After Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the Stern School’s MBA program now is the most expensive in the world. The school’s estimated expense to attend its full-time MBA program hit a record $184,532, up from $165,340 only a year ago. That is even more expensive than its uptown rival, higher-ranked Columbia Business School. But New York is an expensive place to live and study.

NYU Stern’s massive part-time MBA program, which boasts some 2,106 students, tends to overwhelm the 784 full-timers. The school, in New York’s Greenwich Village, offers a 60-credit program; more than half of which are electives. The program begins with Pre-Term where students meet classmates, explore New York City, and learn about academics, career opportunities, and student life. To ensure that students have a solid foundation in all areas of business, the majority of the first year is comprised of Stern core courses: Financial Accounting & Reporting, Statistics & Data Analysis, and a flex core made up of seven course options. Core course waivers may be given to students who completed an undergraduate major in a core course area or hold a CPA. Students may also waive a course by passing a proficiency exam. The second year is comprised almost entirely of elective courses in addition to the final core course, Professional Responsibility.

Stern students graduate with an MBA in General Management and may select up to three specializations. The school offers more than 20 areas of specialization, each comprised of about three elective courses.


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When characterizing the type of applicant it’s looking for, the New York University Stern School of Business says, “We seek students who best exemplify Stern’s core value: IQ+EQ. Our admissions committee takes care to select those who demonstrate strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society.”

The parameters of IQ and EQ that are important in the evaluation are academic ability, professional achievements and aspirations, and personal characteristics. While your academics will be evaluated mainly through your GMAT and GPA, the essays are a crucial part of your application strategy to cover professional achievements and aspirations and your personal characteristics.

This year NYU Stern asks for two EQ Endorsements with your application.

• The endorsement must be from someone who knows you personally and/or professionally and can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.
• More details can be found and on the NYU admissions website.

(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?

While many people seek an MBA degree, NYU wants to invest in those who can use it most effectively. Perhaps you’re seeking an MBA for networking or professional credibility, or maybe you want an MBA to learn specific skills to change careers. Whatever your own personal reasons may be, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education both generally and specifically at Stern that are necessary to achieve your goals.

Your post MBA goal should be both achievable and demonstrate the need for an MBA. An MBA from NYU Stern will open professional doors for you, and you should demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of those opportunities. Think about a logical sequence that starts with your past work experience, then your MBA education and ends with your immediate post MBA goal. Ideally your goal pulls from both your current work experience and the skills you will gain in the NYU MBA program.

Personal experience of the campus through visits or student touch points will help you understand why a Stern MBA is the next career step for you, but even if you are halfway around the world you can illustrate the many ways in which you learned about the NYU Stern experience.

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.

NYU Stern has evolved the creative essay into one that is more specific, but still allows you the freedom to communicate what you choose to the admissions committee. A favorite American idiom says “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and in this essay you have six pictures to use to communicate with your future classmates and the Stern admissions committee. Think about the story you want to tell with the six images – is it a collage of your life or a progression? How do the pictures work together to tell the story?

While the medium is novel, your content is the important part of this essay. The best first step is to brainstorm the information you want to convey. Reflect upon your unique personal qualities and what is valued most by your friends and family. How would you want your classmates to see you? What information would you share with a new friend?

Your six images may be all personal, all professional (not recommended!), demonstrate deeper meaning for you personally, or aspirational and future oriented. Perhaps you want to show a journey you have taken, a person who is important to you, or a vision of your future desires and plans. Think about the narrative of the six images along with what you are communicating about yourself.

Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation, has said that this question evolved to be similar to the kind of post you might share on social media to tell your friends about your life. Images are more and more important in digital communication, and this essay asks you to use images as the primary form (drawings, photos, infographics, or any other images you choose).

The one sentence caption for each image will also be an opportunity to contextualize the narrative. If you show an image of a happy family, what does that say about your past or future? Who are the people to you? If you have an image of a place you can use the words to explain its importance to you.

(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.

This optional essay allows you to explain anything that is not self explanatory in your application. If your academic record shows any grades of C or below in a quantitative course, or your GMAT or other tests are lower than the NYU mean, you will want to explain why you are academically prepared. Any explanation should include the reasons why you have changed and will perform strongly in your academic courses at NYU.

If you have a gap in work experience this is the place to provide context about what you were doing during the time. You are never compelled to use the optional essay if the information in your application is straightforward. If you do use the essay take the time to explain but not excuse.

NYU Stern sample ESSAY

NYU Stern Essay 1:
Professional Aspirations: (750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Please answer the following:

a) Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?

b) What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?

c) What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

a) On 31 July 2012, India suffered the largest electrical blackout in world history affecting 670 million people. More than 500 trains were immobilised, 200+ miners were trapped underground, bank ATMs failed, subway lines were paralyzed, and traffic snarled across an area extending nearly 2o miles. This is only one example of how India’s growing economy is severely affected by infrastructure inadequacies, policy failures and absence of governmental leadership.  Today’s young India faces many problems and there need to be changes in the way things are run – hence my career aspiration now is to lead the Planning Commission within India’s Ministry Of Finance. In this role I hope to transform India’s economy, health care, public finance system and infrastructure to be comparable to developed countries. I want to be a champion of Inclusive growth, sustainable development and bring in a renewed vigour to the governmental organization in India.

Through my interactions with a non-profit school over the past two years, I’ve developed a philosophical perspective that emphasizes my responsibilities towards nation and society. In my capacity as the co-ordinator for Teach For Israel, a charity school for West bank communities, I conduct monthly sessions with the less-privileged students on developing critical skill sets in the area of language, science and technology. This experience helped me to realise that  there is a higher caking than money, i.e. it is about bring about equitable growth, infusing positivity around and adding value to your environment  – these are the most important aspects to life. I intend to apply my management and financial knowledge towards creating value at public level and believe NYU Stern’s world-class MBA with a well-rounded New York experience will best prepare me to head the Planning Commission of India.

b) Since the beginning of this year, I have been following the student blogs of  Alex and Sofia to get an insight into the collaborative community culture of Stern along with the various colours of New York City. I interacted online with couple of First Year students right after their LAUNCH orientation programme and discovered about the school’s stress on its four core values to promote thoughtful leadership and encourage experiential learning. While pursuing my MSc in Financial management in University of Madrid, I came across various articles and journals on time-series analysis by Mr. Stephan, Director of the Markets science Institute. Since then it has been my deep desire to be in his class to discuss statistical models which will be beneficial for me in future to understand the effects of the various public-sector programmes. Whether it is an enthusiastic and exciting finance class on social media by Professor Damodaran or a mind-blowing session on digital marketing and brand strategy by marketing guru Mr. Scott Galloway – Stern’s MBA will be the best investment in my life to build the next foundation of a leader. The rigorous classroom sessions along with the approach of action based learning will offer the perfect blend of education I need to implement my ideas on public policies. I am a steadfast believer that, my one year at stern will be a game changing proposition personally and professionally

c) Upon completing my MBA, I intend to become an Associate in the public sector & government practice of an international management consultancy such as Bain, McKinsey or BCG. Though India had spurts of growth recently, the economic development has been unbalanced with some parts growing fast while the others lack access to basic education and capital. I believe that working in this complex and challenging sector with people having the same mission and love for the nation will help me to pursue what I most care about – to reinvent the way how the Ministry of Finance plans the various infrastructure projects to make them more efficient and productive. Working for five years on high profile government projects along with leading engagements with city municipalities, trade associations and government owned companies will best prepare me for my long – term career goals. After this period, I hope to join one of the various Economic Advisory Councils of State and gain knowledge and experience on each sectors that the council is responsible for – this platform along with the strategic leadership and management skills learnt at NYU Stern will lay the path for me to serve India as a trusted advisor in the role of Chairman of the Planning Commission.

I visualize myself as a bold and ambitious leader eager for change in order to revive the lingering hope of India’s vibrant spirit and deliver a significantly brighter future ensuring that our basic infrastructure requirements like electricity, housing, healthcare, education meet the needs of the people.

NYU Stern Essay 2: Your Two Paths: (500 word maximum, double spaced, 12-point font)
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.

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

a) My long-term goal is to lead India’s Planning Commission to transform the nation’s infrastructure and economy by working within the public sector space. The first step, after my MBA, is to join a management consulting firm as an Associate in the Public Sector. The next step will be to join an Indian Economic Advisory Council to gain experience on each concerned sector with the goal to get a role in the Planning Commission. Finally, I see myself one-day leading the Planning Commission addressing the leadership challenges within the country’s public sector domain.

An alternate career path will be to utilize my Bachelor’s engineering knowledge coupled with my experience in banking to join the Finance and Planning arm of an Indian private firm focussed on the business of Infrastructure development – eg TATA infrastructure or Reliance infrastructure.  Serving in a management capacity at the above-mentioned companies will give me first-hand experience to understand the financial and organizational framework necessary to run a successful private firm. Combined with a rigorous MBA education, I will finally be ready to start my own firm focussed on India’s infrastructure development.

b) In the light of my long-term goals, Stern’s one-to-two week long “Doing Business in – (DBi)” program will help me meet local executives and officials while working on team projects to explore the business and economic arenas of the developing countries. Stern’s large set of specialization courses including courses like “Leadership and Change Management” and “Social Innovation and Impact” – will allow me to customize my area of study to perfectly tailor to my career interests. Stern Consulting Corps (SCC) program with small businesses and non-profit organizations will provide me hands-on learning to implement my ideas into action that makes an impact on a broad scale. Stern’s range of social activities with the various Professional and Community clubs along with the school-wide co-curricular events of the SCorp will further enhance my leadership qualities in creating opportunities and service to people. Finally, Stern’s New York location attracts the best of CEOs, recruiters and government leaders in the Leadership Speaker Series and provides unparalleled access to the consulting industry.

c) The prime factor that will determine which path to opt for is the result or the degree of impact that I will be able to achieve at each step. Sometimes, achieving set goals in public sector space of a developing country like India can be tedious and frustrating. Hence, the level of impedance in achieving my set target will be a key factor for my decision making. The next factor will be the level of self-motivation I will be able to generate from accomplishing challenging goals. I thrive on success and to be able to achieve difficult milestones with the desired result will always help me to be on track. Finally, the path which will provide me a chance to have a greater impact on the society will be my desired path as the sense of purpose of giving back to the community motivates me now to go to work every day.

NYU Stern Essay 3 : Personal Expression:
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message. Feel free to be creative.

If you will submit Essay 3 via mail, please provide a brief description of your submission and its relevance to your MBA application.

My three best friends are Benjamin, Saifina and Nabil, Year 7 (11-12 years old) students of Education society for the displaced, a community school in WestBank. I was introduced to them through a community organizer and was instantly attracted by these students – it was a treat to view these children, who would have otherwise abandoned their studies, punching at the keyboards and holding paint brushes like artists. I’ve developed a special bond with my three young friends because in each of them I see a bit of me.

Among the three, Saifina is the most mature although a bit serious; Nabil is the most fun-loving, always high on energy. Both have one thing in common – their never-ending willingness to learn from others. Benjamin is different and has some pre-conceived ideas on his perceived limitations. My focus has been to build a good chemistry with him to propel him forward to more positive goals with constructive criticism. I have never missed an opportunity to meet these special friends because I enjoy every minute of their company. This gives me a sense of accomplishment when I am able to make a difference in their lives and also brought me a sense of personal satisfaction that surpasses what I have gained till date.

Benjamin has a knack for Mathematics and is eager to solve problems suitable for older students. Spending time with him solving mental arithmetic riddles is always exciting – it serves as a reflection of my younger years. Nabil is full of personal questions for me – what I do exactly in a bank, how many hours I sleep, how my social life is etc. He wants to discover a true picture of a “city” banker’s professional and social life and draws inspiration from my life. The time spent with reserved Saifina is mostly listening to her business ideas. In order to nurture her entrepreneurial aspirations, we end up having interesting “story-telling” sessions on her role models – famous entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Finally, we four share a common interest – strawberry scoops from our favourite ice-cream shop.

By spending time with them, I have begun to comprehend the factors that profoundly shape my personal development.  It has taught me about the true meaning of sacrifice, hard-work and contributing. A visit to a classroom housed in the most tumultuous region of the world, West Bank, turned out to be an enlightening experience which made me realise that I do possess positive qualities of kindness, compassion and responsibility. Most substantial to me is that I have explored a talent and passion that is uniquely my own and which subsequently produces the confidence I need to shape my identity. I intend to take these life lessons along with me as I go for my MBA next year and I visualise myself, years later, as a successful leader in a field that I love – working on the well-being of more than a billion of people.

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