NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
NYU Stern’s application this year, as opposed to last, reflects evolution more than revolution. Last year Stern made significant changes to its application and added two focused MBA programs to its MBA portfolio. This year the changes are less significant.
Let’s explore them:
1. Added back its November deadline, which is Stern’s Round 2 deadline.
2. Added a fourth round deadline on February 15 for its Tech MBA and Fashion & Luxury MBA. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for this deadline. The Round 4 deadline for the full-time MBA is March 15, same as last year.
3. Requires two EQ endorsements as opposed to last year’s one EQ and one professional letter of recommendation. For more on the EQ endorsement, please see my interview with Stern’s Associate Dean of MBA Admissions, Isser Gallogly.
4. Requires applicants to choose one program to apply to. Last year applicants could ask to be considered for more than one program. However, over 95% of applicants chose to apply to only one program, and Stern decided to eliminate the option to apply to multiple programs.
5. One of the more experimental aspects of last year’s app was the Pick 6 essay. Stern liked the visual element and is keeping it.
NYU Stern MBA Application:
My comments are in blue.
NYU Stern MBA 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?
This question is unchanged from last year.
Stern’s #1 is a fairly typical MBA goals question. At the heart of this question: What do you want to do after you graduate that requires an MBA and why is the MBA the best next step for you on this path? You should be able to answer Stern’s #1, or you shouldn’t be applying.
Make sure you answer all elements of the question while staying within the word limits (not guidelines). No adcom member actually counts words, but readers can tell when you are significantly over. “Significantly” in my book is more than 10%. Write succinctly.
You can start your essay with the goals and then give reasons for them as well as how an MBA will help you achieve them. Also consider including an experience that shaped your professional direction.
Alternatively, you can start with a past event or achievement and describe how it influenced the development of your aspirations. Then discuss how an MBA will help you realize your goal or perhaps how this or another event showed you that you currently lack the skills to achieve it.
NYU Stern MBA Essay #2: 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 three 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.
In my interview with Stern’s Associate Dean of MBA Admissions Isser Gallogly, he explained that today images are used for communications as much as words. He strongly feels that images combined with a few sentences and captions may be more comfortable for applicants accustomed to communicating on Instagram, Facebook, etc. So let your visual talents shine. You can go deep on one special interest, or let your six picks show different facets of you and your experience.
You can use word clouds, graphs, infographics, charts, and of course pictures. Basically anything two-dimensional that will go into a PDF for uploading can work for Pick Six.
NYU Stern MBA Essay #3: 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.
Stern provides several suggestions regarding what to include in this essay. However, if you have something significant you would like the admissions committee to know and that topic isn’t mentioned above, this question is open enough so that you still should write this optional essay. Just don’t duplicate what’s found elsewhere.
For expert guidance with your NYU Stern MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to NYU Stern’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
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