Stern 2013 Essays

Analysis of NYU / Stern Essay 3: Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates.

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.

Your submission becomes the property of NYU Stern and cannot be returned for any reason.
If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font. If you submit a video or audio file, it should be five minutes maximum.
If you prepare a multimedia submission, you may mail a CD, DVD or USB flash drive to the Admissions Office. These are the only acceptable methods of submission. Please do not submit an internet link to any websites or to a video hosting service such as YouTube.
The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an alternate Essay 3 if we are unable to view your submission
Do not submit anything perishable (e.g. food) or any item that has been worn (e.g. clothing).

This essay gives applicants a chance to showcase their creative sides by allowing them a broad range of (non-perishable) possible media in which to express themselves. Candidates with an artistic inclination, or those who harbor a passion that could be better conveyed through a method other than prose, might seriously consider submitting a poem, photograph or visual representation of their message.  Like last year, NYU also allows submissions that can be viewed or played electronically.

It’s crucial to carefully consider just what needs to be communicated in this introduction to your future classmates. You’ll want to think reflectively about your values and personality as well as strategically about what makes you unique with respect to other applicants. Naturally, you’ll also want to communicate your enthusiasm about meeting and working with your fellow students, and perhaps include a comment about how you would engage them that does not cover the same ground as your first two essays. With these concerns in mind, it might not come as a surprise that, over the years, we’ve found that the written word tends to be the most effective format for a high percentage of applicants. There is still a great deal of room in which to be creative; for instance, your essay might be the opening to a chapter in an autobiography, or a snapshot of a typical day.

While Chicago Booth’s “blank pages” essay involving the use of PowerPoint may help get the creative juices flowing, applicants applying to both programs would be ill advised to fully recycle material between the two essays (e.g. submitting a PowerPoint presentation to Stern), as this would likely be quite conspicuous.

To read our analysis of all of Stern’s essay questions, click here.

Posted in: Essay Topic Analysis

Schools: NYU Stern


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Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.

Your essays must be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be rescinded if you did not write your essays.
Essay 1: Professional Aspirations
(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
  • What are your short and long-term career goals?
  • How will the MBA help you achieve them?

Essay 2: Program Preferences
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".

Essay 3: 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.

Essay 4: 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, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.


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