May 30, 2017

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!


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
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:


Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school

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