MBA applications: Shake up of requirements

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MBA applications are getting even more demanding: Apart from essays, an admissions exam like the GMAT or GRE, recommendation letters and interviews, schools are looking for videos and proof of a candidate’s emotional intelligence. 

Business schools worldwide have started to change their application requirements. Schools like Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Insead, Toronto’s Rotman School or the London Business School (LBS) for example have introduced video components where candidates need to answer questions via video for example.

Others are trying to gather evidence for applicants’ “emotional intelligence”. Emotional intelligence which includes empathy and self-awareness is valued highly by companies as they want candidates to notice details and be able to evaluate emotions – all essential traits for future leaders that need to motivate teams to work toward a common goal.

But overall, the new “application style” seems to work in favour of millennials and their drive to new technology and social media. Many are already uploading videos of themselves to YouTube or Facebook or plastering selfies on Instagram.

One example of a new media MBA application is the current application for NYU Stern School in New York City. The school has “Instagrammed” some parts of its application, and candidates are asked to send six images – which - could be pictures, charts, infographics or artwork as well as six short captions. “Ultimately, we’re trying to get insight into the applicant and what makes them unique and special,” Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation at NYU Stern, told Top MBA, a medium from QS which organises business education events worldwide. “The written format is constrained when you think about how people share information about themselves, which these days is social media and mobile generated. That’s the new lexicon.”

Another new element in the admissions process at NYU Stern is an emotional intelligence (EQ) endorsement which is like a recommendation or testimonial that describes an example of the applicant’s EQ that he has shown in the past. In this case any colleague or friend can give this endorsement, it doesn’t have to come from a supervisor.

Yale School of Management is another school testing MBA applicants on their ability to understand and manage emotions according to Top MBA, as is Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, which asks those recommending applicants to score the candidate on their ability to cope under pressure and their intellectual curiosity.

Read more on Top MBA


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