Tuesday Tips: NYU Stern Essays and Tips for 2020-2021

NYU Stern essays

Are you getting ready to apply to The New York University Stern School of Business? Today, we’re sharing our tips for the NYU Stern essays. The goal is to help you create a positive impression through your application materials. Stern MBA admissions says it is seeking “students who best exemplify Stern’s core value: IQ+EQ. Our admissions committee takes care to select those who demonstrate strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society.”

The parameters of IQ and EQ that are important to Stern MBA are academic, professional, and personal. The admissions team will evaluate your academic ability mainly through your GMAT and GPA. However, the NYU Stern essays play a crucial part in your application strategy. In particular, they give insight into your career goals and personality.

Again this year NYU Stern asks for two EQ Endorsements with your application.
• The endorsement must be from someone who knows you personally and/or professionally and can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.
• More details can be found here and on the NYU admissions website.

We’ve helped countless aspiring NYU Stern MBA students to put together a great application to cut through the clutter. Contact us to learn more.

NYU Stern Essays for 2020-2021

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?

While many people seek an MBA degree, NYU wants to invest in those who can use it most effectively. For example, maybe you’re seeking an MBA for networking or professional credibility. Or, perhaps you want an MBA to learn specific skills to change careers. Whatever your own personal reasons, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education both generally and at Stern that will help you achieve your goals.

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. Therefore, you should use the NYU Stern essays to demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of those opportunities.

To begin, 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 your current work experience and the skills you will gain in the NYU MBA program.

Currently, you can experience the campus through virtual events and by speaking to current students and alumni. This will help you understand why a Stern MBA is the next career step for you. Even if you are halfway around the world, you can show that you have learned about the NYU Stern experience.

NYu Stern essays

Essay 2: Personal Experience (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.

A favorite American idiom says “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In this essay, you have six pictures to use. To get started, think about how you will choose the images to communicate with your future classmates and Stern MBA admissions. Think about the story you want to tell. Is it a collage of your life, or a progression? How do the pictures work together to tell the story?

While the medium can be anything, your content is the important part of this essay. The best first step is to brainstorm the information you want to convey. Think about your unique personal qualities and what your friends and family value most in you.  Next, ask yourself how would you want your classmates to see you. Finally, what information would you share with a new friend?

Building a narrative through images

Your six images may be all personal, all professional (not recommended!), demonstrate deeper meaning for you personally, or be aspirational and future-oriented. You might want to show a journey you have taken or a person who is important to you. Or you could show a vision of your future desires and plans.

Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions, has said that this question is similar to the kind of post you might share on social media to tell your friends about your life. Images are more and more important in digital communication. This essay asks you to use images as the primary form (drawings, photos, infographics, or any other images you choose).

The one-sentence caption for each image will also be an opportunity to contextualize. If you show an image of a happy family, what does that say about your past or future? Who are the people to you? If you have an image of a place, you can use the words to explain its importance to you.

Essay 3: 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.

This optional essay allows you to explain anything that is not clear in your application. Maybe your academic record shows any grades of C or below in a quantitative course, or your GMAT is low. If so, you will want to explain that you are academically prepared. Any explanation should include the reasons why you will perform strongly in your academic courses at NYU.

Additionally, if you have a gap in work experience this is the place to provide context. Describe what you were doing during the gap. Take the time to explain but not excuse. Finally, remember that you never need to use the optional essay if the information in your application is straightforward on its own.

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