Earlier we posted NYU Stern’s 2008-2009 application deadlines. The school has since posted its full online application. Here are Stern’s application essays for 2008-2009, with our comments in italics:
NYU (Stern) Application Essays
- Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Describe the following (500 words):
(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 the NYU Stern? What is your long-term career goal?
(This question is the same as last year’s Question #1. It is pretty straightforward, and should be approached as you would approach any other “Why an MBA? / Why this school?” question. What stands out most about this question vs. other schools’ similar questions is Stern’s emphasis on the choices you’ve made up until now. Be sure to answer that part of the question — don’t simply discuss what you’ve done up until now, but also address why you did those things and made those choices.)
- The NYU Stern community is one of our strongest assets. Please answer the following questions about this community: (500 words)
(a) What is your personal experience with the 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 Stern community?
(Part A of this question remains the same since last year, although part B is new. For part A, Stern clearly wants you to demonstrate that you truly want to attend Stern, not just any good finance school in the Northeast. While campus visits are not really required for any program, being able to say you’ve visited Stern would obviously be a plus in answering this question. Part B’s inclusion in this question seems odd at first glance, although this is your chance to emphasize the teamwork dimension in your application and your own self-awareness abilities. Be sure to close the loop and address how this growing experience will make you a better classmate at Stern.)
- Personal Expression (500 words, 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.
(We love how interesting this question is, as well as the interesting responses that come from applicants answering this question. Like Chicago GSB’s PowerPoint presentation or UCLA Anderson’s audio response, this shows that the school is eager to see you as a real person, not another list of accomplishments or post-MBA career goals. In other words, they’re almost begging you to stand out. By no means does that mean doing something outrageous. But it does remind us how hard of a job admissions officers have, and how you can make their job easier by helping them remember the real you. One other note: While this question allows you to use any medium, don’t feel the need to offer up something other than written words — if that’s your best medium, use it. Just be creative with how you use those words, and let the Stern admissions committee get a glimpse of the real you.)