10 Business Schools To Watch In 2022

NYU MBA students outside Stern School

New York University, Stern School of Business

Online MBAs were designed to provide flexibility. In the digital space, professionals could access coursework anytime from anywhere. To earn an MBA, online students don’t have to sacrifice two years of work. And they can attend their children’s ballgames along the way.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t any tradeoffs. To enjoy this flexibility, in many cases, they have to give up the on-campus experience, the improvisational magic of in-person discussions or the deeper connections that come from meeting classmates face-to-face.

That is beginning to change, courtesy of disruptors like the New York University’s Stern School. In November, the school announced that part-time MBAs would soon enjoy the flexibility of online courses. In the process, they can customize their experience so they can accommodate the demands of work and family.

“While this new option is driven in part by student requests for online access to classes, the real underlying driver is the clear change in the external environment being created by the evolution of how people work and learn,” explains J.P. Eggers, vice dean of MBA and graduate programs, in an interview with P&Q. “Flexibility is no longer just a nice benefit, but an essential need for working professionals. So we’re building on our program’s track record of flexible options given that students already can go through the part-time MBA program on Saturdays, weeknights or through an accelerated two-year path.”

Just don’t call it an online MBA program. Instead, it is a blending, Eggers says, of the best in online and in-person learning, so MBA candidates can capitalize on greater convenience online while still being able to tap into on campus resources specifically and the New York experience in general.

“Working professional students who choose this new Online/Modular option will do the core curriculum online and then have flexibility around how they choose to customize the elective portion of their experience,” Eggers explains. “We’d expect that students in this option may choose to enroll in about 60% up to about 75% of the overall MBA coursework online.”

Eggers adds that Stern will provide 10-15 different online electives each semester, which are slated to begin in Fall 2023. The school, however, does not intend to turn this into a full-time online program. Instead, it is a chance for students to move between online and evening options to give them the greatest chance for better balance and long-term success. The online courses will integrate both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) learning. Better still, the school will maintain its mix of one-week intensive modules and longer electives so students can take advantage of the maximum number of courses and experiences.

And it isn’t just courses going online, as NYU Stern intends to also migrate some extracurricular clubs, events, and even career support there too.

The part-time hybrid may have been the big news coming out of Kaufman, but there was another innovations emerging with less fanfare. In July, Stern deepened its roots in China by launching a new Master’s programs in Organizational Management & Strategy and Marketing & Retail Science on its Shanghai campus. These degree programs join the school’s MS in Quantitative Science and Data Analytics and Business Computing programs. More than coursework, they include one-on-one coaching, professional development workshops, and company visits in both Shanghai and New York City. Even more, the programs are overseen by an advisory board of executives from firms that include Bain & Company, Disney, Microsoft, and FedEx.

Washington Square Park

Such benefits make these degree programs all the more formidable according to a statement issued by Professor Christina Fang and Professor Joseph Porac, co-academic directors for these programs. “This foundation will help students succeed in large and medium-sized Chinese private and government-owned business organizations, consulting firms, family-owned enterprises, or as entrepreneurs.”

Alas, scale is one of Stern’s hidden advantages. The school employs over 400 full-time business professors, not counting adjuncts. Hence, MBAs enjoy access to nearly any type of business expertise at Stern. As a whole, the business school is home to over 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students, with the MBA program alone boasting over 200 electives and 50 clubs. That doesn’t include the larger university’s 600,000 alumni worldwide.

“Stern is also one of the largest business schools with an exceptionally large faculty,” Eggers explains in a 2021 interview with P&Q. “This allows us to offer one of the greatest number of elective offerings among our peers as well as a menu of more than 20 specializations that is constantly evolving based on student interest and changing market dynamics. Over the past few years, for example, we introduced new MBA specializations in Tech Product Management and Healthcare. Students can opt to specialize in up to three areas.”

Scale doesn’t just apply to Stern’s size. Between base and bonus, full-time MBAs pulled down $175,157 in pay this spring, higher than either Harvard Business or Stanford GSB grads. The school also ranked highest for post-MBA pay In The Economist’s 2021 MBA ranking. This data point, plus high marks in educational experience and networking, enabled Stern to rank 4th overall with The Economist (not to mention Top 10 in U.S. News and Fortune).  However, scale can also been seen in Stern’s New York City location, Home to 64 Fortune 500 companies — and one of the most robust startup ecosystems in the world — the Big Apple opens doors to nearly every path or passion imaginable. And then there is the convenience factor, adds second-year Phan Hoang.

“Whenever I want to meet someone for a coffee chat or lunch, it takes me less than 15 minutes to travel to their office or to any major location. Last month, I took the A train to meet a major consulting recruiter in Soho to discuss my application plans. The cost? $2.75 and a 5 minute ride. Being readily flexible and conveniently located has been truly advantageous. Most days, I would grab a quick bite from the endless food trucks on campus, attend a class, dart off to a nearby coffee shop to meet an alum, attend a study group meeting (and later a club meeting), and then finish the day by meeting friends for dinner. This was all within a 15-minute walking distance of campus. Experiencing the city and listening to the city news gave me good conversation starters with everyone who live or have lived here.”

J.P. Eggers is equally bullish on Stern’s New York digs. “Our location in downtown Manhattan’s Greenwich Village is an unmatched asset,” he tells P&Q. We are deeply connected to the industries in our neighborhood and the surrounding areas — tech, finance, entertainment, media and more. We bring New York City right into our classroom with adjuncts who work in industry and teach our students. And we partner with companies on real-world projects through our Stern Solutions offerings. Alumni are a quick walk or subway ride away for networking.  Not to mention that students can readily explore the city’s culture from food to art to music and more.”

Perhaps Stern’s biggest asset, cliché as it may be, is the people. The program has adopted an EQ+IQ admissions philosophy, where who you are enjoys equal footing with what you know and what you’ve done. By emphasizing interpersonal skills, Stern creates a learning culture where everyone can contribute and feel valued for doing so. Being able to internalize this approach only pays big dividends for Stern grads in the workplace, adds first-year Brittany Fidalgo.

“As a human resources professional, I have found that many employee relations issues stem from miscommunication. Being able to clearly communicate thoughts and feelings to others and to understand another person’s perspective greatly enhances collaboration and the overall experience in the workplace.”

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.