NYU Stern School of Business today becomes the latest school to share its 2018-2019 MBA admissions deadlines and essay questions, including a few changes from last year. We caught up with Isser Gallogly, Stern associate dean, MBA admissions and program innovation, to get the latest. Here’s what we learned.
For starters, Gallogly and his team have decided to reinstate the November deadline they eliminated last year for the full-time, two-year MBA program. This means a return to a four deadlines: October 15th, November 15th, January 15th, and March 15th.
“Last year we gave it a shot without the November deadline, and we got some feedback from applicants that they like having it as an option,” says Gallogly. “We heard from some people that it can be nice—especially when they are working on a bunch of applications with October deadlines—to have our November deadline as an option.” So his team brought it back as a convenience for applicants.
Stern’s two specialized one-year MBA programs, focused on fashion & luxury and technology, will also feature four deadlines thanks to the addition this year of one in mid-February. The deadlines for the focused MBA programs will be September 15th, November 15th, January 15th, and February 15th.
Last year was the first year applications were accepted for these new focused programs. Since the programs run from May to May, Stern initially did not include a deadline past January. But feedback here revealed that some applicants would prefer an opportunity later in the spring to submit.
“We felt like we could add another deadline for people who needed a little more time and see how that goes,” says Gallogly. International students, though, should submit no later than the January 15th deadline to ensure adequate time for visa requirements, he stresses.
In another shift, Stern has removed an option it offered to applicants last year to be considered for multiple programs with the submission of a single application. As it turns out, 95 percent of last year’s applicants submitted a primary preference only. Given this, Stern has removed the option to be considered for multiple programs as well as the accompanying Program Preferences essay (former essay #2).
Popular “Pick Six” Visual Essay Remains
One thing that has NOT changed this year is the popular Pick Six visual essay. This essay prompt, which Stern rolled out last year, invites applicants to submit six images they feel best express them along with six short captions. The images can include pictures, charts, infographics, and artwork.
“Everybody loves Pick Six—it’s amazing,” says Gallogly. “The team of admissions officers who read them really look forward to them because they can glean so much information. It really brings people to life in a way that a flat essay simply cannot do.”
Gallogly also thinks part of the value of Pick Six is that it encourages applicants to focus their energy on thinking about what to include, not on execution. “Plus, if you think of it in terms of a picture being worth a thousand words, it’s basically an essay that has a 6,000-word limit,” he adds.
Applicants have loved it, he continues, noting that last year’s admitted students come in quizzing each other about what they picked for their Pick Six. “It’s been big, big hit,” Gallogly says. “This could be one that stays with us for many years to come.”
EQ Endorsements Replace Letters of Recommendation
There’s been one final shift with regard to the NYU Stern 2018-19 MBA application, which is that applicants this year will be required to submit two EQ endorsements in lieu of traditional letters of recommendation.
The EQ endorsement debuted last year, part of the school’s continuing effort to evaluate candidates based on both intellectual and emotional intelligence—what it terms “IQ + EQ.” Applicants were asked to provide a testimonial illustrating a specific example of demonstrated EQ from someone who knows them well in addition to two traditional letters or recommendation.
“The EQ endorsement was as a big hit, and applicants gave us wonderful feedback about how much they liked being able to express their EQ and IQ in this way,” Gallogly shares. “And it gave us insight as readers of applications that we historically had not gotten.”
In fact, a number of applicants last year wanted their recommenders to be able to submit EQ endorsements as well. “That gave us the idea to integrate the two together,” Gallogly says. “We took the best of both and created one new thing.”
This year, Stern has included elements of prior recommendation letters—such as an applicant’s principal strengths—within the EQ endorsement guidelines and will require applicants to submit two EQ endorsements and no letters or recommendation. One EQ endorsement must come from a direct supervisor, but the second can come from anyone else the applicant chooses—a professional or personal contact, excluding family members.
For complete details on applying to any of NYU Stern’s MBA programs, click here.