Following a year-long strategic study, full-time MBA students at Cornell Johnson College of Business have voted for grade non-disclosure. This means they needn’t disclose their grades to recruiters until they have received a full-time, post-graduation job offer.
What is Covered by the New Policy?
The policy covers GPAs, grades in courses, and grades on assignments or exams. Exceptions include dual-degree students pursuing non-MBA roles, such as JD/MBA candidates who need to disclose their GPAs to law firm recruiters.
Additionally, the policy excludes Johnson Cornell Tech students applying to positions not restricted to MBAs at the Cornell Tech campus. It also affects students applying for fellowships, public sector, international, and/or nonprofit positions.
With recruitment for MBA graduates starting earlier than ever before, stakeholders needed to evaluate the alignment of academics and recruiting. As associate Dean for MBA Programs, Vishal Gaur, explains, “We hope that grade non-disclosure will encourage students to take more academic risks and think holistically about their education, personal development, leadership, and the impact they want to have in the future.”
Does Grade Non-Disclosure Affect Recruiting?
David Capaldi, director of Johnson’s Career Management Center, doesn’t think the change will have a significant impact.
“Recruiters know how to ask the right technical and case questions to assess whether a student is ready for the job, and that kind of data is far more helpful to a firm than a GPA,” explains Capaldi, who worked on Wall Street for 20 years before returning to Johnson.
“In investment banking, for example, our students have consistently shown their ability to perform in interviews and on the job. We continue to have a very high internship conversion rate for banking, and we are seeing similar trends in consulting and marketing this year as well. Ultimately, that kind of track record is what attracts firms to recruit at Johnson,” Capaldi says.
Non-Disclosure Strengthens Collaborative Community
“Teamwork and a community focus are foundational to Johnson,” says Victoria Wilmarth, MBA ’18, who served as faculty chair of the Johnson Student Council. She was also a member of the committee that studied the issue over the 2017–2018 academic year.
“This vote helps bring Johnson’s academic experiences into alignment with the school’s values. I think this will deepen students’ commitment to collaborative learning and support academic risk taking for professional and personal development.”
For more details on the change, visit the Cornell Johnson newsroom.