2023-2024 NYU Stern MBA Essay Analysis and Tips



The admissions committee for Stern’s MBA program states that it looks for “students who best reflect Stern’s fundamental value: IQ+EQ.” The admissions committee is very selective, and they look for candidates who can show that they have a high level of intellectual capacity, excellent interpersonal skills, and a willingness to create value for both business and society.

NYU Stern MBA essay analysis and tips

The academic, professional, and personal spheres of one’s life are the focal points of the Stern MBA’s evaluation of IQ and EQ. The admissions committee will primarily analyze your academic prowess based on your GMAT score as well as your overall grade point average. Nevertheless, the essays that are required for admission to NYU Stern are an essential component of your application process. In particular, they shed light on the aspirations you have for your professional life as well as your personality.

What NYU Stern MBA essays are all about?

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? All of the required essays for Stern should give you a clear and inspiring direction for your professional life, based on your motivations, goals, ideals, and values. Your written and visual answers help the admissions team figure out what motivates you in your career and in life as a whole.

NYU Stern MBA essay for 2024 intake

Short Answer: Professional Aspirations

(150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • What are your short-term career goals?

Essay 1: Change: _________ it

(350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

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

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

Essay 2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).

Six images that help illustrate who you are.

A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

Essay 3: Additional Information (optional)

(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.

Short Answer: Professional Aspirations


  • 150 words maximum
  • double-spaced
  • 12-point font

What are your short-term career goals?

NYU doesn’t ask you why you need an MBA to reach your goals, they just ask you what they are. But while many people want an MBA, NYU wants to put its money into those who can use it best. So, make sure that getting an MBA from Stern will help you reach your goals.

Short-term goals after an MBA should be both realistic and ambitious. Getting an MBA from NYU Stern will help you get better jobs. So, you should use the NYU Stern essays to show that you’re ready to take advantage of the chances.

First, think about your past jobs, your MBA, and a short-term goal that makes sense. Your goal should be based on the work you have done recently and the skills you will learn in the NYU MBA program. Also, if there’s room, give specific examples.

Lastly, since you only have 150 words, you should focus on your career goal and some basic information about yourself. The rest of your application should then fill out your overall goals.

Do you want to impress the NYU Stern Adcom?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Essay 1

Change: _________ it


  • 350 words maximum
  • double-spaced
  • 12-point font

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

You have to think about what change means to you when you answer this question. 

But the rest of the question is more important than the verb you choose to fill in the blank. Why did you decide on it? Can you give a short example that shows how important it is?

Take some time to reflect on what you stand to gain and lose if you embrace change. What impact has it had on your personal and professional life thus far? How do you feel about change in your life? How do you deal with it on a daily basis? What are your thoughts on making changes? Do you welcome them or do you dread them? 

Why? The admissions committee is not expecting you to guess the “correct” response to these kinds of questions, so don’t be afraid to go outside the box. 

As an applicant, you want to make your essay memorable by using a word that is meaningful to you and represents your attitude toward change, not a phrase you hope no one else would use or that requires a reader to reach for the dictionary. 

It is important to remember that change does not necessarily have to be pursued indiscriminately for the sake of change. For example, if the candidate has strong personal reasons for this mindset and can clearly describe how it could be valuable at Stern, “regulate change” could be a valid and persuasive choice.

Lastly, based on your reasons and the verb, how will you live up to this motto at Stern?

It is imperative that you know the school thoroughly in order to come up with the strongest possible ideas on this topic because if what you describe or propose is just not possible at Stern or does not connect with its values and culture, this will not be a point in your favor.

Find specific opportunities and niches that fit your personality, abilities, expertise, and/or knowledge while conducting your research. This will help you find the best fit for your proposed slogan as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a student at the school, you can start by reading student blogs, perusing discussion boards, catching up on the previous year or more news releases from the school, and spending some time on Stern’s YouTube channel.

Essay 2

Essay 1 explains your career objectives – what you do – whereas essay 2 reveals your personal characteristics. Admissions at Stern also take into account a candidate’s academic and professional experience, but they also search for students who will get involved in the school and their community. This is a classic Stern question, and it’s a great opportunity to show off your unique personality. A variety of photographs are acceptable as long as they are meaningful to you and, if feasible, relate to the qualities that Stern is seeking.

Consider how you will select photographs to interact with your prospective peers and the admissions committee at Stern MBA. Consider the story you wish to tell. Is it a collage or a progression of your life? What role do the images have in telling the story?

While the medium might be anything, the most important aspect of this essay is the content. First, generate ideas for the information you wish to communicate. Then, consider your unique personal attributes and the ones that your friends and family value most. Next, consider how you would like your students to perceive you. What facts would you share with a new acquaintance?

Creating a story through visuals

Your six photographs can be all personal, all professional (not advised! ), have a deeper meaning for you, or be aspirational and forward-looking. You may also like to display a trip you have taken or an important person in your life. Alternatively, you may reveal your future aspirations and intentions.

Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions, has stated that this question resembles a social media post about your life that you may share with your friends. As a result, photos are more and more significant in digital communication. Therefore, this essay requires the predominant usage of visuals (drawings, photos, infographics, or any other images you choose).

Each image’s one-sentence caption will also provide an opportunity to contextualize. What does it say about your history or future, for instance, if you exhibit a picture of a happy family? Who are the individuals to you? Finally, if you use an image of a location or period, you might use words to describe its significance to you.

Do you want to impress the NYU Stern Adcom?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Essay 3


  • 250 words maximum
  • double-spaced
  • 12-point font

If you believe that there may be a weakness or gap in your application, such as those outlined in the description, it may be beneficial to use the third, optional essay. 

This is also a chance to provide more information if you did not submit a recommendation from your immediate supervisor. 

It is a personal decision whether or not to utilize this essay, but it can be helpful to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are aware of a potential weakness and have taken action to remedy it.

In conclusion, you should not wait until the last minute to submit your complete application. Start as early as feasible and devote sufficient time to research before composing your articles. This can assist you with the content of your writing. Don’t worry if you are unable to submit your application before the initial deadline. It is more crucial that you do everything necessary to strengthen your application.

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We will help you write essays that portray your unique strengths and experiences in the most favorable light so that your application shines above the rest. We have helped hundreds of students get into top US business schools. Let us help you too.

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