Community within the Tech MBA

Alina is a current Tech MBA student at Stern. Within Stern, she is part of the Stern Women in Business Club‘s board. Before starting her MBA, Alina gained professional experience in Digital Strategy Consulting at McKinsey in Europe and in multiple roles at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Germany and Singapore. She holds a BSc in Business Informatics and a MSc in Management. 

 

How quickly can you bond with 54 other Tech MBAs? Well, apparently it only takes days after meeting them. The first time I got in touch with my classmates was even before the official start of the program. One bold classmate decided to invite all of us over to her building for a party which turned out to be one of the first nights we bonded as a class (see picture below).

Now, the community within our Tech MBA can be described as especially close. Our class profile is made up of 55 individuals with different backgrounds, from over 15 different countries, with between 1-15 years of work experience, different personality types from very introverted to especially extroverted, and with an age difference of more than 12 years between our youngest and oldest class members. Still, we have similar values – we truly embrace Stern’s emphasis on community which is one of the essential reasons why our class climate is especially welcoming and friendly. 

To me, the community within the MBA class was an important factor in deciding on a grad school. I came to New York as an international student from Germany with only a very small network in the city. Especially when leaving family and friends behind on a different continent, the strong bond within a class was particularly critical for me. The Tech MBA at NYU Stern was the perfect choice as the MBA community was there for me from Day One. A few highlights have been finding roommates on our class Slack channel, apartment search hacks and personally curated restaurant / bar lists shared with the class from our NYC-based classmates (New Yorker’s equivalent to gold), and finally, that we got to know each other through our Slack channel even before the start of the program. 

As we are a small cohort of 55 students, it is possible to get to know your classmates quickly. Additionally, as classes start in the summer semester, it is incredibly effortless to connect within the Stern buildings as it’s only Focused MBAs on campus. During the summer months, we had an intense syllabus with 19.5 credits – but this also allowed us to get to know each other through numerous group projects and more intimate MBA events. Of course, we also got to explore New York City after class and on the weekends.

Besides classes, the community within the Tech MBA offers tremendous support to help prepare  for recruiting. As all of us already have strong backgrounds in different industries and roles, we regularly take the time to share our experiences within our classes, and there are even several interview practice groups where classmates help each other with interview prep. 

The summer months created a strong bond within the Tech MBA. Besides connecting in class and during group projects, our incredible social committee organizes regular class events as well as a class trip to the Finger Lakes during the summer months. 

In the fall, club activities pick up again which will allow us to connect with 2-year MBA students. We get to choose a range of electives and have more space in our syllabus, so this time can be used to connect within the wider Stern network. 

For the spring semester, we already have the next class trip planned – this time we will explore the home country of one of our classmates, Colombia!

All those small but valuable things make up the strong community within the Tech MBA as part of the bigger, incredible NYU Stern network. This community made the first months of the program especially fun and helped me to create a home in the city.

Leadership Opportunities at Stern

Before I joined NYU Stern’s Tech MBA program, as an aspiring manager, I always wondered what opportunities would the school provide for me to grow as an impactful leader? How would these compare to the two-year MBA program? And, how do I prepare to arrive at school so I can best leverage these opportunities?

After completing almost a full year in the program, there are a number of opportunities I participated in that helped me strengthen my leadership & management skills while making the most of the program. I hope you consider participating in these as you choose to pursue your own Tech MBA!

  1. Cohort Leader Opportunity: Early in the academic year, Stern gives a taste of what winning an election must feel like, haha! Jokes aside, students elect a cohort leader who serves as a liaison between the administration and your Tech MBA class.  
  2. MBA Admissions Graduate Assistantship: Into the second semester, Admissions Committee selects 3-4 candidates as the face of Stern’s Tech MBA program. These students regularly mentor, guide and serve as ambassadors for both the aspiring MBA students and the admitted students. *wink* they’re the best *wink* As a GA, I have loved talking with so many of you about your journey to business school!
  3. Professional Club Opportunities: There are a number of professional clubs which provide important board positions for the Tech MBA students. Every year, 1-2 students get elected to executive positions within Stern Tech Association, Management Consulting Association, Data Analytics Club, and more. This serves as an excellent opportunity to shape the experience of Tech MBA students for next decade, especially given how the Tech MBA is still relatively new.
  4. Fun Club Opportunities: In addition to professional clubs, Stern also has a lot of special interest and affinity clubs. I personally am closely involved with Stern Football Association, Stern Follies, South Asian Business Association at Stern and Stern Comedy Club. So, spread your wings and find where your affinity lies – most clubs reserve a leadership position for Tech MBA students, which is a great way to get even more involved.
  5. Orientation Leader: Each year, the Office of Student Engagement recruits 4 Orientation Leaders who work to enable a smoother transition for the upcoming cohort. Personally, the Orientation Leaders were real gems when it came to guiding my initial exploration through the program after moving to New York from India last year. I am thankful for their wisdom, and the it seems like a really fun position!
  6. Miscellaneous: Apart from the aforementioned formal opportunities, Stern’s diverse, EQ-centered community continually presents other platforms to rise up and shine as a community leader. Just last semester, when we were struggling with Finance, some knights in shining armor rose up to use their professional experience to guide us in our projects :). Additionally, students who went through the Fall recruiting process and have their job secured have been hosting casing practice and mock interviews for those of us doing just-in-time recruiting in Spring. Even in small groups, Stern students show their leadership and commitment to helping fellow students.

To summarize, not only are there a ton of opportunities available for students to explore, you will also be able to create your own opportunities as you navigate through this amazing journey at Stern.

Building Community in the Tech MBA Program

A huge part of the Stern experience is getting to know your classmates, Stern alumni, and faculty, and building long-lasting relationships.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous about making strong connections in a one-year program, however I’ve been blown away by the professional and personal relationships I’ve formed during my time at Stern.

The one year Tech MBA program is unique because students take the full business “core” during an intensive summer semester. Tech MBA students dive head first into the curriculum and are in class together five days a week for 12 weeks. This summer semester creates the optimal environment to get to know the cohort very quickly. Not only are you paired with classmates during class projects, but students also get the opportunity to socialize during lunch and after class.

In the fall, Tech MBA students are fully integrated into the Stern community and join clubs and take elective classes with MBA 1s and 2s. I enjoyed participating in Stern Women in Business, Stern Technology Association, and Stern Adventures events to meet Sternies outside of my cohort. Additionally, clubs are a great resource to meet alumni and network with the broader Stern community. Through club engagements I’ve met alumni at top tech firms and formed relationships with them to help me through the recruiting process.

Outside of the classroom and formal Stern sponsored events, there are opportunities for students to gather socially and travel together. Our cohort organized a ski trip to Utah during winter break, which was a great way to bond while participating in a fun activity. My classmates have gone on hiking trips and a group recently traveled to Colombia for spring break. Throughout the semester, our class also holds a weekly happy hour on Wednesdays that anyone can attend. We’ve even taken food tours in various NYC neighborhoods and gone to karaoke! Spending time in and out of the classroom with my cohort has been so much fun.

I’ve made lifelong friends at Stern and am confident that the supportive network I’ve built will help me succeed in my career and beyond.

Building Community Through Student-Led Events

It’s popular knowledge that a big part of the MBA is networking. But that word sounds like work and isn’t well-suited to the reality of things. There is a more appropriate word: friendships! Over the next year or two of your MBA, you will share life with a group of amazing people coming from various backgrounds, yet all working towards similar goals. If you do things well, you’ll build deep, lasting friendships with a bunch of them because you spend time together. In this blog post, I want to share some ways that our cohort has bonded through student-led community events.

Bars and Restaurants
These are classics. Don’t be shy to book a table somewhere and send a message in your “general” slack channel asking people if they want to join. I bet you that you’ll have to call back to increase your reservation to 20 seats.

Parks
This is a go-to in NYC and a fun way to spend Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Our cohort always ends up in Central Park, but there are tons of other parks too. I recommend getting a Moolky, a wooden pin & skittles game, which you can play as a group. Last time, someone brought a portable cornhole game that was also fun to play 2 vs 2. Do not forget sunscreen, coolers, and hats! If you have a dog, there’s a specific patch of grass just north of the East 72nd Street entrance with lots of other dogs running around and playing together.

Workouts
One of the highlights for me so far in the MBA has been running workouts for my classmates. We meet outside twice a week and sweat together for an hour. Then we usually go to brunch afterwards! Wednesdays are at the Houston st playground, and Saturdays are at Pier 46. Only one rule: you have to come to a workout to be added to the group chat! Don’t forget to take a group selfie post-workout! Open to all at any level, reach out to me if you want to join!

Saturday GCNY crew, Pier 46, 5/15/2021

House/rooftop parties
Rooftops are a huge commodity in NYC summers. Make yourself known if you have a rooftop or a bigger apartment than others!

Poker
My classmates and I had a couple good games, both online and offline. I recommend keeping it inclusive to everyone and giving a chance to people who don’t know how to play to give it a try. If you want to play online you can use pokernow for free and have a simultaneous zoom session.

PPT night
Our cohort has been running a powerpoint night every two months that has proven popular and a lot of fun. The premise is simple: 3 people volunteer to present to the group on a topic of their choice. The topics are completely up to the presenters and tend to be fun (or even ludicrous) in nature. Examples include origami, Whiteclaw, Australia’s Great Emu War, travelling to Chile, 90 Day Fiance, etc. 

Escape the Zoom
In this event attendees are separated into teams of ~4 and attempt to “escape the Zoom” by answering a series of ~8 riddles posted by the organizing team. Each team is sent to their own breakout room and given the first riddle. Once a team solves a riddle, one of the team members goes back to the main room and calls an organizer into their breakout room to deliver the answer. If correct, the team unlocks the next riddle. Hints are offered to teams after 10 minutes without a solution. The winning team is the first team to correctly solve all riddles!

Here’s a riddle to get you started:

Complete this logical sequence:

1 – E – 2 – O – 3 – E –
4 – R – 5 – E – 6 – …

a) S
b) X
c) Z

To see the answer, highlight this full line with your cursor: ANSWER is b) (SI)X 

Trips
Spending several days away together is usually an excellent way to get to know your classmates on a deeper level. And some may have the added benefit of discovering new parts of America. With everyone vaccinated and the slow easing of safety guidelines, trips might soon be part of the MBA experience again. There are as many destinations as you can think of. I’m recommending a local spot below:

Hunter Mountain
In the winter, Hunter mountain is a must-do for skiing and snowboarding with slopes available for all level skiers. It’s just about 2.5 hours outside NYC. You’ll need to book your ski passes well in advance and book a chalet on Airbnb for the group. I recommend renting your gear on the way up to the station where the queue will be a lot smaller.

Thanks for the read, I hope this will be useful to brainstorm what to do after classes! Have fun and see you around the city!

Advice for Incoming Tech MBA students

So, you are finally about to start your MBA experience at Stern – it is exciting and a bit intimidating, but I am sure you are looking forward to beginning this life-changing journey! Last January, I was in the same situation as I was approaching the first classes; now after a few months, I want to share with you some advice that hopefully will help you best prepare and  making the most out the Tech MBA experience at NYU Stern:

1. Take time off if you can 

Before starting my focused MBA, I had heard many times that the Tech MBA was intense, but I wouldn’t have imagined it was going to be this intense! Classes are really fast paced and there is a fair amount of pre-work and group-work required for each class, so if you have the opportunity take a couple of weeks off, it’s worth it to arrive well-rested for the beginning of the first semester. 

2. Adjust to NYC life 

From finding and furnishing your apartment, to sorting out your finances (if you are an international student), there are many things to figure out when moving to NYC. 

Here are a bunch useful links and apps that I found useful when I first moved here:

NYU recommended resources for apartment search. I personally used Loftey, and they helped me find the apartment I wanted without paying any broker or extra fees.
– Sometimes Ikea and other furniture shops have long delivery times, in this case I found
second-hand furniture app quite useful.
– The NYC restaurants scene is one of the most exciting – use Resy to discover new places and to search restaurants by availability for up to 20 people (quite useful to organize gatherings with your classmates!).
– Last but not least, take advantage of being a student again: use Unidays to get discounts on restaurants and shops.

3. Map out your goals
Between clubs, networking events, workshops, course electives, conferences, and entrepreneurial competitions, there are so many exciting opportunities at Stern that you might want to take part in – however, it’s really impossible to do everything! So lay out your plans and goals to help identify critical opportunities and stick with your priorities. Of course, your plan can change during this year, but having a set of goals you want to achieve will help you navigate among all the exciting activities happening around you. 

4. Start socializing from day 1 

You will be surrounded by an extraordinary cohort of students, all with different experiences and perspectives, so getting to know each other is not only fun, but it can help you better understand what you want to do post-MBA. Building meaningful connections with your cohort is one of  the most valuable aspects of this experience. So don’t hesitate to organize after-class drinks, dinners and trips together from day one – time goes really fast!

Outside of your cohort, make sure you leverage clubs as a way to connect with the wider Stern community – CampusGroup will be your go-to resource to join clubs and discover events!

Advice on Moving to NYC from the Perspective of an International Student

Ok, so you’ve got your Stern admission letter and your F1 visa and you’re finally ready to move to New York City! Since you’ve never met anyone from New York who didn’t think this was the best city on earth, you’re feeling pretty good about the move. But if you are still wondering what to expect, this post is for you. It covers what I’ve learned in my first 3 months here as a Frenchman, tips on how to successfully transition as a non-American, and odd things I’ve noticed.

A bit about me-

My name is Luc, I grew up near Paris, lived for a year in Houston before college, studied for 3 years in Montreal for my bachelor’s, and I had been working in Shanghai for 9 years prior to coming to Stern. My background is entrepreneurship: 8 years of early stage tech startups, 5 as founder/ceo, followed by some consulting. My experience with NYC was close to none before I moved here 4 months ago.

Apartment hunting-

Units are usually available right away so you can find an apartment in the 2 weeks leading up to your move-in date (it took me 5 days). There are a few online platforms recommended by NYU when it comes to looking for an apartment. If you’re going to use Facebook housing groups, I recommend doing background checks before you sign anything (I dodged a scammer on a Facebook group by doing a reverse Google image search of the photos on the listing). It showed me that the NYC apartment I had selected was also listed in Paris … no wonder the “landlord” didn’t want to turn on her video when we talked!

In my case, StreetEasy got me there and I recommend using this instead. Word of caution if, like me, you are booking your apartment after a virtual visit: video tours are not the same as in person. You cannot control what is shown or get an accurate sense of the size, the view, the noise, etc. So ask if you can commit for only 3 months with the option to extend at the same rate for the rest of the year. The market has gone way down since COVID, so the landlord might agree. My apartment ended up having zero natural light and I was glad to have the option to move out after 3 months. Note that most listed apartments are not furnished, but if you message the agents on the website they might have other unlisted apartments available that are furnished, or have available furniture in storage to give you. In my case, the agent provided me with a bed and a sofa free of charge and I bought the other cheaper furniture on my own. Another option is to rent furniture: you can get a good bed and sofa for as low as $100/month if signing for 12 months (e.g. livefeather.com, cort.com, casaone.com and others).

Where to live-

There are a lot of differing opinions on the topic. A lot of my classmates live in the West Village and everyone loves it. It feels a bit more European and there are a lot of good spots, but it’s a bit pricey. The East Village and Lower East Side are great options as well (I live on the border of the two). The area is a bit more grungy in my opinion, but has lots of great bars and restaurants. If you don’t mind the commute I’m a big fan of Brooklyn (Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Greenpoint, Williamsburg): I like the smaller buildings, the sense of community I get walking its streets, and the welcoming and unpretentious vibe. I also have a classmate who lives in Jersey City right across the river with a beautiful view of the Hudson River, and it takes him just 20 minutes to get to campus.

Hudson & Perry St – West Village

Services-

Once you have your place you’re going to have to figure out a data plan, internet, utilities, and a bank.

Phone plan: Assuming you already have a phone, the best value I found is AT&T’s 12-month prepaid plan, at $25/month + tax for 8GB of data. There’s a catch though: it’s available only online and you need to already have a US phone number to order… your US number…. I was tricked into paying for a 1 month plan at a physical store just so I could order the prepaid 12-month plan online. If I were to do it again, I would get a temporary Skype US number and use that to order instead.

Internet: In theory there are two options, Verizon FiOS and Spectrum. But they cover different areas of NYC so you end up being forced to subscribe to the available supplier for your apartment. You can use your NYU email to get 2 months free with Spectrum, but then it’s $55/month for wifi for the first year and $70 after that. Although I’m told you can call back at the end of the year to get the ‘new customer’ discount again.

Utilities: Another monopoly. I hope your activation on ConEdison’s website goes smoothly as they’re difficult to reach via phone. Your landlord or agent should tell you what you need to do for utilities.

Bank: I pre-opened an HSBC account from abroad (not available in some countries like China so you’ll have to check) and then applied in-person for their credit card when I arrived. You’ll want to get a credit card because it allows you to build your credit history (without which it’ll be hard to finance anything in the US), and because it’s the only type of card that works in all situations, 100% of the time (for some reason my debit cards are a hit or miss). Until I had my credit card, I used Revolut, which offers free payments and free currency conversions. Note that if you’re using an international card and the POS machine or ATM asks for a zip code, enter 00000.

Transportation-

Most people I’ve met like to walk. If that‘s the case for you, you’ll have a great time here. I don’t like walking much, so I’ve explored different options:

Options:

  1. Metro & buses: $2.75 a ride, but you can transfer for free (e.g. metro to bus). There’s no need to buy MetroCards as you can tap your credit card to enter the station. Public transportation will take you anywhere, but it will take time: I find that I tend to have to wait for the next train or bus, and there’s still walking to be done when you arrive at your destination. 
  2. Revel: $1 unlock fee + $0.49 per minute. I love Revel as I used to ride an electric moped every day in Shanghai. These are particularly fast and good. The downside is that it’s relatively expensive (my rides have been $8-10) and you might spend a few minutes looking for a legal spot to park. They accept international driving licenses. The mopeds have a phone holder built-in which is super convenient for using google map. I heard that Revel is starting to rent out electric bicycles for $100 a month as well.
  3. Citi Bike: $3.50 a ride. Good if you can find an electric one, bad if you can’t: the bikes are super heavy and slow. You can book those directly from the Lyft app, too. I’m told that there are subscription plans available if you like City Bike.
  4. Uber/Lyft: More comfortable and expensive. Good to get back home after a night out.

My personal recommendation:
Buy an electric scooter or electric longboard for as low as $350 (or a bicycle). My longboard takes me to most places in 10 minutes. I can take it on the metro or on top of a Revel if I’m going far so it combines well with other forms of transportation. You can even ride across the bridges to Brooklyn. Getting a scooter is both safer and more comfortable than skateboarding because the roads in NYC are quite bad (rough pavement with bumps, iron railings, and holes), especially the bike lanes! Then use Revel when it’s nice out!

A girl on a Revel enjoying the breeze. She’s probably thinking something along the lines of “four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.”

Odd things I’ve noticed-
Dogs: (NYC) Americans love dogs. I mean LOVE dogs. I mean you’ll go to some dinners where people will spend a full hour talking about their dogs. If you’re taking a class on Zoom and someone’s dog enters the field of view, the class will stop until classmates and instructors are done commenting on how cute that dog is (and yes, all of the dogs are cute).

Prices: Don’t trust them. All the prices you’re given here are deflated. You’ll need to add taxes, and tips if it’s food or drinks. A typical restaurant bill is 30% higher than previously stated. You might need a calculator to figure out the tip, usually 18-20% of the pre-tax amount given.

Messaging apps: Not everyone uses the same messaging app. Most people have iPhones and use iMessage so they may not use WhatsApp. Regular SMS, Facebook messenger, Signal, and Discord might also be used to communicate with different people. This was odd to me given how everyone uses WeChat in China no matter what phone they have.

Cash: It’s still a thing here. Even coins. Actually, your laundry might not be inside your apartment, so you’ll need to go to your bank to get lots and lots of quarters to operate the machines in your building or at your nearest laundromat. Many smaller businesses refuse credit cards until you reach a certain $ minimum, and I haven’t seen mobile payments being used here yet.

Note that as a result, it takes a lot of time to pay at a restaurant. So instead everyone paying, what happens is 1) only 1 person at the table pays for everyone (yay, credit card points!). 2) Another person usually volunteers to divide up the amounts, goes back home and uses a spreadsheet to proportionally divide the tax and tip, and texts everyone how much they owe. Then 3) you’ll have to download Venmo and link it to your US bank account to pay that first person back. Teamwork.

actual split bill I’ve gotten

 

I hope this was helpful to get you situated in NYC and that you’re excited; this is going to be a fun ride. Please reach out to me with any questions at mbaga@stern.nyu.edu.

Creating Community in a Virtual Environment

I’ve always heard people say that one of the biggest takeaways from business school is the community and network you create. In fact, the community of Sternies is one of the main reasons why I ended up at Stern for my MBA. Prior to starting the program, I was so excited to meet my classmates, learn from their experiences, and build an amazing community. Though, given the current state of the world, I was nervous about how all of that would work with a hybrid learning model.

It’s true that the experience looks a bit different from what I had first expected while going through the application process. As the program was first getting started, it was certainly daunting to create connections and make friends with brand new classmates in a virtual environment. This wasn’t just a new experience for me, but it was a new experience for all of us. As soon as we all embraced that this year would be a bit different but we were all in it together, we were able to make just as meaningful of connections through screens as we would have in person.

So how did we create a community in a virtual environment? Follow these tips and tricks to learn how:

Find a platform where everyone can stay connected: Our cohort has been loving Slack. Having a platform where the entire class is connected offers opportunities for us to chat throughout the day, share resources, celebrate one another and more. We’ve created different channels for us to discuss different topics that we’re interested in like tech, gaming, popular tv shows, and fitness.

Turn your camera on (if you can!): If you are able to, consider keeping your camera on while in class or participating in group events. Of course, there are different reasons why we need to keep your camera off, but if you are able to, having your camera on helps create that in-person experience. Using video offers the ability to see reactions, body language, and emotions. The use of video can make that virtual zoom feel that much more like real life.

Leverage the chat function and emojis: The chat function on video conferencing sites adds an additional layer of communication and connection with classmates. It’s another place where you can engage with your peers and learn more about each other along the way. The emojis allow you to acknowledge different moments without having to unmute. You can show that you agree, that you have something to contribute, applaud a classmate and more just with emojis.

Don’t just use Zoom for class – host virtual gatherings as well: Zoom isn’t just a great mechanism for class, it’s also a great way to build connections with your peers. With Zoom, you can host coffee chats, game nights, get togethers, open mics and more. It allows us to get together safely beyond just that classroom environment.

Bring elements of your personal life into the camera (if you feel comfortable!): It always brings the class joy when we get little glimpses of each others’ lives via Zoom. Whenever a cat decides to come on screen or a loved one makes a cameo, you can see large smiles across the grid of faces on Zoom. Getting that little glimpse of people’s lives is a reminder that we’re all Zooming from home during a challenging time — and we’re all in it together.

5 Ways for Tech MBAs to Meet Other MBAs at Stern

If you’re admitted and decide to join Stern’s Tech MBA cohort, you should be careful not to only focus on mingling with your close classmates. Instead, find ways to reach out to the broader MBA community. While I’m not disregarding the importance of developing sustainable relationships within the Tech MBA class, the nature of the program will offer plenty of opportunities to do so by default. That being the case, here are five ways that I’ve made the most out of the Stern community by networking with other students in the various MBA programs. Remember, Stern has several other MBA programs including but not limited to the full-time program, fashion and luxury specialized program, part-time evening classes, and dual degree students.

1. General Interest Clubs

Most clubs are open to any MBA students and if there is a common interest, you can bet there is a club created for it. There are even a few leadership opportunities for Tech MBA students specifically in some of the technology-oriented clubs. Here is a list of all of the clubs that Stern has to offer.

2. Case Competitions

Several case competitions will float through your email inbox throughout your year at Stern. Case competitions are a great way to put your new business school knowledge to work while collaborating with other students at Stern. Most competitions even have a pretty substantial monetary reward! If you’re not familiar with case competitions, check out this Poets & Quants article on them.

3. Alumni Networking Events

Before mentioning alumni events, I feel as though I should mention is this first: don’t target recruiting events strictly as a way to network with your classmates. Recruiting events are designed to help students learn about companies, not students. Similarly, the pressure and competitive mindset of certain industries may make recruiting events high-stakes and stressful for attendees. On the contrary, alumni events are set up specifically for networking and meeting current and former students. Most alumni who come to these events have open arms and ears and are looking forward to meeting you. You can see a list of upcoming alumni events here.

4. Elective Classes

When the fall semester rolls around, Tech MBA students are viewed as second-year MBA students from a registration perspective. That means your classmates in electives will be composed of students from the full-time program who have known each other for at least a year. Make an effort to form class groups with students outside of your Tech MBA cohort and sit next to people you haven’t met yet. Here is a full list of elective classes.

5. Happy Hours & Social Events

Finally, the obvious one. Happy hours and social outings are often held at the end of the week, which happens to be Thursday in business school. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, your classmates will happily welcome you to these events. One of the most notable events is Beer Blast, which takes place every Thursday night, often following another great event called Stern Speaks. These events attract students from every program and are a great way to connect after a long week of classes.

I hope these five ideas help you make the most out of your year at Stern. It will fly by, so make sure to take advantage of as much as you can while you’re here!