Company Visits & Beyond

Christy Kim is a MBA candidate at NYU Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA program, specializing in Business Analytics and Product Management. Prior to Stern, she worked at Deloitte Consulting, driving large-scale data and analytics transformations for clients across various industries. She additionally brings a background in product marketing, alliances, and tech sales and graduated from Duke University.

As a prospective candidate, you have two options:

  1. MBA experience with a summer internship (traditional 2-year program)
  2. MBA experience with multiple in-semester projects for top companies (welcome to our world!)

If I were presented today with the same options above, I would still choose option B in a heartbeat. Here are the 5 reasons why I believe our experiential learning curriculum provides above and beyond what can be gained through a summer internship alone:

1. GUARANTEED ‘INTERNSHIPS’ WITH TOP COMPANIES – and no recruiting or interviews required! Our 2-year MBA counterparts spend their first year recruiting for their summer internships; however, we fortunately had the following in-semester project opportunities land in our laps as part of our experiential learning courses:

A Dream Team: Pfizer Group A!
  • ‘Tech Immersion’ (Summer): Pfizer, KPMG
  • ‘Tech Solutions’ (Fall): 13 companies across various industries and of all sizes – including Waze, IKEA, PayPal, and Roku
  • [Optional] ‘Endless Frontier Labs’ (Fall & Spring): In place of ‘Tech Solutions’, you have the opportunity to take this course for hands-on work with Life Sciences, Digital Tech and Deep Tech startups

Through the above, some students have even found full-time employment opportunities with their respective companies!

2. BOOST YOUR LINKEDIN/RESUME. Through our experiential learning projects we act as consultants to the companies listed above. This is outstanding real world work experience which helps build our skills and our resume. We can also share our success during the recruiting process.

3. LEARN, APPLY, MAXIMIZE. The beauty of our experiential learning curriculum is that the course lessons are directly aligned to our project expectations and deliverables. For example, we had the following interactive sessions over the summer to help with our client deliverable preparations: 

In addition, we also had the opportunity to apply our learnings from our core courses (e.g. Entrepreneurship, Strategy) to our projects as well. This chronological, methodological yet practical approach to learning is one that I have yet to experience in my undergraduate years or professional life.

4. FAIL SAFE, LEARN FAST – a key, unique benefit of the experiential learning experience. With formal summer internships, there may be less opportunity for interns to ‘fail safe’ as their individual return offers are on the line. Through the Tech MBA program, our experiential learning curriculum allows us to:

  • Consult for top companies with a focus on innovation, experimentation, and learning (shoutout to our professor, J.P. Eggers, for always ensuring that our client project direction stayed on course for learning maximization!)
  • Receive continuous direction and feedback from our clients and project leadership (e.g. we had review/feedback sessions every 3-4 weeks)
  • Collaborate and lead in a small group setting with our classmates (e.g. my group maintained rotating leaders on a weekly basis)

    On-site visit and guest speaker session at Google!
Myself and Divya Mehta’s mock pitch for Goldman Sachs Accelerate!

5. TIME TO EXPLORE (& CONFIRM). The summer ‘Tech Immersion’ course served to be a great kickoff to the exploration of my post-MBA career path. I had planned to use this time in the MBA to confirm my continued career in tech consulting or explore other paths (specifically product management) that may be a good fit with my long-term career goals. The course not only  helped re-confirm my continued passion for client services (i.e. Pfizer project), but also provided a great introduction/sneak peek into the world of product management. I plan to build on these experiences and continue the exploration through the rest of the program; I am excited to see what the future holds for not only myself, but also for our entire cohort!

 

Moore’s Law & the Tech MBA

Nicholas Imbriglia is a Tech MBA candidate specializing in Tech Product Management and Sustainable Business & Innovation. Prior to Stern, Nicholas worked as an engineer and engineering manager at companies such as Siemens, athenahealth, and Intel. He is passionate about technology’s ability to improve lives and, upon graduation, plans to return to the tech workforce to help deliver novel solutions with a positive impact for society.

Moore’s Law (admittedly, more of an observation than a law of nature…) states that the number of transistors that can be fit onto a microprocessor doubles about every two years. Every 18 months, if we’re being technical. And we ARE being technical. This is the Tech MBA, after all! But nitpicking aside, Mr. Gordon Moore’s famous doctrine is meant to illustrate just how fast technology can progress in a short period of time.

I didn’t want to play catch up

It was this thought that was going through my head as I considered my options for business school. After over 10 years of working in technical roles, ranging from semiconductor development to healthcare SAAS products, the prospect of going back to school for two years seemed excessive… extravagant, even. Especially for someone old enough to remember using floppy disks and playing with tamagotchis (look them up). And with the way things move in tech, I wondered if I wouldn’t be falling behind while getting my MBA. Could I afford to be out of the tech scene, not to mention without a salary, for such a length of time? Would I be playing catch up when I returned? As someone who planned on going straight back to the tech industry after business school, there were parts of me that wondered if it was worth it, both from a financial and a developmental point of view. 

Beyond the standard

That’s where the Stern Tech MBA really shone through for me. I’ll admit, when I first started researching NYU Stern, I didn’t even know they had a focused, one year MBA program. When I found information about it on the Stern website, I recall thinking “huh, that’s interesting,” and quickly brushing it aside. At first blush, it seemed too different. It deviated too much from what I considered the “standard business school” experience. But as I went through the application process (at Stern and elsewhere) and the reality of two years out of the workforce hit me, I realized I didn’t want the standard. In fact, I wanted a program catered more towards the tech industry, with an immersive curriculum, a quicker turnaround, and a superior ROI. And that’s exactly what Stern’s Tech MBA offered. When the moment of truth came on my Stern application, I selected the one year program and never looked back.

Staying in the game

And, in many ways, it’s not just the shorter program length that ensures you are “back in the industry” quicker. If anything, the Tech MBA curriculum ensures you are at the cutting edge of it. Regular visits to tech offices (Google, Uber, and Pfizer to name a few) and guest speakers from a range of tech fields (fintech, healthcare, smart cities, Web3, etc.) guarantee you have your finger firmly on the pulse of the tech scene in New York. NYU also has a history of offering classes that focus on the newest trends in technology and business. Many of my classmates are taking electives on blockchain and extended reality. I myself am enrolled in a renewable energy markets course.

So, with all that in mind, I was able to rest easy with my decision to enroll in the Stern Tech MBA. The focused experience has been an enlightening one so far and our cohort has been having a truly wonderful time. The irony of it all may be that, come graduation in May, we won’t want it to end. But when we wrap up our one year and enter back out into the wider working world, we will do so armed with new tools and insights, ready to supercharge our careers after a fraction of the time of a traditional business school offering. After all, Moore’s Law waits for no one.

Advantages of a One Year MBA

Carlos Rincon is a full-time MBA candidate in NYU Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA program. Before Stern, Carlos worked in management consulting at Bain in Colombia, Brazil, and Chile. Upon graduation, he plans to work in strategy at a tech company. 

 

 

 

 

Why an accelerated tech MBA program at Stern? 

For me, there were several elements for why an accelerated program focused on tech was the best decision. The two foremost are: (1) Having a clear vision that I want to focus my future career in tech and (2) being an international student, I was eager to gain experience in the New York City and US tech scene. Some of the advantages I see include: 

Tech is a fast-moving industry: To be ahead in tech, you need to be building permanently.

  • New opportunities generated by Internet penetration: This creates an environment where technology developers can create and change things anywhere at any time. This “coding offer increase” is a complete market shift from the past, where one of the main constraints to develop was to have more coders. 
  • The duration of the program not only means you will return to the market faster, but the program design allows you to be constantly updated on what the New York tech ecosystem is doing.

More interaction with the tech cohort: The tech cohort is not only small (just ~50 people) which allows deep bonding, but also has more experience and general interest in the current tech trends such as the metaverse, blockchain, decentralization, intelligent cities, crypto, etc.

  • The Tech MBA class profile also attracts people with more experience (6.2 years against 5.0 years of the regular MBA), leading to more knowledge on how to approach and leverage classes.
  • The experience of the class concentrates on tech trends that will address the future of the world, creating compelling environments in the classroom conversations on these topics.

Return On Investment: As an international student, I was very focused on the program’s ROI. Although there isn’t time for an internship, the recruiting season begins in the fall, when Tech MBA and second-year MBA students are ready to be back in the market upon graduation in May. 

  • This results in a great recruiting season with second-year MBA students returning to the workforce in only one year 

Entrepreneurial spirit: A significant group of students in our tech cohort have experience in startups or entrepreneurship, or are interested in pursuing this in the future. If you are interested in looking for co-founders, having exciting conversations, or understanding how startups work, you will find a group of people with experience in this field.

  • Joining the entrepreneurship groups is also a great way to acquire some experience and gain exposure to how the VC world works.

Things to keep in mind:

Networking

  • Not having a summer internship requires more focus on the type of industry you want to pursue during the recruiting season. Define the industries and companies you want and begin to build relationships to be updated on job offers and recommendations. Spend energy generating authentic relationships with the companies you target. 
  • My advice – leverage ALL of the Stern network. After defining the companies where you want to work, contact the Stern alums at that company doing relevant roles to the ones you target. The sense of community of Stern is such that most of the time, you will receive an answer and indeed some availability to have a coffee chat and understand better how the company works and if it indeed adjusts to what you want to do. (They have been incredibly helpful to me)

Summer is intense, but don’t stress out!

  • Don’t miss the opportunity to know more of your classmates and do fun things. The program is fast and busy, but putting in the extra time to explore the city with your cohort and get to know one another is beneficial both personally and professionally! 
    • Advice: If you need help with the summer classes, don’t hesitate to ask. One of your classmates will be familiar with the subject, and everybody is receptive to help. You are all in this together!
  • If you’re interested in pursuing consulting or banking, spend time refining your skills over the summer so that you are prepared when the club activities start in the Fall and full-time recruiting ramps up. Don’t miss any opportunity to travel with your cohort! 
  • Unfortunately, time goes rapidly, so understand when your breaks take place and organize all the trips you can with your cohort!

What to Expect From Your Tech MBA Summer

One of the most unique parts of the Tech MBA is the summer semester – there are no other students on campus, you get to bond with your cohort, and start your journey as an MBA. If you’re wondering what a typical day in the life of a Tech MBA student in the summer looks like, it’s a very busy but exciting time! It’s also a great transition from working into school, since your schedule is more like a 9-5 working day. Here’s an example of what a typical day might look like:

  • 8am – 9am: Commute from Brooklyn to campus
  • 9am – 11:50am: Class 1: Economics
  • 11:50am – 12:30pm: Lunch in the park with friends
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Catch up on reading in the student lounge
  • 1:30pm – 4:20pm: Class 2: Leadership
  • 4:20-6:00pm: Work on assignments
  • 6:00pm: Head home or grab dinner/drinks with Stern friends

Classes you will take: The summer is all about Core classes, and they’re in a special format to accommodate for taking everything over the summer. You’ll take Economics, Leadership, Accounting, Marketing, Communications, and many more courses, but in essence are taking most of the core curriculum that MBA1s take in their first year. The benefits of this are that professors distill down their content to the most important information, and you get a ‘greatest hits’ experience. The challenge can be time management because you need to make time for homework in the evenings and on the weekend. One great part is that everyone is in the same courses, so it’s easy to lean on each other for support.

How to take advantage of the summer in NYC: Since everyone is more or less on the same schedule, it means you’ll get to spend many of your days together during the week! It’s a great time to get outside in Washington Square Park to study or hang out, and check out all of the amazing lunch spots near campus. My personal favorite is Court Street Grocers. Our cohort did lots of fun summer activities, including a lobster boat cruise in Manhattan and outdoor rock climbing in Brooklyn.

What I wish I had done looking back: Time management can be difficult during the summer, because there are so many classes packed into a short period. The best way to manage for me was to block off certain nights or weekends where I would dedicate myself to getting work for the week done. I also used a program called Trello to make a board with tickets for every assignment that I could group by deadline or priority, which helped me make sure I knew what was coming up. Our cohort also made a #homework channel on Slack, and someone volunteered to post assignments each Monday. Like I said – lean on one another!

The summer is a really amazing time, and was my favorite part of the whole program! For those of you about to start the program, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

My favorite course this semester: Emerging Technologies and Business Innovation

I started a Tech MBA so I could “speak and understand” technology, but mainly to use it as a tool to face business challenges and scale solutions. I am enjoying the program as the mix of courses is accurate for this goal. There are incredible courses related to business and others to technology. There are many special courses, but my favorite one has been “Emerging Technologies and Business Innovation,” dictated by the professor Alex Tuzhilin.

This course wraps up what every person who wants to develop a career around innovation would need to know. It starts explaining innovation as the interaction between business, technology, and regulation. With this in mind, we discussed a framework that was present all over the course: the can-do/ should-do. This is a useful perspective to understand how and when to use certain technologies considering their feasibility, context, ethics, and business sense.

We reviewed the history of innovation and technology, watching how certain technologies faced a phase of hype due to an excitement of the market (many times overreaction), but then they lose its attention (and its capital) because they are not useful. Sometimes they just die, or sometimes they come more solid and disrupt markets. Getting to see this in a conceptual analysis, with a big picture perspective, is useful to be able to understand the nature of innovation and use it.

After this framework, we analyzed technologies that passed through the phase of gloom and now are succeeding. These technologies have the potential to shape many fields in business and human activities. We saw virtual reality, big data, knowledge management, and artificial intelligence. In each case we reviewed what industries are impacted and the challenges around them for the present and the future. We saw industries like healthcare, education, work, among others.

During the course we not only studied these conceptual topics, but also reviewed cases around each topic and received guest speakers to put what has been learned in perspective. I really enjoyed the course because it was totally conceptual – now I feel more prepared to analyze our fast-moving world. I feel I have the tools to feed my curiosity looking to the future with a more structured framework.

My Favorite Class This Semester

One of the best parts about Stern is getting to learn from incredible professors who are experts in their fields. While many of my classes are engaging, there is one class that stands out above the rest: “Strategic Foresight and Predicting the Future of Technology” with professor Amy Webb. The objective of the class is to introduce students to the methods, concepts, frameworks, tools and techniques of strategic foresight, a multidisciplinary approach to deriving new insights about the future. To deliver on this promise, the class is organized into three sections each week 1. Introduction to methodology and a foresight tool 2. A deep dive into an emerging area of technology and 3. Practicing what we learned and applying concepts and tools to our final group project. Not only is the topic of strategic foresight extremely interesting, but the structure of the class also ensures that discussions are relevant and concepts can be applied to any business sector. We learn to identify signals in the world and make connections to form potential trends. We are challenged to imagine what the future of meat consumption will look like in 10 years, what the future of work will be in 15 years, and what the future of media will look like in 20 years. We learn to address assumptions and state uncertainties and back up our scenarios with quantitative and qualitative evidence. To give you a sense of the breadth of what I’ve learned so far, here are some of my favorite things we’ve discussed in class…

1. Why is Nintendo the most innovative company? When we think about Nintendo, we might think about Mario Party or Pokemon, but Nintendo was founded in the 1880s. Nintendo originally sold hand-painted playing cards. As the world evolved and technologies developed, Nintendo paid attention to the signals on the “fringe” and made bets to ensure they could stay in business. Nintendo transitioned from selling playing cards to developing games for malls, handheld gameboys, commercially available video game consoles, the motion sensor Wii, and many more innovations. This example clearly highlighted how companies can use strategic foresight to prepare for the future and remain ahead of their competition.

2. How will a refrigerator be used in 2031? At the start of class we are asked to do a re-perception exercise in which we imagine how everyday objects might be used in the future. Recently we discussed how refrigerators might be used to grow our own food at home, store essential pharmaceuticals, or in new areas of the supply chain as the world becomes warmer. This led to a discussion about when an object is still considered the original object…

3. What are the implications of synthetic influencers? We’ve learned about synthetic influencers like Lil Miquela and K-pop group “Eternity” in class. Prior to this class, I was not familiar with synthetic influencers and their potential impact on not only the entertainment and media industries, but also on society at large.

Throughout the semester, we work on a final group project. This is a great opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts and frameworks we learned step by step.

If you are interested in technology, want to challenge yourself to think differently about companies, societies, and governments, like to imagine what our futures look like, or just love learning new things, then this class is for you. Every week I look forward to rich discussions that develop because this class is a safe space for learning and taking risks. Each week the class time flies by as I absorb information from the professor and her guests lecturers/ class coaches. If you have the chance, definitely take this class!

Why I Chose the Andre Koo Tech MBA at NYU Stern

As a Graduate Ambassador at Stern, I speak to a ton of prospective students. Multiple times per week, I’m asked about my experience and why I chose to pursue NYU Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA program. Although there are many reasons someone might pursue an MBA at Stern, here is why I chose the Andre Koo Tech MBA program:

One year program: The Andre Koo Tech MBA program at Stern is a one year accelerated MBA program. Students begin their MBA journey in May, take classes for one full year and graduate the following May. While students do not participate in a summer internship like a traditional two-year MBA student, the Tech MBA curriculum is designed to give students ample experiential learning opportunities to apply the skills they learn in the classroom in a business setting.

The one year program attracts students who are focused on learning the material so that they can directly apply learnings to their work. I wanted to pursue an MBA degree, but was worried about being out of the workforce for two years because in the tech industry everything is constantly evolving. The Tech MBA program provided a path to earning an MBA degree in a timeframe that met my needs.

Opportunity to learn technical skills: Prior to Stern I worked as a product manager at New York Road Runners. While I had experience working with technical teams and engineers, I did not have a background in computer science or engineering. Technology is changing the way business gets done and having a basic understanding of technological concepts and tools will be key in any business role in the future. I was eager to come to Stern to learn technical skills so that I can work more effectively as a product manager. The Tech MBA curriculum does not require prior coding knowledge, rather it is designed for students who are open to learning technical skills in a meaningful way. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Python and data science classes. While I do not intend to pivot into software engineering, I feel confident in my ability to understand technical complexities and communicate effectively with technical teammates.

Access to the Stern network and community: When evaluating business schools, I was looking for a strong network. I was drawn to the Tech MBA program at Stern because of the resources, alumni, and community that the school offers. As a focused MBA student, I have access to the same career center coaching, club resources, and alumni network as the two-year students. Part of business school is investing in relationships, and I felt confident that at Stern I would be able to thrive and meet intelligent, hard-working, passionate students and alumni.

Live in the greatest city in the world: I’ve lived in New York City for over five years and I’m still excited by the hustle and bustle and all New York has to offer. Each neighborhood is unique and there is always something new to explore. New York is a business powerhouse and as a student at NYU Stern you have so many opportunities to explore everything from the startup scene to the financial services industry.

My Favorite Course This Semester: Brand Strategy

There are so many wonderful courses at Stern that it can feel overwhelming to select elective classes each semester. Because the Tech MBA has put together a robust curriculum that focuses on both business and technical core classes, my hope for elective courses has been that they will be fun, interesting, and help sharpen on specific skill or knowledge area that I have not previously had experience with. For example, I am interested in sustainability and “foodtech,” so I am taking Social Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Food Business with Professor Hans Taparia.

When I was thinking about my prior role as a Product Manager, and some of the skills that I wanted to develop, I realized that I have not had much exposure to marketing. Specifically, I was interested in branding, and the way in which graphic design, strategy and positioning can come together to change the way a brand is perceived in the market, and the emotional impact it has on consumers. I decided to take Brand Strategy with Professor Gormley, and it has turned out to be my favorite course this semester. When I read the first line of her syllabus, I knew I had made the right choice. “Who says you can’t get real world experience in the classroom? Fran Gormley has worked in the Branding business for three decades and can teach you how to create Branding ideas that can propel a business forward.”

Before beginning at Stern, I was advised to take evening electives whenever possible because it would mean that the course was taught by a “practitioner,” or a professor who is currently working for another organization in the field, as opposed to professors who are lifelong academics. I think this is so important when looking to a subject like branding, because learning from a professor who is currently running her own branding agency ensures you are learning the latest and greatest standards from the industry.

Professor Gormley is a great lecturer, and she structures the class so that she delivers course content for half of the session, and then a guest speaker comes in to talk with the class for the latter half of the class. We have heard from executives across many different industries and branding agencies, specifically at PayPal, Fekkai, Edelman, Wolff Olins, and Interbrand. My favorite speaker so far was Frédéric Fekkai, a legendary hair stylist turned businessman, who spoke about his company Fekkai, and the various transitions it has made over the years. Frédéric spoke about the opportunity he had to sell his company, and eventually buy it back, and it was crazy to hear the story of the shampoo I had in my very own shower at home in Brooklyn! Professor Gormley also gives various case study lectures about the projects she has worked on across her career, making it very applicable to see the before and after of the branding work she has done. This class takes place on Tuesday evenings, but the time flies by, and I look forward to hearing from Professor Gormley and whoever she has in store for us each week. We even are working on a semester long project to rebrand a company of our choosing. I can’t recommend this class enough!

What To Expect of the Stern Tech MBA

As a Graduate Ambassador of the Tech MBA at Stern, some of the most common questions I receive are related to who should apply to the program. Potential MBA candidates want to know what characteristics are the best fit for a focused MBA. They want to understand if it is too technical, if it requires a deep understanding of coding and data science, or the expected job for a graduate of the program. I will try to answer these questions throughout this short article.

The program is an MBA (Master in Business Administration), so it goes without saying that the focus is business and value creation. Nevertheless, it has another core: technology. The Tech MBA seeks to prepare its students to be set up for a rapidly changing world by using technology as a tool to innovate and solve big problems. The mandatory courses mix business fundamentals such as Finance, Marketing or Founding a Startup, with tech courses, such as Dealing with Data or Foundations of Mobile Networks. Additionally, the Experiential Learning approach is a group of activities and courses focused in finding solutions for real-world business problems. As a student, you can be part of the EFL (Endless Frontier Labs), which is an acceleration program for massively scalable startups; or the West Coast Immersion, in which we travel to visit and analyze several companies.

One of the things I value is how diverse the program is. Students come from varied careers such as consulting, software development, product management, entrepreneurship, or even banking. To be ready for the program, it is ideal to take a fast introductory course in coding, and another in financial math. Both are just a recommendation; all things you will need will be taught during the MBA.

Nowadays, most companies want to transform into tech firms and this trend will change the way of doing business in the following years. This makes the Tech MBA a powerful program for being ready to work in big companies, growing startups or developing new ventures. There are no restrictions to where a Tech MBA graduate can work, but the main focus is around Product Manager roles, Strategic roles or Consulting roles.

This is a very current program that is constantly updating to the technological changes that the world is facing. It is a dynamic and fun program to pursue big goals and grow professionally and personally.