Farah is a Class of 2018 full-time MBA student at Stern. Farah graduated from NYU's College of Arts and Science and went on to work in financial services consulting. At Stern, Farah plans to specialize in Finance, Marketing & Luxury Marketing. In her free time, she enjoys exploring New York City, trying out new places to eat, and running along the East River.
While we all come to business school to hone our analytical or quantitative skills, build upon the experiences we had while working or switch careers, another reason we come back to school is to learn from others. At Stern, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of taking classes taught by the most well-known professors in their respective fields: Aswath Damodaran, Scott Galloway and Charlie Murphy. I’ve learned Corporate Finance, Brand Strategy and all about Financial Services. I have also learned what it means to be an adult, what it means to live life and what it means to succeed in the real world. As Sternies, we want to succeed in our personal and professional lives. We want to become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. We want to be the next big leaders, following in the footsteps of the greatest.
But, how did they get there? I truly enjoyed attending every Charlie Murphy lecture last semester, especially because it taught me exactly what investment bankers do, something I did not understand before. My favorite Charlie Murphy lecture was our final class and the end to his last fall semester. Not only did we learn about the financial crisis and how the housing bubble burst, but we also learned Charlie Murphy’s top 10 life lessons. It was unforgettable, and my friend and I left the classroom still talking about how we can apply these life lessons in our careers.
I impart on you the wisdom that I have learned from Charlie Murphy:
When you start work, differentiate yourself – “physical not digital”
Don’t have kids if all you care about is your career
Live your life, not somebody else’s
Take risks now
Have a hobby
When you start, work hard, but don’t take on more than you can
Create your network
Figure out how to spend more time with the CEO / people at that level
At Stern, you are constantly learning how to improve yourself personally and professionally. With exciting projects, exciting class topics and truly inspirational professors, the opportunities to grow yourself at Stern are endless. Stern really is an “education in possible.”
As someone who is taking a non-traditional path with recruiting, a network is very important to me. When I was deciding between schools and deciding on what I wanted to do after business school, part of the decision included looking at a school’s alumni. Are these alumni at places I could see myself working at? Are they career changers like myself? Are they willing to take the time to speak with me as I search for my summer and full-time opportunities? With Stern, the answer to these questions was always yes.
Despite the disparate nature being at a school that doesn’t have a strong sports team and with students living in different boros of New York City, Sternies still develop great relationships. While in school, you develop relationships with your classmates (future alumni). While taking experiential classes, alumni come back to mentor you on projects, speak to your classes and impart the knowledge they learned while they were at Stern, and even as they progress in their careers. A LinkedIn message or an email also goes a long way with Stern alumni. I have spoken to alumni at least once a week since I started at Stern. The greatest thing about the network is the common bond – these people were in your shoes once. They assure you that they were successful, they did fine, and at the end of the day, they have amazing jobs. The alumni are here to help you, not hurt you, so it’s great to take advantage of such an important resource.
The Stern alumni not only speak with you, they connect you to others in their own personal network – Stern alumni from their year in business school or even contacts at the company you are interested in. That means your Stern network is endless. You have your class, the MBA2s, the incoming MBA1s and the additional Stern alumni. That’s a lot of people.
Now, you may be thinking – sure, every school has alumni.
So, makes the Stern network so great and why are they so important?:
Stern alumni exist across a variety of industries, which comes with the vast number of specializations our school offers. This is something that is unique to Stern. The diversity of alumni experiences is evident (in the form of specializations or even the countries they work in). I recently attended an event held by the Luxury and Retail Club featuring Madecasse, a chocolate company based out of New York, a product actually featured at Whole Foods – not something that I thought I would ever experience while at school. How cool!
In addition to the diversity of Stern alumni, our classes are also taught by clinical professors who are experts in their field and who have other jobs in addition to teaching at Stern. Some key clinical professors include Professor Thomai Serdari (Luxury Marketing) and Professor Scott Galloway (Brand Strategy). These professors either own their own companies (in the case of Professor Galloway with L2, Inc.) or work with many companies on a day-to-day basis (in the case of Professor Serdari). These professors are always willing to help.
Let’s not forget the additional alumni that full-time students tend to forget about. NYU Stern also has the Langone program (our part-time program). These part-time students are working whilst doing their MBA and work at companies that you could potentially work for. This is an untapped network, and a very important one.
Being a student at Stern will expand your horizons and introduce you to people you never thought you would meet before. This is the network that never sleeps!
While studying up on Put-Call Parity or networking away during recruiting season, we tend to forget the beauty that is around us and one of the key reasons most of us chose to come to NYU Stern. The infamous Frank Sinatra lyrics say it all “I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.”
There is always something going on. For those of you applying to NYU Stern from outside of New York, I am excited for you to experience the city I’ve called home for the past ten years. Here are a few of my favorite things about New York:
As an NYU student, you have access to Ticket Central, which provides discounted tickets for many broadway and off-broadway shows. In addition to Ticket Central, an additional resource for buying tickets for shows is TKTS located in Times Square or South Street Seaport. TKTS provides tickets for day of shows, where you can line up for tickets at 2PM daily.
While on a student budget, it’s very important to take advantage of Restaurant Week in New York City. It’s the greatest time of the year (actually happens twice a year now) both in the winter and in the summer when restaurants around the city provide fixed prices menus for lunch and dinner. That means you get an appetizer, main course and dessert for $29 (lunch) or $42 (dinner). As a foodie this is my favorite time of the year!
I love shopping, and I love getting great deals. Being in New York, you often here about the infamous sample sales – people rushing around grabbing what they can and getting deals you wouldn’t even imagine about. It isn’t always extremely crowded, but there will be lines and it will be worth it. Think about it this way – recently, I got an $800 Helmut Lang blazer for $25. If you’re interested in sample sales, make sure to follow Clothing Line and 260 Fifth for upcoming sales in New York.
My favorite time of the year is right after Thanksgiving in New York. The infamous Rockefeller Tree goes up and the Holiday Markets open up across Union Square, Lincoln Center and Bryant Park. There are food stalls, little trinkets, ornaments and great gifts for the holidays. A lot of small vendors set up shop and the atmosphere and holiday spirit is a sight to see. Grab a hot chocolate or hot cider while you’re at it!
Just Taking a Stroll
Walking around campus or walking around New York City, I recommend just taking a look around. Look up at the buildings, look at what people are wearing, even look at what the dogs are wearing. This is New York City. Each part of the city has it’s own charm, it’s own personality.
When you come to NYU Stern, remember that you’re not just choosing the school, you’re choosing an amazing place to live for the next two years.
“And if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere! It’s up to you, New York, New York!”
One year ago today, I was where you are. I was writing essays, studying for the GMAT in my spare time and avoided every single person that I knew. I get it – no social life, but it was time I wanted to focus on myself. After 4 years of working, I always knew that I wanted to go back to business school and I was going to do whatever it took. As the year went by, the stress levels only got higher as I received waitlist after waitlist, but I’ll tell you, my persistence and determination to come back to school helped me. I received acceptances up until July, hearing from NYU Stern last. Dropping everything to stay in New York was the best decision I could have made, and getting the acceptance letter with the digital confetti was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. I didn’t have to say goodbye to the place I call home and was getting the opportunity to pursue a career in Luxury Marketing, something that Stern especially is known for and something I would have had to give up going somewhere else.
Starting at Stern at the end of August was truly a dream come true. From LAUNCH to today, there have been countless occasions where I’ve stopped to think about how lucky I am to be here, and how truly proud I am to be a Sternie. One of my personal goals coming to business school, in addition to pursuing a career in Luxury Marketing, was to break out of my shell and be able to command a room. Granted, I’m a social person, but I’m not a loud person, and in a career going forward, I want my voice to be heard, literally. As you know, Stern divides the class into sections of ~65 that you take all of your core classes with. These people become your first network, and your closest friends over the next two years. In the first few weeks of class, I was making a speech in front of these 65 new classmates, explaining to them why I wanted to be their “Block Leader.” I was elected to represent Block 6, a great way to know everyone in my block and a chance for me to pursue my own personal goal.
Another reason why I came to NYU was for the various experiential opportunities that the program allows. I applied to and was accepted to the Luxury Retail Immersion, a chance to work on a consulting project for a small boutique retailer. The project started about a week ago and goes up until December (only a few weeks). I’ve had one meeting so far, but it was definitely the “aha!” moment I was looking for in business school. This hands on learning is one of the reasons why I chose to come back to business school, and it’s definitely great to have that opportunity to follow your passion.
I’m a firm believer that it all works out in the end. Regardless of the stress that you are going through now, there’s no doubt that you will also have the opportunity to make your dreams come true. With NYU, the opportunities are endless. With Stern, your network is endless. No matter what you’re looking to do, there’s a person somewhere that is doing exactly that. The network, the brand will help take you places, and I am grateful for this experience.