Nyu Stern Mba Essay Analysis


NYU / Stern MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

Following up on the release of the 2017-2018 NYU / Stern Essay Topics, we wanted to share some advice for applicants targeting the NYU MBA Class of 2020.

NYU Stern Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations

  • What are your short and long-term career goals?
  • How will the MBA help you achieve them? (500 words maximum)

This is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to explain their post-MBA career objectives and how an MBA would support these plans.  As Stern has launched new specialized one-year MBA programs, they have broken out the longstanding school-specific prompt that used to be a part of this essay into a separate one.

First, applicants should explain the specifics of their post-MBA plans.  Establishing your long-term vision first would lend meaning to your short-term plans, as it can help the reader to know your destination before the path.  So, explain your broader 5-10 year plan, even going beyond the “what” and the “where” to the “why”—in other words, the impact you hope to make on an organization, sector, consumer base, or region. Then, applicants should outline their short-term plans very specifically, including both the position the candidate hopes to hold immediately after an MBA, along with 1-2 companies one plans to target. This short-term goal should lead naturally to the long term.

In regards to how an MBA would help you achieve your goals, it would make sense to briefly comment on your work experience to date to establish the skills you already possess; this sets up the gap in your skill set that an MBA would fill.  This phase of your discussion should describe the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from an MBA with an eye to your future plans. Forging specific connections between the skills you hope to gain (whether in class or outside of it) and your future plans will show the adcom that you have a sound understanding of how an MBA will prepare you for success.

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 may be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

1. 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.

2. 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”.

NYU / Stern has unified their application this year, allowing applicants to express interest in more than one MBA program.  For instance, those targeting the tech industry can apply to both the full-time MBA as well as the new one-year tech MBA.  That said, it is perfectly fine to only select one MBA option, in most cases.

No matter which program you are aiming to join, it would make sense for this discussion to cover why you chose the particular MBA program, followed by the specific curricular and programmatic offerings that make the particular NYU MBA a fit with your career goals and personal interests. In our past interview with Assistant Dean Gallogly, the admissions head pointed out that it’s in a candidate’s best interest to do an extensive amount of research on the programs they’re considering, given the financial investment and lifelong affiliation with the school’s network that comes with graduate business education. Therefore, applicants need to explain not just what they know about how Stern would position them for professional success, but also detail how they’ve learned this. Applicants should aim to highlight the insights that they gained from visiting the Stern campus or attending off-site information sessions, exploring the program’s video and social media offerings, and speaking with Stern students and alumni.  Candidates might also consider reading the Clear Admit School Guide to NYU Stern for some extra help in this area.

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.
This is a chance to literally show the adcom who you are, where you come from, and what you care about. While Stern has seemingly narrowed the range of options for candidates’ creative expression, Assistant Dean Gallogly assured applicants that they still have a wide range, as he explained, “It can be six words in a box, word clouds, emojis, pictures of a painting—there are so many options. The visuals should carry the lion’s share of communicating, with short captions that help support it.”

Candidates should consider what they would truly want their classmates to know about them, while also being mindful of the balance of content between the required essays. That is, because the first response asks about candidates’ career goals, and would necessarily include some commentary on work experience, it would make sense to focus the majority of one’s comments in this response on one’s life outside the workplace. Applicants will want to think reflectively about their values and personality, as well as strategically about what makes them unique with respect to other applicants. Naturally, you’ll also want to communicate your enthusiasm about meeting and working with your fellow students and comment on any ways you would engage with them that aren’t covered in your first essay.  The goal will be to convey information about your interests, values, and personality in the context of this creative exercise.

This prompt invites interspersing text with photos and graphics. A captioned photo album of particularly proud moments or a decision-making flow chart visualizing how you decide to spend your free time could show your creativity and willingness to put special effort into your Stern application. Finally, no matter the balance of images and text, applicants should pay attention to tone and ensure that they’re coming across as sincere, collaborative, and excited about the prospect of joining the NYU community.

Optional Essay

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. (250 words)
Given the scope of the required essays and the explicit guidelines provided for this essay, applicants would do best to address only the topics outlined by the admissions committee for this prompt.

Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s NYU MBA essay topics! As you work on your Stern MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Stern offerings:

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Essay Tips & Advice, Essay Topic Analysis, Essays

Schools: NYU Stern

Related

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”.

Alright folks, as for Part A., surely you’ve visited this page on Stern’s website. In 250 words, make a clear, matter-of-fact case for why the program you’re choosing meets your needs best. Avoid selling YOU here (you have the rest of your application to pull that off). Here, it’s simply a matter of drawing a simple connection between the size and shape of a particular NYU MBA program and you and your needs specifically. Don’t overthink it. 250 words isn’t a lot, and honestly, you may not even need all of them.

As for Part B., the only way to screw this up is to make your ambitions in life seem flimsy. If there’s an alternative that makes perfect sense for you as a logical Plan B, make that case here. But make sure the logic is bulletproof and doesn’t weaken the rest of your arguments elsewhere in your app.

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