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Real Humans of Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class of 2022

Madhuri Mehta, Johnson MBA Class of 2022

Age: 28
Hometown: Mumbai, India 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Warwick (UK); Politics with International Studies
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years, education

Why business school? Why now? 
I came to business school with the objective of building a strong understanding of business fundamentals, improving my leadership abilities, and making a career change. After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked across different business functions, ranging from marketing to financial operations, and ended up finding my passion in the education space. I am grateful for this diverse journey, not only because I have built a unique skill set, but also because it gave me the time to introspect and pinpoint areas that I needed to work on. Having that clarity was essential, and business school became the obvious answer to become the best version of myself, both professionally and personally.

Why Cornell Johnson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I wanted to be part of a small MBA program that combined strong academics and recruiting opportunities with a collaborative ecosystem. I knew that if I were making the conscious decision to go back to school, it would have to be an immersive experience. Through conversations with students, alumni, and faculty, I soon realized that Cornell Johnson met all my requirements. Whether it was the teamwork focused culture or the beautiful Ithaca location, everything about the school fostered the idea of the tight-knit community. Additionally, having the strength of an Ivy-League MBA is unparalleled and opens doors anywhere in the world.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
Coming from the education sector and having worked with students, teachers, and parents, I have learned how to effectively communicate with different people and find common ground. This skill helps me strike up a conversation easily and create a safe space for discussion. I’m certain that my classmates will appreciate this.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I love interior design. In my free time, I watch countless hours of YouTube videos about house tours and interior design.

Post-MBA career interests? 

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Speak to as many people as you can. Culture is a very real aspect of business schools, and you need to be sure that you spend these two years of your life in an environment that challenges you but also appeals to your comfort zone.

–One thing you would change or do differently?             
Trust myself more! There are so many rumors out there about the applications process and sometimes you can let that get to you. I don’t think the process is as daunting as it’s made to be – real people read your application and you shouldn’t be afraid to showcase your true self.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
GMAT – no surprises here!

What is your initial impression of Cornell Johnson’s students/culture/community?
Absolutely fantastic! Everyone is ready to help you achieve your goals and see you succeed. The resources are plenty and you are encouraged to make the most of them. In a virtual setting, it’s even more difficult to foster a sense of community, but Cornell does a really good job of making us feel like we’re a part of the school. From regular check-ins to fun social events, I have got a very strong sense of the Cornell Johnson way, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Additionally, the diversity and inclusion efforts at Johnson are stellar and I’m so proud to be part of an institution that so much importance to such an important topic.

One thing you have learned about Cornell Johnson that has surprised you? 
The constant engagement with different members of the community that begins from the very moment you are accepted to the school. I spent the summer before business school speaking to so many students and advisors at the career management center, learning about the school in greater detail and all of the opportunities. I was so surprised to have this constant level of engagement before I had even set foot in the school. From looking over my resume to chatting about the best restaurants in Ithaca, I had great conversations that made me feel like a part of the school before I was even an official student.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
Being back in an academic setting and managing recruiting alongside. Though the structured processes at Johnson, whether for recruiting or classes, have been extremely helpful so far and pacified any anxiety.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting all the smart, driven people in my class and the year above. I’m constantly looking to learn new things, and in my short time here, I’ve realized the people at Cornell are a great learning resource. Everyone has such interesting stories and backgrounds, and I can’t wait to get to know everyone!

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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