November 29, 2015

Joined: Feb 03, 2014

Posts: 575

Kudos: 253

Self-reported Score:
730 Q49 V40



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:

Investment Banking

Can be improved:

Career opportunities provided by school

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June 01, 2015

Joined: Feb 03, 2014

Posts: 575

Kudos: 253

Self-reported Score:
730 Q49 V40

Good, but not worth the money for the full-package


I decided to use an admissions consultant because I knew that with my low undergraduate GPA, it'd be difficult to get into my desired schools.

I chose to go with Liza after an initial 30 minute consultation. I was extremely impressed with her insight and with her advice, I decided to change my application strategy.

I bought a one school complete package although I knew I was going to apply to several. My plan was to utilize the important aspects of the first application on the later ones.

For the most part, she laid out the process with me and met the expectations and promises with regards to turn around times.

In the beginning, I found her insights and points very good in regards to what the admissions selection committee may think and how to address certain aspects of my application. However when it came to her comments/edits on my essays, I found them lacking in substance. Most of her essay reviews seemed more focused on meeting word limits rather than making sure the essay gave the intended impact and conveyed my message. In later essays for other schools, I found myself more critical than her and suggestions from friends and family more helpful.

She did also help with my resume and prepping my recommenders. Both of my recommenders come from non-MBA backgrounds and so I strongly believe the materials she gave me to prep them helped. However, a lot of the advice for both prepping recommenders and writing good resumes are easily found online here at GMATClub or on other admissions consultants' blogs.

Ultimately, I was rejected from the school I purchased the package for, but was admitted into 2 others and waitlisted at one. It's hard to tell how much Liza contributed to those successes however I do think she helped in some part. Whether or not I would've gotten into those schools without an admissions consultant is tough to say, but I do think much of the support and help she provided could have been gotten at a much cheaper cost to me.

Looking back, I wished that I had hired her hourly for the resume writing and recommender prep, but used a specific essay reviewing company (like Essay Snark) for the essay reviews. In the end, I'm not upset that I had used her services, however I do think I spent too much money and that for me, it wasn't worth it.

Liza's a wonderful person and extremely intelligent, however for me, who already put a lot of time researching and being critical on my own application, her value was wasted and lost.

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