Jennifer Rice comes to NYU Stern with over six years of experience as a Design Director in sustainability and performance brands. After working as a designer for shoes and ready-to-wear at Zero + Maria Cornejo, she went on to start up her own consulting company in 2021, aligning new and established brands with partners across the east coast for brand development and production services. Jennifer is currently recruiting for Management Consulting roles and is an active member of SWIB, SISA, MCA, and Gridiron. Aside from work and school, Jennifer enjoys training for half marathons and watching Love Island.
As I climbed the famous Stern stairs on my first day of orientation, my hands were perspiring, and my mind was going a mile a minute. Filled with “what ifs,” I realized I was terrified of this new unknown I was entering. Though I prepared to get into Stern, with all the resume edits, recommendation letters, and GMAT studying, I never “prepared” for the moment I would begin my business school experience. I continued to panic inside my mind, until Joey, who would become a close friend of mine, walked right up to me on day 1 and couldn’t have been kinder and more relatable. I could feel my shakes subside as we discussed our previous careers and airline preferences. I was making my first B-school friend!
This experience I just described continued 22 more times that day and the next during orientation. It gave me comfort to realize we were, as High School Musical states “all in this together.” I can confidently say I was blown away by, and comfortable with this cohort by the time our LAUNCH orientation was completed.
What was even more incredible was the bond we all created during the next few months of our first semester. From birthdays at TAO, to summer potluck rooftop dinners, and late-night zoom study sessions, your cohort becomes, as we’ve called it, FLUX Fam. Not understanding Statistics? You’ll have an entire army behind you ready to teach you covariance until you could lecture on it. Nervous about public speaking? You’ll receive podcasts to help boost your confidence and individuals ready to practice with you. Beyond the academic help, your fellow students will support you through life changes as well. Whether it’s a breakup, an engagement, or COVID finally knocking at your door, this group will be there with care packages and hugs (virtually, of course, if it’s COVID!).
If you’re reading this blog post, you’re most likely familiar with all the top B-schools marketing their students’ emotional intelligence acuity. During my application process, I took it with a grain of salt. But it’s true – I never experienced this level of support and high emotional intelligence in a community prior to Stern. Being a business school student and a child who set booby traps to discover Santa Claus wasn’t real at 5 years old, I had to investigate why EQ was more than a marketing tactic at Stern. From getting to know all my fellow students in the program, we noticed we had a lot of niche aspects in common.
- Empathy: we all have an exorbitantly high level of empathy for others, the majority reported this was due to life experiences. You’ll learn from your fellow students how they overcame tribulations in their life through the many conversations and late night studying during your time at Stern.
- Investigative/Thinkers: When I say I learn more from my fellow students than the professors themselves, this is not to undermine the incredible education and facetime you receive with the world’s leaders who teach us. The students, though, will ask the questions you never knew to ask or even think! Your perspective on topics and concepts will quite literally expand during your time here. Pretty soon, you’ll also begin to emulate this.
- Diverse: In every sense of the word. Different backgrounds, upbringings, tribulations, and successes have filled this 23 student cohort. Every conversation results in a new immeasurable point of view. This aspect alone has sprouted a learning environment far beyond the classroom. . One genius professor at Stern, Dr. Jared Watson, introduced us to the Kruger-Dunning Effect: a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. Aka, the more you know, the less your ego is on the matter. This holds true for our group, we all learn from each other, ego removed. It has resulted in incredible conversations and bonding experiences.
- Wise: I struggled on how to phrase this one, as I don’t mean wise as in the old man in a rocking chair sharing advice. I mean – wise in the sense that these individuals understand they have so much to learn from others, and they want to share their experiences with you to help you grow..
The community in the Fashion & Luxury MBA program has given me a network of brilliant people, future leaders, and forever friends.
Good luck and I look forward to meeting you on Campus!