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Johnson (Cornell) Reviews

MBA Program rating [15]
(4.3)
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November 29, 2015
dtse86

Joined: Feb 03, 2014

Posts: 575

Kudos: 253

Self-reported Score:
730 Q49 V40

Good

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by post count [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

I have to admit that I was extremely skeptical about what people were saying about the "close-knit" nature of Johnson and if one could really feel the difference. But the reality is that although ~280 classmates and a total of ~600+ overall full-time MBA students is quite a large number of people, the fact that everything happens in one place and that the students are so actively involved in everything, makes it feel much more like a family. And the "close-knit" nature really does affect the MBA experience in that there isn't much space to "hide" in the crowd and you really get to know your classmates well.

There has been a lot of criticism lately from both internal sources and external sources regarding the direction of the program and how the school is branding itself. Personally, I do believe the school realizes this gap and is doing a fairly good job at trying to listen to the constructive feedback and address these ongoing issues. And regardless of what the school ends up doing, no school is perfect and there will always be complaints.

With that all being said, I believe that if you remove all of the strengths that the school tries to promote (tech, entrepreneurship, IB, etc) its true core strength lies in the ethical leaders that the school produces. Strong ethics and leadership is something that I see consistently with all of my classmates and the alums. Because of the way the school is structured, I see those characteristics as the only truly salient factors that distinguish between those that succeed and those that fail. The school IS strong in all of these areas simply because it's a place that tries to offer its students an overly abundant number of resources to cater to anyone's potential desires. Really, everything you need to succeed is here and if it's not, it's very likely available in the greater Cornell University community where there are seemingly endless word-class resources at your fingertips. Therefore, in order to succeed at Johnson, one needs to be very proactive and decisive when determining how to spend their 2 short years here.

Sure, the school's not perfect and they can improve in many areas, but that doesn't happen without a proactive student body and a community that really has a large interest in it's overall success. I think that Johnson currently has all of the right pieces to produce a top 10 business school experience (great diverse student body and excellent faculty) and that it's on the verge of doing so. The reason that it's not quite there yet, is that the students and the administration need to work more effectively together to execute a coordinated effort to improve the school as a whole. Once they can accomplish that, the sky's the limit!

About professors, classes and curriculum

The overall quality of the professors has been extremely impressive and it has actually exceeded my expectations. They've added some great new core faculty members that I think will fundamentally improve the MBA curriculum. Although, it is still far from perfect and the school is behind its peers as far as being more forward looking into what both the students are looking for and what employers value from MBA's.

Like I said, the professors are excellent, however the overall curriculum and course offerings could use a new structure and potentially a total overhaul. They did add two new courses to the core, however I don't think they looked at how those additional courses effectively fit into the overall picture with the existing courses and to prevent overlap, they need to reassess the structure of each course in the core.

But, I do like the freedom of choice that the program allows and for the most part, one can select their own unique MBA experience once one completes the core (which for the most part is complete after the first semester). This flexibility is fairly unique to the school and offers its students the option to customize their education for what they believe their career needs are.


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

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Marketing
Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
Brand/Ranking
Facilities


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March 05, 2016
amaterasu

Joined: May 22, 2010

Posts: 84

Kudos: 14

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

June 07, 2020
JohnnyBlaze

Joined: Jun 23, 2015

Posts: 71

Kudos: 41

Utterly Disappointing – Great University, Weak MBA Program

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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

January 04, 2017
bicu17

Joined: Apr 30, 2011

Posts: 11

Kudos: 9

Johnson has great potential still falls short in some areas

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by membership [?]

This review is for Johnson (Cornell)

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2017

Experience during the program

Overall, Johnson is a great school. However, the experience can vary depending on the career choice. This should be the main consideration. There are many recruiting options for IB, Consulting,, Marketing, Finance. Significantly less opportunities for Asset Management and Tech. The latter is partially the function of an industry where there are no structural recruiting processes and much of recruiting is just in time.

Student body has interesting backgrounds, down to earth personalities. The culture is very collaborative.

Curriculum is rigorous and can be great or not so great depending on recruiting schedule and background.

Lots of advantages from the wider Cornell network (classes, facilities, alumni)

About job placement process

Asset Management is tough. Alumni can be helpful but opportunities are scarce. Need to do a lot of individual work.

Preparation could be improved as well for investment management jobs.


Overall BSchool experience (3.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (4.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Alumni Network
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:

Consulting
Finance
Marketing
Investment Banking
Management

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school
Location
Admissions Team


Read More