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Real Humans of the Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Nadia Zaman, Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Age: 27

Hometown: Encinitas, CA

Undergraduate Institution and Major: Lehigh University, finance

Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Nadia Zaman, Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Pre-MBA Work Experience: Corporate banking, 5 years

Why business school? Why now? Wanted to go to business school to expand my network and see the finance industry through an investment banking/advisory perspective

Why Cornell Johnson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? Cornell Johnson has an amazing banking program, and it is in the middle of nowhere guaranteeing that I will be bonding with my classmates and developing close relationships. The Cornell Johnson students that I met during interviews and admit weekend were very genuine and helpful, too. They gave me honest answers to all questions I asked. One thing I really admired about Cornell Johnson was the pay-it-forward culture that the school has—no other MBA school came close to it. Not to mention, the gorges and scenery on campus is gorgeous!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? I would say my California attitude. As soon as you start school, preparation for recruiting begins, and with a million different things get thrown at students, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed which is what many of my classmates were going through. I have heard many classmates tell me that they value my positivity. My approach is to believe that everything is going to work out—there is no use stressing over anything because it won’t make the situation better. Just give it your all and do what you can do.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I am a lover of peanut butter—I can eat spoons of it daily and not get tired of it.

Post-MBA career interests? Investment banking

Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2019

Zaman enjoying a beach sunset at Crystal Cove

Advice to current prospective applicants:

 –One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? Talk to as many students at each as you can so you can get a 360-degree feel of what the school is really known for and whether you would be a good fit.

 –One thing you would change or do differently? Visit more schools in person before doing an interview. It is a good way to determine if you can see yourself living there.

 –Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? The GMAT! The GMAT classes helped me get through it, but it was hectic at the beginning trying to juggle studying while working fulltime. I kept telling myself it is just one hurdle I need to get through in order to apply for business school…and eventually it all worked out!

Greatest highlight so far at Cornell Johnson? Winter formal. It was right after I received a summer internship offer and after my team and I finished a finance case. We were also in the middle of a case competition, but it was a nice breather to have in between to be able to socialize, dress up, and connect with the rest of the Johnson class.

One thing about Cornell Johnson that you didn’t expect before arriving? How expensive rent was going to be. I thought coming from downtown LA I would be saving a lot of money on rent—haha!

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? I was anxious about landing a summer internship due to how competitive it is. However, Johnson gives you all the tools you need to be successful and helps you navigate all aspects of the interview. My class is very tight-knit, which is what Johnson is known for, so knowing that your classmates have your back whenever you need them is very reassuring as well.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year? Slope Day! It is a day during the spring time where the whole school is outdoors and celebrating almost accomplishing a year of academics. A lot of socializing goes on as well as some big-name artists are brought out to campus to perform. I keep hearing great things about it and cannot wait to actually experience it.

Posted in: MBA Feature, MBA News, News, Real Humans Class of 2019

Schools: Cornell / Johnson

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