Sunday, 16 September, 2012

NYU Stern School of Business - Bangalore Information Session

Hi Readers and my fellow applicants, here are the insights from NYU’s Stern School of Business Information session in Bangalore. The session was hosted at Infosys Technologies Ltd, which fortunately is right next to my company. The session was scheduled at 7 PM on 13-Sept and was hosted by Brian White, Assistant Director-MBA Admissions at the Stern School of Business.
Here's the first surprise from the info session. It has not been done at any of the business school info sessions that I've attended till now. The session started with a mini-Networking activity. Brian gave us 5 minutes and asked to meet 2-3 people and get to know each other. During this get-to-know event, we had to also find out 1 business challenge or scenario that his industry is facing. Trust me; it was truly a great exercise. After the activity ended, 2 of the participants from the gathering were asked to share the most interesting business challenge that they came to know about. It was a great start of the event. I could interact with 3 other participants and got their contacts. Hope this will help me in my applications process. It truly helps when 2 people are in the same boat.
The formal presentation then started with the words “The Power of Possible”. Stern School of Business believes in the power of possible. They challenge students at every stage. Brian told us that the culture of Stern is not to follow status-quo but to challenge every aspect of it. Stern makes this “Power of Possible” happen through its 4 core values.
Academic Excellence: Stern has over 300 renowned faculties some of whom are former business leaders. Some of the faculties are current practitioners too. They bring real business learning to the classroom and that is indeed a great thing to have in classroom, in my opinion. Stern offers more that 20 specializations. Students at Stern can also take up to 25% of their classes at one of the various school of New York University other than the business school. To apply the classroom learning, Stern has this program called Stern Consulting Core where Stern students do consulting projects for small businesses and non-profits in New York. Stern also offers global study opportunities in various forms. There are exchange programs where one can go to a foreign university for a semester. If one semester is too long, there is this DBI (Doing Business In) program wherein a group of students travel to different country for a 1-2 week assignment.
New York City: Now, this is one aspect that really matters big time. They say it as ‘The Energy of a Global Hub’ and I truly believe in this. New York City offers numerous opportunities. To engage the Stern students outside the classroom, there is a dedicated Student Engagement Office. There is also this Boards Fellow Program where a student can become the Board-member of a non-profit and get to understand what it means to be a board-member. The alumni network is over 100,000 strong and spread all over. When Brian was asked about Entrepreneurship at Stern and in New York, Brian told us that Entrepreneurship is coming up fast in New York City.
Collaborative Community: Brian gave us a snap-shot of the collaborative community at the business school. He shared instance like a student coming out of the interview room told others waiting outside the questions that he was asked during the interview.
The presentation finally turned to Admissions. There were general and lengthy discussions about the admissions process and requirements and hence I’m only writing the major takeaways from the discussions. At Stern, he application is seen in the light of IQ + EQ i.e. stellar academics are not enough to secure an admit at Stern. The application is evaluated on three categories without any weight to any category. The categories are Academics, Professional and Personal. Transcripts can be self-reported and the originals are required only at the time of interview. TOEFL is not required of the medium of instruction during the undergrad was English. Stern asks for 2 recommendations (preferably professional). However, more than 2 recommendations can also be submitted, if an applicant wishes so. Brian advised us to talk to our recommenders well in advance since the recommendations given during the last minutes were usually not the best ones in his experience. There were some discussions on the Essays too. Essay 1 in essence asks for short and medium term goals while Essay 2 asks for long term goals. For Essay 2, Brian told us that it was not necessary to say something like ‘this is exactly what I want to do’. One must have a broad idea of what he wants to do post-MBA. Brian told us that everyone is interviewed before being offered an admit and hence interview waivers are out of question. It appeared that Stern interviews are not blind interviews and the interviewer has read all the application before interviewing. The good news is that Stern conducts interviews world-wide and fortunately there is a interview conducted in India too, preferably Mumbai. As far as application deadlines are concerned, the deadlines are there but essentially Stern admissions are a rolling admissions process and deadlines are only to highlight the notification dates. Brian informed that there is a preference for scholarships if one applies by the first deadline. The scholarships can be up to full fee waiver. All the scholarships are merit based and determined on the basis of Academics and Professional achievements. Stern also offers US co-signor free loans. A good news for Indian applicants – Stern has partnered with HSBC to offer loans to Indian applicants.
The formal presentation thus ended and I had to leave the venue due to some other engagement. There was one more surprise in the store for the participants. Brian asked us to write our names on an info card and collected them from all the participants. He then picked 3 names from the pack and offered Applications Fee waiver for the current application season. Now that was really a great gesture from the business school.
So that was all about my Stern experience. I’ve got some contacts of a couple of fellow applicants. Hope you found the above info useful. For more, Stay Connected…!!!


  1. There were general and lengthy discussions about the admissions process and requirements and hence I’m only writing the major takeaways from the discussions.

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