A regular question I get as a GA is what to put in a Pick 6 application. Are certain photos too cheesy or regularly seen? Should it still be focused on my work experience or qualifications? What is Stern really looking for in this part of the application?
Don’t overthink it. Stern wants to know and understand you as a person! There is a reason our slogan is IQ + EQ. Part of emotional intelligence is being empathetic and curious about the people around you. The Stern community is as diverse as it is cohesive, a big part of that is Stern selecting people with unique backgrounds who are as excited about everyone else’s unique background as they are in Stern. The ‘Pick 6’ is your chance to show who you are outside of work and outside of a resume. We want our community to be built off of seeing the whole person, not just a resume. This is evident in Stern Speaks, an event where students talk about their life outside of Stern and work, and in Stern Chats, a podcast featuring Stern students, professors and administrators who share their life stories. We want to see who you are in this part of your application and what you are going to bring to our community.
So when it comes to picking photos, choose what makes you unique and special. This doesn’t have to fit any specific format. Some people used photos of food to describe their heritage, some focused on their favorite cities, and I focused on my family. During this whirlwind application season use this time to stop and think about who you are, your values, and what makes you proud of your life. This reflection is going to serve you well in and out of business school. I know regardless of any job, external accomplishment or failure, my family will always be my number one priority and a big part of what makes me, me. Here are two of my ‘Pick 6’ about my family, and I hope it can provide some inspiration to your own Pick 6.
“Almost every summer my mother, brother and I go on a cross-country trip to explore a new national park – being in nature and climbing mountains is one of my favorite memories and daydreams.”
“I am lucky enough to be a part of a combined family, the oldest of four siblings – one biological and two step; getting all of us together for holidays is my favorite time of year and also the loudest.”
Know that Stern is so excited to find out about who you are!