How I got into NYU Stern: A Product Manager’s Account

In this post we’ll look at the debrief of a successful tech product manager who got into NYU Stern for an MBA.

Candidate: “I’m a product manager at a well-known social networking tech giant (not Facebook), prior to that I had successfully sold my startup to this tech-giant and was absorbed as a product manager. I have a BS/BTech in computer science from a top Indian tech university.”


Summary: 28 year old Indian male, product manager at a tech-giant in silicon valley. BS in computer science from a top Indian tech school (IIT).  

1. GMAT: 770
2. GPA: 8.9/10.0 (Indian Scale).
3. Work Experience: 36 months as a Consultant (1 promotion -> Software Engineer to Product Manager)
4. Employer: Renowned tech-giant.
5. Extra-Curricular: Cultural Clubs/Campus Newsletter Editor/Head of coordinating team organizing college fest.

Objective: “Transition into top management positions at a global tech giant”

Interview: “The interview was very challenging and I was asked a lot about why I wasn’t looking at working on startups and core-tech/engineering since I was successful at it in the past. I had to explain why I now like management more. I was quite prepared since this was a common interview question posed at anyone looking to do an MBA after engineering. But somehow, my answers even as I explained, didn’t seem to come out quite convincing. Though in the end I came out of the interview exhausted and thinking I’ll never hear back from Stern, I was pleasantly surprised to learn later I had been admitted.”

How to get into NYU Stern MBA

Editor’s Analysis: 

One factor that prominently stands out in your profile is the 770 GMAT – that is very impressive. So is 8.9 GPA in CS from an IIT. I didn’t go to an IIT myself, but because of my Indian engineering undergrad do know quite a lot about the IITs and their selectivity. Nonetheless other factors such as tech giant employer, promotion and alright extra-curriculars make this an overall competitive profile. no wonder you got the admit despite not doing great in your interview, though from your description of the interview I really think you got quite lucky.

There are however, rich lessons to our readers in your interview experience. Adcoms have a tendency to dig deep into aspects of your profile that they find intriguing and not consistent with the rest of your application. It may not necessarily be a bad sign if they corner you on these inconsistencies in your interview. The interview is then a great opportunity for you to go out there and clear any confusion/doubts in the their minds.

Author: Homer

Homer is the head of our family. Homer as an MBA from a top-three US B-School. An engineering graduate from a non-IIT, Homer is hope for all non-IITians looking to get into HBS/Stanford GSB/UPenn. Homer has a BE degree in mechanical engineering from a Bangalore college. Homer says that he was never a great student in his earlier days or at engineering school. What then worked in his favor? Well he started a mechanical engineering startup after working for a couple of years at a renowned German automobile company that he got placed in out of campus. Homer has the longest work experience in our family - 2 yrs at the German automobile maker + 3 yrs at his startup. Homer sold his startup back to his former employer and is now a top consultant (MBB consulting). Watch out for posts by Homer (to avoid them, of course!).

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