A Gender Scorecard for Business Schools

Alison Goggin, Executive Director of MBA Admissions the New York University Stern School of Business

Alison Goggin, Executive Director of MBA Admissions the New York University Stern School of Business

An Interview with NYU’s Executive Director of MBA Admissions

Getting started is always the hardest part. That’s true about anything that’s hard. From laundry to losing weight, people tend to procrastinate or make excuses, hoping things naturally will take care of themselves. But when it comes to applying to business school, you need a long-term commitment. More than that, you need a plan.

The process starts with dispelling your fears, understanding what you really want, and taking initial steps like studying for the GMAT.  Recently, Alison Goggin, the Executive Director of MBA Admissions at the NYU Stern School of Business, sat down with Time magazine to discuss how applicants can make some of the early decisions. Here are some of her insights:

On choosing between an MBA or a Masters Degree…

“A student can study marketing or finance in either degree program, so it is important to consider what other goals you may have. A Master in Finance or Marketing typically offers study focused almost solely in that specific area; whereas the MBA has a core curriculum that covers all areas of business and offers the opportunity to specialize in a few different areas of business.

The duration of the program may be a factor for you. While there are two-year Master’s programs and one-year MBA programs, most often, Master’s programs are shorter than MBA programs (at least in the United States).

Many schools offer both programs. To determine which is best for you, talk to students, faculty and administrators in each of the programs.”

How to overcome weak GMAT scores…

“While a standardized test score provides insight into an applicant’s ability to succeed in the MBA core curriculum, keep in mind that it is just one of a number of application components. Together, these components provide applicants the opportunity to share a full picture of their strengths and what they can contribute to the MBA class.

At Stern, we encourage applicants to give their best to each application component. For the GMAT, that means taking practice tests online and putting in the necessary time to prepare, which may be focused self-study or a test preparation course. Keep in mind that most schools allow you to submit more than one test score, and typically your highest overall score is the one used in the evaluation.

If a school posts GMAT statistics for its students, take a look at the range of scores (not just the average score). Try to get your score into that range, and if your score is on the lower side of the range or outside of it, the Admissions Committee is going to be looking for you to really shine in those other application components, such as your undergraduate performance, work experience, letters of recommendation and essays.

One alternative to the GMAT is the GRE, which most top business schools now accept as part of the application. Some applicants find they perform better on this test. And depending on the MBA program, a standardized test may be waived based on a certain level of work experience or other credentials. As you are researching business schools, be sure to review the standardized test requirements.”

Can you still get in with a “non-traditional” background…

“Let’s say you have not taken a business class – and certainly never a math class. Perhaps you are a professional dancer. Maybe you have always worked in the nonprofit sector. Or maybe you have taken some time off from your career. If any of these statements describe you, I hope to see your application at Stern.

I hear a lot of candidates express concern about their “non-traditional” background. They worry that they will struggle in the admissions process or be perceived a certain way by classmates or future employers. For every candidate who has expressed this concern to me, I could recommend at least five students or alumni who are their MBA “soulmate”. There is no such thing as non-traditional in business school because we welcome and seek a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To read the full interview, click on the Time link below.


Source: Time

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