It is late December and the crush of Jan 4/5 deadlines are approaching, followed quickly by the Jan 11 deadlines. Inevitably - it never fails - the days immediately following will generate a fascinating number of last-minute NYU Stern applications by virtue of the "late" deadline of January 15th.
Don't be one of those people! We work with a lot of NYU applicants and I can tell you that you have to put time and effort into this application. If you think - at all - that you might apply to Stern on the 15th, read this post. If you are serious about Stern, you should seriously consider one of our consulting packages, as it will be key to stand out from the "panic crowd."
To get you started, we wanted to pass along 5 tips that should prove helpful as you attack this application. We did this back in the fall for Rd 1 because Stern has a unique deadline then as well and it saved the day for a significant number of applicants. Here we go:1. Understand the applicant pool.
As mentioned above, it is extremely important to be aware of the fact that Stern gets saturated with "I guess I'll apply to Stern" or "oh crap, I need to fire off an app to Stern!" applications. You may be one of these people. This puts more pressure on you to have an authentic portrayal of your interest in Stern, which means it is also an opportunity to stand out from other applicants. The reason this is in the intro and item #1 is because we literally can't stress this enough. After obvious things like GMAT, GPA, and Employability, the quality of your essays will be the biggest make or break factor. Candidates with great essays will get interviews. Candidates who cut and paste and slap it all together simply won't. 2. Make it personal.
The implication of the above fact, coupled with Stern's very personal approach to the process (requiring an on-campus interview), means that nailing "Why Stern" is probably more important here than any other school to which you apply
. It is part of the reason that we work so many NYU clients - far more than other schools ranked similarly. (Hint: what makes Stern "Stern" is not New York and it's not finance. It's a mentality. You *have* to nail the mentality, which is a mix of "scrappy" and "collaborative" and "inventive" that is hard to explain in a short post like this.)3. Show comprehension - that you "get it."
The collaborative nature at Stern is not super unique ... until you consider that the school is in New York and facing the same challenges that Columbia faces (big NY population, big international population, meaning relatively few students who fit the typical "U.S. student packing bags and moving to a new city" model). Many of the extremely collaborative programs such as Tuck, Duke, Yale, and Cornell are more "socked in" because they are outside of huge metro areas. The fact that NYU can boast of such a collaborative environment while being based in NYC is amazing, something the school is rightfully proud of, and definitely something you want to keep in mind. 4. Differentiate your Essay 3.
Don't just use the PDF you submitted to Booth or the audio file you fired off to Anderson. It will be so obvious and will reflect a lack of effort that has major ramifications considering the points above. That said, you also don't have to reinvent the wheel. Connect your Anderson audio essay to a slide show and make it a combined multimedia presentation. Take your four slides at Booth and blow them out to eight slides and change the thesis to "everything you need to know about me" so that it fits the NYU prompt. As long as you take the extra effort to make your Essay 3 unique from other nontraditional prompts, you will provide NYU what it wants to see. 5. Use BOTH Essay 1 and 2 to portray your career goals.
Most traditional career goals essays ask you to explain what, why, how, and where (and sometimes when). That's the formula for Columbia, Haas, Stanford, and a host of others. A few schools throw wrinkles at you. Booth asks you to expand on who you are on a personal level to kick off the career progression essay. Yale asks the "when" question. Kellogg asks you to "assess" your career progress. The wrinkle with Stern is that your career goals answer isn't contained to the career goals question
. "How" is 1a (examining the choices you've made to date), "why" is 1b (why an MBA), "what" is 1c (short and long-term goals) ... that is all pretty straight forward. But the trick is that the "where" comes in Essay 2, particularly 2b. The fragmented nature of Essay 1 and the tricky nature of Essay 2 often leads candidates to miss what is an easy opportunity to lay out the usual career goals argument - it just happens to take place over two essays. (The rest of Essay 2 can be strategically approached as well, so fear not).
There are plenty of other tricks and hints for Stern that will change this from one of the hardest applications to nail to one of the easiest, but these are the most critical. The main thing is that nailing the essays is hugely important, so do not just pull an all-nighter on the 14th.
If you are interested in working with us on your Stern application, please send a PM or email firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can assess the fit level and then get you started.
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