Stern and the Tech Scene

Over the past few months I have talked to many prospective students who are interested in various careers in tech. Without fail I get the following question in all my conversations: Why should I choose Stern if I’m interested in tech?

Needless to say I also asked this question when I was deciding whether or not to consider Stern. So, I thought I’d blog about my Stern experience in regards to tech in order to perhaps provide a little insight to those wondering the same thing. Below are three reasons why I think Stern provides unparalleled access to some of the best resources for tech minded students.

First, Stern is in the Silicon Alley. In New York, fondly known in the industry as Silicon Alley, tech has taken off in various forms across various industries and all of them are a quick subway ride away. As a result Stern students have a broad range of opportunities to explore first hand while just about any day of the week. I recently read a report in Business Insider that does an excellent job of outlining the diverse and growing tech industry here in the Silicon Alley. Among some of the things the author, Steve Schlafman, points out about why he loves the tech industry in NYC is that it’s “welcoming: people new to tech can integrate quickly,” and “open: the community is accessible via Meetups, Twitter, and blogs.”[i] I would second that, and as a Stern student I have taken advantage of the discounted access we receive to Meetups and industry conferences around the city. One of my favorites was an EdTech Meetup where I networked with post-MBAs from various companies in the industry. Equally exciting was a digital music industry conference where I met executives and employees throughout the industry, and participated in a company crawl to Pandora, Spotify, and Youtube offices, among others. I have also participated in day treks led by our Entertainment Media and Technology Association (EMTA) and Entrepreneurs Exchange to the New York offices of large tech companies like Google, Facebook and smaller tech companies like Etsy and Rap Genius to get to know the New York City tech scene and its opportunities better.

Second, tech reaches all major industries and so does Stern. More than ever before tech is permeating every company and every industry. It’s no longer centralized to a few companies of a certain type and in a specific location. The article referenced above lists many of them in New York, such as publishing, advertising, commerce, healthcare, fashion, finance, education and mobile. I would also add media to that list. Technological innovation is a pivotal part of media, banking, and mobile, in particular, and it will play a critical role in their ability to differentiate and remain competitive. I’m excited for the possibility to participate in that. Through various industry club activities, like panels, knowledge management sessions, and treks and classes, including Managing Change, Digital Strategy and Advanced Strategy I have gained a much broader view of tech and how it impacts these industries. I have also been able to learn more about these companies and industries by leveraging our Office of Career Development to reach out to alumni that work within them. Stern students and alum embrace tech semester internships, summer internships and fulltime roles, like digital marketing, business analytics and product management at companies, like HBO, Etsy, American Express, Sony, Spotify and the New York Times, which area all nearby. The unique opportunity to participate in internships during the semester, in addition to the summer, is cherished among career switchers who want to explore various roles and get additional experience to build their resumes.

Fourth, Stern is connected to the valley. I was interested in pursuing some of the more traditional tech companies for my summer internship and Stern did not disappoint. Stern has a wealth of corporate partners, alumni and contacts that I was able to reach out to and network with. During the EMTA Trek to the Bay we visited and met with recruiters and alumni at places, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Paypal where I made a variety of connections, some of which turned into internship offers. At a mixer in the valley, I also met with an alumnus who has since served as a great resource on various opportunities off the beaten path in the Bay. Stern’s corporate partners, like Google and Amazon, work with the Office of Career Development to visit campus regularly to conduct corporate presentations, lead case study competitions and provide other networking opportunities. As my summer internship decision approached I got to choose from great companies located in New York, New Jersey, Washington and California.

You probably noticed a common theme of relationships and location threaded throughout the three reasons I provided above. I think Stern has a unique mix of both that empowers us students to get a comprehensive view of the tech world and opportunities within it. For me, the biggest payoff has been that through both relationships and location Stern has broaden my perspective on tech, shown me the forefront of innovation in various arenas and given me opportunities to pursue a wide number of industries that weren’t previously on my radar.

[i] Schlafman, Steve. The Definitive Guide to the New York City Tech Scene. Business Insider. December 21, 2013.