Consulting Corps Squared

It’s the fourth week of classes. How did we get here? It may seem like a cliché to say that time flies by in business school, but it’s no exaggeration. Somehow, I’m back in a place where finding even 30 minutes of free time in a given week can be a challenge. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy, and dare I say, even thrive off of this kind of hectic lifestyle. Many students at Stern will openly admit that they over commit. However, I’d like to see this level of involvement as a tradeoff. I’ve traded sleep and relaxation for two years where my life is dominated by FOMO (fear of missing out). For this reason, I’ve taken on two consulting projects in addition to my usual club activities and alumni volunteering.

The first project I’m working on is part of the Stern Consulting Corps (SCC). We are working with NYU’s Langone Medical Center to help their Department of Integrated Health develop a workable business model. Although my team has yet to delve into the details, I’ve already learned a tremendous amount. While the healthcare industry in the US is obviously fraught with woes, this project in particular has brought to light the disconnect that exists among between medicine, patients, and business.  The goals of the department are admirable and I truly believe our partners are some of the best-intentioned. However, it is clear they are seeking guidance and support to become self-sustaining. Over the next 8 weeks, it will be interesting to see how our group is able to answer some of the departments’ more trying questions. The prospect of making an impact at a world-class health facility is exciting and I look forward to sharing our results!

As if the ten hour per week time commitment from the SCC project wasn’t enough, I have also signed on board to work with Gilt Groupe, specifically with Gilt City as part of the Luxury and Retail Consulting Corps. While the Langone project is one of personal fulfillment, my motivation for this project is purely professional. As I look to enter a career in retail, I am thrilled to gain insight from one of the leaders in e-commerce and email marketing. I am hoping that this project is the perfect fusion of my minor technical background and my newly acquired analytical skills from Stern. Regardless, it will undoubtedly be an amazing experience to work with a company that is growing so quickly, yet still able to maintain its entrepreneurial spirit.

I can’t wait to contrast the two consulting roles!

Already March?

This weekend is one of our bigger Spring events, TSDL (Think Social, Drink Local). TSDL is a runway fashion show and dance party,  held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in NYC. Basically, our classmates and Stern administration model fashionable outfits from top NYC designers. Sponsors include Absolut Vodka, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooks Brothers, DKNY, etc. and proceeds go to support the Social Impact Internship Fund, which provides a financial stipend  for students who spend their summers working for often unpaid non-profit and social impact-based businesses.

I’m excited for this event and another exciting thing coming up, Spring Break! Every year, Stern’s community clubs organize different treks for students to join, or students can organize their own informal treks. This year, students were able to pick between Thailand, India, South Africa, Vietnam & Cambodia, Ecuador, Japan, and more (a lot of times, the students who choose to go on these treks are first year students since it’s a great way to meet new people)! As second year students, a bunch of us are going to Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I’m very excited to relax on the beach (and do nothing but read and eat) for my last spring break ever (sad!).

On the class front, things are going well. We just settled on a project topic for our Customer Insights class, which is essentially all about conducting effective marketing research. We decided to do our project on Apple iWatch. According to this article, Apple plans to launch this wearable, smartphone watch soon. Our job as market researchers is to not only figure out who the target consumer is, but how to make it a successful launch. To make it successful, we must answer questions like why the category for traditional watches has been declining, whether there is even a need for a smartphone-type watch amongst the target demographic, and if there is one, what features our target consumer would have a willingness to pay for. This launch is a hot topic in the news, and seeing how innovative Apple has been, it will be interesting to see whether the company is moving in the right direction or not with this new idea.

That’s it for this week – until next time…..

Think Social Drink Local

Happy weekend! It’s Thursday and that is technically the start of the weekend for most Sternies. We do not have classes on Friday and Thursday nights at beer blast is where everyone tends to let off a little steam from the week. On tap for this weekend is one of my favorite Stern events, “Think Social Drink Local” (more lovingly known in these halls as TSDL)!

The Social Enterprise Association and the Luxury & Retail Club are co-hosting the 8th Annual TSDL event, a fundraiser, runway fashion show featuring Stern students and essentially an all-out awesome party. Students and administrators strut their stuff on the runway while the rest of us non-models enjoy food and beverages from some fabulous NY establishments such as Murray’s Cheese, Brooklyn Brewery, The NY Distilling Co. and so many more. Proceeds from the event support NYU Stern’s Social Impact Internship Fund which provides funding for Stern MBA students who spend their summers working for non-profit and social impact-based businesses. This year’s theme, I Love New York, focuses on New York-based designers and locally produced food and beverage offerings. The event highlights the economic impact of locally-minded consumption and the importance of small businesses to a thriving local community.

This is by far one of the best parties of the year and also supports a great cause. Check out the video here to see highlights from last year’s event!


The Performing Manager

Greetings Friends!

I wanted to tell you about a class that I just started today. It’s called The Performing Manager. Per the course catalog, “Effective managers must motivate and inspire others to follow their ‘lead.’ This course will explore the seemingly elusive quality often referred to as personal charisma – that hard to pinpoint ability to not only set a clear direction, but communicate the energy and passion to forcefully engage others in a process.” I have read many articles that cite MBAs’ inability to effectively communicate and give presentations. Stern has a great variety of Management Communications courses that build on the soft skills that are necessary to be an effective leader.

The Performing Manager is a three-day intensive course that meets over three Fridays. What I really enjoy about this class is how it draws upon acting, performing and other arts to become a confident, charismatic and passionate speaker. So far, we have done exercises in mirroring, actively listening, and understanding non-verbal body cues. Through this course and Management Communications, a class I took last semester, I have gotten over the anxiety of speaking in public and have become a better presenter. I am pursuing a career in brand management after graduation and giving presentations and getting buy-in from groups is an essential part of the job. These courses are specifically preparing me for success in my career.

Until next time!

Industry Captains

The highlight of this week for me was getting to have a one-on-one conversation with Josh Shimkin, Director of Worldwide Digital Products & Premium Services at Marvel Entertainment’s Digital Media Group. He’s a Stern alum, and he was volunteering for the Office of Career Development’s “Industry Captains-in-Residence program, an innovative new mentoring program that brings highly successful alumni to campus to share industry insight and offer guidance to full-time MBA students through accessible, one-on-one conversations.” I had the chance to talk to him for half an hour Wednesday night; an informal chat, where he shared his experience before and after business school, answered my questions, and advised me about my options. I’m very interested in Entertainment, Media & Technology, so it was great to hear from someone working in that space, and to see some of his cool projects at Marvel. I’m really thankful for alums such as Josh, who take time from their busy schedules to have an honest conversation with us, and to help answer our questions.

Internship Status Report

When it rains it pours. This week I have made some major strides toward figuring out where I will intern this summer. I have been fortunate enough to receive some offers this week from some of the firms that I am most interested in. However, deciding between the different opportunities will undoubtedly be challenging. Luckily, the Office of Career Development has already been instrumental in helping me manage various relationships. My main dilemma, aside from my innate indecision, is how to proceed with ongoing conversations with companies who are still in the midst of their hiring process. Obviously it is essential to maintain these relationships not only for the purpose of the summer, but also as a representative of Stern and for my long term career. I would like to say that I have an entirely clear vision of what my career will look like, but with so many options at the moment, it is difficult to know.

One aspect of my future that I am confident in is that the Stern name will take me far. Several companies I have spoken to have already mentioned the quality of my education as a distinguishing factor. Moreover, many recruiters have sited Stern’s strong sense of community and how the school fosters a team-building environment. In terms of networking and exploring some less traditional career options, I feel that the Stern brand name has truly helped. But it extends beyond just the school’s image. The further I delve into my course work this semester, the more I see its potential real world application. As an undergraduate literature major, this is a complete 180. Now, as I consider my internship options, I must decide which of my new skills I’d like most to practice. Again, I hope that my decision making skills are not a hindrance, but that’s what OCD (Office of Career Development) is for!

I will be sure to keep you posted on my internship status in the upcoming weeks.

Inside the Stern Community

As the application process is just about winding down, we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with so many prospective students over the past few months.  I thought I would use this blog post to answer one of the most popular questions I have received from many of you and give you another peak into what makes NYU Stern such an awesome place to be.

Something that stands out about Stern and has made this experience truly incredible, surpassing all of my expectations of business school, is the Stern community. I can honestly say I have never met such a diverse group of brilliant, talented, friendly people! Shout out to my fellow classmates – YOU. GUYS.  ARE. AWESOME.

Everyone here at Stern is extremely collaborative, whether we are working together on a project for the Stern Consulting Corps, coming up with a new business idea for our Digital Strategy class project or studying together for a much dreaded accounting midterm.  Each day I continue to be impressed with my classmates’ desire to help one another out.  I have never once felt in competition with my classmates or that anyone was looking out for anything other than my very best interest. I have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime, expanded my network to an incredible group of people and really feel like Stern is a community that I will always be able to call home.

During the month of January while I was a first year I participated in Mock Madness, a recruiting even hosted by the GMA {Graduate Marketing Association}. Mock madness was a full week where my fellow classmates and I prepped each other for interviews, spending countless hours mock interviewing each other, sharing feedback and helping each other present their absolute best selves for their interviews. This is a shining example of how the Stern community truly pulls together in an “us against the world” mentality. Despite the fact that we were all interviewing for some of the same companies and the same internships, it never once felt like a competition.

This speaks not just to my fellow students but to the professors and faculty here at Stern as well. I have found that all of my professors are extremely accessible and their door is always open (as long as you can find their office) to help with questions about the class, share advice on projects or just generally chat about interesting issues. It is a rare thing to be in the presence of so many brilliant minds and I have made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity.

If you haven’t already, I would encourage all of you to come and visit us for a tour, class visit or just a casual chat with our Graduate Ambassadors as you will get a great feel for what the Stern community is really all about!

Until next time,



New Exciting Classes!


Happy Wednesday! There hasn’t been much going on since my last post aside from getting adjusted to my new semester of classes, so I can talk a little more about that.

The first class I’m taking is Decision Models. Basically, we build excel-based models to address different types of business scenarios. So for example, in last week’s class, we built a marketing-related model to compare whether an in-store, on package rebate or an ordinary price cut would be a better decision to drive more sales volume and maximize profits. This is especially relevant to me, as I start my career in brand management at Unilever.

The second class I’m taking is Promotional Marketing, which is exactly what it sounds like. We learn about above-the-line and below-the-line marketing tactics that increase awareness and ultimately drive purchase. Some of the areas we cover are shopper marketing, price promotion, digital promotion, etc. Again, these are all topics that are very relevant to my future in brand management.

The third class is Customer Insights. Basically, this class is a marketing research class in which we learn how to obtain data, analyze it, and develop insights that can be turned into recommendations or implementation plans for a business problem. This class is very important because in today’s age, where there are so many ways information can be gathered about consumers and their consumption patterns, it is imperative that we know how to use that data effectively to make smart business decisions. A big question I’ve always had around data is when to use your “gut feelings” vs. marketing research. When is each appropriate? Can you use a mix of both? How do you know where to draw the line? The data can go on forever! This is a “hot topic” this class will cover extensively and is a big reason I enrolled in it.

Lastly, I am taking Pricing Strategy. This class is intended to teach us the different ways to price goods and services, considering both the supply and demand sides of the market. Some different approaches to pricing we’ve learned about are peak-load pricing, value-based pricing, bundling, price discrimination, etc. This class is a bridge between economics (what I majored in at my undergraduate institution) and marketing (what I am going into after graduation) and really focuses on how one can better understand the market to meet consumer needs, while fulfilling business goals.

That’s it for this week, but will be back in a few days for another update!

The New Semester

Another week has gone by, just as crazy as the last, and I’m pretty sure that officially sets the tone for this semester. I’m definitely going to be busy, but it’s all very exciting! A couple of things I’ve been involved in lately:

I’m on the SCorp (Stern Student Corporation) International Committee and we’re in charge of organizing Passport Day. It’s an annual event where international students get to show off their country’s food & culture; and there’s even a competition for the “best country,” voted by the students. It’s going to take place in April, but we had the kickoff this week, so there was a lot of prepping and marketing to get people interested in the event.

I’m also participating in the Exchange Student Buddy Program, which is a volunteer program where each incoming exchange student is partnered with a continuing Sternie to make sure that the exchange students have someone to turn to if they need assistance with anything. There are 26 exchange students this semester, and we had a mixer last week; I thought it was a great opportunity to welcome them, and I hope they agree!

Finally, I want to mention the project that I am most excited about this semester! One of the greatest initiatives at Stern (in my humble opinion) is the Stern Consulting Corps. It’s a program run by the Office of Student Engagement, where selected teams of students get to work with a wide range of organizations to help them tackle their problems. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to gain some hands-on experience, and extend our education beyond the classroom. My team will be working with the National Board of Review for the next 10 weeks, and we had our first client meeting yesterday! I will refrain from talking about the specifics of the project, but I will say that I have a great team, and we’re very excited about the prospects of making a change.

I think it’s fair to say that this semester is off to a good start.

From SE Asia to Napa!

Hello prospective MBA’ers! Happy 2013! This is my first post this year and so far 2013 is off to an amazing start. As many of my fellow students have posted about, I also spent much of January break traveling around South East Asia with Stern friends which was definitely the trip of a lifetime! I hopped around the islands of Thailand, Bangkok and Bali meeting up with different Sternies in each place. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug, since now just two weeks later I am blogging to you straight from a coach bus full of Sternies en route to Napa, CA. Each February the Cellar Club organizes a weekend long trek to Napa, California where we visit many of the amazing wineries the region has to offer. Just like many of the treks over Spring Break, the Cellar Trek is a great opportunity to visit a new place and hang out with your classmates outside from the walls of Stern. I am so excited for a weekend full of wine tasting, delicious food, warm weather and lots of bonding with 50 of my fellow MBA students. February is definitely not my favorite month in NYC and I was pretty pumped to leave the 30 degree snowy weather behind for a weekend of sunshine and high 70’s. Hope your application process is going well and we are excited to meet many of you when you visit us for a tour, class visit or interview!

Until next time,