In this episode of Admissions Straight Talk, Linda Abraham discusses MBA return on investment (ROI) and NYU Stern’s part-time MBA options with Isser Gallogly, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business. They discuss how to calculate ROI, the ROI of NYU Stern’s part-time MBA program, and the benefits and flexibility of the program. Isser Gallogly also provides tips for applicants and encourages them to create options for themselves by applying to the program.
Are you concerned about possible lack of ROI if you go for an MBA? Are you considering part-time options? Then today’s episode is for you. We’re discussing MBA ROI and NYU Stern’s four part-time MBA options.
Welcome to the 552nd episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Sometimes I’m asked, “Is the MBA worth it?” And my answer always is, “It depends on your individual circumstances”, but I’ve got good news. We’ve developed a tool that will help you evaluate whether an MBA is worth it for you and your individual circumstances, and by how much. Use Accepted’s MBA ROI Calculator and check out how much you are likely to benefit or not from getting an MBA. And using it won’t send you back even one cent because it’s free.
We’re going to dive more into the topic of MBA ROI today with our special guest. It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk, Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions at NYU Stern School of Business. Isser has been involved in MBA admissions at NYU Stern for the last 20 years, and I’ve probably known you for about 20 years since you started there. Today we’re going to talk about MBA, return on investment or ROI, and specifically the ROI provided by Stern’s part-time MBA program and then how to get into that program.
Isser, welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk. [1:53]
Great to be here. Thank you.
I’m delighted to speak with you today, as always. I want to start by discussing the topic of MBA ROI or return on investment. Since our listeners have not yet earned their MBA, maybe we should start by discussing how to calculate ROI. What is it? I mean, I’ve seen lots of definitions, not all of which I agree with.
Yeah, there are a lot of different ways that you could think about ROI, and I think ultimately it probably comes down to the person and their individual goals in pursuing the part-time MBA. I think for most people, just the notion that they’re going to gain useful information, skills, experiences that will help them advance their career, be more effective at their career, might be sufficient. But for some people, they want to do some type of financial calculation and oftentimes they want to look at things like how much does a program cost and then what might that do to my salary over my working life?
Right, and the one caution I would give people is every so often I see ROI and the expense part of it includes living expenses, food, and room and board. And I would argue that that should not be part of the calculation in terms of calculating the ROI of an MBA, not because I’m trying to reduce the expenses, but because those are expenses you’d have regardless of whether you did an MBA or not. So, if you’re going to calculate the return on investment or just the cost of the MBA degree, while you have to budget for living expenses, it’s not really part of the cost of the MBA because those are expenses you would have in any case, under any circumstances. That’s just my own thing, but okay, let’s go on.
What is the ROI of the NYU Stern part-time MBA program? [2:47]
Yeah, so we’ve been working on this for a few years now for the part-time program, to try to come up with a methodology that we feel is helpful for people who are interested in looking at that type of calculation. And what we did is we looked at data over the last four years of the class of the part-time students that were graduating, and then we compared to what they stated their entering salary was or their salary when they entered the program, so approximately three years earlier. So, we looked at basically exiting salary and then the entering salary of the group that came in three years prior. And we obviously don’t have data on everybody. We have a significant amount of data on both. And what we saw was that when we averaged this over the past four years, it was 52%. We usually just say over 50 at this point, but 52%, and we’ve actually provided a ROI table on our website in the Finance Your MBA section, that provides the ingoing salaries, the exiting salaries, so people could see that for each year and the average as well as a lot of details on the methodology, but when you think about it from the time that you submitted your application to the time that you graduate to increase your salary over 50% is a pretty impressive increase.
Do you have any idea if they hadn’t … they were just going along merrily how much they would just based on inflation, how much they would’ve increased their salary? [4:43]
We looked at that or tried to figure that out from a number of ways, but it’s a very specific population, so to look at generalized data probably wouldn’t be representative and it’s hard to know without trying to figure it out.
Regardless, 50% over four years is pretty impressive. [5:05]
Yeah, and when you think about it, that annualizes to about 17% increase per year in each of those three years. And I think most people would probably say, even if they were getting increases in salary or promotions, the odds of getting three 17% increases each year is probably fairly low for a lot of people, at that point in their career.
Let’s start with another basic question, since I seem to be into those today. Can you provide an overview of NYU Stern’s four part-time options? [5:27]
I can, let me also just say a couple other things on ROI if I can?
Sure, go ahead. Absolutely. We’ll go back. [5:40]
A couple other things that we really wanted to try and explain to people were some of the other benefits you have beyond the financial impact for your salary. Obviously most people think about the value of an alumni network, what that can do for them, the connections. There are a couple other things I think that are pretty unique to our part-time program or our MBA programs in general. One is that we provide career services for life and as we know, people change jobs multiple times. So the fact that there’s always a resource available for free for our alumni, either have their resume reviewed, practice interviews, job posts, connections of that sort, even recruiting things going on, that’s a huge benefit for people that I think really has a lot of value.
The other thing that we’ve offered more recently too is the ability to take courses for free after you graduate. They’re done virtually via video and stuff. People can take one or two courses a year. There’s a set of about 20 or so courses currently, it’ll vary by semester by semester. But when you think about the cost of an MBA course and the value to stay current over the course of your careers, that’s incredibly valuable. I mean, you could theoretically take the equivalent of a second MBA after you graduate, and so you could consider that to double your ROI potentially. If you think about-
Well, consider the rate of change now, my goodness. [7:00]
Yeah, I mean, it’s fantastic. I mean, you think about someone who was working in finance a few years ago before a lot of blockchain, cryptocurrency and now just being able to stay up to date on that would be incredibly helpful for them. I think we’ll see that with things like artificial intelligence and other things going forward. So, for us, you have the financial salary increase in the short term, then you also have the network and the value of that, the career services, plus the courses for life. So, there’s a lot of factors to think about in terms of what an MBA can do for you, not just immediately but over the duration of your professional career. So, that’s another factor to think about in the mix.
I’m so glad you added it. And obviously to my knowledge, I don’t think there are too many top MBA programs that are offering either career support for life, or I’m thinking of one that is, but or the ability to take courses. Not too many throughout your career. [7:37]
There are huge benefits. Another fun fact is we also have one of the largest alumni networks of any top MBA program because not only do we have a large part-time program, well established full-time program, executive programs, but we also have our undergraduate program in business. So, you actually join, I think it’s the largest of any top MBA program. And certainly, if you want to be in the northeast area, we’re incredibly well entrenched there. So, just a lot of factors to think about when considering the MBA investment.
Again, I’m really glad you added those things. Now can we go back to- [8:25]
Yeah, four options.
… the options, right. [8:30]
Yeah. So, we do have four options in the Part-time program. The first is our evening option, where people take classes at night. It’s typically about two days a week for about three hours an evening. The typical progression there is about three years to complete the MBA, that’s the most common.
We also have a version of the evening program that we call the accelerated two-year program because you can finish the program in two years. And in that case, some semesters you’ll be taking three courses a night versus two. We also have an option to do the program on Saturdays, where you could do the entire program on Saturdays. So, for some people that’s more convenient with their schedule. And most recently, we’ve introduced an online modular option, where people can do the majority of the program online. And just to be clear, when we say online, we’re talking about live online. So, it’s not prerecorded information that you watch whenever, which a lot of people talk about as asynchronous. For us live, or synchronous, means that you are in video class in the evenings, so you have the real interaction in real time with classmates and discussions.
In addition to that, we allow people to come and do some modules, they’re one-week immersions, so they can do a significant portion of credits pretty quickly. It’s four and a half credits for a module. So that allows them to come to New York, spend time on campus, but in a more manageable way. And with all that said, these are how people start the program. After a certain period of time in the program, people can switch between options. They can pick and choose some of the courses. So, if you’re in the online modular program, let’s say you’re in the greater New York area, but it’s just not convenient to come in person on evenings, but then there’s an elective that you really want to come in person for later on, you certainly can do that. Saturday people can take evening courses, people can take online courses. So again, once you get to the elective portion, the second half of the program, really there’s a tremendous amount of flexibility. You could either change your official option or you could just take … cherry pick things in different options. So a lot of choices.
Let’s say I start out in the part-time program and then I decide I really want to join the full-time. Is that possible? [10:35]
That is not possible. The full-time program is exceptionally lockstep, so it’s very more rigid in terms of the sequencing. And so, while people in the full-time program could move to something more flexible like a part-time program, it’s very hard for someone to jump out of a very flexible program into a very lockstep program. And the programs really, I would say, are pretty different in terms of how they’re structured.
Our programs are really structured based upon different people with different objectives should use different programs. So, the full-time program is a great program if you want to be immersed fully in the MBA experience and if you want to make a significant transition either in your career, whether it’s industry function or both, because that also has a designated portion for summer internships, which are critical for a lot of transitions people look to make. And it also has a much more regimented career services program basically lined up for those summer internship experiences.
Whereas the part-time program is terrific for people who are enjoying their industries and functions, want to advance their careers and are just really feeling like they need the educational experience in particular to make them more effective. So again, most of the time people really, one program fits their needs best and that’s really what they should do.
Experiential education, experiential learning is a hallmark of the full-time program at Stern. Do part-timers have those options also? And how does that work? I mean, you’re already working full-time. [11:53]
Yeah, they absolutely do. A lot of our experiential programs are set up as courses, so there’s an actual classroom component as well. So, they do have to have some flexibility if there are certain parts of the course that would need to happen during working hours. But we try to make things as available for part-time students as we can.
Other experiential things that are in place that they can do that sometimes surprise our part-time students are things like the short study immersion trips. So we have one week and two weeks study abroad trips. We call them Doing Business In or DBIs. And a lot of part-time students participate in that. Instead of taking a week of vacation, they choose to take a week in another location, but as part of their education. So, that’s something that a lot of people do.
If they go on these Doing Business In programs, are they doing a consulting project typically or are they taking classes? What does that look like? [12:49]
Yeah, they take classes at a university located elsewhere, one of our partner schools. And they also spend a certain amount of time learning about business in that country, government. There’s also social activities, so they would have to take the week off from work to do that because it’s an all day and even parts of the evening experience. But it’s just a really great way to get an incredibly immersive experience, global education, working with other people.
And those courses, interestingly, that a lot of our elective courses are mixed where we have full-time students and part-time students participating. So sometimes, part-time students want to know, “Oh, how do I meet more of the full-time students, expand my network?” And there’s nothing like taking a trip for a week or two weeks, which is mixed between part-time and full-time students, to really get to know a lot of people and form bonds. So that’s an incredibly popular option.
And are there other opportunities for the part-timers to meet with full-time students? [13:46]
Definitely. In addition to the elective courses, we also have a number of student organizations and clubs. So we have clubs that are more professionally-based, like a finance club, consulting club. We have ones that are more sports-based, like softball or volleyball, soccer. We have ones that are very social, like the Stern Wine Cellar Club is very social.
So, we have a number of different options and part-time students definitely get involved in that, as well as there’s a number of activities done by the student government, whether they’re social events and things like that. And for the part-time students, we wind up having a networking happy hour pretty much every day that there’s class. So, those are also very well attended. And I guess what I would say is our part-time students I think are always surprised by how much social activity and networking is possible, and it just comes down to how much time they have or want to invest in that. For some, they get incredibly involved, they take positions in student government or clubs. For others, the experience is more educationally focused, based upon their priorities. And the nice thing is they have all these options available to them and they can adjust and change over time as they want. So, it’s all there and it’s just a question of how much they want or how much they want to leverage.
What about career services? The website is very clear and you’ve been very clear that the part-time program is not really ideal for career changers. Does that mean that part-time MBA students while in the program have only partial access to the career center? I know they have that tremendous benefit that you described earlier after they leave, but what about while they’re in the program? [15:02]
Sure. Our career center. We have different professionals for the full-time students and different professionals for the working professionals. And so, they’re really focused on exactly what their needs might be at that time. So, while the part-time MBA students don’t have the summer internship recruiting type things, there are still things to help people in terms of networking, in terms of updating the resume, interviewing, there are job postings, there are listings for more experienced hires. So, a part-time person who’s working in finance who wants to transition to another finance organization might be able to do that pretty readily.
So they have access to the job boards? [15:59]
Yes, but they don’t have access to some of the specific on-campus recruiting pieces.
Got it. [16:08]
I mean, it really wouldn’t make a lot of sense for somebody in a part-time program to quit their job and pursue a summer internship. It just doesn’t make sense in terms of-
Doesn’t make sense at all. [16:15]
And their graduation dates wouldn’t line up. And so, when you’re thinking about industries or functions like management consulting and investment banking, those types of … and there’s others too, marketing organizations that have really, really structured recruiting programs with summer internships, and that’s how everything’s driven. For those fields and functions in particular, full-time programs are really the optimal way to get there. That said, in the part-time space, there are some fields and functions which might be equivalent.
So if you were working in … Let’s say you really were interested in the startup space, Startup firms often are looking for one or two hires and they usually have immediate need. So, a full-time student might have a lot more difficulty pursuing that because they’re doing a full-time program, whereas a part-time student might be able to switch functions immediately and not have any interruption in their MBA experience. So, for some fields and functions, the flexibility is better with part-time, they can keep working while they’re doing it. And some of these industries, organizations and firms aren’t looking to hire whole MBA classes, if you will. So, there are some of those types of things. But again, a lot of people when they’re looking to make that big transition into banking or consulting, full-time programs are really … that’s the engine and a lot of that is driven by the recruiters and their preference in terms of how they want to do things.
So, we really want to position people for success and their goals. And so, the full-time program’s really designed for those types of goals. And if people really want to have the best outcome, that’s the best program.
Do you ever review an application and think, “This person’s applying for the full-time program, but I think they’d be better off at the part-time program?” Or do you ever get an application for the part-time program and think they would be better off at the full-time program, but really like the applicant, do you ever suggest that they switch? [17:47]
We have a couple options in that case. So, if someone applies to the part-time program and we think full-time may make a lot more sense, we have the option to basically invite the person in for an interview. Or we set up a time to have a conversation with them just to better understand their goals and objectives and why they’ve elected with those objectives to pursue a part-time program.
In some cases, yeah, we might tell them that a full-time program might be better for those goals. We want people to be successful. So we do try and do that. If someone applies to the full-time program and we think part-time is better for them, and we do see that what we do is towards the end of the cycle or after the cycle, we do reach out to some people who apply to the full-time program, basically talk with them about part-time and what that opportunity might be and why we saw strengths and why we think it might be a good fit.
And in some cases, the people are delighted because they’re not really necessarily expecting that. But again, when you see good talented people and you feel like you’ve got an option for them that could really help them get to their dream, why wouldn’t we reach out and just give them the information and let them make a decision? So, we have seen that and we’ve been doing that a bit more over the last few years with a number of success cases. People who are actually like, “Wow, now that you’ve explained to me, actually part-time is probably a much better choice for me given what I’m doing and what I want to be doing. And I also can keep my income going while that’s happening, which puts me in a better financial position long term.” So, we’ve had a number of people who’ve actually been really thrilled at being contacted and being thought of that way.
I would assume it would be really appreciated that you took the time to reach out. Obviously, you reviewed the application in depth. You thought about it, not you individually, but NYU thought about it and it took the time to reach out, as opposed to just rejecting them or doing whatever they would do. They took the time and took the interest.
Moving on, what’s the difference between the part-time MBA and the Executive MBA program at NYU Stern? Because they’re both part-time? [19:29]
Right, and this is one of those ones where the industry is a bit blurred. You have these flex programs, working professional programs, zigzag programs, part-time programs. For us, we are a school that actually has both, not all schools have both. And our Executive program is really targeted for working professionals who have more work experience, who are further along in their careers.
Yeah, significantly. You’re talking about people who probably have an average of about 15 years of work experience. Versus a part-time program, you’re talking about people who have three to seven years typically. And so what they do in the executive program is it’s a much smaller cohort. They have a much more lockstep program so that they can really bond and build a strong networking cohort. Because there’s so much work experience there, it’s very nice for them to be very tight.
The New York Executive MBA program is on Saturday, Sunday. Some people are traveling to that. Often they have very busy careers where an evening program would not be feasible, given their responsibilities. And we also handpick the professors in that program who have a lot of work experience, practical experience, and are very used to working with a cohort of students who have a tremendous amount of work experience. So, it’s really hand-chosen faculty to really optimize the education for someone at that point in their career.
So, you’re with students who are at that point in career, you’re with faculty who are really picked for that point in your career. The curriculum is again, modified slightly for people at that level. Because it really is very different when you’re at that point versus early in your career. So, that’s why we do it the way we do it rather than sort of mix everybody together.
That said, there are sometimes people with a lot of working experience, who do elect to pursue a part-time program who it does make sense for and that’s their choice. So, we don’t necessarily rule people out, it’s just more unusual.
I noticed that 44% of the class in the part-time program met test waiver requirements and were admitted without a test score. That’s almost half the class. Can you review the waiver requirements? [21:43]
Sure, we have a few. We have one for NYU undergrads and that’s more if they graduated NYU undergrad, they had a certain GPA. We obviously feel very strongly about the education we provide at NYU, so we feel pretty comfortable that they’ll be fine with the academics in the program.
The more common one is the undergraduate major test waiver. And what we did was we identified, and we did a lot of research on this, we looked at people’s past performance, who had certain majors and certain GPAs. And essentially if someone went to a US-based four-year program that’s on the 4.0 GPA scale, very typical. And they pursued a business degree, it could be finance, it could be economics, it could be business administration, we have a whole list of all the different majors. And they had a certain GPA 3.40 GPA or better, we feel confident that they’ll be okay academically.
So in those cases, we feel fine with them waiving the test. If they want to take a test in addition, that’s up to them, but it’s certainly not necessary. And again, we have a long track record of data points in history that indicate that that is a good predictor of future success. So, that’s really why we do the tests, is to just make sure that people will do well in the classroom. It’s a rigorous academic program, so if we have a different data point that provides the same information, why wouldn’t we use it? And it’s certainly appreciated by a lot of applicants. Tests are not always the highest thing on their list of things they want to go do and study for.
Is there any type of applicant you would recommend to take the test? [23:23]
If they could meet the waiver, I would say definitely do that, you know?
I can’t really think of a situation where the test would be necessary in that case.
Any tips for addressing the three questions on the part-time MBA application, which are a little different from the questions for the full-time? I have them there. They’re pretty straightforward.
Number one, what are your short and long-term goals? How will the part-time MBA help you achieve them, 350 words.
If you do not live in New York City, tell us about your plans to pursue the program, number two.
Person, place, thing. I’m going to let you actually describe that. Please share three images.
And then the optional essay. Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the admissions committee. [23:34]
Sure. Yeah, they are pretty straightforward. The first question is primarily why do you want to get an MBA. And in the part-time program, what we see primarily is, “I like my career, I like my job, want some additional skills to continue to perform better, advance.” And then the specifics are obviously related to their case, what’s related to that. So, it’s pretty straightforward and that’s usually what we hear.
We do ask a little bit if they are outside of New York, what their plan is. Do they plan to do the online modulars? Some people are planning to relocate, some people would like to do the Saturdays, but we just want to see that they have a thought process if they are a little further out of New York because coming to New York and doing some of the program in New York is a requirement no matter what. We’d like to just understand what their approach is going to be.
So that one’s very straightforward and there’s really … There’s no tricks, there’s no nothing real special about it. It’s just help us understand exactly how we fit into your plan.
The second essay, the person, place and thing is really a chance to get to know the person a bit more as an individual. So, they submit an image of a person, an image of a place, an image of a thing that’s important for us in terms of understanding them and a short description and caption about that. Most of the applicants really enjoy it. They enjoy a chance to tell us a bit more about who they are as a person. And a lot of times people are wondering like, “Well, how do I stand out in the application or how do I get across the unique aspects I bring to the school?” And this is a really great way for people to showcase that. So, it’s generally pretty enjoyable. It’s not incredibly arduous and most people have a million photos on their phones and otherwise, and so it’s pretty easy to select an image and we don’t require a lot of words, just enough to understand it.
The optional essay is used like most schools would use an optional essay: if there’s something that is important to their case that they really don’t feel like is covered elsewhere, something unique or something that’s going on. If someone plans to retake a test, they could tell us there. Things like that. So, it’s up to the judgment of the applicant. It’s certainly not required, it’s truly optional. And it’s really more just short descriptions if there’s unique aspects that they think are important for the committee to know.
Or maybe context for a blemish or something like that, right? [26:11]
Sure, yeah. If they had one poor year-
Bad semester. [26:18]
… academically in undergraduate for a specific reason, they could highlight that.
Do you see ChatGPT as a problem in the application process, specifically in connection with the essays? [26:23]
I don’t, and especially when you’re talking about part-time. Again, like I said, it’s a pretty straightforward case and a lot of it relates to your unique circumstance. So I mean, could you ask ChatGP to write me an application to “why I want to do part time?” I guess. But it’s probably going to say exactly what I just said, which is I like my career, I like my function, I want some skills.
Once we get the transcript up, it’ll say exactly what you just said. [26:49]
Yeah, I mean, that’s usually the basic thread for most people. It’s not overly complicated. I think for full-time, sometimes it does become more complicated, but with part-time, it’s usually more straightforward. It’s usually more straightforward. And the specifics, I mean, I don’t know how ChatGPT would fill all those in, but I don’t know if-
The specifics are what’s going to make it or break it. [27:08]
Yeah, write an essay as to why my mother’s important and you put a photo up of her, I don’t know. I guess you could, but it’s not really that arduous. And ultimately, we tell people that they should be writing their own material for this. So yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how things like that and AI continue to impact a lot of industries and functions and fields over time.
What makes an application and an applicant come alive for you when you’re reviewing applications? [27:33]
Mostly it comes down to, has the person really thought about … done the self-reflection, thought about themselves, thought about their goals, have a good plan in place? A lot of it’s just about the specifics to their unique situation. And so, the more that someone really has demonstrated their thought process and has really brought their specific case to life, that’s what really resonates with us is, “Oh, this person really has thought about it and they have really figured it out.” Sometimes people really talk about like, “Oh, I’m looking forward to taking this course or this professor, or this experience, and this is why I’m really excited about the flexibility of the part-time program or what it offers.” And it just shows that the person’s really done some really significant research.
This is a big investment, coming back to the ROI piece. And the more that people think about how they want to leverage this for their own unique case, the more return they’re going to get. And that comes back to things like what courses am I taking? What specializations? Am I going to participate in experiential learning? Am I going to be involved in clubs? How am I going to maximize the total experience for myself? And they can direct a lot of that. So, it’s nice to see that type of research and thought at the front end.
That’s a great answer, thank you. Is an interview part of the admissions process for the part-time MBA program at Stern? [28:43]
Typically it’s not, but we have the option to offer it. Again, I think one of the unique pieces of part-time versus full-time, for full-time, we have people applying from all over the world and they have very different backgrounds, very different career objectives. And so, it’s pretty important to really have a deep conversation about exactly where they’re coming from, where they want to go.
With the part-time program, again, the majority of people tend to be based in the New York region. They’re usually very successful professionals. We’re obviously in a business capital of the world, and so they’re usually extremely strong applicants. And again, their cases tend to be, again, fairly straightforward in terms of what they’re looking for and why. So, there’s just a lot less variability that you see in part-time versus full-time, in terms of the range of factors. That said there sometimes are, and when are, we always have that conversation, but for the most part there’s a lot less variables to have to isolate through an interview process.
Do you have many students who are not based in New York? And here, obviously for the online program, I assume that’s much more common, that would make sense. But for either the Saturday program … it would probably have to be the Saturday or Sunday program. [29:49]
For the Saturday option we historically have seen people up and down the East Coast, in that Boston and DC range, but even there, a significant portion of them tend to be actually much more local. And for online modular, it’s a mix between people who are closer and people who are further away. We have some people in Chicago or California, et cetera, pursuing it.
And again, that’s why we had that question. If you’re not in New York, how are you planning to do this? How does it fit into the plan? And most of the time they can explain it pretty clearly for us in those essays. And so, it’s not necessary to go as deep into the interview process. But again, where there are questions, we want to have the conversation and want to make sure that everything is really clear.
Now, this episode is supposed to air in early December, which considering that your first deadline for the fall 2024 matriculating class is February 15th, is fantastic timing. About two months in advance. What suggestions do you have for anyone wanting to matriculate in the next fall? In other words, starting their applications before that first round deadline. What tips would you have for them? They have time now, right? They can go for that first deadline, they can go for a later deadline. What would you advise them to do? [30:43]
Yeah, I mean there’s a few things. I mean, the first and foremost, it always comes back to make sure that an MBA is right for you and make sure that you’re choosing the right program for your objectives. I think sometimes we do have people who would really prefer or want a full-time program, but because they’re concerned about finances, they think a part-time program might be a better option. But given their goals, full-time program is really going to get them where they want to go in a better way.
So, you have to make hard choices in life and you have to choose the right thing for your goals and objectives. And sometimes that involves a bit more investment in terms of foregone income. So, that’s I think, the most important is do your homework, do your research, make sure you’re applying for what you want.
And then the second thing would be getting your materials together. So, if somebody needs to take a test, obviously study for the test, prepare for it and those types of things. Updating their resume is always key. People sometimes let that get a little bit out of date, so update the resume.
Or they keep it too technical? [32:14]
Yeah, sometimes. And also order your college transcripts if you don’t have them, make sure you get them in order. I would also say start having conversations with your manager about the fact that you want to pursue an MBA, how it’ll benefit the organization. So that way, when it comes time to do the recommendation, it’s a much easier conversation, much more straightforward.
I think most people are a little concerned about having the chat with their managers, but for a part-time program, I mean, you’re not leaving your job, you’re just going to become better at it. So, most of the time people are incredibly supportive that people want to continue to invest. I think those are some things.
I’d also note that for people preparing for the test, we do try to provide some free test prep webinars. So, we do have those available. People can sign up on our website and we try and do them typically between cycles. We know that for some people, it’s very difficult to spend additional money in the process to do test prep. So, that’s why we offer some free webinars and that. We want things to be as accessible as possible and as straightforward as possible. So, we try and do that as well.
And that’s the other thing I would say, is start participating in these events, join our mailing list, start getting information, reviewing the website, join our webinars, things like that. We also have a call counseling program, so anyone who wants can set up a one-on-one conversation with an admissions representative. Those are phone calls. They’re typically 20-25 in length and you can just really talk about your specific situation. You can talk about specific things in the admissions process. You can ask questions about specific items in the program. Again, we really want to try and provide good advice, good information, be as transparent as possible so people can make good decisions and have the best outcome.
Well, that’s exactly what you’ve been doing since we started this conversation, providing good advice. So, just continue with it. Okay, what question would you like to answer that I haven’t asked? [33:49]
I guess one of the things that is sort of like for someone who’s on the fence and thinking, “Should I apply, shouldn’t I apply?” That’s the question that I think is important. And so, the question is should they apply? And I would say yes. Why not? Even if you’re not entirely sure, why not create the option? See if you get in. And then once you get in, you have the choice as to whether you want to pursue that or not. But don’t take an option off the table before it’s an option. Create the option, then make the decision.
And some people are also worried about the timing. “Oh, I’m not sure if it’s now or … ” We have applications in fall and spring. There are some people who apply for one cycle and then for whatever reason, the next cycle may make more sense. They can always write into us and request, “Can I get early admission to the next cycle?” We look at those case by case. So, better to create the option early in case you decide the timing is better now than later. So, I think that’s the thing I would tell people, is don’t assume you don’t have the chance or don’t question it. Believe in yourself, take the chance, apply, create the options, and then make decisions as you have more information later. So, I would just be very encouraging people to create possibilities for themselves.
Okay, great. Thank you very much. [35:19]
Isser, this has been wonderful. Thank you for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you about NYU Stern’s part-time options and the return on investment question that we started with. [35:20]
- How to Get Accepted to NYU Stern, podcast Episode 525
- What’s New at NYU Stern’s Online Masters of Science in Quantitative Management, podcast Episode 447
- How to Get an MBA at Columbia Business School, podcast Episode 528
- How to Get into Dartmouth Tuck, podcast Episode 514