As the NYU Stern MBA website states, “Stern develops leaders who make an impact on business and beyond.” Evolving from a pure finance school into one that focuses on areas like entertainment and technology, Stern takes advantage of the vibrant and changing business opportunities in New York City.
The individual components of your application will be academic ability, professional achievements and career aspirations, and personal characteristics. Stern provides podcasts to describe each component on the admissions website, and it’s worth starting your research there. While your academics will be evaluated mainly through your GMAT and GPA, the essays are a crucial part of your application strategy.
After making the personal expression part of the application optional last year, NYU Stern has added it back as a required essay this year. The personal expression essay offers you the opportunity to present yourself creatively, but requires you to apply structure to a completely open-ended question. It’s a great test for a life solving business problems after your MBA.
Essay 1: Professional Aspirations
(750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
• Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
• What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
• What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?
Why MBA, why now, is an important question to answer. While many people seek an MBA degree, NYU wants to invest in those who can use it most effectively. Perhaps you’re seeking an MBA for networking or professional credibility, or maybe you want an MBA to learn specific skills to change careers. Whatever your own personal reasons may be, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education both generally and specifically at Stern that are necessary to achieve your goals.
Note that this question specifically asks about your interest in pursuing an MBA at this point in your life. Why is now the right time for you, both personally and professionally? What will an MBA add to your already successful career trajectory to get you to the next level? If you are an older applicant you will need to spend time carefully communicating that you realize what an MBA can and can’t do for you at your professional level, and that you have a plan to leverage the MBA professionally in your next job.
This essay also offers an opportunity to demonstrate your fit with NYU Stern and describe why NYU Stern is the right place for you to spend the next two years of your life. Certainly personal experience of the campus through visits or student touch points would be ideal, but even if you are halfway around the world you can illustrate the many ways in which you learned about the NYU Stern experience.
Your post MBA goal should be both achievable and demonstrate the need for an MBA. An MBA from NYU Stern will open professional doors for you, and you should demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of those opportunities. Think about a logical sequence that starts with your past work experience, then your MBA education and ends with your immediate post MBA goal. Ideally your goal pulls from both your current work experience and the skills you will gain in the NYU MBA program.
Essay 2: Personal Expression
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.
If you submit a non-written piece for this essay (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit this essay via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.
Open-ended essays like this one can be intimidating. You are allowed any method to introduce yourself to your classmates, and you’re probably wondering what the best medium for your message is.
However, your content is king in this essay. The best first step is to brainstorm the information you want to convey. Reflect upon your unique personal qualities and what is valued most by your friends and family. How would you want your classmates to see you? What are some of the personal stories you would share with a new friend?
Once you have established the content you want to use for the NYU Stern essay 2, it’s time to consider the medium. If you are a visual person you may chose a drawing, painting or photo series. If you are a creative writer perhaps it’s a poem or short story. If none of the “creative” approaches feel right to you, feel free to write a standard essay where you explain who you are and introduce yourself to your classmates. The medium is not the most important aspect of this essay. What is most important is the message and content of your composition to demonstrate your motivations and who you are to the admissions committee.
Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped countless aspiring NYU Stern MBA students to showcase personal and professional stories that cut through the clutter. Contact us to learn more.
This entry was posted in Application Tips, General, NYU Stern Advice and tagged advice, application, application deadlines, application tips, applications, Essay Questions, Essay Tips, MBA, MBA application, MBA Essays, MBA News Bites, MBA program.
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Located in the heart of New York, NYU Stern is one of the top business schools in the nation. Indeed, the purple school consistently ranks in the top 5 of undergraduate business programs, and each year only about a fifth of all applicants are accepted. More than just a strong background in business, Stern students also enjoy access to the Big Apple, which means vast internship opportunities and plenty to do for fun. To develop a global perspective on the topics they are studying, around two-thirds of all Stern students spend a semester abroad in cities like Shanghai and London, where they continue to learn about business and the differences in cultures across the world.
In general, it is widely circulated that NYU Stern tends to care more about applicants’ objective stats (SAT, GPA, etc.) than NYU CAS does. However, if your essays aren’t up to par, then you still might be unconfident about the likelihood of your acceptance. As such, Admissions Hero is here to help you tackle NYU’s supplemental essay.
NYU is global, urban, inspired, smart, connected, and bold. What can NYU offer you, and what can you offer NYU? (200-400 words)
This prompt, despite its assertion that NYU exemplifies a variety of cool-sounding adjectives, is at its core still just a “Why X School?” essay. This means you’ll want to research what exactly it is about NYU Stern that attracts you enough for you to apply to it—maybe it’s the experienced faculty who possess real word experience? Maybe it’s a specific educational track offered by Stern that no other schools provide? Regardless of what you decide, remember to be specific in your answer. Give examples of things that you like about NYU, and do your best to be as detailed as possible. Bonus points if you can point to evidence of your interest in those things from high school—instead of just talking about how you think NYU’s Finance track is best for you, why not show it by recounting your experiences in your school’s Value Investing Education club?
The other side of this question is what you can offer NYU. To address this question, you’ll want to introspect and emphasize what exactly makes you unique. A good angle to approach this answer from is to point to instances where you have been involved in your high school community and then suggest that you will be similarly active in the NYU Stern community. For example, maybe you inspired your classmates to participate in one of the most successful canned food drives in your school’s history. NYU adcoms would certainly be interested in hearing about your participation, since the details you mention will imply that you will bring that same level of energy to the college environment. Remember, colleges want a robust and active student body, so anything you write to suggest that will bode well for “what [you can] offer NYU.”
Since NYU’s writing supplement is relatively short, this blog post is consequently not very long. However, after reading these tips you’ll be well on your way to crafting a great NYU supplement.
Zack was an economics major at Harvard before going on indefinite leave to pursue CollegeVine full-time as a founder. In his spare time, he enjoys closely following politics and binge-watching horror movies. To see Zack's full bio, visit the Team page.