Category Archives: Cornell Advice

Tuesday Tips: Cornell Johnson Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management is a flexible MBA program housed within an Ivy League campus. Cornell Johnson offers multiple full-time options, including a one-year MBA, executive programs and a tech focused program. Cornell Johnson …

new curriculum at Cornell Johnson

Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management is a flexible MBA program housed within an Ivy League campus. Cornell Johnson offers multiple full-time options, including a one-year MBA, executive programs and a tech focused program. Cornell Johnson has multiple joint degree programs as well from a JD-MBA to MBA-MD. Whatever your goals and background Cornell has a program that can help you achieve your goals.

When approaching this set of Cornell essays it will be useful to set an application strategy. Identify the program you are most interested in and do substantial school research. Then example your background and goals to see what is most important to explain as part of your story. Next, add the layer of personal background and experiences – consider what makes you truly unique. Finally, make sure you have solid academics, work experience and extracurriculars. If you identify any holes in your profile or story, take the time to fill them prior to starting your application.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Applicants are now encouraged to show enhanced creativity in submission medium. For example, the essay may be delivered by video or a creative slide deck.

You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 500 words or less, please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. Think about highlighting areas you may not have been able to touch in the previous career focused essays, and demonstrate your unique personal attributes or community involvement. 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.

When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key moments with your friends, family, hobbies or interests that led you to be the person you are today?

This essay can be delivered in any of the media specified above (video, slide presentation, website) and you should tailor the format you use to the message you want to send. Though a creative format will impress the admissions committee substance is always the most important part of the essay. Make sure you are highlighting unique, individual qualities that will make the case for admission to Cornell.

GOALS
The prompt for this essay has been simplified to help applicants hone in on their objectives in getting an MBA.
What are your short and long term goals and how do you see the Cornell MBA enabling you to achieve both? Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

This classic career goals essay is asking for a clear description of both your short and long term goals and how Cornell fits in. This career goals essay requires you to demonstrate that your Cornell MBA will be the right next step to achieve your career goals.

Since past experiences are likely indicators of your skills and future direction, you may want to briefly outline key aspects of your career history. The question does not specifically require career history, and with the limited word count you are best served by choosing key inflection points rather than an entire resume review. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.

Make sure to spend enough time on your interest in the Cornell MBA to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important. Make sure to investigate your fit with Cornell through talking with current students or alumni, visiting campus if you can, or attending information sessions.

OPTIONAL ESSAY
Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied.

Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

This optional essay allows for either an explanation of any weaknesses in your application or additional information that may bolster your application. If you have a poor GPA or GMAT, concerns with your undergraduate record, or were unable to provide a recommendation from a current supervisor, this is the place to offer explanations, not excuses. Quickly describe the situation and what may have contributed to the issue (illness, family difficulties, etc.) without editorializing. Focus the balance of your essay on looking forward: what have you done in the recent past to demonstrate your skills and intelligence?

If you are a reapplicant this is the ideal place to explain what you have done since your last application 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 development to describe you can use this space to explain how you have improved your thinking, career goals, or fit with Cornell.

Stuck on the Johnson Cornell essay questions? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

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Cornell’s Johnson School Posts Fall 2016 MBA Essay Prompts

The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has announced the required and optional essay questions that are part of the 2015-2016 MBA application. The school has fine-tuned the application process this year in an …

Cornell Johnson deadlinesThe Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has announced the required and optional essay questions that are part of the 2015-2016 MBA application. The school has fine-tuned the application process this year in an effort to help candidates convey their strengths and attributes.

“We’ve refined the application process at Johnson to better help candidates reflect on their personal journey and goals, and to present their best selves, as potential MBA students and future Cornellians,” says Judi Byers, executive director of admissions and financial aid.

“Discovering each candidate’s unique strengths is always exciting, and we are looking forward to seeing how applicants choose to convey their strengths through the essay submissions this year.”

Fall 2016 Required Essays

Table of Contents

Applicants are now encouraged to show enhanced creativity in submission medium. For example, the essay may be delivered by video or a creative slide deck.

You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 500 words or less, please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

Maximum file size is 5 MB. We recommend that you upload your submission in MS Word, PowerPoint, or PDF format. We cannot accept .zip or .exe files.

Goals

The prompt for this essay has been simplified to help applicants hone in on their objectives in getting an MBA.

What are your short and long term goals and how do you see the Cornell MBA enabling you to achieve both? Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

Optional Essay

Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied.

Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

You may also be interested in:

Cornell Johnson Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines

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Tuesday Tips: Cornell MBA Essay Tips

Over the past several years Cornell’s Johnson MBA program has revamped everything from the curriculum, to the programs offered by the school to the application process. Candidates can now choose between a traditional two-year full …

Over the past several years Cornell’s Johnson MBA program has revamped everything from the curriculum, to the programs offered by the school to the application process. Candidates can now choose between a traditional two-year full time MBA program and a one-year program designed for focused candidates with an educational foundation in business topics. Another, newer program, offers a one-year study opportunity in New York City focused on technology.

Cornell’s application process has innovated as well. Now a new process integrates Linked In profiles with the application process allowing candidates to auto-fill sections of the application. If you’re looking for help and advice on any aspect of your Cornell MBA application, contact us to learn more.

Applicants for both the One-Year and Two-Year Ithaca based MBA programs: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2,000 characters or less please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity

This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your unique career goals, personal attributes or community involvement. Something that has been a constant theme in your life since childhood could be an interesting part of this essay. Perhaps you have had a lifelong involvement with a charity, sport or musical pursuit.

When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key stories involving your friends, family, professional pursuits, hobbies or interests that impacted the person you are now? This narrative likely has more than one focus because you are more than one-dimensional. You may spend one chapter on a personal event, another on interests in school, and another on an important travel experience. Consider balancing the personal, professional and extracurricular carefully to communicate as much as possible about each area.

Though the essay specifically asks for the Table of Contents, you can certainly illuminate each chapter through brief descriptions. Describe the major milestones and be sure to share your essay with friends and family to make sure you are communicating effectively though the creative exercise.

One-Year Ithaca applicants only: How does your pre-MBA experience prepare you for the job that you envision post-MBA? (2,000 characters)

Two-Year Ithaca applicants only: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2,000 characters)

Both the applicants to the one- and two-year programs in Ithaca are asked to define career goals in this set of essays. The essay for the one-year program asks for your career goals, but also asks for more detail on your pre-MBA experience. The two-year essay prompt is more directly focused on your job immediately post MBA.

For either essay you will want to give some background about why you are interested in your specific career pursuits. Rather than reciting every experience pre-MBA you ideally will focus on the key inflection points in your career. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.

For the one-year essay prompt note that the essay asks generally about your pre-MBA experiences and not only your purely professional experiences. You may have learned about yourself and your interests from an extracurricular or volunteer activity and that background may be entirely appropriate for this question as well.

Make sure to spend enough time on how the Cornell MBA will help you achieve your career goals to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important as you develop your career network.

Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech: As the only MBA program not housed in a business school, we know our students will be different. Students will be part of an innovative environment where creativity, technical sophistication, and sharp business sense share seats at the table. We value expressions of who you are and what you add to this formula.

There are three ways to demonstrate how you fit within this dynamic setting. You must select one of the following as part of your application, demonstrating your creativity, style and technical experience:
• send a link to your work
• upload a video
• provide a written sample

Whether you choose a creative approach or write an essay in response to this question, researching the Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech is a productive way to start working on this question. The Johnson MBA focuses heavily on technology and digital, and is seeking students who have practical experience in those areas. This experience could span anything from programming to graphic design, or even business development.

If you are someone with a creative or technical skill set than sending a link to your work may be an ideal expression of why you are applying to this program. For almost anyone creating a video could demonstrate your creativity, personal attributes, and personal fit with the program. If you focus on a written essay as a response make sure you are able to communicate your passion for technology, the digital economy, and the opportunity to study with students in the Cornell Tech Master’s program.

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MBA Essay Tips from Johnson’s Admissions Director

Following recent application and essay innovations at Cornell’s Johnson School, interim MBA admissions director Ann W. Richards shared tips on how to approach the new, streamlined essay section. This year, applicants for both the one-year …

Johnson School

Following recent application and essay innovations at Cornell’s Johnson School, interim MBA admissions director Ann W. Richards shared tips on how to approach the new, streamlined essay section.

This year, applicants for both the one-year and two-year Ithaca based MBA programs are asked to write “Your Life Story” in 1,000 characters or less, as though it were the table of contents for the book of Your Life.

Cornell’s Johnson School values creativity and authenticity, and Richards suggests applicants use this format to convey something unique about themselves so that the admissions committee can better understand who you are and what motivates you. Obviously, this prompt differs from a traditional MBA essay, and Richards stresses that it doesn’t need to be a chronological list of your life. Approach it creatively!

Two-year applicants must then share—in 1,000 characters or less—what job they would like to have immediately upon graduating with an MBA. Richards urges honesty in this essay as it will help AdCom determine if Johnson is the right place to move you toward your future goals.

One-year applicants need to explain how their pre-MBA experience prepared them for the job they envision post-MBA—also in 1,000 characters or less. The admissions director explains the reasoning for this question is, “To determine if you can transition into your next job at an accelerated pace.”

Strong candidates will show they’ve done their homework on the career field they want to move into, says Richards, and can demonstrate they’ve got the skills and experience to bring their career up to the next level.

The optional essay is the place to address any aspects of your application you feel need further explanation, but Richards says applicants could also use the space to drive home all of their strengths. Either approach is welcome, though the director warns against recycling an optional essay written for another program!

The admissions team at Cornell’s Johnson School will be traveling across the globe in August, with events scheduled in Shanghai and Beijing next week, Forté Forum events on the East Coast mid-month, and MBA fairs in various South American cities at the end of August.

You may also be interested in:

New Application at Cornell’s Johnson School Adds LinkedIn Feature

Big Curriculum Changes at Cornell’s Johnson School

 

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5 Interview Tips from Cornell’s Johnson School

Many business schools will soon extend interview invitations to Round 2 candidates, so there’s no better time to absorb a few additional tips to help you navigate this all-important step in the MBA admissions process. …

Cornell's Johnson SchoolMany business schools will soon extend interview invitations to Round 2 candidates, so there’s no better time to absorb a few additional tips to help you navigate this all-important step in the MBA admissions process.

In a recent update to the admissions blog at Cornell’s Johnson School of Business, Christine Sneva, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, offers targeted advice that can be useful no matter where you have applied.

Here are Johnson’s five interview tips to help you successfully convey your professionalism, interpersonal and presentation skills, and readiness for a rigorous MBA program.

1. “Dress professionally but more importantly, act it.”  Sneva points out that the admissions committee takes into consideration every communication and interaction they have with applicants as part of the selection process.

2. Be prepared to talk about your work experience.”  Your interviewer needs to know what is your “professional action plan” and which transferable skills will lead you to your goals, says Sneva, who urges applicants to structure their responses carefully and clearly so you don’t go off-topic and risk not answering the question.

3. If you know your weakness, work on it!” Sometimes, applicants become paralyzed by their weaknesses and don’t realize that they can take steps to overcome them even before sitting down to interview. Have limited quantitative experience or a low GMAT score? Consider retaking the test or or signing up for a class in accounting, managerial finance, or statistics.

Worried about poor presentation or communication skills? Sneva suggests joining a local Toastmasters Club or similar public speaking group. Planning a significant career transition? Seek out informational interviews to help you refine your career goals, or network with individuals in your desired industry, Sneva counsels.

4. If invited to interview, reach out to a current student or alum. Nothing beats advice straight from someone who has already gone through the process and lives to tell the tale.

5. Lastly, “practice, practice, practice!” If you’re under-prepared or shaking from nerves, you’ll likely be unable to fully engage in the conversation, Sneva warns. “Before going into an interview, you should always have prepared your value proposition and why you are at this point in your life/career,” she says.

Enlist the help of family and friends, and ask them to provide constructive feedback. Once you have “experienced” the interview a few times you will be more relaxed and able to focus on connecting with your interviewer and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the school.

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Tuesday Tips: Cornell Johnson MBA Essay Tips

According to the Cornell MBA admissions blog, Cornell “changed the direction of our questions this year to better understand your career choices and of course, who you are.” Cornell MBA’s relatively short essay set is …

According to the Cornell MBA admissions blog, Cornell “changed the direction of our questions this year to better understand your career choices and of course, who you are.”

Cornell MBA’s relatively short essay set is a strong opportunity to focus your application strategy and demonstrate your personal qualities, goals and fit with the Johnson School. These three essays allow you to show many aspects of your background and personality.

Part I: Career Choice Essay (300 word maximum)
How would you characterize your career since college?

Part II: Career Goal Essay (400 word maximum)
Tell us about your short and long term career goals.

As directed, you should avoid communicating everything about your career progress thus far, and instead focus on the key inflection points rather than an entire resume review. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.

For the second part of your question you will want to describe your goals ”“ ideally you can describe how you view your career unfolding from graduation to achievement of your ultimate goal as a logical trajectory.

Make sure to spend enough time on how the Cornell MBA will help you achieve your short- and long-term MBA goals to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important as you develop your career network.

Part III: Character Essay (400 word maximum for chosen question), please choose one of the following to write about:

a. You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. Please write the table of contents for the book. Note: Approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.

This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. Think about highlighting areas you may not have been able to touch in the first essay, which was focused on your professional life. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your unique personal attributes or community involvement. 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.

When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key stories involving your friends, family, hobbies or interests that impacted the person you are now?

Though the essay specifically asks for the Table of Contents, you can certainly illuminate each chapter through brief descriptions. Describe the major milestones and be sure to share your essay with friends and family to make sure you are communicating effectively though the creative exercise.

b. Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed and tell us what you learned.

Leadership can be effectively formed through difficulty and failures. In this essay you will want to demonstrate how you have effectively navigated disappointment, reacted when challenged or learned how to improve from a failure.

As you think about a failure you may want to describe, consider those examples that changed your direction or approach either professionally or personally. Cornell wants to understand more about you as a person and how you think. After you describe the failure and set up the situation, make sure you describe what change and growth resulted. This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and leadership qualities.

c. What does diversity mean to you and how will you contribute to the diversity of our community at Johnson?

This essay requires you to research Johnson thoroughly to demonstrate that you understand what diversity at Cornell means and how you will contribute. You should be aware of the major academic, extracurricular and social components of the MBA program and think seriously about how you will add to the mix. Perhaps you want to start a club or a conference based on unique industry knowledge. Maybe you aspire to help a professor with her research because of a special interest you have. Or you plan return to the school to be a panelist or mentor once you develop your individual professional pursuits.

Research on your own is a great first step, but the personal approach may pay more dividends in this essay. Think about networking with current students or alumni, visiting campus, and attending information sessions to understand what you will bring to the table that is different. If you are able to talk to a current student or alum about your essay topic you might gain valuable feedback on the direction you can take in this essay.

Struggling with your Cornell essays? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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