Essay 1: Describe your greatest professional achievement and how you were able to add value to your organization (400 words).
When choosing what achievement to describe, be aware that you are conveying your values in your choice. You want to show the Cornell MBA program that you have made a measurable impact, but consider how you define what is impact or “value add” to your organization. There are certainly non-traditional ways to add value to your organization. Think honestly about what you are proud enough to label as your greatest professional achievement. Then, be sure to write about the details of the experience succinctly and focus on WHY you view this as an accomplishment and HOW you made things happen. Show them your priorities, and leadership style by describing what you thought and did and the resulting impact.
Essay 2: What career do you plan to pursue upon completing the Cornell MBA and why? How will the Johnson School help you achieve this goal? (400 words)
Note that this essay is forward looking. They have not asked for your past career experiences. Resist the urge to get into your resume. Only mention your past experiences to show inspiration regarding your future goals, but be brief in doing so. As with the all essays of this nature, you should connect your career goals to what is important to you (this does not mean they are one and the same, but that there is some correlation). Also articulate concrete ideas, that could include both short and long term goals. Similar to Stanford, Chicago, and Wharton‘s career essays, you must be specific about how the Cornell MBA program will help you achieve your goals – offer up classes, clubs, etc that will help you. They want to see that you are ready to hit the ground running, that you will take advantage of the Cornell program and make a difference in their community.
Optional Essay: Complete this essay if there is other information you would like to add regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate GPA or test scores) do(es) not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School (400 words).
This is only for situations like those they describe in the question — GPA, test scores, recommender choices (started a new job recently so you needed to ask a former supervisor for a rec). Explain the situation succinctly.