Insights into the Winter Break of an MBA2


Hey everyone,

It has been a while since I last posted, but it was for good reason…I was on my MBA2 winter break! The second-year winter break during business school is one of the best things ever. Really.

At Stern, like a number of b-schools, we get all of January off. A large majority of first-year students have to utilize this time for summer internship interviewing. Most MBA2s, on the other hand, take advantage of this “free month” to do a variety of things since most of us will probably never get this much time back. What is the most popular use of the time? Traveling!

I personally decided to travel to Southeast Asia (along with probably a third of our class). I started my journey by first enrolling in one of our Doing Business In… (DBi) programs for the first two weeks of January.  Our DBi programs are one (1.5 credits) or two-week (3 credits) study abroad immersion programs with partner schools that focus on teaching best practices for conducting business in a foreign country. I participated in the DBi Asia program, which was located in Singapore in partnership with the National University of Singapore. The course covered several interesting topics, including the value proposition paradigm as it relates to Asian markets, the many economical, political, and cultural roadblocks Western firms can expect to encounter if they try to expand to Indonesia, as well as group simulations that illustrated Asian negotiation customs. Outside of the classroom, our class had the opportunity to visit a number of Singaporean corporate sites, including the luxurious Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Airlines, and Yamato. We were also provided the opportunity to explore landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer and the famous Night Safari, as well as to get a taste for traditional Singaporean chili crab.

Stern students on DBi Singapore
Stern students on DBi Singapore

After my time in Singapore, I decided to continue my explorations to Bali, Phuket, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Myanmar, and Hanoi. It was one of the most culturally eye-opening experiences of my life, and it was fascinating to compare and contrast the different cultures throughout the region.


Those 5 weeks of combined study and fun were the ideal way for me to spend my winter break, and I am forever fortunate for the opportunity. I hope this gave you a little bit of insight into how you can take advantage of the ample personal time between semesters in your second year of study! As I’m back on campus now, I promise not to take so long to write another post!