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Admissions Director Q&A: Judi Byers of Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

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Firstly, our waitlist webinars. There are different points in which a candidate can be offered an invitation to join our waitlist. We have found that once someone is invited to join the waitlist, there are a series of questions connected to what they can do to advance and what the timeline is by which this process works. Throughout the admissions cycle, we will host a series of waitlist webinars.

For those who are invited to join the waitlist, they are given the registration link to participate. We offer feedback to candidates to help them really assess and understand the areas that have potentially lead to their placement on the waitlist, as well as tips and insights that they can take to really work on strengthening their candidacy throughout the remainder of the cycle.

We have an assistant director that leads our waitlist webinars for candidates throughout the season. She also works directly on a one-on-one basis with candidates to provide them with feedback, and has them put together an action plan that she continues to have them work on throughout the season to really work on making those improvements.

For some candidates, it results in their successful start in the first year class, by the close of the season. For others, it really helps them to pivot in different directions. In many instances we find that candidates who have worked with us throughout the season and were not successful for the immediate cycle, it has helped to position them with the types of improvements that they need to be successful through a reapplication. an invitation on the waitlist.

Finally, I would like to call attention to a series of online chats that are done by members of our admissions team. The series is called Ask Admissions. It is a great way for candidates to ask questions about their background, their potential fit for the program, things that they would like to know about particular aspects of the culture, the community, and the program offerings that we have here at Johnson. These chats are typically offered at least once a month. In months during which there is a submission deadline, they are often offered twice.

I want to make certain that candidates know that these offering exists.

CA: Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on that you want to highlight, at this point?

JB: The only piece that I will add is that if there is an opportunity to visit Ithaca, please do. It is a phenomenal campus to see and a really, really wonderful community to be part of. I always want to make certain that candidates know that they have the option to visit with us.

In terms of visiting Ithaca, we do have our weekly Sage Socials, which are our community gatherings that happen every Thursday. You are welcome to visit with us Monday through Friday, but often candidates find that having the opportunity to join a Sage Social really gives them access to reach out to connect with an array of students, faculty, and other administrators; the types of individuals that they will want to really get to know and potentially work with.

We also have events that we will be doing in New York City at the Roosevelt Island campus. So please visit us there, as well. Going back to our earlier conversation about the one school, two campus model, part of that is being able to give candidates access to experiencing what that will look like and feel like, as well. So we are moving forward now with this being the second year of the Roosevelt Island campus being open, creating the types of visit experiences that will give prospective students a chance to see it and experience it first hand, as well.

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Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.