Cornell MBA essay examples can help you apply to any of the four distinct MBA programs offered at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Cornell University is one of the eight Ivy League colleges in the US and also home to Cornell Law School and the Cornell Medical School, but MBA rankings put Cornell SC Johnson near the top of best MBA programs in the world. The MBA program has other various admissions requirements, but all applicants to any of the MBA programs must write at least a career goals statement and a personal essay. This article will provide expert-approved writing samples and give you other tips to write your MBA personal statement

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Cornell MBA Essay Example for the Two-Year MBA Program Cornell MBA Essay Sample for Re-Applicants Cornell MBA Essay Sample for the Park Leadership Fellowship Program Cornell MBA Essay Sample for the One-Year Johnson Cornell Tech MBA Conclusion FAQs

Cornell MBA Essay Example for the Two-Year MBA Program

Essay Prompt: At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. Taking into consideration your background, how do you intend to make a meaningful impact on an elite MBA community? (350 words maximum)

My father’s long, thin arms became muscly only a few months after we arrived from Chennai. My siblings and I would hang from them like they were bars of a jungle gym, especially when it was too cold for us play outside in the Hoboken winter. We (my parents, older brother, younger sister and I) came to the US only a few years after 9/11 and my father went to work at a FedEx sorting plant lifting heavy boxes every day. 

Seeing him go into those frigid winters, and then come back bigger and stronger than before cemented the transformative power of the United States in my mind. The United States was a place where anyone, including a wiry accounting student from India as my father was, could become a giant with huge arms. The pride I felt for my father then became what fueled my desire to succeed in academia and business.

I went into the Business Administration program at Rutgers with a focus on marketing and market research but, I have also gained a solid foundation in other key business disciplines, such as accounting, and human resources. However, I aspire to further develop my leadership skills, strategic thinking, and industry knowledge with an MBA. But the program’s commitment to corporate and social responsibility also resonates with me.

As an undergrad, I volunteered my marketing knowledge to the Environmental Working Group, where I worked on a campaign targeting new donors and fundraisers. I aim to leverage this passion for social responsibility at Cornell Johnson, by actively engaging in initiatives such as the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club, where I can contribute to addressing real-world challenges through sustainable business practices.

Cornell MBA Essay Sample for Re-Applicants

Essay Prompt #1: You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson (350 words maximum).

Essay Prompt #2: If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application and candidacy since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Application Guide for additional information about reapplying (350 words maximum).

Are you also applying to the Harvard Business School?

Cornell MBA Essay Sample for the Park Leadership Fellowship Program

Essay Prompt: Describe a past formal or informal leadership experience and how it informs your goals for growth as a leader. How would the Park Leadership Fellowship assist with these goals? (500-words)

My dear friend, Sarah Williams, lost her younger sister to cancer, and I had the privilege of leading a team of dedicated volunteers in organizing a fundraising event for the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester to benefit pediatric cancer research.

We named the event "Hope in Motion," and decided to give it an old-fashioned, county fair theme, but added other events such as a silent auction and games and entertainment. We spent the first months identifying sponsors and forming partnerships with local businesses, which was the most daunting and difficult part. But it was a learning opportunity as well.

Having to network and communicate between different businesses made me grow a new skill-set, and I came to realize how much I enjoyed fundraising. It also helped me hone my skills of persuasion, and I was able to secure the participation of several high-profile sponsors, even those who initially rejected participating. With our financial backing secured, we embarked on organizing the event logistics, such as securing a venue, coordinating with vendors, and managing volunteer shifts.

On the day of the event, Hope in Motion transformed a local park into a vibrant community gathering with all the games and attractions of a county fair. We had rides and a small petting zoo, but also cooking demonstrations and mocktails for parents. We also had a silent auction where we auctioned off season tickets to Rochester Americans games. I am happy to say that we surpassed our fundraising goal, raising over $50,000 for the children's hospital.

But in my public life, I have to say my most important leadership role was as the president of an organization called Global Impact, which I joined as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester. One of our flagship initiatives was a partnership with the non-profit organization Education First (EF), which is focused on providing education opportunities to underserved communities in developing countries.

Global Impact, through my organizing efforts, arranged a two-week service trip to a rural village in Ghana, which was quite different from organizing a fundraiser, but I welcomed the challenge. I sought out and established a relationship with a local stakeholder, Mr. Kwame Ansah, the headmaster of a local school. Together we developed a comprehensive plan to renovate and expand educational facilities, provide teaching resources, and conduct workshops for teachers.

Spending time in Ghana had the added benefit of giving me the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and community. I socialized with the students, teachers, and village elders regularly, as that was the only authentic way to truly understand and know the place. During our work hours, I collaborated with local teachers by creating workshops on modern teaching methodologies and student-centered learning practices. Witnessing the transformation in the enthusiasm and engagement of both students and teachers was immensely gratifying.

Cornell MBA Essay Sample for the One-Year Johnson Cornell Tech MBA

Essay Prompts (500-700 words maximum)

  1. Why are you applying to the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA?
  2. Why are you interested in a one-year, tech-focused MBA (as opposed to a traditional two-year MBA program that would offer a summer internship opportunity)?
  3. What personal attributes or skills do you think make you ideally suited to be a Cornell Tech MBA student?
  4. Demonstrate the relationship between your current professional experience and academic background to your short- (0-5 years after graduating) and long-term (6-15 years after graduating) career goals for this program.
  5. Describe a situation in your personal or professional life when you were faced with a difficult decision or dilemma and how you resolved it (focusing on your process, not just the resolution itself).
  6. At Cornell Tech, we aim to educate leaders for the digital age. What, in your opinion is the single most important characteristic that such leaders must possess? Why?
  7. What else would you like the admissions committee to know about you?


Cornell MBA essay samples can help you get into one of the best MBA programs in the US. The MBA requirements for Cornell include submitting a MBA resume, GMT or GRE scores, MBA motivation letter, and an MBA letter of intent, but the various other programs such as the one-year and MBA for Executives program have different requirements. The prompts cover a wide range of areas and you can choose from any to convey your training, expertise, knowledge and overall suitability to the MBA program. 


1. Is it hard to get into Cornell Business School?

Despite being an Ivy League school, Cornell has a much higher MBA acceptance rate than other programs such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business or Harvard Business School. Cornell’s acceptance rate is around 40%, which means it is one of the easiest MBA programs to get into

2. Are Cornell MBA essays important?

The MBA essays are very important to the application process at Cornell. Applicants to the different MBA programs offered at Cornell Johnson must complete a different series of essays, but they are essential application requirements. 

3. What is the mission of the Cornell Business School?

The mission and values of the Cornell Business School are to increase its class diversity, as it continually increases its acceptance rate by allowing for more international students and students from other backgrounds. 

4. What should I include in my Cornell MBA essay?

Your response to any of the Cornell MBA essay prompts should hew as close as possible to the prompt and not go off-topic or unnecessary detail. The essay prompts are designed to elicit any number of responses, so you should be as specific and detailed as possible when writing and include actions that you have taken to fulfill your goals. 

5. How can I make my Cornell MBA essay stand out?

You can make your essay stand out by presenting an authentic side of yourself that details your experiences and achievements. Write honestly about your goals, about your MBA extracurriculars, your professional background and how you see the program helping you attain those same goals. 

6. How long does my Cornell MBA essay have to be?

The word counts for the various prompts and programs differ, but the minimum word count for the majority of the MBA essay topics is 350 words and the maximum word count is 500 words. 

7. How many MBA essays does Cornell require?

The number of required essays depends on the MBA program you choose. The regular, two-year MBA requires a Goals Statement, similar to an MBA statement of purpose, and an Impact essay where you are asked to define your future impact on society. The one-year program only requires a single personal statement. 

8. What should I mention in my Cornell MBA personal statement?

The Cornell MBA personal statement requirement is based on a series of prompts, which makes it easier for you to craft your answer. Whatever the prompt, you stay on topic and be careful not to write over the word count. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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