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 is the standard career goals and why MBA essay.
Though you can be creative with structure but writing chronologically makes sense in this essay. Starting with your career so far and then showing how an MBA would help you get on to the path of your medium and long term goals gives the essay a good structure. Remember that the part (b) is only about an MBA and not about NYU Stern specifically. You have essay 2 to focus on Stern.
In writing about your career so far, it’s important to focus on the options you had at various points in your career and your thought process that led you in your chosen direction. By giving a glimpse into your thought process, you also give the adcom a chance to understand what matters to you and what kind of person you are.
To justify the need for MBA, you can first explain your short, medium, and long term goals and then bring out the current weaknesses in your skill set that hold you from moving effectively towards these goals. Try to give credibility to your career goals through your past academics, extra-curricular or work experience. The final step would be to write the specific touch points of an MBA that will eliminate those weaknesses.
Essay 2 – Your Stern Experience (500 word maximum, double spaced, 12-point font)
We take great care to shape the Stern community with individuals who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. We seek individuals who are highly intelligent, collaborative, and committed to flourishing as Stern leaders.
Please answer the following:
(a) What is your personal experience with the Stern community? Tell us what actions you have taken to learn about us.
(b) Describe what most excites you about Stern from both an academic and extracurricular perspective.
(c) How do you anticipate making your mark on the Stern community? Be specific about the roles you will take on and the impact you hope to achieve.
NYU Stern prides itself on its collaborative and cohesive community. You gel best with a community when you feel strongly about it. Accordingly, while addressing part (a) of this essay, try to show to the adcom that you have made an effort to experience the Stern community and that you’ll fit well in it. Attend Stern admission events, read student blogs, research its website, visit campus if possible and talk to its students, staff and faculty to bring authenticity and credibility to your essay.
Use your response to part (b) to indicate how an MBA specifically from Stern would help you move towards your goals. Mention specific aspects of Stern academic and extracurricular life – Unique courses, faculty research or a specific networking opportunity relevant to your area of interest, any specific professional club, etc. Use your experience with the Stern community to think what about Stern excites you. Writing what you really feel would differentiate you here.
The final part gives you an opportunity to indicate to the adcom how the Stern community would benefit from you. Make a credible case from your past experiences in undergraduate college or in job to demonstrate that the responsibilities you take at Stern would make a difference to the people around you. Keep in mind the emphasis this question places on interpersonal skills and leadership. Once again, your interactions with Stern community would give you a flavor of its campus life and various activities and help you find your own sweet spot between them.
Essay 3 – Personal Expression:
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message. Feel free to be creative.
Please be aware that only .doc, .rtf, .xls, and .txt files may be uploaded here. If you submit Essay 3 with your supplementary materials, please include a brief description of it here.
All submissions become part of NYU Stern’s permanent records and cannot be returned for any reason. Please do not submit anything that must be viewed or played electronically (e.g. CDs, DVDs, mp3s, online links), that is perishable (e.g. food), or that has been worn (e.g. used clothing). If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font.
In the first two essays, you have written about your professional side. However, your MBA classmates, who would spend two years with you under the Stern MBA rigor, would like to know you as a person.
There is no set rule here. But if you just be yourself, you will be able to bring out what’s unique in you. Talk to your friends and understand how they would describe you. If they have to imagine you in graphics, ask what they see. Think what you are passionate about, what you care about, what excites you!
Once you have understood the best description of yourself, unleash your creativity in finding the best way to express it. For a writer, it could well be just creative writing. As much as possible, avoid using presentation slides because Chicago Booth has introduced that format in a similar essay.
Essay 4 – Additional Information: (optional)
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 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 this essay.
If you are a reapplicant 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.
Stern’s optional essay covers a broad range of issues and is not the standard optional essay. It’s mandatory for you if you fall under any of the three categories specifically mentioned in the question.
If you are a reapplicant, touch briefly on your improvements in all the areas covered in the other three essays, but specifically focus on the weakness that held you back last time. If you received any feedback from the adcom last time, this is the place to use it.
If you don’t fall under any of the three categories mentioned in the question, write this essay only if it either adds something to make your candidature outstanding or provides explanations for any specific weaknesses in your profile, like a gap in work experience, a low undergraduate GPA, etc. But rather than seeking excuses for any such weakness, try to demonstrate a strength that explains and makes up for that weakness.
Also if a weakness can also potentially show up during your MBA at the NYU Stern, give convincing reasons to the adcom how you will not let it show up there.
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