Moving Beyond ‘Fit’

Caroline Murphy is an Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Stern. Caroline has worked at Stern for four years and recently completed the Langone Part-time MBA program. Outside of work, Caroline loves watching Texas Longhorn football and playing with her nieces and nephews.

Often, candidates ask our team what would make them the right “fit” for Stern. They are trying to learn what the typical Stern student looks like in terms of career background, passions, or post-MBA goals. But the answer is, there is no “typical Stern student,” and applicants should focus instead on what makes them unique. Rather than thinking about how you can ‘fit’ at Stern, reframe your process to think about if the qualities of NYU Stern’s programs align with you and your goals.

The Ideal Candidate

If you’ve sat in one of our mock application sessions, you have seen a small snippet of how the admissions process works. At Stern, we look at each applicant individually and holistically. There is no specific quality that each student must possess, rather, we want to see how an applicant’s entire story comes together to show who they are individually. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to our student body – each of our students has a different background and their own story to tell. We value all work experiences and paths that have led people to apply for an MBA.

When you are crafting your application, I encourage you to reflect on what makes you you and how that will help you develop into a strong business leader. Are you inclusive in your leadership? Are you able to bring out the best in difficult colleagues with your light hearted humor? Are you efficient and willing to go the extra mile? Are you reserved and thoughtful about your choices? All of these are individual strengths that contribute to who you are and can be leveraged in business school and beyond. It’s up to you to determine how you’ll convey these strengths in your application.

Communicating Your Authentic Self

The Stern application provides many opportunities for you to share your story and showcase your unique qualities and interests. For instance, the “activities and achievements” section on the application communicates how you spend your time and what you choose to be involved in. The “Change” and Pick Six essays  give you the freedom to be creative and share personal experiences or show what makes you tick. All of this helps us understand your story and get to know you better. Through our conversation in the interview stage, we’ll get to see this person come to life as we learn more about what you shared in your application. We want to get to know you as an individual,  rather than assessing  how you might be similar to current Stern students. 

Finding Your Fit at Stern

Rather than focusing on how you fit, focus on how Stern fits for you. There are a lot of ways to determine if the culture at Stern aligns with what you’re looking for in a network and to see if our programs align with your goals. The first step is to attend events – we have a range of events from virtual to in-person, admissions focused to student-led. Events can highlight specific areas of interest (like club office hours) and help you identify what recruiting paths are available, as well as help you get to know students and what they love most about Stern. On that note, you can also chat candidly with current students through coffee chats or by emailing mbaga@stern.nyu.edu to set up a time to chat. They can help you with any concerns that you have and tell you about their experience. Lastly, explore our website! There is a ton of information on our site about the curriculum, post-MBA outcomes, school news, and more. Becoming familiar with the program will help you to envision yourself at Stern and recognize if it’s the right program for you. Don’t be shy in communicating the aspects of Stern that you’re most excited about on your application or in your interview – this helps us learn more about you and why you’re excited to go on this journey at Stern.

As you apply, I hope you’ll remember that the only type of candidate we want to see at Stern is an authentic one. Lean into what makes you YOU and it will shine through in your application. We can’t wait to meet you!

How Stern’s Community Embraces New Students

Gustavo Valverde Rezende is an MBA2, originally from Brazil. He has a Bachelor’s in business administration from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora and a Master’s in finance from IBMEC. Before joining Stern, Gustavo worked in management consulting, public management, and corporate finance before joining Eureca, a purpose-driven startup, as Chief Financial Officer.  His latest job was as Strategy & Finance Leader at Grupo Anga, Eureca’s parent company, overlooking a portfolio of six purpose-driven companies. This summer, Gustavo worked as an Investment Banking Summer Associate at Credit Suisse in New York.

Moving to NYC

Moving to NYC can be intimidating, especially if you are coming from a small town, like myself. Looking from my childhood home, the city looked chaotic and hostile. I heard about how hard it would be to make friends and was scared I would never feel at home there. 

Fast-forward two years, and I am in love with NYC. I have very good friends, call the city my home, and can’t think of living anywhere else. How did this happen?

The first challenge I overcame was moving to the city. Before setting foot in NYC, I made a few friends at Stern through admitted student events and reaching out to student clubs (like the Latin American Business Association). They have advised me on good neighborhoods to live, the timing and procedures for renting a place, where and how to furnish my house, and even on budgeting. Some of these friends are neighbors and make a great support network.

Making Connections & Friends

The second challenge was making the city my home. I needed basic stuff, like a bank account, and other not-so-trivial things, like a good group of friends. Here’s where Stern’s community was huge. Even before being in NYC, I had spoken to so many people in the program that I felt I didn’t start from zero. So many nice people had reached out to me, introduced me to their friends, and replied to my blind approaches that I felt welcome.

When I got to the city, my new friends were amazing at introducing me to new people and making sure I felt a part of their social circles. My classmates also put together a lot of social outings, which helped make very close friendships. Nowadays, I have a bunch of friends both in the program and in the city – a social life that is more intense than I had back home.

That is when I realized one of the main benefits of living in the most global city in the world: you find anything you may need or want. Do you want to play golf? Or cricket? Maybe soccer? The city’s got you. If you are not into sports, Stern student clubs will help you find wine lovers, culture buffs, or k-popers. Feeling home-sick? Enjoy regional clubs and benefit from the city’s many regional social networks. In my case, I eat feijoada, have açaí, catch every single Cruzeiro game, and speak as much Portuguese as I want with a ton of Brazilian friends I made in the city.

Preparing for Recruiting & Making a Career Change

Finally, to make New York really feel like home, I needed a job. That is one of the most stressful parts of the MBA, but Stern had  me covered. Professional and regional clubs will help you build a professional network, get the coffee chats and interviews you need, and find your internship. In my case, the friends I mentioned above mock-interviewed me and gave me candid feedback – even a few tough ones to hear – ultimately enabling me to get my dream job at Credit Suisse Investment Banking Division, in the M&A team. I can’t stress enough how important fellow Sternies were for my career transition. 

I know first hand it can be intimidating and tough to move to NYC. But with a little help from my friends, I built everything I needed to call NYC my home. It is still crazy to realize how much this place feels like home. And yet, here I am, sitting in my childhood town and feeling homesick. I can’t wait to be back in the city.

Communicating your Work Experience

Matt Bird is a Coordinator on the MBA Admissions team. He joined the team last April after graduating from the NYU Steinhardt Higher Education and Student Affairs Masters program. He enjoys baking, coffee, and helping students. 

 

 

Hi! My name is Matt Bird and I am a member of the Admissions Committee at NYU Stern MBA Admissions. I previously worked in college career centers for years as a resume reviewer, which makes me very passionate about helping people sell their work experience effectively. Your resume is an opportunity to brag about yourself. What amazing internship did you land? What innovative project did you collaborate on? How many deals did you close? Your resume should be a highlight sheet of your professional story. As application readers, we rely on the Resume and Work Experience sections to describe who you are as a working professional. This post should give you some ideas on making the most of your work experience on your MBA application.

Keep it Snappy.

Many times we see sprawling 2-3 page resumes that contain a laundry list of all job responsibilities. Oftentimes people find it hard to narrow down their role to 3-5 bullets. And we get it. Everything we do is important to us. But a resume is not the place for your autobiography. It is a document to communicate your best of the best. Instead of including 10 bullets on your role, pick 2-3 experiences where you made the most impact. Save the memoir for when you’re a successful business leader. 

It is smart to have multiple versions of your resume in order to mix and match experiences tailored to the opportunity. Your resume for Deloitte’s summer internship program may look very different from your resume for a Brand Manager role with L’Oreal. It may even be helpful to have a catch-all resume from which you pick the best experiences to include on the final version. It is important to have the most relevant experiences prominently highlighted. My rule of thumb is if you see yourself talking about an experience in the interview, then include it on the page.

Formatting, formatting, formatting.

In addition to narrowing down your bullet points, formatting can be a very effective way to keep your resume brief. Below are a few tricks to trim the empty space on your page:

  • Reduce your margins.
  • Identify lines taken up by one word. Simplify the language to get that bullet to one line.
  • Play around with format. See if a two column approach eliminates or creates space.
  • Job Title, Name of Organization, Date can be one line.
  • Slightly reduce your font size. A good range is 10-12 point font. 
  • Reduce space between section breaks. Just ensure the page doesn’t look too cramped.

Specificity is key.

It is difficult to imagine a person’s impact when reading:  “Responsible for day-to-day operations of the company.”

Numbers are helpful here. How many team members did you work with? What was your budget? What did this project result in? Quantitative bullet points paint a clear picture of your role and impact. 

It is a bit vague to read a Skills section with words like: Teamwork, Communication, or Management. Anyone can list these as skills. Only you have your specific experiences to showcase them. 

Tell your story.

It may be intimidating to compare resumes with your peers. No matter how much experience we have, insecurities may creep in. Regardless of your job titles, your resume is an opportunity to show your trajectory. Your case becomes much more compelling when you clearly demonstrate your professional journey. Don’t get bogged down in worries about not having the perfect portfolio. Instead, highlight your experiences in their best light. 

Many applicants worry they will be out of the running if they have less than the average years of work experience. NYU Stern does not have a minimum work experience requirement to apply to the MBA program. We evaluate and accept applicants from many stages of their career. Your Resume and Work Experience section is an opportunity to show the Admissions Committee not only who you are as a working professional, but also who you want to become.

Experiential Learning @ Stern: Endless Possibilities

Jeet Khilnani is an MBA2, specializing in strategy and leadership & change management. Prior to Stern, Jeet worked at Nomura in a corporate finance role, and Deloitte in an audit role. This summer, Jeet interned at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a Summer Consultant and will be continuing to work at the firm post graduation in New York City. Additionally, Jeet is the Co-President of Outclass (Stern’s LGBTQ+ organization), and a VP of Stern Student Government, Management Consulting Association, Graduate Finance Association, and South Asian Business Association at Stern.

One of the biggest drivers of the MBA experience at Stern is the countless opportunities to learn by doing. Stern’s incredible location unlocks access to almost anything you want to do – PE/VC, Startups, Healthcare, Consulting, Finance, Impact Investing and the list just goes on. Stern’s “Change Studio” umbrella is so wide and deep, I think most students would not even be able to list all the different opportunities available!

This was a key component of my decision to attend Stern. I was uprooting my life from India and moving thousands of miles away to a whole new world in the US. I wanted to familiarize myself with the culture and see the different facets of the business world before I started my full time job, both as a way to prepare for it and to ease the learning curve a little bit. Through my time so far, I’ve experienced three different experiential learning opportunities – Communication for Consultants, Operations Consulting – An Experiential Approach & Endless Frontier Labs. Each course came with an opportunity to learn something new about business, about an industry I had no clue about, and in the process, about myself.

  • Communication for Consultants: I decided to take this course in Spring 2022 right after I decided to pivot into consulting for my summer internship. I had no idea how consulting works, and I was coming from a near-shore role just before Stern. I instantly found myself attracted to a non-profit in the film and media space, and luckily, was matched to work with them. The challenge was mind-blowing – the non-profit had started a social impact film festival in virtual format during the pandemic, and now wanted to bring it to in-person format post-COVID. 

In addition to this, the goal was to identify and overcome challenges in communication from the clients – they sometimes confuse symptoms with the problem, and there’s a lot of reading between the lines involved. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, eventually culminating into a final presentation with the client being present in the room with us, and appreciating the recommendations. We’re all so excited that the festival will be in-person (with a virtual option) in 2023 in Boston, MA!

  • Operations Consulting – An Experiential Approach: After Communication for Consultants, I was craving more. And then came the opportunity to enroll in Operations Consulting during Fall 2022, and admittedly I understand nothing about operations. This course involves weekly visits to a new company and witness their operations during class time, followed by debrief and discussion thereafter. I was able to experience so many different industries in such a short span of time and I couldn’t be happier about it – a brewery, a global FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), a sugar refinery, a port terminal, and a global cosmetics company. Learning how different (and how similar) their operations are, identifying problems and areas for improvement, and witnessing the different levels of adoption of technology has been so enriching!

While visiting all these plants, we also had to pick a business and do an independent project advising them improvements in their own operations – and we’re currently working with a grocery-delivery company to identify improvements for inventory management. It takes work, yes, but the learning and benefits are far greater and are setting me up for my career at BCG!

  • Endless Frontier Labs: EFL is Stern’s signature startup accelerator, providing mentorship opportunities to startups around the world. This year, EFL received 1100+ applications from startups, and selected 75 startups for the year-long program through a process of rigorous interviews and application screenings (so it’s highly selective!). The first step was to interview companies and fill out our evaluations. Post that, MBA students are matched with selected startups following a double-blind matching process, and I was matched with a groundbreaking startup in the EV charging space. Again, I found myself feeling a bit anxious since I knew nothing about the space. But the founder and team was gracious enough to coach me, and so far, I’ve been designing a go-to-market strategy for them. Next semester, we plan to raise the seed funding for this company and if all goes well, I will be able to take pride in being a small part of this incredible company’s growth trajectory.

I’ve learnt so much already – about the EV space, the charging space, how it all works, and the economics behind it. This is an invaluable experience that I will take with me wherever I go, and also a great way to test out the craziness of the startup world that always intimidated me. I really like it – and I can survive it (which I didn’t know before!)

As you can probably tell, this is only a small fraction of the endless possibilities that Stern offers you through its experiential learning opportunities. To me, this is what an MBA looks like in today’s ever-changing business world, where you learn in class and apply the learnings to a real-world project with implications that define the success of your clients, and you.

Acing your NYU Stern Interview

Adam Smith is a Director of MBA Admissions. Adam has worked on our Operations team for over 9 years and is a graduate of the Langone Part-time MBA. Outside of work, you are most likely to find him playing or watching tennis!

 

We get questions about interviews at every stage of the candidate life cycle. Whether you are still deciding where to apply or if you are putting the final touches on your Pick 6, this post should give you the knowledge you need and some insider tips on how to set yourself up for success.

The basics

Let’s start with logistics.

How and when: Interviews are by invitation only. If you are invited, you will hear by the notification date that aligns with when you submit your completed application.

Who: Members of the Admissions Committee meet with candidates during Stern interviews.

Where: Currently we are conducting interviews virtually via Zoom.

For more: Details

AdCom Tips

Review what you submitted before your interview

NYU interviews are not ‘blind,’ which means your interviewer will have fully reviewed your application. Take time to reread your essays, check in on your goals, etc. You want to be prepared to talk about anything you included in your application, like the ballroom dance classes on your resume as well as your recent promotion. This way you are not only ready to meet with someone from Stern, but also to remind yourself why you were excited to attend NYU!

Have a conversation

This is an opportunity to share more about you. We want to get to know you! If there is anything that you feel you were not able to highlight in your application, bring it up. This is your chance to dig deeper. We want this to be a conversation and a chance for you to get to know us better as well.

This is your time

Don’t be shy about asking questions. We know you have them! We want to make sure you have as much information as you need when making your final decision. The interview is one piece of our holistic review process, but we know you are also considering the next step in your journey. We want you to feel informed about all things Stern.

Finally

Interviews are a good thing! This means you advanced to the next step of the process. While we will meet with more candidates than we can admit, we are excited about each of these interactions. We are committed to creating an environment where you can do your best and leave knowing a little more about Sternie life.

This was mentioned earlier, but it is worth saying one last time. We want to get to know you! Really!

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Your Stern Interview: Tips from a Student

Chris Cognetta is an MBA2, specializing in Tech Product Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Brand Management. Prior to Stern, Chris worked at Charles Schwab. This summer, Chris interned at FTI Consulting as a Technology Consultant and will be returning next year. Additionally, Chris is involved in SGov, Stern Technology Association, Gaming and eSports Management Society, Stern Follies, SpeechMasters, and European Business Society.

I remember the moment I found out I was going to interview for the Full-Time MBA program at Stern. I was in the middle of a work meeting and received an email explaining I was invited to an interview. The anxiety immediately settled in, followed by questions such as “I haven’t interviewed in years, how well will I do?” and “Is my story good enough?”

I enlisted the help of my father (who had no idea what he was getting into) and gave him a list of typical MBA interview questions to ask me over repeated video calls. He would later tell me how much he hated hearing me repeat the same answer to him over and over again. But I needed the practice. When I answered a question that felt stiff or didn’t easily roll off the tongue, we went back to the drawing board to rework my answers. I found that the more honest I was about my experiences, the easier it was for me to answer the questions.

The actual day of the interview finally rolled around. I spent most of the day before rearranging my bedroom to optimize the natural lighting from my window and clear any distractions from my background. I practiced breathing exercises until I logged into the Zoom meeting and awaited my interview with nervous anticipation.

My interview began. We started off with a friendly conversation before she made a funny reference to my Pick 6 application (I had included an image of Spider-Man). These actions immediately put me at ease, so much so that during some of the questions, I included funny details about my work that my father recommended I leave out of my answers. It was an easy and pleasant conversation, one that I didn’t realize ultimately ended sooner than I had thought. My first MBA interview was done, and it wasn’t the nightmare I had anticipated.

Through my experience, there are a couple of learnings that I think, you, as a prospective student can use to ultimately make your NYU Stern interview successful:

1. Be your authentic self

Probably the most important item on this list because Stern is aiming to build a diverse student body. The Admissions Committee can’t achieve this if everyone is trying to act like a stereotypical business student. Show the interviewer your true personality, tell authentic stories, and let them get to know the real you. It’s a lot easier to remember stories that actually happened and to share the excitement or learnings from those experiences.

2. Practice, practice, practice

Enlist a family member, friend, or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you so that they can hear your answers. Even if they don’t provide feedback, practicing answering the questions will allow you to spend less time thinking about the words, and to have your stories sound more coherent.

3. Review your application

The Admissions Committee member who interviews you will have just read your application, and they will ask you questions on what you wrote. It’s a smart idea to review your application so you can speak to the major points you mentioned in your application.

4. Feel confident going into the interview

Finally, remember to show up confident in yourself and your abilities to the interview. Not everyone makes it to the interview stage of the application, so you should feel confident about yourself for making it this far. Show the Admissions Committee why you would be a good NYU Stern MBA Candidate and feel assured about your answers.

Best of luck to you on your interviews!

Admissions Tips for the EQ Endorsements

Erica Hartsfield is a Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions and has worked at NYU Stern for over 5 years on both the events marketing and digital marketing teams. Outside of work, Erica is an avid Chicago sports fan (go Bears!), puzzle enthusiast, history buff, and MPA candidate at NYU Wagner.

“Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?” is a question we get often from prospective students. On one hand, the answer seems pretty straightforward: ask a current or previous supervisor. In practice, the answer is a bit more complex. Letters of Recommendation (LORs), or EQ Endorsements as we call them at Stern, are one of the few external inputs that candidates include in their application. But why do we ask for them? And who should you actually ask to write a recommendation?

The Purpose of Letters of Recommendation

The LOR is a data point in a holistic application review process and adds an external perspective to your application. The content and structure of LORs may vary by program, but ultimately, a good LOR should do two things:
  • Support your candidacy. 
  • Bring to life the story in your application through the viewpoint of someone who knows you well.

NYU Stern’s EQ Endorsements

At Stern, our letters of recommendation are called EQ Endorsements. Our EQ Endorsements are similar to a common LOR, but we ask your endorser to provide a specific example of your EQ, or emotional intelligence. Our community values EQ, and this is an opportunity to hear how candidates embody this core pillar of our community through the experience of their endorser.  

Picking Endorsers

You should be selective when deciding who to ask for an EQ Endorsement. At Stern, we encourage at least one professional EQ Endorsement from a current or recent manager. The second endorsement is up to you ( you should avoid anyone who may be biased like family members or significant others). Most importantly, select endorsers who know you and can speak to your contributions and strengths. We can usually tell if you haven’t worked closely with an endorser, so you won’t get extra points for including a letter from an executive just because of their title.

Managing the “Ask”

Once you’ve identified who you want to ask, think about how you’ll manage this process. Here are some tips for ‘managing the ask’:

  • Reach out early. Make a list of people you want to reach out to for EQ Endorsements, and ensure you give them enough time to write a good endorsement. 
  • Don’t tell your recommender what to write about you. Remember, endorsements should be external insight that supports your application. Instead, have a conversation with your endorser to remind them of your accomplishments and share context about why you want to pursue your MBA.
  • Follow up. Stay in touch with your endorsers and follow up as needed. People often miss application deadlines because they are missing an EQ endorsement. 
  • Send a thank you note! It seems obvious, but it’s an important step. Your endorsers have taken time to advocate for you in this journey, so remember to thank them for their support. 

Ultimately, EQ endorsements build on the story you’re telling in your application. If your voice in your application says “this is who I am and this is what I’ve done”, your endorsements should say “that’s true, and here’s how”. 

Tips from a Stern Reapplicant

Jade Burger MacNee is in her first year of the Full-Time MBA program, specializing in Marketing and Media & Entertainment. Prior to Stern, Jade worked in the Fashion and Beauty Industry in companies such as Estée Lauder, Tory Burch and PVH. She is originally from Brazil, where she started her career working as a producer for multiple international fashion magazines including Vogue US, GQ, W and V Magazine.

How does one find their own path in life? What is yours? These were the questions that time and time again I asked myself, especially when I was working on my two applications for NYU’s MBA program. 

Yes, you read it right. I applied to the Stern MBA program twice. My first attempt to embark on the MBA journey was cut short after being waitlisted and ultimately declined admission. But everything changed in 2022 when I received a phone call that shook my life upside down and secured me a place in the class of 2024. 

As I soul searched between my first and second applications, I started discovering in me an unexpected sense of resiliency and confidence. In the fall of 2021, I found myself once again dreading each and every piece of information required for NYU’s application. I wanted to put my best foot forward and was scared of missing the point. However, I took a deep breath and decided to face my fears. I wanted to show how I evolved and why I am constantly motivated by change. 

The first time I applied, I had explained why I wanted to pivot careers and learn how to be a marketer. In my second application, I was able to say that I conquered my goal. I had worked hard throughout the year to make the pivot on my own, and was excited to show Stern the thought I’d put into my time between applications. It takes courage to act and determination to change, and I showed Stern that I was committed to finding new paths in my life. If you ever find yourself in this position, think of action items you can work on between applications. Even if you don’t fully get there, you will already be on the right track. And don’t forget to highlight your short-term achievements in your new essays.

Another area that I was able to improve was the Pick 6. My first one was good, but the second one was real. Don’t be afraid to show blurry photos. The most important thing I wanted to  demonstrate through the photos is my everyday life. I did not realize at first how powerful being real can be. So, after putting it together, I discovered that I am really passionate about all the small things in my life such as cooking with family or reuniting with friends at a wedding. This was certainly a shift from the photos I had before, which I felt focused too heavily on my work and professional life.

My application process felt like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. However, it made me think of all my successes and failures through a different lens. NYU Stern taught me to be proud of all my achievements even before the first week of class. I am happy to say that everything I expected from the NYU community was correct. Stern is definitely a place where competition gives way to camaraderie. The EQ is real here at NYU – trust me.

Conquering the Pick Six

Nedjee is an Admissions Coordinator at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and has been with Stern since 2021. Outside of her role of planning admissions events, she enjoys watching basketball (Miami Heat) as well as spending quality time with her family. 

We often get questions from applicants about the Pick 6 essay and how to best use visuals to describe yourself and your experiences. This post should give you the knowledge you need and some insider tips on how this photo essay can help you deliver your story using a series of images.

The basics

Let’s start with logistics. The Pick Six Essay prompts you to introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your essay 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.

AdCom Tips 

Relay a multifaceted, confident story.

Get an idea of what photos you would like to include and why. From your first image to the very last image, you’re creating a visually dynamic story. It’s important to understand what the message behind each photo is so you can capture the narrative in your brief caption. 

The “why” means more than the “what”

This essay really gives you the opportunity to show us who you are outside of the other components of the application, so use this space to share aspects about you that we may not see otherwise on your application. This is a great way for us to learn more about what gets you out of bed in the morning, what motivates you, and what experiences have impacted you. This can be a series of connected images, or six totally unrelated images, it’s completely up to you! So whether it is a photo of your dog, favorite vacation spots, or historic landmarks, share things that are meaningful to you so we can learn more about you.

Ask for outside advice.

Share your pick six with someone who you trust and who knows you well. Show them your images and the written description of your overall story, and be open to their honest feedback. If you don’t quite have an idea of what images to include, get advice from the people who know you best, and see how their insight aligns with the message you want to convey. This is your chance to be creative however you see fit, so take advantage of it. Ultimately, you make the final selection on the images that tell your story.

Write brief captions.

Your six images should include brief captions to help describe your visual narrative. The caption should help give the Admissions Committee context about the significance of your images. Remember to keep your captions succinct.

Finally

We know the Pick 6 essay can be a little nerve-wracking to complete but it should be fun to put together! We love reviewing this essay because it helps bring the application, and the applicant to life. So, it is worth saying again – have fun putting this essay together! We can’t wait to get to know the real you!

Jumping into the Next Stage of Your Career at Stern

Catherine is a Senior Associate Director at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and has been with Stern since 2016. Outside of recruiting the next class of Sternies, she enjoys watching football (NY Giants & Boston College) as well as working her way through her extensive list of NYC restaurants to try.

What do you want to be when you graduate business school? No matter what you are interested in, Stern has the tools to help you succeed in your career.

Historically, Stern was known as the school to go to if you wanted to become an investment banker. Nowadays, you’ll find students interested in all sorts of industries – technology, healthcare, consulting, luxury and retail … the list goes on. To dive deeper, students are able to to specialize in specific subject areas. These specializations help students become experts in the business topics of their choice. 

Aside from offering a diverse and flexible curriculum, Stern has a top-notch Office of Career Development (OCD). OCD’s main focus is to prepare students for internship and full-time employment recruitment. It all starts with IGNITE, which is a job preparation program that all Full-time MBA students complete in their first semester. Students will revise their resumes, participate in interview prep, and attend workshops to identify which industries or career paths pique their interest. Stern’s professional clubs are also a great resource to help students prepare for recruitment. MBA2s act as mentors for the MBA1s, and impart their wisdom after having gone through the recruitment process just one year before.


OCD and the professional clubs are an especially great resource for students who are not coming from a “business” background. In fact, many students pursue an MBA to make a serious career pivot, so don’t fear – you’re not the only one! Our MBA program and its career-focused resources are designed to give you the skills you need to make that career pivot. 

Once students have completed the IGNITE program, they’re ready to recruit! Stern has many companies that participate in on-campus recruiting, meaning they come to Stern to recruit our students directly. Our location in the heart of NYC makes this process even easier since companies and students don’t have to travel far to meet each other. Students are able to recruit for a variety  of industries, given NYC’s status as a hub for global business. Students also find it easy to connect with Stern alumni at companies of interest by simply hopping on the subway to meet a former Sternie for a coffee chat in a matter of minutes. For students who are interested in pursuing roles at smaller companies, or in more niche industries, OCD will help you to make the connections, find applications, and land the perfect role.

We’ve talked about career support, but where do Sternies end up? Take a look at our employment report! Each year, OCD publishes a summary of where the graduating class has accepted jobs, broken down by industry and function. The report also includes information on compensation. For example, the median salary for the Class of 2022 was $170,000. This report is a helpful tool to demonstrate the ROI of Stern’s Full-time MBA program, and highlights career possibilities for Sternies. 

Career support doesn’t stop once a Sternie graduates! Alumni have lifelong access to the Career Center for Working Professionals (CCWP). CCWP provides professional development support and coaches to help you with any career changes. Graduates also join the Stern alumni network, which is 100,000+ alumni strong. 

I hope I’ve provided more insight on how Stern can help shape your future career. The impact of a Stern MBA is something you will feel long after you’ve graduated!