Spring Gala, Speakers, Bonobos, and SCC!

This has been an incredible week. As we gear up for finals here at Stern, it’s nice, albeit challenging, to still have so many exciting events going on. Last Saturday was our Spring Gala at the Gansevoort. Students dressed in their best and danced the night away. What was nice is that I even met some second years I didn’t know already. It was a great way to bond with my classmates and, like almost any girl, enjoy a night of playing dress-up.

The second unforgettable experience this week was when Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera came and spoke to a group of students about attracting new, younger audiences and the how opera must adapt to the digital age. He spoke with humor about his transition from Sony Classical Music to the Met and some of the errors he’d made along the way. He talked about the ways this old institution is striving to innovate and the financial difficulties it faced as an entity that must rely on donations to remain sustainable. Mr. Gelb spoke frankly about the need for opera to infiltrate culture on a wider level, which was his motivation for streaming performances in movie theaters across the globe. As an arts buff, his talk left me wondering how I could use my business education to give back to a place like the Met Opera one day.

The third privilege I had this week was that Ann Moore, former CEO of Time Inc. came to speak at my Leadership in Organizations class. Unlike many of the speakers, Ms. Moore did not allow Stern to videotape our conversation because she wanted to be as open and honest with us as possible. She spoke about the career challenges she faced as a woman and the difficulty she had letting people go during economic and industry downturns. She talked about managing her relationships from the personal to the political to those at work, and she discussed tradeoffs she has made along the way. What struck me most was that Ms. Moore did not have any regrets in her 33 year career at Time. She talked about the ways she had pushed the organization to allow her to change it and how we can all look to do the same in our own careers. Lastly, she discussed the difficulty of integrating digital natives from our generation with other generations, who may not be as comfortable or familiar with technology.

My last two adventures for the week begin now. I am starting my Friday off with a Luxury and Retail Club trek to men’s clothing retailer Bonobos. Then I will present the results of my Stern Consulting Corps project for the NYU Langone Medical Center Department of Integrative Health, followed by a reception. It’s clearly going to be another amazing Stern-filled day, but I wouldn’t want it any other way, especially as the year winds down. I will have to report back on these events next week!