Selecting my undergraduate major was not difficult for me. While many of my friends arrived undecided, I was set on Industrial and Labor Relations from my first visit. The flexible yet focused curriculum addressed my interests in the social sciences, business and law perfectly. ILR’s tight community (under 1,000 students across four years) resonated with me as well.
Choosing my Immersion at Johnson was not as easy. Immersions define your second semester, centering classes around a professional theme. Unlike undergrad, where Cornell offers dozens of majors, Johnson offers only a handful of immersions: Capital Markets & Asset Management, Investment Banking, Marketing, Sustainable Global Enterprise (SGE), Operations and Managerial Finance, plus the Customized Program. The goal: an intensive semester of study preparing students to succeed at a summer internship. Generally, people select either an option aligned with their career plan, or one that allows them to cultivate a new skill set. Immersions also feature site visits and may include a consulting project where students work with an actual corporate client.
Originally, I enrolled in SGE. The program appealed to me because it offered the opportunity to work in cross-functional teams on a consulting project with a business interested in sustainability. SGE remains the only program offering non-Johnson students the opportunity to apply to join project teams. Another factor in my initial decision? The strong community of students and alumni the program is known for.
However, after several weeks pre-enrolled in SGE, I switched to Customized. While intrigued by SGE’s community, classes and cross-functional consulting project (I’m really into alliteration right now), I felt Customized simply offered more flexibility and opportunity for me to explore my interests and refine my skills. Given that my entrepreneurial endeaveors offered me an opportunity to work every single day in a cross-functional team and I’ve had consulting experiences with Life Changing Labs and BR Venture Fund, I knew I could create many of the elements of SGE for myself. However, I will miss being part of the cohort. Even so, I think customized is the right fit for me at this point in my career.