College Application Videos
The most known examples of schools that accept video essays are NYU's Stern School of Business, UCLA's Anderson School of Management, the scholarship program for the Nyenrode EMBA in the Netherlands and the Acton MBA in entrepreneurship. While not all business schools offer the option of a video essay, more colleges are turning to it in an effort to keep up with the times. In addition, colleges are using the video essay option as an antidote to the trend of overly packaged applications that lack substance. The video essay gives you a chance to show skills and attributes that aren't always best conveyed in a written essay, such as your visual and verbal communications skills and sense of humor. MBA admissions officers at schools that offer the video essay option feel that the video answers are more revealing than written ones, making the video essay a more authentic representation of a candidates personality.
Here are some general tips, followed by examples of specific video essay questions:
- College admissions videos aren't for everyone, so only choose this option if you are comfortable with it over an essay, audio clip or other options offered.
- Be sure to follow the instructions of how to submit your video. Some schools will not accept submissions via video hosting sites and will only accept a DVD or USB drive. The schools that do accept video applications may require you use a certain site. Acton, for example, only accepts videos that are posted privately to Vimeo using a certain password.
- Remember: this is not a movie. The admissions officers reading your application aren't looking for the next Steven Spielberg or Nora Ephron, they want to see that you are a good communicator. So focus on answering the question, instead of having great special effects or a witty script.
- Be yourself. While video applications are a good way to show that you have a sense of humor, it may be best to stay away from doing a funny video if humor does not come naturally.
Stern Essay 3
If you've done a search for MBA video applications on YouTube, video essays for NYU's Stern School of Business will be among the first search results you'll see. These videos are answers to Stern's Essay question #3, personal expression: Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. Since this question can be answered using almost any method and you are encouraged to be creative, many people choose the video essay option.
Even though the question allows for creativity, you still have to follow NYU's guidelines. Contrary to what you might think, NYU does not accept links to video hosting websites like YouTube. Instead, you have to send a DVD or flash drive to the admissions office. The video can't be longer than 5 minutes. If the Stern admissions committee, can't view your video, you will be asked to resubmit your essay.
UCLA MBA Essay
According to Business Week, UCLA's Anderson School of Management is one of the schools best known for innovative MBA applications. They accept audio video answers to the essay question "What is something people will find surprising about you?". They have an active social media presence where they give tips about the application process and have written about the best ways to handle video essays on their blog. One year, Anderson even had UCLA film students make animations to accompany the audio essays they received and published the animations on their webpage.