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.

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