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!

 

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.

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.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities at NYU

This summer, our schedules were packed with classes, meeting new people, industry treks, and evening events like happy hours, panel discussions, and receptions. As a Tech MBA student, a few of my main interests include entrepreneurship, startups, and early stage ventures. At NYU, there’s likely an event on campus that covers any one of these topics every week, but one of my favorites that kicked off summer was called B-School Disrupt.

B-School Disrupt showcases 10 entrepreneurs from NYU, Stanford GSB, and Harvard Business School, and each founder presents 2-3 minute pitches of their startup to the audience, as well as a panel of industry judges who ask questions and provide their perspectives. The event was followed by a networking reception that allowed attendees to connect with the companies.

I attended B-School Disrupt with 14 of my classmates, many of us with entrepreneurial aspirations of our own. In addition to the topics we discuss in the classroom and consulting with companies through Stern Solutions, it’s nice to hear about the businesses that students create and bring to life. A broad range of industries were represented and the startups were as different as they were interesting. People have some crazy ideas! For example, one startup created sustainable cleaning products that come in the form of a dissolvable tablet and reusable spray bottle, while another created a mobile app concierge service that returns your car for you at the airport. There was also a fashion retail brand that sourced its designs from artisans and designers in Africa.

Not only were the startups themselves diverse, but each entrepreneur had a different story. There were students who had just started their business, and others who had been working for years. Others worked full-time on their venture, while some juggled a different, full-time job and pursued their company part-time. I think I had a narrow definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur, but B-School Disrupt, along with the many other startup-related events and activities on campus, has helped expand that definition for me.

These definition-expanding experiences are built into the curriculum: it’s not uncommon for professors to invite founders and industry leaders to class who always share an inside look at their companies and offer students a chance for Q&A. I’ve also found that some of these definition-expanding experiences happen more organically through conversations with classmates who come from many different backgrounds, industries, or geographies. Outside the classroom, there’s a plethora of resources on campus to take advantage of: the $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge, one-on-one coaching at the W. R. Berkley Innovation Labs or the Leslie eLab, and more. NYU has resources for entrepreneurial students and alumni regardless of what stage their company is at. As someone who has benefited from these resources in just a few months, I’d encourage any prospective student who is interested in entrepreneurship to look into these opportunities. I think you’ll be surprised at how much support exists for students and their startup ideas, even if you have no background in entrepreneurship at all. It’s definitely one of my favorite things about NYU and the Tech MBA program, and certainly something I’m planning to continue exploring!