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!

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. 

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.