Managing MBA Panic And Anxiety

How To Show Emotional Intelligence In MBA Application

Among the many requirements in an MBA application, emotional intelligence (EQ) is one that can be difficult to demonstrate.

At NYU’s Stern School of Business, applicants are required to submit an EQ endorsement — a 250-word statement from friends or coworkers that demonstrates the applicant’s EQ qualities such as self-awareness, empathy, communication and self-management.

But why exactly are MBA programs seeking EQ and how can you, as an applicant, effectively convey high EQ?

Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently examined how applicants can demonstrate emotional intelligence and leadership in their MBA applications.

Why Do Business Schools Value EQ?

Emotional Intelligence, according to NYU’s Stern School of Business, is comprised of skills such as self-awareness, empathy, communication and self-management.

Kowarski says EQ is crucial for future executives “since it allows them to motivate and mobilize a team to work toward a common purpose.”

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

Isser Gallogly is associate dean of MBA admissions and program innovation at NYU’s Stern. Gallogly tells US News that EQ is what separates “mediocre business executives from exceptional ones.” EQ, according to Gallogly, is what drives business venture and the execution of ideas.

“If that person does not have the emotional intelligence to sell that idea, to drive that idea, to move it through organizations to effect change, ultimately they’re not going to be successful in business,” Gallogly tells US News.

How to Demonstrate EQ as an Applicant

There are several ways applicants can convey high EQ in their applications. For some requirements, such as the EQ endorsement at NYU’s Stern, choosing someone who can advocate highly for your EQ strengths is important. But applicants can also convey EQ in personal essays and interviews.

Erin Skelly is a graduate admissions counselor at IvyWise—an educational consulting firm. Skelly tells US News that applicants can directly demonstrate high EQ in “personal anecdotes or examples in an interview, demonstrating self-awareness via the personal statement or essay or indirectly by asking a reference to specifically discuss these skills in the letter of recommendation.”

Sean Killeen is an MBA student at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Killeen tells US News that he used his experience of rebuilding homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee to highlight emotional intelligence.

Leadership Relates to Emotional Intelligence

Many MBA admissions officers say that an applicant’s leadership potential can be found in their commitment and impact.

Bruce DelMonico is assistant dean of admissions at the Yale School of Management. DelMonico tells US News that leadership potential is found in applicants who set ambitious goals and follow through.

“We care a lot about your approach to commitments, your follow-through on commitments,” DelMonico says. “We definitely want to get a sense of not just what you’re committed to but how you demonstrate that commitment and how you follow-through on those things you claim to be committed to.”

Sources: US News, NYU Stern

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