Immersed in Operations

Technology, globalization, digitalization, sustainability, climate change, and the sharing economy all depend on strategic operations management.

If you’re a driven problem-solver and want to use your business knowledge to lead organizational change, the strategic operations immersion (SOI) may be right for you.

SOI Overview: About the Strategic Operations Immersion

Part of the two-year MBA program at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and available during your second semester in the program, this immersion prepares you for high-level strategy, supply chain, and operations roles. 

Through coursework, case studies, guest speakers, site visits, and a semester-long capstone project, you’ll learn how to identify and solve important, real-world operational challenges, equipping you for your summer internship and a rewarding career in an exciting, evolving field.

What You Will Learn: Strategy and Operations Courses and Experiences

Immerse yourself in the world of strategic operations management during the semester through coursework, case studies, site visits, and hands-on learning.

Core and Elective Courses

Gain a foundation in supply chain management, data analytics, retail operations, and statistical programming. Plus, choose from an array of electives.

Corporate Project

Put your operations training to work alongside a cross-disciplinary team of peers to help solve a real-world business challenge for a corporate partner.

Site Visits and Guest Speakers

Learn firsthand how corporations—from healthcare to automotive—align operations, technology, and people with their overall strategy.

Expand Your Operations Knowledge: Key Skills Developed

In the classroom and beyond, the MBA strategic operations immersion builds critical skills from value-stream mapping to quality management. This is especially evident in a large-scale, 14-week corporate project where you’ll put your knowledge to work alongside your peers and a partner organization.

Connecting Operations to Financial Performance

Explore operations in the context of technology, sustainability, and global economics.

Data Analysis for Forecasting

Use data analytics and modeling to help with forecasting, supply chain management, and customer retention.

Understanding Human Capital

Discover how to maximize the time and talent of your workforce by hiring, onboarding, and developing the right people.

Career Paths: Working in Strategic Operations and Supply Chain Management

With a solid grounding in strategic operations, you can launch a successful career in a range of industries and sectors from e-commerce, software development, and production management to logistics and strategy consulting. Three popular career paths for SOI participants include:

A woman stands in front of a large pad on an easel and speaks in front of a small group.

Consulting and General Management

A woman sits in a dark room with many computer screens lit up in front of her.

Technology and Service Operations

Two men sitting at a desk with a desktop computer and a laptop in front of them with charts on the screens.

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Career Outcomes: After the MBA

Armed with specialized knowledge and practical experience, our strategic operations MBA immersion students land internships and full-time positions with prominent companies such as:

Bain & Company logo.
Boston Consulting Group logo.
Corning logo.
Deloitte logo.
Emerson logo.
EY logo
intel logo.
Johnson + Johnson logo.
McKinsey & Company logo.
Pwc logo

Student Reflections: The Strategic Operations Immersion Experience

Guest speakers from the C-suite. Factory tours. A holistic approach to learning. These experiences are among the many reasons students found their MBA strategic operations immersion so valuable.

Ashley Hamilton

MBA ’24
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
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Biography for Ashley Hamilton

“As someone who is interested in HR, the SOI was a no-brainer. Strategic operations transcends functions and industries and requires a holistic approach to thinking about business.”

John Van Orden

MBA ’24
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
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Biography for John Van Orden

“My favorite part of the immersion is the hands-on practical components of the course, especially guest lecturers and factory visits. It is one thing to discuss operations case studies but quite another to have a C-suite visitor in the classroom to ask questions and bounce ideas off of. Discussions with guests have given me the chance to understand how current business leaders think about operations strategy in both formal classroom settings and informally outside the classroom.”

Chloe Lai

MBA ’24
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
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Biography for Chloe Lai

“I was always drawn to tech, supply chain strategy, and operations, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to further my knowledge in the area through the comprehensive curriculum in the immersion. I heard about the experiential learning and client-facing interactions involved in the program, and I knew that this would actually be one of the most valuable experiences of my MBA career.”

Chukwujindu Awele Juwah

MBA ’24
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
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Biography for Chukwujindu Awele Juwah

“The guest speakers always bring a real-world angle to the class. I recall a particular speaker, a Cornell alum, who is in the ready-to-eat pastry business. I spoke to him after the class, and the knowledge I was able to take away on supply chain and logistics was remarkable—knowledge I plan to apply to expand my clothing business.”

MBA Strategic Operation Immersion Highlights: Program Distinctions

Pursuing your MBA at the Johnson School comes with many career-defining benefits, including robust learning and networking experiences within your semester-long immersion. Distinctions of the SOI program include:

Strong Industry Partnerships

Corporate sponsors work extensively with our student teams on future-oriented projects; time and again, they integrate student products and recommendations into their ongoing strategy.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Graduate students from across Cornell—such as the Cornell University College of Engineering and Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations—participate in SOI, creating a diverse learning environment.

Rich Experience and Expertise

As the Johnson School’s original immersion, the strategic operations immersion has more than a quarter of a century of experience in building exciting, enriching learning opportunities.

Areas of Focus: Finding Your Specialization

During your second year in the MBA program, you can continue to explore strategic operations and management concepts by choosing a related area of focus, such as:

  • Data Modeling & Analytics
  • Leadership & Ethics
  • Consulting & Strategy
  • Sustainable Global Enterprise

Clubs and Organizations: Opportunities for Involvement

There are many ways to get involved at the Johnson School, including several student organizations related to careers in management and strategic operations.

Johnson Consulting Club logo.

Consulting Club

Part of Johnson’s rich consulting ecosystem, this student organization offers career work groups, lectures, recruiting treks, and other activities.

High Tech Club logo.

High Tech Club

Aimed at helping its members land jobs and internships in the tech sector, this club offers a range of career-focused resources and events.

Human Capital Association logo.

Human Capital Association

Among its many offerings, this club connects students to HR pros through signature events such as symposia and fireside chats.

Women’s Management Council logo.

Women’s Management Council

With an eye toward supporting and encouraging women in business, this organization hosts events and offers resources.

Next Steps: Applying to the Johnson School

Looking for an MBA in strategy and operations? We encourage you to apply to the two-year MBA program at the Johnson School, where you’ll be able to immerse yourself in operational strategy for an entire semester.