Meet The Cornell Johnson MBA Class of 2017

Mitchell Brummer

Mitch Brummer

Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University 

Hometown: Hudson, OH

Undergraduate School and Major: Colgate University — BA, International Relations

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Advisory — Associate

Deloitte Consulting — Consultant

Deloitte Consulting — Senior Consultant

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Don’t stall out.

If possible, aim to finish your first test prior to starting applications. I was traveling for work while preparing for the exam, so I was on a very rigid study schedule. During one period, I caught myself deviating a bit and started to visualize — and stress about — the impending overlap of my test preparation and application preparation. Don’t give yourself this additional stress! Take the test as soon as you feel reasonably comfortable. If you need to take another, quickly identify your trouble areas, focus on them for a set period, and take the test again.

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? I know this is a common one, but visit campus. I visited half my target schools before working on applications, and for those schools I was without question more comfortable making a decision to apply or not. Visiting might help you to take a school off the list that you felt “obligated” to apply to for one reason or another. If this happens, your overall stress level is reduced by one application.

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? Again, visit campus. You will be able to reference the visit in your essays and will have a set of intangible experiences to draw from that you just can’t learn from online research or speaking with alumni. When you visit a school that is a good fit, your sense of excitement will not only help you to push through the application process, but it will find its way into the application itself.

For the essays, I went old school. I bought a journal and wrote all of my first drafts out by hand, which forced me to free myself from the distractions of being on a computer and made it impossible to cut and paste. While I was able to refer to general themes or ideas from previous essays, I wrote each one from scratch. Additionally, the slower pace allowed me more time to recall more engaging details.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Due to scheduling, Johnson was actually the last school that I visited, which was great because I had a full spectrum of visits to which I could compare. I immediately felt comfortable with everyone I met on campus and could sense the strong community that I had heard so much about. As this was a priority for me, Johnson moved up on my list. Additionally, the commitment of the Johnson faculty and staff to continuously analyze and improve the curriculum was very important to me. Johnson recently made a significant update to the core curriculum — based on many factors including student and alumni feedback — which gave me faith that the school was really looking out for the best interests of its students.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? As a liberal arts alum, I am very excited about the prospect of a formal business education and I am focused on developing a sound, internalized business repository to use throughout my career. I would also like to focus on developing my network with current students, alumni, and faculty to position myself both for future success and to provide similar support when needed.

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