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Friday, February 18, 2005

Visit to Cornell (Johnson)

Johnson was one place I really wanted to visit. I have had researched so much on the school that I couldn't possibly have missed the chance to experience it in-person. I reached Ithaca at four in the morning, called a cab to the hotel, had a short two hours sleep and here I am standing afront the Sage Hall. It was snowing outside and being a Floridian I was having a hell of a difficulty adjusting to the weather. I should have packed extra pair of gloves and sweaters. Anyhow! I decided to move around the place and talk to some current students; no one else can provide a candid view than does a current student.

The info session started at 12 noon with a Free lunch. Info: about Johnson, why we are good etcetera and then obvious questions from our (prospectives) side. After all the usual stuff, I attended Operations class, which was setup to discuss 'Monte Carlo' simulation on the spreadsheet. I would say that the class wasn't quite interested in the lecture, or, possibly, that lecture was supposed to be like that. But the professor was kind enough to come over and talk to me - on the hindsight, I should have apporached him.

I contemplated that the students here don't have a defensive attitude about the school, but rather they are proud to be a part of Cornell's Ivy community. They do emphasized that this school is all about the fit. You need to balance your interest with what school or the area can offer. But that applies to most of the rest, doesn't it? Johnson is a small close-knit community where school and administration are adaptive to student's needs. You can stay assured that you won't get lost in the crowd. The school offers wonderful opportunities to improve upon your interpersonal skills through student's club and interations with business leaders. And over that who can argue on the maturity of immersion courses.

Whoever I talked to has an enthusiastic view about the school and the university. Seems like people take this school to heart. One student told me that an alum named (middle) his son 'Cornell' - really, these guys are fanatic about the school. I loved this feeling. Where else can you expect such a warmth in a bone-chillin' weather? It was snowing most of the time during my stay and Ithaca expects to get more snow fall in next two days. Right now, sitting in the bus and watching the white outside, I feel privileged.

If you are a wallstreet freak, you will get hell lot of opportunities here. That being said, students get to talk and work with wallstreet veterans at the Parker centre. And believe me high profile companies know that Johnson has a Parker center (simulation lab) in the school. Wow! I got conflicting views on School's strengths in consulting. Because of the economy downturn most of the consulting companies didn't recruit during last couple of years, but this year all the big-shots showed up. School and students are taking initiatives to bring companied on-campus. I was told that the career center organized private jets to and from Ithaca to bring companies executives on campus. And also the power-recruiter Deloitte showed up, as expected.

Anyway, finally I got a chance to sit in Entrepreneurship class. Today, this was merged with two other lectures b/c a guest business leader was to comment on the Case, which the class worked on. There were other professors and people from real businesses who provided and analyzed the comments on the case. The class, really, was like a big board room with so many issues and solutions around. This was one helluva experience that I expected from the school and got it before I left to my way back to my hotel. I am still waiting for a formal interview invite (btw, I talked to the AdCom Director for quite a while), but if called and selected, I would definitely come to enjoy this gruelling weather.

fingers crossed!


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