates received offers within three months of graduation. The top three industries that employ Columbia graduates are financial Services (37 percent), consulting (35 percent) and technology/media (10 percent percent). The top 10 employers (in no particular order) include McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, BCG, PwC Strategy, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and AT Kearney.

The Columbia Career Management Center

Columbia’s Career Management Center offers MBAs “a range of resources to aid in your searches for internships and full-time employment,” as students in the enterprise job search.

The CMC provides individual career advising, résumé reviews and interview preparation, career workshops, and web-based resources for self-assessment and company research.

Students also have access to “career assessments and management tools, lists of recommended external career counselors, several online résumé databases, company research, individual career advising in person and by telephone, a subscription based career e-newsletter, and workshops and events throughout the year.”

The CMC helps students put their best foot forward, whether it’s marketing themselves, nailing an interview, or negotiating a salary. When recruiters come a-knockin’ via “prerecruiting events, interviews, corporate visits, networking sessions, and educational presentations with student clubs,” the CMC wants to make sure you’re prepared.

What About Students Seeking Careers as Entrepreneurs?

For would-be impresarios and CEOs, look no further than the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, which was established in 1996 to provide “early stage investing opportunities to qualifying student business initiatives.” The Lang Fun typically makes an initial investment of $25,000-50,000 “in the form of a convertible demand note in ventures that meet its investment criteria.” The school elaborates: “This criteria requires that ventures have a viable business plan with good chances of success and a full time commitment by the graduating student to the business as its owner or prime mover.”

Another resource for CBS entrepreneurs is the Columbia Startup Lab, which the school touts as the “symbolic nexus for Columbia’s commitment to entrepreneurship.” The CS Lab is a recent-alumni co-working space and cross-school initiative located on the ground floor of WeWork Soho West at 69 Charlton Street that has been “corporate headquarters” for more than 110 Columbia-founded ventures.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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