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Real Humans of Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class of 2022

Jackson Cannon, Johnson MBA Class of 2022

Age: 28
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Morehouse College, Business Administration – Finance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Alternative Investment Services, 5 years – finance

Why business school? Why now? 
I was ready for the next challenge in my career and knew that the best way to develop myself holistically was by going to business school where I would have the opportunity to expand my network, fill my knowledge gaps, and develop as a leader.

Why Cornell Johnson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Johnson because I felt that it was the best fit for me based on my career interests, learning style, and personal desires. Passionate about pursuing finance post-MBA, the investment banking immersion (IBI) was a huge draw for me because I knew that as a former athlete I worked best in a structured program.

I also felt the strongest connection with the Johnson community during my school research and interview phases of the process. After visiting the Cornell campus and interacting with students and faculty at a LEAD event, I knew that if I chose Johnson I would always be supported in my endeavors – no matter how ambitious.

Lastly, developing my leadership ability is something very important to me. I loved that Johnson takes such a strong interest in incorporating leadership development into all facets of the Two-year experience including core classes, exclusive treks, and other co-curriculars that you wouldn’t necessarily find at 90 percent of other MBA programs.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I think that my most valuable contributions to the class of 2022 will be my voice and my perspective. One thing that I’ve learned a lot through the recruiting process is that we are all unique individuals and there is a ton of value in the way we view the world and respond to its challenges. The diversity in each of our backgrounds, upbringings, personalities, and ways of thinking will challenge all of us in the class to understand a different perspective from your own in a respectful way. That will help us to become more thoughtful, purposeful, and creative leaders going forward.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
One crowd favorite has been that I went to high school with Cam Newton, the new starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, I’m a huge Atlanta Falcons fan so I live in a perpetual state of agony.

Post-MBA career interests? 
Prior to receiving my MBA, I plan to join an investment banking firm in NYC. In the long run, I hope to participate in some form of impact investing, deploying capital and strategic advice to minority-owned businesses and other companies looking to create positive change in communities of color.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit the school – if you can. It is the best way to visualize your next two years.

–One thing you would change or do differently?             
Reach out more to current students. Of course, everyone will advocate for their school to a certain degree, but in the end, they really want to help you make the best choice for you. Reaching out to them will give you more data points and resources to make your decision. Don’t be shy!

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The coronavirus. My friends and family have helped me get through it best. We talk and stay connected and have even picked up new hobbies like Catan and Call of Duty that helps to deal with the craziness.

What is your initial impression of Cornell Johnson’s students/culture/community?
My classmates are very smart, the faculty are welcoming and nice, and the second years are tremendously helpful! Everyone speaks highly of the tight-knit community at Johnson and I will rightfully echo that sentiment.

One thing you have learned about Cornell Johnson that has surprised you? 
The school is at the top of a small mountain! It has been quite a surprising workout walking up to campus.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
I’m most anxious about balancing my coursework, new friendships, and recruiting at the same time.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m most excited about my first Sage Social after all of the COVID restrictions are lifted. I have faith this will happen in the spring because our community has taken the precautions quite seriously and have been diligent about keeping each other safe. That first Sage Social will be quite a celebration!

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2022, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: Cornell / Johnson

About the Author


Christina Griffith  

Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.

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