If you are looking for a small MBA class in an idyllic location with warm and genuine classmates, then Cornell Johnson may be your program. While Johnson places the largest portion of its class in the financial industry after graduation (36% of the class of 2021), 27% entered the consulting industry, 17% joined the technology industry, and 6% went into consumer products, which is a diversity of industries that reflects the strong quant, analytical, and marketing curricula of the school.
Cornell’s class of approximately 300 students is known to be close knit and collaborative. Most first-year students choose to spend their second semester in an Immersion Experience, a unique combination of course and field work that positions them to thrive in their summer internships.
Below are Johnson’s essay questions and the admissions office’s guidance, followed by my tips.
Cornell Johnson MBA goals statement
Use this short-answer section to succinctly share your short- and long-term goals. If you’re invited to interview, you will have the opportunity to elaborate on your statement further, and you should be prepared to connect your prior experience with your future aspirations.
Goals Statement Prompt:
A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout the admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short and long term goals by completing the following sentences and answering the enclosed short answer question (350 words maximum):
Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].
Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
In 5–10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].
Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
How has your experience prepared and encouraged you to pursue these goals?
If your goal immediately after graduating from Johnson is not deemed possible by the Admissions office, then you might as well not bother finishing the application. No applicant will be accepted if their short-term goal is unachievable. Admitting a student with unrealistic, if not unachievable, goals at the very least will ruin Johnson’s placement rating, but at worst it could potentially leave a graduate in a great deal of debt and little or no means to repay it.
Speak to current students and recent graduates to hear about the recruiting process, positions available, and the qualifications, if any, that students must have to enter your field of interest. Then, use this essay space to share one or two examples from your prior experience that demonstrate that you have those skills. Discuss how these skills and experiences will help you perform particularly well in your desired future role.
Cornell Johnson impact essay
This essay is designed to explore the intersection of engagement and community culture. Our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. To help you explore your potential for impact, we encourage you to engage with our students, alumni, faculty, and professional staff before submitting your application. You may choose to connect with them via email or phone or in person during one of our on-campus or off-campus events. As you seek their input and insight, please be respectful of their time and prepare a few discussion points or questions in advance.
Impact Essay Prompt:
At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. Taking into consideration your background, how do you intend to make a meaningful impact on an elite MBA community? (350 words maximum)
The best answers to this essay question don’t solely focus on the impact you hope to make at Cornell Johnson and beyond but rather share how your background and previous impacts have prepared you to make this future impact. To prove you will be an engaged community member in Ithaca and your future career, you will need to show in what other environments you have been such a member in the past. Use this essay to demonstrate your knowledge of the Cornell community and how you plan to immerse in it.
Cornell Johnson MBA optional essay (required for reapplicants)
You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson (350 words maximum).
If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application and candidacy since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Application Guide for additional information about reapplying (350 words maximum).
If you are a reapplicant, use this space to demonstrate that you have made considerable efforts to improve your candidacy: you have improved your GMAT score, taken on more leadership roles, reached out to more Cornell staff and students to understand the program and how you will fit into it, and/or researched your career goals in greater depth.
If you are a first-time applicant, then you should use this space to address any issue that you feel the application left unaddressed. For example, if you feel your grades require some explanation, if you have an employment gap, or if you have chosen a non-traditional recommender for any reason, this is the space to explain.
Park Leadership Fellows Program Essay (optional, Two-Year MBA only)
The Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program is a two-year, full-tuition fellowship award for Two-Year MBA candidates in Ithaca who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and who are committed to making an impact within their communities. Each year, fellowships are awarded to up to 25 incoming students with the expectation that they will participate in additional leadership and personal development activities outside of our regular curriculum, serve in leadership roles within the school, and complete a public service project by the time they graduate. The Park Fellowship is only available to U.S. citizens applying for the Two-Year MBA program.
To receive consideration for the fellowship, you must submit your online application during the October or January Application Rounds or by the Consortium Early Application or Consortium Traditional Application Deadlines, complete the enclosed essay regarding leadership, and be invited to attend a Johnson Leadership Exploration and Assessment Day (L.E.A.D.) event.
To apply for the Park Fellowship, please complete this essay (500-word limit).
Describe a past formal or informal leadership experience and how it informs your goals for growth as a leader. How would the Park Leadership Fellowship assist with these goals?
The Park Leadership Fellowship aims to bring a strong contingent of socially responsible leaders to Johnson. With up to 25 Park Fellowships to provide each year, that means that nearly 9% of the class will earn this award (and since 65% of the class are U.S. citizens, that means that up to approximately one-fourth of them may earn this full sponsorship of their two-year MBA!).
The best essays will not only share a story of leadership but one in which gaining that leadership role was somewhat difficult, for example leading volunteers or people outside of your organization. Of course, your story also needs to demonstrate a clear impact on your community as well, ideally a lasting one.
Johnson at Cornell at a glance
Cornell MBA average GMAT score: 704
Cornell MBA average GPA: 3.34
Cornell MBA acceptance rate: 29.5%
U.S. News ranked Cornell Johnson #15 in the 2023 rankings.
Check out the Business School Selectivity Index for more stats.
You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are in life. Now that you’re ready for your next achievement, make sure you know how to present yourself to maximum advantage in your Cornell Johnson application. In a hotly competitive season, you’ll want a member of Team Accepted in your corner, guiding you with expertise tailored specifically for you. Check out our flexible consulting packages today!
Johnson at Cornell MBA application deadlines 2022-2023
|October Round||October 11, 2022|
|January Round||January 5, 2023|
|Rolling||March 7, 2023|
|September Round||September 22, 2022|
|Consortium Early Application||October 15, 2022|
|Consortium Traditional Application||January 5, 2023|
|January Round||January 10, 2023|
|April Round||April 11, 2023|
Source: Cornell Johnson website
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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Jennifer Bloom, admissions consultant at Accepted for 20 years and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at guiding you to produce application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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