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Columbia Business School MBA Essay

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Columbia Business School MBA Essay

The students of the Columbia Business School, one of the most popular institutions in the world, are considered the great potential businessmen due to the unique way of thinking they acquire at school. The entrepreneurial mindset is probably the most precious quality that CBS students gain. The Columbia Business School MBA program provides us with this important skill, teaching students to identify and capture any business opportunity. I have several examples from my own life when I took an opportunity and treated it appropriately.

One of the most demonstrative examples of my entrepreneurial mindset took place couple of years ago, before I entered the CBS. I have already had a proper business thinking mentality. I have a friend and neighbor, Demola, who also has Nigerian roots. Those days Demola, being a very creative and artistic person, explored his new hobby – DJ-ing. Once he made himself a wonderful present – mini recording studio. Since he spent all his time exploring sound and recording songs. Sometimes I helped him with ideas, and in few months Demola had an entire album of his own music. I noticed that his sets have a unique style, combining modern electronic music with ethnic African sounds, such as apala and fuji percussion, chanting, singing in Yoruba language, and other ethnic Nigerian sounds. Demola has never thought of recording the real album, as his compositions were very small and unusual; he was rather making music for fun. However, one day the great idea came to my mind.

I was thinking of opportunity for Demola of making money with his art, but due to serious competition in show business and rather uncommon format of his music it seemed impossible. On the other hand, however, the songs could gain certain interest, especially for native African people. Therefore, after investigating the market of recording business, I came up with a perfect idea that demanded no significant investments. I offered Demola to sell his music as ringtones through the Internet. My cousin, a beginning web-designer, has created a nice website for us; we ordered a domain name and hosting; and created an account on a popular credit card processing company. Demola converted the compositions to appropriate popular formats, and we put the songs on the site. Besides, we considered a possibility to get a ringtone via mobile phone, paying for it with sms. All the preparations lasted around couple of weeks. The product we offered was positioned as a specific ethnic Nigerian content.

When this small business was started, there were not many downloads. Still in few months the volume of purchases was enough to call our little deal a “business”. We operated successfully for almost one year, and then I gave my part to Demola when he had to move to another country. This situation is an example of how the profit may be gained from almost any idea.

I think the small business of my friend Demola and me demonstrates the application of entrepreneurial mindset. It makes me even prouder that the idea that helped us earn money was based on my native culture – ethnic African music and real Nigerian sounds. This case only proves that I already “thought business” several years ago, hence my decision to enter the MBA program was only logical.

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