NYU Stern MBA Essays 2014

The article below is from last year, here’s a link to NYU Stern MBA essay questions for 2015-2016.

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Essay 1. Professional Aspirations

(a) Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?

(b) What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience? 

(c) What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

(750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Analysis: It’s nice how NYU’s MBA is basically asking “why MBA, why NOW”. There’s room to expand on your past, as well as a split between short- and long-term career goals. In this respect, it’s a pretty standard MBA application question. Make sure not to spend too many words on the first section or repeat unnecessary stories from your resume. See our analysis of similar MBA Career Goal Essays, such as Stanford GSB, Wharton, and Columbia.

Essay 2: Choose Option A or Option B

Option A. Your Two Paths.

(a) Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding?(b) How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?(c) What factors will most determine which path you will take?

(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

I’ve worked with many MBA applicants throughout the years, and I feel that this question reflects a challenge many applicants face: they don’t have a clear picture of their post-MBA professional life, or they have an idea but they are not sure how it will unfold. I can totally understand that. When I wrote my NYU MBA application, I was confident that Management Consulting was what I wanted to do with my life  –it was a fast-track career that would give me exposure to CXOs around the globe, and a good fit for my analytical background (computer science) and my passion for travelling and getting to know new people.   Still, when the offer to join Goldman Sachs arrived, I decided to take a detour and try something different.

NYU MBA is giving applicants a chance to think beyond the traditional career goal essay. This is a beautiful idea, and a unique opportunity to create an interesting story. This essay has to be connected to the first essay, about your short-term goals, but at its best it could explore other dimensions of the applicant’s profile and aspirations.

Option B. 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.

Analysis: This is the place to go wild and show how you stand out from the rest of the IT experts, consultant, bankers, audit experts etc. If you are worried about being one of many let your unique profile shine. This is a bit similar to the 4-slides essay from Chicago’s Booth.
What not to do here – don’t focus on your professional aspects too much, don’t present the NGO you started as your core story, don’t brag too much. Try to think of  it as a soft sell – what your friends and family would say about you if they were asked to describe you.

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