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 a Graduate Ambassador, AVP of Admissions for SISA, and admissions committee member for SWIB. Aside from work and school, you can find Jennifer at Washington Square Park dog run with her roommates, Meredith and Elizabeth, and their dog, Stella.
When I began my recruitment journey at Stern, I had a pretty good idea of “what” I wanted to do, but wanted to explore all the different avenues of getting there. After exploring different avenues like Consulting, Merchandising, and even for a moment, Venture Capital, I realized that I was looking for a bit more of a holistic experience in my next role. Because of my background of being with one company for many years, to then having a consulting practice where I had multiple clients at a time, I realized my next move needed to be one where I have the opportunity to really understand a company from every angle and perspective. I wanted to see the way different departments operated and worked together, before settling into a specific vertical within a company, and a rotational program really spoke to me in that regard. Additionally, I found that I have really enjoyed the learning and mentorship environment at Stern, so I was hoping to find a program that emphasized this in order to continue that thread in my professional career post MBA.
Deciding a Path
Next, I educated myself on the different roles typically offered to Stern MBA students in retail, and immediately there was one that stuck out to me. It had everything I had hoped for: an incredible sustainable department that was looking for continued growth, a strong consumer insights team, and a really positive company culture. To really emphasize that last part: being in the fashion industry, I had become accustomed to the fact that work days would be 12+ hours and the culture wouldn’t always be friendly. I can safely say that this theory is not always the case, and that you *can* find the balance.
The Application Process
Once the application process began, it started with me sending applications with my resume and cover letter to the companies I was interested in, which was posted on the 12Twenty careers site, available to all NYU Stern students. A few weeks later, emails started being sent out inviting me to schedule first round interviews, which typically consist of both behavioral and more analytical based interviews. I used my casing prep from the Management Consulting Association (MCA) to get ready for the more technical interviews, and did due diligence by researching the companies and really figuring out how I would fit in and add to the community. Then, I worked with my peers on behavioral interview prep. A wonderful process my friends and I did was to ask a behavioral question (like: tell me about a time you overcame a challenge) in the group chat every morning and each person would respond back with a voice note of their answer. We’d respond back to each other with feedback and it was so helpful to hear the different perspectives!
Once those interviews are complete, invites are typically sent out for a final round. Given the post-covid world, some companies will do the final round virtually or in person. When it’s in person, it’s really fun meeting the other MBA students from other schools invited to the final round as well, which might sound like intense competition, but rather it feels more like an opportunity to network! For final rounds, you may be prompted to do a behavioral interview again, but you also may be asked to do a presentation on a topic, a case interview, or even a group case. I know these days can seem really stressful and daunting since you’re evaluated on so many different factors, but I noticed when I stopped viewing it as a one way street of if they were going to like me, my anxiety on the matter disintegrated. Instead, view it as an opportunity to understand if the environment and people at the company make you feel that you’ll be able to really add to the company in an impactful way and succeed. My biggest takeaway from the experience of recruitment was that you know yourself better than anyone else, so look to emulate your traits of impact in a light that’s truthful to who you are. There’s no right or wrong in your answers, as long as you stay true to yourself and identify the ways you can make a successful impact at your target company and role.