Becoming a Sternie Couple

Author: Paloma Giuliani is an MBA Candidate at the Stern School of Business in NYU, planning to specialize in Innovation and Strategy. Prior to Stern, she worked mostly in the Tech industry, in various customer services roles, such as Reporting, Quality Assurance and Learning & Development. Most recently, she has spent 2 years in the innovations team in Uber Eats, focused on identifying new revenues streams by piloting new products in LATAM. Paloma holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Insper. In her spare time, she likes to cook and get adventurous around beauty and wellness products.

The Long Journey of Becoming a Sternie Couple 

I’ve always joked that I was an “MBA baby,” destined to walk the path laid down by my father as soon as I decided to study Business. His stories of transformative experiences and brilliant professors during his MBA followed me since I was a kid. Despite being early in the game, I told Lucas, my husband, when we just started dating in 2017, that it was something I might pursue in the future. 

Our MBA application journey

In 2020, this conversation smoothly came back as I wanted to pursue an MBA before having kids. Being very honest, I wasn’t as excited as I noticed no one around me had an MBA, giving me the sense that the industry I wanted to follow didn’t value such investment. On the other hand, Lucas started talking with MBA graduates at his workplace and was more and more convinced of how this experience would bring great challenges, learnings, and an advantage for him in his career. As I watched him grow more passionate about the MBA, I decided to switch to a strategic team, to be closer to the leadership, who I was surprised to find out that most were MBA alumni. Hearing about their experiences, and seeing the sparkle in their eyes convinced me that the MBA must be something I do.

Our preparation journeys started in the second half of 2021, and they were very different for us. Lucas nailed the GMAT in 2 months, whereas I took almost 1 year before feeling confident about my score. Of course, this year was very eventful: we got married, my family went through several challenges, my department went through one lay-off round and one reorg, and I got promoted. Our plan was for Lucas to apply in the first round in 2022, and only to schools in cities that had more than one program, maximizing the chances of us living together, since our marriage was a priority. I would apply for the following round for the schools in the cities he was accepted to.

Choosing the school for us

In December 2022, he was accepted by two schools, one being NYU Stern. So in January I applied to four schools, but of course, with a clear priority for which school I wanted the most, since Lucas had an outstanding experience in the interviews.

NYU Stern had a bunch of factors that played very well in its favor. First, its application process was like no other. It felt like Stern’s essays and interviews were designed to not merely evaluate, but to truly understand the essence of who we were as individuals. The interviewer having already read the essays before the interview, made the conversation have a much bigger depth to foster a genuine connection with the future candidates. 

Second, beyond academics, NYU Stern resonated with me through its core values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), and collaboration. These principles mirrored my personal convictions and experiences, which diversity and inclusion form the cornerstone of innovation and leadership.

Third, choosing NYU Stern also meant choosing New York City—a metropolis teeming with opportunities, culture, and an endless array of activities. From Broadway shows to corporate workshops, the city offers an unparalleled backdrop to our MBA journey, enhancing our experience beyond the confines of a traditional campus. The absence of a traditional, isolated campus is hardly felt. The vibrant student life, fueled by active WhatsApp groups, students’ clubs and a community eager to connect and explore, means there’s always something happening, always someone to meet, and always a new corner of New York City to discover together.

Choosing NYU Stern was a decision that went beyond academics; as soon as I also got the acceptance letter from Stern, we both knew we were going to live in NYC, and it felt like it was something we had been destined for. Being in such an eventful, but also full of diverse talent, felt like the right place for us to be. For Lucas and me to learn, to find a new community within Stern, and to open many doors for our future careers. 

Being a Sternie Couple!

Both of us being Sternies at the same time felt a little unreal at the start. I remember like it was yesterday when we finally got our NYU Student ID and how it just started sinking in that we were going to embark on this journey together. 

Of course, Stern has put us in different blocks (what we call each class) for the first semester, and this was the best decision, because we got to meet way more people as we introduced each other to our friends! 

And as we approach the second semester, our paths are going to be very different. I’m focusing more on Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and Lucas on Strategy and Data Analytics. But the most interesting thing is that every now and then, we get to share some highlights of our classes and reflect on some of the classes’ insights.