Admissionado back once again with fresh, off-the-shelves essay analyses for NYU Sloan's 2017 application! We wanted to jump in and give you a head-start on those essays questions jog that imagination, and give you a few tips and tricks to get started on your Sloan essays to get you started on the best foot this year. Soooooo, without further ado:
NYU Stern School of Business MBA Essay 1
What are your short and long-term career goals? How will the MBA help you achieve them? (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
If there’s such a thing as a garden variety MBA application essay, this is it.
Start with getting our BUY IN. On what, you ask? On the importance of your idea; on the opportunity itself; on your will to succeed. You’ve got some options here, but for us to engage, we need to buy in.
Part 1 – Generally, it’s best to establish the opportunity at hand or the thing that needs to be fixed or improved. There are two sides of the same basic coin. In your opening, explain the status quo (how things are today). Then sell us on why there’s a cooler version of this. Either a solution to a problem or a game-changing result that comes from exploiting a ripe opportunity. Once you’ve done that, give us a big picture taste of your long-term vision, the peering-into-the-horizon-one-liner version. This sets the stage, gets us excited, provides a frame, and compels us to lean forward a bit and root for your success. (75-100 words)
Part 2 – Take us through the battle plan now. This should read like a recipe with several steps or a military combat strategy. It should be utterly logical and it should seem achievable. We should develop a sense along the way that each step builds on the prior one, or at the very least, is progressing toward something. And it should be evident that you know what you’re talking about and that you’ve researched it. You’ve got to show that you’ve done enough homework to have a sense of what’s required for success, before claiming your ability to succeed. That’s the crucial point. Being realistic and sober here will count far more than issuing lofty-SOUNDING goals. We want success to feel inevitable based on the “calculations” you’ve laid bare here. (100-125 words)
Part 3 – Move from the short-term into the longer-term aspects of your aspirations. Try to avoid naming the job or the job title in your dream vision. Instead, focus on what the RESULTS will be. If and when you succeed at the thing you’re hoping to succeed at, what changes? Who is affected? What does that “After” picture look like? And why does that inspire you? This will help you cut to the “what’s powering you” aspect of your long-term goals. Again, don’t try to impress us with the idea itself. Instead, impress us by convincing us that it’s meaningful to YOU. Sell us on THAT. (There’s a difference.) (75-100 words)
Part 4 – Briefly establish what’s required in order for you to start achieving success toward your short-term goals. Then (also briefly) convince us that you have MOST of that stuff, but not all of it (because if you had all of it, why waste time with an MBA?). Clearly, something is missing. There’s a gap somewhere. There are skills that need sharpening. You’re LACKING something. Make us HUNGRY for you to fill those gaps because you’ve done such a good job here laying out that you’re oh-so-close for success but not-quite-there-yet. (50-75 words)
Part 5 – Now that we’ve laid THAT groundwork, walk us through specifically how aspects of a certain kind of MBA training will meet YOUR needs specifically. Be smart here. Talk about how not just ANY MBA will be helpful toward your goals (that isn’t true is it?), but that only an MBA that has A, B, and C specific traits will help your specific X, Y, and Z needs. Then, for bonus points, cite very specific ways in which NYU meets those needs in particular. But don’t dwell on them because they haven’t asked for that here. They want to know – instead – that you “get” what an MBA is, and why it’s important for YOUR success given YOUR goals. The person who “gets that idea” is the one who is likely to succeed over the person who can write the best love letter to NYU.
NYU Stern School Of Business MBA Essay 2
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.
A. Primary Program Preference (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
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.
B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).
An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A”.
Alright folks, as for Part A., surely you’ve visited this page on Stern’s website. In 250 words, make a clear, matter-of-fact case for why the program you’re choosing meets your needs best. Avoid selling YOU here (you have the rest of your application to pull that off). Here, it’s simply a matter of drawing a simple connection between the size and shape of a particular NYU MBA program and you and your needs specifically. Don’t overthink it. 250 words isn’t a lot, and honestly, you may not even need all of them.
As for Part B., the only way to screw this up is to make your ambitions in life seem flimsy. If there’s an alternative that makes perfect sense for you as a logical Plan B, make that case here. But make sure the logic is bulletproof and doesn’t weaken the rest of your arguments elsewhere in your app.
NYU Stern School Of Business MBA Essay 3
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 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.
It’s three sentences to tee the whole thing up and then a single sentence for each picture to help explain and bring them to life. Let’s figure out what they’re looking for here.
“Describe yourself.” To succeed at this exercise, one should be able to GLANCE at your six images (without ANY accompanying words) and be able to make some accurate predictions about who you are as a person. The closer that viewer’s “guess” is to what you’re actually like in real life, the better the execution. In fact, imagine that’s the challenge in itself. An adcom member reviews your six pictures and then says, “Okay, when I meet this person they’re going come across THIS way; they’ll be the kind of person who in THIS situation or would make THAT choice; it’s the kind of person who probably has THIS kind of story; if he were among the Game of Thrones cast, he’d be the ABC character” … Then when you meet, the Adcom member says “Wow, s/he’s exactly as I imagined.” All that means is that whatever you communicated in those six picks was unbelievably efficient and effective in conveying something about who you are, and what you’re all about.
What stuff are we conveying then? It includes hints of your:
Everything else BEYOND that? Is gravy. If you give us other stuff but neglect those things, then you’ve probably shanked it. This is not your resume. This is not a 6-page PowerPoint of your “Billion-Dollar Idea.” It’s six images that allow us to CAST you in the perfect movie role “because we understand who you are so well from the pictures.”
One quick word about drawings and infographics: don’t pack so much stuff INTO a single image that it defeats the point of the exercise. The whole point is to try to reduce you to your essence through an ECONOMY of expression. Otherwise, you could write an essay in really small font, take a picture of that essay, and include it here. See how that’s missing the point? It would be like watching a movie where it was just a continuous scroll of the screenplay, rather than a picturization OF the screenplay. Embrace the medium here folks. Understand the intention behind limiting it to (A) images, and (B) only six of them, total. It’s about high yield. That’s where the creativity comes into play.
What series of six images SUM to complete the most complete (and compelling) HINT about who you are? They don’t all need to interconnect on an individual level. Meaning, if Picture #1 is a photograph you once took of a SCENE IN NATURE that you really love, it doesn’t mean that Pictures #2–6 all need to conform to that general rule. The key is that they need to “sum” to something coherent. Even if the conclusion is that you’re a completely chaotic and random person, it’s possible for your six pictures to tell THAT story. Whatever it is, it needs to “work” though. If multiple people walk away with multiple impressions, chances are, it is weak. There are no points for the “everyone’s opinion is equally valid” nature of admiring abstract art. If anything, it’s the exact opposite challenge here. Your task is to make it so that multiple people are forced toward a very similar conclusion about who and what you are. Now, it’s possible that some may LIKE what that is, and others may not… the key is that they can at least all agree on what it IS.
Lots of ways to approach this so we’re just going to give you a taste of a few, but truly, there are many many many solid ways to go about it:
 A narrative. If you want to tell us about an evolution of sorts that shows us who/what you are TODAY compared to who/what you were “six iterations” ago, that could be cool. Six shades of YOU, where Slide 1 is You.0, then Slide 2 is You.1, etc. The idea here is that we learn something about you through the CHANGES over time. And the images don’t have to be of YOU, per se. It’s possible we can learn something about you through the evolution of your hobbies, or some other means. Lots of room for creativity here.
 Or, it can be a recipe for how to create “you.” Slide 1 is ingredient #1. (Imagine the possibilities, they are endless for what could go here.)
 You are what you eat. Six slides of foods that somehow represent every aspect of who you are: Slide 1 – Thai Green Chile Peppers (fresh, hot, unafraid to be scalding when need be). Slide 2 – XXXXX ?
The possibilities really are endless. It could be a hand-drawn comic strip that stitches together a simple story that tells us everything we need to know about who you are through a comical tale. It could be six things you’d spend money to acquire if you won the lottery. See how it’s endless? The trick is, with ANY of these ideas, it needs to convey something very clear about who you are, such that we could make some predictions about you based on those six images (and the accompanying theme/captions).
There’s not really a “wrong” way to approach this, other than the one which looks like a glorified resume, or an attempt to impress us somehow. It says more about your self-confidence, in fact, if there’s a conspicuous LACK of that instinct…
NYU Stern School Of Business MBA Optional Essay
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. (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
Lots of room here to spill something VITAL that hasn’t been captured anywhere else. Bring the lumber! What assets of yours are needle-movers in your candidacy, those that you feel haven’t had a chance to LEAP off the page anywhere else in your application? Whatever the biggest item is, drop it here. Maybe it’s a case you need to make about how COMPETENT your quant skills are despite what your test scores (or background) suggest. Maybe it’s a leadership story that is best served here, so as to allow your creative side to come alive in the “pick six” essay. Maybe it’s a walk-through of a compelling
Whatever the biggest item is, drop it here. Maybe it’s a case you need to make about how COMPETENT your quant skills are despite what your test scores (or background) suggest. Maybe it’s a leadership story that is best served here, so as to allow your creative side to come alive in the “pick six” essay. Maybe it’s a walk-through of a compelling
Maybe it’s a case you need to make about how COMPETENT your quant skills are despite what your test scores (or background) suggest. Maybe it’s a leadership story that is best served here so as to allow your creative side to come alive in the “pick six” essay. Maybe it’s a walk-through of a compelling backup plan you’ve formulated in case your main plan hits a snag. Depending on the quality of any of these, it may deserve some airtime here. Not all will, by the way. Just because this space is open, doesn’t mean you absolutely MUST fill it, in case the thing you fill it with doesn’t actually advance your case somehow. Just be mindful of that.
Depending on the quality of any of these, it may deserve some airtime here. Not all will, by the way. Just because this space is open, doesn’t mean you absolutely MUST fill it, especially in the case that the thing you fill it with doesn’t actually advance your case somehow. Just be mindful of that.
Read our team’s complete take on the idea of optional essay, including a brief (recent) history of b-schools’ relationship with it, and how our recommendations have evolved over the years, right here.
And that's that. Helpful, eh? If you have any questions on it or NYU or anything, just reply here or shoot us a PM. And if you want more Essay Analysis Goodness, check out more schools here. We're updating 'em daily as new prompts are released, so keep checking back.
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NYU Stern School of Business
NYU Stern’s School of Business today (June 12) unveiled the most dramatic changes to its MBA application in many years. Among other things, the new application requirements will assess candidates on “fit” with the school’s culture by adding what Stern is calling an emotional intelligence (EQ) endorsement from a colleague or peer and a new “Pick Six” essay that requires candidates to submit six images, such as pictures, charts, infographics or artwork, along with six short captions to best express who they are to the admissions committee.
Also for the first time, NYU Stern is allowing candidates to apply to all of its MBA program options, including the school’s two new one-year specialized MBAs in tech and fashion and luxury, in one application. Even students who want to apply to Stern’s part-time MBA can use the same application. Last year, 3,773 candidates applied to Stern’s full-time MBA program. The school admitted 872 applicants for an acceptance rate of 23.1% and enrolled 390 students into the Class of 2018.
“These are the biggest changes we have implemented in any year that I’ve been here and we hope it’s a little bit industry shaping, changing the way things are done,” says Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation, who had been in Stern admissions for 14 years. “We believe these changes will help applicants more effectively communicate to the committee who they are as a person, which programs best suit their goals and how they demonstrate EQ. Additionally, these changes are much more in keeping with the ‘social media’ style of communication of today’s applicant. Applicants communicate with much more than words these days and visual elements now play a dominant role.”
THE NEW EQ ENDORSEMENT REQUIRES A SPECIFIC COMPELLING STORY
NYU Stern’s Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions & innovation
NYU Stern says that it already screens and selects students who possess both intellectual as well as emotional intelligence-–what the School calls IQ + EQ. The new MBA application will now require an EQ endorsement in the form of a testimonial provided by an advocate of the applicant that illustrates a specific example of demonstrated EQ to the admissions committee. Unlike typical professional recommendations, which are frequently restricted to supervisors, the EQ endorsement might come from a team member, colleague or friend, for example, who can best attest to the emotional intelligence of the candidate. Anyone outside an immediate family member can endorse an applicant.
“It’s a brand new idea and a new concept,” says Gallogly in an interview with Poets&Quants. “We are looking for students who are not only capable academicaly but also capable in leadership, managing teams and having emotional intelligence. So we really asekd ourselves what can we do to get more insight into a person’s emotional intelligence into their character.”
The EQ endorsement differs from the two professional recommendations Stern continues to require. Endorsers would be asked to provide one specific compelling example that represents the applicant’s EQ. “LinkedIn has people endorsing you in certain skills,” says Gallogly. ‘This is a similar concept. But we want them to provide a specific story rather than just tell us about their EQ. We want to get behind the assertions that someone is a great leader or a team player. We are hoping to get a more more insight into what this person brings to the table that you cannot get from a personal recommendation.”
DITCHING THE PERSONAL EXPRESSION ESSAY IN FAVOR OF A PICK SIX
Stern also believes it’s a chance for more humble candidates to get an advocate to make a case for them. “Sometimes applicants can sell themselves short,” reasons Gallogly. “They don’t want to say something that could be perceived as bragging. Some are a bit more modest. Sometimes people can’t see their own skills objectively. I feel these EQ endorsers can do that a bit more than applicants themselves. It’s only in rare occasions where a professional recommendation will move an application to a whole other level. I feel like the EQ endorser may be able to do that for the applicant to a greater level.”
Stern also tossed its famous creative essay in favor of what it is calling a “Pick Six” essay. For more than 15 years Stern has featured a personal expression or “creative” essay in which applicants could use just about any means imagined to express who they are as a person to the admissions committee. This year, in an effort to provide additional direction to applicants and create more consistency in the evaluation process without compromising expression, Stern is replacing it with “Pick Six.” Candidates will submit six images, such as pictures, charts, infographics and artwork, along with six short captions to best express who they are.
“We are basically evolving the essay,” explains Gallogly. “It’s kind of like creative essay 2.0. We thought it would be helpful to the applicant to provide a little more structure around it, a little more consistency and it would help us on the evaluation side without getting in the way for them to become very creative. It’s a little like Instagram and social media. The images can be just about anything, a photo or a word cloud or emojis or the picture of a painting and then short captions so we understand why that is meaningful to the applicant. This is how people are communicating these days so I think they will find it to be very familiar and comfrotable but also extremely expressive. I think applicants are going to love it.”
LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH NYU STERN’S ISSER GALLOGLY