Uploaded by Max Rose

Paper Guidelines

Final Paper
At the end of the course, you will write a paper that answers the question: “What do I
intend to do with my life after graduation from NYU Stern, and why?”
This reflective paper should be 5-7 pages long, typed in 12-point font double-spaced
It should build on and draw from all relevant course readings, illustrations &
reflections (yours or someone else’s), and in-class dialogue.
It should attempt to explain what you think your purpose is and provide an
account of your values, goals and ambitions, provide a perspective on the
various dynamics that may be relevant to your anticipated professional trajectory,
and anticipate your efforts to develop yourself and others into responsible
business professionals.
I encourage you to approach the assignment as an occasion to articulate a
manifesto that you can return to long after the completion of the course as a kind
of touchstone that enables you to remain true to yourself, or recognize changes
in yourself, over the course of your career.
I will grade the assignment on the factors discussed below under Writing and on the
extent to which it shows evidence of practical reasoning that integrates three distinct,
though interrelated forms of thought (adapted from Rethinking Undergraduate Business
Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession, Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M.
Sullivan & Jonathan Dolle (2011), which you will read for the first class session:
Analytic, i.e., making sense of particular phenomena in terms of general
concepts, abstract rules or principles;
Multiple framing, i.e., critically synthesizing distinct models or systems by calling
into question basic assumptions and creating alternative ways to frame issues;
Reflective exploration of meaning, i.e., imagining alternative versions of ‘the good
life’, and exploring their meaning in reference to personal identity, including
ethical values, cultural heritage and historical contexts.
I will also grade your paper based on how well it demonstrates insight into and
meaningful reflection on the course’s guiding questions and readings.
First, you may, but need not, look beyond what you intend to do right after Stern
graduation. So, you could answer the question as if it were "What do I intend to do 10
years after graduation from NYU Stern, and why?" Or 30 years. Or whatever time
frame helps you think about your purpose. If you choose to look further out, then do
reflect on how what you plan to do right after graduation will advance that purpose.
Second, as to whether and how to use the readings, borrowing from another
professor: It should be obvious you were in the course. So, use whatever readings or
other material that spoke to you and analyze how and why they did. If upon reflection,
none of them spoke to you, it would be a good idea to analyze why that is - maybe you
thought the material was too abstract, maybe other things you've read were so
important to you that they overshadow what we read in the course, etc.
Third, in looking forward and defining one's purpose, I think one must inevitably look
back. So, yes, you can discuss something that happened in high school or even earlier
that has affected your thinking about what you want to do with your life.
Start thinking about this Day 1 of class, or even earlier. While I hope you will start
before Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving break is a good time to refine your thinking and
perhaps even discuss with friends and family.