NYU Stern 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

NYU Stern

Your essays will need to highlight your qualities as a successful, leadership-driven, creative thinker and businessperson. For NYU Stern, you’ll want to reveal that you are a perfect fit with the program, the Stern community, and the global business world at large. Keep in mind that Stern is a place the values EQ as much as IQ.

My tips are in blue below.

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.

Please note the following details when completing your essays.

•   All written essays must be typed and submitted using the standard U.S. 8 1/2” x 11” format, double-spaced, in 12-point font.
•   Word limits apply to the total question. For example, your response to Essay 1 should answer all parts of the question with a total maximum of 750 words.
•   Label the top of each essay with the following: Name, Date of Birth (month, day, year), Essay Number and Page Number (e.g.: Joe Applicant, January 1, 1983, Essay 1, Page 1).
•   Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be revoked if you did not write your essays.


1. Professional Aspirations (750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
• What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
• What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

Stern states explicitly that it seeks students with a “well-articulated plan to achieve their career aspirations.” 

Stern’s #1 is an MBA goals question with a couple of small twists. A and C are fairly typical of this genre, only C doesn’t ask about long-term goals.  At the heart of this question: What do you want to do after you graduate that requires an MBA and A asks why is now the right time to get it?  You should be able to answer Stern’s #1, or you shouldn’t be applying.

Another small twist occurs in B: Have you done your homework about Stern? What have you done to research the program, its curriculum, career opportunities, and student life? What aspects of the program will help you achieve the goals you provide in C?

The part of the question asking about your career goal “upon graduation” is critical. Are you realistic about where your past experience plus a Stern MBA can take you? Stern doesn’t want people in la-la-land who will be impossible to place.

Finally make sure you answer all elements of the question while staying within the word limits (not guidelines). No adcom member sits there and counts words, but the readers can tell when you are significantly over. “Significantly” in my book is more than 10%. Write succinctly. 

2. Choose Option A or Option B (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Answer the question that will best complement your answer to #1 and the rest of your application.

Option A: Your Two Paths

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 impact.

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

This is  a relatively difficult question. It forces you to embrace that broad perspective, ambiguity, and creativity, or you can’t answer the question. Let’s assume you get that first job out of Stern that you describe in Essay 1. What are the two most desirable paths you would take from there? Alternatively, chart two alternatives starting with that first job. In each path, how will you create value for others? for society? Why would you choose one path over the other?

You may have a clearly preferred plan A and a less desirable Plan B that ultimately ties to Plan A. You can have two parallel or divergent paths. I think the feasibility of your path given your past experience and an NYU MBA plus your enthusiasm, dare I say passion, for you goals are going to determine the success of this essay.

If I urged concision for essay 1, it is even more important for essay 2, which has a 500-word maximum.

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.

If you submit a non-written piece for this essay (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit this essay via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.

Please note the following guidelines and restrictions:

•   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 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).
•   Mailed materials must be postmarked by the application deadline date. Please follow our mail and labeling instructions.

Please note that mailed packages are subject to size restrictions. Submissions that exceed the stated size restrictions will not be accepted for review by the Admissions Committee. Please see the table below for the maximum package size guidelines:

Packaging Type                         Dimensions: Metric                            Dimensions: Non-metric                      
Box 36cm x 31cm x 8cm 14” x 12” x 3”
Cylindrical tube 8cm x 91cm 3” x 36”
Triangular tube 97cm x 16cm x 16 cm x 16 cm 38” x 6” x 6” x 6”

Bribes won’t work. Candidates can get very creative with this essay and use different media (other than edibles and worn attire), but many of you will convey your ideas in words. Think of how you describe yourself in a social setting when meeting people for the first time.

If it’s the first day of class or a mixer early in the pre-term, how would you break the ice? Would you try to set up a tennis game or golf match? Would you find someone to explore NYC’s museums? Or do you hate museums and prefer hiking through the woods? What would you say if you were in the campus coffee shop and sat down with some new classmates? Could you create a dialog? A short skit?

NYU Stern also permits the use of multimedia in response to this question. While the medium may vary, the point again is to introduce yourself to friends. Given the other questions, this can be a great venue for hobbies, extra-curricular interests, and community service.

When I visited NYU Stern a few years ago, the admissions officer I met with proudly showed me several “personal expressions.” Her faves. They were incredibly creative, but much less slick than you might imagine. This past May, Stern hosted AIGAC for a day and again presented two of the videos filmed in response to this question.  They were thoughtful introductions to the applicants who created them. But neither one was super-slick or professional. Just revealing, creative, and clever.

 If you want to submit something three-dimensional or multi-media, don’t worry if you aren’t ready for the Louvre or the Academy Awards as long as your creation is authentically yours, introduces you, and sticks to the above requirements. It will be taken seriously and appreciated.

If you are considering video, download Audio/Video in Admissions: Get Ready for Prime Time, a free special report.

3. Additional Information (optional)

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 and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

If you are unable to submit a recommendation from your current supervisor, you must explain your reason, even if you are a re-applicant.

If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

Obviously if you fit into one of the categories described in the three points above, you need to write this essay. If you don’t fit into the above categories and have something you want the admissions committee to know that isn’t part of the required essays, then you still should write this optional essay.

If you are an MBA reapplicant, please realize that the question posed here by NYU Stern is THE key question you need to answer as a reapplicant. What have you done to improve your candidacy that should change the outcome?

Application Deadlines

Deadline Initial Notification
1st Deadline          October 15, 2014 December 15, 2014
2nd Deadline November 15, 2014 February 15, 2015
3rd Deadline January 15, 2015 April 1, 2015
4th Deadline March 15, 2015 June 1, 2015

If you would like professional guidance with your NYU Stern MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the NUY Stern MBA application. 

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Linda Abraham

By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for NYU Stern, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • janela

      Hi Linda,

      I just want to ask for a profile assessment. I am planning to apply to NYU, UCLA and USC.

      Profile: Female, Flipino, 4.5yrs work experience

      Work Experience: In 2009, fresh out of college, I joined a local luxury retail company as a Merchandise Manager Trainee. After a year, I became a full-fledged Merchandise Manager handling the Beauty and Fragrance department (cosmetics, skincare, fragrances: all the brands are exclusively distributed by the company). My role was not solely focused on inventory management (forecasting, purchasing, etc) but I also do a bit of brand management since I was the main contact between the company and our principals from the US and Europe. Hence, I dabbled on sales analyses, forecasts, staff training, and strategy formulation (includes both in-store Marketing activities and PR). After 3 and a half years with the company, I transferred to another local retail company specializing in commercial and luxury fragrances. Because I would like to be a flexible manager who is not just adept at handling luxury products and niche market, I thought it was a good opportunity since this new company operates 20 doors all over the country as opposed to only 1 door for my previous employer.

      GMAT: I am yet to take my GMAT this coming September (1st week), but hopefully I will be able to make it to 700-720.

      College Info: I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University (one of the top universities in the Philippines) with a GPA of 3.49 (out of 4)– Honorable Mention with a degree in Management major in Communications Technology Management (consistent dean’s lister)
      I was also chosen to be 1 of the 2 Mitsubishi Motors scholars of the university based on academic merits.

      College Activities: I was fortunate to have been granted a Junior Term Abroad scholarship enabling me to study for 1 trimester in Thailand with Marketing as my major. I also held several project head posts in my course organisation in Ateneo.

      Post MBA goal: I would like to transfer from Retail Merchandising to Consumer Goods Marketing.

      Thank you in advance!


      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


        You have a competitive profile for UCLA and USC and probably for NYU Stern too, especially if your GMAT ends up in the higher end of your range.

        You might be interested in this interview I had with Daria Burke.. She has similar interests and an interesting story.


    • Emil Philip

      Hi Linda,

      Please find the following information to evaluate my profile. I am planning to apply to Cornell, UCLA, NYU Stern and CMU,

      Profile: Male, Indian, 3+ years of work experience

      (1) Working in Misys Financial Software for more than 3 years.

      Multiple achievements including a promotion,5 spot awards, and the best performance rating of Role Model in all the three years.

      Currently leading a development team of 6 members.

      Gained immense knowledge in the domain of retail banking.

      Major involved in enhancing the features of the Lending module in the banking product FusionBanking Essence. My other responsibilities include sprint planning, developing the team technically and functionally, and support existing clients.

      Involved in multiple high stakes project including supporting the go-live of a bank, Cooperative bank of Kenya.

      (2) GMAT in the order taken:-

      GMAT: 690 (87%) QA: 48 (74%) VA: 36 (81%) AWA: 5.5 (81%) IR:4 (37%)

      GMAT: 700 (89%) QA: 50 (88%) VA: 34 (71%) AWA: 5 (60%) IR:7 (81%)

      GMAT: 740 (97%) QA: 49 (79%) VA: 41 (94%) AWA: 5 (60%) IR:3 (25%)

      Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Technology from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, one of the most premier institute of technology in India.
      GPA: 7.26/10.
      Graduated with First Class.
      Years of graduation:2007-2011

      At college, I was the marketing coordinator leading the marketing teams of two college level festivals.
      For the cultural festival, I brokered a sponsorship deal worth more than RS 400,000 between a sponsor and the college.
      For the technical festival, I managed a laptop fair, in association with a local laptop dealer, which provided laptops at discounted prices to the students.
      I managed to form a soccer club post work. Initially a club with only 8-10 players has now changed into a club with more than 20 members. Currently driving the club to take it into tournaments.

      (6) Take up a career in Technology Consulting. Use my knowledge gained in the banking domain to fill up gaps in the finance services sector.

      Thank you in advance!!

    • David

      Dear Linda,

      Please accept to assess my profile. I am planning to apply to NYU, Columbia and UCLA.

      In terms of experience, I have been working in private equity for the past 2.5 years in France and also have internship experience of investment banking and mining industry.

      Regarding GMAT, I took it for the first time in 2010 and obtained a (pretty low) 640 (64 Q, 74 V). But, this time, I am actually preparing it and plan to get 710-730.

      In 2012, I graduated from a French top 4 business school (msc in finance) with an average GPA of 3.5 (with a strong standard deviation though).

      Outside of work, I am involved in collecting and (sometimes) selling antiques, collectible objects and art pieces. I am also a competitive tennis player involved a Parisian selective club.

      My post-MBA goal would be to get into the strategy consulting industry and have international exposure.

      Many thanks for help.

      Yours sincerely,


      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        If you get the GMAT that you anticipate and you’ll have about 3.5 years of experience at matriculation, you would have a competitive profile for these three programs.


        • David

          Thanks a lot for your answer.

          • David

            Dear Linda,

            I just scored a weak 650 (43Q/36V) at the GMAT. I intend to take it one last time in early january just before the deadline. Even if I manage to score better, won’t it be too late to attach it to my application.

            Would a 650 with such a low quant be acceptable be acceptable for a European?


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            That is a good question. If you take the test before you submit your application and raise your score, you can self-report the new higher score. As long as the score report verifies what you report, you’ll be fine.

            You said that you did well in your MSC in Finance. How did you do as an undergrad?


          • David

            In my undergrad, I scored around 3.5 with balanced scores. I don’t think it helps a lot.


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            NYU Stern is a stretch.


          • David

            Dear Linda, I eventually scored a 660 at the Gmat.

            However, I am having interviews at Columbia with my first score whereas my other applications are not ready. How much time do you have to make you decision if you receive an offer?

            Many thanks for your help,


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            Congrats on the interview!

            I cannot answer that for all programs at all times. it depends on the program and when you get the offer.


          • David

            Dear Linda,

            I have almost finished my application for NYU but I have the feeling that, unlike CBS, I won’t have the chance to get interviews….

            I am retaking GMAT in February, would it be wise to wait R4 before sending my complete application for this school?

            Thanks for your help,


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


            Do you really feel you can raise that score? If you are confident you can raise it significantly, then wait, especially if you don’t think you’ll have any visa issues and are not expecting funding. If you need funding or fear visa issues, then apply R3 with the current score.


    • Roshani Roshan

      Hi Linda,

      I am in biotechnology research field. I am currently a PhD student at UC Berkeley – which I may quit. I know my work experience is not relevant to business but after attending different business consulting seminars at UC Berkeley – I am inclined to pursue MBA. I want to know if I am eligible at all for NYU-stern MBA or how can I make my self eligible to get into NYU-Stern for either Part-Time or Full-Time MBA program? Also, do you have any recommendations in choosing Part-time vs Full-time MBA programs?

      Following is my profile:

      1) Brief description of your full-time work experience:

      I have total 5 years of research experience: 1 year at NYU, 2 years at CPMC Research Institute – San Francisco, 3 years at Buck Institute for research on Aging in Novato, CA. I lead different projects and experiments on aging and cancer research projects, we work in a dynamic scientific team and do collaborations to reach the project goals. During 2 years at CPMC- San Francisco, I trained 8 to 10 interns in the laboratory. I have 4 publications from my research work in peer reviewed scientific journals.

      2) GRE score: Total 1330 [Verbal:600/800 (84%) , Quant: 730/800(68%)]

      3) College info:


      BE in Biomedical Engineering 2002 – 2006 (GPA 3.59/4.00)
      Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, U.V.Patel College of Engineering, India

      MS in Biomedical Engineering 2007 – 2009 (GPA 3.4/4.0)
      New York University, Polytechnic School of Engineering, Brooklyn, New York, USA

      PhD in Comparative Biochemistry 2011 – 2014 ( incomplete – ABD) (GPA 3.77/4.0)
      University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

      4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

      – Member of Graduate student association – networking and community out reach, at the Buck institute. I organize professional events for graduate students and scientists. ( Aug 2014 – Oct 2014)

      – Member of Toastmaster club ( July 2014 – present)

      – Member of Graduate student consulting club at UC Berkeley (March 2014 – Present)

      5) No certifications

      6) Your post-MBA goal: Strategy business consulting

      Thank you so much!!


      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


        First of all, don’t immediately assume that your research experience is “irrelevant.” Part of your task as an applicant will be to show its relevance. If you lead research teams to achieve specific goals, it is relevant to business education. It may be highly relevant depending on your goals. Strategy business consulting is very broad; however if you want to do it in pharmaceuticals, then again, your previous research experience may become very relevant. Please see “ Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers.”

        I also encourage you to look into Cornell’s accelerated MBA program which is geared to people with advanced degrees.

        Your grades are excellent and you can show leadership and teamwork. I’m a little concerned about your GRE (which is only valid for 5 years) and as you lack of business experience. NYU Stern is a stretch. To improve your chances, raise your GRE or GMAT score and get a job in business.


    • Matt


      I am asking for a personal assessment and wanted to say thank you as well.

      1)Two years as an Oilfield Engineer with Schlumberger

      2)710 GMAT

      3)Dalhousie University (Canada), Overall GPA = 3.2 (3.7 GPA for my final year). Chemical Engineering. My grades increased term after term throughout my entire degree

      4) APEGA Member, I also currently tutor math for highschool students. While in university I was VP of student affairs second year of my undergrad degree. I also participated in Canadas atlantic engineering competition every year and was a T.A for thermodynamics courses.

      5) Lv. 1 CFA

      6) I would love to transfer into consulting hoping my engineering degree and experience with Schlumberger Technology would help.

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


        You’re most welcome. I think Stern is a stretch program. It seems like everything is a tad low. Nothing is a knockout, but in combination I am concerned that the stats (GPA, GMAT, and years of experience) will outweigh your strong (qualitatively) experience.

        Also consider Duke, Yale, Darden, CMU Tepper, and Ross.

        Linda Abraham

  • prateek sekhsaria

    Hello linda mam
    My name is Prateek sekhsaria
    I am from india,m24
    I dont know any thing about getting into prestigious bschool.
    I want you to evaluate my profile and tell me weather i am able to get into prestigious b school
    10th- 84%(maths 98 marks) 2007
    12th-80% 2009
    Engineering 66% 2013
    Work xp 1.6 years in consumer product industry as a post of production engg.
    I can score 620 or somthing in gmat(will take it in sept 2014)
    I dont know what is gpa n how to calculate gpa…
    I am very good in mathematics
    Will it will help me in admission?

  • PS Panwar

    Please evaluate my profile for NYU Stern- MBA with specialization in Business Analyst:
    1. Full three year work experience as Senior / Business Analyst and responsible for data analysis of world’s largest retail chain.
    2. GMAT- 690
    3. B.Tech in computer Science and engineering
    4. Soccer and Chess player, managed cultural events in School and college, member of an NGO- Youth for Seva.
    5. B. Tech in CSE then one 2 credit online certificate in Managing Big data from MIT (US)
    6. I want to start an Analytic, consultancy company and would like to run an voluntary organisation to work for preserving Tiger in Ranthambhore National Park ( India)

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I think NYU Stern is out of reach for you and would discourage your application. Sorry.

  • MBAaspirant

    Hi Linda,
    Could you please advise on my profile?

    1) 4 years when I join-2 years in a niche Financial Consultancy, worked with Bank Front Office teams in India and Singapore on valuation post global financial crisis
    2 years – Thomson Reuters (Singapore) – in a pre- sales role, involved in revenue generation and interacting with business stake holders focusing more on buy-side clients.Managing client expectations, proposing and designing solutions.

    2) GMAT – 740

    3) Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, GPA -7.9/10, Bachelors in Chemical Engineering

    4) Actively Managing a small portfolio of financial assets (equity,bonds,mutual funds), earned a good return over past 2 years
    Part of Debating club, part of team organising first-ever National Debate in the institute.Won prizes in debating at college and national tournaments
    Mentored and tutored financially less capable students for preparation for IIT entrance exams

    5) Completed CFA and FRM

    6)Make a long term career in value investing.Gain some experience in asset management and later start something of my own.

    • MBAaspirant

      I am also looking to apply to Booth, Wharton, Columbia and LBS.


      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


        You have a competitive profile for your target programs and are applying appropriately.

        If you’d like help with your application, please let me know.


        • MBAaspirant

          Hi Linda,
          Thanks for the encouraging words.Any of these programs I should specially focus on?

          One of my concern is that first couple of years I worked in a lesser known firm , could the lack of brand value hurt my application?

          Thanks once again for your valuable inputs.

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


            I don’t think that issue is big enough so that you shouldn’t apply. And your second job represents increased responsibility, which is what they want to see.

            I would focus on LBS and CBS because of your interest in value investing.


          • MBAspirant


            Last couple of questions – what safety schools should I look at, given my interests and profile?Anything I can work on to improve my chances?

            I will be in touch soon for help with my MBA applications.

            Thank you.

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            I’m not sure if there “safety schools” that are strong in value investing, but check out UNC, Rochester Simon, Cornell, and Georgetown.

          • MBAaspirant

            Thank you for the evaluation.

  • MBA Aspirant

    Please provide an assessment of my profile:
    Indian female with 700 Gmat score; commerce undergad from lesser known Indian college – score 70%; 3 years experience in investment banking; targeting Booth, Stern, Wharton, Harvard. post-MBA, would like to get into private equity industry. no significant extra-curricular unfortunately.

    Thanks in advance.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      These programs are stretch programs for you. Your GMAT is below average for these schools. Your grade average is probably pretty average or slightly below average and you say it’s from a less known school. Your work experience is strong, but it is also very common at these programs and your competition probably has better scores and extra-curricular activity.

      You may want to consider waiting a year, improving your GMAT, moving up in banking or perhaps closer to PE, and getting involved in an extra-curricular activity if want to improve your chances at these schools.


  • Stat

    Hello Linda. I am not as far along the application process as the others. I am a physician with 2 years experience post residency and fellowship.. I am looking for a career change far removed from medicine. I would like to go into luxury retail. Produts from Farm based inputs from Africa produced by local artisans, targeting the luxury market . Have not taken the GMAT yet but did score 93% on both my usmle exams. I will be aiming for 710 if I can get it

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      That sounds pretty far removed from residency and fellowship.

      The missing link here is how did you come up with this goal, what experiences have you had that make you feel you can accomplish it, and how do you plan to go about achieving it after your MBA. The schools, including NYU, will want to know that you don’t plan to rely on their placement centers to find you this job. They will be happy to provide guidance and perhaps help you if you intend to launch your idea as a business after graduation or if you want a first job at a luxury good company, but it’s an exotic and very specific goal. In and of itself, that makes it interesting, but it also has to be real. You will need to convince them that it’s not pie-in -the sky, but grounded in reality and your experience. you may also want to address the rather abrupt and sudden switch from medicine.

      If you can do so and you do get a 710+ GMAT you have a chance at NYU Stern and the other top schools. You may also want to consider INSEAD and HEC Paris.


  • Kanishk Doshi

    Hi Linda

    Please refer the following for my profile evaluation

    Profile: Male, Indian, 2.25 yrs work ex till date. Would be 3 yrs when i join

    1) Working in JP Morgan Chase as a Team Leader in the Equity Derivatives MO. I have knowledge of 60+ Equity Derivatives products traded by JP Morgan and their booking methodology. SME in most of these products. Have saved more than $ 1mm for the company by identifying discrepancy in the booking of various trades. I have handled a vendor team consisting of 26 people and now managing a new vendor with 24 people. Have initiated various efficiency building exercises and have saved almost 1 FTE for the company. I have helped my team in closing of audit issues and have also received several awards from the VP of my Derivatives MO.

    2) GMAT in the order taken
    GMAT: 650 Q50,V27 IR 8 , AWA 6
    GMAT: 700 Q50,V34 IR 2(i am very good in IR. i got really really tough questions this time) AWA awaiting (expected 5-6)

    3) B.Tech – IP University (one of the best universities in India) – 2006-10. Passed with 74.5% overall score.

    PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in management) – Institute of Management and Technology (in Top 15 in India) – 2010-12. Specialised in Finance and Operations. GPA 7.11/10.

    4) Have done various internships (HCL Tech, HCL systems and KPMG). Was selected and went for a Student exchange program to IPADE Business School, Mexico for a Trimester during my PGDM course. Have several certificates for case study competitions. I am currently part of JP Morgan’s Good Work Program initiative which work towards upliftment of rural kids

    5) No certifications

    6) Want to join Front office of an Investment Banking firm. I interact with the Front, Middle and Back office people on a daily basis. The shift i do at work gives me the flexibility to interact with JP employees in Hong Kong, London and New York. MBA from these premier institutes would definitely help me in moving to the Front Office role.

    I want to apply to Wharton, Booth, LBS, NYU, CBS

    Please also let me know if the IR score of 2 can ruin my chances as my previous IR score was 8 and i have been getting 50 in quant. I have always scored 90-100% in maths at school and college levels.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      Your work experience is good, but I am afraid that all the schools you are aiming for are stretch programs. While most schools are not yet weighing the IR heavily, a really low score can hurt. In addition your 700 is on the low side for Indian students at these programs.


  • Donato

    Hi Linda,

    Could you please provide an evaluation

    Brief description of your full-time work experience.

    I have 6 years of experience in Financial and Technology Consulting at
    Accenture, working mainly in a major Brazilian banking institution. I also
    worked have experience in different industries such as telecommunications and utilities.
    In this years, I lead teams composed of 6 people (to a maximum of 9).

    Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    GMAT 680 (84%) q49 (79%) v33 (69%) IR 5 (52%)

    3) College info: The name of the college,
    your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate
    degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate
    if there were extenuating circumstances.

    I hold a BS in Computer Engineering for Unicamp

    2nd highest ranked university in Brazil and Latin America

    1st highest ranked computer engineering course in Brazil

    4) Significant college and post-college
    extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership

    Post-college I organizated with 2 more friends a Taekwondo class in a
    gym. It lasted for 2 years, starting with 3 people and ending with 10.

    I also a member of Mensa Brazil (High IQ society). (For curiosity, saying
    this in application worth something?)

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA,
    FSA, or CA.

    I am a PMP Certfied

    6) Your post-MBA goal

    Working in commercial banking within CFO structure

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      How were your grades in college? If you have a percentage, please provide. If not, please indicate if your grades were considered high, low, or average.


      • Donato

        Hi Linda,

        My grades as a percentege was 73% (I am not confident on how to transform this grades to a GPA-equivalent).

        • Donato


          Complementing the previous message, I am a member Mensa Brazil. Does it help to inform that on the application?


          Donato Brito

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      NYU Stern is a stretch. Your work experience is competitive. Your academics are on the weak side for Stern. At the same time, coming from Brazail is a good thing and could help you. Give it a try, but also apply to other programs like Georgetown, UNC Kenan Flagler, UT Austin, Rochester Simon.

      Regarding Mensa, you can list it, but unless you are an active participant or leader in Mensa, it’s not going to mean much. Admissions committees are much more interested in what you do with your brains than that you have them.


  • westafricanapplicant

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for doing this. Heres my profile

    25 year old west african male with 4 years of work experience (5 at matriculation)

    1. Currently work in impact investment private equity in home country- focus on clean energy and financial services. I have been at the fund for about a year. Prior to that, worked as an equity research analyst focused on financial services in largest investment bank in home country. Did that for about a year. Prior, worked as an auditor at Deloitte in NYC focusing on hedge funds and private equity funds. Did that for 2 years

    2. GMAT 650 (Q47 69% V31 68%) 77% OVERALL

    3. American University, DC, 2010. majored in accounting and finance. GPA 3.1. No excuse besides completing 5 year program in 4 years and taking on heavy courseload while working for the most part

    4. In college, leadership roles in african club as treasurer and teaching mathematics to kids in poor neighbourhood schools. During and post college, board member of organization that provides free healthcare to poor people in village in rural west africa

    5. None

    6. Post mba goal is to continue in private equity track as a post mba associate in an africa focused fund in new york/london/Africa. No preference

    7. What schools do i have a reasonable chance of getting into? Target schools are Stern, CBS, HBS, Yale, WBS, Booth, LBS and Darden.

    8. I might be able to raise my gmat score by 20-30 points. Is it worth the time or should my focus be more on essays at this point?

    Thanks once again

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Your work experience is excellent, and bschools have been trying to increase the numbers of African students. On some level they have been succeeding too.

      It is possible, given your work experience and the under-represented status of African students in the MBA applicant pool that you could be the exception who gets in despite the GPA and GMAT, but I really think that an additional 20-30 points (and the more the better) on your GMAT would make that more likely at these programs. I encourage you to retake the GMAT, and give it your all. Then apply.


  • kinsho

    Hi, Linda!

    Hope you can give me some tips on my chances of getting into B-School.

    WORK: 5 years of experience as a senior software engineer for a start-up and two major firms. Current company I work for is a major education firm
    GMAT: 740 (96%)
    COLLEGE: Rutgers University – 3.32 GPA – B. S. in Comp. Sci
    EXTRA-CURRICULAR: Senior officer in a religious organization dedicated to youth education
    POST-MBA GOAL: Find a good position that utilizes both my technical skills and business knowledge

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      Assuming you sharpen your post-MBA goal and that you can show significant growth in responsibilities on the job, I believe you have a competitive profile for NYU Stern.



  • Pier

    Hi Linda, thanks for your help.

    1) My work experience is a bit “different”. First of all I am
    Italian, but I have lived in London since 2009 and I am 28.

    I started to work when I was 17, straight after High School; I worked in the
    travel industry for 6 years as Guest Relations Manager and I have lived in
    Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Caribbean, Middle East etc. In 2009 I moved to
    London as I stated my career in retail, as Operations Assistant first (then
    promoted to Manager 1 year later) and as Finance Associate afterwards. In 2011 I
    started university and I worked and studied full time.

    Nowadays I am financial controller for an international chain of restaurants
    but I also have my own retail-consulting firm.

    2) This is my hurdle…I got 470 at my first attempt (September), I am retaking
    it before the 15th of January’s deadline… I need to score 700+.

    3) University of Westminster: Upper Second Class Honors or (it’s a UK Degree so
    I guess 3.4 or 3.5) in Business Management – International Business. I
    graduated in 2014 and I have worked full time meanwhile.

    4) When living in Kenya I have raised money to build a primary school in
    Watamu, today the Marafiky Primary school is a NGO, and I help them as much as
    I can (I have designed and I manage their website), trying to raise awareness here
    in the UK as well5) None

    6) Due to my experience in operations management and accounting, in the long
    term I plan either to expand my consulting firm to areas other than retail or
    to join a big retailer as in-house consultant. In order to do that, I need to
    gain experience in a consulting firm, so my short-term goal is to join a top
    Consulting firm.

    I am planning to apply to HBS, NYU, Stanford, Columbia, ESADE, and on the
    safe side Boston Uni, but I really want to go to NYU.



    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      Well let’s assume you get in the high 600’s, you would then be a competitive applicant at all your target programs including NYU. Your story I’m sure is interesting. Your work experience is fascinating. You have leadership. You must, however, raise that GMAT.

      You may also want to consider Wharton, Kellogg, and Duke.


      • Pier

        Wow Linda, thanks!
        Sometime I just need a a little more self-esteem. I will obviously aim to a 700+!

        That’s great thanks for your help!


        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          you’re most welcome.

          Please let me know if you would like help with your applications.


          • Pier

            Hi Linda,
            Sorry for the late reply.. I was studying for the Gmat…
            I took the test and I bombed it… AGAIN! This time though I panicked during the quant and I stressed out during the rest of the test… I didn’t report the score.. It was just a horrible day for me.. I would love to get help from you with the application but my question now is… Do I still have chances in round 3 or should I wait for next year?
            And will an high 600 will still be ok for round 3?
            Thanks again


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


            I think you did the right thing to cancel your score. You had a bad day.

            Given the distinctiveness of your experience, yes you do have a chance Round 3 provided you raise that GMAT. If your high 600 score is balanced then yes proceed round 3. If you aren’t accepted, you can then reapply R1, but I think it makes sense (if that GMAT is up there) to proceed R3.

            Please let me know when you’re ready to start work on your applications.


          • Pier

            Hi Linda,
            Sorry but I thought you didn’t reply. I was wandering in the blog when I saw your answer!
            I decided to apply to R1 next year.
            I will study for the gmat and when ready I will contact you to get help with the applocations.



          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            OK. Certainly there is no harm in waiting to R1 of next year.

            We look forward to working with you!

  • Raghu

    Hi Linda, Thanks a lot for the help. Pl evaluate my profile regards Stern and let me know which other schools i can apply to. I plan to apply in the January round.

    1. 3 years (come feb 2014) in the chairman’s office of one of the largest chemicals company in the world (Fortune 150, the chairman is a Forbes 25 billionaire) and the 2nd biggest private corp. in India.

    Work in strategy & business development for petrochemicals, advanced materials and emerging energy technologies. Got promoted from regional product manager for 1 product to sector manager for petrochemicals after the 1st year.

    2. GMAT 730: Q83%, V93%, IR 8, AWA 5.5

    3. Graduation – MS Chemical Engg, Cornell University, 2.9/4, 2010-11
    Low grades in MS as i was also coordinating to set-up a big data start-up with friends back home. Was busy setting up meetings with prospective clients in NY state and Philadelphia. This did not eventually work out.

    Undergrad – BTech Chemical Engg, Anna Univ (India), 3.96/4, 79%, 2006-10

    4. Worked with the center for technological advancement in rural areas (CTARA) at IIT-Bombay – headed a team of 5. We formulated proposals for networking water bodies and setting up access/collection points in rural areas that were previously not on the water grid. Also represented this to the local government body there and got them to accept the proposal. Also organised discussions with the local municipalities and villagers to organise collective community work plans for 2012-13.

    Set up a sports mgmt company with 3 friends in 2012 to organise fan group travel tours to cricket/soccer games in India. This was a one-year venture with RoI greater than 500%. Stopped as we all had full time jobs after this.

    Founded FORESE (the forum for economic studies for engineers), an organisation to introduce engineers to Economics 101 to improve career opportunities. Involved setting up seminars, industry outreach and panel discussions. Was also General Secretary of the Chemical Engineering Student’s Council during undergrad

    5. NONE

    6. Consulting or working with start-ups in advanced materials like CNT, Graphene or other nanomaterials, alternative/renewable energy firms. After that, will come back to India and expand my father’s polymer processing and molding business to manufacture consumer goods for the bottom-of-the-pyramid segment of population.


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You’re most welcome.

      Your undergrad record and GMAT are competitive. Your work experience and extra-curriculars are strong.

      I am concerned about that grad GPA. I’m also afraid that unless you provide a sincere and strong mea culpa regarding your priorities when at Cornell, the schools will be concerned that the same thing could happen again. Writing to me what you wrote above is fine. But in an application, it would sound like a lame excuse and something that could happen again.

      I recommend that this year you apply to programs like NYU Stern, MIT Sloan, Yale, Wharton, Columbia, and Haas. If accepted, great. If not, reapply to programs where the average GMAT is under 700.

      Regardless, you will have to effectively address your performance at Cornell.

      • Raghu

        That’s just like i feared. Also, could you please tell me which schools would come in the safe admit zone for me? cornell johnson/ross/fuqua/anderson/mccombs? or some others? Thanks again!

  • Jason

    Hi Linda

    I want to get your input about a personal expression essay. While they ask to introduce yourself, 500 words does not give a lot of room to go into detail about anything specific. In your tips for the Langone program, you mention that it’s only worth touching on 1-2 items. Does this also apply here? Or should we be providing an high-level overview of ourselves?


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      In general, yes. I advise diving deep in a couple of important and revealing experiences as opposed to the broad, superficial overview.


  • R3 MBA challenger

    Hi Linda!

    I am a 24 year old Asian American, adopted from Japan. I’m applying to NYU in R2 and submitting a late GMAT score a week after applying but was still interested in getting your feedback. I was also thinking of trying HBS in R3 (wanted to apply with a better GMAT score) and maybe one other school in R3 (would love to hear any suggestions you might have! right now I’m thinking Yale). Unfortunately I’ve already been dinged by CBS.

    1) GE Leadership rotational program in engineering (2 years work exp upon matriculation)

    2) 640(72%) (Q34 58%, V34 71%) I’m taking it again, I’ve been getting around 670/680 in practice tests

    3) Undergrad: WPI, mechanical engineering 3.2 GPA
    Masters: WPI, mechanical engineering 3.5 GPA

    4) Played college basketball, club lacrosse, 5 years volunteer experience for Big Brother Big Sister, current JA volunteer, leader/founder of an online community for technology development at GE, leader of a networking initiative, leader of WPI recruiting

    5) Six sigma green belt certified

    6) Research analyst/associate in asset management at a large, reputable financial firm (ie. GS, JP Morgan etc)

    Would love to hear back from you!

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      R3 MBA Challenger,

      How about posting after you get that new GMAT score. With the current one, I don’t think it makes sense to apply R3 to HBS. And I don’t think you are currently competitive at NYU Stern.

      Unless you’ve already had tremendous success and impact at GE, I think your chances will improve with an additional year of work experience and a significantly higher GMAT.


      • R3 MBA Challenger

        Thanks for getting back to me Linda, we appreciate you doing this for all of us! Do you think I would have a shot at NYU R2 with a 690? Is HBS worth applying to R3 with that score?

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Again, my recommendation is take the time to push your score north of 700 and apply R1 to both HBS and NYU Stern.

          I’m not optimistic about your application to NYU Stern or HBS with a 690 this year.


  • AshwinV

    Hi Linda,
    I would like my profile evaluated for Stern (as well as other colleges if possible – ive applied to Darden, Wharton and McCombs)

    1. Worked as an in house counsel in a leading wind turbine manufacturer. Joined as an external trainee, been promoted consecutively to the position of Assistant Manager in a period of 18 months (i am the youngest to achieve this). Have been involved in project negotiations with top level executives of client companies (at the CEO/MD level)
    2.GMAT – 710 (2nd attempt, first 680 with 85%ile) (92 %-ile overall. Highest possible score on AWA (both attempts), IR 81%ile, quant 74%ile and verbal 85%ile)
    3. National Law University, Jodhpur – a top law college in India. Also, have a the unique distinction of doing a dual degree in both science and law.
    4. Active member of my college basketball team. Three National level victories in Lucknow in a law college sports festival.
    6. Look to continue in the energy sector but want to make the jump to finance instead of continuing as a lawyer. Ultimately, want to start an enterprise such as a think tank or a technology incubator.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      NYU and Wharton are probably a bit of a stretch especially Wharton, but you’re in the ballpark. You have a competitive profie for Darden and McCombs. You may also want to look into Duke and its energy finance concentration.


      • AshwinV

        Thank you so much, Linda!
        Will do.

  • Anurup Arora

    Hi Linda,

    I am Anurup from India. Last year I gave GMAT and got score of 710 (Verbal: 83%, Quants: 79%, Over All 92% ) AW:4, IR:5. I have got more than 6 years of work experience in Rural and Agriculture Infrastructure Sector. I already have done a MBA from India. I am aspiring to do my second MBA to change my career line and get some good international experience. I am already aware that there are certain schools, which strictly discourage second MBAs. Other than those, which all schools I should target.

    Other information is as follows:
    Though I have done my under graduation from a very average rank university in India, I have been a university rank holder during my undergraduate degree (Engineering) and earned scholarship as well.
    As a part of my community service, I teach at blind school.
    I have cleared CFA L-1.
    Post MBA Goal: Career in Corporate Finance

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      Look into Rochester Simon, UNC Kenan Flagler, Notre Dame Mendoza, Cornell, UT, Georgetown, Emory, and Vanderbilt. NYU Stern is a stretch.


  • Javier

    Hello Linda, thank you very much for helping us all.

    This is my profile:

    – 25 year old male, from Spain
    – GPA undergrad= 7,3/10 (International degree in Management – top business school in Spain) Including one semester in Norway and one in Canada. My grades aren’t higher because I worked part time job throughout my studies.
    – GMAT= 695
    – Fluent English, German and, of course, Spanish.
    – Working exp = 3,3 years at the time of application -> 1 year as a junior sales manager for an investment bank in Austria, 6 months in consulting in Spain, and 1,8 years as an area sales manager for a leading distribution company. Currently in charge of four teams of not highly qualified workers – 40 employees in total.
    – I have been collaborating for a year now with an NGO supporting children with Down Syndrome.
    – My post-MBA goal is to develop my career in the US consumer products industry with international exposure.

    Do you think I posses a competitive profile for NYU Stern? Would you recommend me to wait one more year to apply?

    Thank you very much

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      What was your GMAT breakdown?

      • Javier


        GMAT: 695 (88%) QA: 48 (79%) VA: 36 (78%) AWA: 5 (60%) IR:6 (70%)

        thank you again

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          You’re most welcome.

          Stern is a stretch, but try it. An additional year of work experience, especially if you see yourself getting a promotion or good assignments could help.

          Also consider Duke, Darden, Ross, and Georgetown. Kellogg would be a stretch, but a fantastic fit with your goals.


  • N.Agrawal

    Hi Linda,

    I am new visitor to this website. I came across pretty diverse people discussing with you their profile and relevance before applying to American B-Schools.

    I wish to discuss my profile with you. Please provide some light and what may be done from hereon to improve my B-School application and whether I would be eligible for the same.

    My Profile is as follow:-

    Indian, Male 29 years,

    Completed Bachelors in Commerce (Accountancy & Statistics) (2003-2006) with 70% marks equivalent to 3.5 CGPA as per WES Evaluation Services. Under this 98% were achieved in Accounting (Corporate & Cost & Management Accounting), Business Statistics & Operations Research Papers.

    Completed Masters in Commerce (Accountancy & Statistics) (2006-2008) with 59% marks equivalent to 3.23 CGPA as per WES Evaluation Services.

    Completed Cost & Management Accounting Certification from ICWAI (established Professional Qualification under Law of Govt. of India).

    Under this % or CGPA for 16 papers doesn’t matter because the highest % of top-rankers are at 54% due to its 4%-5% passing rate out of 50000 students every year (combined).

    In process to complete Chartered Accountancy Program in November 2015 – Certification from ICAI (established Professional Qualification under Law of Govt. of India & Chartered Accountancy Act 1949).

    Completed Level 1 Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) and appearing in Level 2 in June 2015.

    Completed Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from UK-Based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) with remaining 3 papers to obtain Professional certification from CIMA London.

    In process to complete Certified Public Accountancy Program before May 2015 (all papers) and submit my relevant work experience in Accounting, Taxation, Corporate & Business Laws, Auditing and Transfer Pricing.

    Total relevant Work experience is close to 6.5 years including

    *4 years in Mid-Sized Chartered Accountancy Firms which provide Audit, Taxation & Advisory Services to Clients. *

    *2.5 years relevant work experience in Management Reporting, Commercial Accounting & Taxation, Management Information System (MIS), etc.
    Involved in small yet effective teams in identifying Budget Variances & deviations from variances.

    Streamlining certain key operations of Strategic Business Units of Group & subsidiaries.

    Prepare and Analyze Consolidated and Individual Profit & Loss
    Statements and Balance Sheets for the Parent Company.

    Reconciliation of Balance Sheets including Payments and Accruals, etc.

    2.5 years Work-Ex is currently in Manufacturing Company with Strong Brand Image in 2 States of Gujarat & Rajasthan in India and also listed on local Stock Exchanges**
    Additionally, I have developed good understanding of Analysing Financial Statements, Research Reports based on Valuation Multiples, Fundamentals as Technicals (too an extent). I have researched on 3000 Indian Companies and managed small portfolio of financial assets worth upto 175 lakhs (1.75 croress) = USD 0.30 Millon (on current FX Rates).
    Was also involved in setting up five small brokerage & trading firms and helping them establish clients through networking and advising on building portfolios.
    The Wealth Management Part (including Portfolio Mgt. & Advising Clients) has been on Part_time Basis for almost 8 years now.
    **I have no Investment Banking EXPERIENCE nor Hedge Fund Accounting Experience due to lack of MBA Degree in India.**
    I am planning to take up GMAT and TOEFL this year but don’t know about application preparation, essay writing or which B-Schools to apply for.
    Although I have been contacted by certain sub-par Universities and also by well-known John Hopkins University (Carey Business School) to apply with GMAT and TOEFL Scores before 1st deadline in early 2016.
    I don’t know whether I will be eligible for top-notch B-Schools such Harvard, Wharton, Berkley, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, etc. but I am really looking forward to London Business School & Kelloggs (Northwestern University) and NYU Stern Business.
    Could you identify which areas I need to exploit for another few years before proper application or should I be looking to apply in early 2016 and to which schools so that I am able to make a cut in good schools and land up job with decent package.
    It is worth highlighting that I belong to Non-STEM Discipline with no exposure to Engineering, Computer Science, System Engineering and Applied Maths & Statistics. In that case, do my chances go wasted forever and what do I do from hereon to expose myself to Investment Banking Career or should I move vertically into Business Intelligence and Analytcial Roles?
    How do I become better competent in Investment Banking areas and Consulting which demand Simple Graduates with Analytical Skills and “Not Demand” Technically Sound Chartered Accountants?
    Please look into my profile carefully and provide your email for in-depth discussions before I officially register for your Services.
    Looking forward to hear from you,
    Thanks & Regards

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      To address a few of your questions, given that you have 6.5 years of work experience I recommend against waiting beyond this fall to apply.

      Princeton does not have an MBA program; it has a masters in finance program.

      I would NOT highlight or even mention that you do not come from a STEM background; do highlight your strengths and how your background when combined with an MBA will help you achieve your goals.

      As you acknowledge in your post, this forum is not the place for the in-depth discussion you are looking for. And frankly our free initial consultation would also not provide it. I suggest you purchase an hour of consulting time, and then speak with one of our consultants who can guide you.



  • Kyle


    Thanks in advance for the evaluation. I am 24 years old and work full-time. I plan to apply in May for the Part-Time MBA program. I will be working while attending school.

    1)I am currently a project manager in an electrical manufacturing company. I mostly work with scheduling, cost and time estimates, problem solving, prioritization, holding meetings and presentations, management of our electrical and mechanical engineers, as well as managing the manufacturing of my products in our China facility. I am the point of contact for all issues dealing with my projects.

    2) I will be taking the GRE next week (I plan to apply to some Engineering schools as well as NYU stern). My (realistic) goal is to score in the 168-170 range for Qualitative and the 155-159 range for Verbal.

    3) Binghamton University. Industrial Systems Engineering 3.0 GPA. Graduated May 2013

    4) Since I was hired (July 2013) I have taken the CAPM Exam (Certified Associate in Project Management) and the FE Exam (Fundamentals of Engineering). I have a trip planned to China to visit the manufacturing facility for my company. I also participate in presentations to the VPGM for my department at work.

    5) CAPM, FE

    6) A Product Management or Project Management position where business management is more applicable. These positions lean more towards market evaluation and financial decisions including ROI and paybacks. Long term I am working towards my goal to function as a COO or the like.

    I plan to use my essays to show my perseverance why NYU is a great fit for me.

    I would appreciate it if you could asses my qualifications and make a recommendation.


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Your GPA is at the lowish end for NYU’s part-time program, but if your GRE comes in as anticipated that will help you. Your work experience is strong.

      If there was a reason for the GPA, let them know. Context will help them evaluate your performance and your professional progression and certificates will also help you.

      I think it’s a stretch, but you definitely have a chance and I encourage you to apply. If you don’t get in this year, time and continued growth will help you.


      • Kyle


        Thanks again for the advice. I listened to the podcast, it was very informative.

        I ended up getting distracted during the test and got much lower scores than anticipated. I unofficially got a 154 Verbal and 163 Quantitative. Would you suggest re-taking the GRE prior to applying (I can re-take in 21 days), or moving forward with these scores. Does it hurt my chances to wait and apply towards the end of the deadline period. I understand that I have to write exceptional essays to have a chance, but I am still hesitant that I may ruin my chances in the future by applying with sub-par GRE scores now.


        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          Since you have reason to believe you can do significantly better, I think you have to retake to have even a slim chance. Just make sure your app is in before the deadline.


  • John

    Hey Linda,

    I have a 3.1 GPA from Montclair State U, major in Business/Management, 25 years old, 3 years of work experience and I currently work at NYU. I’m an African American and first generation college student and American. My project managers at NYU will be giving me a great recommendation. I plan on taking the GMAT in May and I’m hoping for at least a 650. What are my chances of getting into NYU Stern Full-time or part time, UCLA-Haas, or Columbia?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You have a chance, but to have a good chance at any of these program I think you either need recent As in business-related classes (or a really strong finish to your undergrad career.) or a GMAT at least in the high 600’s for these programs. I’m not confident that a 650 will cut it, and I’m assuming you have competitive work experience and extra curriculars.

      It’s not impossible, but I’m not confident.


  • AJ

    Hi Linda,

    I am male 25 years from India. Please evaluate my profile for Stern, Columbia and Booth. I am thinking of applying R1 – fall 2016 admissions.

    1. 3.25 years. 4+ years by time of joining. Strategy consulting firm in India. Consistent track record of fast-track promotions – 2 promotions in the last 18 months.

    2. GMAT 750 (98%) – Verbal 31 (89%), Quant 51 (97%), AWA 4 (21%), IR 8 (92%)

    3. Undergrad for BITS Pilani (one of the leading colleges in India) in Chemical Engineering. GPA: 3.3 (based on WES conversion)

    4. Strong extra-curricular activities and leadership roles in college associations. Limited community service work.

    5. CFA level 2 candidate

    6. Investment banking

    Thanks for all the help Linda

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      What was your percentage without the conversion?

      You’re welcome!

      • AJ

        Linda, my GPA is 7/10 without the conversion

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          You have a competitive profile for your target schools.


  • Michelle

    Good Morning Ms. Linda:

    Should you have time to review my credentials, I’d be really appreciative. Thank you for your consideration ma’am. As part of your review, you may need to know that I am looking into Cornell and Yale in addition to Stern. I will apply through the Consortium during the first round. I am concerned that my GRE may be a little low.

    1. Experience: 4 Years Corporate PR (Fortune 100, leadership development rotational program and one promotion) 2 Years Nonprofit (Program Development; Congressional and Mayoral Recognition)

    2. GRE: 165 V 162 Q AWA 4.5

    3. Undergrad: 4.0 GPA Journalism (Major) and Religion (Minor) (Large State School)
    Awarded Fulbright but had to turn it down to start my career to support myself.

    4. Student Government Senator, Leadership Scholar and Journalism Scholar

    5. No Certifications

    6. Nonprofit Mgmt. is my desired field after completing my degree

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I’m sorry I’ve been slow in responding. This one somehow fell through the cracks.

      Your GRE is a little low for NYU Stern and Yale, but given your grades and story I don’t think it’s an insurmountable obstacle. If you think you can easily raise it, give it a try, but don’t let your current score stop you from applying to these programs.

      You may also want to consider Georgetown McDonough.


      • Michelle

        Thank you very much, ma’am! To better understand if increasing my score is possible, how much do you think I need to increase my scores from the current 165 V and 162 Q from the school’s averages you posted previously? Thank you for your consideration! Last year’s post: http://blog.accepted.com/2014/05/15/gre-vs-gmat-trends/

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Somehow the end of your post got cut off so I’m not sure what was supposed to come after the URL.

          • Michelle

            That was it, ma’am. I am the same Michelle you replied to and recommeded Georgetown. You noted it may be helpful to raise my scores because you felt mine were a little low. I wanted to know what range would be ideal to raise it to as compared to last year. The link was a humble attempt to be helpful, even though I am sure you have all that information memorized! Thank you.

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            Thanks Michelle,

            Ideally you want to raise it to 170 and 170. :-) But a more modest goal is to have a competitive GRE score. Given that your grades are good, as I indicated, I don’t think you must take the test again, but it is a little low. Getting it more in range would mean a higher quant score, especially given your journalism background. A more competitive quant score would be 164 or higher.


  • jesse sedler

    Hi Linda,

    I hope I’m not too late!

    I’m a 26 year old white male.

    I took the GMAT last week and scored a 660 (44Q 38V) but plan to retake in July.

    3.52 from Emory University with a history major and econ minor

    Interned after college at the most prestigious think tanks in DC working on India/Pakistan policy.

    Worked for a 1.5 years as a lobbyist at the US Chamber of Commerce working on international trade policy

    Now I’m a defense contractor working at a DoD Agency as an Analyst doing both research and business process analysis. I’ve been there for almost 1.5 years.

    Extracurriculars include: founding of a young professionals organization, participation in other defense/technology professional organizations, Claritas Investment Certificate holder (through the CFA Institute), language courses post-college, MOOCs, participation in family foundation

    Post MBA goals are to work as a program manager in research and development for the DoD or defense contractor, mainly doing the financial side of technology research OR work for a defense contractor in international business development.

    I plan to apply for R1. I know my GMAT is weak but everything else should be strong, so do you think i have a decent shot?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      If you raise your GMAT, you have a decent shot. Currently, I think NYU is a big stretch.

  • Lea

    Hi Linda,

    I would very much like to join MBA stern’s program in fall 2015 with a specialization in luxury management as it is my dream to work for a luxury company. I am a french 23 year old woman.

    Could you please evaluate my profile?

    1) Very few work experience as I am still a full time student until September
    However I have worked this past year as a CRM Project program manager (Europe, Middle east and Asia) for Sephora (LVMH group)

    I have also fulfilled a 4 month long inernship in China for a french wine producer who wanted to sell his wine on the chinese market. I was in charge of the market study and the negociation with local chinese importers.

    2) I have not yet taken the test but plan on scoring a 720-750 score
    Toefl: 116/120

    3) I study in the University paris dauphine (top University in france and Grande ecole) my averag GPA is around 3.7 (grades are very low in France and in this University in particular, so my lower GPA is due to the french scoring system)
    I am considered a good student

    4) I have been a member of a student organization in charge of the student website and communication of all the student events for 4 years. My second year I was in charge of collecting funds for the organization. I was then elected president of the organization in my third year.
    I also did a student exchange Program in asutralia for 8 month and volunteered there for a wilderness protection organization.
    I love to draw paint and scuba dive

    6) I would like to work at a high management level in one of the top luxury brands

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You have already an impressive profile, but NYU Stern (and most US. full-time MBA programs will usually prefer more work experience than a college grad has. I suggest you work for a few years and then try to earn your MBA, or

      1. Consider a deferred admission program like HBS 2+2 or Yale Slver Scholars program, or Stanford’s deferred admissions for recent college grads.
      2. Consider an MS in Management which is a degree offered to early career applicants. Kellogg, LBS, and Duke are among the programs offering this degree.

      • Lea

        Hi Linda,

        Thank you very much for your honest answer. I guess I knew that you were going to answer that but having the opinion of an expert is always better to really realize what you need to do.

        One more question: How much more experience do you think I would need to get into one of the top MBA schools considering my profile? I do not want to wait too long as I fear I will not want to go back to school after a few years.

        Thank you,


        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          2 years minimum and preferably 3 before matriculation.

          Another suggestion: HEC Paris also has a Masters in Management program, and it has strong ties to the luxury goods industry. If you are in a rush, that may be a short cut.