NYU Stern: Tips to Making it to the Village

While known as a finance-focused school, Stern also places many graduates into consulting and the media & entertainment industry stemming from its location in Greenwich Village in New York City.

Character and a sense of self-awareness to realize one’s weakness are very important to Stern, as it searches for the right mix of IQ and EQ in its applicants.

While Stern now requires a separate EQ Endorsement, use your essays to demonstrate that you are more than an intellectual powerhouse. Stern’s medium sized program (400 students) often lends itself to lifelong relationships and Stern’s essays aim to establish program fit as they review your candidacy.

The evaluation falls under the framework of “3 Cs

Classroom – Do applicants have the requisite academic skills to succeed?
Career – Are they likely to succeed in their career of choice? What have they done in the past to achieve success? Are the stated career goals in line with expectations given their background to date?
Character – How do they interact with people? Can they lead teams and be collaborative while working with people from different backgrounds, industries, and points of view?

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations
• What are your short and long-term career goals?
• How will the MBA help you achieve them?

This is a ‘get to the point’ essay. Use your past experiences to explain your goals and why they are achievable given your history. Be specific about your target companies when discussing your short-term goals. Discuss how an MBA from Stern will uniquely prepare you to accomplish your goals. If there are classes or student groups that are crucial to your career goals, feel free to weave them into this essay.

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.
• 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.

For the first time, Stern offers a single application across all MBA programs (2 Year MBA, Part-time MBA, Tech MBA, Luxury and Fashion MBA). In describing what program you are most interested in, focus on delivery format, culture, curriculum and fit. It’s quite alright to only be interested in one program, just be clear as to why. If your top choice is an industry-specific one year program, detail your passion for pursuing this field.

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 why they are significant to you.

Here is your opportunity to get a little creative. The “Pick Six” essay question mimics the way that many of us communicate through social media: in images, memes, tweets and similar. While there is no wrong way to answer this, here are some suggestions:

• Let your pictures tell a story by threading a common theme throughout
• Demonstrate fit with Stern and NYC
• Show your uniqueness. Is there something particular to you (talent, interest, passion) that you want to share?
• Show off your EQ. Are you a natural leader? Do you have experiences where you’ve had to work through difficult situations? Focus on the Character portion of the ‘3 C’s above’
• Do you give back? What are your core beliefs? Can also tie to ‘Character’
• Get a little silly – there is nothing wrong with demonstrating your personality

Just by its presence in Greenwich Village, Stern is all about a unique view of the world where brains and character matter. Don’t be afraid to show them off to NYU.

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