Performance Learning

While most top business schools offer some applied learning experiences, we stretch and deepen this concept.

What distinguishes our "performance learning" approach from others is that it requires students to perform (deliver results) in a real business setting while they are learning and integrates three elements:

  1. students learn theoretical frameworks
  2. apply them to real-world situations
  3. receive continuous feedback from experts

We provide numerous performance learning experiences for students in all four Cornell MBA programs. Like all aspects of our curricula, these are tailored to the backgrounds and goals of the individuals in these programs.

For Ithaca-Based Two-Year and One-Year MBA Students

Our Two-Year MBA students prepare for summer-long internships through semester-long immersions. This intensive preparation enables Johnson interns to bring immediate value to their employers. In addition to immersions, the Integrative Case Competition, sponsored by CitiGroup Foundation, is a capstone experience integrating multiple skills. Teams of students analyze complex business problems, formulate solutions, and then present their recommendations to judges. Winners receive cash prizes.

Our One-Year MBA students also have the option to participate in our immersion programs by gaining permission from the immersion's lead faculty member. In addition, One-Year MBAs can take a semester-long management practicum. During the practicum, students work on real business issues for companies which include 8-10 on-site days during the semester.

Other performance-learning opportunities for Ithaca-based MBA students include consulting projects (hear what some students and faculty have to say about these) and leadership of "clubs" (our low-profile name for an astonishing range of activities) and projects. Of particular note:

  • The Cayuga MBA Fund is one of the largest student-managed hedge funds.
  • BR Ventures funds real new growth businesses.
  • BR Consulting provides critical business consulting to real start-ups.
  • BR Advisory ensures delivery of legal advice to entrepreneurs through Cornell Law.
  • Students manage several speakers series, and major events like the Business Idea Competition and Stock Pitch Event.
  • Park Fellows "repay" the school for their tuition and living stipends by independently undertaking extensive projects to benefit the school and/or the community.

The list goes on and on!

For the Cornell Executive MBA and Cornell Executive MBA Americas Students

In Executive MBA programs, students capitalize on the diverse professional skills and experiences of individuals in their cohorts through challenging team-based assignments and projects. In both degree programs, teams undertake global business projects, doing rigorous advance preparation, gathering additional information on site, analyzing their findings together, and presenting their recommendations—all with continuous feedback from the team advisor and other experts.

In addition, individuals develop and execute projects within their own companies. Many use these opportunities to provide added value to employers who support their education with encouragement, release time, and/or tuition. In most cases, these projects integrate multiple skills and perspectives and often propel students to greater visibility within their organizations.