Hi Everyone! It’s been awhile since my last post and I figured I would use this time to answer a common question that I get: “what are the benefits of NYU’s location?” I could write 10,000 words on this topic, but when you browse the web it seems like everything is now written in list form! I can take a hint internet, so here are my top 5 reasons why Stern’s location in New York City (NYC) gives Stern students a major advantage as they pursue a great MBA experience:
1) Finding a Job
When choosing where to apply I made a list of all the companies I thought I would want to work for. What I found was that the companies were either headquartered near NYC (Pepsi, ESPN, Johson & Johnson) or had huge offices in NYC (Google, Facebook, Unilever). My first semester I recruited heavily for internships and all these companies came to campus for corporate presentations. Additionally, many companies worked with clubs to have more social events like happy hours and “day in the life” events where students travel to their offices and shadow an employee. NYU Stern is a cab or train ride away from so many companies that a majority of my conversations were face to face interactions. Since cultural fit is crucial to most companies, these face to face interactions were far more meaningful than a phone call could have been. Establishing these relationships yielded several internship offers and allowed me to accept Unilever’s because it was the best fit, not because of a lack of alternatives.
This is really an offshoot of finding a job, but I feel as if conferences warrant their own section. If you are thinking about a career in luxury, retail, entertainment, advertising, technology, non-profits, or early stage startups, a major resource for you to network will be industry conferences. New York City is home to many of the top conferences in these industries and as a student you get a special rate. On top of these industry sponsored events, every club on campus throws fantastic conferences as well with C-Suite executives from Fortune 500 companies.
3) Clinical Faculty
Professors at NYU Stern fall into 2 buckets: adjunct professors whose full-time jobs are as NYU professors and clinical professors who spend their days as leaders of business who teach at night or on weekends. I found that one of my favorite benefits of Stern’s location was our ability to draw top clinical faculty to the school. They have plenty of money from their business success, so the reason they teach is because the love interacting with students. For instance my brand strategy class was taught by Scott Galloway. He founded Prophet brand consulting, founded the gift-giving website Red Envelope, and currently runs L2, a digital marketing think tank. He is an excellent resource who not only helps you look at branding in unique ways, but he is able to weave in current market trends because he’s meeting with people every day discussing their companies’ brand strategies. There are countless examples of phenomenal clinical professors and without our location in New York we simply could not draw in such top tier talent.
4) Guest Speakers
Here is a real life conversation I had with an alumni at the NYU Stern Info Session in Los Angeles before I applied:
Alumni: “Do you know which CEOs come to New York during the year?”
Me: (trying to sound smart) “CEOs of publicly traded companies?”
Alumni: “ALL of them”
This is obviously an exaggeration, but not as big an exaggeration as you may think. CEOs always seem to find themselves in NYC whether it’s for conferences, meetings with top partners, or just to visit a friend. In my Strategy class, we prepared a case about whether Peter Lewis, the founder and CEO of Progressive Insurance should enter a specific market in the 1990s. In class we were surprised when Peter Lewis (at that time Chairman of the Board and sadly now deceased) surprised us in class to talk about his decisions and do 45 minutes of Q&A. My first semester this year I saw Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Larry Fink (Blackrock), Dick Costolo (Twitter), and Kevin Byrnes (US Army 4-Star General). These were just a handful of speakers that I saw over my 2 years at Stern. A speaking engagement at Stern was not the primary reason these CEOs were in New York, but we were able to benefit from their wisdom and years of experience because of our proximity to their other engagements.
5) Experiential Learning Opportunities
With so many companies surrounding Stern there are many opportunities to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it outside of school. As a career switcher it was important for me to have actual marketing experience BEFORE my summer internship at Unilever. I chose to get this experience in the Stern Consulting Core, a school-run program that allows students to work on 12 week projects starting their second semester at Stern. My particular project was to assist with the launch of an e-commerce site and at the end of the 12 weeks my team had developed a customer segmentation and digital marketing plan for the company to drive quality site traffic.
The Stern Consulting Core is for course credit and is run by the school, but students can leverage clubs for experiential opportunities as well. The Graduate Marketing Association, Luxury and Retail Club, and the Entrepreneurs Exchange are just three of the clubs on campus with their own consulting opportunities. Students interested in luxury brands often use the Luxury and Retail Clubs long-running partnership with the CFDA to partner with talented designers to build their businesses. Hands-on programs like these provide outstanding building blocks for personal growth and are also excellent bullet points on a resume.
Finally, the location in NYC is perfect for students that want to gain experience by interning throughout the year. Many students who want to dive into an industry (and make a bit of money!) during the school year are able to find internships through the Office of Career Development and through industry clubs. If there is one thing I learned at school it’s the principal of supply vs. demand and part-time internships are definitely skew higher towards supply. With so many options students are able to choose internships with fantastic job descriptions at top companies rather than settling for an internship that may not be exactly what they are looking for.
Although i can list many more reasons New York is fantastic (I could make a separate Top 10 list for social purposes) I will leave you with these five. Good luck with your applications and keep checking back for new posts!