2009 Cornell Johnson MBA Admissions Chat with Randall Sawyer

2009 Cornell Johnson MBA Admissions Chat with Randall Sawyer

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:01:24 PM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the Cornell Johnson chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about Johnson’s MBA program. To make a sound decision about where to apply and to get accepted, you need to know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask the experts about this outstanding business school.

I also want to welcome Randall Sawyer, Johnson’s Director of Admissions; Christine Sneva, Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid; and Laurie Shunney, Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Randall: What’s new at Cornell Johnson?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:03:06 PM)
Hi Linda and everyone - thanks for joining the chat today! Things here are off to a great start - most notably, our female percentage has jumped to 39%, up from 28% last year.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:03:52 PM)
That is a big change.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:03:54 PM)
In addition, our GMAT average is at 694 and our medial is 700.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:04:05 PM)
Also moving up.

m2k (Oct 13, 2008 12:04:08 PM)
Christine, with the economy the way it is, is Johnson expecting a higher number of applicants?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:04:24 PM)
M2k, yes we are - we are up 10%  in the first round.

ruche (Oct 13, 2008 12:04:25 PM)
Christine: My native language is not English. But I have an undergraduate degree from a University where the curriculum is taught exclusively in English. Can I get my TOEFL waived? Also, do I need to mention this in my optional essay?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:05:07 PM)
Ruche, I would not recommend utilizing the optional essay for this reason. However, if your transcripts mention English as the medium of instruction, you do not need to submit a TOEFL. Remember, the interview will also determine your English skill level.

ruche (Oct 13, 2008 12:05:55 PM)
Ok..thanks !

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:06:12 PM)
Laurie: A few schools have decided to reach out to early-career applicants, those with less than two years of experience. Is Cornell Johnson doing so too?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:06:43 PM)
Hello Mr. Sawyer, is there any change in the application process this year?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:06:53 PM)
Linda, we certainly consider applications from students with less than two years of experience, particularly those with excellent experiences and strong academic profiles.

m2k (Oct 13, 2008 12:06:57 PM)
Christine: Is TOEFL a minimum requirement or is it used as an evaluative score such as the GMAT score, the higher the better?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:07:25 PM)
Hi Luke4Cornell, thanks for the great question! We do have a change in the process, and it is only on the application side - you now have a third essay to write.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:07:30 PM)
M2k, TOEFL is important especially with regard to how we evaluate a candidate's speaking skills. But an interview will always be the best evaluation of an applicant's ability to communicate conversationally.

sm (Oct 13, 2008 12:07:36 PM)
Randall: What are the options for securing loans for international students? Is it possible to get a loan without a cosigner?

ruche (Oct 13, 2008 12:07:58 PM)
Christine: I am leaving my job end of November, after submitting the application for Round 2 -17 Nov. Do I need to mention this in the optional essay or should I send the update once I have moved out?

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:08:29 PM)
For all of you: What do you guys think of the few table of contents essays you've looked at so far? Are you getting what you hoped for?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:08:37 PM)
Ruche, that is something the committee would need to know and more importantly: Why you are leaving your job and what do you intend to do with your time?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:08:58 PM)
Hi SM - those are good questions that a lot of international students have and are concerned with. I am meeting with Dean Thomas this afternoon to discuss that very issue. As it stands today, with Citibank ending their CitiAssist loans, international students cannot get a loan without a US cosigner.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:09:16 PM)
JohnsonHopeful, we enjoy reading the table of contents essays. The responses we reviewed so far provided unique information about students' personal experiences.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:09:44 PM)
Laurie, are any of the applicants taking their Table of Contents into the future? Do you want them to do so?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:09:49 PM)
Yeah, very creative topic, table of content!

Beke (Oct 13, 2008 12:10:05 PM)
Christine: On the issue of leaving work for some time, does it look bad if a person left work for personal reasons, say to care for family?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:10:16 PM)
Yes Luke, the sky is the limit for the third essay! Be creative!

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:10:32 PM)
Linda, some students project into the future within the table of contents essay. This is truly a chance to express yourself creatively. We did not set specific expectations because we enjoy reading unique responses.

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:10:40 PM)
Randall: I've submit my application last week, before the first deadline. Could you please talk about the percentage that receives an interview invitation? When will R1 applicants get the interview invitation?

m2k (Oct 13, 2008 12:10:52 PM)
Christine: Are table of contents supposed to be one liners or descriptive?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:11:02 PM)
Beke, nothing would necessarily "look bad", however we want to consider what you have been doing previously as well as before business school!

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:11:34 PM)
Hi Luke4Cornell--nice name! We are just getting started reviewing applications so we have a few invitations for interviews going out this week. That being said, our interview percentage from Round 1 should be in line with past years - about 50%. We had a great pool in Round 1 academically, so we'll see how they do personality and achievement-wide if you will.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:12:02 PM)
For all of you: If you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile are in the ballpark for a Johnson student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:12:03 PM)
It depends M2K - some people may need to go into a descriptive explanation. Think of it this way: These should be chapters of your life that are intriguing enough for us to ask you for an interview.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:13:02 PM)
When I saw your Table of Content question, I was reminded of AA Milne's Table of Content in the Winnie the Pooh stories.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:13:10 PM)
Linda, beyond the numbers, we look for examples of teamwork and leadership, personality and initiative (as expressed in the essays etc), career progression, and realistic goals.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:13:19 PM)
:) Good book!

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:13:30 PM)
And great Table of Contents. :-)

m2k (Oct 13, 2008 12:14:14 PM)
Laurie, how is community involvement given importance in Cornell? Is it something you expect a candidate to portray in his optional essay?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:14:22 PM)
Oh really? Great. I really hope I can get one at that time! I'm currently in China, and I have met Christine here in July and Ann last month. Will the interview also be face-to-face? Or by phone?

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:15:49 PM)
Randall: Does the admissions office ever glance at the Park Fellowship essay before making an admission decision?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:15:53 PM)
Luke, interviews can happen in 3 ways: here on campus, with an alum in your city, or on the phone. Face-to-face is always recommended because there are attributes we consider in applicants that can only be heard and observed by sitting down with someone. Remember, we want to admit people who are ready and a right fit for our program.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:15:55 PM)
M2k, we look for community involvement as demonstration of how you contribute to your area and how you would potentially contribute to the Johnson School community. We typically see details about community involvement in the activities section and resumes. You could also highlight a particularly important achievement in the third essay.

JeremyW (Oct 13, 2008 12:15:56 PM)
Laurie: Johnson Team: For dual MILR students, do most dual degree students apply in their application, or do some apply in their first year at Johnson?

Greg (Oct 13, 2008 12:16:07 PM)
Christine: Would you recommend applying as early as possible in R2 or are the applications reviewed after the deadline?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:16:34 PM)
Hi Johnson Hopeful, we do not look at the Park essay in advance of file decision.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:16:41 PM)
Jeremy, students interested in the dual ILR should apply to both programs at the same time.

sm (Oct 13, 2008 12:16:58 PM)
Randall: Under the current scenario do you see placements as a worry? In particular, how is the outlook for consulting?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:17:44 PM)
Greg, I do recommend to apply as early as you can. As the year progresses, our class does fill. Any applications submitted after the deadline, are not considered but counted toward the next round (i.e. round 3).

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:18:06 PM)
Hi Sm, good question! I am pleased to report that we have just as many recruiters coming to campus this year as last year.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:18:33 PM)
Randall, are you anticipating cancellations of  interview slots and recruiting events? What about offer cancellations?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:19:07 PM)
Certainly there are less opportunities in the IB space as expected, but other sectors, including Brand and Consulting look strong. Time may change this outlook, but we are working very hard and closely with alumni and recruiters to make sure that everyone gets attention and options.

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:19:22 PM)
Christine: I learned that some bank stopped their international student loan plan. Has this affected Johnson?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:19:49 PM)
Yes, many (if not all) institutions were affected by the cancellation of the Citibank Assist Loan.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:21:01 PM)
Linda, IB space is still in the air, but all other companies are still coming here.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:21:14 PM)
Christine: How do you use the admissions interview in the evaluation process?

JeremyW (Oct 13, 2008 12:21:42 PM)
Randall: Following up on the recruiting question, do you think Johnson students will begin to focus on immersions like consulting and brand management rather than IB, capital markets, or the custom option to ensure placement after school?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:22:31 PM)
Linda, by the time an applicant is given the opportunity to interview, a lot of the decision will depend on your self-presentation, maturity, professionalism, etc. All qualities that our employers expect from Johnson School students. Many students also fail to differentiate themselves. A strong GMAT score will not lead to an interview invitation here. We look for well-rounded applicants.

ruche (Oct 13, 2008 12:22:49 PM)
Laurie: Is the word limit rigid in essays? Is it ok if the limit is + or -10%

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:23:22 PM)
Hi Jeremy - insightful question! In the past when we have seen IB offer contracts or go away, many would-be-IBers head to consulting and some consultants head to brand.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:23:47 PM)
Randall: Is there an advantage to applying in different rounds? What percentage of applicants is accepted in each round?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:23:55 PM)
Ruche, we do not count the number of words exactly, but we did deny a candidate last year who submitted essays far above our word limit. I recommend remaining under 400 words.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:24:05 PM)
Linda, we have four rounds, with Round One concluded last week. Percentages of offers are higher for those in Round One. Round Two is strong and Rounds 3 and 4 are much tougher, with Round Four being very difficult. Last year we had 500 apps in Round 1, 750 in Round 2, 1300 in Round 3 and 400 in Round Four--by the time we got to Round Four, most of the class was filled.

sm (Oct 13, 2008 12:25:01 PM)
Laurie: I am an international student and my undergrad institution does not send the transcripts directly. How do I send my transcripts? Can I, the applicant, send a sealed copy signed by the registrar?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:25:31 PM)
Sm, you may send a signed and sealed (official) transcript to the admissions office.

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:25:34 PM)
Randall: Thanks. So, is that possible that the bank and school can find a plan to offer Assist loan to international MBA student in 2009?

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:26:18 PM)
To all of you: Any advice for applicants aiming for your Nov. 17 submissions date?

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:26:31 PM)
Thanks, Randall!

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:26:48 PM)
Luke4CU, we are exploring many options, and will have announcements in the near future, should we find new loan opportunities.

Beke (Oct 13, 2008 12:27:01 PM)
Christine: I have an international undergrad, but my transcript was late arriving. I submitted everything else on my application for Round 1. I sent the transcript to Admissions last week though. Do I still qualify for Round 1 admissions?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:27:08 PM)
Linda, dedicate time to your essays and your value proposition! You will be asked and challenged every step of the way. Getting into b-school is the easy part :) !

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:27:09 PM)
Linda, in general, I recommend learning as much as possible about the program before completing your application. This will allow you to tailor your essays. Also, truly dedicate some time for self-reflection (an important aspect of the process). This will improve your presentation in the application and during the entire process.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:27:57 PM)
Laurie, do you sometimes sense that essays you read were really written for another school and are not tailored to Johnson?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:27:57 PM)
Beke, if you submitted your online portion, then yes and congratulations for submitting in round 1! Be sure that your transcripts have arrived in the next few days.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:28:10 PM)
Back to Luke4CU, I can tell you that in the current marketplace, the CitiAssist loan will not be brought back to life. It ended last Wednesday night and I see little chance of it coming back to the marketplace.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:28:30 PM)
Linda, sometimes, we receive generic essays. It is truly important to answer our questions and tailor your responses.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:28:39 PM)
Randall, do you see any no-cosigner program for int'l applicants in the near future?

as_18 (Oct 13, 2008 12:28:52 PM)
Christine: What has been the impact of current crises on asset management offers at Cornell ?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:28:56 PM)
Linda, we look for authenticity.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:29:21 PM)
What makes essays smell in inauthentic to you?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:29:55 PM)
As18, we have seen some offers go - but many of the purchasing banks are considering sustaining offers. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:30:34 PM)
Laurie: Are there any special considerations for re-applicants? Do your reviewers also look at least year's application when reviewing the application of a reapplicant? Do they just look at the reviewers' notes? Or do they ignore last year's application?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:30:46 PM)
Linda, vague essays without a sense of personality appear less authentic. This is another example of why truly knowing yourself and your goals can allow you to effectively demonstrate your path and your personality.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:03 PM)

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:06 PM)
Great question Linda - typically when it seems vague or impersonal and especially when it is clear the applicant did not do their own due diligence about our culture and are unable to describe how they fit into this mold.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:06 PM)
Linda, I am not sure if we will see a co-signor loan program in the near future. I think all schools affected by it are looking at options and I am not sure how many exist out there. Each school will have to find its own remedy or lose good students who cannot get loans.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:37 PM)
I know that program was a fantastic boon to int'l students and it will be missed.

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:44 PM)
What was your acceptance rate for the full time 2-year program last year (I know the year prior was 25%)?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:46 PM)
Linda, we look for improvements in reapplicant files. We will review your file from last year, including your application, the reviewers' comments, and any notes from feedback sessions.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:31:48 PM)
Yes, Linda, it will be missed.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:32:05 PM)
Johnson Hopeful, our selectivity was 19%. Our yield on those offers was 55%.

as_18 (Oct 13, 2008 12:32:26 PM)
Laurie:  I submitted my application on October 5th and mailed my transcripts, for which I have already received a delivery receipt. However, the status  online still reflects not received - can you advise? Thanks!

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:32:34 PM)
Thanks Randall, I will try my best to meet the financial requirement. I know that the Park Leadership Program is not available for applicants other than US citizens. Under the current circumstances, are there any fellowships available to international students?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:33:07 PM)
As_18, I had the same problem online.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:33:15 PM)
L4CU, there is scholarship available to top international students, but no fellowships at this time.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:33:20 PM)
As_18 - I suggest contacting the Admissions Service Representative managing your file. We are in the process of updating incomplete files on a rolling basis. Admissions Service Representatives listed by Surnames: A-H Jason Atkins (jma47@cornell.edu), I-O Cheryl Kot (ck44@cornell.edu), P-Z Clarence Welch (cw434@cornell.edu).

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:34:06 PM)
Christine: How are letters of recommendation used in the evaluation process?

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:34:39 PM)
Randall: Could you give us an example of Cornell's performance learning emphasis?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:35:11 PM)
Linda, great question - Letters of Recommendation are extremely important to us. They are the only portion of the application that is not completed by the applicant. This external piece provides us the insight of how others work with you as well as a direct report/employer perspective of the applicant. It is probably the most crucial piece in terms of the committee answering whether the applicant is employable.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:35:37 PM)
Sure Linda, we have a $15 million hedge fund called the Cayuga Fund that is managed by 22 second years; they do all the due diligence, make pitches, order transactions and everything else involved as well! Real money folks, not Monopoly!

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:36:01 PM)
What makes a good or bad Letter of Recommendation?

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:36:30 PM)
Laurie: It’s a little early for the next two questions, but I’ll ask anyway: 1) Any tips for people who will be waitlisted? Will you provide feedback to rejected applicants?

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:36:55 PM)
Randall: How do Johnson's immersions differ from majors or concentrations?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:36:58 PM)
Linda, it's important that the recommender answers all of the questions and provides examples. It is very clear when a recommender does not know the candidate and provides brief answers resulting in a thin and weak recommendation.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:37:42 PM)
Linda, students on the waitlist can consider a variety of options for improving their files. After reviewing the class profile, they may consider retaking the GMAT, requesting an additional recommendation, sending any updates about their progression at work, or providing details about how they can achieve their goals. We will provide feedback for denied applicants during the summer months.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:38:32 PM)
Linda, our immersion program is a great differentiator from other schools--first semester is core, then second semester is the immersion program--every class, guest lecture, field trip, case study etc. has to do with your immersion. We have 9 choices to pick from: IB to Consulting,  Brand to others, and if none fit your need, then you can customize it!

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:38:44 PM)
Laurie: What are the most common applicant mistakes in the application process?

JeremyW (Oct 13, 2008 12:39:12 PM)
Randall: What percent of students customize immersions? I have heard about 10%.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:39:29 PM)
Randall, what happens in the second year?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:39:34 PM)
Jeremy, I think that number in increasing to the 20% area.

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:39:58 PM)
Laurie: I think Johnson is really doing a great job giving feedback to waitlisted & rejected students. I learned that most of them got feedback and help if they wished, although I have not had such experience yet. Anyway, Cornell is famous for helping students.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:40:02 PM)
Linda, the second year rounds out your experience with a couple more required classes and many electives.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:40:31 PM)
Luke4Cornell, I enjoy providing feedback and developing relationships with applicants. Thanks for the positive feedback!

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:40:42 PM)
In the 2nd year, you can also study abroad and take multiple roles in our organizations that will directly relate to your industry and business.

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:41:35 PM)
Laurie: About how long does it take for your application to go under review if you submitted your application right on the R1 deadline?

Goyal (Oct 13, 2008 12:41:48 PM)
Hi Randall - How do you think that the yanking of CitiAssist loans will effect the international diversity?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:41:50 PM)
Johnson Hopeful, we move files on a rolling basis.

Beke (Oct 13, 2008 12:42:05 PM)
Christine: How much emphasis is placed on an applicant's undergrad GPA?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:43:07 PM)
Beke, GPA is past performance; however, it is the only proof we have of your academic ability apart from the GMAT which is the standardized test. We look through your transcript thoroughly - classes, grades etc. It is important to note in your application if there was a particular semester and/or grade that was very low. What happened here? What did you do to overcome this situation? As you can see, many questions can feed from something as straight-forward as a transcript.

Rdxb (Oct 13, 2008 12:43:20 PM)
Laurie: Since I am self employed, would a LOR from a client suffice? Perhaps another from a college professor?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:43:24 PM)
Goyal: I am not sure how it will affect diversity--right now about 10% of our class have CitiAssist loans so it is an issue we are looking at very closely. It may reduce our international numbers but no one is sure.

Dan (Oct 13, 2008 12:43:34 PM)
Randall: Are the core classes integrated in some way? Are the same cases tackled from different angles in different classes? Or is the integration left mainly for the immersion?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:19 PM)
Rdxb, A client who could highlight your skills and abilities is a good option. I generally recommend professional references, rather than professors. Academic recommendations tend to remain vague and add less value.

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:22 PM)
Christine: Are there any changes in the company visit list of SSO for class of 2011?

sm (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:26 PM)
Laurie: What would you suggest to international students without cosigner- apply or wait for a clear direction?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:36 PM)
Hi Dan, integration in the core runs through each class and prepares you for the immersion. The immersion then prepares you to be ready on day one of your internship.

JeremyW (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:45 PM)
Randall: I have heard many people refer to Johnson as a top finance school. While this may be true, would you prefer to say that Cornell is a strong general management school? What is your impression of Johnson in the market place?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:44:45 PM)
Luke, not at this time - although I encourage you to reach out to our students in the SSO immersion.

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:45:29 PM)
Laurie: How do you view multiple GMAT attempts? Do you look at all scores or ignore all but the highest?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:45:35 PM)
Sm - I would suggest applying to your choice schools and approaching each institution about lending options.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:45:46 PM)
Johnson, we will take your highest GMAT score. Multiple tests show that perhaps your first attempt was not at par with a competitive Johnson School candidate.

Beke (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:11 PM)
Christine: Is there any other way to communicate extenuating circumstances for less than par performance in a particular semester?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:27 PM)
Thanks Christine, Mr. Peter Pefanis kindly gave me an introduction about SSO and the consulting club before I submitted my application.

Goyal (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:42 PM)
Thanks Randall - For people who have already applied for R1, when can we expect some status update? Also for people in India, do you have alumni interviews?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:43 PM)
Hi JW--I agree that we are a top finance school--but I think more than that we are a great general management school, strong in four areas: Finance, Consulting, Brand Management and Entrepreneurship.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:50 PM)
Beke, the optional essay is a perfect way to explain anything in your application that you have not been able to address.

Rdxb (Oct 13, 2008 12:46:55 PM)
Laurie: Being a doctor, would I be compared to people from my background, or from all fields?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:47:07 PM)
Luke, Peter Pefanis is the perfect contact for SSO - he is very involved and exemplifies what a Johnson School student does to achieve success. He is engaged in everything he does.

JohnsonAspirant (Oct 13, 2008 12:47:58 PM)
Laurie: I had a low score in the first semester of my undergrad and thereafter my scores improved progressively until the last semester. Is this something I need to explain or will it be apparent via the transcript?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:48:05 PM)
Rdxb - We review your experience in terms of achievements across all fields. Depending on your career goals, you might also consider the Accelerated MBA program.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:48:26 PM)
Randall, given that Ithaca isn't exactly known as an entrepreneurial hotbed, what does Cornell offer would-be entrepreneurs?

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:48:30 PM)
Yes, Peter is really kind and helpful.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:48:34 PM)
Johnson, we appreciate upward sloping GPAs. You can add details about the experience in your optional essay.

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:48:58 PM)
Christine: So if multiple tests "show that perhaps your first attempt was not at par with a competitive Johnson School candidate" it seems like maybe it does hurt you a bit if you had a few below average scores before finally breaking through Johnsons average on the GMAT.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:49:25 PM)
Johnson, not at all - it shows persistence and we like to see that. You'll need that in b-school.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:50:04 PM)
Linda, many times entrepreneurship is about the networking, finding investors and learning the basics on how to build your company. We help entrepreneurs on all of these fronts and more. In fact, many students start companies are started by students who are attending the Johnson School. Cornell has a program by which research and products developed by faculty can be licensed to students for development and sale-quite a unique opportunity that I am not sure exists elsewhere.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:50:12 PM)
Laurie, what are the 3 qualities you like to see demonstrated through the application?

Goyal (Oct 13, 2008 12:50:20 PM)
Christine - What kind of Immersions do Life sciences people generally take up?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:50:46 PM)
Goyal, there are 8 immersions with 20% of our students deciding to customize. If there is something specific to the life sciences - you may want to customize and add courses from outside the Johnson School; however, remember you need to diversify your experience and many times that is taking on a different industry and business to set yourself up for a new venture or career.

JohnsonAspirant (Oct 13, 2008 12:51:09 PM)
Christine: I have somewhat of a skew in my verbal (70 Percentile) and quant (90 Percentile) scores in the GMAT, but I have a 6 in AWA. Is AWA a proof to the school of one's verbal ability and are those essays read?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:51:21 PM)
Linda, we look for leadership, teamwork, and progression. We also look for evidence of your ability to perform well in the core (GPA, GMAT) and during interviews with recruiters.

JohnsonHopeful (Oct 13, 2008 12:52:32 PM)
This chat has been quite refreshing. Johnson Adcom members seem to be much more straightforward and helpful with your answers than most programs. Thanks a lot.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:52:33 PM)
Johnson, the AWA is your unedited sample of writing - it is important for us to examine this, but we will also observe your verbal in your essays. Your skew is not necessarily terrible as we look for at least a 70% on your quant and verbal breakdown. This is a good example of how your interview will fill any holes in your application.

GameTheory (Oct 13, 2008 12:53:46 PM)
Randall: How is the economic climate impacting recruiting at Johnson this year? Considering the school's remote location - do you find it more difficult for students to source opportunities at boutique firms and smaller companies?

Goyal (Oct 13, 2008 12:54:44 PM)
Randall - If there is one absolute must quality you would look for in an applicant, what would it be?

GameTheory (Oct 13, 2008 12:55:01 PM)
Laurie: How competitive is the process for receiving a Park Fellowship? Approximately what percentages of admitted students are considered for one, and then approximately what % receive a Park Fellowship?

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:55:02 PM)
Game Theory, employers are very smart - they will take the top pool of students at the top business programs. This diversifies their recruitment process.

Dan (Oct 13, 2008 12:55:44 PM)
Christine:  I have a 67% quant and a 99% verbal, but lots of quantitative heavy work experience - production planning, logistics for the military, financial analysis for government contractors. Is my quantitative score still going to be an issue?

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:55:58 PM)
Hi Game Theory - love the sign in- we have as many recruiters here this year as we did last year, so it is not impacting too much yet. Location is never an issue for us when companies like AmEx, Citi, JPMorgan, McKinsey, Bain, SCJohnson, Unilever and more return year after year.

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:56:15 PM)
Game, we typically invite one out of every 10 Park applicants to a finalist weekend and from that point 1 out of every 3 receive a fellowship.

GameTheory (Oct 13, 2008 12:56:17 PM)
Laurie: What percentage of Cornell's incoming class receives a scholarship of some sort?

Dan (Oct 13, 2008 12:56:37 PM)
Randall: Is there anything you'd like us to know that we haven't asked?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:56:46 PM)
Game, about 30% of applicants receive a scholarship.

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:56:51 PM)
Not necessarily Dan - but we will look at the other quantitative measures in your application. Be prepared - we may ask you to consider retaking. That is what your competition may be doing.

as_18 (Oct 13, 2008 12:57:02 PM)
Laurie: What % of international applicants got the following: Interviewed last year, given admits, and finally yielded?
LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:31 PM)
As- across the entire class, we offered interviews to about 45% of applicants, 20% of those interviewed received offers, and of those 55% of those with offers matriculated.

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:57:16 PM)
Good questions all around Dan--thanks for joining us today.

Linda Abraham (Oct 13, 2008 12:57:30 PM)
Thank you again, all, for participating today. Special thanks to Randall, Laurie, and Christine for joining us at this busy time of year.

We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the current scheduled chats:

MIT Sloan            October 23rd 10 AM
Consortium          October 23rd  5 PM
Haas                   October 29th
Wharton              November 5th
Kellogg                November 10th
Please check our chat schedule page for additional details. If you would like to automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA event list.
Good luck with your applications!

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:57:49 PM)
Thank you to all! Great questions and best of luck!!!

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:11 PM)
Thanks all!

Luke4Cornell (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:15 PM)
Thanks again Linda, Randall, Christine and Laurie!

ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:15 PM)
Thank you for your help Linda!

Rdxb (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:18 PM)
Thanks so much Randall, Laurie, Linda and Christine!

Goyal (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:21 PM)
Thanks for your answers everyone. Great to have straight answers :)

puipui (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:25 PM)

JeremyW (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:37 PM)
Thank you!

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:58:47 PM)
We enjoyed chatting with you! Good luck during the process! If you would like additional information, feel free to contact us.


ChristineSnevaCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:59:03 PM)
Christine Sneva - ces255@cornell.edu

RandallSawyerCORNELL (Oct 13, 2008 12:59:23 PM)
Thanks everyone--if you have further questions you can reach us by phone or email--I am at rs348@cornell.edu. Good luck!

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