This post was inspired by Businessweek’s #WhyMBA initiative, which took Johnson by storm as my classmates and I tweeted about the top reasons to be at Cornell’s business school while the publication tracked our mentions – good enough for a 5th place finish!  Even after the social media storm had settled, however, I was still thinking about the meaning behind #WhyMBA.
As one of only two students in my class participating in Cornell’s 5-Year MBA program, I’m often asked why I chose to go through with this program which allows me to get a head start on my MBA while finishing up at ILR.  It’s been an excellent experience so far, and I know Johnson will allow me to develop a well-rounded business education, but there’s more to it.
There are 5 major reasons I went for it:
1. It’s a great deal
Normally, an MBA takes 2 years, full-time,  to complete.  The 5-Year MBA (as the name suggests) cuts the study down to just one year after your undergraduate by allowing double-dipping in your senior year, effectively saving a year of tuition.  For some students, Johnson credits eat up their remaining general electives (you need to complete your major requirements before matriculating), but for others (myself included) who completed 4 years of study in 3, the business school credits are pretty much a bonus.  If you go to a contract college (ILR, Human Ecology or Agriculture & Life Sciences) and are a New York resident , you get especially good savings due to in-state tuition.
2. Entrepreneurship@Cornell
There’s a reason Forbes called Cornell the “Silicon Ivy” (featuring my good friends at Audiarchy and CoVenture). It’s not just that students start companies, it’s also the evolving entrepreneurial infrastructure, with anchors like Student Agencies, eLab and BR Venture Fund.  To stick around for one more year means more exposure to a growing community of innovators and hustlers.
3. New subjects, new challenges 
After 3 years of undergraduate classes, I realized I gain a distinctly different education at Johnson.  I took only one class in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (AEM, the undergraduate business program), a tremendously influential entrepreneurship course, so coming to Johnson allows me to deeply explore business as a subject (one cannot double-major in ILR and AEM).  Johnson also tests me in new ways, most notably through its emphasis on practical leadership.
4. Career advancement 
If I choose entrepreneurship, I now have a solid business education to support my endeavors.  If I enter the job market, I now have a second degree and a new skill set, courtesy of that solid business education.  Win-win.
5. Community
Johnson is tight-knit, collaborative and friendly while offering world-class academics and phenomenal career opportunities.  What’s not to love?  Sage Socials are just the beginning.

4 Thoughts.

  1. Completing 4 years of college in just 3 years is awesome we save a lot of money and time. In that saved up time you could do a lot of exciting things. I wish I could have joined such a course.

    And I think spending 5 years learning nothing else but business is awesome you dont have to waste time thinking what to do in future.

  2. Hi, I’m an 8th grade student, and I was wondering if you would have any recommendations on what what classes to take in high school, so I can achieve my goal of attending Cornell for their MBA?

  3. The 5-year MBA program sounds really great. It is certainly easier to keep going than to stop and then come back to your studies later. However, learning business management and entrepreneurship in particular is best done while you are actually in business already. I recently joined a Babson College program that promotes small business development and job growth — through my business http://www.masterclassauto.com. It is making a huge impact on my business and I have the chance to implement the learnings the very next day at work.

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