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!

 

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.

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.

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.

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!

5 Ways for Tech MBAs to Meet Other MBAs at Stern

If you’re admitted and decide to join Stern’s Tech MBA cohort, you should be careful not to only focus on mingling with your close classmates. Instead, find ways to reach out to the broader MBA community. While I’m not disregarding the importance of developing sustainable relationships within the Tech MBA class, the nature of the program will offer plenty of opportunities to do so by default. That being the case, here are five ways that I’ve made the most out of the Stern community by networking with other students in the various MBA programs. Remember, Stern has several other MBA programs including but not limited to the full-time program, fashion and luxury specialized program, part-time evening classes, and dual degree students.

1. General Interest Clubs

Most clubs are open to any MBA students and if there is a common interest, you can bet there is a club created for it. There are even a few leadership opportunities for Tech MBA students specifically in some of the technology-oriented clubs. Here is a list of all of the clubs that Stern has to offer.

2. Case Competitions

Several case competitions will float through your email inbox throughout your year at Stern. Case competitions are a great way to put your new business school knowledge to work while collaborating with other students at Stern. Most competitions even have a pretty substantial monetary reward! If you’re not familiar with case competitions, check out this Poets & Quants article on them.

3. Alumni Networking Events

Before mentioning alumni events, I feel as though I should mention is this first: don’t target recruiting events strictly as a way to network with your classmates. Recruiting events are designed to help students learn about companies, not students. Similarly, the pressure and competitive mindset of certain industries may make recruiting events high-stakes and stressful for attendees. On the contrary, alumni events are set up specifically for networking and meeting current and former students. Most alumni who come to these events have open arms and ears and are looking forward to meeting you. You can see a list of upcoming alumni events here.

4. Elective Classes

When the fall semester rolls around, Tech MBA students are viewed as second-year MBA students from a registration perspective. That means your classmates in electives will be composed of students from the full-time program who have known each other for at least a year. Make an effort to form class groups with students outside of your Tech MBA cohort and sit next to people you haven’t met yet. Here is a full list of elective classes.

5. Happy Hours & Social Events

Finally, the obvious one. Happy hours and social outings are often held at the end of the week, which happens to be Thursday in business school. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, your classmates will happily welcome you to these events. One of the most notable events is Beer Blast, which takes place every Thursday night, often following another great event called Stern Speaks. These events attract students from every program and are a great way to connect after a long week of classes.

I hope these five ideas help you make the most out of your year at Stern. It will fly by, so make sure to take advantage of as much as you can while you’re here!