Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management set a record this year for their all-time highest representation of women in their Two-Year MBA class: 35 percent. This benchmark stems from an ongoing commitment to diversity and equity, as the school is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Office of Diversity & Inclusion this year. Altogether, this leads us to a special all-women edition of Real Humans: MBA Students.
Johnson’s support for women leaders in business is clear. The incoming class is offered a Women’s Welcome Retreat, Women’s Faculty Reception, and the school hosts the annual Johnson Women in Business (JWiB) Symposium, where “current students, alumni, and the greater Cornell community to explore themes of the intersection of inclusivity and business.” Cornell Johnson also partners with the Women’s Management Council (WMC) and Johnson Allies for Women (JAWs). Additionally, the Women in Business Symposium, Women in Investing and Johnson Women in Technology Conference are annual events that bring current MBA students, alumnae, faculty, staff, and prospective MBA women together with industry leaders to connect and discuss trending topics. Not only is Johnson committed to strengthening the representation of women in their MBA program, but also offering an MBA community and experience that will ultimately lead to the advancement of women in business.
Johnson is also committed to helping students develop depth and breadth of their leadership skills. Take, for example, their immersion learning program. Once students complete the bulk of the core curriculum in their first semester, they choose from among 8 immersion offerings, such as investment banking, corporate finance, digital technology, sustainable global enterprise and more, during their second semester. Based on their selected immersion, students then cover live case studies, participate in site visits and take electives tailored to their educational needs. In the second year, Johnson students then have the option to specialize their studies even further with a choice of 12 areas of focus. As part of a larger university, Johnson students also have access to 4,000 courses across academic departments, and may take up to a quarter of their courses in other schools at Cornell.
Cornell Johnson’s MBA cohorts consistently come away with several years of relevant experience to inform the focus and direction of their business educations. So, who has just arrived in Ithaca to begin this journey through the full-time MBA program? The Class of 2021 is comprised of 282 students with an average of five years of work experience and 28 years of age. Their median GMAT score landed at 700, and they averaged a 3.41 GPA during their undergraduate years. Thirty-two percent are international and 37 percent identify as U.S. minorities.
The Johnson MBA students profiled in this Real Humans bring experience in financial services, technology, finance law, medicine, product management and human resources to the program. What’s more, these candidates have their sights set on making a deep impact—particularly in leadership and consulting positions in fields traditionally dominated by men.
Read on for their stories, their first impressions of Cornell Johnson, their advice about the MBA application process and more.