Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2019

Union Square is just a short walk from the NYU campus.

Make no mistake: Stern remains a popular destination for MBA applicants thanks to its robust offerings, experiential learning model, and New York locale. Applications again rose in the 2016-2017 cycle, up 4% over the previous year. In fact, Stern’s 3,927 applications were its most in six years and represented the third consecutive year of application growth. By the same token, the school’s 21% acceptance rate made it one of the most selective MBA programs in the United States. By the numbers, it was harder to get into Stern’s 402 member incoming class than it was to land a seat in stalwart programs like Chicago Booth and Michigan Ross.


Demographically, the Class of 2019 remained relatively consistent with the previous class. But that comes with a notable exception: The percentage of women climbed from 35% to 38% – the fruit of Stern’s Advancing Women in Business Scholarship, which was expected to cover tuition for several women in the incoming class. At the same time, the percentage of international students jumped six points to 37% – the same level the school reached two years ago. The percentage of underrepresented minorities also slid from 12% to 11% in 2019.

True to New York’s roots as a business and cultural powerhouse, two-thirds of the class hails from business and the liberal arts. Last year, the latter – the humanities and social sciences majors –accounted for 38% of the class, with business taking up 29%. The numbers were nearly reversed with the Class of 2019. The percentage of business majors vaulted to 36%, while liberal arts slipped to 29% (with humanities and social sciences representing 16% and 13% of the class respectively). Economics (18%) and STEM (17%) majors also comprised large swaths of the class.

Finance remained the Sultan of Stern, however. 29% of the incoming class worked in the industry before becoming Sternies, perhaps a foreshadowing for a program where 40% of the 2016 class chose finance. Aside from finance, consulting was the only profession to break double digits. At 13%, consultants took up less than half the seats of their finance peers. Consumer products, technology, and the military each compose 7% of the class, with advertising, entertainment, and real estate each making up another 4% each. Nonprofits, arts, and education professionals comprised 6% of the class.


Stern’s Raghu Sundaram

The past year has been a busy one at Stern. In May, the school announced one-year MBA programs in the fashion and luxury and tech fields, with cohorts of 30 each starting next spring. “These future classes will have the option to choose how they want to earn their MBA from a broader menu of programs options, depending on their career goals,” Sundaram notes. ”For many, the two-year Full-time MBA program will be the most suitable choice if they’re seeking the breadth and depth of an MBA along with the experience of a summer internship.  For those with a definitive career focus in technology, or in fashion and luxury, our brand new one-year specialized MBA programs– the Tech MBA or the Fashion & Luxury MBA – will be an efficient and more focused option.”

In particular, the Tech MBA is designed for students with strong STEM backgrounds, Sundaram observes. At the same time, it capitalizes – again – on New York’s burgeoning tech scene. A January study conducted by Built In NYC found that 2016 tech startups in the city raised over $9.5 billion dollars in funding, with 18 firms – including BuzzFeed, Infor, Oscar, and WeWork – each attracting $50 million dollars or more from investors. This growing web of startups, venture capital firms, and angel investors is certain to attract more established players and spawn more unicorns. And Stern is intent on taking a leading role in growing these opportunities, no different than it has with other New York industries.

“If you look at the history of our school in a broad context, we’ve been arguably one of the most important suppliers of talent to the financial services sector for the last 50-plus years,” argues Dean Peter Henry in a 2017 interview. “And we will continue to be one of the most important suppliers of talent to that sector and other sectors going forward. But, particularly, technology is having a huge impact on all industries and all businesses. If you think about the new economy, what we’re seeking to do is be relevant to the new economy for the next 10, 15, or 20 years as we’ve been to financial sector for the past 50.”

Indeed, it is hard to underestimate the importance of Stern’s setting to its success. Fact is, most business leaders must eventually spend some time in New York City, which is why the school is able to line up dignitaries like Author Malcolm Gladwell and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as speakers (to name just a few recent ones). You won’t just find business royalty for one-off visits. Adjunct professors who teach at the school include BuzzFeed President Greg Coleman and Albert Wenger, managing partner of Union Square Ventures.


In other words, Stern MBAs enjoy a true home field advantage. In NYC, MBAs are often a 20-minute subway ride away from many of the most influential minds in finance, consulting, technology, entertainment, and fashion – all from the fabled Greenwich Village, the home to striving, starving artists and musicians the world over (not to mention celebrity royalty like Anderson Cooper, Sean Parker, and Tom Cruise).

Times Square

For the Class of 2019, New York City is both a place to live and an ideal – a red jolt of energy and conviction, a spirit of drives new ideas and the sense that anything is possible, and promise that they too can become someone who truly matters. “Whenever I am thinking of New York, I come up with the song “Empire State of Mind,” Yin admits. “NYC is such a social town, a hub of capital, a center of inspiration with new rounds of fundraising, acquisitions, and startups forming every day, and I want to take the opportunity to grasp as much of it as I can!

Yin considers Stern to be “the center of the world.” And Rowe could hardly agree more. For her, the school provides the right setting to launch a successful startup. “NYU Stern has a collaborative and innovative culture that is perfect for a budding entrepreneur. It is located in the heart of a booming city with access to a great variety of short- and long-term internships which facilitates real world experience while in class. This sets Stern apart from other programs.”

For Hegbe, who grew up in India, the city’s secret weapon is its comforting confluence of cultures. “As an international student, NYC offers a second home,” she points out. “You will always find a friend you can connect to and a variety of cuisines and food if you miss home!”


Like all MBA programs, NYU Stern values academic pedigree and professional recognitions. However, the school is looking for that something extra – which Sundaram describes as an “emotional intelligence to inspire people, spark innovation into action, and lead teams and organizations with confidence and humility.” As a result, the program focuses heavily on the EQ – Emotional Quotient – part of the equation. In 2017, the program overhauled its application process to better uncover applicants’ true maturity levels and behaviors. Notably, it requires recommenders provide specific examples of how a candidate fits against certain dimensions of EQ.

NYU Stern School of Business assistant dean of MBA admissions Isser Gallogly

In a 2017 interview with Poets&Quants, Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions & innovation at Stern, explained why IQ+EQ was an essential part of the program’s DNA. “We look for people who are for not only very capable academically, but also capable in terms leadership managing teams, communicating ideas, and having emotion intelligence. For us, IQ is a good starting point, but EQ is a necessity.”

This EQ+IQ formula held great appeal to Snyder, who was heavily exposed to c-suite leaders as a researcher at the Committee for Economic Development (CED). “Knowledge—or IQ—is an essential part of success; however, an ability to collaborate, adapt, and work thoughtfully and creatively using that knowledge—or EQ—is equally, if not more, important,” she asserts. “I’ve always been inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Stern recognizes that success for the individual and for the team comes from both IQ and EQ.”

Looking ahead, Stern is set for further change, as Dean Henry announced his resignation in February, after a successful tenure that included the launch of the first FinTech specialization among top b-schools and the growth of Stern Solutions’ experiential learning portfolio. While Henry is exiting the stage, the Class of 2019 is just stepping into the spotlight. They are thrilled to be part of it all. “I’m excited to start this next chapter of my life,” gushes Murphy, who plans to use consulting as a means to help the underserved in conflict-ridden areas of the world. If you’re still on the fence about applying to school, I highly encourage you to take the plunge, you won’t regret it.”

To read profiles of incoming Stern students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.


Student Hometown Undergraduate School Employer
 Alberto Fabian  Chicago, IL  Loyola University  Google
 Luis Gerardo Martinez  Buentello  Mexico City,  Mexico  Universidad Iberoamericana  Ritch Mueller and SAI Consulting
 Rachel Harrison Gordon  Millburn, NJ  University of Pennsylvania  SSI Health
 Meghana Hegde  Vasco-da-gama,  India  Birla Institute of Technology and    Science  Credit Suisse
 Ian Murphy  Old Greenwich, CT  Dartmouth College  Behavior-Enhanced Adaptive Smart Thermostat  (BEAST)
 Lisa Ottensmeyer  Chicago, IL  Wake Forest University  GATX Corporation
 Conor Pieri  Needham, MA  Tufts University  Bain & Company
 Margaret (Molly) Rowe  Steamboat  Springs, CO George Washington University  Stylitics
 Omolade Salawu  Lagos, Nigeria  Howard University  Deloitte Consulting
 Adam Scheer  San Diego, CA  SUNY Binghamton University  U.S. Navy
 Alison Snyder  Charlottesville, VA  University of Chicago  Committee for Economic Development (CED)
 Josie Yin  Jilin, China  Jilin University  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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