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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