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.

Meet the Class of 2025

Executive Director, Lindsay LoydLindsay Loyd is the Executive Director for MBA Admissions at NYU Stern. She joined NYU Stern in January 2023 after a 20-year career in financial services.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Lindsay lives in northern New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her rescue dog, Oreo.  In her spare time, you can find her snowboarding with her family, baking a sweet treat, or reading a new novel.

The start of the school year is a period of anticipation and joy for students of all ages. A new year means new possibilities. This is especially true for MBA1s who are returning to school and embarking on a new journey.

For the Admissions team, LAUNCH – NYU Stern’s orientation – is our first chance to see 327 motivated individuals who chose to become our newest Sternies come together as one community. 

We are thrilled to share a little more about the Class of 2025 through the class profile, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. 

MBA1s bring their knowledge from every conceivable sector of business and society, yet they are so much more than their resumes. We have pilots. Climbers who have summited Mount Kilimanjaro. Former professional musicians and national team athletes. Content creators who’ve had videos and articles go viral. Singers, dancers, bakers, golfers, linguists, and world traveling DJs. 

These folks are passionate in the pursuit of their interests. They amaze us with their range of industry knowledge, their commitment to their academics, their seemingly endless talent, and most importantly, the Sternie spirit that brought them together.

The Admissions team is now in the process of recruiting the next crop of Sternies. For those of you who have already applied, thank you! Interview invitations will be starting before you know it.

For those of you who are still considering us, take a look at the class profile, but also connect with the students behind the numbers and see if NYU Stern is a place where you can see yourself grow. You can connect with our Graduate Ambassadors here

We can’t wait to meet you!

 

LAUNCH 2023 Ellis Island Welcome Dinner

Students celebrating the start of the MBA program at the Ellis Island Welcome Dinner during LAUNCH

The Fertitta Veterans Program

Benjamin Davies is a current Full-time MBA student, specializing in Investment Banking and Strategy. Prior to Stern, Ben was a Captain in the US Army. Post-MBA, he hopes to pivot into an Investment Banking role. At Stern, he is a Consortium Fellow, Fertitta Scholarship recipient, and is active within the Military Veterans Club.

The Decision to Pivot

When I graduated from West Point in 2016, I had one objective I wanted to accomplish during my time in the military. I wanted to deploy to a combat zone as a junior leader to gain experience leading Soldiers in a challenging environment. I was fortunate enough to accomplish this goal twice over and faced the option of getting out of the Army in 2021. When presented with this decision, I realized that I was ready for a new challenge and needed new goals to align with my passions.

I took several months to self-reflect and understand what I wanted from the next chapter in my life. I wanted to continue solving complex problems based on comprehensive research and learning new skills in a short period of time. I decided that investment banking would allow me to continue working in this fast-paced environment that required teamwork to succeed. In order to make this pivot, I realized I needed to grow my business acumen and professional network to be able to secure a job at a leading financial institution. In order to pivot from the Army to corporate America and investment banking, business school was the obvious answer.

Why NYU and Why Fertitta?

NYU Stern immediately stood out amongst other business schools due to its location in the heart of the banking capital of the world and its veteran initiative – the Fertitta program. After speaking to veterans who were current Stern students, I quickly realized that they lived the values of IQ + EQ. Every student and faculty member I interacted with spoke about the incredible people they were surrounded by. It was inspiring to find a school where I could grow my network and learn from some of the best professors in the world.

From the outside looking in, I thought the Fertitta program was too good to be true. NYU Stern truly stood out in the way that it supported its veterans in such meaningful ways. The program deliberately bridged the gaps that most veterans inherently have when transitioning to corporate America. The Fertitta program allows veterans to take Financial Accounting and Statistics – requisite 3.0-credit core classes— over the summer, which reduces the course load during the fall, and ultimately enables us to focus more on recruiting and securing a summer internship. During the summer semester, the veteran cohort also had the opportunity to participate in company treks to tour offices and meet Stern veteran graduates who were working in top-level companies. The final piece of the Fertitta program is the financial aspect which greatly assists the change in lifestyle that all full-time students undertake. Looking back on the experience, I was also able to build incredible bonds with my veteran cohort from an early stage and give me a close circle of friends that I can always rely on.

Education Benefits

At 29 years old, I had not been in an academic classroom in over seven years. I was nervous and apprehensive about contributing to a classroom filled with brilliant classmates who had recently graduated from top-tier institutions. Being able to attend the summer semester surrounded by other veterans made the transition from the military to the classroom much more manageable. Both of my summer professors presented challenging material in ways we could digest and establish academic proficiency. Because of my summer classroom experience, I now have a much stronger foundational knowledge of accounting principles, which will pay dividends during fall recruiting.

Company Treks

The most beneficial part of the summer semester was the opportunity to participate in company treks to firms like McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Mastercard, and Pfizer. Our cohort was able to network with other veterans at these companies and gain a firsthand look at their day-to-day operations. We were able to ask candid questions to veterans—many of whom were Stern alumni—and had been in our shoes several years ago. I found the experience incredibly beneficial, and I now have a roadmap for success for the upcoming semester and a much deeper understanding of what type of job I will be recruiting for.

Looking Back on the Experience

As I look back upon my summer semester, the moments that stand out occurred because I was surrounded by fellow veterans whom I am now lucky enough to call friends. When I left the military, I was saddened by the realization that I might never find the same closeness and trust with the people around me. When I nervously arrived for my first day of class at Stern, that thought was immediately erased. Through the Fertitta program, I found 29 remarkable veterans who will be some of my closest friends during my time here and beyond.

DBi Italy

Sarah Story is a full-time MBA student, specializing in Marketing, Strategy, and Operations. Prior to Stern, Sarah was a home furnishings designer. Post-MBA, she plans to work in marketing or supply chain management within the retail industry. At Stern, she is co-president of the Luxury and Retail Club, and a board member of the Graduate Marketing Association and Stern Adventures. Outside of school, Sarah enjoys swimming with a local masters swim team and attending concerts.

One of the primary reasons I chose to attend Stern was because of the extensive DBi, “Doing Business in…”, opportunities. I was not able to study abroad during undergrad, so I was excited to take advantage of the many 1-2 week intensive courses that are part of this program. I was thrilled that my course lottery results allowed me to have this incredible opportunity to study for a week in Milan, Italy with a focus in luxury retail. I am so grateful to have had this experience; there were many laughs, amazing food, and new friendships.

We were given a warm welcome at the hotel with an “aperitif” hosted by Stern. About a dozen of us went to a group dinner afterwards, which was a great way to introduce ourselves in a smaller group and have some time to get to know each other before the class officially started. It was quite magical to walk up to a restaurant requesting to seat 12 people, and be seated in a private dining room that also functioned as the wine cellar.

The first day was class packed with great lectures, an impressive coffee break, and was capped off with speakers from Ferrari and the CMO of Gucci, who also happens to be a Stern alum. (The aforementioned comment was, thankfully, NOT said while he was there.) After class, we began our in-class project: visiting a short list of luxury retailers to examine how they treated their shoppers, whether purchases were made or not, and the overall experience of shopping in these stores. It also became a regular occurrence to find classmates at Camparino, the Campari Bar, after class, located near our hotel.

On our second day, we headed off early to visit the Mantero Silk Factory, located just outside of Como. Seeing the printing process in action, both with traditional silk screens and digital printers, was enlightening for many. We learned how so many luxury companies from around the world, not just those in Italy, seek out the talent and expertise of the Mantero factory. Of course we all panic-shopped (there was limited time) at the sample store and came away with some great finds for ourselves and gifts for others. Upon returning to campus, we were greeted by a room full of the most beautiful, soft wool textiles and raw fibers, for a talk from a Loro Piana representative about what makes their textiles and apparel so highly coveted. After the talk we continued our “shopping safari,” visiting the last stores on our lists. Each team chose to divide and conquer differently – some shopped as a group, some split the list in half between team members, and some shopped at all the stores independently. 

Our third day was focused on brand extensions, particularly in the furniture category. We explored the history of design and manufacturing excellence of Italian furniture companies and the differences of how they are structured in design, manufacturing, and distribution compared to American furniture companies. In the afternoon we visited the Cassina, Versace Casa, and Dolce and Gabbana Home showrooms and heard from the CEO of Cassina, the design director of Versace Casa, and the Vice President of Luxury Living Group, which is the parent company of Versace Casa and Dolce and Gabbana Home. After a long day, we had a class dinner in the canal district, and mostly avoided a very rainy evening!

The final day, we heard from Paolo Pedersoli of Jakala, a consulting firm that includes a focused division in luxury and design enterprises. Before lunch, we finalized our findings for our group presentations, and presented our findings with the class in the afternoon. Gucci was one of the stores that several of the groups were assigned to visit, and the general take away was that the shopping experience was not as expected. It was quite entertaining and interesting to hear how each group’s experiences differed, and how some brands were presented in a positive light from our guest speakers, yet the shopping experiences were not reflective of that or very welcoming to customers.

The course wrapped up with a stellar group dinner, a close walk from the hotel. One of our classmates had a birthday on that Friday, so several of us toasted him at midnight in the hotel bar with some champagne: the perfect way to celebrate the end of the course.

I could not be more grateful to have had this experience. In addition to the course, I added on about a week of personal travel throughout northern Italy. I absolutely fell in love with Italy,  and I cannot wait to go back to explore more of Milan and the rest of the country.

Sweet Dreams Are Made at Stern

Sheron is a recent Stern grad from the two-year full-time program in the class of 2023. She was previously an engineer in the oil and gas industry and will be transitioning to consulting post-MBA. On campus she was involved in many clubs including ESA (Entrepreneurship and Start-up Association), AHBBS (Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students), MCA (Management Consulting Association), STA (Stern Tech Association), SWIB (Stern Women in Business), PEVC (Private Equity and Venture Capital Club), and Cellar.

If you are looking to live out your Eurythmics dreams to “travel the world and the seven seas,” you’ve found the right place. Stern offers so many different international opportunities to travel through school-sponsored programs or just casually with classmates.

DBi programs—which stand for Doing Business in—are 1.5 or 3 credit courses that take you to places such as Morocco, Australia, Argentina, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand, and others over a week or two. There you’ll learn about business in the local economy through classes at a partner university, company treks, and cultural excursions. Stern Signature Projects feature international consulting engagements that can take you to Israel, Guyana, and other countries to support business development for different organizations.

There are also longer-term study abroad programs at partner schools all across the world. I studied at London Business School for an equivalent semester, and I would not have traded that experience for the world.

Stern’s student body is incredibly diverse, and so is London Business School’s. The European location of LBS attracts a different type of diversity, which made the classroom discussions vibrant with multiple perspectives. It was very interesting to compare the viewpoints of Stern and LBS students to grow in my thinking about different business approaches and issues. Similar to Stern, the professors at LBS all had office hours and were more than happy to chat about topics on my mind from class. Whether you choose to study abroad or spend the full two years at Stern, be sure to connect with the professors. They are all super cool. Many have written best-selling books, host podcasts or TV shows, and are celebs in the business world.

The student clubs at Stern are all very accessible, and I had the same experience at LBS. Like at Stern, most of the club events were open to all members of the MBA student community and are free or only require a nominal fee to join. Stern clubs host visits to museums, company offices, theater shows, outdoor hiking trails, and favorite foodie spots. I got to experience these types of cultural and professional adventures with new LBS friends as well. From seeing Wicked in London’s West End to learning the art of Japanese Shibori to experiencing a traditional Sunday roast, LBS’s clubs provided a similar opportunity to build community and friendship while abroad. 

Through networking events hosted by the student clubs at LBS, I also met many students from Oxford and Cambridge’s MBA programs. I went to see my new friends at their campuses for a tour and class visit. I even attended the Oxford vs. Cambridge polo match, which was my first polo experience and one of the highlights of my exchange semester.

Business school is an incredibly transformative experience academically, professionally, socially, and personally. Spending extended time abroad was definitely a time of growth in every way. If you have any thoughts about a full exchange semester, then go for it! You’ll be amazed at what you learn, who you’ll meet, and what you’ll experience.

A Day in the Life of a Sternie

Brittany Fidalgo is a recent MBA graduate, specializing in Strategy and Global Business. Prior to Stern, Brittany led HR at small and mid-size businesses. Post-MBA, she is going into Consulting at PWC. At Stern, she was involved in AHBBS, SWIB, and Adventures club.

A day in the life of an MBA student can vary depending on what time in the program you find them. In my last semester of school, I had most early mornings free, which allowed me to start my day with breakfast- typically granola, kiefer and berries. I would often go for a quick run along the East River before getting ready to head to school.

 At school, I would stop in to the cafe, Matto, to pick up my favorite chai latte and catch up with friends. Matto is amazing because every drink is under 3 dollars- an absolute deal in New York City! I would then head to the 4th floor reading room to do focused work for my classes.

Club meetings and events often happen during lunch time. Some days I may have a board meeting for AHBBS, or attend another club event. SWIB, for example, hosted a great Stern Speaks event where fellow Sternies volunteered to present personal stories with us over lunch.

After this, it is time to meet with one of my group project teams and attend my classes. A course I took this semester, Marketing Planning and Strategy, focused on group work with a final deliverable of a business strategy proposal. After meeting with my project team, I head to my weekly seminar class, Developing Managerial Skills with Professor Dolly Chugh. This was one of my favorite classes at Stern, and I highly recommend everyone taking the course!

After class, I meet up with a classmate for dinner at a nearby restaurant in the West Village before heading to our 6pm weekly seminar class, Digital Innovation and Crowdsourcing with Professor Natalia Levina. She always had the best Ukrainian snacks for us! After a full day at Stern, I jump on the subway and head home to Brooklyn. 

The days are long and busy in business school, but the years fly by quick! By being thoughtful and intentional about your time, you will be able to make the most of the academics, extracurriculars, social life, and the incredible opportunities in NYC!

DBi Spain: Immersing in the Metaverse, Exploring Global business, Embracing Spanish Culture and Building Connections

Jenny Ng is a current Langone MBA student, specializing in Finance, Management in Technology and Operations and Strategy. Prior to Stern, Jenny worked in various industries, including retail bank, aviation, real estate and information technology; currently, Jenny holds a position at Business Operations in the Energy Management department at Con Edison of NY. At Stern, she is involved in Langone Student Government as Vice President of First Years and Asian Business Society as Vice President of Langone.

This past semester, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in Doing Business in (DBi) Spain with a diverse group of ambitious and like-minded classmates from both the full-time and part-time programs. It was an enriching experience that allowed us to immerse ourselves in an international landscape of an increasingly interconnected world to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with conducting business in other countries, considering economic, legal, political and cultural aspects. I had the pleasure to embark on an academic odyssey to Madrid, Spain, where our focus was on the European startup ecosystem, tech entrepreneurship, digital innovations in artificial intelligence and the metaverse, as well as trends, future prospects and leadership within the industry. DBi Spain delivered a truly immersive experience that extended beyond the normal classroom and that allowed me to enrich my understanding of global dynamics and international business while fostering lifelong friendships and connections.

Inside the classroom, we were privileged to learn from esteemed professors at IE Business School and engage in insightful guest lectures delivered by entrepreneurs and industry leaders in the technology, consulting and digital banking sectors. Having the opportunity to learn from industry practitioners and leaders firsthand equipped us with profound insights and knowledge about the opportunities and challenges in the European startup ecosystem and tech industry. We explored the advantages and disadvantages of developing a tech startup in Europe, all of which are very different from the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. We also delved deep into the potentials and business value of the metaverse, a concept of an immersive virtual world that aims to disrupt the way we do things in respect to learning, working, entertaining, socializing, shopping and forming connections. Lastly, we also had the opportunity to do corporate treks at global innovation hubs where we gained first hand exposure to a startup accelerator and learned how companies are embracing digital innovation to unlock business opportunities. 

Outside the classroom, the program agenda included cultural and social activities that submerged us in Spanish traditions and customs; we enjoyed a captivating Flamenco show, engaged in an outdoor paella cooking competition with local IE students and networked with Stern Alumnus and at a picturesque atop of Irreverent Restaurant. The highlight of the activities for me was the outdoor paella cooking competition—a team-building challenge where we had to first earn gold through winning games to acquire ingredients, and then compete to cook the most enjoyable paella. Although we had no prior experience in cooking paella, because of leadership, collaboration, communication, shared vision and ambition, my team and I won third place, instilling a newfound confidence in my culinary skills in Spanish cuisine. 

Alongside the academic itinerary, my classmates and I had the privilege of further immersing ourselves in the vibrant city of Madrid. We indulged in delectable Spanish cuisine and scrumptious churros with chocolate, watched a memorable Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano game (2-1) organized by our classmate, admired the grandeur of The Royal Palace, and reveled in the exhilaration of Madrid’s bustling nightlife and retail adventures at stores ranging from fast fashion to luxury fashion. 

As I reflect upon these unbelievable experiences and unforgettable memories, DBi Spain was truly a rewarding experience that went beyond expanding my knowledge and broadening my perspective of business on a global scale; the program allowed me to embrace new cultures, expand my horizons, nurture my growth, while also build new connections and forge lifelong friendships beyond the confines of a classroom. Traveling with classmates from both full-time and part-time programs provided me an opportunity to expand my network beyond my immediate program, fostering a diverse and inclusive academic environment and promoting a sense of unity within the community. In sum, DBi Spain was an extraordinary endeavor in my MBA journey at Stern, leaving an indelible impact on my personal and professional growth—one that I would do over and over again.

Embracing a New Adventure: My Journey to Intern at Microsoft in Seattle

Daniela Rios is a current Full-time MBA student, specializing in Marketing, Tech Product Management, and Strategy. Prior to Stern, Daniela worked at an advertising agency in HR. Post-MBA, she plans to pivot into marketing at a Tech company. At Stern, she is involved in the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students, Stern Technology Association, Student Government, and Stern Women in Business.

 As I sit here, packing my bags and preparing to embark on an exciting journey, I can hardly contain my excitement. In just a few short days, I’ll be heading to the vibrant city of Seattle, ready to dive into a thrilling three-month internship at Microsoft. Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences and support I received at Stern that led me to this remarkable opportunity. Get ready to join me on an adventure filled with growth, perseverance, and the unwavering assistance that Stern provided along the way.

 From HR to Marketing: A Bold Transition

When I entered business school, I set out to make a daring shift from HR into the dynamic world of marketing. I’ll be honest, it felt like stepping into the unknown, and doubts crept in about the relevance of my HR skills. But Stern had a pleasant surprise in store for me. I soon realized that the insights gained from conducting exit interviews to enhance employee retention could seamlessly translate into understanding customers’ needs and preferences. Who knew my HR expertise had marketing potential?

The Consortium, Early Recruiting, and Microsoft

Stern’s affiliation with the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management proved to be a game-changer in my journey. Through this exclusive network, I had the privilege of participating in early recruiting opportunities and was able to attend the Consortium’s signature event: Orientation Program. This opportunity led me straight to Microsoft’s door where I was connected to a marketing hiring manager. The excitement that surged through me when I received the internship offer months later was indescribable. It was validation of the hard work, dedication, and passion I had poured into my studies and career.

 Navigating with the Careers Team

Now, let me share the secret ingredient that boosted my confidence and guided me throughout the internship pursuit: Stern’s Careers Team. This incredible team provided me with a treasure trove of resources, including interview workshops, resume feedback, and even mock interview sessions. With their support and guidance, I walked into each interview room prepared, polished, and ready to showcase my skills. It was like having a personal squad of career champions by my side, every step of the way. Shoutout to Genevieve and Fatim for being the best!

 Alumni Talks: A Game-Changing Experience

When it came time to choose between Microsoft and another company, I found myself at a crossroads. In those moments of uncertainty, Stern’s alumni network became my guiding light. I reached out to Stern alumni working at both organizations, seeking their invaluable insights. Their firsthand experiences, knowledge of the work culture, growth opportunities, and overall fit within the companies proved instrumental in making an informed decision.

 Ignite Program: Igniting the Flames of Success

Before embarking on my official journey at Stern, I was able to immerse myself in the Ignite Program. This pre-MBA summer initiative equipped me with a powerful arsenal of professional skills. Through engaging workshops and personalized guidance from incoming MBA 2s and career coaches, I honed my ability to craft compelling pitches and tackle behavioral interviews with ease. This transformative experience ignited a fire within me, fueling my confidence and positioning me for success in the early recruiting events that awaited me.

 The Stern Squad: Friends, Encouragement, and Camaraderie

Last but certainly not least, I can’t help but express my deep appreciation for the incredible friends and the tight-knit community I found at Stern. The unwavering support, encouragement, and camaraderie transformed my experience. Whether it was lending a listening ear during challenging moments or cheering for every milestone achieved, the Stern community became my pillar of strength. The collaborative nature of Stern fostered an environment where we could freely exchange ideas, seek advice, and grow together as a united front.

 Conclusion

As I prepare to embark on this exciting new adventure with Microsoft, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and excitement. Stern has played an integral role in shaping my path, providing me with resources, connections and the support I needed to reach this milestone. It is a testament to the transformative power of education and the incredible opportunities that await those who are willing to chase their dreams. I am ready to make the most of this internship opportunity and contribute to the innovative and dynamic world of marketing at Microsoft!

My Experience in Leadership Fellows

Anna Gallagher is a current Full-time MBA student, specializing in Strategy, Management, and Leadership & Change Management. Prior to Stern, Anna worked in various HR roles at The Boeing Company. Post-MBA, she will join the Amazon Web Services HR Leadership Development Program. At Stern, she is on the boards of Stern Women in Business and Student Government. Anna is a Leadership Fellow, Board Fellow, and Forté Fellow. She is also a Stern Graduate Ambassador. Anna loves Broadway musicals and has seen 10+ shows as a Sternie.

This year, I was fortunate to participate in NYU Stern’s Leadership Fellows Program, an incredible opportunity for MBA students. The purpose of the Makhoul Family Leadership Fellows Program is for students to accelerate their growth and position themselves as leaders within their organizations after Stern. The program includes monthly classes and one-on-one mentorship. 

I loved that the Leadership Fellows program is highly experiential. For example, in several classes we role played workplace scenarios with the help of professional actors. Scenarios included a board of directors discussing a contentious issue with a CEO, a manager coaching a rockstar employee who refuses to work with the team, and an employee advocating for a promotion while being dismissed by management.

In another class session, we focused on understanding the experiences that have shaped us as people and as leaders. We first identified major events, achievements, and moments over our life. We then plotted these events across time and used a vertical axis to indicate the level of positive or negative impact each event had on us. In class we shared our “lifelines.” It was an incredibly moving session as my peers vulnerably shared their greatest heartbreaks and proudest moments. I got to know my classmates so much better and this exercise deepened the trust and respect we had for each other. I encourage you to do the “lifeline” exercise, too. I suspect it will be helpful as you prepare your MBA application and consider your post-MBA goals!

As a Leadership Fellow, you are assigned a mentor to meet with monthly. My mentor was a rockstar Stern alum and professional leadership coach. In our monthly sessions we discussed my career goals, values, and how I can apply class learnings to my daily life. In one of my favorite meetings, we role played a difficult conversation I needed to have and practiced taking the other party’s perspective. 

My Leadership Fellows section (one of many) was deliberately capped at 12 students. The small class size supported vulnerable conversations and gave me ample opportunity to participate in class exercises. Despite the small class size, my section was incredibly diverse including students from the full-time, part-time, and Tech MBA programs. 

If you are looking to gain self awareness, practice leadership skills in a safe setting, connect deeply with other Sternies, and receive regular one-on-one mentorship, then I encourage you to apply for the Stern Leadership Fellows program!

The Value of Affinity Clubs at NYU Stern

Kendra Spruill is a current Full-time MBA student, specializing in Strategy and Leadership & Change Management. Prior to Stern, Kendra worked in the Non-profit sector. Post-MBA, she plans to be a Senior Consultant at Deloitte. At Stern, she was the Co-president of AHBBS, a part of SWIB, Stern Adventures, and MCA. 

Will I fit in? That’s a common question that you may ask yourself while looking for your perfect business school. The student population matters and you want to make sure that you are with people who you can work with, and build lifelong friendships. With business school being as social as it is, it’s crucial to find your community. Fortunately, at a place like Stern, everyone belongs. What’s more reassuring is that there are affinity clubs to lean on to make sure that you find your right community. 

Affinity clubs provide an opportunity for those of similar backgrounds to connect on a deeper level that you may not necessarily get to do on a daily basis. Being at a school where there are so many people from different backgrounds, it’s difficult to really connect with one type of person. The two affinity clubs that I am a part of are SWIB (Stern Women in Business) and AHBBS (The Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students). Though these clubs highlight those of a specific identity, allies are welcome to join and truly help make the clubs the successes that they are today. 

Before becoming co-president of AHBBS, I was very eager to meet people who came from a similar background as me. AHBBS has given me a community to lean on when I struggled with quant classes, classmates to work with on group projects, and more importantly, two bridesmaids in my upcoming wedding! Affinity clubs are crucial in many ways: Helping minority students like myself fit in, allowing international students have a space to speak in their native tongue, reiterating the importance of allyship and understanding cultural influences in business, and providing a safe space for students to challenge and explore.  I am forever grateful to the affinity groups at Stern that have helped shape my overall positive experience at Stern.