Cornell Johnson, MBA

Rankings | Class Profile | Employment Report | Sample Essays | Interview Questions

Cornell Business School MBA Introduction


Johnson’s small and close-knit community is a hallmark of its MBA experience. The school boasts a wide-ranging portfolio of degree paths including: A Two-Year MBA in Ithaca; A One-Year MBA in Ithaca; and a new One-Year MBA at Cornell NYC Tech; the Cornell Executive MBA in Metro NYC; and the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA.

After a two-year review and a 30% plunge in applications to its MBA program in 2014-2015, the school rolled out to the Class of 2016 a new curriculum for its two-year MBA program. It’s the first major update to Cornell’s MBA experience in seven years, and the revamped program places greater emphasis on collaboration, leadership, and analytical skills to better prepare students for a technology-driven global business environment.

Good Facts:

  • 84% class had offers by the time of graduation. Thats a really good number for someone looking from a job safety perspective before leaving college. 94% at 3 months after graduation is also better than most US schools.
  • Even better 92% placement in US and Only 3% in Asia, so i guess atleast the indian candidates don’t need to worry as of now about returning home:). 62% of it was facilitated by the school itself. So not too much sweating in terms of networking as well.
  • Coming down to spilts between industry and functions, Financial services is the largest segment. No doubt about that, something Cornell is more know for with close to 33% of class going into finance related sector and functions.
  • Consulting follows in closely at second number at 25% with a much higher avg salary of 130K as compared to 120K for finance sector.
  • Interesting thing to note is that Cornell does not have much of a placement in Tech industry with only 12% of the batch going in. Consumer products 6% and Manufacturing 6%. So after consulting and Finance everything pretty much flatters out to small small numbers.
  • Where as function wise General management 22% and marketing 11% makes a decent case for someone looking into typical product management roles post MBA from Cornell.
  • Avg GMAT is only 700 with 5 years of avg exp for the class. 34% of the class was with international origin so that’s on the higher side of international % when it comes to US schools.

Not so good facts:

  • With an yearly estimated expense of $ 90K (Tuition + Living) Cornell will set you back by a good 1.2 Crore INR.
Financial times
The Economist
US News ranking

Cornell Johnson MBA Interviews


My interviewer called me on time and she was very accessible from the start. Fortunately, the interviewer was using her camera so this helped with the interview, I had practiced talking to the camera in front of a black screen and this kind of threw me off. I would encourage other interviewees to practice interviews this way just in case your interviewer does not use the camera. She explained how the interview was structured and what to expect. The interviewer may or may not be the same person that reviewed your application. In case it is not your interviewer will have notes about your application.

The interview was very conversational but I felt it was short, in comparison to other interviews I had. The questions I was asked were:

Tell me about yourself?
Why an MBA? Why now?
Why Johnson?
In what company would you like to work?
What is your back up plan?
What do you do in your free time?
Anything else you want to add?

After 20 minutes of conversation, my interviewer interrupted and asked if I had any questions for her. I would recommend thinking of questions for the adcom, these are not the same you would ask an Alumn or a 2nd-year student. You will have about 10 minutes to ask questions…Continue Reading Here

Cornell MBA Application Essay Tips


Are you targeting Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management? The MBA application is now live, so it’s time to tackle those Cornell MBA essays. Cornell Johnson is a flexible MBA program within an Ivy League campus. Consider for your Cornell MBA application that Cornell Johnson offers multiple full-time options. Some of the options include a one-year MBA, specialized executive programs, and the Cornell Tech MBA in Ithaca and NYC.

Whatever your goals and background, Cornell has a program that can help you achieve your goals. Johnson also works to integrate the MBA experience into the larger Cornell community and to leverage coursework at the other top-ranked graduate programs to provide more opportunity to Johnson students.

When approaching the Cornell MBA essays, set your application strategy before you start working. Then, identify the program at Cornell you are most interested in. Do some serious school research. This means research the faculty, coursework and career opportunities. Also, examine your background and goals to see what is most important to explain as part of your story.

In addition, inject a layer of personal background and experiences—what makes you truly unique. Finally, make sure you have solid academics, work experience and extracurriculars. These can be covered in your Cornell MBA essays, resume, or recommendations. If you identify any holes in your profile or story, take the time to fill them prior to starting your application. You can explain anything necessary in the optional essay.

Goals Statement: Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a….In 5 – 10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a…..

Essay 1: How has your experience prepared and encouraged you to pursue these goals?

This short answer question is a quick way to cover the relevant career goals questions for your Cornell MBA application. Make sure that your answers are clear and are consistent with your recommenders.

Once you have identified your industry, company, and role in both the short- and long-term, you can briefly answer how your past experiences have led you to your goals. Then, think about the pivotal moments in your career and how they have prepared you for the next step, or have helped to realize your passions.

Finally, pick a very brief example to cover here. In addition, you can use your resume and recommendations to showcase any other skills you need to accomplish your goals. You can explain more about your accomplishments and leadership in the Impact Essay.

Impact Essay: At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. How do you intend to make an impact during the next several years of your education and/or career? (350 words maximum)

The Cornell Johnson admissions committee advises you to use this essay “to explore the intersection of engagement and community culture. Whether during the program or following graduation, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve.”

The first step to answering this question is to do your research. Ideally you will have an opportunity to either visit Johnson or to attend an admissions event in your city. Or, as Johnson suggests, connect via phone or email. Another way to find a personal connection is to reach out friends, family and work colleagues to see if anyone knows a current or future member of the Johnson community.

As you prepare for conversations to learn more about Cornell Johnson, think about programs, extracurricular activities and the informal ways that students might interact. Johnson offers groups for interests ranging from cooking to ice hockey, and has professional clubs for every possible career path. Those formal groups, or connecting in a classroom or party, may be ways you make connections at Johnson. Showing that you know the school well is important for a successful Cornell MBA application.

Once you have identified opportunities to contribute to campus life at Johnson, ideally you support your story with evidence from your past experiences. For example, maybe you want to bring new speakers to the Johnson Marketing Association because you have contributed to your young professionals group at work. Explain that you have successfully organized events featuring major speakers for a large group of people, and can bring that skill to create impact for your peers at Johnson.

Back of your resume: The front page of your resume has given us a sense of your professional experience and accomplishments as well as your academic summary and extracurricular involvement. If the back page reflects “the rest of your story,” please help us get to know you better by sharing ONE example of a life experience, achievement, or passion that will give us a sense of who you are as a potential community member.

Of all the Cornell MBA essays, this one will show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. Think about highlighting areas you may not have been able to touch on in the previous essays. Consider an example that demonstrates your unique personal attributes. Another idea might be to focus on community involvement. For example, if you have a consistent theme of involvement in a charity or activity, this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why you became involved and what you have done over the years.

As the Admissions Committee suggests: “We encourage you to think about your proudest accomplishments, interests and passions, and personal highlights that will help us to get to know you as a person and potential community member. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style.“

This essay can be written as a 500-word essay, or delivered in one of the alternative submission formats: a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube, etc.), or visually enhanced written submissions.

If you use an alternative format, you should tailor the format you use to the message you want to send. For example, if you discuss your involvement in a cultural activity a YouTube video would be a good way to show that experience.

Or, if you have a start-up idea you may want to showcase it on a website or through a slide presentation. Don’t be too distracted by format, though. While a creative format might impress the admissions committee, substance is the most important part of the essay.

Optional Essay: You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson (350 words maximum).
If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application and candidacy since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Admissions Policy for additional information about re-applying (350 words maximum).

This optional essay allows for either an explanation of any weaknesses in your application, or additional information. Your issue could be a poor GPA or GMAT. Or you might have concerns with your undergraduate record. Possibly you were unable to provide a recommendation from a current supervisor. If any of those issues exist, this is the place to give the background.

Briefly describe the situation and what may have contributed to the issue (illness, family difficulties, etc.). Make sure you don’t editorialize—facts only. Focus the balance of your essay on looking forward. What have you done in the recent past to demonstrate your skills and intelligence?

For re-applicants, this is the place to explain what you have done since your last application. Make sure to strengthen your case for admission. If you have a new GMAT score or took classes in calculus or statistics, you have a solid case for improved academics. A promotion could signal career development and leadership.

Even if you don’t have a clear-cut update to describe, use this space to explain how you have improved your career goals or fit with Cornell.

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