Meet Cornell Johnson’s MBA Class Of 2019

Shannon Boyle 

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Prudent, risk taking, family-minded, dog-loving, wife and soon-to-be mother, hoping to lead by ethical example.

Hometown: Vernon, VT

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have one attached earlobe and one detached earlobe. I apparently inherited this from my Nana (my mom’s mom) but didn’t notice until I went to get my ears pierced when I was 10.

Undergraduate School and Major: Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business, Accounting

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

US Army

Captain, Financial Management Support Detachment Commander

Brigade Budget Officer

Assistant Operations Officer

Battle Captain

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Personally, completing a successful command and caring for the soldiers under my charge through a deploy-in-place mission was my biggest accomplishment. But as I reflect on a moment that may have had a larger impact overall, that came about during a past deployment. I discovered that an annual multinational emergency response exercise did not include women. Given the cultural norms in the area, the exercise chose to “represent” female participation by having men dress as women. By engaging with local peers, I leveraged an opportunity to integrate a team of female emergency response personnel for the first time, improving the participants’ ability to respond effectively.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Try to get a good feel for the atmosphere of the program to which you are applying prior to the interview. One reason I feel I was successful in my interview was that I could provide genuine answers to the “why” types of questions and facilitate a more conversation-based interview (with a second-year MBA student).

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The community at Johnson was the key factor in deciding which program I wanted to pursue my full-time MBA. The first time I visited Johnson was during a summer break, and I learned about the program structure. I saw all the beautiful buildings and surrounding area, and I dined at some of the delicious restaurants. I thought Johnson was great, but I wasn’t sure it was where I wanted to attend. I returned for a second visit once the students and faculty were back on campus. Their presence made the experience an unforgettable one — they both supported and challenged each other, and that relationship seemed tangible as I moved from the atrium for coffee to a class, to a Sage Social. Even though I was just a visitor, I felt immediately swept up into the community and could not picture a more perfect fit for me as I transitioned into my next chapter.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success to me after my first year of business school is defined by four factors: personal growth, social growth, academic and skill development, and professional progress. For personal growth, I hope to push myself beyond my comfort zone and take advantage of unique opportunities the Ithaca area offers. Social growth is determined by my relationships with classmates and faculty, learning from them and hopefully contributing to their success. Academic and skill development has a more concrete definition of success for me in that I want to refine my soft skills into a more corporate context, as well as taking advantage of the Semester in Strategic Operations immersion. Professional progress for me is defined as having an opportunity to intern at a company in a position that leverages my preexisting and newly acquired skills as well as continues to push personal growth.

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