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Business Schools

At Stern, You Need A "Solid Plan"

Isser Gallogly is director of full-time MBA program admissions at New York University's Stern School of Business (No. 13 in BusinessWeek's 2004 rating of full-time MBA programs). Prior to joining Stern in March, 2003, Isser worked in brand management at L'Oreal, Unilever, and Mattel. Gallogly's MBA is from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, one of NYU's biggest rivals.

He recently spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider about the traits he's looking for in new Stern MBAs. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation:

Q: Last year, non-U.S. applications fell more than 20% at Stern. How are you trying to avoid another application falloff?

A: We're working with alumni overseas to give applicants a sense of the alumni network, the value of the school, and studying in New York City. Last year, we scheduled a lot of our presentations [to prospective students] around fairs. This year, we'll go to the fairs and then [return] a few weeks later to host an information session.

We'll also use the Web site to help people feel a connection to the school. We're trying online chats this autumn. Before we go to Asia, we'll have a chat including some of our current students in Asia.

Q: When is the best time to submit an application? The last deadline is Mar 15, 2005...

A: As soon as you feel ready. But submit as early as [possible] so that you can get in when we have more spaces. That gives you more time to visit and to interview. International students should apply by our first deadline in December, [giving] them time to secure financing and a visa.

Q: In addition to its 400 full-time MBAs, Stern enrolls about 1,735 part-time MBAs. What interaction can full-timers expect with part-timers?

A: [Full-time students can] take classes at night in their second year, which gives them [access to] our adjunct professors, who are often business professionals who choose to work at night. It's an excellent opportunity [for full-timers] to network with people in an industry they're interested in.

Q: What other perks do Stern MBAs enjoy?

A: Our unique engagement with New York City. It's more than where you live, it's where you learn. A friend of mine was [teaching] a case on the Ford Cobra, and she invited four marketing professionals to evaluate [students' presentations about] the case. For an MBA who wants to go into marketing, simulating the experience of presenting ideas to senior marketing professionals is important.

We're also a medium-sized school, so it's more intimate. People are supportive of one another and down to earth. Students are driven, but never at the expense of one another.

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