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Cornell Alumnus Supports Cornell Tech NYC Intensives with Substantial Gift

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More students at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management have been able to spend a semester of their time in business school studying at the Cornell Tech campus in New York City thanks to a generous gift by Cornell alumnus Richard G. Schneider (B.S. ’70).

The gift went toward subsidized housing costs for around 25 Ithaca-based students who took part in Cornell Tech’s New York City fintech and digital marketing intensives. The intensives took place during the first seven weeks of the spring 2018 semester and offered MBA students the chance to collaborate and learn from each other in the heart of the Big Apple.

Schneider has spent 35 years in consulting, 25 of those at Deloitte Consulting LLP. At Deloitte his primary focus was on the consumer products and healthcare/life science industries, but he also led the firm’s consulting strategy practice for seven years and was responsible for all MBA campus recruiting for five years. Although his MBA is from Harvard Business School, he served on Johnson’s Advisory Council from 2006 to 2014 and remains an emeritus member.

He saw his gift as an opportunity to give back to Cornell. “I had been involved with Cornell in various ways,” he said in a news release, “but this gave me a chance to play in an area that I knew a lot about—the business school world. It just gave me a chance to give back to the school and really feel like I was contributing.”

Schneider’s decision to invest in the New York City intensives was due in part to Johnson Dean Mark Nelson’s assessment of where Johnson needed help. Nelson explained how crucial it was to make it easier for Ithaca students to participate in and benefit from Cornell Tech in New York City. One of the most significant barriers was affordability.

Schneider’s contribution helped to make it easier for Ithaca MBA students to relocate to New York City for half a semester. It was good news for a program that has captured the imaginations of Cornell students since its inception.

According to Cristina Chang (MBA ’18), who completed the fintech intensive this spring, it was one of the most rewarding scholastic experiences she’s had so far.

“There are lots of events co-hosted by Cornell Tech and other organizations, such as the Women in Venture Capital symposium co-hosted with Bloomberg,” she explained. “I never imagined I would have these kinds of opportunities to meet these outstanding leaders in person.”

Julia Heim (MBA ’18) had a similar experience in the digital marketing intensive. “Being so close to the industry in NYC has allowed our professors to get great companies and speakers to campus,” she said. “Having access to the latest trends and industry knowledge is something that is so invaluable, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of this intensive.”

Overall, Schneider is excited about the opportunities that Cornell Tech presents for students and believes that it “could be the biggest thing for the university…for decades.”

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.