NYU Stern MBA Essay Examples
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We asked the NYU experts on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team, “What does NYU Stern Admissions look for?” They advised, “Excellence across academics, professional including depth of work experience and interpersonal: humility, leadership, and communication.”
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In the meantime, please see sample NYU Stern MBA application essays here from past successful Stern admits.
At the end of the Vietnam War, my parents, like most Vietnamese refugees, fled to America to escape communism. Similar to the political climate today, there was hostility towards the influx of immigrants. There are stories about how the Vietnamese started bringing egg rolls to their new neighbors in hopes of building a bridge between cultures. In my family, food has always been a unifying force. In a culture that is emotionally reserved, food is how my family expresses love and how we connect when words aren’t enough. Food greatly influences how I view the world, and its ability to bring understanding and acceptance is why I want to devote myself to that space.
Although I have always had an affinity for food, I never considered opportunities in that sector. After graduating with a business degree, I pursued finance at X. My responsibilities include performing analysis and finding innovative solutions to cut costs. Although I have a significant impact on X’s fiscal health, I became fascinated with finding ways to increase revenue rather than decreasing expenses. When I was chosen for the X Program, we built a new customer platform, and I saw how changing the design and user experience of the website shifted consumer interaction. I became interested in consumer motivation and how that leads to purchase decisions. Earning an MBA would allow me to pivot into marketing and pursue a brand management career.
After business school, I plan to work as an Associate Brand Manager for a CPG company in the sustainable food space because loving food is preserving it. I would love to work for Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods or bigger corporations transitioning to sustainable alternatives like XXX or YYY. The experience I will gain can eventually transfer and benefit smaller businesses. Long-term, I hope to start my own company specializing in marketing for sustainable restaurants. I want to change the way people eat and think about their food, and marketing sustainability as sexy will be my way of impacting the world.
Visiting Stern, I connected with so many diverse applicants willing to share their advice and experiences, which speaks to the people Stern attracts and the sense of community NYU instills. At Women’s Weekend, I met two panelists that pivoted from finance to marketing and gushed about the caliber of Stern’s marketing professors like AAA BBB who is a thought leader within the industry. I’m excited to join clubs at Stern like the “Social Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Food Business” and “Marketing Association” and continue to build on current organizations I work with like X. Living in X, I know Stern’s location presents endless opportunities, and my experience will be heightened by accessibility to the prominent speakers and businesses that come through NYU’s doors. The combination of Stern’s unique emphasis on EQ and community, fearless embracement of change, leadership in marketing research, and the connectedness of being in the most influential city in the world is why Stern is my school of choice.
“America is living in spin.” After watching the movie “Thank You for Smoking,” I knew what I wanted to do with my life: not become a lobbyist, but be the brains behind influencing consumers. Following graduation I joined Prophet to gain first-hand experience in understanding consumers.
At Prophet I have held four positions and worked with the world’s biggest CPG firms. I have learned about the research that develops marketing strategies, the need for dynamic approaches to compete, and the importance of relationships in forwarding initiatives. While I have learned so much, I desire to be closer to the products. I crave the ownership and execution that comes with brand management and am seeking a new challenge to push me beyond my comfort zone of analytics and recommendations. My ultimate desire is to be the CMO for a CPG company such as Unilever or L’Oréal. To attain this leadership position I hope to join the company following graduation as an assistant brand manager. An MBA is a prerequisite to this transition, and I am ready to shift my career. I have gained a thorough understanding of the CPG industry from Prophet, now I must broaden my business acumen, strengthen my global perspective, and hone my marketing and leadership skills to drive my career forward.
While an MBA is a prerequisite to my goals, I am seeking more than an MBA. I specifically want the Stern MBA as it uniquely provides academic rigor and a collaborative culture, all while being at the center of the bustling, cutting-edge environment that is New York City.
I first learned about Stern through Brenda Smith (Stern MBA ’99 alum) whom I consider both a mentor and an inspiration. Brenda is the type of leader that I hope to be: devoted to her team, engaged with her clients, and constantly seeking growth. In discussing my desire to obtain my MBA, Brenda shone light on her experience, opening my eyes to the natural fit that Stern would be for me. Brenda stressed Stern’s strong mix of both analytical and interpersonal learnings that guided the development of her leadership style; this instantly piqued my interest, and as I have researched further, I have become increasingly excited about Stern’s Leadership Development Initiative. I look forward to taking Leadership Models and practicing these classroom learnings in Leadership Simulations to refine my approach. I plan to apply these models in extracurricular pursuits such as leading the Graduate Marketing Association, which would allow me to continue refining the leadership tactics that will serve my pursuit of CMO.
Having spoken with Stern recruiters at the Forte Forum and the MBA Women’s Joint Discussion, I was energized as they spoke about the diversity of opportunity available at Stern. MBA fairs were yet another moment where I recognized that Stern would be the best fit for me. I value that Stern invests in a diverse set of specializations; I would like to specialize in Marketing, Product Management, and Global Business as I believe this unique combination would prepare me to one day run a multi-national consumer goods organization. My online research also opened my eyes to Stern’s distinctive course set, which illustrates to me that studying marketing at Stern is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Unique classes like Luke William’s Creativity will train me to apply distinctive messaging to my branding endeavors, allowing me to thrive within brand management. In addition to the diversity of academic experience, Stern offers countless opportunities outside the classroom, which too will broaden my business acumen. Located in the world’s business hub, I want to capitalize on Stern’s unique connection to New York companies – the opportunity to intern at firms such as L’Oréal during the academic year would provide me with the insider knowledge needed to thrive at these corporations in the future. As strong as Stern’s connection is to NYC, my research also indicated that Stern’s networks expand far beyond New York; I want to take advantage of Stern’s HEC exchange program where I can experience foreign luxury branding and expand my international perspective.
Each opportunity that Stern provides is a stepping stone of development toward my ultimate goal of CMO, and I am ready for this next step. As I’ve taken the time to research, I have come to the resolute decision that Stern is unlike other MBAs – providing unique specializations, thorough leadership development, and year-round connections to the world’s leading businesses. Stern is the best MBA program for me, and is undoubtedly my top choice.
When I began researching my MBA, the first place I looked was the NYU Stern website. I was immediately drawn to the flexible first-year curriculum, the ability to choose preferred courses from the menu core, and the extensive options under the Marketing specialty. I talked with David Dune (‘16) regarding the Firm & Markets core and believe this will be especially helpful for the various pricing projects I’ll face in brand management. I also spoke with Karen Riley (’15), founder of Stern’s Hospitality Club, and learned that Professor Serdai’s Luxury Marketing presents many issues and challenges that apply to hospitality industries – my industry goal after graduation. Learning from her experience as an architect, and how to provide a space that provides both comfort and relaxation to consumers, will aid me in applying this knowledge to a hotel or airline company.
At the Forte Foundation in Dallas, I spoke with Laura Berk, Admissions Coordinator, regarding the Stern Career Development Center. As the hospitality industry does not recruit heavily on campuses, Laura helped ease my concerns, informing me that close to 50% of students work with career services to secure positions outside of on-campus events. Lastly, I spoke with Jamie Smith (’14) and he emphasized the connection among students and the collaborative nature of the Stern campus.
Ultimately, through my conversations with current students, alumni and staff, I know that Stern’s strong curriculum, combined with its collaborative environment and career management support, will be the perfect program to reach my career goals.
Sports have always been an integral part of my life. At the age of four I began playing soccer, and captivated by the skill and teamwork the game required, I progressed up the ranks through high school where I traveled the country playing for a nationally ranked team. My affinity for soccer helped me learn that sports matter beyond wins and losses, teaching me accountability, determination and resilience. Sports even helped in a broader context when my four cousins moved in with us after a family tragedy. Initially full of grief, we bonded over soccer after my dad installed a net in our backyard. I always knew I wanted to make sports an important component of my life, and this interest led me to the Notre Dame where I studied Sport Management and held internships with the Chicago Bears and sports marketing agency, Octagon.
After graduation, working at Comcast as an Account Executive, I learned how to effectively communicate with clients, problem solve, and develop and maintain relationships. Next, to build upon what I learned at Comcast I accepted an offer from entertainment marketing firm, Talented, where I took on increased responsibility and learned to fuse client objectives with communications principles. Here, I quickly earned a promotion to manage the company’s relationships with brand and agency partners, and grow those relationships to increase billings and exposure.
Through my experiences, I have learned a great deal about sales and implementing marketing and public relations programs, but I now desire to move to the marketing and strategy side of business. I have long had an interest in the intersection of marketing and sport/entertainment, and have observed how brands can market their products utilizing these mediums to reach and connect with passionate fans, helping to transfer that passion into affinity for, and loyalty to the brands. I am interested in developing how companies create that brand preference and loyalty.
My long-term goal is to lead a sport/entertainment marketing firm, such as IMG, where I will guide Fortune 500 companies on a sport/entertainment marketing strategy, including how to best achieve marketing objectives, grow brands and develop their business. To make this transition, I need an MBA combined with a post-MBA brand management position with a company that has a stake in the ~$500 billion global sport/entertainment business, such as PepsiCo or AB InBev. There, I will learn to solve the marketing and business challenges faced by a major sports industry stakeholder. In this role I will also learn in depth about consumer product companies, improve my leadership skills, and expand my network. An MBA from Stern is the best means to achieve my goals.
I have taken a number of steps to ensure that Stern is the best program for me. After thoroughly researching online and visiting in April 2014, I gained an understanding of the people, curriculum and facilities that make Stern unique. A General Management MBA with specializations in Marketing, Management and Strategy would prepare me for a brand management position, based on my conversation with Graduate Marketing Association Co-President, Jamie Smith (’14). Jamie also introduced me to Professors Scott Galloway’s Brand Strategy and Al Lieberman’s Business of Sport Marketing classes, which are perfect starting points for me to learn about the strategic side of sports marketing. Speaking with Tom Brady (’14), who, like me, came from an account role with a fast-growing marketing agency, I learned about the Entertainment, Media & Technology Association, which has relationships with Verizon and the NBA. I intend on taking a leadership role in the EMTA, which would benefit my transition into sports-focused brand management. I learned about the strength of the Office of Career Development from Emma Smith (’15), who spent her summer at Miller Coors with a global marketing internship. She spoke of GMA’s outstanding relationships with PepsiCo, Unilever and others, and how the OCD helped her every step of the way.
Everyone I have encountered on my numerous visits and interactions gave me a positive feeling about Stern’s culture. Students mentioned participating in clubs such as the Stern Culture Club, and collaborating on school and career work. I walked away knowing that Stern’s curriculum is perfectly suited for my interests, and that I would also fit well into the active and collaborative culture which Stern breeds outside of the classroom. For all these reasons, after becoming intimately familiar with Stern and its opportunities, I can confidently say the Stern MBA program is the ideal school for me.
There are many career paths that fulfill my ultimate goal of making a positive difference in the lives of children—but two appeal to me most. The first is to climb the ranks of a child-focused nonprofit, such as March of Dimes or Ronald McDonald House, from Marketing Manager to CEO. Using the network developed at Stern, I will leverage my marketing background, social impact focus and acquired business acumen to obtain a summer internship, resulting in a Marketing Manager role upon graduation. Effectively bolstering year-round volunteer advocacy, growing grass roots initiatives and building event fundraising platforms, I will aspire to grow into the role of VP of Marketing and eventually CEO.
While I intend to follow this first path, I am excited to search out new solutions to social problems. Should I uncover an innovative and executable resolution to a youth issue, I would be eager to launch my own nonprofit or social enterprise—much like Jane Smith (’12) and John Jones (’12) have done with their development of a special vitamin to reduce calcium deficiency among Asian women.
I believe both paths clearly relate Stern’s mission, as on both I will use 21st century technology to solve age-old problems—such as how to increase fundraising and strengthen community ties. For example, social media are often underused tools for generating donations and maintaining steady communication with supporters. However, since neither tools nor challenges remain static, I will continue to seek out and apply evolving solutions to maximize results.
Also relating to Stern’s mission, as either a nonprofit manager or an entrepreneur, I will be challenged by the ambiguity and uncertain terms of operating a socially-driven business. In both roles, I will embrace a broad perspective of viewpoints in appealing to a wide base of donors or investors. As a nonprofit manager, I will appeal to employees’ commitment to the mission, leveraging passion as a higher currency, to motivate without monetary incentives. As an entrepreneur, I will be challenged to create a compelling and actionable vision to spark support from backers.
Working for an existing nonprofit appears to be the more fluid and clear career transition, as it has an existing framework. Here I will achieve and exceed established goals, and network with coworkers to climb the existing ladder. However, which path I take will be determined by where I can provide the greatest impact.
If I devise a new solution that provides greater significant change for children, I am likely to spring into action to fill that void. However, I would not establish a new organization for the sake of being entrepreneurial—rather, only if I had a unique approach to an unmet need. Also, to launch a new social venture, I will need the support of others already established in the nonprofit community. As my professional experience in this area is currently limited, I may need to first prove myself before branching out on my own. Ultimately, these two paths may not be mutually exclusive, but rather intertwined.
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