Stern MBA 2017-2018 Personal Expression Essay. Essay Tips.  

Stern MBA 2017-2018 Personal Expression Essay

Among the 3 required Stern’s MBA application essays an Expression Essay, named “Pick Six” is the most creative one.  Particularly, it sounds like:

“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.”

Let’s look closer at the essay’s topic and its instructions. Stern Admissions Committee says that using non-personal pictures or photos is ok, unless an MBA candidate will write an appropriate explanation of why this picture or photo appears in the essay. So the first tip is to choose from pictures, which are very close to your experience, feelings or interests.

This essay should expand the AdComs’ vision of you as a candidate and do not repeat two other essays’ topic on post-MBA career goals and arguments for choosing Stern’s MBA. Try to escape any explanations of how you have achieved specific goals or results, or why Stern MBA admires you. Remember the things, which can be additional parts of the puzzle, named YOU. The second tip therefore, is to make a list of topics beyond professional achievements and Stern program.

Be sure to include the topics, which may be interesting for the AdComs to know you better:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Social involvement and initiatives
  • Volunteering
  • Personal experiences (traveling, cultural learning, relationships etc.)

Search for the pictures, which refer to these topics and reflect your thoughts and impressions most perfectly. Sort them out according to the topics and put in the separate folders accordingly. Take a few days to remind and think of the cases, where these themes revealed your strongest emotions and inspirations. Write down the cases in 2-3 sentences, open your topical folders and find one picture from each of them, which would reflect the written cases the most. Shorten your 2-3 sentences into 1 and write it down under the picture.

Share your gallery with your close friends or relatives, who know you very well. Give them some time to read it and then ask them 2 questions:

  1. Is it really me, who is shown in the pictures?
  2. What can you tell about me on these pictures?

There are no perfect answers to these 2 questions, but you should like and clearly understand what you have heard from your judges!


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Author: Victoria Dudka, MBA Strategy Consultants Team Lead

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