NYU Stern’s MBA program has a highly competitive application process, with top applicants vying to study in the heart of one of the business world’s most important markets: NYC.

Before starting the application, you should take some time to dive into NYU Stern and learn what differentiates this MBA from its competition. Moreover, NYU happens to offer four MBA programs (and that’s not even counting dual-degrees), so make sure to figure out which one best matches your goals.

Beyond the essays, you should keep track of Stern’s deadlines, especially if you’re an international candidate.


Short Answer: Professional Aspirations
(150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • What are your short-term career goals?

Whenever choosing your short and long-term professional objectives, there are two factors that need to be carefully weighed: attractiveness and realizability. It’s important not to underestimate the value of the latter factor. NYU will not judge your objectives in a vacuum; they will look at how your previous professional experiences and your future education at Stern will aid you in succeeding at those aims. That does not mean that you can’t choose a different field or role for your future occupation; rather, NYU wants you to be able to capitalize on your previous experiences and current skill-set in a logical way to achieve your future positions.

Essay 1: Change: _________ it
(350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? Examples:

  • Change: Dare it.
  • Change: Dream it.
  • Change: Drive it.
  • Change: Empower it.
  • Change: Manifest it.
  • Change: [Any word of your choice.]

Stern is trying to identify leaders that have a strong desire to drive change. For this sort of question, it’s often better to work backwards, identifying examples in your life that were defined by change and then connecting them to a verb that strongly aligns with them. You can go on to contextualize the verb you’ve chosen with an especially juicy example from your history, however, that’s not a requirement, and you can certainly discuss your choice in more abstract terms or by using an external example.

Once you’ve shown NYU what your personal brand of change is, you need to connect it to the school. Here you can identify concrete ways in which you can take better advantage of opportunities within NYU because of it, or, even better, use it to contribute to Stern’s community. Not sure about how to connect it to Stern? Some research into the MBA’s offering and community, as well as some networking, would go a long way to help you figure out what’s really most relevant.

Essay 2: 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 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.

You have six images to choose or create, and only a small amount of space in which to introduce each one; what do you select? Questions that provide you with a great deal of flexibility are often inherently more difficult to answer than those which ask you for a concrete reply. With too many choices, many individuals become lost in the possibilities.

In this case, you can display six images of completely different topics or represent a consistent theme (keep in mind that you’re introducing yourself, so while you might use six different images reflecting your personal life, you shouldn’t use images exclusively from your professional life). Therefore, with so many possible variations, it’s crucial that you take the time to reflect on yourself and develop a holistic strategy.

Begin by listing out what were the major moments, passions, ideas, accomplishments, and people in your life. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your family and friends to share with you what they believe most stands out about you; often, those around us can see our drivers more clearly than we can ourselves. You can also seek inspiration in your photo albums, as there are often defining moments hidden among a sea of otherwise mundane pics. And it may make sense not only to define yourself by what you’ve thought or done, but also by what you may do in the future. Anyway, with so many choices, you could create a running list of potential images, growing it bit by bit, which will ultimately help you craft a single narrative. This sort of approach will make your final selection, whether it’s themed or a patchwork, a much more cohesive and attractive product.

Essay 3: Additional Information (optional)
(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

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, Executive Assessment, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.

This optional essay should be used only to explain any problems that may exist in your profile or application. While you may be tempted to wrench in an essay from another app or to present the information you may feel is lacking elsewhere, you should categorically avoid doing so. However, if you do have issues with your application, do not hesitate to utilize this area to explain them. If you don’t provide a satisfactory explanation, NYU will simply assume the worst reason for a problem. Also, try your best to convince Stern that whatever issues you may have had in your past, they have been completely rectified and will not reoccur in the future. Poor grades during university? Use the courses you’ve aced since graduation and your above-average GMAT score to underline that academics at NYU will be far from a problem for you.

Admission to Stern is a tough nut to crack, so be sure to connect with our NYU Experts to figure out how to max out your chances. Otherwise, for technical details on the application process, you can visit NYU’s official site.

Published On: June 22nd, 2022 / Categories: Essay, MBA, NYU Stern / Tags: , , , /