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Oklahoma City's Mayor Hits the Books for Advanced Degree at NYU

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Mayor Cornett is part of an exclusive group of 50 students in his leadership class who have been accepted into NYU's Stern Executive MBA program. Mayor Cornett is part of an exclusive group of 50 students in his leadership class who have been accepted into NYU's Stern Executive MBA program.
Cornett admits the courses are challenging at NYU and the level of competition is fierce. But he said it's all about personal growth. And it's the experiences he will gain that will help him in his job as mayor and beyond. Cornett admits the courses are challenging at NYU and the level of competition is fierce. But he said it's all about personal growth. And it's the experiences he will gain that will help him in his job as mayor and beyond.

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- He's the face of Oklahoma City, but the mayor has been spending a lot of time in New York City because he's added the title of student to his resume.

The mayor is currently enrolled at New York University. Mayor Mick Cornett said he looked in Oklahoma, but there were no executive MBA programs in the city or the state. Besides that, NYU is one of the top business schools in the country. So now OKC's mayor is hitting the books and the airport to get this advanced degree on the weekends.

Mayor Cornett is part of an exclusive group of 50 students in his leadership class who have been accepted into NYU's Stern Executive MBA program. He's even featured in the school's promotional video on YouTube.

"I investigated a couple of schools in Chicago, a couple of schools in New York and one school in California. Once I visited New York and once I actually sat in on a class at Stern, I knew that was my first choice," said Mayor Cornett.

Mayor Cornett has a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, but it's his life experience as a small business owner and city leader that got him accepted into this elite program.

"I really believe in education and the longer I'm in this job the more value I see the higher degrees can offer," said the mayor.

So how does he juggle this while being Mayor of Oklahoma City?

"There is a lot of travel involved but one aspect about the mayor's job is that there's a lot of reading to do. There's a lot of e-mail to respond to and a lot of phone calls and it doesn't really matter where I am," said Cornett.

But he said his job as mayor always comes first.

He admits the courses are challenging and the level of competition is fierce. But Cornett said it's all about personal growth.

"I continually try to push myself out of my comfort zone. Believe me, enrolling into a statistics class at my age was not in my comfort zone but I survived and passed the course," said Cornett.

And it's the experiences he will gain at NYU that he said will help him in his job as mayor and beyond.

"It has changed my perspective about the way people in New York think about business in the rest of the country and they underestimate us. There's no doubt about it," he added.

But don't underestimate this mayor. He said attending NYU has helped him promote Oklahoma City to a much wider audience.

"I want the city to excel. I want the city to do well. I want the city to be thought highly of. I'm driven to make sure that that happens and this is all a part of that," said the mayor.

So who's footing the bill for all the travel and tuition? Mayor Cornett said he is, with the help of student loans.

Mayor Cornett has one more year to go with the program. He is scheduled to graduate with his class next August.

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