New York University (Stern) Essay Analysis, 2009-2010

As promised, our NYU Stern essay analysis follows….

Essay 1. Professional Aspirations
(750-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Answer the following:
(a) What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
(b) Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
(c) What is your career goal upon graduation from NYU Stern? What is your long-term career goal?

Because Personal Statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the “MBA Mission Personal Statement Guide.” We offer this guide to candidates free of charge, via our online store.  Please feel free to download your copy today.

For additional information on the NYU-Stern experience, please consult the MBA Mission Insider’s Guide series.

Essay 2. Your Stern Experience
(500-word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
We take great care to shape the Stern community with individuals who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. We seek individuals who are highly intelligent, collaborative, and committed to flourishing as Stern leaders. Please answer the following questions:
(a) What is your personal experience with the Stern community? Tell us what actions you have taken to learn about us.
(b) Describe what most excites you about Stern from both an academic and extracurricular perspective.
(c) How do you anticipate making your mark on the Stern community? Be specific about the roles you will take on and the impact you hope to achieve.

New York is an incredible asset for an MBA program, as it keeps students close to professional opportunities and attracts many great MBA candidates who simply love the city. However, from NYU’s perspective, New York can also be a liability, as many students who have worked in New York may be more focused on the lives that they have thus far been living, instead of immersing themselves in the Stern community. Stern is determined to select candidates who will truly buy-in to the community and this essay is a first step in weeding out those who have not done their homework or simply do not understand the nature of the experience.

To make your impression on the MBA Admissions Committee, you will need to discuss a priori experience with the school, via your personal interactions with alumni, students and/or admissions officers, and especially via a campus visit. For those who are abroad, it is still possible to learn a great deal by reaching out to the school to arrange to speak with current students or alumni by phone or to attend Stern outreach events abroad. Discussing repeated visits to the school’s Web sites will show only that you have achieved a minimum; it is vital that you show specific effort in your research and thus purpose in your application. Additionally, as you explore “what most excites you about Stern from an academic and extracurricular perspective” it is important that you not just create a long list of classes and professors, but that you connect and apply these experiences to your goals and interests. (Again, please consult the MBA Mission Personal Statement Guide, for examples.) Similarly, as you discuss your “mark on the community,” it is not sufficient to list the clubs you will join. It is important that you show how you will immerse yourself in the Stern community — remember, the school wants to see “impact.”

Essay 3. Personal Expression
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g., words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.
All submissions become part of NYU Stern’s permanent records and cannot be returned for any reason. Please do not submit anything that must be viewed or played electronically (e.g., CDs, DVDs, MP3s, online links), that is perishable (e.g., food) or that has been worn (e.g., used clothing). If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font. If you are not submitting Essay 3 online, you are required to upload a brief description of your submission in your online application. Please note that on the online application checklist, you must select “Submitted Online” for Essay 3 even if you are mailing it.

In NYU’s famed essay three, you are offered a phenomenal opportunity to differentiate yourself in two distinct ways. First, you can differentiate yourself via the vehicle that you choose to reveal your persona. By choosing a creative and captivating format, you can grab the Admissions Committee’s attention and compel them to read your content more closely. Remember though, while a baseball card may be aesthetically pleasing, it may not be a good format because it limits the information that you can convey (a picture, your height, weight, birth date and a very brief bio). Instead, if you were to write a eulogy theoretically written by your best friend (don’t use this idea; it is now public) it would be sufficiently broad to allow you to probe all that is unique about your profile. Indeed, once you have set yourself apart via your “vehicle,” you advance the second mode of differentiation – your content. Ideally, you will exploit the opportunity to showcase a diversity of professional, personal, academic and community accomplishments, few of which will be advertised in essays 1 or 2. Essay three is the ideal opportunity to reveal your true personality and “likeability” beyond your professional/academic competencies.

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