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The new NYU Stern MBA application looks for emotional intelligence

NYU's Stern School of Business recently added a required EQ recommendation, and dropped its famous creative essay in favor of what itís calling a 'Pick Six' essay.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   10-10-2017
The Stern School of Business, New York University

Many people assume that IQ is the sole source of success. Think again. Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is the other kind of smart. The majority of MBA admissions committees look for emotional intelligence and leadership traits in prospective students, but New York University’s Stern School of Business has gone a step further. It recently added a required emotional intelligence recommendation to its application.

New EQ endorsement

Isser Gallogly, Associate Dean of MBA admissions and program innovation at the Stern School of Business

Applicants must now submit an EQ endorsement from someone who knows them well and can describe a moment where they displayed emotional intelligence. Unlike typical professional recommendations, which are frequently restricted to supervisors, the EQ endorsement might come from a team member, colleague or peer, who can talk about your emotional intelligence.

Stern says it added this admissions requirement because decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The school says a business venture cannot thrive unless the individual in charge not only has a good idea, but also knows how to execute that idea.

“If a person does not have the emotional intelligence to sell his idea, to drive that idea, to move it through organizations to effect change, ultimately they’re not going to be successful in business,” said Associate Dean of Stern MBA Admissions Isser Gallogly. “The school has always screened and selected students who possess the magic formula of IQ + EQ.”

The EQ endorser may be able to move your application to a whole new level by telling a compelling story. “LinkedIn has people endorsing you in certain skills,” said Gallogly. “This is a similar concept. But we want them to provide a specific story. We want to get behind the assertions that someone is a great leader or a team player. We are hoping to get real insight into what this person brings to the table that you sometimes get cannot get from a standard personal recommendation.”

The famous creative essay is now “Pick Six”

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 to the admissions committee.

Apply to multiple programs in one application

Now, applicants to Stern can be considered for multiple MBA programs at the same time using a single application. Candidates will select a primary program Full-time MBA, Part-time MBA, Tech MBA or Fashion & Luxury MBA and may choose to select alternate programs for consideration.  Applicants can explain their program preferences and how they align with their goals through a complementary essay.

“These changes will help applicants communicate to the committee who they are as a person, which programs suit their goals and how they demonstrate EQ. The changes are in step with the ‘social media style’ of communication of today’s applicant,” said Gallogly.

“Applicants communicate with much more than words these days and visual elements now play a dominant role,” he added.

The new NYU Stern MBA application includes:

  • Data form
  • Resume/CV
  • Work history form
  • Two professional recommendations
  • Academic transcript
  • Standardized test scores
  • Essay 1: Goals
  • Essay 2: Program fit
  • Essay 3: “Pick Six” visual essay
  • Essay 4: Optional essay
  • EQ Endorsement
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