Johnson at Cornell University 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

By - Sep 4, 10:00 AM Comments [0]

Cornell JohnsonAre 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.


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

Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!

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Linda Abraham By , president and founder of 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.'s experienced admissions consultants can help you create the most impressive application possible with comprehensive packages, or provide targeted assistance from picking perfect programs to designing a dazzling resume, constructing engaging essays, or preparing for intense interviews…and more! has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top MBA programs since 1994 – we know what works and what doesn't, so contact us to get started now!

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