Cornell University (Johnson Graduate School of Management)

Johnson prides itself on its small, family-like culture. While it prides itself on placing a lot of students into NYC (among other areas), its location in Ithaca, NY is a unique one where nature, waterfalls, and outdoor parks surround you. Demonstrating that you embrace such a setting, and wouldn’t mind escaping “the big city” for two years, will only help you at Cornell, who wants students who don’t just “accept” their remote location but embrace it.

How to Demonstrate Your 'Fit' for

Cornell University (Johnson Graduate School of Management)

Consistent with its small class size (less than 300 people in each class), Johnson prides itself on providing its students close access to professors, who literally open their homes to students and work hard to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom.  Consistent with that theme, Johnson prides itself on providing students with opportunities for real-time learning.  Well known for its first year, second semester Immersion program, where students pick an area of study and consult to real-world companies, Johnson prides itself on allowing students countless opportunities to work in the real world while attending business school. 

While it prides itself on a collaborative, family-like environment, Cornell places a lot of emphasis on analytical, challenging academics.  So as not to waste class time, Cornell has its students take exams early in the morning before classes begin.  Johnson also encourages its students to take classes outside the business school, if they so choose, to increase the breadth of academic exposure they gain while attending business school.  Making it clear that you’re there to learn, and work hard in the classroom, is important to demonstrate when applying to Johnson.  Stressing your analytical skills, and your ability to think creatively to solve real-world problems, will resonate well!

Johnson is not looking for overly-arrogant students, who they believe can tarnish their family, collaborative culture.  So your tone must be collaborative in nature when you apply.

Johnson definitely champions leadership training and skill development, even awarding about 25 full-tuition scholarships to high-potential leader applicants each year as part of their Roy Park Program.  Demonstrating that you have a leadership vision, and a desire to create positive change through business leadership, will certainly help your case.

In recent years, Johnson has taken steps to be “the tech-savvy MBA program”, offering a Tech MBA degree and a tech-focused immersion in its two-year program.  If you’re seeking a post-MBA career in the field of technology, and can articulate how you want to be part of the movement to improve business outcomes through technology, Johnson may be a great fit for you.

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