Meet The Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2017

Jaimie Park

Jaimie Park

Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Hometown: La Cañada, CA

Undergraduate School and Major: Middlebury College — Sociology and Psychology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

EF College Study Tours — Marketing Coordinator — Digital Marketing Specialist

L’Occitane en Provence — Sales Associate

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Know how you study. Whether you study at a library, café, or on your bed, do what worked best for you during undergrad. Are you the cramming type or the study-a-little-every-day type? Preparing for these tests can be a marathon, so plan out your week with frequent study sessions and avoid distractions by leaving your cell phone behind. Also, find excuses to study. If you don’t work with numbers at work, do some math problems during lunch. Your brain will thank you for the switch up.

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?

  • Go big or go home. You’re forgoing two years of salary and paying a huge sum in tuition to get a great alumni network, school connections, and, of course, a business education. There is really no room for safety schools. See which schools send graduates to your dream job and apply to those schools.
  • Ask the admissions staff to connect you with current students and alumni. Reach out to current MBA candidates on LinkedIn. See who responds and listen to what they say about student life, coursework, and culture. Are these the types of students you’d want to study with, learn from, and befriend? Can you see yourself thriving in the environment they describe? If yes, add the school to your list.
  • Pick up to five schools. I initially had eight schools on my list and I ended up only applying to four. The application process is tiring and expensive. Unlike undergrad applications, B-school applications are different for each school, so you can’t use one essay for multiple schools. I would stay in the four-to-five range for your sanity, unless you love writing application essays. Just don’t forget there are multiple rounds, so you can apply to additional groups of schools if the first round doesn’t work out.

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?

Applying to Schools: Apply in Round 1 if you can. I know you don’t get to use Thanksgiving or any winter vacation to put your application together, but the odds will be in your favor. You’re only competing against Round 1 applicants. Schools tend to see a lot more applicants in Round 2 and many spots have already been taken by Round 1 applicants.

Writing Essays: Line up a crew to read over your essays. Friends, parents, your neighbors, or anyone else you trust with a red pen. It’s great to see the reactions from all different perspectives, and they may know things about you that you never even thought about highlighting.

Doing Admissions Interviews: Have fun! These questions are all about you. They want to know what kind of person you are and what your past was like. Have a cool, hidden talent? Talk about it. Better yet, DO IT! I walked into my interviews thinking, “This person is going to be my next (professional) best friend.”

Getting Recommendations:

  • Start early! Your recommenders probably procrastinate just as much as the rest of us. However, if you start early, you have that much more time to reconnect and gently remind your recommenders that your deadline is approaching.
  • Choose people who know you well. Title doesn’t mean anything if the president of your department can’t even spell your name correctly.
  • Write up a cheat sheet. Your manager won’t remember everything you did. It’s on you to let them know what you’d like them to highlight and how in the letter. If your manager has forgotten about a great example of leadership you displayed, don’t be afraid to tactfully remind them.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Johnson made my list because it is one of the top business schools in the world and located in one of my favorite small cities. What ultimately led me to choose Johnson were the collaborative, tight-knit culture, the Strategic Marketing Immersion program, and the Roy H. Park Leadership Fellowship.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I want to push myself to the limit and take bigger risks. I think business school is the best place to fail and learn important lessons I will carry with me throughout my career.

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