Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Reece Cantwell, Cornell University (Johnson)

Reece Cantwell

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

“Passionate about finding creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, old and new alike.”

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have hiked exactly 14 “14ers,” or mountains higher than 14,000 feet in elevation.

Undergraduate School and Major: Purdue University, Industrial Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Schlumberger, Globalization Engineer

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Cornell’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The focus on sustainability and the Sustainable Global Enterprise concentration made the program attractive to me, as I am looking to work in the green tech space long term. I appreciate how the concentration focuses not only on the obvious industries where sustainability will play a critical role, but also on how sustainability can and must be applied to every industry and in everyday lives.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Cornell? I am very excited to get involved in Big Red Microenterprise at Johnson. The club matches Johnson students with local small businesses to provide business planning and strategy consultation. I am eager for the opportunity to give back to the local community and solve real problems while improving my business and consulting chops.

What excites you the most about living in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region? As an avid outdoorsman, being able to take a short trip in any direction and be surrounded by beautiful scenery is a huge draw for me. I can’t wait to kayak Lake Cayuga in the fall, ski in the winter, and backpack the Adirondacks come spring, all within a few hours of campus.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Schlumberger held a Shark Tank-style project competition open to all engineers in the company, and I was the youngest engineer who had a project selected to be funded. The project centered on using automation to expediate the design process of industrial machinery so we could more quickly and nimbly respond to unexpected technical problems and opportunities in the industry.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you enjoyed and would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? For an inspiring story of a young entrepreneur overcoming the odds to pursue his dream of running a small business, I recommend giving “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent a listen.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? While working at Schlumberger, I became interested in the energy transition efforts that the company (and peer energy companies) are making and realized that clean tech was a field I could be passionate about long term. To prepare myself for a high-impact career in the industry, I am pursuing an MBA to round out my technical background with business and leadership acumen. After graduation, I plan to go into consulting and begin to specialize in the energy industry. Then, I want to find a role in the clean tech space that allows me to play my part in the critical renewable energy transition.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Yale School of Management (Yale University); Fuqua School of Business (Duke University); Darden School of Business (University of Virginia); Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania); Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College).

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Cornell’s MBA program? Instead of focusing on how you may fit in to an MBA class or the business world, I would challenge you to think about and highlight what makes you unique. There’s probably a lot more than you think; your professional background, ambitions for your future, creative way of thinking, and life experiences all contribute to making you someone who can add value to those around you.


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