From international treks and late-night projects to Sage Socials and enjoying Ithaca, Johnson MBA graduates in the Class of 2020 share their favorite memories from their time at Cornell. While each reflection is unique, one theme is clear: The Johnson community is one of a kind—supportive, diverse, and full of opportunity.

Congratulations to our newest MBA graduates and business leaders!

Rita Rozenshteyn, MBA/MS ’20

Program: Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership

“Taking the ferry from Roosevelt Island to Wall Street with a group of classmates on a sunny, breezy, and warm afternoon after a long weekend inside the classroom. Crunching on Cape Cod chips and sipping on Diet Coke from our to-go lunch box, while trying to maintain balance with our backpacks with the waves of the East River. They say there is ‘nothing better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you.'”


Colin and classmates holding a Cornell flag on a mountainColin Lang, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite memory was studying abroad on MBA Exchange at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I really enjoyed getting to know London and the diverse set of coursework was an excellent complement to the Johnson curriculum. One of the highlights was traveling to meet up with fellow Johnson classmates who were also studying abroad and go skiing in the Alps.”


Eyal Engel, MBA ’20

Program: Johnson Cornell Tech MBA

“The retreat at Greek Peak over the summer in Ithaca was one of my favorite memories. This experience really made us get to know each other and bond.”

A collage of four group photos in various places in Ithaca


Alina Everett standing in the Cornell War MemorialAlina Everett, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite Johnson memory was celebrating with the whole school after finishing our final core exams during our first year. It was exhilarating to feel their enthusiasm and solidarity when we made it through that big milestone. I remember the rush of relief and pride, the feeling of conquering my pre-MBA self-doubt and joining the ranks of the people there to catch me on the other side. That day felt like Johnson in a nutshell, and I will always remember it.”


Charvetteand her friends holding tickets at the basketball gameCharvette Royal, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Americas

“One of my favorite memories was catching a Suns vs. Warriors game during the second EMBA residential session in Arizona with colleagues. Great views of the game with the best people!”


Prabhjot with bottled products at Battle of the BrandsPrabhjot Singh, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“Battle of the Brands—Battle of the Brands is Johnson’s annual marketing challenge. A marketing competition like none other, it serves the entire Johnson community by providing students with a two-week, hands-on learning experience where first-year student teams join one second-year student advisor to create and execute a marketing plan for an assigned product. The hands-on experience that I gained while running a real marketing campaign along with my teammates was very enriching. As the VP of competitions of the Marketing Association, it was interesting to see everything from the other side during my second year at Johnson. The hard work that every team puts in is laudable. The quality of the campaigns keep getting better every year. I will forever have great memories of Battle of the Brands!”


EMBA Metro NY classmates on Cornell's campus in the sunshineMukta Sharma, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Metro NY

“Hiking and exploring Ithaca with classmates! We made memories I will cherish for life while seeing all the gorgeous sites around campus.”


Sameer with his core teamSameer Shah, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite experience was getting to work with an awesome and supportive core team. We made it through some difficult late nights together and learned a lot about each other.”


Neeraj Chopra, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Americas

“My time in the Executive MBA Americas program has been a rewarding experience personally and professionally. Getting accepted at Cornell was a dream come true for a small town Indian boy, son of a taxi driver and a hard working mother. It gave me an opportunity to continue my career, fail and get back up, and apply new concepts in real life to resolve business-critical problems.

Despite living in Minneapolis, MN, I chose to travel to attend classes in New York City every other week because of my desire and hunger to learn from world class professors and be in the company of my inspiring classmates. I’m so grateful to all the professors, staff members, classmates, and my family who would be proud of this achievement. Even though we are in a pandemic, Cornell is continuing to educate, inform, support, and help us grow. I’m honored to be part of the Cornell alumni family now and excited to be able to pay it forward to Cornell in coming years.”

Neerja and classmates on campus

Ploy standing in front of the Cornell clock towerPloy Rittiphairoj, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite memories are from all the times I got to spend with friends at their homes. I love connecting with people on a personal level outside a professional setting. I came to Johnson not knowing anyone but am leaving with lifelong friends.”


The winning Shark Tank team poses with their awardJordan Morris, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Metro NY

“The EMBA Shark Tank competition held at the Cornell Tech campus was memorable for many reasons. Our team spent so much time together improving our idea, and to win the competition with my closest friends will always be a lasting memory.”


Clementina and ODI staff and students pose with #diversity signsClementina Ojie, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite Johnson memory was chairing the Johnson Means Business (JMB) committee. It gave me the chance to work with classmates and give back to our school by volunteering in various capacities throughout the weekend from leading panels to hosting our visitors overnight. JMB also gave us the opportunity to showcase everything we love about the Johnson experience including a Halloween party and the BGBA Blackout Brunch.”


Plamena with four other JCT classmates outsidePlamena Georgieva, MBA ’20

Program: Johnson Cornell Tech MBA

“The end of the summer picnic was awesome! After working hard to complete the core, we celebrated and spent time with our favorite professors, hung out with all of our classmates and their partners, and enjoyed the perfect Ithaca weather!”


A group of students sits alongside a river in ColombiaCesar Alvarez, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite MBA memory was going to Colombia for a spring trek. It was a great opportunity to meet and really get to know some of my classmates outside of the classroom. We got the chance to work alongside UniAndes students, meet with businesses, and immerse ourselves in the Colombian culture!”


Jescenia and classmates at a Cornell hockey gameJescenia Bacchus, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Metro NY

“I have made so many great memories during the last two years! One in particular was watching and cheering on Cornell at a hockey game during a residential week in Ithaca. This was my first time attending a Cornell hockey game and it was so much fun.”


Hannah with her momHannah Cho ’19 (ILR), MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My first Cornell graduation was in 2019. While I was graduating from the ILR School, I was already immersed in my Johnson curriculum—grinding through the core in the fall and making late night decks for IBI projects in the spring semester. It’s hard to narrow down a single memory of my time at Cornell and at Johnson. I truly cherished all the great people I met and built a connection with—my core team became some of my closest friends and my IBI classmates became mentors and teammates. All in all, Johnson taught me the value of teamwork and the value of a true community. The level of support I received from my Johnson community—both in a professional and social sense—was beyond anything I could have asked for. So thank you for giving me a place in this community and for taking me in, growing pains and all. And thank you to this special woman who encouraged me to always challenge myself both in ILR and Johnson; I owe it all to you.”


Kay with her team in the atriumKay Avery, MBA ’20

Program:  Two-Year MBA

“Participating in the 24-hour Crisis Communication Challenge. We were extremely sleep-deprived—and had wayyyy too many chocolate chip cookies from the Atrium Cafe—but we also had the best time and made some great memories.”


Buzz with teammates in Sage Hall

Buzz Diehl, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Americas

“My favorite Johnson memory occurred during our first residential session with Professor Mannix. Mannix’s Managing and Leading Organizations class was both challenging and inspiring. Our team had just completed the LEGO Challenge and although we didn’t finish first that day, we did forge a more cohesive bond that capitalized on every team member’s strength. Our newly formed team would further grow together and carry one another through a phenomenal Executive MBA Americas odyssey! Thank you, Team Ithaca for the memories, finishing strong, and most importantly eternal friendship!”


Cassiope and team during the leadership expedition walking through waterCassiope Sydoriak, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“The Patagonia trek is one of my favorite Johnson memories. The experience challenged me in ways beyond my imagination: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Hiking up a 45-degree rock face in 50 mph winds provided new appreciation for the power of nature, and waking up in 15 inches of unexpected snow made me yearn for the comfort and warmth of home. Throughout the journey, however, I pushed myself beyond limits and made connections with classmates that will last a lifetime. Just like in life, despite every hurdle thrown our way we just had to keep on walking!”


Sean and classmates ringing the bell at NasdaqSean Newell, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Metro NY

“I have so many memories from my time at Johnson. From DJing at a cohort party to ringing the opening bell at Nasdaq. However, I would say my all-time favorite memory was on the last day of Professor Juran’s Managerial Statistics class when he finished by playing a song on his guitar and getting emotionally choked up. You could tell he was really going to miss us!”


Genna speaking at a podiumGenna Hartung, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management experience has been a wild ride, and I’ve learned more than I ever expected to. I’m so grateful for the transformative experience business school has been, and I am grateful for the opportunity to even be here. Thank you to Johnson for taking a chance on me in admissions, and thank you to all the professors and staff who have made this an unforgettable experience and who have worked so hard to make the last two months of school possible amid a global pandemic.”


Serena at Battle of the BrandsSerena Elvia, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite memory was being on Team Hershey for Battle of the Brands. I really got to experience what it would be like to work in marketing, which is ultimately why I came to Johnson. The final Sage Social where we showcased our products was so exciting and allowed me to bond more with my marketing cohort. It was awesome to see the creativity of the cohort and have some friendly competition with my fellow classmates. My team still gets together to reminisce!”


Jacer Collins, MBA ’20

Program: Executive MBA Americas

“Some of my favorite memories over the past two years have been hiking in Arizona during our residential session trip, taking a trip to the Calgary-Stampede and flying in a helicopter to see the Rocky Mountains, visiting PepsiCo Dubai for our Global Business Project, and being on campus for our residential sessions.”

A collage of Jacer's photo: hiking, in a helicopter, and at Pepsi


MBAs holding a Cornell rainbow flagRyan Moran, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“The 2019 Pride Sage Social is my favorite memory from my first year at Johnson. As president of Out For Business, I was so excited for our organization to sponsor a Sage Social and celebrate our LGBTQ+ students and their allies. The outpouring of support from classmates, faculty, and staff was overwhelming and a testament to Johnson’s tight-knit, inclusive, welcoming community.”


Adrienne sitting and smilingAdrienne Benn, MBA/MS ’20

Program: Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership

“As I reflect over the countless hours logged in a classroom with an array of healthcare industry thought leaders debating ‘what we should do,’ I’ve learned that the best leaders are those that are able to maintain stability and adapt their responsibilities in tumultuous times. A huge congratulations to all my fellow Cornellians that finished their Cornell Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership and to all those out there that graduated from something you’ve been working on! May we be leaders and drive change together.”


Melody and classmates in AfricaMelody Lam, MBA ’20

Program: Two-Year MBA

“My favorite memory was when my friends Yewande and Olivier led us through the Africa Trek! Traveling to Africa had always been on my bucket list. We visited the safari and engaged in the history of Ghana and South Africa. I appreciate them for the all the effort they put in to this trek. I hope to one day return to visit the rest of the other countries on the continent.”

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