NYU- Stern School of Business
Lauren Calio, Director, MBA Admissions, NYU Stern
1) What’s the single most exciting development, change, or event happening at your MBA program this coming year?
With NYU Stern’s location in downtown New York City, we are in constant dialogue with leaders across industries to keep a pulse on business needs and to ensure we are consistently innovating to meet the market’s evolving needs. An innovation the School recently introduced is a new category of specialized MBA: our two new focused full-time MBA programs, the Andre Koo Technology and Entrepreneurship MBA and the Fashion & Luxury MBA. These one-year programs are designed for students who have a definitive career focus in technology, or fashion and luxury, and are designed to deliver a rigorous, real-world educational experience. The focused MBA programs are now offered in addition to Stern’s traditional two-year MBA program.
2) What 2-3 qualities, skill sets, experiences does your program value most in applicants?
Students come to Stern with a range of career and life experiences, which we embrace. Students should arrive at Stern with a commitment to their own personal and professional development as well as to the larger Stern community. We seek students who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths, a core value we call IQ+EQ. A common thread among our students is their high emotional intelligence and pride in our collaborative community. We also pride ourselves on being a School where everyone can be themselves. Our students’ interests outside of the classroom are also vast, as evidenced by our 30+ students clubs serving professional, affinity, sports and special interest areas.
3) How does your team approach the essay portion of the application specifically? What are you looking for as you read the essays? Are there common mistakes that applicants should try to avoid? One key thing they should keep in mind as they sit down to write them?
The essays are the part of the application applicants have the most control over. Use them to tell your story in your unique voice. One relatively new component to the essay portion of our MBA application is the popular Pick Six visual essay, which requires you to submit six images such as pictures, charts, infographics and artwork, along with six short captions, that best express who you are. The Pick Six in particular is a way to tell us more about you as a person, complementing the other components of the application. View this essay as an opportunity to show the Admissions Committee what and who are important to you and what you are passionate about. Don’t overthink it, but have fun with it. Your Professional Aspirations essay should explain your short- and long-term career goals and clearly outline your plans for achieving them. With either essay, do not make the mistake of writing what you think we want to hear. We can tell the difference between that and your genuine voice.
4) Do you have any application tips (for essays & recommendations) for MBA applicants?
After you write your essays, have someone read them – but don’t show them the question beforehand. If your essay answers the question clearly, the reader should be able to identify the question you are answering. They can also help proofread the essays. With regard to recommendations, Stern now requires two EQ Endorsements: one is required by a direct supervisor, and the other is your preference (a professional or personal contact, excluding family members). As part of the endorsement, in addition to requesting information on your principle strengths, we ask your endorser to provide a compelling example of when you demonstrated emotional intelligence. Be sure to give your endorsers plenty of lead time to complete the endorsement thoroughly. Sit down with them to discuss your desire to attend business school, career goals, and remind them of your achievements. This will help them write an informed, relevant endorsement.
5) Are you putting additional emphasis on the GMAT versus in past years? Thoughts on GMAT vs. GRE?
Our Admissions Process is holistic. Stern accepts both the GMAT and the GRE, and we do not have a preference between the two tests. Test scores are just one piece of the application. They are an indication of your quantitative ability, but you can also show this through work experience, previous coursework, hobbies, etc. You can take free online practices tests for both the GMAT and GRE. Try both because sometimes applicants find they prefer one test over the other.
6) What resources are available at your MBA program to assist with internship and full-time job opportunities (or to advance their Career Path)?
Stern’s Office of Career Development partners with students in a strategic search for both internships and full-time roles. They offer a variety of resources, including resume reviews, mock interviews, job search strategy sessions, networking workshops and more. Their team also builds and grows relationships with employers across industries and geographies, which brings a wide range of companies to campus for corporate presentations and interviews. Our student-run professional clubs are also a fantastic resource for industry-focused professional development, events and networking opportunities. Finally, our location in the heart of New York City provides students quick and easy access to employers, alumni and networking opportunities.