Cornell University Supplement Essay 2011

Supplemental College Essay Example Three, Cornell University

“Why Cornell?” Supplemental College Essay

Great public speakers can command a room and have a profound and lasting impact on their audience. I remember seeing Jim Cramer speak at the 92nd Street Y when I was fourteen years old. The topic of the lecture was how to invest in today’s economy. This was the starting point for my interest in a career in finance and economics. After attending the Cramer presentation, I started learning about the stock market and I put together my own portfolio. I also became an avid reader of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times business section and many other sources of information regarding investing and economics.  

My interest in economics and the financial industry has continued. In high school, I have worked alongside a Fordham University professor to complete my Intel research project in mathematical economics. Also, investing and following the financial markets has become a hobby of mine.  Cornell University’s economics department is particularly appealing for several reasons. The 2011 reorganization and expansion of the department further enhances the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses within the economics major. The fact that all economics courses are taught by faculty members enhances the quality of the educational experience. The department’s practice of encouraging students to conduct research projects is an additional benefit. I have enjoyed my research experience in high school and look to continue conducting research in college.

A strong background in economics, business and liberal arts studies will complement and enable me to pursue my career dreams. At Cornell University, all the academic departments are top-ranked and given the university’s size, the number of courses offered is vast. This will allow for a strong liberal arts background that will complement my economics and business education. Overall, an economics degree from Cornell will extensively prepare me to work in the financial industry. In addition, the University has a large and distinguished alumni network and this provides internship, networking and outside research opportunities.

The most important component of a great education is the people around you. My professors at Cornell will be as inspiring to me as Jim Cramer. The University attracts some the most highly accomplished students in the world and these students will also greatly enhance the academic experience. The students all become a part of the Cornell community and the combination of the great academics and great social life opportunities would make me feel instantly at home.


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1. Describe your greatest professional achievement and how you added value to your organization. (400-word limit)

This question is very straightforward, with only the most minor wrinkle: be sure that you discuss an accomplishment that shows that you added value to your organization. Virtually all accomplishments can be said to have added value in some capacity, but for this essay, you must be sure to specifically address the second half of Cornell’s question and explain how your achievement benefitted others. As you consider your response, you should work to create a narrative structure that will engage your reader. Many candidates rush to end the mystery quickly and state their accomplishment in the very first sentence of their essay. After that, what point is there to the rest of the essay? Readers of our Monday Morning Essay Tips will already know that this is a very easy way to lose your reader’s interest. So, take care to really tell the story of how you achieved what you did in fact achieve, rather than just offering that you accomplished something special. There is indeed a difference.

2. What career do you plan to pursue upon completion of an MBA degree and why? How will the Johnson School help you achieve this goal? (400-word limit)

Because Personal Statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide,which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge, via our online store.  Please feel free to download your copy today.

3. You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. Please write the table of contents for the book. (400-word limit) Note: Approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.

This essay question follows the unique and creative model of NYU Stern’s essay three, UCLA Anderson’s audio/video file and Chicago Booth’s blank pages presentation, but for some reason, candidates are often confounded by what they perceive to be the essay’s rigid structure. We recommend that before you even put your hands on the keyboard or pick up a pen, you head to your local bookstore and leaf through various fiction and nonfiction texts, as well as magazines. There, you may just find some inspiration that will lead you to your own unique approach and help you break free of the confines of the rigid table of contents format—allowing you to add crucial information that will set you apart from other candidates.

We would like to stress to candidates that they need not order their chapters chronologically, nor must they cover their entire lives to date. Applicants may have interesting family histories or strong visions for the future, and incorporating these kinds of elements into their table of contents can give an even greater sense of their personality. Other possible options include organizing the table of contents thematically and breaking down the hypothetical book into parts/sections. As the cliché goes, the only limit is your imagination.


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