Today we dig into Stern’s application essays for the coming admissions season.
You will see that Stern’s essays haven’t really since last year. Still, our advice has evolved slightly, so read our comments closely. Stern looks extra hard for applicants who can prove that they really are passionate about the program.
Our comments follow each question in italics:
NYU Stern Admissions Essays
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Describe the following (750 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 carries over unchanged from last year. What we think makes this question unique vs. other school’s “Why an MBA?” 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 write about what you’ve done up until now, but also explain why you did those things and made those choices. Stern provides some useful admissions tips on its essay page, including podcasts to help you clarify your story. These are great resources for any Stern applicant.
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 questions (500 words):
(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.
This question is also unchanged. Stern has removed the part of last year’s question that asked about the toughest piece of feedback you’ve ever received, and as a result this question has evolved to hit the question of “Convince us that you’re passionate about Stern” more directly. Note the emphasis on specifics — don’t speak in generalities or just copy language from the school’s web site. What do you know about NYU Stern that convinces you that it’s right right school for you, and that you’re the ideal Stern student? And how will you convince the admissions committee? Looking at this kind of essay question early in the process will hopefully provide the impetus you need to really do your homework.
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 famous “creativity question” is also unchanged. Like Booth and Anderson, Stern seeks new ways to learn about what makes you unique. The admissions office really does want to get to know the real you. Stern’s admissions officers are almost begging you to stand out here, which is a reminder about how you can make their job easier by helping them remember the real you. One other note: Just because this question allows you to use any medium, that doesn’t mean that you need to submit something other than the written word. If that’s your best medium, use it. “Being memorable” means more than just sending them something outrageous; the most effective submissions really are the ones that leave admissions officers feeling like they know you better.