Johnson at Cornell University 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our school-specific MBA essay tips!Are you looking for a close-knit, collaborative MBA program focused on experiential learning, committed to innovation, and further differentiated by an immersion learning component? Plus, it’s located on an Ivy League campus with all the resources and networking opportunities the larger community provides. Still interested? You’ve found it at Cornell Johnson.

I attended a class there last March and was really impressed by the dynamic professor and lively classroom interaction. I am also pleased to note that Cornell Johnson is letting you link to your LinkedIn profile as part of your MBA application. In addition to saving you time, this optional step allows Cornell Johnson to see you as a potential employer would.

This innovation highlights two realities in MBA admissions:

1. Social media count. For LinkedIn in particular, keep your profile up-to-date and professional. Make sure it’s something you’re proud of and happy to have others view.  

2. Much of MBA admissions is driven by prospective employment at graduation. Schools want to know that you have the experience to attract recruiter attention and to land a great post-MBA job. Many, many schools will at some point in the application evaluation process seek input from career services if they have any doubt about the attainability of your post-MBA goals. Let your profile and any information about your professional experience speak to that point.

Finally since your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have the tight limits you have in your MBA application, you may be able to provide more context and information there than here. However, no one wants to read a detailed autobiography on LinkedIn. Keep your job descriptions within reason if you do give Cornell access to your profile.   

Essays:

1. You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2000 characters (including formatting 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.

Have a little fun with the question. You certainly have a lot of options and flexibility here. You can reveal something about your youth, influential experiences or people, challenges, hobbies, interests, passions… Perhaps where you intend to be in 30 years. It’s Your Life Story. 

2. Targeted Job Type: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

Be concrete in describing what you would like to do. “Pursue a position that I find personally satisfying” or “Have a positive impact on society” are non-starters.  What task do you want to perform and in what industry do you want to perform it? The answer to that question is the foundation of your response to Cornell’s question.

2000 characters is a little less than 400 words so you may give a little background as to how this goal developed or why your previous experience when combined with a Johnson MBA, will help you achieve it.

3. Post-Collegiate Activities: List community activities (clubs, church, civic, etc.) and professional associations you contributed to since graduation from college. Please include the organization name, your role, hours dedicated, elected offices held, and dates of participation. (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

Depending on how many activities you have, you may be able to go into a little detail or you may need to just stick to the facts. As much as possible, highlight evidence of impact, leadership, and collaborative teamwork. Quantify if you can.

4. Collegiate Activities and Employment: List your extracurricular activities while in college in order of importance to you. You may include details about your positions and the time commitment, honors or awards received, and dates of participation. The list may also include part-time and summer employment held while in college. Please list your employer, job title, responsibilities, hours per week, and the dates for each position. (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

Very similar to #3, highlight impact, leadership and teamwork. Quantify when possible.  The one twist with this question: list the extracurricular activities in order of importance to you.  

5. Hobbies and Activities: Please describe any hobbies or activities that hold special significance for you. (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

What do you do regularly when you aren’t working? Which of these activities would you like Johnson to know about? If you have too many to fit in the 2000 character limit, then choose those that show you contributing innovatively to your community and taking initiative. 

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. (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

Clearly you can use this optional to add context for a weakness in your record. Either a low stat or a period of unemployment or some dip in an otherwise strong record of achievement.However the wording is pretty open. If there is something positive or if you want to provide context for an achievement — challenges you overcome or circumstances that made your accomplishment even more noteworthy — you can also do so here. 

If you would like professional guidance with your Cornell Johnson MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Cornell Johnson application. 

Cornell Johnson 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decisions Released
Round 1 October 1, 2014 December 17, 2014
Round 2 January 7, 2015 March 25, 2015
Round 3 March 11, 2015 May 13, 2015
Rolling June 3, 2015 – Final day to submit Rolling admissions

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for Cornell Johnson, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • Steve

      Hi Linda,

      Would you please provide insight into my profile for Cornell and/or similar business schools?

      1) All with PepsiCo Foods Canada:
      (Aug ’13- current) – Manufacturing Business Manager at Production Facility. 7 direct reports with 150+ total team. Concurrently inaugural co-chair for National Employee Resource Group.
      (Jan 13 – Aug 13) Project Change Leader in Atlantic Canada for global packaging automation pilot. Scope including layoffs, total spend >$2M.
      (Sept 12 – Dec 12) Manufacturing Team Leader in Western Canada on short-term assignment during active union campaign at facility. Coached other team leads effective leadership skills to manage labour disruption. Did not go to vote.
      (Jan 12 – Sept 12) Manufacturing Team Leader on night shift in Eastern Canada (40 total team). When promoted the team signed a petition to “Keep Steve as our Night Shift Resource”.
      (May 10 – Dec 11) Supply Chain Leadership Designate. Managed small team projects with total spend and savings >$1M. No reports.

      2) GMAT 660/80th (V35/76, Q47/69). Capable of scoring 720 if I rewrite.
      3) Queen’s University at Kingston. Engineering Physics GPA 3.0. Class of 2010. Grades have high fluctuation – lots of C’s in classes like Quantum Physics and Nuclear Physics and lots of A’s in classes like Fluid Mechanics and Calculus. GPA trend is flat.
      4) Collegiate: President of the Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy Club. Elected voting member of Engineering Society. Volunteer with Boys & Girls Club.
      Post Collegiate: President of a Rotaract Club in 2011-2012 but not a lot of extra-curricular experience since, partially because of working night shift/weekends and moving across the country for work 3 times. Can justify Employee Resource Group Co-Chair position as “volunteer”.
      5) No certifications
      6) Stay with PepsiCo, shift career towards Global Commercialization. Have relevant product commercialization experience in current positions.

      I believe I have a strong resume and great leadership experience but have concerns about my grades/GMAT. Also concerned about my lack of community involvement in recent years.

      Thanks!

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        Steve,

        I agree with your self-assessment and share your concerns. I think you have two clear options.

        1) Apply this year with your current score and apply to programs including Indian Kelley, Penn State, HEC Paris, Michigan State, and Rotman. if you want to submit to Cornell because it’s your dream school, go ahead, but I’m not optimistic.

        2) Work between now and next year to really improve your profile and apply to programs like Cornell, Darden, Vanderbilt, Ross, and UNC. You can improve your profile by getting that 720 and earning a few A’s in business-related classes. Although the few A’s may be less important if you have A’s in quant classes.

        if there extenuating circumstances that contributed to the low grades, let them know.

        (As I’m sure you realize, being capable of a 720 is not the same as having one.)

        Best,
        Linda

        • Steve

          Thanks, Linda! I appreciate your feedback.

          If I re-write the GMAT in early 2015 and score 720+ do you think my odds of entry would improve? Is there a “threshold” GMAT score with my profile that would make me a stronger contender for Round 3?

          Thanks again.

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            There’s not published (or unpublished) magic number for R3. For the schools you’re aiming for and your profile, I believe that a 720 would still give a decent shot at acceptance, but fewer applicants are accepted R3 than in earlier rounds. I’m not sure you have the diversity elements — even if you do have the academic qualifications — for a successful R3 application.

            You could always raise your GMAT and try for R3. If you get in, great. If you don’t, you try again R1 of next year. But if you apply R3, you won’t have time to earn a couple of A’s and that was part of my suggestion.

            Linda

  • Animesh

    1) (’13- present) Analyst at Copal Amba (a Moody’s subsidiary) : working as a fixed income index research analyst for a bulge bracket US bank. One promotion.
    (’11-’13) Analyst at Deloitte Consulting : worked in the ERP consulting division.
    2) GMAT : 720(94%) /49(79%)/ 38(85%)
    3) Graduated from BITS Pilani (India) in 2011. cgpa : 6.66/10 with a downward trend.
    4) Volunteer at the college alumni association, conducted fund raisers for a global non profit, college Tennis team.
    5) CFA L2 candidate
    6) Work as a finance consultant in a Big 4 advisory practice.
    Besides Cornell, considering Kenan-Flagler, Darden, Tepper, Mcdonough, Simon, Rotman, Said.
    Thanks a ton in advance !

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      You have a chance at all your target programs including Cornell, but I’m concerned about that downward trending GPA. Depending on what caused the decline and how steep it was, it could be a problem at any of these programs. Please see http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/06/mba-admissions-a-z-u-is-for-undergrad-grades-2/ .

      Best,
      Linda

      • Animesh

        Thanks Linda for the response. That’s an excellent blog. Couple of questions :
        1) So what would be more beneficial? Taking a few business courses or pulling up the GMAT to 750?
        2) How would you assess my chances at Duke and Anderson?
        Regards,
        Animesh

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Both! :-)

          If you force me to choose, I would choose a few recent A’s. You need to show that you know how to apply yourself in an academic setting. You’ve already earned a competitive GMAT.

          Best,
          Linda

          • Animesh

            Thank you for the guidance.
            Regards,
            Animesh