The Cornell Executive MBA Program has three essay questions in its application, and they have remained the same for several years, indicating the program is consistent with what it wants to hear from applicants.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is brevity. While no one is going to be counting individual words, the guideline of 250 words is a clear indicator to work on clarity of thought with all of your answers. Cornell interviews every applicant to its program, so if you are concerned that your answers are too concise in essay format, rest assured you will have the opportunity to discuss them further in the interview.
Question 1: In a concise statement, please indicate your reasons for entering The Cornell Executive MBA Program, your expectations for the program, and your personal objectives. Please limit the response to 250 words.
In answering this question, be convincing about the reasons Cornell is the best choice for you, and show you have done your homework. The admissions committee wants to know what you anticipate the program will be like and what you will get out of it. Be open and honest. Finally, let them know what your objectives are – this could take the form of short and long term goals, how the MBA fits into career vision or what the entire experience means to you as a person. Let me reiterate – be brief and concise!!
Question 2: List your participation in civic, business, or professional organizations.
This question is purposely open to interpretation. If you would just like to list what organizations you are affiliated with that is fine, however if you would like to go into some detail about particular activities that are important to you, that is good, too. There is no word limit, however, again the more succinct, the better.
Question 3: Do you believe your academic record is an accurate reflection of your ability? If not, please explain, limiting the response to 250 words or less.
If you are hoping the admissions committee will miss the fact that you flunked algebra three times before passing, or you had to withdraw for a semester, think again. The committee WILL catch whatever that nagging something is that concerns you from your transcript, so here is the opportunity to talk about it. Be as candid as possible! It is much better to be upfront about the situation here than be on the defensive about it in an interview.
Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted.com. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.