Studying at Columbia: Insights from Information Sessions

September 07, 2023

In the months of September and November, 2023, the Mumbai Center hosted three information sessions in collaboration with the Columbia Business School (CBS), Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), and Columbia’s School of Journalism.  These sessions served as windows into each school's academic programs and admissions processes and culture, offering insights that built confidence and trust among prospective students and their parents.  The events also witnessed participation from alumni of the respective schools, contributing to the overall success of these informative gatherings. 

The Columbia Business School is widely popular in India, and attracts many students who seek career advancement. On September 7, the Mumbai Center received an overwhelming response from more than 50 prospective MBA students for the Columbia Business School’s information session.  Ms. Susanna Mathews, Associate Director of Admissions at CBS, provided an overview of the school's programs.  This was followed by discussions with alumni Anand Trivedi, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Nepean Capital LLP ('94), and Vishaka Sriniwasan ('23), Associate at McKinsey & Company.  The combination of an experienced alum and a recent graduate aimed to give participants a comprehensive understanding of the CBS journey and career growth thereafter.  Mr. Trivedi shared insights on building a career and effectively utilizing resources and connections gained at CBS, drawing from his professional journey.  Meanwhile, Ms. Sriniwasan provided practical tips on efficiently juggling internships and assessments, and emphasized the importance of networking and building connections.  Furthermore, she offered a perspective on the coursework and shared her experiences of living in the bustling city of New York.

On November 2, the Center had the privilege of hosting GSAPP’s Dean Andrès Jaque on his first visit to India as dean.  Dean Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, and Professor at Columbia University’s GSAPP since 2013, presented the School’s vision, emphasizing its commitment to innovation and preservation.  He stated, “As a school, we not only focus on adopting an experimentation approach, but delve into specific problems and engage with them to find sustainable solutions.”   Dean Jaque also highlighted ongoing experiments conducted by students at GSAPP.  The event featured GSAPP alumni, Mr. Rajeev Thakker (‘98), Architecture Consultant at a-RT: Art, Architecture & Interior Design who answered questions about his coursework and life during and his post-GSAPP journey. 

In an era of information overload, a journalism school dedicated to ethical practices becomes the bedrock for shaping the future of responsible journalism.  This was the crux of Dr. Anusha Shrivastava’s session entitled ‘Studying Journalism at Columbia University’, held on November 20.  Dr. Shrivastava, Associate Dean for the Office of Career Development at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, also an alumna of the school, spoke from her personal experience.  She highlighted the valuable learnings and the strong network she gained from the Journalism School which significantly contributed to her career growth.  Dr. Shrivastava also elaborated on the coursework, assessment and the hands-on experience students gain through various exciting opportunities, including the outstation reporting experience.  She guided students in making informed decisions about selecting the appropriate program at the Journalism School. Alongside Dr. Shrivastava, Ms. Raksha Kumar, an alumna of the Journalism School from the 2011 batch, currently working as a freelance journalist, shared her experience of studying at the University.  She discussed the preparation for the application process, shedding light on the diverse avenues available to Journalism school students beyond mainstream media and reporting.  

These sessions collectively showcased Columbia University as a hub for academic excellence, practical experience, and a strong network that propels graduates' careers.  The active engagement of alumni showcased the lasting impact of these institutions on the professional journeys of their graduates.