Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Tristan Baker, Cornell University (Johnson)

Tristan Baker

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

“MBA candidate merging empathetic military leadership and HR expertise with dynamic business acumen.”

Hometown: East Greenwich Township, New Jersey

Fun Fact About Yourself: Secretly, I create and market digital beats online; my producer tag remains closely guarded!

Undergraduate School and Major: Rosemont College, Political Science; minor in International Relations (Bachelor’s); Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations School, Master of Industrial and Labor Relations/MBA

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: GlobalFoundries, Human Resources Business Partner Summer Intern; U.S. Marine Corps, Human Resources Operations Officer

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? What truly drew me to Johnson were the dual-degree offerings and its deep-seated respect for veterans. As a veteran, I found the inclusion and understanding of our unique experiences in the classroom and professional environments truly compelling. Additionally, the presence of a vibrant community of other student veterans with similar professional interests became the key differentiator for me.

What excites you the most about living in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region? I love Ithaca — it blends charming small-city life with the beauty of countless backpacking trails scattered all around the Finger Lakes. The winter might be cold, but the reward is getting to experience the best parts of all four seasons.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Cornell? I am eagerly anticipating the many professional development and networking events hosted by Johnson’s Old Ezra Finance Club and the Association of Veterans. Their collective commitment to peer mentorship and personal development and their members’ exemplary character is truly inspiring. Additionally, I’m excited to sharpen my entrepreneurial skills and work alongside my peers in another hackathon this year.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While serving in the Marine Corps in 2021, I had the privilege of leading a swift onboarding initiative for over 150 medical personnel in under 48 hours, supporting a FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination drive in Philadelphia. Our collective efforts led to the vaccination of over 15,000 people over a 3.5-month period.

What do you hope to do after graduation at this point? I hope to combine and leverage my leadership experiences from the Marine Corps and my world-class education from both Johnson and the ILR School to embark on a career in investment banking, focusing on the technology sector.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Cornell’s MBA program? Clarify your career path. Explore Johnson’s immersion opportunities and understand their potential role in your career journey. Reach out to current Johnson students and the admissions committee, express your sincere interest and gather insights about their experiences. If possible, visit the campus to see if it aligns with your aspirations. It truly comes down to determining your interests and “fit” within the community!

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