How to write an effective personal statement for the Cornell University

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York Area

Admission Essay requirements

On the online Common Application Writing Supplement, please respond to the essay question (maximum of 650 and minimum of 250 words) that corresponds to the college(s) or school(s) to which you are applying. If you are utilizing the Primary/Alternate admission option, you must complete an essay for both colleges/schools; please complete the essays that correspond to your primary and alternate choices.

Admission essay/personal statement prompts

Any essay or personal statement for an application must, of course, be your own work. Admissions committees will be interested in how focused your research interests and ultimate career goals are, and how your undergraduate studies, work experience, and other background relate to the proposed graduate field of concentration.

Your essay will serve as an indicator of your writing abilities, but keep in mind that in most cases clarity and development of your ideas are the main considerations. If highly imaginative or eloquent writing does not come easily for you—and there are few people for whom it does—don't worry. Your main aim will be to write a clear, succinct statement showing your self-determination and enthusiasm for the field of study.

Office of Admissions Contacts

Undergraduate Admissions Office

Cornell University
410 Thurston Avenue Ithaca, NY 14850
Tel: 607.255.5241 Fax: 607.255.0659

Cornell University Graduate School Admission
Ithaca, NY 14853-2602
Tel: 1-607-255-5820 Fax: 1-607-255-1816

Career Services

103 Barnes Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853
phone: 607/255-5221 email:

Career Advisors:

Anne Poduska, Graduate and International Student Career Advisor, Cornell Career Services
210 Barnes Hall (607) 255-5296
Cynthia Todd, Career Services Program Manager
301L Malott Hall (607) 255-2326

How this university ranks
From LinkedIn University Rankings

for Software DevelopersGraduate #2
for Software DevelopersUndergraduate #3
for MarketersUndergraduate #5
for Software Developers at StartupsGraduate #6
for Software Developers at StartupsUndergraduate #8
for Finance ProfessionalsUndergraduate #9
for Investment BankersUndergraduate #9
for Media ProfessionalsUndergraduate #11
for DesignersUndergraduate #19

Cornell University statistics (Alumni data based)

Where they live

Greater New York City Area - 40,537
Ithaca, New York Area - 12,501
San Francisco Bay Area - 11,361
Greater Boston Area - 9,751
Washington D.C. Metro Area - 8,791

Where they work

Google - 789
IBM - 587
Goldman Sachs - 447
Citi - 446
Microsoft - 433

What they do

Education - 16,639
Research - 16,500
Operations - 13,449
Entrepreneurship - 13,134
Engineering - 12,555
Sales - 9,815
Finance - 9,317
Consulting - 9,213

What they studied

Economics - 11,227
Business Administration and Management, General - 8,531
Computer Science - 7,387
Biology, General - 6,904
Finance, General - 6,716
Political Science and Government - 6,661
Electrical and Electronics Engineering - 6,360
Marketing - 6,232

What they’re skilled at

Management - 34,042
Leadership - 31,571
Research - 31,558
Microsoft Office - 27,547
Strategic Planning - 26,190
Public Speaking - 25,518
Microsoft Excel - 21,383
Project Management - 21,008

Notable alumni

grossDaniel Gross

Executive Editor at strategy+business
Reporter at The New Republic
Senior Editor, Columnist at Newsweek
B.A., government and history

1985 – 1989



bersinJosh Bersin

Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte 
Vice President, Marketing, Products, and Sales at Arista Knowledge Systems
Sales, Sales Management, Marketing, Field Technical Support at IBM
Director Sales, Bus Devt, Product Management, Marketing at Sybase
BS, Engineering

1974 – 1978



StevenSteven Sinofsky

Experienced business and product development leader, investor, advisor, director 
Board Member at Local Motion, Inc
Technical Assistant at Microsoft
Director of program management, Office Product Unit at Microsoft
BA, cum laude, Chemistry, Computer Science

1983 – 1987




DulskiJennifer Dulski

President at
Board Chair at Breakthrough Silicon Valley
CEO & Co-Founder at The Dealmap (acquired by Google)
B.A., Psychology

1989 – 1993



Cornell University Recommendations to apply

Cornell, undoubtedly one of the best in the world.
I was fortunate enough to study part of the hospitality PDP and undoubtedly my experience was rewarding from all professional points of view. Over the years I have been able to implement a lot of what I have learned and much further, my experience at Cornell have helped me opening my professional perspective for other industries in which I have worked in the past and that I work today.

Jorge Luis Ardon

2000 – 2000, Marketing Management


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