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.

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.

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!

Immersion Programming in the Tech MBA

Kaitlyn Murdock is a Tech MBA candidate, specializing in Healthcare & Strategy. Prior to Stern, she worked at Deloitte, supporting strategy and analytics engagements for Life Sciences & Health Care clients. Kaitlyn is passionate about improving care outcomes for patients with technology and data. 

 

 

 

The Tech MBA is an incredible opportunity that packs all the classes a traditional 2-year student would take into 12 months. When evaluating MBA programs, one major reservation I had about the Tech MBA is the lack of a summer internship. However, the curriculum and programming is designed in a way that exposes students to many companies around New York City, setting us up to build our network and transition into a post MBA role. One of the hallmark classes of the program is the NYC Tech Immersion course, an all-day, once a week class during the summer. The NYC Tech Immersion consists of two main parts: 

  1. A real-life consulting project for a New York-based company, and
  2. Guest speakers and company site visits 

In today’s post, I’ll focus on the latter. Over the summer, our class heard from product managers and professionals in Digital Health, FinTech, EduTech, and more, and had the opportunity to visit the offices of Google and Uber. 

NYC Tech Landscape

In our very first session, professor J.P. Eggers gave an overview of the New York tech scene. He explained how a successful startup ecosystem requires strong talent (universities), desirable employers (to retain that talent), and sources of funding. Over the last decade, New York’s tech and start-up scene has boomed. It’s a very exciting time to attend school in such an active ecosystem. Hearing from guest speakers like Andrew Chang and Christophe Gillet helped me better understand what New York has to offer and how to break into the start-up scene.

Understanding Tech Trends

By speaking with experts in the industry, we got a glimpse into which emerging technologies businesses really care about. Given the technology landscape changes daily, it’s important to stay current and be able to speak to technology trends in interviews. Joshua Ness from Verizon’s 5G Labs explained the history and importance of 5G-enabled distributed computing and its relation to Web3 technologies. As technology progresses, public policy does too; in another session we had Mike Posner and Paul Barrett from the Center for Business and Human Rights speak about ethics and the responsibilities of a tech company to protect its users.

Networking & Company Culture

Each guest speaker offered a valuable chance to connect with someone in the industry. In addition to visiting Google and Uber, we had guests from Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Facebook, Pinterest, Skillshare, and BCG to name a few. Each guest was willing to chat with students to offer advice and be a resource in the future. These sessions also provided a ‘peek behind the curtain’, giving our class a better understanding of the operations and culture of each business. 

Drawing Connections 

In hindsight, perhaps the most valuable part of our Tech Immersion programming was the ability to draw connections with our other summer classes. We went through a real-life marketing case for Skillshare’s rebranding, and applied what we learned in Entrepreneurship to give a mock pitch to a speaker from Goldman Sachs’ incubator, GS Accelerate. Fitz Maro, a specialist in Design Technology at Amazon, taught us how to make better decisions as a leader, reinforcing what we learned in our Leadership course. We also had the opportunity to utilize the skills we developed in our Strategy course to a case on Uber’s product expansion. Making these connections across courses enriches the MBA experience and helps us appreciate the value of what we learn.

I LOVED our NYC Tech Immersion class. Many of my peers connected with our speakers on a personal and professional level. For me personally, our session with Dr. Sarah Zweifach, AliveCor product manager, illuminated that joining a mid-size digital health startup could be an exciting career path. I’m currently pursuing part-time internships in this space. 

This class was a fantastic way to get to know New York’s tech landscape and is just one of many reasons to pursue the Tech MBA 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.

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!

Navigating Stern’s Sites & Acronyms

You received your acceptance letter to Stern. Your heart is racing with excitement, you have butterflies in your stomach, and you are grinning from ear to ear. The next thing you know, you’ve received a handful of emails with directions to use different sites and mentions of different departments with different acronyms. Feeling overwhelmed? I sure was! Here’s a little study guide to help you navigate all of the amazing sites and resources that Stern has to offer. This list isn’t intended to be exhaustive, rather a helpful place to get started.

Stern Sites

NYU Stern Life
Stern Life is the best place to start after accepting your Stern offer. Leverage this site for all important announcements, events, action items, and access to resources before starting school. From Stern Life, you can keep up to date with forms to fill out, payments, technical setup and more.

NYU Albert
Albert isn’t a site that you’ll be visiting everyday per say, yet when you use it, it is important! Some of the most common reasons why you’ll go to Albert:

  • Managing your school finances / financial aid
  • To check and manage your course schedule (e.g. add/drop classes)
  • View final grades and submit course evaluations
  • Access to other Stern sites and resources

NYU Brightspace
Brightspace is the NYU Learning Management System (LMS), where all of your classes will be hosted. This is where your professors will upload their syllabi, add assignments, share resources and more. Familiarize yourself with how this site works as you’ll be using it a lot!

Stern Acronyms

OCD: Office of Career Development
OCD will be your best friend as you navigate recruiting while at Stern. This department specializes in career development and support, covering a range of offerings such as resume reviews, mock interviews, recruitment strategy and more.

AA: Academic Advising and Affairs
Academic Advising and Affairs at Stern is the go-to department for support with your degree. This includes navigating specializations, credits, exploring electives and more. You can schedule 1-1 appointments with the AA team. Keep an eye out for scheduled events hosted by this department as well!

OSE: Office of Student Engagement
Access support and resources with regards to life outside of Stern through the Office of Student Engagement. The OSE team supports orientation, student orgs, housing and more. This department is super helpful when navigating your Stern experience beyond the classroom.

Days 1-90

The summer at Stern as a Tech MBA was one of the most action-packed, wonderfully hectic, and fulfilling three months I’ve ever had. The Focused MBA experience includes an intense first semester academically, professionally, and socially. I thought I might share some insights on what my first 90 days were like both as a Sternie and as a New Yorker!

A quick snippet on my background for context…

I came to NYU by way of California – having spent the majority of my professional life working in strategy and general management for tech-centric companies in San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Los Angeles (Silicon Beach). When it came time for me to research MBA options to further my career as a tech leader, it was clear that NYU was the perfect match. For me, part of what made Stern Tech MBA program so special was getting the chance to receive a world-class education in the heart of Manhattan with some of the most brilliant classmates I have ever met.

As you may imagine, starting a new chapter as an MBA Candidate — coupled with a cross-country move — comes with a lot of first-time experiences and learning moments. To that degree, here are a few things I learned during my summer semester that I hope helps others!

Finalize your living situation ASAP
As someone coming from out of state, I simply underestimated how wild the apartment and roommate search process was moving out to New York. I did not begin my apartment search until a month before the summer term was set to begin, and it was trial-by-fire for me when it came to securing a place to call home before the summer semester began. It all worked out well in the end, as I settled in Brooklyn and have fallen in love with the borough, but I could have saved lots of time and energy by using the resources at my disposal. NYU has a multitude of great resources to help connect you with housing options and roommates, and they were crucial in helping get settled. I also have a brand new network of Tech MBAs who are all moving to the city with me, so coordinating with them was critical.

Get to know your professors!
The Stern experience means being surrounded by high IQ/EQ individuals, and the professors are no different. I quickly realized that I was learning from world-class individuals both as professors and as professionals. I remember how surreal it felt taking a class with a professor in the morning, then seeing him that same day on MSNBC as a subject-matter expert on the future of ride-sharing services.

For me, Professor Pettit’s class on Leadership in Organizations and Professor Marciano’s class on Strategy were the highest-impact sessions, but the point is every professor is not only extremely accomplished, but ready/willing/excited to meet with you further to help you advance your career goals. Take them up on their offer to meet during office hours, it’s one of the best things I did.

Be proactive in your time management
A Tech MBA in the class before mine said about her Stern experience, “it’s the hardest you’re going to work, but the most fun you’re ever going to have.” I can officially say that her perspective and insight is valid. Moving from the working world to an MBA program means getting involved with academics, leadership opportunities, professional development, recruiting, and your new Stern family simultaneously. Every activity in and of itself is amazing, and I learned quickly that I needed to be thoughtful about mapping out my days and weeks so that I could make room for all of it.

It was also VERY helpful to, essentially, have the entire Stern campus to ourselves as the two-year MBA students were out for the summer. That time not only allowed me to get my bearings with all the various MBA activities, but also gave our Tech MBA cohort the time and space to get to know each other extremely well. I’ve met a whole new set of lifelong friends, and proactive time management really helped me make the most of the summer with my new family.