Cornell Johnson Essay: “Targeted Job Type” Breakdown

This is going to be a shorter post for two reasons:  one, the essay is pretty black and white, and two, the essay is very short (2000 characters max).  The prompt is as follows:

“What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)

Let’s break this down.

1.  Frame (~300-350 characters)

  • Give the ad-com a bit of background of the field you’re seeking to break into.  Try to think of how you would answer the question, “why does this matter?” and explain why you want to do what you’re trying to do.  Keep it brief at 2 to 3 sentences.
  • “Uncontrollable barriers should not have the ability to hamper people’s ability to learn, grow, and live a life that they are happy with. Unfortunately, they can and often do, and this truth is one of the most grossly unjust parts of life. This is why I wish to dedicate myself to working ceaselessly to eradicate these barriers.”


2. Short-term Goals (~550-600 characters)

  • There is a good chance that once you get your MBA you won’t immediately be able to realize your ultimate goal.  That’s expected.  However, show the admissions officers how you intend to get there.  What are the immediate post-MBA steps and how are they going to help get you to where you need to be?
  • “The importance of equal opportunity in an educational sense has imbued my career path with a certain vitality and direction. In the short term, I seek to work with companies that both value equality and also can work towards a solution to the extensive problem of disparity in access to educational opportunities. I aim to place myself in a managerial or marketing role in an education or EdTech company, working to develop new methods of accessing and bettering education, and distributing these developments to the masses.”


3. Long-term Realization (~550-600 characters)

  • Now that you’ve set up how you’re going to get the ball rolling, let the ad-com know what those earlier steps will lead to.  What is going to be the fruit of all of your labor?
  • “My long-term career goal is to launch a major startup dedicated to bettering education and creating educational opportunities where they do not currently exist. I look at startups like Codeacademy, edX, and AltSchool that have advanced the field of education and I know that, provided with the right tools and experience, I can excel at doing the same. I wish to be an agent of change in the field and be an integral part of giving people the chance to show that they can work hard, that they can learn, and that they can flourish.”


4. Wrap-up (~300-350 characters)

  • Reiterate the problem you wish to tackle or field you wish to enter and affirm your dedication to that issue/field.  Be sure to tie it back to Johnson if it is obviously relevant.
  • “The problem of unequal educational opportunity is widespread and unjust, and is one that I intend to remedy. I want to work with others to change the world of education, and I know that there is no better place to do this than the Johnson School of Management.”

On a final note, I think an important piece of this essay that might not be obvious is that one needs to show that the job that they are shooting for actually would require having an MBA.  If you can get that job or start that business/startup/non-profit now, then why are you pursuing an MBA?  If, on the other hand, you need certain skills, experiences, or resources provided by an MBA, then you need to somehow make that apparent to the admissions officers here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s