ARINGO continues the series of interviews with adcom members of the top MBA programs, and today we bring you an interview with Cornell Tech MBA Admissions Team:

What is special about Cornell Tech MBA program? In addition to its’ excellent reputation, what differentiates it from other Top MBA programs?

The Johnson Cornell Tech MBA is a 12-month accelerated graduate program that combines the strong business core and electives of Cornell’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management with an interdisciplinary curriculum called “Studio” in which students work in teams with engineers, scientists, attorneys, and product developers on real-world challenges.  Students begin their program with a 10-week summer experience at Cornell’s beautiful Ithaca campus, and then take classes during the academic year at Cornell Tech, a graduate campus focused on digital education and entrepreneurship in Manhattan.

Are there any recent changes in the programs or in the admission process?

Cornell Tech is planning to add multiple new programs in the next few years in the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in partnership with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.  Johnson Cornell Tech MBA students will have the opportunity to take electives on topics ranging from health tech to urban science, from block chain to natural language processing.  We also may make additions/changes to the application process, in particular related to the Creativity Statement requirements, so please be sure to check the Cornell Tech Admissions web site starting in August 2019 for updates.

Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? Between students, between students and faculty? How do students spend their free time?

Because of the fast-paced, career-oriented nature of the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA, students spend the majority of their time in class or working on projects from their Studio teams.  The atmosphere in the school is entrepreneurial and highly collaborative; the faculty, students, and staff all work in an open-office atmosphere providing easy access to advice and support.  During the free time they do have, our students participate in events through the Cornell Tech Student Association, the sports club, and activities through the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management like symposia, conferences, and alumni social events.

Can you share some details about the area the school is located in?

Cornell Tech is a campus without precedent – located on Manhattan’s Roosevelt Island in the East River of New York City.  Most of our students live on our 12-acre campus in The House; the world’s first high-rise apartment built to “passive house” sustainability standards.  From Roosevelt Island, students have easy access to enjoy everything the rest of New York City has to offer! Cornell University’s main campus is located in Ithaca, New York, and Johnson Cornell Tech MBA students spend the summer in a tight-knit social and academic environment, surrounded by the Finger Lakes and wineries of upstate New York.

Can you share some details regarding  job opportunities and summer internships for students in your school?

Since 2014, Johnson Cornell Tech MBA graduates have enjoyed a nearly 100% placement rate for each cohort.  Because the program is a one-year accelerated timeline, there is no opportunity for internships and our career management team focus solely on post-degree employment opportunities, connecting candidates with employers through a highly personalized process.  Each year, between 10-17% of MBA graduates go on to found their own start-up companies.  Those that seek positions in industry tend to work in technology and consulting, with job functions including product manager/technical product manager, digital marketing, enterprise sales, rotational programs, data science, and consulting.

What kind of candidates is the school looking for? Who will especially enjoy this school? who will be a good fit to the school?

The Johnson Cornell Tech MBA is a good choice for individuals with a background in tech or a “digital intuition” that seek to work on/with new technologies to achieve business goals.  Successful applicants tend to have between 3-5 years of work experience (inclusive of military service) and some understanding of engineering, computer science, or digital media (students do not need an undergraduate major in these fields, though).  Our students thrive in an agile, dynamic environment that rewards entrepreneurship and risk taking and encourages collaborative decision making and design thinking.  This is NOT a good program for career changers of individuals looking to get started in tech.  Likewise, this is not a program for individuals interested primarily in venture capital and finance, as that is best addressed through Cornell’s traditional 2-year MBA.

Is there anything you’d like our candidates to know regarding the admissions process to Cornell Tech MBA?

Candidates should carefully read and follow the directions throughout the application and interview process.  It is important to highlight the best examples of your work, not all examples.  Candidates who fail to attend to specific time limits imposed and requirements for documentation will be less successful during the committee review process.  Candidates should do their best to demonstrate their fit with Cornell Tech and understanding of how their career path and background would prepare them to be a part of our academic environment and succeed post-graduation.