Tuesday Tips – NYU Stern Essay Tips

NYU Stern is a diverse community located in the center of New York City.  The school offers international perspective and the ability to interact with other NYU programs, including a joint project with Tisch School of the Arts students in film production.

In describing yourself to NYU Stern admissions, you will want to focus on demonstrating your fit with the community very clearly.  You will need to clearly demonstrate why you are right for NYU Stern and NYU Stern is the ideal place for you.  Because there is some crossover with the Columbia Business School in student interest, knowing what sets NYU Stern apart will be a competitive advantage.

NYU Stern Essay 1 – Professional Aspirations (750 word maximum):

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?

This essay is similar to both Wharton  Business School and Kellogg MBA’s career goals essays and requires you to think carefully about all three sections of the essay. You do not necessarily need to structure the essay in the order NYU Stern asks the questions, though it is extremely important to answer each sub question thoroughly.

To answer this NYU Stern question (a) you will need to clearly articulate what you have done in your career and your life to achieve your current career success. Think about all aspects of your path to your current position. Did your studies in college have an impact? Were there formative experiences along the way? And did you take on pivotal projects or responsibilities?

For (b) you need to clearly demonstrate why an MBA is the logical next step from this point in your career. Think about gaps in your knowledge and experience that may benefit from the opportunities an MBA will provide. You have the opportunity to address why NYU Stern is the ideal place for you in Essay 2, though you will certainly want to highlight specific classes or programs that are important to achieve your career goals.

Section (c) is an articulation of your short- and long-term goals upon graduation, and should demonstrate your vision and plans for the future as a logical extension of your career thus far and your NYU Stern MBA.

NYU Stern Essay 2 – Fit with NYU Stern (500 words maximum):

The NYU Stern community is one of our strongest assets. Please answer the following questions about community:

(a) What is your personal experience with the NYU Stern community? What actions have you taken to learn more about us?
(b) What is the most difficult piece of constructive feedback you have received, and what did you do as a result of it? How will this experience make you a better member of the NYU Stern community?

This essay is an opportunity to describe your own interest in NYU Stern with specific examples of the homework you have done on your program. In part (b) you are asked to comment on a situation where you received constructive feedback, and relate the experience to your interpersonal skills as a member of the NYU Stern community.

Ideally you will create a cohesive essay out of the two sub questions in this essay question. If you can focus some of your experience with NYU Stern on the community, and link your own maturity and ability to learn and grow through interaction with others, the essay can be a clear piece of writing that effectively demonstrates your fit with NYU Stern.

In addressing the section on constructive feedback you should succinctly describe the situation and the feedback, and then reflect upon your response and thought process as you worked through the difficult experience of receiving constructive feedback. Show your growth as a result of the feedback, and if there was a solid action that you took to correct the situation, demonstrate that result.

The ideal way to research the NYU Stern program is to take solid action in the form of a school visit and interaction with current students. If you are unable to visit campus, you may be able to attend an admissions event on the road. Supplementing your in-person research with reading about NYU Stern from the student perspective in the NYU Stern blogs may be another great way to learn more about the program.

NYU Stern Essay 3 – Personal Expression (500 words maximum, if written):

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 is an infamous essay that intimidates most applicants. We have seen many successful versions of this essay ranging from a simple written essay that uses creative writing to describe the applicant, to creating a piece of art or clothing to demonstrate new aspects of the applicant to the admissions committee. Because Chicago Booth has introduced a creative essay using power point, it is probably best to avoid that particular media.

When brainstorming ideas for this essay, think about what you need to communicate. It is likely that after writing about your career goals and fit with NYU Stern you have demonstrated your professional achievements. This essay may be an opportunity to describe who you are as a person, demonstrate your diverse background or perspective, or to illuminate your community involvement. Whichever direction you choose to go, and whatever media you use to communicate your message, remember that the question requires you to communicate with your NYU Stern classmates. Ultimately, that means you want to think about what a future teammate and friend would want to know about you.

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