New York City Introduce Yourself Essay

My name is ————-

I started writing this essay on a piece of paper, but that’s exactly what I’m not.

Let me introduce myself properly.

I am my parents’ child.

My parents are a driving force in my ambition to make this world a better place. My dream of pioneering my own Ed-Tech start-up first began at my kitchen table, where my parents – an educational strategist and a high-tech executive – would share stories about their work.

My dad, a farmer turned president of a $2B market cap tech company, showed me that determination succeeds in any environment, from the fields to the boardroom. My mom, an education innovator and social justice advocate, impressed upon me the importance of proper and equal education for all. My parents showed me that a profession is more than advancing just yourself or your family – it’s about advancing society.

I am determined to reach and exceed my parents’ achievements, in my own way, by combining the passions born from my life’s biggest influences – education, technology and management.

I’m driven by the desire to use technology and open source principles to improve education in remote and rural areas around the world.

I am a global citizen.

Just before I entered first grade, my father was tapped by a former army commander to work in high tech in Boston. My view morphed from the rolling hills of our town to skyscrapers, the songs of birds replaced by honking taxis.

Two days after arriving in America, I found myself in a public classroom, without a single friend or a word of English to my name.

Feeling embarrassed and confused in class led me to spend my afternoons memorizing the ABC’s and scanning books in English. I forced my parents to give me English lessons every night when they returned home from work. After a year, I felt completely at home, and I even mentored new foreign arrivals, preparing them for what to expect at school and helping them to practice English.

We moved back to my town after six years in Boston, but the experience abroad was foundational. Rooting for the Celtics became as much a part of my anatomy as Brazilian asado – Boston added another layer to my identity.

Acclimating to a foreign culture at such a young age opened me in ways that have been essential to my personal and professional growth. Long afternoons of learning made me an independent learner – a skill I use often at work today, mastering new programming languages and conducting in-depth research at my employer’s innovation center.

Overcoming my language barrier at a young age taught me to be patient, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and instilled the value of mentorship. These insights helped me to become a highly cooperative person whom others feel they can trust.

I am a leader.

I first learned to lead as captain of my high school basketball team, leading my team to a national championship against all odds. We had less talent, less experience, and we were (on average) 4 centimeters shorter than our opponents. In the end, our teamwork and friendship prevailed. After winning the championship, I was invited to scrimmage with the national team. I insisted they allow my entire team come.

Becoming national champions showed me the value of persistence and never underestimating you own abilities, or the abilities of your team. This was especially instructive when serving as a paratrooper; I suffered a serious back injury from long treks with heavy equipment. My commanders presented me with two options: take a desk job, or sign an extra year beyond my mandatory service to attend Officers’ School and afterward lead an elite unit for special operations and technology development. Determined to make the most of my service in spite of my injury, I chose the latter.

Just like the basketball team I led, my first project as started as something of a lost cause: I was handed responsibility for developing a $2.8M thermal tracking device alongside a world-leading military contractor. The project was over a year behind schedule, manned by an exhausted, frustrated team.

I never doubted that we would reach the ambitious 8-month goal the army had set. I created a comprehensive Gantt to meet development, finance, logistics, and HR benchmarks. I worked hard toward creating cohesion between army and civilian team members.

When additional product features required more capital to develop, I used my nights off to create marketing campaigns that I pitched to higher-ranking officers – to countless colonels and even a brigadier general. I solicited private donations from dozens of international donors, tailoring each presentation to their cultural preferences and priorities.  I raised $1M in capital, we met our deadline, and our unit became the go-to unit for product development and for special tech operations. After the release of the thermal tracking device, I led 7 additional projects with budgets totalling $4M.

I believe that Ed-Tech is the future.  

Growing up in an immigrant community, I developed a close understanding of what it meant to live in a poor, remote part of a country. Teaching at-risk teenagers and elementary school orphans in Thailand brought meaning to my mother’s words, “Education is the distance between have and have-not.” Technology is the only way to shorten this distance.

I intend to leverage my technological skills, experience as an educator, and the business acumen I’ll acquire at Harvard to create Ed-Tech products to increase access to education through low-cost applications based on based on collaborative knowledge sharing and big data analytics.

My tech achievements thus far give me the confidence that I am ready to bring my own products to the public.

I developed a start-up company, an online platform for professional development and recruiting. I drew capital for entire project with nothing more than belief in my idea and very convincing power point presentations. Today, My company has thousands of users and is the main professional development platform for several multi-million-dollar tech firms.

Global change begins from local change, and my country is fertile testing-ground. After my MBA, and hopefully following success as a product manager with an Ed-Tech firm, I intend to pilot my own projects in my country’s periphery, targeting underserved populations.

Harvard is my calling.

More than being located in my beloved childhood hometown, Harvard Business School is the place that piqued my interest in management sciences. I had the opportunity to accompany my dad to HBS courses while he was studying with the Advanced Manager’s Program. Sitting in the AMP courses ignited my interest in case-studies (I ended up reading every study in my father’s folder!), and I enjoyed in-depth discussions with professors like Richard Vietor and Guhan Subramanian. I am fortunate to be able to continue my interaction with HBS through reading articles and case studies on the IBM learning portal.

Harvard is the quintessential learning experience. Through innovations in EdTech, I believe the Harvard standard can become a world-wide education standard.

I’m an adventurer, a risk taker, a challenge seeker. I’m an educator, a leader, an entrepreneur and a social innovator.

I’m not just my past, I am my future; and I’m about to embark on a new chapter of my life, with you, at Harvard.


New York University Application Essay Prompt


We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and, more specifically, why you have applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and/or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have applied. You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s global network; regardless, we want to understand — Why NYU? (400 word maximum)


This is a relatively dense prompt in terms of length, and some students may balk at the block of text and not know where to begin. So first, let’s take a look at what the prompt is really asking before we go over strategies for responding to it.


Based on the first sentence, it may appear that this is just a general “Why X University?” essay. We’ve talked about these kinds of essays in some of our other Essay Breakdown posts, and these types of short answers tend to be relatively straightforward. However, in the very next sentence, we realize that this isn’t just another “Why X University?” essay — it’s also a “Why this major?” essay.


Not only does NYU want to know why you want to attend their school specifically, but they also want to hear about what you will be studying — and why you want to study it. We can paraphrase the prompt like this: Why do you want to go to New York University, and why do you want to study your chosen field here?



Now that we understand exactly what the prompt is getting at, we can start to think about how to answer it. You are essentially being asked to address two separate topics: major choice (or lack thereof, if you are undecided) and interest in New York University. What is important is that you connect these two pieces together in a cohesive manner, and leave admissions officers convinced that you deserve to study your given field at their university.


With regards to expressing your interest in New York University, there are some topics that we would caution you against emphasizing. For instance, the “Why NYU?” portion of your essay should not simply be focused on its location.


Out of the 60,000-something applicants, you can bet that a significant portion will be discussing New York City and the many opportunities therein extensively in their essays, and admissions officers have read it all before. This is simply far too generic an answer to be truly effective, so if you do choose to cite New York City as one of the reasons you’d like to attend NYU, be wary of making it the focus of your essay and strategize ways to approach this topic from an angle that is utterly unique to you.


Continuing with the theme of uniqueness, this short answer should also be wholly unique to NYU. In other words, if the reasons you are citing for wanting to attend could apply to any number of universities — for instance, if you’re citing “fantastic research opportunities”, “incredibly successful alumni”,  or “a diverse study body” — then your essay simply isn’t specific enough and is unlikely to impress admissions officers. You need to do your due diligence and thoroughly research the university and all it has to offer, and use this research to cite specific, concrete, and directed reasons why it (and exclusively it, for the purposes of this essay) is somewhere you’d like to be.


With regards to the “Why this major?” portion of the essay, specifics are also important. Your answer to this segment of the prompt needs to be grounded in personal details that convey a deep passion for a given area of study. Bring in past experiences, quirky anecdotes, and other engaging material to help admissions officers not only understand your academic aspirations, but also get to know you better.


You should also try to connect your current academic goals to your past experiences and accomplishments. It is extremely helpful if you can weave in your college aspirations with your current high school academic profile.


You can do this by citing significant extracurricular activities you’ve participated in, awards you’ve received, or even classes you’ve taken, and showing how these relate to whatever you wish to pursue once you are a university student. In doing so, you not only convey demonstrated interest in your chosen field but also construct a lens through which admissions officers can view your overall application through.


One final thing to think about is making sure that both elements of your essay are seamlessly woven together to create a cohesive narrative. One of the simplest ways to do so is to transition from “Why X University?” to “Why this major?” by demonstrating how NYU’s program in your intended field is a great fit for you, and how this is one of the many reasons why you would like to attend the university.


As always, while writing this transition, make sure that you conduct a significant amount of research into the school’s offerings in that field so that you can include specific, directed details. This will demonstrate not only that you’re passionate about your potential area of study, but also that you’re passionate about New York University.


With this in mind, you’re well on your way to writing a winning essay for your NYU application. We at CollegeVine wish you the best of luck!


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