Watch out, Johnson, here I come! [Johnson 2016]

Johnson-Cornell-Logo_webI’m sure exactly none of you will be surprised to hear that I’ve put my deposit down for Cornell Johnson!

Even though it was painfully obvious from my recent posts that I had fallen hard for Johnson, the decision was not an easy one to make. As I was considering all the pros and cons, I was also reaping the benefits of living close to UCLA and being able to attend every yield event Anderson offered. I had lunch with Dean Rob Weiler and coffee with my first year buddy. I also attended the Anderson Women’s Business Connection conference, a reception for fellowship recipients and Admit Preview Day. I was especially taken with Dean Judy Olian’s comments at the women’s conference. She was very frank about the challenges women face in business and went as far to say that women can have it all–but not at the same time. Basically, she said that a woman can’t be aggressively furthering her career and having kids simultaneously–one or the other has to take priority. She tried to underline this by pointing out that Julia Stewart (the keynote speaker) had her first child at age 42. It was all very intriguing and I admired Dean Olian for speaking a hard truth, even if it was a debatable one.

What I’m trying to say is that my decision was very personal . It was more about cultural fit and long term plans beyond my two years of business school and less about reputation, the quality of career services and trying to determine which school was “better.” I know it gets really old hearing this over and over again throughout the entire bschool application process, but I really tried to determine what was “better” for me than what was objectively “better.” Okay, now the word “better” sounds and looks really weird. I’m going to stop.

I did receive a Forte Fellowship from Johnson, which was FANTASTIC news. I was so excited! I am really looking forward to getting more involved in the Forte Foundation.

I thought applying and waiting for decisions was hard, but now comes the really terrible part: moving. (Moving–how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.) I’ve done it many times throughout my years, including a couple cross-country ones, and no matter how much I try to plan and prepare (and, yes, I do a LOT of planning and preparing), it always ends up being an excruciating process. And this time I’m moving with a car, which I’ve never done before. I’ve got about 3-4 months to prep everything, which sounds like enough time, but also seems like not enough at all. Here’s to hoping for a relatively smooth transition to Ithaca!


17 thoughts on “Watch out, Johnson, here I come! [Johnson 2016]

  1. I’m torn between LA and Cornell. Would love to hear more on why Cornell felt like a better fit – I’m also from a non-profit background 😉

    • Hey Chrissy! Thanks for your comment.

      When it comes to the nonprofit aspect, Cornell’s Sustainable Global Enterprise immersion really stuck out to me. Have you gotten a chance to visit a class? I sat in on an SGE course and loved it–it was very thought provoking and discussion-based. And the SGE office seemed like a very supportive team when it comes to looking and networking for jobs in areas without a formalized MBA recruitment processes. I got the impression that students who are looking for jobs in nonprofit get a lot of their support through the SGE office and less through the career center.

      But aside from the nonprofit part, Cornell was a better fit for me because I just felt more “at home” there. The student body is smaller than Anderson’s (which is a plus or a minus depending on what you want). And since Ithaca is in the middle of nowhere, I’m hoping that students get the chance to form meaningful relationships with each other. I’m definitely biased because I did my undergrad in an enormous city, and there was just no community there since everyone just left campus every chance they got. Are you from LA/ have you been to LA? If you love LA, you’ll love Anderson. If you don’t love LA, you might not love Anderson.

      If you drop me an email at, I’d be happy to get into more details.

  2. Pingback: Fridays From the Frontline - Clear Admit Blog
  3. Congrats! I’m an incoming Cornell MBA student as well and I also loved the visit. Looking forward to the upcoming semesters!

  4. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

    Although my field of interest is different from yours, I can relate to your comments on Johnson.
    I, too, had several schools to choose from, some with scholarship and some without, and I have a really fuzzy and cozy gut feeling that I’ve made the right choice with Johnon.
    See you in August!

  5. I know I speak for the class of ’15 when I say: Welcome, and we’ll do our best to make you feel at home. Plenty of LA-ers here, over 10 from UCLA/USC combined. Would love to meet up when you arrive to learn more about your background and LA experience!

    • I’m in class of ’15 too, and from the southwest! Moving cross-country is not easy, and it’s cold up here, but you’ll never regret it! You made the right choice.

  6. Congratulations! I realize my questions are sort of late, but I am trying to find out how the Forte awards work operationally (i.e. does the money go straight to the school or to you?) It is only for tuition? thanks.

    • Best I understand it, Forte gives sponsor schools a chunk of money and each school can decide how to award it and to whom in whatever amount they like. The money was directly applied to my bursar account and reduced my tuition.

      • Thanks – that helps to know. I was told I received one of these today, but only over the phone. I had already been awarded a 75% scholarship so I am confused as to whether or not this could exceed tuition or tuition and fees. Waiting for the details via snail mail.

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