Three Months in the Blink of an Eye

Hey everyone! I am going to pull a big blogger faux pas so please don’t hate me. I am consolidating some of my most memorable social and cultural experiences (thus far) from second semester into one post. How easy! How efficient! How “b-school” of me!

– Think Social Drink Local: A student fashion show organized by Stern’s Luxury & Retail Club and Social Enterprise Association. All of the proceeds go to the Stern Social Impact Internship Fund. The fund is a stipend that supports full-time first year MBA students going into summer internships for non-profit organizations who don’t always have the budget to pay their interns. It was a great excuse to get dressed up with my fellow Sternies and see some of our classmates (and our Dean!) walk the runway.

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– Spring Break, India Trek: With our trusty South Asian Business Society trek leaders at the helm (thanks Sameer and Abhay!), I and 30 other classmates traveled to India this March to explore five cities in 10 days. We visited the cities of Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Goa, and Mumbai. The country was just as beautiful as I imagined and the food was even better. We had our fair share of cultural sightseeing (had to get that perfect Taj Mahal Instagram shot), local marketplace shopping, and even got to squeeze in some relaxing beach time. I miss the naan!

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– Passport Day: The Stern Student Government organizes this annual even as a way for the student body to share their country’s diverse background and heritage through serving local cuisines, music, and dance. The girls and guys who performed in the India dance routine stayed up till 11pm practicing one night! It was an impressive event and reminded me of why I love being at Stern, a place that is brimming with culture and collaboration.

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I cannot believe we only have 5 weeks left in the school year! Where has the time gone? Stay tuned for some exciting updates in my next post!

Back from Spring Break!

Greetings friends,

Since last we spoke, I have been around the world and back again. I spent 10 days in South Africa with 48 Sternies and had an amazing time! We started our journey in Johannesburg where we toured the city and visited the Apartheid museum, then went to the Mabula Game Lodge for a two-day safari adventure, and ended up in Cape Town where we explored Cape Point and Table Mountain. My favorite part of the visit was when we visited Velokhaya/The Life Cycling Academy in Khayelitsha in Cape Town. Velokhaya is a non-profit that works “to give underprivileged children in South Africa the skills and the opportunities they need to make a success of their lives“ through cycling. We met the children currently in the program, heard from the founder and alums who have gone on to have very successful lives both on and off the bike, and had a chance to ride around the township of Khayelitsha. You can see pictures from our visit on Velokhaya’s Facebook page.

Until next time,
Jennie

Homestretch

We are back from spring break – and you can guess what that means…less than 2 months until this is all over. I’m so sad about it that I’m just going to go ahead and pretend it’s not happening.

Let’s see – what’s new? We just got back from Spring Break in Tulum & Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were there for seven days with about 15-20 Sternies. It was absolutely incredible. Luckily, the weather is getting nicer here in NYC – it’s almost Spring time! Spring in NYC is beautiful, and I’m really excited to take advantage of it and see more of the city in my free time.

Tomorrow is Summer Start Interview day. I can’t believe that was me just two years ago. Summer Start is an incredible opportunity, and anyone who is invited to interview for it should definitely strongly consider. Summer Start students start in July instead of August and take six of the overall required 60 credits during the summer. This frees up a bit more time in the Fall for recruiting and other extra-curricular activities. I’m so glad I did it because it allowed me the additional time to focus on recruiting in the Fall, and for my GMA presidential responsibilities the second year. It’s also a great way to ease into the bigger class in the Fall. You come in with 60 friends that are evenly distributed across the blocks, so you meet people much more easily through your summer start friends. I honestly can’t say enough great things about it!

Ok, now off to class but will have more updates next week!

Spring Break!

Hello friends,

Just one more day stands between me and a week off for Spring Break! It seems like this semester is literally FLYING by, how is it Spring Break already? I have some classes coming to an end in just two weeks and graduation is looming just around the corner. Two years is just not long enough!

I am pretty excited for my Spring Break plans this year. Unlike some of my other classmates who are jetting off to exotic locations like South Africa and Cost Rica, I am spending my break here in NYC working with my partner on the business we are starting-up. We are working on building an e-commerce retailer dedicated to the modern career girl, complete with styling and career advice. (You can check out the beginning of our site here www.workshopstyle.com). It will be great to have a full week of uninterrupted time for us to really make some progress and get down to business as we have quite a bit of work ahead of us before we are ready to launch! Although I will be taking a 2 day mini break to Miami, FL to get in some sunshine and hang out at Ultra Music Festival for the weekend first. Not too shabby.

One of the awesome parts about Stern is the club treks that take place over Spring Break. All of the clubs organize trips to different destinations around the world from Morocco to Brazil to Israel. Last year I joined the Emerging Markets Association(EMA) on the Peru trek which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The trip was unbelievable from white water rafting and mountain biking in Cuzco, to hiking the rain forest to the breathtaking sites of Machu Picchu. This year the EMA is heading to Vietnam and Cambodia and I am sure everyone going is in for a fabulous adventure.

Until next time!

Kristin

 

Countdown to Spring Break!

Greetings friends!

It’s been a busy time since last we spoke. I have two half semester classes coming to an end on March 27th. It’s great to take half semester classes because your class load is lighter for the second half of the semester (at least in my case) and you can take classes with many professors. However, I am completely distracted as Spring Break starts on Friday! I am headed to South Africa with the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students and Stern in Africa. Every year, on-campus clubs plan Spring Break treks. Some have a recruiting focus if students want to work abroad. Others are centered around service as with the Social Enterprise Association’s trek. Others are purely social (which is the kind of trek that I prefer). Last year, I traveled to three cities in Brazil –Salvador, Iguazu Falls, and Rio de Janeiro–for the Latin American Business Association’s trek. This year, I am traveling to Cape Town and Johannesburg with 45 Sternies! I look forward to sharing my experience with you in my next blog post!

Until next time,
Jennie

Back from the Break & the Tech Trek

I can’t believe it’s only been a couple of days since school started. It feels like so much more, and I’m still trying to find my footing.

First thing’s first though! Before I get into what’s in store for me this semester, I want to tell you about my break.

After the finals, I stayed in the city for a few days, getting used to an eerily quiet life, and then finally went to Istanbul. I had to be back in New York in 10 days, and I’d been second-guessing myself: 10-hour flight, both ways, was it really worth it for just 10 days? Turns out it was; catching up with my family & friends after 5 months was exactly what I needed.

What I really want to talk about, though, is the EMTA Bay Area trek that I went on after I came back to the US. In case you haven’t heard of it, EMTA is the Entertainment, Media and Technology Association at Stern. Every year they organize a trek to the Bay Area to visit tech companies, and on the list this year were Zynga, Facebook, eBay/Paypal and Google.

We left for San Francisco on a Sunday, and that was an optional day for mock interviews with Stern alums who were working at our target companies. We spent most of that day trying to explore San Francisco: had lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf, went to Ghirardelli Square for some hot chocolate, and wandered around San Francisco’s many hills. We then had a group dinner at Basil Canteen (amazing Thai food!) before finally calling it a night—we were too full and too tired to go out. Besides, we had an early morning the next day: company visits first to Zynga and then Facebook!

I should point out now that working for a tech company does seem to be all it’s cracked up to be. (Zynga, for instance, allows you to bring your dog to work—which perhaps is not all that surprising, considering that the company is named after co-founder Mark Pincus’s dog.) In fact, I’m going to go ahead and generalize a bit here; and of course, I’m not suggesting that this holds for all tech companies, but the ones that we saw typically have gyms, wellness centers, game rooms, free snacks throughout the day, and even dry cleaning! The workplace is fun and stimulating; and they want you to focus on your work, instead of the errands that you have to run, so they take care of it for you. Everything seems to be aimed at making your life easier, and maybe there is a trade-off, but even so, it would definitely be worth it!

Back to our itinerary—that first night, we had a mixer with Stern alumni in the area, and a handful of prospective students. It was a really nice way to wind down after the busy day, and get to know new people. Unfortunately, I had a phone interview the next morning, so once again, I had to call it a night somewhat early.

The next day we went to eBay/PayPal (where, following a fascinating presentation from the retail innovation team, we all received bags with the new logo!) and then had a happy hour with Stern alumni who work at LinkedIn. We had plenty of free time after the happy hour, and our itinerary included burgers at In-N-Out, cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory, drinks at a speakeasy bar on Union Square, and then finally karaoke! This was our last night in San Francisco, so we really had to make the most of it.

The final day kicked off with a visit to Google. We had the chance to travel around the campus (which includes, among other things, a sand volleyball court), and then we had a panel with the Stern alumni who work there. Most of us were taking the flight back to New York that night, though some chose to stay in San Francisco for a couple of more days (cue jealousy).

I want to reiterate, yet again, that working for any of these companies seems like a dream come true. I can only speak for myself, of course, but they all have perks and/or quirks that I find very appealing: Facebook has conference rooms titled Alohamora and Avada Kedavra (self-professed Harry Potter geek here), and a real-life Facebook wall that encourages you to “write something.” Google has the statue of a dinosaur flocked by pink flamingos and google-colored bikes to help employees get around; eBay has a display of pez dispensers in the waiting area; and Zynga has the general feel of a playful gaming environment (you enter the office through a glowing tunnel). I’m sure we all had different takeaways and things that resonated with us, but the bottom line is that it’s very hard not to be impressed.

I’m so glad I was a part of this trek; not only was it amazing to actually visit these offices, it was also a great opportunity to bond with my fellow Sternies. I owe the EMTA team a huge thank you for that.