Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, which houses the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, has proven to firmly be a top-10 school as it has placed in the top-10 each year it’s participated in the Poets&Quants rankings. This year, Cornell’s ninth-place finish was due to finishing eighth overall in career outcomes and ninth in the admissions standards. Cornell is one of just two Ivy League schools that offers an undergraduate business degree.
According to responses in the alumni survey as a portion of the rankings methodology, Cornell’s most popular aspects of an undergraduate business education include its experiential and international components.
“I worked on a consulting project in South Africa with a group of my business school peers,” one 2018 graduate told us in the alumni survey. “We helped a minority-owned winery in scaling her business. The experience was unique because it allowed me to work on a business project in a new continent for me, and understand the obstacles a minority business owner faces.”
The school says its unique aspect is a focus on soft skills to go along with more traditional business skills.
“Dyson students gain excellent analytical business skills but also develop the self-insight, flexibility, and empathy to enable them to chart a productive course in a rapidly changing world,” the school said in the school survey portion of the ranking. “This is fundamental to Dyson’s mission for undergraduate education. Not content with providing a strong pathway to a student’s coveted first job, we strive to educate for the long haul: our graduates can only make a better world if they are confident and creative about their own place in that world.”
UNIQUE CONVERGENCE WITH COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND LIFE SCIENCES
All Cornell business students must complete a group of core courses, a set of liberal arts courses, and pick at least one of 13 concentrations. An aspect that sets Dyson’s curriculum apart from others is it is technically a part of both the College of Business and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“Because of the Dyson School’s location in both Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, students can easily combine their major with a concentration or double major in the life sciences, environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, or applied social sciences,” the school said in this year’s rankings survey. “Dyson
students also commonly major or minor in a biological science, information science, communication, environmental and sustainability sciences, biometry and statistics, animal science, or food science. Such unbounded exposure keeps Dyson School students one-step
ahead of the competition by preparing them to lead in a future where the sciences, social sciences, and the arts will increasingly converge.”
An example of this unique convergence is the Food Marketing Fellows honors program.
“Dyson has so many opportunities for experiential learning. I participated in the Food Marketing Fellows program that entailed visits to different businesses to learn from the owners/managers how their business works,” one 2018 alum said in the alumni survey. “The program concludes with an international trip to learn about the food industry in a foreign country. From this program, one broadens their perspective by analyzing the food industries of two different countries.”
STRONG ALUMNI RESPONSES AND EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES
Cornell graduates enjoy very strong employment outcomes and seem to be generally pleased with their experience. Of the more than dozen scaled one-to-10 questions we ask alumni each year, Cornell was one of just 10 schools that had an overall average of above 9. What’s more, nearly 92% of 2018 graduates responding to the survey said their first job after graduation was in a desired industry and at a desired company. Only two other schools of the 93 ranked had a higher percentage.
Some 96.9% of 2020 Cornell business graduates had a business-focused internship before graduating. And just over 93% had secured full-time employment within three months of graduation. Of those with full-time employment, the average starting salary was $76,827. Only six of the 93 ranked schools had alumni earning a higher average starting salary. JPMorgan Chase and Citi were the top-two hiring firms for 2020 graduates.
Cornell’s undergraduate business education is truly a unique experience. For students able to gain admission — this year’s acceptance rate was 7.96%, the lowest rate besides the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School at 7.62% — Cornell’s stature with Wharton as the two Ivy League undergraduate business programs is obviously an incredible opportunity. Combine that with the focus on environmental sciences, food, and agriculture, the degree at Dyson is truly one-of-a-kind.
“My senior spring, I did a senior project for a professor that specialized in the study of sports teams as organizations. The project I did focused on creating a model that would predict the NCAA tournament using metrics you deemed most important to prediction. Getting into the data has helped me in my career in sports management to date and I would say most people did not have a chance like this to combine their passion with important hard skills.”
“As part of my Master of Professional Studies in Behavioral Finance after attaining my undergraduate degree, I completed a research study about how Millennials use passive vs. active investing. It was very fulfilling to choose my own research, send out a survey, and perform analysis on the results for my final paper.”
“Importantly, the program put me in a position where I had mastery over the fundamentals. The emphasis on key principles of accounting and finance really set me up to seek and expand additional and more vocational knowledge myself through MBA classes offered in the ecosystem and through a multitude of internships. The student organizations – namely cornell venture capital club and Delta Sigma Pi – were selective and prepared me very well for the rigors of the real world.”
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
EY (Ernst & Young) – 11
Citigroup – 10
Bank of America Merrill Lynch – 7
Barclays – 7
Goldman Sachs – 7
JP Morgan Chase & Co. – 7
Deloitte Consulting – 5
Oliver Wyman – 5
Morgan Stanley – 4
McKinsey & Company – 3