Cornell Johnson 2006 MBA Admissions Chat with Ann Richards

Cornell Johnson 2006 MBA Admissions Chat with Ann Richards

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Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:13:47 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to's Cornell Johnson MBA Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:13:54 AM)
I also want to welcome our special guests: Ann Richards, Director of Admissions and Lisa Patrick, Financial Aid Counselor.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:14:08 AM)
Thanks to all of you for joining.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:16:50 AM)
Lisa, what advice can you give applicants who intend to seek financial aid in order to pay for their MBA?

BudweisAr (Oct 11, 2005 10:17:08 AM)
Is there any difference in the selection criteria for 1 year and 2 year MBA programs? What do you want to see in the applications?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:17:42 AM)
For our TMO (one year) program, we require an advanced degree (Masters level or higher) with a strong quantitative bent. In both the TMO and Two-Year program we look for candidates with a solid focus on their career, a record of achievement personally and professionally. The application and selection process for the TMO and two-year programs are the same. We have a smaller pool of applicants for the TMO program due to the graduate degree requirement.

BudweisAr (Oct 11, 2005 10:19:01 AM)
So with a Masters degree and quant background such as Engineering, I should be able to apply.

Rytis (Oct 11, 2005 10:19:57 AM)
I am wondering whether you have already started reviewing the applications of those who applied for the first round. In either case, how does the application volume seem to look at this point as compared to previous years?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:20:26 AM)
BudweisAr, we have many candidates in the TMO program with a Masters in Engineering.

BudweisAr (Oct 11, 2005 10:20:51 AM)
Do students in the TMO get the chance to take a semester in manufacturing? Or that's strictly for two year students?

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:20:52 AM)
Linda - I'd like to encourage all to apply for financial aid because there is no connection between applying for financial aid and the admissions committee's decision.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:21:09 AM)
Rytis, we have started to review the applications from Round 1. We are in the very early stages and I think we just began to set up interviews this week. Despite the fact our deadline was almost two weeks earlier than last year, our applications in round 1 were up slightly.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:22:18 AM)
Lisa, what are some of the differences between undergrad financial aid programs and grad financial aid programs?

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:23:45 AM)
Linda - Most undergrad aid is based on financial need. Our aid is based on merit. Each school defines merit differently. We place high value on achievements and accomplishments.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:24:21 AM)
That's a big difference.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:24:21 AM)
BudweisAr, TMO students cannot enroll in the Semester in Manufacturing, but you can take many of the electives that are included in that (or any other) immersion.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:25:13 AM)
What criteria do you use when determining who receives merit based financial aid?

dodo (Oct 11, 2005 10:25:35 AM)
Can we get opportunities to do real projects with companies at Cornell?

Rytis (Oct 11, 2005 10:27:32 AM)
Lisa, what are the chances for international students to cover the gap between any merit-based financial aid and cost of tuition by taking loans, if one does not have a US co-signer?

BudweisAr (Oct 11, 2005 10:29:02 AM)
How does a one year international student fare in the job market? Do you publish separate employment stats for 1 year and 2 year? Are the career options limited for 1 year students?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:29:22 AM)
Dodo, you may have the opportunity to work on real projects with companies, through the immersions or through consulting projects with the entrepreneurship track (BR Venture Fund, BR Ventures and BR Legal.)

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:29:23 AM)
Rytis - we have a signature loan through Citibank and Access Group which also offers an international loan program for students who have a US credit history.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:30:23 AM)
A few schools, notably Wharton and UCLA have decided to reach out to early-career applicants, those with less than two years of experience. Is Cornell Johnson doing so too?

ahande (Oct 11, 2005 10:32:06 AM)
Are there opportunities to study abroad in the full time program?

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:32:24 AM)
Lisa, how should students evaluate different financial aid packages?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:33:37 AM)
BudweisAr - If a student is interested in working for a company that doesn't recruit on campus, our Career Management Center works with students to be successful in an independent job search. Most students (international and domestic) participate in both on campus and an independent job search.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:34:19 AM)
Linda - first look at what their cost will be by starting with what the schools published budget will be. Then look at the resources the school offers.

ahande (Oct 11, 2005 10:34:20 AM)
What are the percentages of under-represented minorities and women for the Fall 2005 entering class?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:34:52 AM)
Linda, we are reaching out to strong applicants with limited work experience, but who have demonstrated leadership and accomplishment within their fields or community.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:35:23 AM)
Thanks Ann.

ahande (Oct 11, 2005 10:35:45 AM)
If an applicant has an extremely low GPA, should he/she consider another school or apply anyway?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:35:54 AM)
ahande, we do offer students the opportunity to study abroad, we have partnerships with schools throughout the world.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:37:19 AM)
ahande, I would encourage you to apply. We look at many factors in making an admissions decision. I think you will want to explain the circumstances surrounding your GPA.

Rachel (Oct 11, 2005 10:37:47 AM)
Ann, could you give an example of Cornell's performance learning emphasis?

dodo (Oct 11, 2005 10:38:47 AM)
Ann, what if I don't want to or can't explain my GPA? I had a late awakening :)

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 10:38:57 AM)
Lisa, until which round would international applicants be considered for financial aid?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:39:15 AM)
Ahande, the class entering in fall 2005 had 20% underrepresented minorities and 28% women.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:40:02 AM)
aspirant2006, all applicants who apply by the January 4 deadline.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:40:19 AM)
Rachel, there are some great examples of performance learning on our website:

Rachel (Oct 11, 2005 10:40:22 AM)
Lisa, do any students receive full scholarship? If so, how many? How are these students chosen?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:42:18 AM)
dodo - you don't have to explain your low GPA. I would encourage you to demonstrate other ways to highlight your intellectual strength.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:42:26 AM)
Rachel, there is not a set number but we do award a few merit based full scholarships in addition to the Park fellowship program.

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 10:42:56 AM)
Hi Ann. What does the school offer for budding entrepreneurs? Do you regularly churn out entrepreneurs from your international student set?

Rachel (Oct 11, 2005 10:43:34 AM)
Thanks Ann. I will check it out.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:44:43 AM)
BudweisAr, we don't separate out TMO's from the other graduating students. I can tell you that those TMO students with a clear focus, and career interests tied to their professional experience, are most successful and satisfied in their job search.

Rytis (Oct 11, 2005 10:46:02 AM)
Ann, what is the main thing you are looking for while interviewing a selected candidate?

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 10:46:14 AM)
Thanks Lisa. I also wanted to know the average scholarship and the percentage of students of TMO students who receive scholarship?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:48:43 AM)
waybia, we have lots of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, both within the Johnson School (Big Red Ventures, Clubs, Private Equity Immersion) and throughout the University (Cornell Entrepreneur Network). We also offer a loan forgiveness program for our alumni who enter a start-up or start their own business.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:48:43 AM)
aspirant2006, this varies from year to year. Last years average scholarship for TMO students was $15,000, with a third of the class receiving aid.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 10:50:17 AM)
Ann, a recent Business 2.0 article mentioned that Cornell flies recruiters to campus. Its great to hear that. Does the list of such recruiters include those not related to finance?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:51:20 AM)
Rytis, when interviewing a selected candidate, we look for candidates with achievements and accomplishments, personally and professionally, with involvement or experience outside of work. We want solid all around - bright, articulate and focused. We like to see candidates who will have an impact within our program and after they graduate. We have a strong history of students leaving their impact on our program.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 10:52:39 AM)
Lisa, Waybia wanted me to ask if pets are allowed on campus?

Johnson7 (Oct 11, 2005 10:53:18 AM)
Have you seen a jump in applications since the school rose in recent rankings? Are the GMAT averages still near 680?

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:53:58 AM)
Linda and Waybia - there is a legend that dogs are allowed to run free on campus but this is a legend.

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 10:54:55 AM)
Lisa: so are they allowed to at least move around with their owners on a leash?!! Are they allowed in the dorm?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:55:12 AM)
aspirant2006, as part of Just About Jobs, we do fly companies to campus. We try to involve our students in identifying the companies they want involved. Last year, we flew companies from the west coast.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:56:10 AM)
waybia - Ithaca does have a leash law but dogs are not allowed in Sage Hall and I don't believe they are allowed in the dorms.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:57:46 AM)
johnson7 - we were fortunate to have seen an increase in our applications over the last several years. We have a slight increase in our applications for the first round this year. Last year, our GMAT average dipped slightly.

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 10:58:55 AM)
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the full form of TMO?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 10:59:28 AM)
johnson7 - we interview by invitation, after we've reviewed your application. If you are contacted for an interview, it's a good sign. We love to see candidates come to campus to interview, but we also conduct interviews by phone and with alumni.

dodo (Oct 11, 2005 10:59:32 AM)
Is there a way I can know how many students started their own companies and what kind of companies?

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:00:22 AM)
Twelve Month Option.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:01:30 AM)
dodo, we don't publish that info, but contact me off line and I can give you some recent information.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:02:48 AM)
Johnson7 - yes, MBA students can take courses at the law school and graduate courses at other schools at Cornell.

Rytis (Oct 11, 2005 11:03:09 AM)
Ann: What is one thing that you really do not like to see in the applications?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:03:44 AM)
Johnson7, we enroll a new class of about 250 students each year. The core courses are relatively large, about 60 students. Our elective courses are smaller, the range is 10-60.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:04:35 AM)
Rytis, what a great question! We use the application as a way to get to know the candidate, so the thing I least like to see in an application is inflation of work experience or extracurricular activities.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:04:38 AM)
Ann, how does the adcom view or categorize applicants who are citizens of a certain country (say India) but have spent a significant portion of their professional career in another country (but not US)?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:06:51 AM)
aspirant2006, it's to a candidate's advantage to have work experience outside of their home country.

Rytis (Oct 11, 2005 11:06:52 AM)
Ann, that's a great answer. Thanks!

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:07:21 AM)
Ann: Is there an advantage to applying in different rounds? What percentages of accepted students were accepted each round?

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 11:08:36 AM)
Ann, would such a candidate be considered as part of the India pool or not?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:08:40 AM)
Linda, I think it's helpful to apply early. We don't have specific quotas for each round, but it's possible we may have a limited number of admission seats available in the March round.

Johnson7 (Oct 11, 2005 11:08:59 AM)
Lisa: Do 1st year MBA students and 2nd year students have classes together?

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:10:10 AM)
Thanks Ann. Is there any advantage to applying early within a round or do you wait for the deadline to begin reviewing applications from that round?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:10:28 AM)
Linda, this is the first year we've used 5 rounds (October 3, November 7, December 5, January 4, and March 1), so I'm not sure what the percentages will look like. It may be an advantage to submit an application before the deadline. We get hundreds of applications on each deadline date. We print these out to create a paper file. If an application is submitted before the deadline, it gets put into the queue earlier.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:10:40 AM)
Johnson7, in the first semester is your core and first year students only. If you take electives in the second semester you could be with second years.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:11:21 AM)
Ann, does Cornell Johnson have a grade disclosure policy?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:11:23 AM)
Linda, the school and the faculty cannot disclose a students grade without written permission from the student.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:12:12 AM)
Ann: Are there any special considerations for a reapplicant2

2? 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?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:14:42 AM)
Linda, we specifically ask re-applicants to explain in an essay ways in which they have strengthened their application. We often review the previous application, as well as the notes and interview.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:14:54 AM)
Ann, is it okay if I don't get a recommendation from my current supervisor?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:15:45 AM)
aspirant2006, you don't need a recommendation from your current supervisor, but I would explain in the optional essay why you didn't ask your supervisor for a recommendation. There are many reasons why you may not have a current supervisor write a recommendation for you. It may not hurt you if you don't ask your boss to write you a recommendation.

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 11:16:45 AM)
We were discussing about candidates from a large pool such as the Indian pool, who have experience working in another country. Are these applicants still teamed up with the rest of the Indian pool?

BellaGirl01 (Oct 11, 2005 11:17:28 AM)
Can you explain why there are 5 rounds this year for Cornell rather than the traditional three?

Johnson7 (Oct 11, 2005 11:17:53 AM)
Lisa: What is the percentage of married students to single students?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:18:11 AM)
Waybia, we often review candidates from the same country together, but that doesn't mean we expect all candidates to have experience outside their home country.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:19:16 AM)
Johnson7 - I don't know the percentage but we have a significant number of students with partners.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:20:02 AM)
Ann, in that case would a candidate be grouped on the basis of his/her citizenship or permanent residency?

Johnson7 (Oct 11, 2005 11:20:13 AM)
Lisa: How about the percentage of women to men?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:20:38 AM)
bellaGirl01, we have 5 rounds this year,; we've previously had 4 rounds for our 2-year applicants (Priority, 1, 2, and 3) and 4 different rounds for our TMO students. This year we have just coordinated the application dates for the TMO and 2-year applicants.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:21:02 AM)
Johnson7 - the number of women in the 2007 Class is 28%.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:22:32 AM)
aspirant2006, we group candidates based on their cultural experience. If a candidate from China received permanent residency from Canada in the last year, we would review that candidate with other Chinese applicants, not Canadians.

goalCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:22:58 AM)
Ann: What sort of interview do you offer? On-campus, telephonic, Alumni?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:24:29 AM)
goalCornell, we have such a fabulous class, great facilities and a beautiful location, we love to have candidates visit the Johnson School for their interview. We realize this may not always be possible, so we offer alumni and telephone interviews as well.

Johnson7 (Oct 11, 2005 11:24:42 AM)
Ann: How strict is the word limit on the essays?

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:25:44 AM)
Thanks, Ann, that makes it clear.

BudweisAr (Oct 11, 2005 11:26:05 AM)
Ann: What's Cornell's alumni base like out of the US?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:26:37 AM)
Johnson, it's not terribly strict. We don't count the words, and won't penalize an applicant if they're 10-20% over the limit. If we get a couple of pages for each essay we may question the candidates ability to be succinct and follow instructions! ;)

goalCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:27:38 AM)
Ann: Assuming that you must have interacted with students from other schools, what is one thing you felt distinguished Cornell students from others?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:27:44 AM)
BudweisAr, Cornell has the largest living alumni base in the Ivy League. We have living alumni in nearly every country in the world.

waybia (Oct 11, 2005 11:29:01 AM)
Ann: what do you look for in the GMAT scores? Are the parts of the score also taken into consideration?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:29:21 AM)
goalCornell, I think the characteristic that most distinguished our students is impact. Our students have a history of involvement and achievements and we expect them to get involved at the Johnson School and leave their unique legacy.

Vishwak (Oct 11, 2005 11:30:04 AM)
Hi Ann, on a scale of 100, how much weight would Cornell give to a GMAT score?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:30:18 AM)
Waybia, we look closely at the quant section of the GMAT. We also look at other aspects of the application to confirm quant, verbal and writing strength.

Vishwak (Oct 11, 2005 11:31:40 AM)
Ann: But if suppose most of the students from a country are from a similar background, like for example the engineers from India would someone with a different background from that country be at a disadvantage.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:31:49 AM)
vishwak, we don't have a specific formula for our admissions decisions, so it's tough to put a number on the GMAT weight. I would say it's not the most important element in the application. It varies from applicant to applicant.

BellaGirl01 (Oct 11, 2005 11:31:52 AM)
I was planning on visiting Cornell soon. Should I try to set up an interview while I am there even though I have not yet submitted an application?

goalCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:32:27 AM)
Ann: Nowadays most of the schools are "it seems" to inclined towards community service! What are your thoughts? I mean it seems that one who has enormous community service he gets an edge straightaway. What are your thoughts?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:33:15 AM)
vishwak, there are many other factors we consider in addition to citizenship and work experience.

BellaGirl01 (Oct 11, 2005 11:33:29 AM)
Ann: Is there preference to any round? I was trying to decide between the Nov. and Dec. rounds.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:33:52 AM)
BellaGirl01 - you can contact Michael Corbett to set in on a class. You can make an appointment with an Admissions representative but it will not be an interview.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:34:06 AM)
Ann, can TMO students register for the immersion classes?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:34:47 AM)
goalCornell, we look for candidates who are well rounded and have passion and commitment. Sometimes this is expressed through extra curricular activities, sports, or community service.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:37:23 AM)
aspirant2006, TMO's cannot take traditional immersion classes offered during our spring semester, however, Randy Allen, our consultant in residence, has created an immersion type class during the fall semester for interested TMO students.

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:37:40 AM)
Ann, how many people review an application?

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:38:25 AM)
BellaGirl01, there isn't a preference between the Nov. and Dec. rounds. I would encourage you to submit your application when you feel it is as strong as possible.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:38:58 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Ann and Lisa.

LisaPastrickCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:39:22 AM)
Linda - Thank You.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:39:41 AM)
Good luck with your applications!

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:39:58 AM)
Thanks Ann. It was worth the while being up till 2:30AM here in Asia.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:40:00 AM)
aspirant2006, great question. we have a pretty through reading and review process. An application may be read by as many as 3 or 4 before an interview decision is made and as many as 4 more reads after an interview.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:40:13 AM)
Wow! Dedication.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:40:50 AM)
Thank you all for coming.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:40:51 AM)
Thanks, Linda and everyone!

goalCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:41:10 AM)
Thanks Ann and Lisa. Thanks Linda.

Linda Abraham (Oct 11, 2005 11:41:17 AM)
You're welcome.

AnnRichardsCornell (Oct 11, 2005 11:41:31 AM)
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about the Johnson School or the application process at

aspirant2006 (Oct 11, 2005 11:41:35 AM)
Thanks Ann and Lisa. Many thanks to Linda too.

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