Meet NYU’s Incoming Stern Class of 2017

Ashley Toscano

Ashley Toscano

New York University, Stern School of Business

Hometown: Austin, TX

Undergraduate School and Major: Pomona College, Neuroscience

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: LatinWorks Marketing – Business Development Coordinator; International Humanity Foundation – Bali, Indonesia Co-Director

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Take a practice test to figure out where you stand and evaluate if you could benefit from a prep course. But, do not let your initial score impact your self-esteem and self-worth! I jumped approximately 200 points from the first time I took a practice test to my highest score after months of preparation. Preparing for the GMAT is hard work and time-consuming, but realize that this is an investment.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Make a checklist of what is most important to YOU. School reputation and return-on-investment are important for many, but be sure to listen to aspects that matter to you. Look for a program where your strengths will be valued and a program that will offer you the most resources in your desired area of focus. Finally, speak to current students and alumni. Do not only ask them what they enjoy about their program, but challenge them and ask them what their program could improve upon. If these aspects are important to you, then do not take them lightly.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? I cannot stress this enough: Take some time to lay in your bed, go on a walk, or look at old photos, and think about what makes you you. What are your passions? What makes you tick? What are the experiences that made an impact in your life? Once you have taken sufficient time to figure out what makes you unique and what you bring to the table, begin crafting your story. Form a cohesive story tying together your past, present, and future. Share specific experiences and reveal your strengths. [That will make it] clear to the admissions officers what in your past and your future goals has led to your desire to pursue an MBA at this precise stage of your life and at this particular school. Be sure that every piece that is part of your application, including letters of recommendation, fit into your overall story. You do not need to mention every single experience that has happened in your life, unless it directly impacted where you are today and why your next logical step is to pursue an MBA at this time.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA?

Coming from a non-business undergraduate background, it was important for me to choose a program that had a very strong curriculum and that I could ensure would properly prepare me for the business world as a career switcher. The location of NYU will give me significant exposure to top companies domestically and internationally. As someone who has a fascination with learning about other cultures, New York was the perfect place for this next chapter.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate?

Aside from increasing my business terminology and overall knowledge, my goal is to make my mark in this program. I do not want these two years to pass without me pushing myself to make a positive change for this community.

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