Essay 2. Your Two Paths (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
The mission of the Stern School of Business is to develop people and ideas that transform the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities to create value for business and society. Given today’s ever-changing global landscape, Stern seeks and develops leaders who thrive in  ambiguity, embrace a broad perspective and think creatively about the range of ways they can have an impact. 
(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 in to the mission of NYU Stern?
(c) What factors will most determine which path you will take?

The NYU MBA admissions team has created a new question for the 2012-2013 application cycle, and I love it.(I’m also partial to NYU Stern, having studied and worked there).

I’ve worked with many MBA applicants throughout the years, and I feel that this question reflects a challenge many applicants have: 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.

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