My name is Jon, and I am a second-year full-time MBA student here at NYU Stern, and I am excited to begin blogging for you! I look forward to sharing my experiences as you continue to determine which MBA journey you want to pursue, as well as continually giving you insight into what it’s like to be Sternie.
First, a brief introduction! I am originally from Jamaica, but was raised in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. I decided to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!), where I studied marketing. After graduating from UNC, I worked at a leading consumer packaged goods company for five years in their sales division as part of a management rotational program. Although I gained invaluable experience over those years, I knew my true passion was to pursue the function I studied in college. I also knew that I wanted to pair this functional interest with my lifelong passion for sports – I grew up as a competitive soccer player, and am genuinely intrigued with the business of sports.
So this brought me to Stern! Why? For a couple of reasons:
- I mainly targeted b-schools that had programs which touched the sports & entertainment fields, and NYU Stern has one of the leading Entertainment MBA programs in the country. Seeing as how sports typically falls into the “entertainment bucket”, I believed this would be a great opportunity for me to take advantage of a curriculum that was tailored to my interests.
- I knew that in order to break into sports, I also had to be in a city that afforded me ample networking opportunities. New York City is the central hub for this industry (as for many other industries), and attending an MBA program in such a location would open many doors for me. I have already had the chance to set up coffee chats with industry professionals at major sports leagues (at their World HQ), as well as conduct a student consulting project for Whistle Sports Network. Opportunities like these would not be possible at other leading business schools, simply because of their locations.
- I also wanted to attend a school where I saw myself fitting into the culture. I targeted schools with small to medium class sizes, and atmospheres that fostered collaboration rather than intense competitiveness. I wanted to immerse myself in a community where students were genuinely interested in learning about their classmates and their life stories, as opposed to only what careers they’re seeking. I visited Stern and interacted with alumni a number of times before applying, and each time this sort of culture transcended through all touch points.
Now I am in my second year, with only one more semester left to go….noooo!!!! That said, I am in a very fortunate position in that I have already accepted a full-time offer to begin working for PepsiCo as an Associate Marketing Manager. I interned with PepsiCo last summer as a MBA Marketing Intern on the Gatorade brand. It was an amazing opportunity to work at the intersection of brand and sport – thus addressing exactly why I came back to pursue an MBA in the first place. So far, things are falling into place perfectly.
I can’t wait to continue sharing my experiences with you as I wrap up my “senior year”! Until my next post, I hope everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday next week!