Each year, the admissions office has the privilege of travelling the world to meet prospective students interested in Columbia Business School (CBS) and to visit members of our community in each city. This year, our office will be visiting six different continents. I just returned from a trip to three cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
During my visit, I had the pleasure of meeting nearly 600 prospective students at our information sessions. I was so impressed with the candidates I met, the thoughtful questions they asked at each session, and even more so by the very warm welcomes I received. I even learned a few phrases in Mandarin!
I was fortunate to present in three magnificent spaces due to the generosity of our Columbia network in the region. In Beijing, our session was held right on Chang'an Avenue, perhaps the most famous street in the capital city. In Shanghai, the event was held just off the Bund, the mile-long waterfront area lined with majestic historical buildings. In Hong Kong, the presentation was located in the eighth-tallest office building in the world, at the International Finance Center, with a view of Victoria Peak and the South China Sea in the distance. It felt like I was speaking in the Empire State Building of Hong Kong!
When I wasn’t sharing my time with the wonderful prospective students, I had the chance to visit with members of our Columbia Business School community, who made my trip incredibly memorable. During my time in China I had the pleasure of meeting nearly 40 CBS alumni, at an Alumni Club of Beijing networking event, over various delicious Chinese meals, and of course at the information sessions we held in each city. At each event, our graduates, including former and current presidents of the Greater China Society, shared their CBS experiences and the strength of the alumni network in the region. This spoke volumes to the dedication and involvement of our student leaders and alumni.
Finally, I was lucky to have the chance to spend some time with incoming members of the CBS community – students of the Class of 2015 who were travelling in China and others who are coming to CBS from China within the next month. These students also contributed to the information sessions, sharing their achievements, approach to the application process, and reasons they chose to join the Columbia Business School community. I can’t wait to welcome them to campus next month!
I, and the rest of the admissions team, look forward to continuing our travels to meet prospective applicants around the world, reading all of your applications, and beginning to assemble our Class of 2016. Please visit our Columbia on the Road page for future event dates this travel season.
WeiWei Chen ’10, myself, Steve Fan ’08, and Leon Liyang Lu ’15 after the Beijing Information Session
After an absolutely delicious lunch with Steve Fan ’08 and prospective students in Beijing