Reflecting the character of the university at large, NYU Stern has always sought applicants who bring not just requisite accomplishment, but also intellectual energy and engagement with the world – people who have a point of view and are willing to express it. Stern’s EMBA essay questions are consistent with these values. While they cover the standard concerns, they also draw out your ability to self-reflect and to understand yourself in relation to others and to the world. The key to acing these essays is to present a point of view, a message, a distinctive perspective that will enrich the EMBA community at NYU Stern.
Please adhere to the essay word limits provided for each question. Word limits apply to the total essay question. For example, your response to Essay 2 should answer all of parts (a), (b), and (c) with a maximum total of 750 words.
1. Describe your short- and long-term career goals and how the NYU Stern Executive MBA program will help you accomplish them. (500-750 words, double-spaced)
One simple, straightforward, and effective way to structure this essay is to start with a recent achievement that reflects where you are in your career now. This opening sets the context and conveys a bit about your current situation, emphasizing what is impressive and/or distinctive about it. Then discuss how the EMBA education will enable you to achieve your immediate goals in your current role and later your intermediate and longer-term goals, which should logically build on this present role.
In describing your goals, clarify why you want to take that step or assume that role. Add more detail for your short-term and intermediate goals. In discussing how the program will benefit you, describe the skills and knowledge you need to acquire and how the program provides them. Also refer to the structure, curriculum, and/or special features of the program, noting how you will benefit from them. Finally, resist the temptation to detail your career progress — limit yourself to points relevant to your goals.
2. NYU Stern is committed to helping students develop a deeper set of professional skills, and a broader perspective of the role of business in the world. (500-750 words, double-spaced)
a. What is a significant contemporary issue on which you, as a business leader, would like to have an impact?
b. Why is it important to you?
c. How could you leverage your skills and resources to address the issue?
The most important advice here: select an issue that you truly care about (and are knowledgeable about). You may research some fine points, but responses to this question that are entirely constructed of research on a topic don’t work.
A simple and effective strategy for this essay is to follow the a-b-c structure set out in the question. First talk about the issue in personal as well as objective terms, i.e., how you came to learn and/or care about it, perhaps what experience you’ve had with it if relevant. Take a stand; avoid being bland or abstract. Then describe how as a business leader you can address this issue in concrete terms. This last part will vary greatly from person to person – for some your work will directly address this issue; for others work will be divorced from it, and you will indirectly use your business leadership role as a bully pulpit, as a prominent and influential community leader/volunteer, etc.
Optional Additional Information Essay
Please provide any additional information of which you would like the Admissions Committee to be aware. This may include additional details on your academic/quantitative preparation for MBA coursework through educational or professional experience, further explanation of academic history, current or past gaps in employment, or any other information relevant to your application. (500 word limit, double-spaced)
This question’s wording indicates that you can use it not just to explain a problem (low GMAT, employment gap) but also to present new material that you think will enhance your application. However, if you are making the adcom read more than is required, there should be a darn good reason – not just a nice-to-know.
First, succinctly explain any points that need explaining. Then, if there is something you feel is important that you haven’t had a chance to discuss elsewhere, write about it, noting why it’s essential to a full understanding of your candidacy.
Optional Scholarship Essay
The NYU Stern Executive MBA program offers a limited number of scholarships each year to applicants receiving minimal or no financial sponsorship. There are many more qualified candidates than there are scholarships available. Scholarships are determined at the time of admission and communicated in the letter of admission if awarded. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please respond to the following:
Why should the Admissions Committee invest in you as a business leader? (500 word limit, double-spaced)
The two pivotal phrases in this question are “invest in” and “business leader.” Making an investment involves (a) the determination of a likely return given the risk/reward scenario, and (b) alignment between that return and the investor’s values and desires. So, it’s not just that you’ll have a successful career by any standards, but by the standards and considerations of Stern. And, being a “business leader” is the vehicle by which you’ll achieve that payoff – regardless of your industry or sector or domain.
So, find the “sweet spot” where your experience, your business goals, your leadership and vision, and Stern’s interests and values intersect. Investors analyze past performance, so incorporate actual experiences and/or examples that reflect Stern’s values and your prospects for future success. Investors also calculate likely return, which in this case would be the impacts you will achieve through your career and your business leadership.
A few additional tips: Do not repeat points from your resume or the goals in essay 1. Also, don’t present every possible reason you think the adcom should invest in you. Focus on those few points that (a) are distinctive and relevant to the MBA, (b) support your goals, and (c) enhance rather than repeat other elements of the application.
If you would like professional guidance with your NYU EMBA application, check out Accepted’s EMBA essay editing and EMBA admissions consulting or our EMBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the NYU application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!