Experiential Learning is given added emphasis at Cornell University's Johnson School to the extent that it is known under a different name altogether - Performance Learning. Not only are students given opportunities for real life Business experiences, they must also perform, delivering results in these circumstances. Performance learning consists of 3 steps - learning theory, applying them to real-life situations and receiving constant feedback from experts.
Performance learning helps students prepare for the real world by making them familiar with applying frameworks and techniques, as well as working under tight deadlines, with new teams and dealing with feedback & objections. It also helps adapt to varying schedules, consumers, audiences, and priorities.
Let's take a look at the various performance learning experiences at Johnson.
For the 2-year MBA, students finish most of the core curriculum during the 1st semester itself. During the 2nd semester, students take a comprehensive immersion program that prepares them for the summer internships. The immersion program is completed over the semester and integrates classroom courses as well as field work that together emphasizes on a specific career or industry choice. The experience also includes site visits, immersion—electives, live cases, coaching from top industry practitioners and solving issues in real Business situations. Students gain from the applied expertise in the desired area, networks with top industries, faculty & professionals, problem-solving & decision-making experience and the advantage of building a rapport with potential employers.
There are eight immersion options at Johnson.
The Strategic Marketing option is ideal for careers such as Chief Marketing Officers, Product Managers, or Brand Consultants.
The Strategic Operations immersion includes 15 to 20 company visits that make it ideal for positions in general management, finance, supply chain management, consulting, strategic planning and production management.
The Entrepreneurship & Private Equity immersion is for those who plan to start their own Business, or for those who wish to select and support other startups. The program offers networking with the Cornell Entrepreneurial community and applied entrepreneurship programs that require delivering results.
The Capital Markets and Asset Management Immersion can lead to careers in investment management, institutional investment management and investment research.
The Investment Banking immersion suits students seeking careers in M&A and corporate finance and features live cases.
Managerial Finance is an immersion for finance roles across sectors, or even consulting. It involves live cases with faculty and financial executives.
Sustainable Global Enterprise is an immersion that deals with Business opportunities based on social and environmental issues. Students get to work on projects in actual sustainable enterprise with real organizations.
Finally, there is the Customized immersion where students in conjunction with an advisor picks their own immersion, and maps out its structure. Examples include real estate, human resource, hospitality, health care, leadership, global Business and Technology management. In addition to that, there is the Consulting Focus that gives students the opportunity to study and apply the consulting process. It is offered with all the immersions, except for Capital Markets and Asset Management.
The Leadership Skills Program
The Leadership Skills Program is set of leadership skills courses that are experiential and for-credit. Each of these mini-courses is based on a workshop format, and are taught by trainers from various Cornell departments, professional training firms and also from companies like McKinsey, GE and Sprint.
BR Venture Fund (BRV)
The BR Venture Fund (BRV) is an early stage VC fund that is managed by a team of MBA students, who serve as fund managers. As much as $250,000 is invested by the fund managers, and proceeds are put back into investments. Student Fund Managers have full control over the fund, and they learn to source investment opportunities, make investment decisions, negotiate term sheets, manage all fund operations, manage relationships with companies and investors, and utilize Cornell’s resources to help companies grow.
Students serve as consultants to entrepreneurs and non-profits, both on the local scene, and at an International level. The later is useful for students who are trying to make a transition towards international Business.