Cornell SC Johnson College of Business MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out more school-specific MBA essay tips!

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 (32% of the class), 25% enter the consulting industry, 12% join the technology industry, and 6% go 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 around 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.

The school’s curriculum improvements in 2014 introduced more critical thinking, data analysis, financial modeling, and leadership assessment and guidance into the program – changes that helped improve the class of 2016’s 3-month post-graduation rate of employment to 94% (up from 91% in 2013). Most interesting is that students who were not authorized to work in the US actually had a higher placement rate (95%) than those who did have US citizenship or work visas: clearly the Ivy League Cornell education is valued in global industry.

Below are Johnson’s essay questions and the admissions office’s guidance. My comments are in blue.

Goals Statement:

Use this short answer question to succinctly share your short and long term goals. If invited to interview, you will have the opportunity to elaborate further and should be prepared to connect your prior experience with your future aspirations.

A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout 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:

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:


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: at the very least it will ruin Johnson’s placement rating, but at worst it could potentially leave a graduate in a great deal of financial debt for their MBA degree. 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.

Impact Essay:

At Cornell we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you’ve identified through engagement with our community and describe how what you learned has influenced your decision to apply to Johnson. Please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer.

This essay is designed to explore the intersection of engagement and community culture. Whether during the program or following graduation, 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. 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.

The best answers to this essay question don’t solely focus on the impact you hope to make at Cornell Johnson 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, you will need to show in what other environments you have been such a member in the past. Thus, this essay requires evidence that you know about campus life at Cornell Johnson AND about how you will uniquely make your mark.

Table of Contents:

You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube, etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Multimedia submissions should be under 5 minutes.

This essay is an opportunity to present yourself as an individual. We encourage you to think about your proudest accomplishments, moments of adversity that have been overcome, and interesting personal highlights that will help us to get to know you as a person and potential community member.

Isn’t it fun to open a fresh magazine, to flip through the first ads to reach the Table of Contents, where the pictures, article titles, and summaries entice you to read on? Here is your chance to showcase the highlights of your life, in text, pictures, or multimedia to pique the Admissions office’s interest. Five minutes of multimedia will give the Admissions staff time to really get to know you – to see and hear you, much more content than a 500-word essay could.

Optional Essay:

This essay is required for applicants seeking re-admission and should call attention to the steps taken to strengthen one’s candidacy. Candidates may also use the optional essay to call attention to items needing clarification or to address any gaps in experience.

If you are a re-applicant, this is a great 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, 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. In particular, if you feel your goals require some explanation beyond the very terse phrasing allocated to them, this is a great opportunity to share it.

If you would like professional guidance with your Cornell SC Johnson College of Business 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 application.

Johnson at Cornell 2017-18 Deadlines:

*After January 10th, applications will be received and reviewed on a space available basis with a final submission deadline of March 15, 2018.

*After April 5th, applications will be received and reviewed on a space available basis

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer them right! //

Jennifer BloomJennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 17 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting 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 budgetWant Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!


Related Resources:

Why MBA?, a guide to writing about your MBA goals
• Cornell Johnson Straight Out of College: A Young Entrepreneur’s Story, a podcast episode
• The School’s Culture & Mission [Fitting In & Standing Out]

The post Cornell SC Johnson College of Business MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.

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