Semester in Strategic Operations (SSO)

The Semester in Strategic Operations (SSO) Immersion prepares Johnson MBA students and selected Cornell graduate students from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations as well as the College of Engineering for careers in:

  • general management
  • consulting
  • operations, including supply chain management, strategic planning, and production management

Sharing perspectives from diverse disciplines and simulating real-world, cross functional collaboration, students learn from one another and through rigorous course and field work. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the core and current operations issues that general managers, operations professionals, and consultants encounter as well as the sophisticated techniques to solve them.

Led by Nagesh Gavirneni, we utilize a three-pronged strategy to prepare students for successful careers, including:

  • theoretical and functional skills taught in the classroom 
  • numerous site visits where students interact with a wide range of employees
  • guest speakers that help us understand the importance of managing linkages between operations and other parts (e.g. finance, R&D, IT, HR) of the firm 

Site Visits

We take site visits seriously and understand the exceptional value they provide. Over the course of 11 days, we visit 15 sites and see firsthand how corporations align their operations to overall business strategy. Students interact with both shop floor personnel and employees at the corporate level to learn how intent meets action on the factory floor.

Our typical site visit lasts 3 - 4 hours and immerses students in operational environments, testing their knowledge of the many concepts studied in the classroom. Business strategies and functions such as inventory management, queuing, supply chain management, human resources, and Six Sigma are brought to life. Because site visits provide unique learning opportunities for students, we do not combine visits with recruiting. Instead, students interact with companies through designated on and off-campus recruiting activities.

Kaizen Events

In addition to interacting with companies during site visits, SSO students participate in real 3 day-long kaizen events at Lord Corporation. Stemming from the Japanese philosophy of engaging in continuous improvement, kaizen events encourage employees to develop ways of improving their business responsibilities and processes. The ultimate goal is to eliminate waste and provide immediate benefits to problems.

SSO students have participated in these events for more than 10 years, equipping them with unique insights and experience for internship and full-time opportunities. This augments students’ understanding of ever-changing business issues and the varying factors – such as cultural norms and geographic challenges – that typify business in a global economy. It also reinforces Johnson’s focus on performance learning and challenges students with real business problems. 

A Sample of Companies Recruiting Here:

Recent SSO students secured MBA internships and full-time employment at prestigious companies. Some examples include:

  • Accenture
  • Amazon
  • American Express
  • A.T. Kearney
  • Bain & Company
  • Booz & Company
  • Cigna
  • Cisco
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • General Electric
  • General Mills
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Fidelity
  • Hewlett Packard Co.
  • IBM
  • Intel<
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • McKinsey & Company
  • PWC
  • Samsung Electronics
  • The Boston Consulting Group 


Semester in Strategic Operations Immersion at Work

Laura M. Wendt ’15, Industrial and Labor Relations School
Laura M. Wendt ’15, Industrial and Labor Relations School
Winston Sun, MBA ‘16
Winston Sun, MBA ‘16
Rick McGuire, MBA '14
Rick McGuire, MBA '14
Rafael Alton, MBA '14
Rafael Alton, MBA '14
Hilori Kaloti, MBA ‘13
Hilori Kaloti, MBA ‘13