Joined: Feb 03, 2014
730 Q49 V40
This review is for Cornell Johnson
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2017
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!
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)
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school