The one year program is unique to the two-year program, we start in the summer, May to be exact, and with a cohort of 30 instead of 400. The two Focused One Year Programs, Tech and Fashion & Luxury, have their own orientation program in the spring where we first meet before starting classes. We then have a whole summer to bond over classes, our immersions, and our dedication to our focused programs. While the campus feels small over the summer with just the 60 of us, it feels booming starting in the fall when the two-year program comes back to campus. Suddenly the 60 students in the Fashion & Luxury and Tech cohort are surrounded by another 800 students. This seems like it could be overwhelming, except Sternies are a welcoming group and not only were they excited to meet us, they were enthusiastic about mixing us into the larger Stern culture.
First, as we started our new semester I wanted to reach out to other MBAs in Stern who interned in the Fashion & Luxury industry over the summer. Everyone receives a list of students with their internship, past experience, and contact information as Stern encourages coffee chats across programs. In this spirit, I emailed six people assuming maybe 1-2 would respond and be able to set up a meeting. Within 12 hours, every single person I reached out to had responded and worked with our crazy schedules to set up a coffee chat or phone call. One student and I got bubble tea and walked around Washington Square Park (NYC location benefits!) while we talked about retail startups. Another gave me a call to go over his internship and interests in sustainability, which led to me applying to be on the conference committee of SISA. Everyone is excited to share their experiences and wants their peers to succeed!
Another way our Focused Program integrated into the larger Stern culture is through clubs and leadership positions. Since we are in the Fashion & Luxury program it makes sense that we would want to be a part of the Luxury and Retail Club, LARC, here at Stern. The leaders of LARC were incredibly excited to integrate us into the club. They set aside a number of Vice President, VP, positions specifically for focused one year students so we could be more involved. Being on the board of a club allows us to get to know our fellow 2 Year, Full-Time MBA students better and mingle with other students interested in the same industry as us.
The last, and maybe the most fun, way we mix in with the 2 Year MBA students is Beer Blast and other mixers. Every Thursday a club hosts a Beer or Bar Blast that takes place at or near Stern. Everyone from the 2 Year , Part Time, and Focused Programs come together to socialize and talk about their week. The first Beer Blast I went to I met a number of the first and second year MBAs, one who even helped me with my Fantasy Football Lineup! It’s an incredibly fun way to meet new people and mix into the larger Stern culture. The Focused One Year MBAs may be a unique program, but there is nothing separating us from joining together with everyone else at Stern!