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!

Why is it Important to Understand Innovation?

Joseph Schumpeter, one of the most important economists of last century, related growth with the capacity to innovate. He coined the term “creative destruction” to describe the process of disrupting old habits (products, services, practices, etc.) for new ones. He saw capitalism as the most useful system to incentivize the impactful power of entrepreneurs to create and deliver value for improving quality of life for people.

In the last decades we have witnessed new technologies maturing in parallel, and due to the pandemic, many trends have accelerated. A lot of capital has moved from traditional industries to nontraditional, and new technologies and startups are disrupting old and long-lasting industries. This is supported by based technologies like cloud, IoT, 5G, blockchain, among others, that have been granting more innovation.

So why is it important to understand this? Innovation is uncertain and nobody can predict the future, but it does have patterns. Understanding how disruption has behaved in the past can allow us to understand in what part of its development each technology is located. Sometimes, technologies are received with a lot of echoes by the market, and we may think that they won’t stop until they have been generalized and used in many fields. Many times, this is only hype, fueled by a trend that won’t last. In order to improve, they may need more time, more capital, or perhaps the technology is not disruptive or useful enough.

Innovation normally coexists between three edges: technology, business, and regulation. Therefore, a Tech MBA is incredibly relevant. The program uses technology as a toolkit for facing business challenges in a way that creates and delivers value. There are cases in which is the problem involves more than simple business, like health tech, and understanding these concepts helps us drive impactful change.

We are living in a time in which most industries are trying to transform into tech. This transformation could be in how they reach their clients, in the experience that their customers have, in production, or in how they use data (among MANY others). Stern’s Tech MBA combines resources and knowledge to be able to connect the dots, lead teams, create capabilities to build a stronger vision for facing the future.

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.

Why I Chose Stern’s Tech MBA Program

I always hoped I might go to business school, but five years into working, that goal felt more and more overwhelming. I didn’t see a world in which I would be willing to take two years away from my career trajectory and feel like the ends justifies the means. Working in the tech industry where new programs, technologies, and companies are launched daily, taking two years away from the hustle felt impossible.

Once I started to look into different programs, knowing I wanted to stay in New York City, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Tech MBA program at Stern. At first I thought this must be too good to be true – how could one complete a full MBA program in just one year? Upon speaking to current students in the program, I grew more and more excited about the opportunity to complete an MBA in a year, within my specialized industry, and to join a cohort of students who share the same passion and commitment to the tech industry. 

I’d like to tell you about a few components of the program that make it special, and that have benefited me throughout the experience. First, spending one consolidated year in school felt like the right choice, because I would need to be very intentional about the classes I took and how I spent my time with clubs and social activities. I have really learned in to the experience – it flies by so quickly! 

Next, I wanted the option to take very technical courses and strengthen my product management acumen. I had always told myself I would learn how to code in my free time, but having the access to a blended business and technology core has helped me realize this goal. Taking classes like Dealing with Data, Data Science for Business, and Foundations of Mobile Networks have allowed me to learn how to code in Python, run data models in Weka, and understand the basics of network connectivity. We even had a session about UX design and a workshop on Figma, which I had always been too intimidated to learn in the past!

Finally, I was also attracted to the small class size of the cohort for the Tech MBA. While a typical MBA class might have up to one thousand students, I am really pleased that my Tech MBA cohort has fifty diverse, smart, and emotionally intelligent students. Over the summer, we were one of the only student groups on campus, and took all of our core classes together. This helped foster an amazing bond between the small cohort, and created strong, genuine friendships. We have taken East River boat cruises, planned Friendsgiving dinners, attended concerts, and hosted holiday dinner parties. I felt like I already had a community after living in New York for many years, but can say definitively that the cohort students from across the country and the world have become lifelong friends and future business partners. 

I can’t recommend the Tech MBA program enough – please get in touch if you’d like to hear about my experience further!