Given the structure and intensity of the one year MBA, I realized very early on that intentionality is key to maximize my experience and fully take advantage of everything Stern has to offer. Being intentional helps to set goals, from which I can work backwards to develop an actionable plan to success. Most importantly, this attitude will hopefully serves as a GPS, navigating me through my career transition and personal development while at Stern.

Intentional about goal-setting
Coming into Stern, I was absolutely sure about one thing – absorbing as much information as I can to enable my career switch from finance to brand management. With that, I looked into resources at Stern that would widen my network and introduce me to new opportunities. For example, I’m excited for Stern Luxury & Retail Club’s various events to start in the Fall semester, especially the Annual Stern Luxury & Retail Conference. I also look forward to building a relationship with my mentor Elana Drell-Szyfer. Professor Carr had set up the mentoring program where every student in the Stern Fashion & Luxury (F&L) MBA program is paired up to a mentor from the Stern Fashion and Luxury MBA Council. Beyond these, I made a list of activities and clubs that would help in my career transition. Although the list is constantly adjusted as I receive more information and develop more interests, having a concrete goal to strive towards set my sail straight in these first couple of weeks at Stern

Intentional about choosing classes
Choosing classes for the Fall semester is one of the most stressful things I have done thus far. Knowing that I only have one year and a finite number of credits for electives, I was initially overwhelmed by all the options. And even more so after talking to fellow students and alumni on which classes they found most intriguing. After dreading and avoiding the task for a week, I turned to my trusty old friend Excel and made a matrix. I went through the course catalogue, researched different professors and read samples syllabi. Eventually, I came up with a short list of classes that were interesting and listed (even color coded) them by professors, reviews/ratings and which specializations the classes fulfilled. This list saved me from multiple potential nervous breakdowns! Ideally, I’d like to graduate from the F&L program with specializations in Luxury Marketing, Strategy and Digital Marketing (very aspirational, I know). Because I am looking to expand knowledge in specific functional areas, being intentional with class selection was extremely important for me. With this list, I was able to assess how classes stacked up against each other and which ones maximized exposure to brand management and marketing skills.

Snapshot from my handy class selection list

Intentional about finding your tribe
The world isn’t just rainbows and butterflies and things get rough more frequently than we’d like. And so it takes a village to succeed. I’m so glad to share my MBA journey with these classmates and look forward to getting to know each other better in the course of next year. It’s crazy to think that we will be spending almost (if not) every day together for the next year. Cheers to friendships, shared experiences and growth!