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Johnson Class of 2021 Essay Analysis

August 11, 2018


2018/19 essay questions

Essay 1: At Cornell we value, students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you’ve identified through engagement with our community and describe how what you learned has influenced your decision to apply to Johnson. Please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer.

Essay 2: 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. If the back page reflects “the rest of your story,” please help us get to know you better by sharing the experiences that will give us insight into your character, values, and interests. If you choose to submit a written essay, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Multimedia submissions should be under 5 minutes.

Optional Essay: 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 (500 words maximum).

2018/19 essay question analysis

Essay 1

Core to this question will be your understanding of Cornell’s resources outside of the classroom – from informal events to class traditions. You’ll want to connect with students and alumni to get the inside scoop on the campus experience, as part of your answer will be referencing how you engaged the community to learn these insights. Also, have at least one clear (and specific) contribution that you would want to make on campus – it could be anything from organizing a conference, starting a club, building relationships with a new community, etc. The more you can explain that contribution in detail, the more you will separate yourself from other applicants in a good way.

Don’t forget to devote a paragraph or two on how these contributions have influenced your decision to apply. Remember to convey excitement and dig into your motivation for making this contribution. Anchor your motivation in a personal story or reference to your unique background, and the reader should get a good sense of your character.

Essay 2

This essay is your opportunity to show off what makes you unique. What have you accomplished that nobody else has? What have you experienced that nobody else has? The key is to write (or create) something authentic to you. This is easier said than done.

Successful clients didn’t hold back in sharing deeply personal stories that highlighted why they would be a great fit for Cornell, including:

  • Reason they joined the military or experiences serving
  • Losing a loved one and personal challenges and/or growth that followed
  • Lessons learned running a business
  • Becoming a parent
  • Interests or hobbies they invest deeply in
  • Family dynamics (including the impact of birth order)
  • Favorite books/movies or other forms of entertainment that have been meaningful
  • Gifts that they have given that are memorable

Treat the essay as an opportunity for a conversation, rather than a formulaic approach. Consider what you would say to the admissions team if you two minutes to pitch them. Write those words down, as that will be a great starting point for this essay. Consider an audio/video format only after you determine the type of content you want to share.

Not sure where to start? Conduct our personal branding exercise, you’ll also receive some great insights from those who know you best!

Optional essay

The optional question is available for you to explain any additional information that you may not have had the space to clarify in other parts of your application.

2018/19 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: October 10, 2018 at 11:59pm ET, Decision date: December 20, 2018

Round 2: Application deadline: November 15, 2018 at 11:59pm ET, Decision date: February 20, 2019

Round 3: Application deadline: January 3, 2019 at 11:59pm ET, Decision date: April 10, 2019

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