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NYU EQ Endorsement Advice and Tips

The EQ endorsement is an element that is unique to NYU’s application. This is the second year that they have included this endorsement in the application, demonstrating that they place significant value on a candidates' EQ.

The endorsement asks multiple different questions. This post is focused on the main portion of the endorsement:

IQ+EQ is a core value of NYU Stern, and we seek exceptional individuals who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. Emotional intelligence (EQ) skills such as self-awareness, empathy, communication and self-management are at the core of our community of leaders. Please provide one specific and compelling example to demonstrate the applicant's emotional intelligence.

The below are answers to some common questions that I have received from clients applying to NYU.

How should I decide on my EQ endorsers?

Your first endorser has been decided because the application states that you should ask a current supervisor. This can be tricky because not everyone has informed their employer that they are applying to MBA programs. If this is the case, you have the opportunity to select someone else and provide an explanation. If you cannot ask your current supervisor, a former supervisor or someone in your current company who is supportive of your MBA applications might be a good fit to write the endorsement.

Your second endorsement should come from someone who knows you well, either personally or professionally. This person should also be supportive of your application to business school and should want you to be successful. Your endorser should be willing to spend the required time (probably between 4-7 hours) discussing this endorsement with you, writing it, getting feedback, and incorporating that feedback.

Ideally, you should make sure that both endorsers have high levels of EQ themselves. When you read the description of EQ that is provided, do you feel that your endorser also has those qualities? If so, he or she is a strong candidate for completing this task. I have found that those with a strong EQ are better at identifying similar qualities in a candidate so take this into consideration when deciding upon your endorsers.

What example is best to answer this question?

Choose something that is personal and unique to your background and experience. You want to provide a compelling example; therefore, you need to spend time to think of a worthy example that will really showcase how you behave when working with others.

Your example should be one that your endorser has clearly observed and could comment on. They will need to provide details that will help the reader to build a clear picture of who you are and how you behave. You can also share more information about what transpired in the example that you are thinking about; however, it is best if this example is shared from another’s perspective.

EQ, as defined here, consists of self-awareness, empathy, communication, and self-management. Your example should highlight at least 2 or 3 of those qualities.

How should you explain the example?

Remember that your example must be very specific and compelling. A good guideline to follow for telling a clear story is to use the STAR interview format (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

Absolutely be specific! This is so critical! To elaborate about why you should be more specific, when essays are very general, they do not capture the attention of the reader because it is relatively easy to speak in vague terms about a person. The essays that stand out paint a picture of a situation and allow the reader to imagine what is actually happening. When you describe a situation that is unique to you, it becomes interesting to read and will make a much greater impact.

How involved should I be in guiding the people writing my endorsements?

I always recommend that you guide the people who write your recommendations/endorsements. These people are playing a role in your future and you should not leave this process to chance. You can take different approaches to guiding your endorser but make sure that you provide this guidance!

And by guidance, that does not mean that you write the letter and let your endorser sign off on it. It is important to provide additional perspectives about the type of person that you are and this is not something that you can do yourself.

The Oriel Admissions team includes a former NYU admissions officer with over 10 years of experience working at NYU Stern. We have successfully assisted clients in applying to NYU Stern as well as other top programs both in the US and internationally. If you would like to learn more about our services and how the Oriel team can help you with your applications, please contact Rona at for a free consultation.

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