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!