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Cornell Tech MBA review and admission experience

Cornell Tech MBA

Many are aware of the Cornell Johnson 2-year MBA program. However, the Cornell Tech MBA hasn’t got the exposure that it should. So here’s a quick Cornell Tech MBA review followed by an applicant’s admission experience, to help you evaluate if you should include it in your target school list.

Cornell Tech MBA Review

The Cornell Tech MBA program is a full-time, residential, 1-year STEM designated MBA. It takes place over Cornell University’s two campuses. You’ll start off with a 14-week immersion in the Ithaca campus where you cover the basic courses. The remaining program (2 semesters) continues on Roosevelt Island in New York, taking you closer to the real world action.

Class Profile

Compared to the traditional US MBA programs, the class size for the Tech MBA is relatively small – just 78 students in the previous class from 11 different countries.

The average age is 29 years, and the average work experience in the class hovers at 5.5 years (ranging from 3 – 7 years). A third (33%) of the class comprises female students.

The average GMAT score is 696 (80 percentile range: 660-720) and the average GRE score is 159 (Verbal) and 162 (Quantitative).

With an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), you’d be expected to have a stellar academic record.

Acceptance Rate and Ranking

The program doesn’t reveal its acceptance rate. And being a unique program, it isn’t currently ranked by any mainstream publication.

Placements

Their official website says the program achievement 100% placement within 3 months of graduation – which is quite impressive. Around 90% of the graduates took up regular jobs in established companies and startups, while 10% launched their independent startups.

The big recruiters list would sound quite familiar – Amazon, Blackrock, Capital One, Cisco, Disney, Ernst & Young, Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, Verizon and TCS.

Admission Deadlines

Admissions are managed over 3 rounds. While the actual dates may change over the years, here’s how the deadlines are spaced.

The first round is in mid-October, the second in early January, and from March you’d be considered on a rolling basis depending on the number of seats available.

Fees and Costs

The tuition fee for the Cornell Tech MBA is $114,632. Health insurance will cost you an additional $3,108.

And then there are other costs to factor in too – such as the cost of living (around $38,027 per year – including food and some other expenses). This is does not include the cost of the first 14 weeks at Ithaca.

There are a bunch of merit and need based scholarships that you could be considered for.

Our take

In our experience, the Cornell Tech MBA is ideal for those who are clearer on their post-MBA plans compared to the average MBA candidate.

Typically, that clarity only comes through after 5-6 years of experience. Though an internship is missing, their Studio approach promises to give you ample experiential learning.

Even so, getting recruited can be trickier and can be aided if you already have a network to fall back on – another factor in favour of the slightly more experienced candidates.

Sounds like an interesting option to consider? Rahul Rai certainly felt so, which prompted him to add this program to his admissions list. He shares his application journey.
 


How I got into Cornell Tech MBA

by Rahul Rai

I was born and brought up in a small town called Bhiwandi, some 50 kilometers north of Mumbai, known for its textile industry.

My father came from Gorakhpur to this town in 1978, to overcome the financial hardships faced by him in his village.

Growing up in a middle-class family, I watched my father work hard to ensure quality education for me and my siblings. This had a huge impact on me, and I owe my resilient nature to that experience.

Like most people around me, I did bachelors in engineering (B.E) after my 12th majoring in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai.

After my graduation in 2016, I joined SAP Labs India as a technology consultant and have worked over there for 5 and a half years.

After a couple of years in the company, I realized that although my technical knowledge of the SAP products was quite deep, I was constrained by my lack of business knowledge in providing enhanced value to my clients.

It was then that I decided to replenish my technology-rich arsenal, with a business degree.

I took my first GMAT attempt in 2019 and ended up with a score of 710.

I was not entirely satisfied with it, considering that I was scoring ~730 in the mocks, but eventually decided to go ahead with the applications.

I hired an MBA admissions consulting firm since I needed help with shortlisting colleges and essays.

I was not satisfied with the attitude of the MBA consultant allotted to me since most of the advice I got was very generic, some of which were not relevant to my profile and interests.

However, I was able to convert Georgetown by March ’20.

The pandemic started a spree of lockdowns around the globe and looking at the uncertainties surrounding the economy – I decided to wait for a year to see how things pan out.

I was not granted a deferral which meant that I had to go through the process again.

Based on my first experience, I did not hire an MBA admissions consultant for the second time.

This was one of the biggest mistakes I believe that I made since I generalized the utility of an MBA consultant based on a bad experience.

I got overwhelmed by the entire procedure and eventually ended up applying to only 3 schools – getting dinged by 2 and a waitlist from Georgetown – the college which had granted me an admit 10 months before.

This outcome shocked me to the core, and I started doubting my capabilities. This led to a drop in my performance at work as well.

After around a month of self-pity, I picked myself up and decided to start researching the best consultants out there.

It was then that I got to know about MBA Crystal Ball (MCB), and based on the MBA application consulting reviews I could find online, I took their MBA MAP service in 2021.

I got paired with Vibhav who had a similar background as my post-MBA goals.

The MBA MAP service was a game-changer for me since Vibhav provided insights about the product management area based on his experiences and helped me be clearer and more specific with my targets.

At the end of the service, I was sure that I wanted MCB to support me in my main MBA applications.

The thing I liked the most about Vibhav was that he never spoon-feeds but asks pointed and relevant questions that make you introspect your position and help you come up with multiple ways to go forward.

For the MBA apps, we shortlisted 4 colleges – ISB, UNC Kenan Flagler, University of Washington (interestingly referred to as ‘UDub’) Foster, and Cornell Tech MBA.

I had applied to IIM’s 1-year programs and after receiving invite from IIM Ahmedabad to interview and write essays, I took Vibhav’s help.

Vibhav not only helped me in refining the essays but also helped with the LORs too. This made it easier for my recommenders to draft them perfectly, and ensuring a highly-impactful overall application.

In the last couple of years, I applied to around 7 colleges and received an interview invite from 1 college only.

This year, after working with MCB, I received interview invites from every college except for Foster.

It was evident that a smartly-designed application strategy and well-crafted essays can have a huge impact on the outcome.

I again turned to MCB for their help in interview prep and was eventually able to convert Cornell Tech MBA after being waitlisted for a couple of months.

In 2019, getting into an Ivy League school was something that I never even dared of dreaming.

When I opened the letter from Cornell at 2:00 AM IST on 11th Feb 2022, I could not believe what I was seeing.

It took me a good 10 minutes to believe in what I saw, and then some more time to fully realize the nature of this accomplishment.

It was a journey that had more low points than high ones, but I feel proud of myself for persevering through it.

MBA application, right from GMAT prep to the final admit, is a marathon.

My advice to the current aspirants would be to build a good support system.

Segregate the different phases of application and try to avoid preparing for GMAT and work on college applications in parallel.

Be clear on why you want to do an MBA, and keep on talking to experts in this area such as MBA consultants, college alumni, etc. to get more and more insights.

For people from the over-represented Indian IT pool, don’t think of your experience as a disadvantage.

Instead, focus on what are the intrinsic values and qualities that have helped you grow in this field, and try to build on the small things which you think give you an advantage over your peers.


Need help with your Cornell Tech MBA application, or any other top MBA program? Drop us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Also read:
How I got into Cornell MBA: My journey from data analytics to bschool
Cornell 1 Year MBA: Admission blog
Every Cornell Johnson MBA student should know this
Cornell Johnson MBA application tips


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Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

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