A crucial part of our leadership development program involves putting principles into practice. Opportunities include:
Johnson Leading Teams Practicum
It All Begins Here
The Leading Teams Practicum gives Johnson students a structured opportunity to lead—and contribute to—high-performing teams as soon as they arrive in Ithaca. The practicum places every incoming student on a core team, with whom they complete every group assignment across Johnson’s initial core curriculum. Each team member leads at least one major assignment, and receives feedback from the team afterwards on his/her leadership efforts. There are then opportunities for the team leader to receive coaching on that feedback, allowing the team leader to reflect on how to use that feedback to further develop as a leader.
Johnson Outdoor Experience
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
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.
Expeditions Away from Sage
Leadership Expeditions are a chance to 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 trips to Patagonia, the Adirondacks, and the United States Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Leading a Student Organization
Your Chance to Make a Difference
There is 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
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 a Core Team of first-year MBA students whom they coach, mentor, and advise throughout the fall core curriculum.
Johnson Board Fellowship
Intensive Nonprofit Leadership Experience
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
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).
Leadership Crisis Challenge
Test your ability to lead during an escalating corporate crisis
The annual Leadership Crisis Challenge is an intensive, two-day case competition that tests students’ ability to lead during an escalating corporate crisis. Students compete in teams and face emerging information, plot twists, concerned board members, and a sometimes hostile press in this extremely popular immersive experience.
Leading Teams Case Competition
A capstone event for the Leading Teams core course
Core Teams are put to the test in this time-pressured competition that serves as the capstone for the Leading Teams core curriculum course during pre-term. The competition and class are designed to provide students with training and experience in leading and contributing to high-performing teams. Teams that make it to the finals vie for first place answering rigorous questions from a mock company board before an audience of approximately 300 people.
"My core team journey informed my Johnson experience in a big way. My team members inspired me to be a better leader and a better human being. I can split my leadership development in life into 'before core team' and 'after core team."
Nikhil Nair, MBA ’16
"One of the most rewarding and challenging leadership development experiences I've had at Johnson was being the Chair of the Student Council. As Chair I've seen how challenging peer leadership is when you lack any true 'authority' to galvanize a team of volunteers. Over time, I've learned that when you identify what motivates individual members of a team and align expectations, the sky is the limit."
Safiya Miller, MBA ’15
"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
"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