Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Social Entrepreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Industry Switch
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. Irish Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63

Cornell Changes Direction of MBA Application Essays

Legacy? Forget about it.

At least, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management seems to think so. The school yesterday (June 22) announced its new set of essay questions and application deadlines for the 2012-2013 admissions cycle and got rid of last year’s question asking what legacy would you hope to leave as a Johnson graduate?

Instead, Johnson changed up a number of its questions and giving MBA applications a menu of three options for the third and final required essay. The school also increased the word limit by 100 words to 1,100 this year from 1,000 last year.

“We changed the direction of our questions this year to better understand your career choices and, of course, who you are,” wrote Christine Sneva, director of admissions, in a blog post. “We enjoy reading about your own introspections and look forward to getting to know you.”

Part I:  Career Choice Essay (300 word maximum) 

How would you characterize your career since college?

“This is not your job description or complete history of your work since graduating (we already ask for that in the online portion and can see this on your resume),” explains Sneva. “You need to choose the most important elements that show your initiative, contribution, leadership and results achieved.”

Part II:  Career Goal Essay (400 word maximum) 

Tell us about your short and long term career goals.

Please show you have a clear direction for your goal post-MBA,” writes Sneva. “Good essays will emphasize what an applicant wants to do while at Johnson and how you will use this experience to accomplish your goal.”

Part III:  Character Essay (400 word maximum for chosen question), please choose one of the following to write about: 

A. You are the author for the book of Your Life Story.  Please write the table of contents for the book.  Note: Approach this essay with your unique style.  We value creativity and authenticity.

B. Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed and tell us what you learned.

C. What does diversity mean to you and how will you contribute to the diversity of our community at Johnson? 

The 2012-2013 application will go live at the beginning of July. Sneva said the admissions committee will start reading applications as soon as they are submitted.

Application Round




Round 1Wed. Oct. 17Wed. Dec. 19Wed. Jan. 30
Round 2Wed. Nov. 28Wed. Feb. 20Wed. March 27
Round 3Wed. Jan. 30Wed. April 3Wed. April 17


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.