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Johnson (Cornell) Reviews

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MBA Program rating [17]
(3.9)
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February 22, 2022
MBARemembrance

Joined: Feb 17, 2022

Posts: 1

Kudos: 1

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2021

Experience during the program

Overall: Johnson is as good as any T10 program for banking, in the T20 range for consulting and not strong in much else (including tech). The MBA experience feels like a vocational training program, heavy on workload / low on fun. Classmate quality varies drastically with way too many weak students (ex-uber driver types). Academics are uninspiring, mostly junior professors with few exciting electives. The administration is just awful and underfunded. Few resources are dedicated to the core full time MBA program, the focus is Cornell Tech and new standalone masters programs. Alumni affairs don't exist once you graduate, near zero events, zero emails and zero networking facilitation. The career mgt center is a collection of glorified admins who schedule company campus visits and can't be bothered to do more. There’s a feeling of ‘we don’t need to improve because we’re Ivy’ mindset that is holding the sleepy school back.

If you want the bare essentials of an MBA program without the full on 2 year MBA experience and without a lifelong dedicated alumni network, that's Johnson.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Administration: The worst part of Johnson is the administration. There are two insolvable issues: 1) it's hard to get good administrators to live in Ithaca and 2) unlike all T15 programs the MBA isn't independent, it's the weakest program in the large College of Business (includes Nolan Hotel and Dyson undergrad). It's hard to hire strong leaders for the MBA program because they'll be trapped in middle management in the College of Business. This results in an administration that is several notches below peers in quality with less resources. It's been internally assumed that the College of Business will help run the MBA program, instead of having staff at the actual program - that doesn't work. The end result is few and low quality administrators directly in charge of the program. Dean Nelson (academia) and Dean Pascarella (IB industry) run the program. Pascarella is the best administrator at Johnson and wants the program to improve, the rest are junior staff that add little value and have been there forever. You have people running centers that do as little as possible and shove their work on second year students instead. The school even feels there's no need to benchmark vs better programs, because you're at an 'Ivy League MBA!' Being an 'Ivy League MBA' is an excuse for not doing more beyond the bare basics, but sadly that's Johnson.

Student Run School: The school counters its bad and tiny administration with pushing their work on students. Johnson students run the school. There are times where this is good, like IB that has a big pipeline and recurring placement to good jobs. There are times that this is bad, like tech jobs that needs administrative oversight and support to grow. The administration does so little that it almost seems they aren't in the picture. The slim administration fails in areas where the school is suppose be active but isn't, and where students can't be free labor such as: alumni affairs, any career that second years aren't part of, marketing / branding the school, using Cornell Tech more than for weekend classes, big school social events, digital media/content, niche jobs (non-IB/consulting roles), etc....If the school can't dump it on its students, it doesn't get done. Example - a group of recent alums formed a group (JRAC) to push the school to change, but they're ignored because change means work/resources!

Alumni Network: Responsive but not proactive. As a student, alums at the banks and consulting firms respond to calls (as with every decent school). Marketing and corporate finance have supportive alums, but there aren’t many tech PM alums (Johnson places to FP&A tech roles, NOT PM roles). Once you graduate, the alumni network is a BIG FAT ZERO. Near zero alumni events, inactive regional clubs and an apathetic alumni affairs office that neuters any potential network. With a big effort on your part, the school can get you a good first job, BUT there's ZERO support after, especially from the tepid alumni network. Weak alumni network examples- the school has an annual dinner (Big Red Bash) in New York City that has to be heavily subsidized by Johnson because alums aren't interested in paying to support the school; Johnson just had its 75th anniversary and donations were vastly lower than expected. If you ever get let go from your job, expect ZERO help from the Johnson network.

Career Services: Admins who schedule company campus visits. They can't even be bothered for a resume review or outreach to Cornellians at firms you want to work at. Imagine asking someone from CMC to reach out to a few alums at your dream firm who don't reply to you, the CMC will think you're crazy to ask them to do anything proactive. Zero support as an alumni.

Brand: The school doesn’t know what it wants to be. Johnson fell into the ‘best IB school after Stern’ profile and can't figure out its next step. Consulting is very region specific and behind all T15 programs. Johnson keeps pushing the parent’s Ivy brand, but the MBA has a feeling of no direction and no brand outside Cornell. A tech pivot failed and the school is stuck in the rut. Aside from the parent university and being a 'Stern reject backup school', Johnson has no brand.

Community: Wandavision, if you’re not drinking the Kool Aid you’re on the outs. On the surface everyone (from admin to students to professors) is ”happy enough” with the school because it's an 'Ivy League MBA', but behind closed doors everyone complains about the program: how poorly it's run, how it lacks direction, has zero brand, can't market itself and how the students have a very large quality spectrum, etc...These complaints go unanswered because the administration doesn't want to or care to improve.

Admissions: Nice people, but completely outclassed by other schools. There isn't a personal touch in admissions, they over promise what Johnson can do and are very disorganized. Like adopting new IT systems during the busiest application time.

About job placement process

Classes: Very weak, the first year core is decent but there are no good electives in year two and few options. No wonder students push to study abroad. There's nothing more miserable than year 2 at Johnson with few and low quality electives. Sure you can do Big Red Ventures in year two, but that's run by a local with no real experience and no one there goes into venture. All these big red programs are just smoke and mirrors that don't accomplish anything.

Students: Varies in quality with too many at the bottom. Most are accounting career switchers looking to IB. There are zero front office IB types who pick Johnson for their MBA, nor many top performing Cornell undergraduates. Johnson feels like everyone’s safety school. There isn’t much passion with the program, everyone is just biding their time. Scholarships are random and a point of hot contention; weak students from bottom undergrads with mediocre work experience (customer support, financial advisor, FP&A, etc..) get full rides (Park) and while stronger ones who fully bought the school's sales pitch get zero and end up disenfranchised. There's zero money for international students. Scholarships leave a lot of unhappy students, who become unhappy alumni and don't donate / support the school.


Overall BSchool experience (1.0)
Schools contribution (1.0)
Classmates rating (1.0)

Strengths of the program:

Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)
Parent University

Best fit at this program:

Finance

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Brand/Ranking
Culture & Student Support
Facilities
Admissions Team


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March 05, 2016
amaterasu

Joined: May 22, 2010

Posts: 84

Kudos: 16

Cornell Johnson

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

In overall, the program is good. Professors are top-notch, but competition is fierce as is expected in any top business school. It is really hard to get A's. You work too much on your class commitments and this alone hampers students' efforts towards recruiting.

Career Center is not as good. They are not very helpful even if the school size is not that much. I do not believe any member of career center has ever found any student something tangible.

Some companies such as FB, MSFT, Airbnb do not come to campus. Almost all IB companies come.

Make a wise selection, I would not have selected Cornell if I had been accepted by HBS and Stanford, even MIT and Berkeley. If you are not a US Citizen, you will not get any scholarships, however some other top schools at the caliber of Cornell provide such scholarships: Tuck, Darden are some of them.

Alumni are willing to help, but I do not believe that they will beat those of Tuck :)


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (4.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Facilities

Best fit at this program:

Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking


Read More

January 10, 2022
SpeakFreely123

Joined: Jan 10, 2022

Posts: 1

Kudos: 1

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2022

Experience during the program

Overall a pretty rough experience. Johnson has 2 people managing 500-600 students at once, which says a lot about the resources dedicated to the program.

Career options: underperforms vastly in all areas except investment banking and consulting. Even in these two areas, the performance is mediocre at best and the numbers published by the university are vastly overstated. It is ok for students that fit the consulting/IB profile to the T (e.g. age, prior background etc). Anything outside these industries: you are on your own.

Quality of classes: poor (although that is not why one typically goes to business school, so I will give it a pass).

Community: this is really the worst part. The MBA program is an exercise in group think and yes people. Those that think differently than what is deemed acceptable by administration are publicly shamed. This mindset translates to the student body as students are brainwashed by extreme political correctness. Critical and independent thinking is virtually non-existent. Administration uses its platform to push political agendas and take stances, which more closely resembles a media organization than an institution for higher education.


Overall BSchool experience (1.0)
Schools contribution (1.0)
Classmates rating (1.0)

Strengths of the program:

Brand/Ranking
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Culture & Student Support
Facilities
Admissions Team


Read More

February 22, 2022
steswe123

What even is this review? Every school pushes a politically correct "agenda" as you call it. Why? Because society writ large does. Meaning the companies that you will work for do. If you had a problem with the Cornell MBA for this reason, you would be guaranteed to have found every single T20 program equally dedicated to what you refer to as "political correctness".

June 07, 2020
JohnnyBlaze

Joined: Jun 23, 2015

Posts: 101

Kudos: 66

Utterly Disappointing – Great University, Weak MBA Program

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2014

Experience during the program

Cornell University is a world class Ivy League school with a great brand that’s well respected. Johnson is highly integrated within Cornell; you can take classes across the largest Ivy League University. The fulltime MBA class size is small (280) and you get to know everyone in a collaborative approachable environment where everyone is friendly. Cornell U has amazing alumni events across the world and a very strong University culture. At Johnson, banking recruiting is highly structured and well developed, consulting comes in at a close second in placement efficacy (though mostly among the T2 programs or MBB regional offices). Less competitive programs such as marketing, LDP and internal corp fin are well regional represented. So called ‘high finance’ roles such as VC/PE/HF are inexistent.

The positives end at the University level. Johnson’s strong parent heartens an apathetic lethargic MBA administration that uses the Cornell affiliation to do the bare minimum for MBA students and alums. End result, Johnson is a weak MBA program with an inconsequential alumni network.

Program: While the culture is friendly, students lacks ambition or passion and average student quality is very weak. The top 20% of Johnson students are as good as any M7 student (the ones promoted in school literature) and lured in by $$$$. Top students focus on the banking/consulting. Placement is more difficult than better programs as alumni support and interview prep is tepid (good luck with case prep as most classmates struggle with finance 101), but students do land BBs/EB and MBBs/T2s roles. The problem is the other 80%, they fall into a ‘status quo’ mode, not doing what is needed to succeed nor having good backgrounds. Essentially 20% goes on to great things and 80% end up in middle management at F1000 (at best). The 80% make up most of Johnson’s alum base and the successful 20% grow disenfranchised with the program the further they’re out of school, given the alumni network is dysfunctional with limited a success rate there is nothing to bound successful alums to the school.

Alumni network: Regional Johnson alumni events are weak if any with minimum school communication. While this is offset by the greater Cornell’s strong alumni network, Cornell’s alumni associations are run by undergrad alums. Undergrad alums know of Johnson’s poor quality; and are less willing to help/accept them. If you’re looking for a lifelong successful network, Johnson won’t deliver it.

End result, no one really wants to be at Johnson for the program itself, either it’s the parent Uni, the money or they couldn’t get in anywhere else. This is furthered by a zero alumni MBA network and a broader Uni one that disregards Johnson alums. You can certainly land a top job from a Johnson MBA, but there’s no support system to get you to your eventual goals post-MBA. Johnson IBD associates may do well on wall street, but Johnson MDs at BBs is few…The same can be said for Johnson MBAs at the MBBs, good luck finding an alum partner at the major cities.

About professors, classes and curriculum

While peer MBA programs boost top tier academics, astonishing speakers, strong culture and determined students; on a relative basis this is lacking at Johnson. Cornell students have an inferiority complex driven by being one of the weaker Ivies. This is much worse at the MBA level, perpetuated by a weak student base and T10-T20 rankings. There’s an enormous sense of ‘we’re not good enough’ with zero sense of greatness among the student body as the administration constantly hides behind the parent’s Ivy League coattails. Success in business is confidence, Johnson MBA students and the admin lack it.

Rather than address the underlying sureness and student quality issue, the admin responds dumping irrelevant academics on students to make up for this and expanding the program by annually launching new graduate degrees. Students are force feed busy non-relevant academic work at the most inopportune times (i.e. busywork marketing group assignments due in the middle of consulting recruiting). This is compounded by recruiters and MBA peers that dismisses Johnson as second class. The school’s retort is to continue to launch a new graduate degree to expand its base rather than fix the underling core program.

Mixing all of this together: weak student base, an ineffectual alumni network, an overload of busywork academics results, professors who look at Johnson as a stepping stone to a better program, nearly a dozen of various MBA programs all cumulates in a poor MBA experience. Many point to their MBA experience as the best time in their lives, that’s not the case at Johnson.

About job placement process

Banking, Johnson shines. It’s a highly structured banking process that is very successful in placing MBAs to top BBs, EBs and smaller banks. Kudos to Johnson for getting this right, though still behind Stern and better ranked finance programs.

Consulting, decent among the T2s and regional MBBs. But struggles in popular cities (Boston), and relies on less demanded cities (Pittsburg).

Tech, weak. There was a pivot to Tech, but outside Cornell TECH in NYC, this is a major weak spot. CMC stats are misleading as Johnson buckets FAANG back office roles into tech ones. Students can not spend 1 semester at Cornell TECH unless they string together various weekend classes.

Marketing/LDP –Johnson does fine, inline w/ peer T20 programs.

High finance roles – PE/VC/HF, near zero chance of placement.

Startups – Not nearly as great as the school makes it sound.


Overall BSchool experience (1.0)
Schools contribution (1.0)
Classmates rating (1.0)

Strengths of the program:

Culture & Student Support
Facilities

Best fit at this program:

Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Brand/Ranking
Admissions Team


Read More

May 30, 2017
koteho

Joined: Mar 26, 2012

Posts: 26

Kudos: 11

Self-reported Score:
710 Q49 V35

One-year accelerated MBA (AMBA) - in-n-out in a jiffy!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Cornell One Year MBA Program

Class of 2015

Experience during the program

I pursued the one-year accelerated MBA (AMBA) from 2014-2015, and two years post graduation, the 13-month period seems such a blur! As we were taught at Johnson, I will employ a framework to structure my thoughts [picking up consultant lingo here ... ha :-) ]

Informationals and admission - Because I already had a grad degree and 4 years of work experience afterwards, I considered Johnson's AMBA program only. I didn't want to change industry, and therefore a two-year program would not have benefited me much more than the AMBA program. I made this abundantly clear during my pre-admission visit to Sage Social (4 PM on Thursdays), in my essays, and during my on-site interview.

TIP#1 - As I noted after getting into the program, if adcom knows your name or knows that you visited campus, it makes a world of difference for your chances of getting into the program.

Summer core - Okay - now we're into the program. The AMBA program is actually three semesters - summer, fall, and spring. The summer core is by far the most grueling, with some courses lasting as little as 5 days! In all honesty, during the summer core courses, you are trying to keep your head above the water, knowing full well that recruiting preparation is also starting alongside. This seemingly never-ending onslaught is partly by design, where you are being subject to long hours indoors, and basically are spending 10+ hours in school 5+ days a week. If that doesn't create the close-knit community that Johnson is proud of, nothing will :-)

TIP#2 - Don't expect to master everything during the summer - you really have to pick and choose.

Fall/spring semesters - This is more "relaxed" as relaxed Johnson School curriculum goes! All my classes were mixed with the two-year students, who by now were back from summer internships. During the fall and spring semesters, recruiting is front and center, with on-campus interviews and a barrage of corporate info session. The countless case interviews you practiced in the summer pay dividends here, and the consultant-wannabees are now in their element. In the class of 2015, management consulting companies scooped up around 10 (of 70) classmates.

"Internship" - I know people fear that the lack of an internship will put AMBAs at an unequal footing, but the school does try to compensate with a management practicum, a semester-long course which mimics the internship experience. Working with real companies (and potential hiring managers), this is a chance to experience what an internship would be like. The catch? You take this "course" along with other fall semester courses in small teams (not individually). Around 75% of the AMBA class partook in the management practicum.

In all fairness, the AMBA program was not intended for career switchers, and an internship (or lack thereof) is by design.

TIP#3 - Take the management practicum as an alternative to the internship offered by a two-year program.

Career - The year flies fast, I mean FAST! Especially for a tech-focused graduate where most recruiting happens just-in-time close to graduation, it can definitely be unnerving as other classmates are getting offers! This would bring me to my closing tip -

TIP#4 - create a plan with the career advisers, don't get unnerved, and operate according to your recruiting game plan. You're smart - you'll be fine!


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Location
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Tech

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school


Read More

May 30, 2017
nmills

Joined: Jul 16, 2015

Posts: 8

Kudos: 8

Self-reported Score:
710 Q45 V42

Johnson Review

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Cornell One Year MBA Program

Class of 2019

Experience during the program

This is a great program for JD/MBAs. If you are looking for a 3-year JD/MBA program that will get you a great job, this is it. The program is flexible and will work with you as long as you know how to appeal to the system. Though the program does seem a bit dysfunctional at times, it is overall well-ran.

For upcoming applicants, be sure to take your LSAT and GMAT before you enter into the JD program; there is not enough time to take the GMAT while you are doing your JD. The JD program is definitely more difficult.


Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (3.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Admissions Team

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Brand/Ranking
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)


Read More

May 26, 2017
jskipp

Joined: Aug 30, 2013

Posts: 7

Kudos: 7

Self-reported Score:
680 Q46 V37

Cornell at it's Finest

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

The Johnson MBA program is a world renowned experience. It is an immersive experience and challenging opportunity. With it's incredible faculty, career service center, and environment, Johnson is the star of Cornell's Ithaca campus.

This was the most integrative experience of my life. At Johnson, the students - your peers - become your siblings, the faculty become your Aunts and Uncles. This means, you are fully supported while going through this rigorous program. No one is left behind.

For future applicants, be ready for teamwork and peer leadership. This program will help establish you as a leader no matter where life takes you.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Be sure to take Management Cases. It's difficult but will bring you a job offer!


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Alumni Network
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Tech

Can be improved:

Location


Read More

May 26, 2017
t1234

Joined: Jul 02, 2013

Posts: 17

Kudos: 6

Proud Johnson Graduate, couldn't be happier

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

I'm a Johnson grad and I had an amazing experience at Johnson - I highly recommend it as a program, and I think it particularly over performs given its current standing in top ~20 rankings.

1st year - Great core curriculum, lots of focus on hard skills (finance, accounting, data analytics, etc.) that really set me apart from skills that my colleagues gained at other top tier programs. When I went to my internship (top tech firm) I was able to impress and over-deliver. Data analytics with Prof. Schmidt was especially useful. Ithaca isn't exactly a sprawling metropolis but it does have some great bars and is overall a pleasant place to spent 1.5 years. I also met some truly lifelong friends in the program. 1st year academics are definitely tough but worth it.

2nd year - After I got my full time offer, career services helped me negotiate and leverage other opportunities. I built on that academic expertise, built friendships, and had an overall wonderful experience branching outside of Johnson and into the larger Cornell community. Also, Cornell/Johnson network is amazing at NYC and West Coast firms.

Highly recommend Johnson to anyone interested in a great education with a great community.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Marketing
Investment Banking
Tech
Entrepreneurship
Management

Can be improved:

Location
Facilities
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)


Read More

May 25, 2017
premkhosla

Joined: Jul 16, 2015

Posts: 2

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
640

Johnson Experience

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Great program especially if you want to go into Investment Banking. Had the opportunity to interview with every firm. The preparation and alumni support exceeded my expectations. The immersion is the best part of the program. You receive constant feedback and preparation for your summer internship. As a result, you are able to hit the ground running over the summer.

The core is tough, to succeed you must have good time management skills as many people juggle recruiting, school and their personal life.

Being in Ithaca is great especially if you know you are going to a big city after graduation. You really get to know your classmates, and if you like the outdoors this is perfect for you.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Alumni Network
Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Culture & Student Support
Facilities


Read More

February 02, 2017
20MBA15

Joined: Feb 24, 2015

Posts: 48

Kudos: 16

Small School with Global Reach

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

The most important criteria for choosing business school to me were:
- small class
- strong brand identity and culture
- career opportunities

I am very happy that Johnson checked off all the requirements for me. I appreciate the small class that we have. It allows us to build strong friendships and to really get to know each other. We are all very committed to our school and very supportive of one another. Second years went out of their way to help the first years during the recruiting process. I would not have been able to change careers from media and entertainment into consulting post graduation without the support of my fellow classmates.

Johnson has a very distinct culture and is remotely located. Future applicants need to visit Ithaca to see the school's location for itself. Living in a small rural town, even if just for 2 years, is not for everybody. It is a great break from the big city life though.


Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Career opportunities provided by school
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Marketing
Investment Banking
Tech
Entrepreneurship

Can be improved:

Location


Read More

September 07, 2017
hiteepee

Hi, thanks for the review. Pls can you touch on scholarships and funding for international students. Someone on this platform earlier alleged that Cornell doesn't give scholarship to no US citizens. Can you please say something on that? Thank you