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Trium Emba Application Essay

Columbia’s Executive MBA Program offers three scheduling options for completing this rigorous program: EMBA-New York Friday/Saturday, EMBA-New York Saturday, and EMBA-Americas. Also, through partnerships with London Business School and the University of Hong Kong, students have the opportunity to pursue Columbia Business School’s world-class MBA on three continents.

Friday/Saturday Option
The Friday/Saturday option begins in late August. Classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. approximately every other Friday and Saturday. Two residency weeks are required, as is employer sponsorship of time. Employer financial sponsorship is not required, though it is welcome.

Saturday Option
With a start date in May, the Saturday option meets from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. weekly on Saturdays. Three residency weekends are required in the first year. Employer sponsorship of time is not required, while employer financial sponsorship is welcome, though not required.

Designed for executives living throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America, Columbia EMBA-Americas is the newest addition to Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA Program. EMBA-Americas runs for five terms over 20 months and meets approximately once a month, in a weeklong format, primarily in New York City. During the first year, students will also have weeklong meetings in Silicon Valley, Toronto, and São Paulo.

The powerful partnership between Columbia Business School, London Business School, and the University of Hong Kong, provides high-caliber, globally-focused managers the insight, expertise, network, and multifaceted perspective to translate opportunity into action.

EMBA-Global Americas and Europe
Columbia’s pioneering program with London Business School, EMBA-Global Americas and Europe, offers monthly classes alternating between two hubs of global business, London and New York. Students earn two full MBA degrees and alumni privileges from each school.

EMBA-Global Asia
Expanding its partnership in 2009 to include the University of Hong Kong, EMBA-Global created EMBA-Global Asia, the first executive MBA program located on three continents. With most classes taking place in Hong Kong, students earn an MBA conferred jointly by the three schools, as well as full alumni privileges at each school.

Class profile:

Class size: 137 (in two clusters)

Women: 23%

International: 20%

Live in the Tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area: 80%

Average age: 33

Average years of work experience: 9

We review candidates on a rolling basis, and therefore encourage you to submit an application as early as possible. EMBA applicants do not have to wait until after the deadline to receive a decision.

Application Checklist

  • Employer Sponsorship
  • Transcripts
  • Essays
  • Recommendations
  • GMAT or GRE Score
  • Interview
  • Application Fee
  • International Applicants

Employer Sponsorship
Applicants to EMBA-Friday/Saturday and EMBA-Americas are required — regardless of the level of financial support from their employer — to submit a signed sponsorship letter from an authorized representative of their organization, briefly stating the terms of support. Financial sponsorship is not required, but the organization must agree to keep the applicant’s travel time to a minimum and completely release him or her from all job responsibilities on class days. Learn more about the sponsorship requirement. Sponsorship letters must be uploaded into the online application system.
EMBA-Saturday applicants are not required to attain employer sponsorship of any kind, though it is welcome.


Applicants have two options for providing the Admissions Committee with records of academic work:

1. Submit official transcripts from each college and university attended as a registered student.

2. Scan and submit PDF versions of unofficial transcripts from each college and university attended as a registered student.


Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.



The Admissions Committee requires two letters of professional appraisal. For Friday/Saturday applicants, one recommendation letter must be from a current supervisor. If you’re applying to the Saturday Program, that’s encouraged but not required.
Recommendation questions include:

1. What is your relationship to and how long have you known the applicant? Is he or she still employed by your organization?

2. Please list three to five adjectives describing the applicant’s strengths.

3. Please compare the applicant’s performance to that of his or her peers.

4. What does the applicant do best?

5. If you were giving feedback to the applicant regarding his or her professional performance and personal effectiveness, in what areas would you suggest he or she work to improve?

6. How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts?

7. How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace?

8. Please rate the applicant’s individual vs. team orientation (1 = most effective as an individual contributor; 5 = focused exclusively on the team)

9. Please elaborate on your rating.

10. Please give an example of how the applicant has demonstrated leadership.

11. Is there anything else you feel we should know?


GMAT or GRE Score
All applicants must submit a self-reported GMAT (preferred) or GRE score. Scores must be valid within 5 years on the date of application submission.


Interviews are not required for admission to Columbia Business School. Once your online application is complete and under review, you may be contacted by a member of the Admissions Office to schedule an on-campus interview. Please keep in mind interviews are by invitation only.


International Applicants
International students who do not have a degree from an institution in which all instruction is conducted in English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). You may be exempted from the TOEFL or the PTE only if you have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. We will not accept requests for exceptions to this policy.
The TOEFL and PTE scores are valid for two years. Your TOEFL or PTE score must be valid on the date of application submission.

Paul Bodine is the author of “Great Applications for Business School“ and an MBA admissions consultant based in San Diego. He has written several stories for Poets&Quants: “MBA Essays: 10 Crucial Things You Should Never Do,” “MBA Essays: Making a Lasting Impression,”  “MBA Essays: Data Mining Your Life”, and “MBA Essays: Why The Goals Essay Is Critical” and “The ABCs of Executive MBA Programs.” You also can follow Paul on Twitter and Facebook.

In any case, Paul has agreed to help anxious applicants with difficult questions at Poets&Quants for Execs. No question is out of bounds. Worried about going back to school while working in a highly demanding job? Concerned about your GMAT score? Not entirely certain where you should apply to get your Executive MBA?

Fire away. I’ll do my best to answer your queries.