Leadership Opportunities

A crucial part of our leadership development program involves putting principles into practice. Opportunities include:

Johnson Leading Teams Practicum

It All Begins Here

Johnson Leading Teams Practicum

Shortly after you arrive on campus, and continuing through your first semester, you will participate in the Johnson Leading Teams Practicum, a required course for all incoming students. You will be assigned to a Core Team of five to six people, with whom you’ll collaborate to complete your Core Curriculum group assignments. At Johnson, every student is required to lead a major Core Team project and every student is required to provide feedback to other team members on their leadership of major Core Team assignments. You and your team will receive coaching throughout the Fall Core from your Johnson Leadership Fellow. This will include review of, and coaching on, the feedback that you provide to your team members, as well as the feedback that you receive on your leadership.  Through this experiential cycle of learning, practice, feedback, and reflection, you will hone your team and personal leadership styles and learn how best to leverage your unique personal strengths.

Johnson Outdoor Experience

Orientation Retreat

The Johnson Outdoor Experience (J.O.E.) is an orientation retreat in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, held each year for new first-year students in the residential two-year MBA program. The retreat is a chance for your class to come together as a community, and features hands-on leadership training. This includes team-building challenges that you and your Core Team members will take turns leading. Johnson second-year students and students in the One-Year Ithaca Program have the opportunity to serve as J.O.E. facilitators, giving them a chance to develop their coaching skills.

Leadership Skills Program

Real, Hands-On Learning

Johnson Leadership Skills Program

We offer supplemental half-day and whole-day workshops throughout the academic year to enhance and accelerate your leadership development. The sessions complement our leadership curriculum and offer you practical tools and hands-on, interactive training in core leadership competencies. Current students can sign up here.

Leadership Expeditions

Expeditions Away from Sage

Leadership Expeditions

Leadership Expeditions are a chance to leave Ithaca and dig in, full-time, to your leadership development. Expeditions are designed to give students the opportunity to go through the Johnson leadership learning cycle of instruction, experience, and review multiple times in an intensive, condensed time frame. Expeditions include an annual, 10-day expedition to Patagonia, Chile, where students test and enhance their leadership skills in an unpredictable, challenging, and dynamic wilderness environment. and intensive training at the United States Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia.

Leading a Student Organization

Your Chance to Make a Difference

Leading a student orginazation

There are a remarkable range of leadership opportunities available to you on campus—you can lead one or more of 70+ Johnson student organizations, Cornell University activities, and external organizations. These positions give you the chance to explore different leadership styles and strategies and the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the school.

Johnson Leadership Fellows

Coach and Mentor First-Year Students

Leadership Fellows 13-14

The Johnson Leadership Fellows program is an experiential leadership opportunity for second-year MBA students in the full-time program. Leadership Fellows are nominated by the faculty and are selected based on an application and interview process, as well as academic and leadership performance. Each Leadership Fellow is assigned one or two Core Teams of first-year MBA students whom they coach, mentor, and advise throughout the fall core curriculum.

Johnson Board Fellowship

Intensive Nonprofit Leadership Experience

Johnson Board Fellows

The Johnson Board Fellowship program places second-year Johnson MBA students on Ithaca-area nonprofit boards for one-year appointments. Johnson Board Fellows gain board leadership experience, serve the local community, and execute consulting projects for the organizations they serve. The program is entirely student-run, and Fellows are selected in the spring of their first year. The Johnson Board Fellowship has been featured in US News and World Report and Cornell Enterprise magazine. The group has also been honored with the prestigious Town-Gown (TOGO) Award by the Cornell University President for its outstanding contributions to the relationship between Cornell and the broader Ithaca community.

Park Leadership Fellows

Full-tuition Fellowships

The Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program was established in 1997 and is funded by the Triad Foundation (Roy H. Park and the Triad Foundation). The Program was founded on a leadership theme that emphasizes the development of leadership skills and offers up to 25 Johnson students a two-year, full-tuition fellowship award (you must be a U.S. citizen to apply).


Jose Gaztambide

Johnson has been a transformative leadership experience for me. Students should take advantage of the school’s leadership opportunities because they’re a chance to push yourself out of your comfort zone and turn your time at Johnson into an empowering experience.

– Jose Gaztambide, MBA ’13 Johnson Student Council President, 2012

Liz Riley

When I went on the Leadership Expedition to Patagonia, the most rewarding aspect of the trip was discovering capabilities we didn’t even realize we had. We were all pushed to new limits and it was amazing to see what people were able to do.

–Liz Riley, MBA ‘13