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Cornell is known as a culture that works, learns, and plays hard. Being the social catalyst for your group counts at Cornell. The essay prompt also encourages “alternative submission formats,” which can include videos, Power Point presentations, personal websites, digital portfolios, and even a written essay (less than 500 words).While this may play to the strengths of some candidates, it can also get you into a lot of trouble.
I’m admittedly a little biased for my love of the Johnson school as its former Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions.
But this also gives me the insight on how you can make your business school essays for Johnson sing (perhaps, literally).
For example, one of the most memorable “table of contents” essays I encountered was submitted by a military veteran.
I was deeply moved by the time, energy, and feeling he put into his response.
This year, Cornell Johnson’s new essay is a playful and poignant invitation to “present yourself as an individual…
with your unique style.” That means you can submit your song, video, digital portfolio, etc. Johnson puts this into context by explaining: “The front page of your resume has given us a sense of your professional experience and accomplishments as well as your academic summary and extracurricular involvement.
The good news is, this essay invites prospective students to tip the application in their favor.
As my Fortuna Admissions colleague, Jody Keating quipped in her recent article on crafting a standout resume, “The odds are good that there’s someone applying to your target school with the exact same job title as you.” We all have preconceptions about bankers, consultants or nonprofit folks – how might you subvert these by offering the admissions committee a real glimpse into who you are?
They want to know what you’ll bring to the table, to the community and what you’re passionate about beyond they ways you make your living.
And they want to see what happens when you have permission to get creative about it.