Current Full-Time Cornell Johnson Student Interview

  

Accepted.com is continuing a blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at selected MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Cornell JohnsonHere’s a talk with a student who came to Cornell Johnson with a life sciences/criminology background, then transitioned into an international career in finance.

We hear Ithaca is “gorges” but what about those winters?

I’m a native of Hong Kong and grew up in Toronto, so the winters weren’t a big deal.  Cornell’s proximity to Wall Street was a major advantage during my job hunt.

What did you want out of an MBA program? Did your career goals change once you arrived?

I did want an Ivy League school — maybe it’s Asia — but people are way more aware of names than rankings, and that helps with the job search. I was deciding between Brand Management and Finance, but realized all the good brand management jobs were restricted to Americans. So I dedicated my search to finance, since I don’t have a green card and was not going to add an additional challenge to an already tough process.

What strategies helped you find a job?

Face to face time is so important.  I basically commuted to New York City a lot, made countless phone calls, even flew out to Hong Kong to meet people.  But the effort paid off.

What are you doing now?

I’m working in finance with the cash sales trading group in Citigroup in Hong Kong.

How did you sell yourself to them, without having a finance background?

Honestly, I think my life sciences familiarity gave me a different perspective and helped me sell myself as a special candidate. With life sciences, I’ll have a strength when selling equities in bio tech, pharmaceuticals.

What was your best day on campus at Cornell?

My best day was when I got my internship and full time offer! From then on, I could focus on my classes and social life. I was just cruising by then.

What was your worst day?

There were a few — mostly during the initial job search, when i was looking for an internship. The process was competitive, and first semester is always intense. It was very difficult to balance the academics and the job search.

Who were your favorite professors and why?

My Chinese professor was fantastic, because she really, really took the time out to make sure I learnt my Chinese well in preparation for class. I also really liked my accounting professors Margaret Shackell Dowell and Mark Nelson. Accounting wasn’t my forte, but they let me take my time to make sure I really understood the concepts.

Can you recommend any cozy places to warm up, and fill up?

Plumtrum, Sangam and State Street Diner.

And finally why do you think you got the job you want?  Any tips for incoming students on the job hunt?

Yes, network early! Get your resume ready early, be confident in yourself, be realistic, and also have backup plans.

Michelle StockmanInterview conducted by Michelle Stockman, who worked in the Columbia Business School admissions office, has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia, and has assisted Accepted.com clients applying to top business schools since 2007.  She is happy to help you with your application.

download-our-free-special-report-be



Forbes Announces Top Ten Business Schools

  

Forbes has just released its list of the top business schools in America. The Forbesranking methodology is based on the return on investment achieved by the class of 2006. They surveyed 16,000 alumni at over 100 schools and received feedback from 30% of those grads. They then compared the earnings of the respondents from 2006-2011 to the cost of business school.

While Forbes lists 74 top schools, the top ten are:

  1. Harvard
  2. Stanford
  3. Chicago (Booth)
  4. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  5. Columbia
  6. Dartmouth (Tuck)
  7. Northwestern (Kellogg)
  8. Cornell (Johnson)
  9. Virginia (Darden)
  10. MIT (Sloan)

Poets and Quants analyzes the Forbes’ data in terms of winners and losers, those who went up in the Forbes’ rankings and those who went down; it provides a useful table comparing the salary data by school to previous years’ salary data.

Of greater interest to me is the overall profitable MBA picture presented by the Forbes data: every single program in the top 74 has positive ROI, admittedly less in more expensive locales and a few in single digits, but the overwhelming majority showed a greater than 20% gain after five years. And that’s despite the recession.

So for those of you who have professional goals that require an MBA, it looks like a solid investment.   

Linda AbrahamBy , President and Founder of Accepted.com

 

find-out-which-b-schools-are-best-with





Cornell Johnson 2012 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

The Cornell Johnson 2013 MBA Application Essay Tips are Available. Click Here to Check Them Out!

This Cornell Johnson 2012 MBA Application tip post is one in a series providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. Review the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA essay advice. 


Cornell Johnson

Cornell Johnson 2012 MBA Essay Questions

Essays Required for All Applicants:

1) What career do you plan to pursue upon completion of an MBA degree and why?

MBA goals question, but slightly different from last year, which also asked “Why Johnson?” This is a straight-forward goals question. What do you want to do after your MBA degree. Answer in terms of function and industry, and maybe geography, if that is an important part of your goal. 

As long as your goal requires an MBA and is supported by Johnson’s curriculum, the “why” part of this question is almost certainly more important than the “What.” Rather than waxing eloquent about your philosophy of career choice, tell a story about a seminal event or impressive achievement that reflects your interest in and fitness for your chosen profession. If your a career changer, then your story needs to reveal the qualities that you have demonstrated and that are required for your desired path.

2) 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.

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. 

3) What legacy would you hope to leave as a Johnson Graduate?

Christine Sneva writes on the Johnson admissions blog “The adcom wants you to really evaluate what “fit” means to you for Johnson. ‘Fit’ is different for everyone, so we want to see how authentic and purposeful you are about applying.”

So this question is about fit, but it also is about “legacy.” What are you going to leave at Johnson? How will your class be better because you are in it? Where do you plan to contribute? Show that you have done your homework on the curricular and co-curricular aspects of Cornell Johson in your response.

Essay Required for All Re-applicants: How did you strengthen your application since you last applied to the Johnson School?(400 word limit)

This is the key question for all MBA re-applicants. Why are you a better applicant now than you were when they rejected you last time?

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. (400 word limit)

Given how little Johnson requests, I encourage you to write the optional essay. Just make sure you are submitting an informative optional essay that complements the required essays and adds to the reader’s knowledge of you and your qualifications.  If you do not have something to explain, this optional would be a great place to explore in depth a non-professional interest or commitment of yours.

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

Cornell Johnson 2012 MBA Application Deadlines

Round Application Notification
Round 1 October 12, 2011 December 20, 2011
Round 2 November 30, 2011 February 28, 2012
Round 3 January 25, 2012 March 27, 2012
Round 4 March 14, 2012 April 24, 2012

Linda Abraham By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.

MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • An article in Inside Higher Ed examines Wake Forest University’s Schools of Business climb in the rankings. The school’s success is due to its focus on job placement and career management.  This news only highlights how important it is for business schools to advocate on behalf of their students looking for employment.
  • With all the outsiders debating the importance of getting an MBA, the Huffington Post takes a look at a dean’s insider perspective on the value of a graduate degree in business. Joe Thomas, the Dean of Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, explores how MBA programs have grown and become increasingly valuable over the years.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek has assembled a list of what business school professors think MBA students should read over the summer to prepare for the following school year.  The top choices include: Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust (Times Books, April 2011) by Diana B. Henriques, Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping their Futures and Yours (Harvard Business Press, March 2011) by Tarun Khanna, and How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One (Harper, January 2011) by Stanley Fish.
  • An article in The Financial Times announced that the Kenan-Flager school at University of North Carolina will launch a dual-degree program with the school of pharmacy. The new PharmD/MBA degree will allow students to earn both a doctorate in pharmacy and an MBA in five years.
  • US News evaluates how American MBA programs have encouraged their students to learn about the modern day global economy through classroom study and treks abroad.  However, Guy Pfeffermann, founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network, feels not enough is being done and “schools need to bring in more students from emerging markets and developing countries.”

Accepted.comAccepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best


MBA Admissions: Cornell Johnson and Sustainable Global Enterprise Management

  

This post about Cornell Johnson and sustainable global enterprise management is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.

What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in sustainable global enterprise management?

Students should be able to demonstrate a passion for the sustainability space.  Also, having a solid background in consulting, banking, corporate finance, or marketing helps.  Sustainability positions usually require a proven functional skill.

What aspects of Johnson’s curriculum are best suited to students who want to pursue a career in sustainable global enterprise management?

The Sustainable Global Enterprise Immersion provides a solid foundation on the sustainability industry.  In recognition that many of the sustainability jobs require strong functional skills, the immersion allows the flexibility of taking other courses during the spring semester of the 1st year.

Which school clubs, programs, and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in sustainable global enterprise management?

Participation in the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club – Net Impact Chapter is key.  Those interested in energy should join the Energy Club.  Students should also join clubs related to specific function, such as Old Ezra for finance, the Consulting Club for consulting, or the Marketing Association for marketing.

Since sustainable global enterprise management is a broad term, can you provide some examples of the positions held by graduates in this field?

Some of the graduates take positions in jobs outside of the core sustainability space where they may be able to incorporate the sustainability mindset into their jobs.  Those who take positions within the sustainability field work in a variety of industries and functions.  Some examples include the Renewable Energy Leadership Program at General Electric, marketing at S.C. Johnson, strategic analysis at Waste Management, Accenture Development Partnerships Program at Accenture, financial planning analyst at EnerNOC, Commercial Operations Manager at Yingli Green Energy, and strategy with the Environmental Defense Fund.

Which organizations recruit at Cornell Johnson for environmental management/sustainable development? How many graduates of your 2010 class received offers in this field?

Most companies in this space do minimal on-campus recruiting, so many students do independent career searches.  Some companies that do come on campus include General Electric, Accenture, EnerNoc, Education Pioneers, and Acciona.

The percentage of students who receive offers in this field range from 5%-10%.

MBA Admissions: Cornell Johnson and Brand Management

  

This post about Cornell Johnson and brand management is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.

What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in brand/product management?

For traditional brand management roles, background can be less important than the ability to highlight your leadership, teamwork, analytical skills, and a passion for understanding the customer/consumer.
For product management roles, recruiters like to see many of the same skills as for brand management.  Most product managers have some type of technical or engineering degree pre-MBA.  Ideally, having some customer-facing experience (sales presentations, etc.) can help set students apart.

What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in brand/product management?

The strategic marketing immersion, which students take the second semester of their first year, is the best suited for students interested in careers in brand and product management.  In this immersion, you and your team are essentially brand/product managers on a real marketing project, and the team has a significant amount of interaction with the client.  The projects cover a wide range of industries, including CPG, high tech, and pharma/biotech.

Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in brand/product management?

Students should join the Marketing Association.  Those who have interests in specific industries should join other relevant clubs such as the High Tech, Healthcare and Biotechnology, and Sustainable Global Enterprise, Media and Entertainment, and Retail and Luxury Clubs.

Since “brand/product management” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Cornell Johnson excels in?

Most of our marketing students pursue careers in consumer packaged goods brand management or product management in healthcare/pharma or high tech.  We have a smaller percentage of students who pursue careers in leadership rotational programs, marketing research/analytics and brand consulting.

Which five brand/product management firms recruit the most Cornell Johnson graduates? What kinds of positions did they go into?

  • Brand Management:  S.C. Johnson, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser
  • Product Management:  Corning, Amgen, Genentech, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Cisco

Download Accepted’s new special report, MBA Action Plan, for practical tips on what you can do now to increase your chances of getting in to a top business school next year. (P.S. It’s free!)


MBA Admissions: Cornell Johnson and Entrepreneurship

  

This post about Cornell Johnson and entrepreneurship is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.

What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in an entrepreneurial career?

We like to see students who already started a business or are in a family business; someone who is pre-disposed to taking action and researching, who knows what they don’t know. You can’t learn entrepreneurship by getting an MBA, but the MBA experience helps entrepreneurs.

What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to pursue entrepreneurship?

Our immersion in Entrepreneurship and Private Equity is a great start. It provides lots of interaction with our virtual entrepreneurs in residence. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute also provides students with a wide range of experiential programs in addition to coursework and networking.

Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in entrepreneurship?

The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, business plan competitions, and the clubs providing services for entrepreneurs are most relevant. The student-run entrepreneurship clubs include BR Ventures (a seed-stage venture capital fund), BR Consulting (consulting services for start-up companies), BR Legal (legal services for new ventures), or BR MicroCapital (business advising and lending services for local entrepreneurs).

Since “entrepreneurship” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the sub-categories in the field that Cornell Johnson excels in?

Technology transfer and scientific research incubators are some of the sub-categories that Cornell Johnson excels in.

What percentage of the class joins a start up or starts their own company upon graduation? Within approximately 5 years of graduating Cornell Johnson?  

2-3% of the class might join a start-up or start a new company upon graduation.

What types of companies did they start or start-ups did they join?

The placements vary each year.

MBA Admissions: Cornell Johnson and Investment Banking

  

This post about Cornell Johnson and investment banking is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.

What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in investment banking?

Investment banks are open to considering a wide variety of backgrounds, from Military to Engineering; this helps them expand their perspectives on the clients they serve. With that said, banks are much quicker about getting to yes on a candidate if they have some experience with financial modeling, valuation or accounting.

What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in investment banking?

Johnson has perhaps the best pre-banking curriculums in the country. Our investment banking immersion, taught by a former Merrill Lynch Managing Director, is designed to put first-year students in real Associate-level scenarios and prepare them for summer internships. We also require future bankers to take Valuation, Accounting, Finance and additional modeling seminars.

Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in investment banking?

Our Old Ezra Finance Club is the primary club concerned with investment banking. In their weekly meetings, OE focuses on the soft skills and tactical plans to secure an investment banking position.

Since “investment banking” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that your school excels in?

Investment banking is typically thought of as M&A and Corporate Finance advisory at most firms. Although, the banks often provide sales & trading services, private wealth management and asset management services as well. Johnson’s Capital Markets and Asset Management Immersion helps students focus on those careers.

Which investment banking firms recruit at Cornell Johnson? How many graduates of your 2010 class received offers from each of these firms?

Over the past few years, every major Wall Street firm hired Johnson students in investment banking, as well as a number of boutique, specialty and regional firms. In 2010, a down year for banking, roughly 20 students at Johnson accepted full time positions. This compares to approximately 40 in 2008 and 40 internships in 2011.

Download Accepted’s new special report, MBA Action Plan, for practical tips on what you can do now to increase your chances of getting in to a top business school next year. (P.S. It’s free!)


MBA Admissions: Cornell Johnson and Management Consulting

  

This post about Cornell Johnson and management consulting is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.

What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in consulting?

Specific background is of lesser importance than possessing transferrable skills and the ability to translate why consulting makes sense as a next step. With that said, prior consulting, banking, and/or strategy roles make for a less challenging transition.

What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in consulting?

The General Management nature of Johnson is highly beneficial, since consultants will face a variety of pressing business issues across a wide spectrum of functions and industries.

More specifically, Johnson’s Consulting Passport curriculum is essential to successful transition into the consulting industry. While the Passport is technically not part of the Academic Curriculum, it is nonetheless important. The Consulting Passport is a coordinated combination of lectures, mock interviews, and small group work provided by Career Advisors, Consulting Club, Career Work Group Leaders (2nd Year MBAs) and alumni in the consulting industry.

Other courses that are strongly recommended are:

  • Management Cases
  • Cases in Business Strategy
  • Management Practicum

Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in consulting?

Consulting Club would be most relevant. For those seeking to better understand through experiential learning, I would recommend Big Red Consulting (BRC), the student-run consulting firm. However, membership in a more social club is recommended to demonstrate that the candidate is well rounded.

Since “consulting” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that you feel the Johnson School excels in?

Johnson’s traditional strength is in Management Consulting, basically Strategy and Operations Consulting. Another strength area is in Financial Advisory, although a smaller portion of the class also seeks out roles in Boutique, Industry-specific, and Technology Consulting Firms.

Which consulting firms recruit at Cornell Johnson? How many graduates of your 2010 class received offers from each of these firms?

McKinsey, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture, PWC, Ernst & Young, PRTM, Easton Associates, and Infosys typically recruit at Cornell Johnson.  36 offers were extended to the class of 2010 from consulting firms.  An additional 8 offers were extended for internal consulting roles.

MBA & EMBA Admissions News Round Up





  • Following in the trend of curriculum overhauls, Cornell Johnson will be making significant changes to its executive MBA program to allow for more elective classes. According to a Financial Times b-school new bulletin, the top EMBA program will also be ramping up its career services resources.
  • Another recent Financial Times article, “Kenan-Flagler: Maximum flexibility for unconventional MBA students,” discusses the ways in which UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has reached out to students who, in the past, have had trouble matriculating, mainly by creating an online business program known as MBA@UNC. The program will begin in July and is geared towards students “who require maximum flexibility.” This includes out-of-state or international students, people with extensive job commitments, members of the military, people with young children, and other non-conventional MBA students.
  • According to “The changing face of Executive MBA,” a BusinessReviewEurope.eu article, the “EMBA is no longer about spreadsheets and business plans,” but rather “the scope of the EMBA qualification has changed dramatically thanks to the introduction of a range of new teaching techniques.” Cambridge’s Judge Business School, for example, has implemented a number of electives geared towards entrepreneurship; other programs are focusing on building a global marketplace by emphasizing cultural sensitivity and networking. Leadership, of course, is still a main focus, but schools are teaching leadership skills “in more imaginative, if not downright, quirky” ways, like with HEC Paris’s “no-holds barred” MBA boot camp run by the French navy. Warwick Business School in the UK is putting its creative touches on its MBA program by introducing students to acting and directing techniques.
  • A GMAC press release reports that the number of women GMAT test takers is at an all-time high. You can download the report on women in management education here.

?Accepted.comAccepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best