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.

Tips for Prospective Tech MBA Candidates

Carina is a full-time MBA candidate in NYU Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA program, specializing in Product Management and Strategy. Prior to Stern, Carina lived in Boca Raton, FL and has 6 years of experience in account management at a hospitality tech company. Upon graduation, she wants to utilize her passion for great UX and years of customer-facing experience within the technology space to pursue a product management role. 

Applying to business school can be daunting. There’s a lot to do between preparing for the GMAT/GRE, keeping track of the various application components, and juggling everyday life! You spend a lot of time in self-reflection: What are your goals? What have you accomplished professionally? What direction do you want your career to take? To help you kick off this journey, here are my top 10 tips for prospective candidates when applying to business school:  

 

  1.     Do Your Research

An MBA is an investment in your future self, it’s important that you take the time to do research about the program you are applying for to ensure that it’s the right fit for you. What electives interest you? What clubs would you be interested in joining? Does the program curriculum align with helping you achieve your post-MBA goals? 

Take your time to walk through the Stern Tech MBA website to read about the specific components of the program, watch videos and check out resources like this blog to read about student experiences.

When doing my own research, the Tech MBA program stood out to me because it provided exactly what I was looking for: a one-year program in a city, a strong tech-focused curriculum, and resources that would help me develop the skills to transition into product management. For me, the reading about the tech-focused curriculum with classes like Tech Product Management and Dealing with Data combined with several experiential learning opportunities helped solidify that the Tech MBA made the most sense for me.

  1.     Attend Admissions events

The Admissions team hosts a variety of events throughout the application season. One of my favorite events I attended was the mock application session. It helped me tremendously as I worked through the application and set a clear expectation as to what the AdCom was looking for! Another favorite was an event organized by the Stern Women In Business club – hearing the passion and excitement from the students about their time at Stern really helped solidify my decision to apply. Keep an eye out for Stern club-hosted events that align with your interests to get a feel for the student body at Stern.

Coffee Chats are another student-hosted event that provides you with the opportunity to hear about their experience and ask questions!

  1.     Reflect on Your Why

Research and attending events helps you craft your “why” behind why you’re applying to NYU. But it’s also important to know why you want an MBA, why Stern, and why, specifically, a focused one-year program. This will not only help you with your essays, but your interview as well!

  1.     Ask Questions

Based on your goals, your research and your why for business school – ask any dire questions you may have! Utilize Coffee Chats, Admissions events or even reach out to a current student. Clubs are also a great resource to learn more about the student experience. This all works towards helping you make an informed decision and crafting your message throughout your application.

I leveraged the Coffee Chats I attended to ask questions about students pursuing product management roles to see how they shaped their Stern experience. The students I talked to not only gave me ideas about clubs to join and electives to consider but also explained how specific required courses supported the building skills key to pursuing product management.

  1.     Be Authentically You

You’ll see throughout Stern admissions events and the websites the mention of “EQ” – how you represent your emotional intelligence is so important and the best way to demonstrate that is to authentically represent yourself. The best essays and answers are the ones that truly represent who you are as a person – your passions, your goals, your experience, your personality. This is seen throughout your application components, but nothing can duplicate the uniqueness you demonstrated in your Pick 6 essay! Take the time to brainstorm how you can best represent this throughout your application and do not stress about what you think the admissions team wants to see!

  1.     Your contribution to Stern

What clubs do you want to join and how do you see yourself getting involved? How can you leverage your previous experience and contribute to your class? The Stern community? What resources do you strive to utilize while at Stern? Community is such a large part of Stern, I can say with certainty that it is the greatest part of my experience so far. 

The summer semester of the Tech MBA dives into the business core and technology core classes, it is intense, but it was also a time where the Tech MBA community leaned on each other to succeed. There was always a fellow Sternie willing to spend extra time talking through a topic if that meant their knowledge could help you develop a better understanding – I saw this throughout the summer as we jumped from classes like Dealing with Data to Finance. Outside of class, we are always arranging social gatherings. Moving to New York and starting business school was certainly a transition, but this community has tremendously impacted my experience so far! 

  1.     How will you benefit from your time at Stern?

Beyond an MBA degree in hand, how will the Tech MBA at Stern help you achieve your goals? 

In the short time I have been at Stern, I’m already working toward goals I have set for myself: continue to build technical skills, explore areas of tech I’m unfamiliar with and prepare for recruiting for a product manager role. This summer, I continued developing SQL and Python skills during Dealing with Data, and I’m excited to take Data Visualization this fall to continue developing data-related skills. While the Fall semester has just started, the Stern Tech Association has already begun hosting helpful sessions like a knowledge management session about full-time recruiting for tech roles and highlighting job postings in their weekly newsletter. 

  1.     Organization is Key

Create a plan to ensure you have all required paperwork, letters of recommendation, essays and your application completed and submitted by or before the deadline you are aiming for! Choose a deadline and use that as your guide as you work to complete all application requirements. I personally found maintaining a Google Sheet and calendar alerts helped keep me on track! Make sure to ask your recommenders with plenty of time before the deadline so that they’re not rushed, and allow yourself plenty of time to write the best version of your essays.

  1.     Ask for a second set of eyes

As I finalized my essays, one of the most helpful things I did was ask friends I trusted to read through them. This helped me catch anything I may have missed, and they provided good insight as well! As you work through this process, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and a fresh perspective is so helpful! Whenever I got stuck, I found brainstorming with someone and talking it out helped as well. Lean on your community!

  1. Brag about yourself

This is your time to show everything that’s great about you! Show it off with pride and confidence. 

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!

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!

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.

Entrepreneurship at Stern

Stern offers a wide range of entrepreneurship opportunities. Whether you are looking to start your own company or join an existing startup as an early employee or cofounder, Stern has resources to help you achieve your goals. This post will explore some of the amazing centers, programs, and classes that Stern entrepreneurs can take advantage of during their time in business school.

Leslie E Lab
The Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab is a physical building in the heart of the Washington Square campus where aspiring NYU entrepreneurs from across all of NYU’s schools and colleges can meet to connect, collaborate, and tap into a vast array of resources to help develop their ideas and inventions into startup companies. Anyone currently at NYU can take advantage of the resources offered by the Leslie eLab, so it serves as a great place to meet current NYU students, faculty, researchers, and staff. In response to COVID-19, the eLab held virtual programming, workshops, and social events to help the NYU entrepreneurship community thrive during challenging times.

Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship
The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship is a venture design studio within NYU Stern School of Business. The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship exists to help foster entrepreneurship at Stern and provide support as entrepreneurs navigate the many challenges their new ventures encounter. The Center provides startup accelerator programs, mentoring, workshops and technical assistance, all designed to provide NYU students, alumni, faculty and staff with the skills and resources needed to discover and execute bold new ideas. The team members at the Berkley Center provide general advising services in addition to helping founders connect with subject matter experts in various functional areas such as branding, customer strategy, legal, prototyping, etc. The Berkley Center also hosts the Entrepreneurship Challenge and Stern Venture Fellows program.

Entrepreneurship and Startup Association (ESA)
ESA is a student-run organization with the mission to empower its members through unparalleled access to NYC’s vibrant entrepreneurial community. ESA provides education and information on the entrepreneurial resources available to Stern MBAs. By empowering and educating its members, ESA aims to position Stern as the broader NYU community’s hub for entrepreneurial activity.

Classes
Foundations of Entrepreneurship: This class is designed to increase the chances of entrepreneurial success by helping aspiring founders or startup employees identify and thus avoid a range of dilemmas all startups face. To do so, this class provides a broad introduction and overview of entrepreneurship based on a range of teaching methods including: academic research, cases, empirical data, videos, and guest speakers.

Managing the Growing Company: This course exposes students to the unique challenges of managing the growth of small businesses. It concentrates on building the company issues rather than start-up issues, although some cases and lectures explore start-ups as well. Included are studies of family businesses that have acute growth issues because of succession and family dynamics. It is designed for students interested in understanding the opportunities and problems involved in the management or operation of their own business, and it is also aimed at students considering employment in a small or midsized firm.

Endless Frontier Labs: Students will learn about the process of successfully taking new ventures to markets, including aspects related to development, management, and financing of ventures. The course will be centered on student observations of the interactions of startup founders & their potential investors. After familiarizing themselves with the startups’ ideas, students will apply basic analytical tools, drawn from management, econ, and finance to evaluate the size of markets, attractiveness of industries, financing options of early-stage ventures, sustainable competitive advantage of proposed strategies, and the risks and potential of ideas. Along with the experiential component, the course will introduce students to a framework for developing an entrepreneurial strategy.

If you are interested in a dynamic startup ecosystem with the resources, faculty, and alumni to help guide your experience, NYU Stern is a great place to begin or continue your entrepreneurship journey.

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!

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!