Nyu Stern Mba Essays Editing

The Stern Langone part-time MBA essays, together, cover “the whole you” – your professional side and your non-work side. And they require you to address both highly structured, specific questions (essays 1-2) in conventional written format and a relatively open, “free form” question (essay 3), employing visual elements. The applicants who can best handle this duality are confident, mature applicants; they know what their goals are, have an intellectual appetite for the NYU experience, and welcome the chance to portray their distinct individuality.

Essays:

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?

You may start by succinctly mentioning your current career situation to set the context, (Warning: Don’t just repeat your resume, but rather make this opening highlight your industry and/or function, as this is part of what you’ll bring to the table in a part-time program). Then move on to discuss your short-term goals. Give solid details: position, company, scope of accountability, what you want to accomplish, and how you hope to grow. And, to make it meaningful and engaging, explain WHY you want to take these steps, what excites and engages you about this anticipated path. Your longer-term goal needs less detail and should of course reflect some reasonable trajectory from the earlier role. Here too, make the reader feel your excitement.

In discussing how the MBA will enable you to achieve your stated goals, describe what skills and knowledge you need in order to pursue your goals, and how an MBA overall meets those needs. Be specific. You can also add a little about the benefits of Stern specifically, though you’ll have a chance to address that topic fully in essay 2.

Essay 2: Program Preferences

NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

• A. Primary Program Preference(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.

• Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.

• B. Alternative Program Preference(s)(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).

• An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate "N/A".

Since you are applying to the part-time program, Part A probes your decision-making regarding this option. The adcom wants to know that the reasons are appropriate and positive. This section also gives you a chance to portray (briefly!) your current work and its distinguishing aspects – presumably one reason you are pursuing the part-time program is because you want to remain in an interesting and rewarding job. Focus on the key 2-3 reasons for a part-time MBA. Don’t worry about having “unique” reasons – it’s your specific work and the insights you’ll bring from it that are unique.

Caution: offer positive, affirmative reasons; avoid negative (defensive) reasons like can’t afford a full-time MBA, afraid to leave job, can’t get into a top-tier full-time program. Positive reasons include wanting to stay in a desirable job/industry, excitement about applying learning in real-time, valuing studying alongside peers who are immersed in diverse industries and functions, etc.

In this part of the essay you can also succinctly discuss specific aspects of the program that are especially meaningful to you, which could include curriculum (structure and/or content), clubs, professors, special programs and opportunities. In doing so, always state why the given aspect attracts you.

If appropriate, take a similar approach in answering Part B of this essay. However, if you do wish to apply to another program with this application, be sure that nothing in Part B contradicts messages elsewhere in the essays.

Essay 3: Personal Expression(a.k.a. "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.

Okay, now the fun part. Seriously! If you don’t have fun with this essay (at least a bit), it won’t “lift off.” That doesn’t mean it has to be jokey or humorous – simply, you should enjoy putting together the visuals that show aspects of your otherwise not visible in the application. I do recommend keeping Stern’s emphasis on “IQ + EQ” on the radar as you develop this essay. While certainly your transcript and resume will address IQ, this is a great opportunity to show your EQ.

One challenge of this essay is finding balance: most people will naturally want to present images of different parts of their lives, different experiences, accomplishments, etc. Yet, having 6 distinct images that together lack any integrating point or message could simply “add up” to a blur, even if each individual image is potentially interesting. So, use some organizing principle, or theme, or approach. It needn’t be anything fancy or brilliant, just something that works.

As for those captions – please keep them short. I’ve seen some of these essays where the applicant tried to cram a mini essay into the sentence caption. It enervates the picture and the essay. Adhere to the spirit of the question and make the caption an enhancement, not a thorough explanation. (If you find an image needs lengthy explanation to have meaning, it’s probably not a good one to use for this purpose.)

3. 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, your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL, or any other relevant information. (250 word maximum, double space, 12 point font)

These instructions don’t explicitly limit the essay to extenuating circumstances or application-specific issues, but the topics Stern suggests are just such issues. Moreover, the phrase “bring to the attention of” doesn’t really invite you to continue marketing yourself. I therefore suggest addressing the types of issues the question presents, or other information that has a direct bearing on the adcom’s ability to understand your candidacy.

If you would like professional guidance with your NYU Stern Langone application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the NYU Stern Langone application.

NYU Stern Langone Part Time MBA Application Deadlines:

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

 

Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

 

Related Resources:

• Why MBA, a free guide
• 4 Things To Do If You Can’t Define Your MBA Goals
• What’s New at NYU Stern? A Lot!, a podcast episode

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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After making no changes to its application essay questions last year from the year before, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business has this season made a rather drastic overhaul to its prompts. Some candidates may be pleased to see the school’s longstanding “personal expression” creative essay go away, but they will still need to rely on their imaginative side to give the admissions committee what it wants for its new “Pick 6”prompt.  One big application change has also precipitated the addition of a totally new—though not overly intimidating, we hope—essay: applicants may use a single application to apply to multiple MBA programs at the school (Full-time, Tech, Fashion and Luxury, Part-time), so NYU Stern asks candidates to specify their top choice(s) and explain the reasoning behind their selection.

The school’s “professional aspirations” essay was cut from 750 words to 500 and dialed in to ask specifically about short- and long-term goals, rather than addressing the broader “why an MBA” and “why now” topics, and focuses now on just immediate post-MBA plans. The program also removed its previous request to explain “why Stern.” We theorize that this may be because the new “program preferences” essay will give applicants an opportunity to flesh out their reasons for targeting a specific program at the school, which will naturally include some explanation of their broader goals and motivations. As always, successful candidates will use the suite of essays in a complementary way to convey a well-rounded impression of themselves as individuals, professionals, and potential NYU Stern students. In our essay analysis that follows, we discuss possible ways of accomplishing this.

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?

With this slightly condensed and rather no-nonsense query about your motivation to earn an MBA and expectations as to where you will go with it after graduation, NYU Stern simply wants to hear your answers. The school does not ask specifically about past experiences or what about its program in particular makes it the best one for you, though brief mentions of either would be acceptable if they are central to your main points. The three core components of this essay prompt are typical elements of a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of thembaMission Personal Statement Guide. This complimentary guide explains ways of approaching these topics effectively and offers several sample essays as examples.

And for a thorough exploration of NYU Stern’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, check out thembaMission Insider’s Guide to New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, which is also available for free.

Essay 2: Program Preferences – NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

A. Primary Program Preference (250-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.
  • Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you

B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).
  • An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs, you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A.”

As we alluded to earlier, the “why our school?” element of the “professional aspirations” essay question NYU Stern posed last year appears to have been shifted to this new question, where it understandably fits well. For this essay, again, the admissions committee is really just requesting some straightforward information, so do not think that it has some “right” answer in mind that you have to provide (or, in this case, a “right” program to choose). If you are targeting NYU Stern for your MBA, you must have some reason for doing so, and the program must have some specific features that you believe are a particularly good fit for you and your long-term aspirations. So your goal here is to convey that to the school in a clear, thorough, and authentic way. We offer detailed advice on how to consider this subject and write an essay that communicates it effectively in our mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which is available for free to any interested applicants. Download a copy today for further assistance with this NYU Stern essay prompt.

Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “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.

We imagine that the initial reaction most candidates have to pretty much any application essay that is not a traditional essay is momentary panic (though, to be fair, that is likely many applicants’ reaction to traditional essays as well). This brand new format and query from one of the country’s most respected business schools is bound to elicit just such a response this season, but let us reassure you a bit before we delve more deeply into how best to approach it. One could argue that in many ways, this essay prompt is merely asking you to do something we assume you are already doing every day and have possibly been doing for years—curate an impression of yourself for others by sharing certain images and other media that resonate with you. Is that not what people do via Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and any number of other social media venues by posting photos, memes, infographics, cartoons, and the like, typically along with a related comment? When you think of the task NYU Stern has presented you with this framework in mind, do you feel a little more confident about mastering it? We hope so.

In this case, rather than passing along just anything you think is funny or interesting or documenting your latest adventure or meal, you are communicating directly with a very singular audience, within a certain context, and with a very specific goal in mind. So start by carefully considering what you want the admissions committee to know about you—with the goal of sharing as many different aspects of your life and personality as possible—and what it will already be able to learn through your other essays and the rest of your application (resume, recommendations/EQ endorsement, transcript, etc.). You want the admissions “reader” to take away something new from each image he or she sees.

Your images do not need to be sequential, nor do they need to always include you. Consider photos of meaningful locations and people (or animals, even) in your life as well as inanimate objects, such as a musical instrument, a pair of running shoes, a home-cooked meal, or a blooming flower. As long as the subject of the image is reflective of who you are as an individual—and remember that you will have the accompanying sentence for each image to clarify this connection as needed—then you will be on the right track. Keep in mind also that not all of your images need to be actual photos, either. They can include drawings, paintings, charts, tables, emojis, and so on. And finally, although getting accepted to your target business school and earning an MBA are serious goals and undertakings, this does not mean that all your images for this essay submission need to be serious in nature, especially if your personality is naturally more lighthearted and humorous. Costumes and comical arrangements, if used judiciously, can be valid options if, again, the resulting final image is truly reflective of your character and/or life.  

Your one-sentence captions are clearly an opportunity to enhance the meaning of each image you are submitting. In some cases, you might use the caption to provide a direct explanation of who or what is depicted in the image, chart, artistic expression, etc. You could also use the sentences to create a narrative link between multiple images, perhaps as a way of profoundly illustrating a particularly meaningful aspect of your life or personality. Another option would be to use the caption sentence to explain your state of mind in relation to the image or to express an associated viewpoint, value, or philosophy. As you write your short explanations, keep in mind that these statements must adhere to the school’s one-sentence rule, and be sure to not simply reiterate whatever is already obvious in/from the photo but to use the additional content to enhance the admissions reader’s understanding of you.  

This new prompt from NYU Stern offers a lot of license, but take care not to get carried away with overly elaborate or complicated images. This is not an art contest or a battle of wits but an opportunity to express and portray yourself to the admissions committee. Each time you consider an image to include, come back to the central question of Does this truly capture who I am? If so, then proceed, but if not, stop and reconsider your options. An increasingly complex series of images that lacks the proper heart and meaning will not elicit the response you want from the admissions committee!

Essay 4: 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.

NYU Stern’s optional essay prompt is broader than most in that it does not demand that you discuss only problem areas in your candidacy, though the examples it offers within the prompt seem to imply a preference for these topics. Ultimately, this is your opportunity to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your profile—if you feel you need to. We caution you against simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And of course, however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to use in your other submissions. But if you are inclined to use this essay to emphasize or explain something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, download our freembaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

The Next Step—Mastering Your NYU Stern Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the NYU Stern Interview Primer today.



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