June 21, 2022

NYU Stern Essay Tips: Short Answer & Essay 1

NYU Stern’s online application is open for the 2022-23 application cycle. Here are the important dates and Admitify’s guidance on the Short Answer Essay and Essay 1.


Initial Notification* By
1st Deadline
2nd Deadline
3rd Deadline
4th Deadline

*  You will receive one of three initial notifications: invitation to interview, waitlist offer, or denial of admission


NYU Stern: Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.

Your essays must be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be rescinded if you did not write your essays.


Short Answer: Professional Aspirations

What are your short-term career goals? (150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)


Admitify Guidance:

Given the tight word limit here, cut to the chase from the first sentence and state your short-term goals as concretely and specifically as you can. If that goal turns out not to be possible, what is your backup path?  State roles and even specific job titles; state organization types but also specific examples of those organizations. If you have space (you may not) to mention actual people who are doing what you want to do, then go for it, especially if they have Stern MBAs and/or you actually reached out to them to learn about their careers. Note that Stern is not asking for your long-term goals, no doubt because they realize you have no idea where you’ll be in 15 years. But if you see your short-term goal as primarily a stepping stone toward a long-term goal and/or if your long-term goal is interesting or compelling feel free to state your long-term goal in a single sentence. If you have space after doing all this you could also add a sentence explaining the motivation, mission or insight that drives this goal.


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?


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


Admitify Guidance:

Change is good. Show Stern you get that. Don’t fret over the verb you choose; they aren’t grading you on your verbal ingenuity (but you may want to invest in Roget’s Thesaurus for this prompt :). They are grading you on your thoughtfulness around change, however. We see this as a two-part response. The first part (about 175 words) should focus on brief examples of you living the type of change that the change ‘word of your choice’ captures. (Again, it’s the examples [accomplishments] that matter here, not so much the ‘change word’ you choose.)  Assuming 175 words, depending how long each of your examples are, you may have space for 2-4 discrete accomplishments showing you interacting positively with change. Aim to have change examples from different sides of your life. The second half of this essay is the forward-looking piece: ‘How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern?’ Identify your 3 of your most defining differentiators as an applicant and then find the Stern activities that align with them (if you are an African American fintech specialist who loves policy: Association of Hispanic & Black Business Students + Fintech Association + Stern Policy Forum). Then go one step further: suggest as specifically and creatively as possible how you will add value or innovate in this club/activity. This may require some exploration of the Stern activity, but admission to NYU is worth a bit of work, no?


Check back on Thursday for guidance on Essays 2 and 3, and contact us to start on your application today!