A Day in the Life of a Cornell MBA Student


Lately I’ve been seeing a few new faces at Sage Hall, home of Cornell’s business school. It’s that time of the year when prospective students are visiting for admission interviews. Some opt to sit-in on a class with current students to get a taste of what it’s like to become a Johnson student. As the final round for the Two-year MBA in Ithaca application cycle is nearing, Admissions is rapidly moving forward with preparations to welcome the Class of 2017. All of the buzz and excitement generates memories of when I traveled to Ithaca in April last year, spending a memorable weekend meeting new people and having a great time during Destination Johnson. I can’t believe a whole year has already passed!

Before joining Johnson, I was a reporter. My schedule was always hectic. Each day started by tuning in for news occurring around the globe and ended with editing the last article just before the deadline. I should make a confession; business school operates on an equally intimidating and intense schedule, if not more. However, I also want to state that my business school experience so far has been adventurous and extremely valuable. Today, I want to share one of my typical days with you at Johnson.

My morning starts with reviewing practice problems from Data Analytics and Modeling class in preparation for today’s mid-term exam. It is a great class from which I can learn how to analyze big data and apply it to real life. Professor William Schmidt is eager to bring as many examples possible to the classroom for discussion while identifying statistical techniques to find solutions. What I am learning now in class will be a powerful workplace tool and lends itself to immediate application in student consulting projects.

As I prepare for the statistics exam, I realize that I need a caffeine boost. Believe it or not, I was not a regular coffee drinker before joining Johnson. Now I can’t survive without it. Every morning at 10 a.m. students can find free well-brewed hot coffee and tea in the Atrium, courtesy of our sponsor Deloitte. Coffee Hour lends itself to meeting fellow Johnson students and faculty members, and chatting with Dean Soumitra Dutta about how wonderful it was to meet Ezra Cornell, great, great, great grandson of Cornell’s founding father, at the recent Cornell Sesquicentennial reception at Sage Social. You can also have a casual conversation with professors about classroom topics and team assignments.

At 11 a.m., I don a suit and head to Statler Hotel to attend the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCWW) luncheon. PCCW is a group of highly accomplished alumnae, leaders in their various fields. These events are held throughout the year allowing current students and alumnae to engage and witness the incredible power of the Cornell. Hundreds of alumnae visit Cornell annually to meet with students and deliver words of wisdom. Successful business woman Nicole Cramer ’02, Senior Vice President at a leading global marketing company, emphasizes the importance of kindness. “Kindness will lead to where you want to be in the future,” she stated. Leadership and self-awareness driven by kindness are qualities that Cornell instills in its students. Around 1 p.m. I leave the event taking comfort in the great alumnae support that surrounds me.

Without time to change clothes, I stroll into the classroom to take my 3 hour exam. When complete, I leave the room feeling exhausted but satisfied with my achievements.

Classes and exams are just a small part of what encompasses the business school experience. Extracurricular activities include more than 100 active student clubs at Johnson. Coupled with organizations from other graduate and undergraduate schools at Cornell, students have a high chance of finding a club of their choice to satisfy any interest.

As for me, I am involved in a few professional and social clubs. One of the things that excite me nowadays is creating a business project, and integrating innovative ideas between technology and design. I currently have a leadership role in the Big Red Design Thinking Club with classmates Jack Zoephel, MBA ‘16 and Rohin Sood, MBA ’16. We are joined by Tori Seidenstein, a freshman from Computer Science. In today’s meeting we are sharing new ideas and evaluating them for practicality. As ideas mature, we are planning to meet more often to design a prototype.

at the hockey game6:30 p.m. My day is not over yet. It’s time to shout for Big Red. After having a quick dinner, I run to Lynah Rink where Cornell Men’s Ice Hockey is playing against Union College in the playoff for the 13th ECAC Hockey Championship. This is the Cornellian moment you share the common school spirit.

Do you want to walk through my day again tomorrow? Come and join the Johnson community. I am happy to share my days with you!

Authored by Isabelle Ji Seon Jang, MBA ’16 at Cornell Johnson School of Management, USA. Article courtesy johnson.cornell.edu

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