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Meet The Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2017

Jessica Lowery

Jessica Lowery

Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Hometown: New York, NY

Undergraduate School and Major: Loyola University Maryland — Communications major

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. — Director (previously associate and analyst) in the Corporate Finance & Investment Banking group

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE?

  • Be Open-Minded. Even if someone is completely confident on which test they are going to focus, I recommend taking one GRE and one GMAT practice test each before committing. They are different styles — most schools accept both and the optimal choice may be surprising.
  • Be Efficient. There are various free study apps available. I found myself reviewing vocabulary words on the subway, in elevators, and in line at the grocery store.
  • Fight the FOMO. In order to take numerous practice tests, everyone will miss out on fun summer activities with friends whom they will be leaving soon for business school. It will be worth it. This will be good practice for business school, where (from what I understand so far) there is always something going on.
  • Don’t Forget the Big Picture. Remember that the test score is not the be all and end all. It is but one part of an intricate application process.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? A school being “the right fit” is not overrated and should be considered seriously. The best resources are current students and recent alumni. Reaching out to strangers is much less daunting than it may seem, as even extremely busy people are excited to talk about their business school experiences (and if they are not, perhaps it is a red flag).

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Start outlining essays early and be flexible, as they may go in many different directions at various times. Let this happen for a while. Continuously save everything and back it up! If there can be an issue with technology, there probably will be. Prior to an interview, honestly consider attending the school and identify specific interesting classes and clubs. Then relax and make sure to be yourself. Give those writing letters of recommendation ample notice and follow up. Additionally, make sure they are clear on what admissions professionals are looking for in the letters. Then say thank you (sincerely)!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There are a number of reasons why I chose Johnson for my full-time MBA, including my talented classmates, the impressive resources and opportunities, and the unique and beneficial structure of the core curriculum. However, the moment I realized that Johnson was right for me was when I noticed that people at every other school I visited focused on students gaining employment upon graduation. Johnson, however, was the only school where the current students, professors, and faculty discussed achieving both short- and long-term career goals.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I would like to refine my current skills while developing new ones, expand my network while making close friends, achieve a leadership position in a club, make a lasting positive impact through a service project, accept an ideal job offer, and climb to the top of the clock tower.

  • MBA’15

    Hello International-MBA-aspirant,

    To answer your question: some people see one years as different and at best other people see them as less different. Your cohort for the class will be the other MBA 1 years. After you begin in the summer you will be in electives with everyone else but many people seem to stick with their class year/time of year cohort, although not exclusively and you can be active and meet more people.

    Like Zach said, he knew almost every face in our year and I would agree to that, as well. However, usually when people talk about our year we think in the two year class that graduated in ’15. When I get a LinkedIn invite from a ’15 I don’t know; I wonder were they really at Johnson? And more often than not they were a 1 year.

    I still hang out with a one year here in Chicago and lived with one in my second year. It’s really what you make of it.

    I hope that helps. It’s still a great experience and you will have a very close knit group to befriend and work with.

  • Zach

    Would you prefer the kinds of photos they have in college brochures, where overwhelmingly white schools place 1 Hispanic kid, 1 Asian kid, 1 Black kid and 1 White kid all together hanging out on the steps of an old college hall? Is creating a fake impression of diversity something you’re really interested in? Cornell is as diverse as any similar school, no more and no less. Judging how diverse the school is based on a marketing exercise that showcases 16 of 275 students is pretty shortsighted.

  • Mero

    The core courses are completely different because they are in summer, less content and much easier, they are customized for executive-alike format. electives are similar to the two year, although the priority will be given to the two year students in certain courses in Finance. I think there is considerable difference in quality between the two programs. Two year is much better.

  • International-MBA-aspirant

    Thank you very much for your response. How is the one year MBA perceived by the Cornell Johnson community? is it considered on par with the two year in terms of quality education, faculty, and courses contents? do they study different courses designed specifically for them, or it is the same courses with different timing? thank you again..