Tuesday Tips – NYU Stern Essay Tips

NYU Stern is a diverse community, attracting students who are interested in an excellent academic experience in a global city. Though Stern is known traditionally as a finance school, the program has been ranked high in non-profit management and entertainment as well. The flexible curriculum and joint degree options offer a variety of ways to reach your goals.

NYU Stern seeks candidates who exhibit strong academics, and also exceptional interpersonal skills. NYU Stern refers to this combination as IQ + EQ. Admissions criteria includes academic potential, demonstrated achievement at work, and personal qualities. As NYU Stern explains: “We seek students who embody NYU Stern’s values of mutual support and collaboration and who will be passionate, engaged participants in the NYU Stern community.”

NYU Stern Essay 1. Professional Aspirations
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Answer the following:
(a) What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
(b) Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
(c) What is your career goal upon graduation from NYU Stern? What is your long-term career goal?

NYU Stern divides the standard career goals essay into three distinct sub questions, ensuring that candidates will answer this question thoroughly. While the questions are posed in a certain order, you should choose the essay structure that positions your story best.

When discussing the choices that led to your current position you may start with the major you had in college, an activity that sparked your interest, or even a childhood passion. The key to answering this section of the question is to demonstrate both how you make choices and what motivates you. Your reasons for an MBA may vary from networking to professional credibility. Whatever your own personal reasons may be, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education and community that are necessary to achieve your goals. Similarly, you should have specific reasons for pursuing an MBA at NYU Stern. What is unique about the NYU Stern program, student clubs, and community that will enable you to achieve your goals?

Your short and long term goals should be both achievable and aspiration. An MBA from NYU Stern will likely open doors for you, and you should demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented. Think about your past work experience, MBA education, and future career goals as a trajectory that flows logically in order.

NYU Stern Essay 2. Your NYU Stern Experience
We take great care to shape the NYU Stern community with individuals who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. We seek individuals who are highly intelligent, collaborative and committed to flourishing as NYU Stern leaders. Please answer the following questions:
(a) What is your personal experience with the NYU Stern community? Tell us what actions you have taken to learn about us.
(b) Describe what most excites you about NYU Stern from both an academic and extracurricular perspective.
(c) How do you anticipate making your mark on the NYU Stern community? Be specific about the roles you will take on and the impact you hope to achieve.

This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate your passion for NYU Stern and your interest in attending NYU Stern’s MBA program. 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.

When you discuss making your mark on the NYU Stern community it is both an opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to the school personally and to demonstrate some of your past community experiences. If you currently lead a team of volunteers to conduct a fundraising drive, explain what you are involved with today, and how you anticipate bringing those skills to the NYU Stern community. Specific and credible examples will be important.

NYU Stern Essay 3. 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.

This essay allows you to show who you are as a person, and describe why your classmates will value you as a friend and community member. While you have likely hit professional experiences in essay 1, and community experiences in essay 2, essay 3 seeks to understand who you are as a person.

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?

The NYU Stern Essay 3 also provides the freedom to use any medium you choose to describe yourself. 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, rather the message and content of your composition will demonstrate who you are to the admissions committee.

NYU Stern Essay 4. Additional Information (optional)
Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the NYU Stern 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 and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information. If you are unable to submit a recommendation from a current supervisor, you must explain your reason in Essay 4. If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application. If you are applying to a dual degree program, please explain your decision to pursue a dual degree.

NYU Stern is quite clear about who should use the optional essay and who should not. Like many other schools, NYU Stern provides this opportunity for you to explain a low GPA, GMAT or TOEFL. If you are in that situation, avoid excuses. Focus on the facts, and explain why this performance is not indicative of your future performance at NYU Stern.

If you are a re-applicant it will be important to establish what has changed from last year. Have you earned a promotion? Improved your GMAT score? Whatever has developed since last year, highlight why you are a stronger candidate and now ready to enter the NYU Stern MBA class this fall.

NYU Stern requires that you explain why you are not submitting a recommendation from your current supervisor. A few valid reasons are that you have only worked for your current boss briefly, that you are not sharing your MBA plans with your supervisor, or that you work more closely with other members of the team.

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