Executives in Residence

Building Relationships With Business Leaders

The Executives in Residence Program is comprised of 26 senior executives from the C-Suite of companies in industry verticals such as technology, retail, health care, manufacturing and consumer goods as well as senior partners from strategy consulting, private equity, financial services and real estate.

Columbia's EIR program is unique among the top-tier MBA programs because of the scope of our executives' involvement at the school. The program was established in 1971; founder Robert W. Lear then served as the school's sole executive in residence. In the ensuing years the program grew in both size and breadth of impact.

The program has two areas of focus:

  • We advise and mentor students
    • Career counseling
    • New business ventures
    • Professional and personal challenges
  • We contribute "practice" to the School's strategy of bridging theory to practice
    • Teaching
    • Industry and functional expertise
      • To other programs and centers at the School
      • Faculty research

Director, Alfred Drewes '82 provides an Executives in Residence Program overview:

Advise and Mentor Students

A hallmark of the EiR program is mentoring meetings between students and our executives in residence.  Most frequently these are one-on-one private meetings.  Executives also conduct Lunch and Learn events and lead group meetings with student clubs.  

During the 2018 -2019 academic year, our executives held 1158 individual meetings and 18 Lunch and Learn events.

  • Meetings are scheduled through COIN or by contacting Amy Jones at (212) 854-6100 / aj2937@gsb.columbia.edu.  
  • Students are strongly encouraged to hold their initial EiR meeting early in their first semester, a time when students begin to clarify career plans and assess options for internship opportunities.  Often students establish an on-going relationship with an executive with multiple meetings over the course of their time at Columbia.

Discussions typically focus on a student's interests, background and experience as he or she considers a career in a particular area.  Executives often advise students in areas such as:

  • Skills and abilities required to succeed in a particular industry or company
  • Job search strategies, internships and full-time positions
  • Career path planning beyond the initial position
  • Dealing with challenging professional or personal issues
  • Commercializing new business and entrepreneurial ventures


Tips for One-on-One Coaching Meetings

Bridge Theory to Practice

  • Our executives make extensive classroom contributions.  Several executives are members of the adjunct faculty, teaching full courses in their area of expertise.  Executives also guest lecture, co-teach courses and develop course specific lectures and case studies across a broad range of topics.
  • Executives provide practical and specialized expertise to Columbia's programs and centers such as the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin American Program, the Lang Entrepreneurship Center, the Milstein Real Estate Center and the W. Edwards Deming Center.
  • Executives make extensive contributions to faculty research in areas such as executive leadership, technical expertise in finance, corporate governance, marketing and retailing.