It gives me great pleasure to welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk Isser Gallogly, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business. I almost feel like Isser needs no introduction at Accepted. He participated in many of Accepted’s old text-only admissions chats. He’s also been a guest on AST twice before – Episode 97, where we discussed part-time options at Stern, and Episode 184, where we discussed NYU Stern’s FT MBA admissions process. So when you finish with this show and want to learn more about NYU Stern, check out those.
Welcome back, Isser!
Can you give us an overview of the changes to Stern’s MBA application process this year? [2:00]
We launched two new, focused MBA programs. We explored the idea of separate applications, and decided on having one application for all of the programs – so you can apply to up to four MBA programs with one application: the full-time MBA, part-time MBA, and our two new specialized, full-time, 12-month programs (one in tech, one in fashion and luxury). You indicate a primary program of interest and explain why it’s your primary, and then identify your alternates.
The EMBA has a different process because it’s a unique profile.
If you list an alternate, it won’t be held against you? [5:00]
Not at all. Maybe someone’s preference is the full-time MBA, because they want to be immersed – but they can also see that the part-time program would be viable, because they can see that going to school while in the work environment would be helpful for them. It’s two different paths to the same goal.
What is the EQ Endorsement? [6:35]
This is a completely new section for the MBA application, and one we thought was important!
At Stern, one of the differentiators for us is what we call IQ + EQ – our students don’t just have raw intelligence, but also emotional intelligence (EQ), to work with people and lead. EQ is always something we’re looking for. We thought there was an opportunity to get more information in the application process.
Professional letters of rec are often limited – sometimes the recommender doesn’t know you that well or hasn’t known you that long. We came up with the idea of an EQ endorsement. Someone who knows you well provides an example of your emotional intelligence.
We’re hoping to get good insight into what makes people tick – almost a preview of the interview. We’re really looking forward to the responses! Applicants are always looking for ways to tell their stories and differentiate themselves. This is another opportunity to do that. You can ask anyone aside from a family member. It opens up a wide playing field. The basic prompt will be a definition of EQ, and then ask for a specific example/instance that shows EQ.
Can you describe the Pick Six essay? [12:40]
We’ve had our creative essay for over 15 years. It’s been pretty wide open – given people a lot of flexibility. What we discovered over time is that the medium can cloud the message – we thought it would be good to provide a little more structure, without getting in the way of applicants expressing themselves. This prompt is six images (that you get to choose) with six short captions.
There’s a lot of flexibility to show a lot of who they are – multiple aspects and vantage points. For an applicant, it’s a great opportunity to express themselves and differentiate themselves, in a format that’s very familiar.
The former creative essay prompt seemed to be an opportunity to go deep into one aspect of your profile. Do you anticipate people using the “Pick Six” to go broad instead? [18:14]
You could go deep into one topic, or broad (highlighting several different ones). I think it’s one of the advantages – it gives the opportunity to go deep or broad or some combination. I think it gives more options than the creative essay.
I’m not a creative or visual person. Any advice for me on this prompt? [19:45]
Do you have pictures in your home? On your phone?
I don’t think it’s so much about being an artist or being visual – but about what strikes you and what’s important to you.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see graphs, charts, word clouds, along with images.
Can you tell us about the two new, one-year, specialized MBA programs at NYU Stern – the MBA in Technology and the MBA in Fashion and Luxury Goods? Let’s start with an overview of each. [22:20]
What makes them unique is that they are full-time programs, MBA programs, focused on a specific industry specialization. They are one-year programs.
We thought about accelerating industries that didn’t exist in their current form when the traditional MBA developed – does the two- year MBA make sense for them? It works great for traditional MBA routes.
We analyzed recruitment structures. For fashion/luxury, internships are more variable.
In both fashion and tech, there’s a unique skillset: technical/specialized skills plus management training. So the programs focus on that combination.
Instead of a summer internship for fashion, we built experiential learning right into the program – it’s leverageable and valuable.
The program is laser-focused, and the internship is baked in. The approach is optimized for these specific industries, so one year makes sense.
The person it will be good for is the person who has an interest in the intersection of the industry and business, and who has a strong interest in that particular field. You have to have a high level of focus and commitment.
Is it necessary to be working in tech or fashion to apply? [30:10]
You don’t necessarily have to have been in the field. In tech, some level of coding is important.
For both, there’s the possibility that someone has high interest but may or may not be doing it currently. Deep interest and engagement is important, but work experience in the field isn’t a requirement.
Did your past at L’Oreal help you give feedback on these programs? [32:50]
A lot of places have a history: Stern is a place with a future. We’re always thinking about what’s next – is what we’re offering the right thing? Is it optimized?
The advisory board for tech is a who’s-who of the tech space. On the fashion/luxury side, we have a fashion lab. The people involved are extremely impressive. It’s a collaboration between education and industry to optimize our programs.
We want to find out what’s next and what works best. We’re really excited to see our first applicants!
Does the lack of an internship make these programs not suitable for career changers? Or as long as they can demonstrate commitment to the field, would you consider them? [36:30]
I would say it’s the latter. There are people who should be working in fashion or tech, but aren’t for whatever reason. But you can see their interest in everything else they’ve done. “Of course you should be in that, why aren’t you yet?”
They should know at a deep level that it’s exactly what they want to be doing. It’s not for casual interest.
What is the tech MBA Silicon Valley Immersion? [40:20]
It’s an opportunity to go out west and spend time with firms out there. It could be a couple of weeks long – that’s not finalized yet, it depends on which firms are involved.
We want people to have the opportunity to get out there and work with firms directly. We don’t think the program would be complete without that kind of immersion.
For fashion, we’re looking at international immersions in the capitals of that industry (Paris, Milan).
This type of immersion also provides inroads/exposure for recruiting.
Do you think grads of the tech MBA are going to work for established companies or start their own? [42:28]
We anticipate three major paths: product management (working for companies like Amazon or Google); the startup entrepreneurship path; and the FinTech route.
On the fashion/luxury side, there’s a range of paths, too. People could work with designers, or work in retail, across a wide range of opportunities.
What should applicants know/do now if they’re considering one of the specialized MBAs? [44:00]
Be absolutely sure it’s the right program for you. It’s a lockstep, structured curriculum – if you want a lot of options, it’s probably not for you.
Be sure this is the industry for you – if you’re not all-in, take some time, maybe do an internship, and decide. You really have to be committed and focused.
It comes back to self-reflection: who you are and what you want.
When are the deadlines? [47:20]
For the specialized MBAs, the deadlines are Sept 15 and Nov 15.
For the full-time MBA, the deadlines are Oct 15, Jan 15, and Mar 15.
Apply to the deadline of the program of your primary interest.
And you don’t have to wait for the deadline! Apply when your application is complete and competitive.
• NYU Stern Tech MBA
• NYU Stern Fashion & Luxury MBA
• NYU Stern Zone
• NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writes His Way to Success
• Sports, Media, and an MBA: NYU Stern Student Shares His Story
• NYU Stern to Offer a New FinTech Specialization in the MBA Curriculum
• Get an NYU Stern MBA: Interview with Admissions Dean Isser Gallogly
• Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern
• How to Become a Corporate Executive, an Interview with NYU Stern Executive-in-Residence
• An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School
• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke