This post has been marked as OLD. EssaySnark's advice and strategies for winning MBA applications don't change from year to year, but some of the school-specific admissions policies, essay questions, or other information covered in this article may be outdated.
OK great, so you applied to Columbia…. you’re in love with the place – despite how critical the ‘Snark was about them recently, you still love them, fair enough. But now you’re getting antsy.
Most other schools’ Round 1 deadlines are behind us…. what to do now? Round 2 is way off in January at most places. You won’t even bother thinking about essays for those apps until Dec. 20th at the earliest*.
So you look around and you realize…. NYU STERN!! They have this crazy schedule where their Round 1 deadline is not till mid November!!! Whoa Nellie hold your horses let’s go get ’em!!!
OK great. You’re gonna apply to Stern, too. (Even though you just finished telling Columbia how in-love you are with them. Now you’re ready to uproot your loyalties and redirect them at a new beau. No problem, we can dig.)
The thing is…. both Columbia and NYU assume that if you’re applying to one, you’re likely applying to the other. NYU definitely assumes this.
If you’re one of those who is not — if you’re ONLY applying to NYU — then you should DEFINITELY say as much in your app. Not, “I can’t stand Columbia those jerks” but something more like “I’ve chosen to apply only to Stern in New York because…” Or whatever. But don’t you dare say “I’m only giving my love to you” if it’s not true! NYU could be appreciative of the fact that you’re choosing them first and foremost but the schools also have ways of finding out (or broadly suspecting) where else you’ve also applied. Tell the truth, and don’t bash the other school. It’s not necessary to criticize anyone, just state the facts of the matter and move on.
But if you are applying to both schools? Fine, lots of BSers do, it’s not a problem. Just recognize: The way you answer each school’s essay 1 needs to be quite different. No copy-and-paste strategies here. Obviously that’s not even possible, based on how they’re each asking their career goals questions this year, but still we see people trying to make it work all the time.
Your NYU essay must be written from scratch.
You should be conveying the same core goals in this essay — after all, why would your goals be changing just because you’re applying to a different school? (We hate it when people do that, it’s completely disingenuous and smarmy.) But the presentation of your goals needs to change — both because the questions are asked totally differently, and also because these are different schools.
But you’ve done your research. You already know that. You don’t need EssaySnark pointing that out.
Oh wait. You don’t?
Well then… it looks like you have some work to do! We will nominate this as your weekend project: Figure out what the differences are between NYU and Columbia. How would a pitch to NYU need to be different? Or maybe more constructively: What does a pitch to NYU need to be about? You don’t need to bother with a compare/contrast, you just need to know what NYU stands for.
Just like we said recently about Haas and culture, NYU has distinct values. Do you know what they are?
If you don’t, you’d better figure it out, and fast. That November deadline will be here before you know it.
(You didn’t really expect us to tell you what the difference between Columbia and NYU is, did you?)
*That was a joke, based on the fact that you didn’t start on Rd 1 until Sept. 20th. This is not the ‘Snark’s recommended strategy.