NYU Stern School of Business
NYU Stern’s School of Business today (June 12) unveiled the most dramatic changes to its MBA application in many years. Among other things, the new application requirements will assess candidates on “fit” with the school’s culture by adding what Stern is calling an emotional intelligence (EQ) endorsement from a colleague or peer and a new “Pick Six” essay that requires candidates to submit six images, such as pictures, charts, infographics or artwork, along with six short captions to best express who they are to the admissions committee.
Also for the first time, NYU Stern is allowing candidates to apply to all of its MBA program options, including the school’s two new one-year specialized MBAs in tech and fashion and luxury, in one application. Even students who want to apply to Stern’s part-time MBA can use the same application. Last year, 3,773 candidates applied to Stern’s full-time MBA program. The school admitted 872 applicants for an acceptance rate of 23.1% and enrolled 390 students into the Class of 2018.
“These are the biggest changes we have implemented in any year that I’ve been here and we hope it’s a little bit industry shaping, changing the way things are done,” says Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation, who had been in Stern admissions for 14 years. “We believe these changes will help applicants more effectively communicate to the committee who they are as a person, which programs best suit their goals and how they demonstrate EQ. Additionally, these changes are much more in keeping with the ‘social media’ style of communication of today’s applicant. Applicants communicate with much more than words these days and visual elements now play a dominant role.”
THE NEW EQ ENDORSEMENT REQUIRES A SPECIFIC COMPELLING STORY
NYU Stern’s Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions & innovation
NYU Stern says that it already screens and selects students who possess both intellectual as well as emotional intelligence-–what the School calls IQ + EQ. The new MBA application will now require an EQ endorsement in the form of a testimonial provided by an advocate of the applicant that illustrates a specific example of demonstrated EQ to the admissions committee. Unlike typical professional recommendations, which are frequently restricted to supervisors, the EQ endorsement might come from a team member, colleague or friend, for example, who can best attest to the emotional intelligence of the candidate. Anyone outside an immediate family member can endorse an applicant.
“It’s a brand new idea and a new concept,” says Gallogly in an interview with Poets&Quants. “We are looking for students who are not only capable academicaly but also capable in leadership, managing teams and having emotional intelligence. So we really asekd ourselves what can we do to get more insight into a person’s emotional intelligence into their character.”
The EQ endorsement differs from the two professional recommendations Stern continues to require. Endorsers would be asked to provide one specific compelling example that represents the applicant’s EQ. “LinkedIn has people endorsing you in certain skills,” says Gallogly. ‘This is a similar concept. But we want them to provide a specific story rather than just tell us about their EQ. We want to get behind the assertions that someone is a great leader or a team player. We are hoping to get a more more insight into what this person brings to the table that you cannot get from a personal recommendation.”
DITCHING THE PERSONAL EXPRESSION ESSAY IN FAVOR OF A PICK SIX
Stern also believes it’s a chance for more humble candidates to get an advocate to make a case for them. “Sometimes applicants can sell themselves short,” reasons Gallogly. “They don’t want to say something that could be perceived as bragging. Some are a bit more modest. Sometimes people can’t see their own skills objectively. I feel these EQ endorsers can do that a bit more than applicants themselves. It’s only in rare occasions where a professional recommendation will move an application to a whole other level. I feel like the EQ endorser may be able to do that for the applicant to a greater level.”
Stern also tossed its famous creative essay in favor of what it is calling a “Pick Six” essay. For more than 15 years Stern has featured a personal expression or “creative” essay in which applicants could use just about any means imagined to express who they are as a person to the admissions committee. This year, in an effort to provide additional direction to applicants and create more consistency in the evaluation process without compromising expression, Stern is replacing it with “Pick Six.” Candidates will submit six images, such as pictures, charts, infographics and artwork, along with six short captions to best express who they are.
“We are basically evolving the essay,” explains Gallogly. “It’s kind of like creative essay 2.0. We thought it would be helpful to the applicant to provide a little more structure around it, a little more consistency and it would help us on the evaluation side without getting in the way for them to become very creative. It’s a little like Instagram and social media. The images can be just about anything, a photo or a word cloud or emojis or the picture of a painting and then short captions so we understand why that is meaningful to the applicant. This is how people are communicating these days so I think they will find it to be very familiar and comfrotable but also extremely expressive. I think applicants are going to love it.”
LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH NYU STERN’S ISSER GALLOGLY
As the New York University Stern School of Businesswebsite states, “We seek students who best exemplify Stern’s core value: IQ+EQ. Our admissions committee takes care to select those who demonstrate strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society. “ The parameters of IQ and EQ that are important in the evaluation are academic ability, professional achievements and aspirations, and personal characteristics.
While your academics will be evaluated mainly through your GMAT and GPA, the essays are a crucial part of your application strategy to cover professional achievements and aspirations and your personal characteristics.
This year NYU Stern also asks a new recommender question:
• You are required to submit one EQ Endorsement with your application.
• The endorsement must be from someone who knows you personally and/or professionally and can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.
• More detail can be found here and on the NYU admissions website
Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped countless aspiring NYU Stern MBA students to showcase personal and professional stories that cut through the clutter. Contact us to learn more.
Essay 1: Professional Aspirations
(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
• What are your short and long-term career goals?
• How will the MBA help you achieve them?
While many people seek an MBA degree, NYU wants to invest in those who can use it most effectively. Perhaps you’re seeking an MBA for networking or professional credibility, or maybe you want an MBA to learn specific skills to change careers. Whatever your own personal reasons may be, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education both generally and specifically at Stern that are necessary to achieve your goals.
Your post MBA goal should be both achievable and demonstrate the need for an MBA. An MBA from NYU Stern will open professional doors for you, and you should demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of those opportunities. Think about a logical sequence that starts with your past work experience, then your MBA education and ends with your immediate post MBA goal. Ideally your goal pulls from both your current work experience and the skills you will gain in the NYU MBA program.
Essay 2: Program Preferences
NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.
A. Primary Program Preference (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
• Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.
• Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.
B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
• Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).
• An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A”.
NYU Stern now offers several distinct MBA options. You can choose a traditional full-time two-year MBA, the part-time option of the same program, or specialized one-year programs in tech or fashion & luxury.
The primary focus of this essay is to explain your first and second program preference. If you only want to be considered for one program, you will indicate that here as well (only answer option A). Consider that both the tech and fashion & luxury options are deep dives into the respective industries that are designed to give you access to working professionals, companies and the industry. That could be invaluable if you are set on either industry and know you want to pursue a job or start your own company in the space. If you are unsure about your career steps post-MBA the traditional MBA program allows you some space to explore other career options.
Whichever program choice you make it is important to tie your career goals as described in Essay 1 to your MBA plans. Why do you want to pursue an MBA at all and what do you hope to gain from the program. This essay also offers an opportunity to demonstrate your fit with NYU Stern and describe why NYU Stern is the right place for you to spend the next two years of your life.
Certainly personal experience of the campus through visits or student touch points would be ideal, but even if you are halfway around the world you can illustrate the many ways in which you learned about the NYU Stern experience.
Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)
Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:
• A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
• Six images that help illustrate who you are.
• A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.
Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.
NYU Stern has evolved the creative essay into one that is more specific, but still allows you the freedom to communicate what you choose to the admissions committee. A favorite American idiom says “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and in this essay you have six pictures to use to communicate with your future classmates and the Stern admissions committee. Think about the story you want to tell with the six images – is it a collage of your life or a progression? How do the pictures work together to tell the story?
While the medium is novel, your content is king in this essay. The best first step is to brainstorm the information you want to convey. Reflect upon your unique personal qualities and what is valued most by your friends and family. How would you want your classmates to see you? What information would you share with a new friend?
Your six images may be all personal, all professional (not recommended!) or aspirational. Perhaps you want to show a journey you have taken, a person who is important to you, or a vision of your future.
Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation, has said that this question evolved to be similar to the kind of post you might share on social media. Images are more and more important in digital communication, and this essay asks you to use images as the primary form (drawings, photos, infographics, or any other images you choose). Though images are the central medium of this essay, what is most important is the message and content to demonstrate who you are to the admissions committee.
This entry was posted in Application Tips, NYU Stern Advice and tagged application tips, applications, career goals, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, MBA application, MBA Essays, MBA program, NYU MBA, NYU Stern, NYU Stern MBA.
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