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.