Nyu Mba Essay 2009

NYU Stern Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends atmbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


After making no changes to its application essay questions last year from the year before, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business has this season made a rather drastic overhaul to its prompts. Some candidates may be pleased to see the school’s longstanding “personal expression” creative essay go away, but they will still need to rely on their imaginative side to give the admissions committee what it wants for its new “Pick 6”prompt. One big application change has also precipitated the addition of a totally new—though not overly intimidating, we hope—essay: applicants may use a single application to apply to multiple MBA programs at the school (Full-time, Tech, Fashion and Luxury, Part-time), so NYU Stern asks candidates to specify their top choice(s) and explain the reasoning behind their selection.

The school’s “professional aspirations” essay was cut from 750 words to 500 and dialed in to ask specifically about short- and long-term goals, rather than addressing the broader “why an MBA” and “why now” topics, and focuses now on just immediate post-MBA plans. The program also removed its previous request to explain “why Stern.” We theorize that this may be because the new “program preferences” essay will give applicants an opportunity to flesh out their reasons for targeting a specific program at the school, which will naturally include some explanation of their broader goals and motivations. As always, successful candidates will use the suite of essays in a complementary way to convey a well-rounded impression of themselves as individuals, professionals, and potential NYU Stern students. In our NYU Stern essay analysis that follows, we discuss possible ways of accomplishing this.

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations (500-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?
  • How will the MBA help you achieve them?

With this slightly condensed and rather no-nonsense query about your motivation to earn an MBA and expectations as to where you will go with it after graduation, NYU Stern simply wants to hear your answers. The school does not ask specifically about past experiences or what about its program in particular makes it the best one for you, though brief mentions of either would be acceptable if they are central to your main points. The three core components of this essay prompt are typical elements of a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of thembaMission Personal Statement Guide. This complimentary guide explains ways of approaching these topics effectively and offers several sample essays as examples.

And for a thorough exploration of NYU Stern’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, check out thembaMission Insider’s Guide to New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, which is also available for free.

Essay 2: Program Preferences – NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

A. Primary Program Preference (250-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.
  • Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.

B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).
  • An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs, you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A.”

As we alluded to earlier, the “why our school?” element of the “professional aspirations” essay question NYU Stern posed last year appears to have been shifted to this new question, where it understandably fits well. For this essay, again, the admissions committee is really just requesting some straightforward information, so do not think that it has some “right” answer in mind that you have to provide (or, in this case, a “right” program to choose). If you are targeting NYU Stern for your MBA, you must have some reason for doing so, and the program must have some specific features that you believe are a particularly good fit for you and your long-term aspirations. So your goal here is to convey that to the school in a clear, thorough, and authentic way. We offer detailed advice on how to consider this subject and write an essay that communicates it effectively in our mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which is available for free to any interested applicants. Download a copy today for further assistance with this NYU Stern essay prompt.

Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”) – Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

  • A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
  • Six images that help illustrate who you are.
  • A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

We imagine that the initial reaction most candidates have to pretty much any application essay that is not a traditional essay is momentary panic (though, to be fair, that is likely many applicants’ reaction to traditional essays as well). This brand-new format and query from one of the country’s most respected business schools is bound to elicit just such a response this season, but let us reassure you a bit before we delve more deeply into how best to approach it. One could argue that in many ways, this essay prompt is merely asking you to do something we assume you are already doing every day and have possibly been doing for years—curate an impression of yourself for others by sharing certain images and other media that resonate with you. Is that not what people do via Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and any number of other social media venues by posting photos, memes, infographics, cartoons, and the like, typically along with a related comment? When you think of the task NYU Stern has presented you with this framework in mind, do you feel a little more confident about mastering it? We hope so.

In this case, rather than passing along just anything you think is funny or interesting or documenting your latest adventure or meal, you are communicating directly with a very singular audience, within a certain context, and with a very specific goal in mind. So start by carefully considering what you want the admissions committee to know about you—with the goal of sharing as many different aspects of your life and personality as possible—and what it will already be able to learn through your other essays and the rest of your application (resume, recommendations/EQ endorsement, transcript, etc.). You want the admissions “reader” to take away something new from each image he or she sees.

Your images do not need to be sequential, nor do they need to always include you. Consider photos of meaningful locations and people (or animals, even) in your life as well as inanimate objects, such as a musical instrument, a pair of running shoes, a home-cooked meal, or a blooming flower. As long as the subject of the image is reflective of who you are as an individual—and remember that you will have the accompanying sentence for each image to clarify this connection as needed—then you will be on the right track. Keep in mind also that not all of your images need to be actual photos, either. They can include drawings, paintings, charts, tables, emojis, and so on. And finally, although getting accepted to your target business school and earning an MBA are serious goals and undertakings, this does not mean that all your images for this essay submission need to be serious in nature, especially if your personality is naturally more lighthearted and humorous. Costumes and comical arrangements, if used judiciously, can be valid options if, again, the resulting final image is truly reflective of your character and/or life.  

Your one-sentence captions are clearly an opportunity to enhance the meaning of each image you are submitting. In some cases, you might use the caption to provide a direct explanation of who or what is depicted in the image, chart, artistic expression, etc. You could also use the sentences to create a narrative link between multiple images, perhaps as a way of profoundly illustrating a particularly meaningful aspect of your life or personality. Another option would be to use the caption sentence to explain your state of mind in relation to the image or to express an associated viewpoint, value, or philosophy. As you write your short explanations, keep in mind that these statements must adhere to the school’s one-sentence rule, and be sure to not simply reiterate whatever is already obvious in/from the photo but to use the additional content to enhance the admissions reader’s understanding of you.  

This new prompt from NYU Stern offers a lot of license, but take care not to get carried away with overly elaborate or complicated images. This is not an art contest or a battle of wits but an opportunity to express and portray yourself to the admissions committee. Each time you consider an image to include, come back to the central question of Does this truly capture who I am? If so, then proceed, but if not, stop and reconsider your options. An increasingly complex series of images that lacks the proper heart and meaning will not elicit the response you want from the admissions committee!

Essay 4: Additional Information (optional) – 250-word maximum, double-spaced, 12 point font

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

NYU Stern’s optional essay prompt is broader than most in that it does not demand that you discuss only problem areas in your candidacy, though the examples it offers within the prompt seem to imply a preference for these topics. Ultimately, this is your opportunity to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your profile—if you feel you need to. We caution you against simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And of course, however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to use in your other submissions. But if you are inclined to use this essay to emphasize or explain something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, download our freembaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application. 📝


mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Sign up today at www.mbamission.com/manhattangmat.

 

NYU saw apps rise by 4% for the Class of 2019, with a GMAT score up to 714. We also named them Runner Up in our 2017 Radcom of the Year Awards!

 

New Fashion / Luxury and Tech MBAs at Stern

If you’re in a hurry to get your MBA done, and you’re looking to take full advantage of the known strengths in specific sectors that Stern offers, one of these could be the perfect match for you.

The Tech MBA and the Fashion & Luxury MBA are both one year long, matriculating in May, so you can minimize your time out of the workforce in these fast-changing industries. (see below for all deadlines).

We’ve been coaching BSers to jump on the Stern advantage for these sectors for years, and now there’s an even more attractive opportunity to do so. We expect admissions to be somewhat more flexible for these two programs at least during this first year of inception, as the school builds momentum and app volumes. There are no other comparable programs to the Fashion MBA; Cornell has the Tech MBA which is the only other of its kind after this NYU one.

Make the most of your chance and pick up our NYU Stern application guide for insights and strategies!

 

2017 NYU Stern Full-Time MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2020

They’ve gone and switched things up fairly radically here too! Stern was a school like Stanford: They had the same questions in their MBA app for eons. Now, though, Stern is showing what they’re made of: They’re using the practices of innovation within their admissions process and they’re inviting applicants to do something different!

Three required essays for 2017 :

  1. Essay 1 – Professional Aspirations (500 words):
    • What are your short and long-term career goals?
    • How will the MBA help you achieve them?

    This is an awesome, straightforward question. Why do you even want an MBA? That’s what they need to know. (Our Career Goals App Accelerator is perfectly suited to helping you identify the framework for this!)
     

  2. Essay 2 – Program Selection (1 or optionally 2 essays, 250 words each):
    • Primary Program: Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application. Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you. (250 words)
    • Optional: Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s). (250 words)

     
    This is your chance to pitch them on “Why Stern” and also why are you selecting this program — or these programs. It’s going to be tough to lay out proper justification for multiple alternates, and it’s going to be a hard sell to convince the adcom that you’re a fit to more than 1 alternate anyway. You’ll need to navigate this carefully, BSer! We’ll cover it all in the Stern guide.
     

  3. Essay 3 Personal Expression aka Pick Six:

    Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

    • A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
    • Six images that help illustrate who you are.
    • A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

    Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.
     
    EssaySnark has been saying for ages that a non-written Personal Expression submission to Stern is best, and now they’re officially telling you the same! And, they’ve given a beautifully structured set of instructions (which BTW is basically the same guidelines we’ve long been advocating to BSers who are trying to build a good non-written essay for this school or for Booth or MIT). These directions could not be more clear. The best part is that this is your chance to share who you are. Time to sort through your social media feeds and find some good representations of that!!

    We recommend making this a 7-page PDF, create it in PowerPoint, write your caption in a large font, make it succinct, and use lots of white space so that the reader can skim through and see at a glance how you’re representing yourself. And have we mentioned The Strategy of Authenticity lately? Well, that applies to a visual essay too!

They’ve also got an optional essay of up to 250 words, which is quite short, but it’s only to be used if necessary to lay out some specific circumstance from your profile or your past.

Why all these changes? Well, one reason is that NYU has fallen out of favor among MBA candidates. This is reflected in the data. The average GMAT score for the Stern Class of 2018 went down — it’s a much more reasonable 710 again. (It had been up to 721 for the Class of 2016.) We discussed these changes here. This is good for you but not so great for a school that’s trying to maintain its prestige factor in the marketplace.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Stern is not sitting on its laurels!!! (How many other lame cliches can we throw out at you here?)

 

In Fall 2014 we named NYU
as our #1 favorite business school and now you can see why they remain a top choice from our side!

 

NYU Stern MBA Recommendations and the EQ Endorsement

Big changes here in 2017! Stern has a new “EQ Recommender” where they’re making a very big point about the value of EQ in their candidates.
In the Professional Recommendations, Stern is asking the same four questions that a handful of other schools are asking (not the identical questions that Columbia asks, though). They are reasonably straightforward but you still may want to pick up our Recommender’s Instruction Sets if you’re applying here based on this new evolution with the EQ Recommender.

Here’s what your EQ Recommender needs to answer:

  • Please provide one specific and compelling example to demonstrate the applicant’s emotional intelligence. (250 word maximum)

You must use a different person for your EQ Recommender as you do for the two Professional Recommendations. This is an application requirement, and it gives you a greater opportunity to share varied perspectives on who you are with the adcom. This will not be an easy choice!! If you’re stuck, you can plan out your options and ask for input from EssaySnark with our Letters of Recommendation App Accelerator.

 
 

NYU Stern Deadlines 2017-2018

Stern used to have four rounds (Round 2 was in November) and this season they’ve gone back to three again .

  • Round 1:
  • Round 2:

We don’t list last-round deadlines on the blahg because you really should not be applying then. Hit NYU F/T in one of their first two rounds for the greatest chances.

HOWEVER: If you’re aiming for one of the shorter-format specialized programs in Tech or Fashion, then it’s different! In late November 2017, they announced a third deadline for these two programs!!

  • Round 1:
  • Round 2:
  • Round 3: January 15, 2018

Normally, Round 3 is to be avoided, but in this case, as it’s a new program and a smaller one, then it’s fine to submit then.

And even more innovation at NYU: You can apply to ANY of the flavors of MBA at NYU Stern SIMULTANEOUSLY. They took the practice that Stanford recently implemented where you can do a joint app to both the GSB MBA and their MSx program, and went even bigger with it. For NYU, you should pick the program that you’re most interested in and apply by that program’s deadline. In your app, you’ll be able to select any of the other programs that they offer as alternate interests. This makes total sense! It’s more like how the Wharton Lauder application or the MIT LGO application works: If the Stern adcom decide that you’re not the best fit to your first choice program, they’ll still consider your application for your alternates.

What you need to do is be very strategic on a) which program(s) you’re going to target (we do not suggest naming them all!!!!), and b) how you’re going to position yourself as a possible fit to more than one, if that’s the route you choose with your app.

The NYU Stern SnarkStrategies Guide includes a complete discussion of these options.

 
 

EssaySnark Guidance

 

EssaySnark has reviewed a fair number of NYU essays on the blahg over the years. Here’s a couple from past seasons for your review. Even if the questions were different, the gist of your pitch will need to be similar:

 

For Reference: NYU Stern Past-Season Questions

Included in case anyone wants to see what they asked before – it’s been very consistent from year to year!
Click to view 2016 questions



As we expected, NYU is sticking with the tried-and-true with their application this year: One very generous career goals essay (meaning, it’s long enough for you to capture some useful detail for the adcom) plus their classic Personal Expression essay. The only difference in this year’s requirement is simply some clarification on how to communicate what you’re submitting if your second essay is not a standard written “essay.”

Two essays:

  1. Essay 1 – Professional Aspirations (750 words):
    • 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?

     

  2. Essay 2 Personal Expression (500 words if written, other constraints apply if non-written form):

    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.

Even though they’ve asked for specific elements to be included in a structured manner, Essay 1 should not be broken out into three separate essays. Way back in 2013 they had the three questions marked “a)”, “b)” and “c)” which implied that they wanted the answers separated. They don’t. They’re just using separate bullets for the subquestions to make sure that you realize that each should be answered in your essay. You should do that by writing it as an essay – to do otherwise makes it look like a report or something. The Stern SnarkStrategies Guide explains this and other important advice for constructing your pitch to NYU – which we’ve updated for 2016 even though the questions have not changed! We got you covered.

You should also study the guidelines offered by the Stern adcom themselves on their website .

Want to picture yourself at NYU? What better way than the NYU Coloring Book!

[end Stern 2016 questions]



 
Click to view 2015 questions


2015 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

Yay to Stern! They have gone back to their roots. They’ve simplified their requirements by focusing in on the two questions that make them Stern: A very well-crafted career goals question, and their classic “Personal Expression” essay, which is now required. For the past two years it was optional, and applicants could choose a “what if?” type question about an alternate career path – which we never felt was that great. (If you’re curious, we post past-season questions below.) Kudos to Stern for taking it back to basics.

Two essays:

  1. Essay 1 – Professional Aspirations (750 words):
    • 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?

     

  2. Essay 2 Personal Expression (500 words if written, other constraints apply if non-written form):
    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.

The only change that we can detect from this (besides that they are now requiring these two essays and only these two, without an alternate that you could do instead) is it appears that they’ll accept YouTube submissions and other online video for Essay 2. Used to be, you had to mail in a DVD if you had a video to submit. So in that sense, they’ve joined the 21st Century!

In terms of actually constructing your answers, please note that Essay 1 should not be broken out into three separate essays. Way back in 2013 they had the three questions marked “a)”, “b)” and “c)” which implied that they wanted the answers separated. They don’t. They’re just using separate bullets for the subquestions to make sure that you realize that each should be answered in your essay. You should do that by writing it as an essay – to do otherwise makes it look like a report or something. The Stern SnarkStrategies Guide explains this and other important advice for constructing your pitch to NYU.
[end Stern 2015 questions]



 

Click to view 2014 questions

2014 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

These are AGAIN identical to what they asked last year.

(Please click the 2013 Questions link to see the archived essays – they were literally exactly the same in 2013 and in 2014.)

 

For the best advantage in preparing your strategy for this school – including an in-depth discussion of the times when Essay 2 Option A is best and when it might not be, and how Option B (Personal Expression) can be perceived by the adcom – check out the NYU Stern MBA Strategy Guide, exclusively from EssaySnark!
[end Stern 2014 questions]



Click to view 2013 questions

For reference: 2013 Stern Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

These are identical to what they asked in 2012 — except that you don’t
have to answer them all now.

Two essays:

  1. Essay 1 – Professional Aspirations (750 words):
    • 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?
  2. Essay 2 – Choose One:Option A: Your Two Paths (500 words)
    • Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding?
    • How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?
    • What factors will most determine which path you will take?

    Option B: Personal Expression (500 words if written, other constraints apply if non-written form)

    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.

One point to make: Essay 1 should not be broken out into three separate essays. In 2013 they had the three questions marked “a)”, “b)” and “c)” which implied that they wanted the answers separated. They don’t. Write Essay 1 as one essay. The Stern SnarkStrategies Guide digs into how to do it.
[end Stern 2013 questions]



 

[Index of essay questions by business school]

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