The ROI of the Andre Koo Technology and Entrepreneurship MBA Program: My Personal Experience

Popin Bose Roy

Popin Bose Roy is a Senior Product Manager at Amazon with expertise in AI, machine learning, and SaaS. An alum of NYU Stern’s Tech MBA program, Popin has led high-impact projects at Amazon that leverage technology to drive business efficiency and growth. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and staying updated on emerging technologies.

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As someone with a solid foundation in AI, machine learning, and SaaS, I was always captivated by technology’s potential to solve real-world problems. However, I found myself yearning for a deeper understanding of business strategy and leadership to propel my career to new heights. This led me to the Andre Koo Tech MBA program at NYU Stern School of Business, a decision that has paid dividends in numerous ways.

Why I Chose the Tech MBA at NYU Stern

First and foremost, my aim was to blend my technical background with a robust business skill set, equipping myself to drive innovation in an increasingly complex tech landscape. The Andre Koo Tech MBA program offered just that—imparting invaluable business acumen while enabling me to keep my finger on the pulse of evolving tech trends.

Key Takeaways

Business Acumen

I’ve always been a technically minded person. While that has its perks, the Tech MBA showed me the equally compelling universe of business strategy, financial modeling, and corporate leadership. For example, my courses in supply chain management gave me the tools to renegotiate a contract with a supplier at Amazon, saving the company $1 million annually—a direct impact that I could quantify.

Staying Ahead of Tech Trends

Staying relevant in the tech industry is no small feat. The Andre Koo Tech MBA program ensured I was up-to-date with the latest technologies and methodologies, which directly fed into my current role. Case in point: my understanding of machine learning models enabled me to lead a team that improved Amazon’s product recommendation algorithm, resulting in a 10% increase in sales.

Networking and Career Advancements

The opportunity to rub shoulders with leading tech executives and participate in case competitions was priceless. These connections played a pivotal role in landing my current role at Amazon, where I’m spearheading projects with high financial impact. I also owe some of these connections to the program’s strong focus on leadership and communication skills, which have been equally crucial in my professional journey.

Real-World ROI

Since graduating, I’ve assumed a role as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, where I’ve overseen projects estimated to save the company around $400 million in annual operational costs. These outcomes weren’t just luck or timing—they were the result of applying the rigorous business and tech training I received during my MBA. That’s an ROI that’s easy to measure, and it has been gratifying to witness the direct impact of my education on my job performance.

Conclusion: A Worthwhile Investment

For those contemplating the Andre Koo Tech MBA at NYU Stern, I can unreservedly say that the program has been a transformative force in my career. It has empowered me to think more strategically, act more decisively, and engage more meaningfully with both the tech and business communities. I’m a better professional because of it, and I have no doubt that the dividends will continue to accrue in the years to come.

In today’s fiercely competitive job market, the Tech MBA isn’t just a feather in your cap—it’s an arsenal of knowledge and skills that can propel your career to uncharted territories. I’m incredibly grateful for my time at NYU Stern, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.

Application Tips: The Andre Koo Technology and Entrepreneurship MBA

Vidisha is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Tech Product Management. Prior to Stern, Vidisha was a Senior Consultant at West Monroe, leading digital transformation efforts for health and dental payers across the country. Post-MBA, she plans to pursue product management in the Health Tech space. At Stern, she is a Makhoul Family Leadership Fellow, involved in Stern Technology Association and Stern Women in Business, and enjoys taking dance classes and reading a good book in her free time.

Navigating the MBA application process can feel like a daunting task. There’s a million different things to keep track of: soliciting recommendation letters, crafting genuine and compelling essays, fine-tuning your resume, securing your undergraduate transcripts – the checklist feels endless. Balancing all of these demands alongside your daily life can be quite the challenge, but staying organized and proactive can make things a lot less stressful.

Read on for some strategies for effectively managing the MBA application journey and some advice on how to tackle the Stern essay questions.

Be Your Own Project Manager

One of my first steps as I kicked off my application journey was organizing everything into an Excel spreadsheet. I logged each task along with its deadline, estimated time commitment, and current status. It’s crucial to have a handle on all the pieces required for your applications and allocate sufficient time for each. 

Reaching out early to your recommenders is important to give them ample time to compose their letters. And essays usually require several revisions before they are polished. Even seemingly minor tasks like obtaining your undergraduate transcript can eat up a couple of business days. 

Do Your Research

It is essential to have a clear understanding of why you are drawn to a specific school and how it aligns with your professional and personal aspirations. As someone who is interested in pursuing a product management role post-graduation, I thoroughly researched the various opportunities Stern provided to help me achieve my goals.

I looked into courses such as Technical Product Management and DevOps and Software Engineering, learned more about the Tech Product Management Specialization, and spoke with current members of the Stern Technology Association. I was also keen on gaining hands-on experience building and launching a product so Stern’s experiential learning courses such as Tech Solutions and West Coast Immersion really caught my eye. Furthermore, I was interested in exploring my entrepreneurial interests during my MBA, so NYU’s start-up accelerator, Endless Frontier Labs, was also something I dug into.

While there are ample resources online, the most valuable advice often comes from engaging with current students and alumni who share similar interests and career goals. I highly recommend reaching out to these individuals, as they are always willing to provide invaluable insights and guidance to prospective students.

Craft Your Story

Developing an engaging narrative, your “why” for pursuing an MBA at this point in your career, is a key part of the application process. The best stories are the most authentic, so don’t hesitate to let your genuine passions shine through!

I found it helpful to identify a couple of anecdotes or themes from my life that have really shaped who I am. I then explored how these personal experiences connected with my professional aspirations. I actually really enjoyed the reflective nature of this process and felt like I gained valuable insight into what I truly seek in the next phase of my professional journey and personal growth.

Revise, Revise, Revise

Your first draft is never going to be your best draft. Once I had a solid foundation for what I wanted to say in my essays, I invested a significant amount of time seeking input from trusted friends, especially those that had gone through the MBA application process before, and refining my writing. Often, something that sounded perfect in my mind didn’t convey the precise message I intended, so it was helpful to get another set(s) of eyes on my work so I could gauge how the admissions committee would perceive my words. 

Specific Advice for the Stern Application

Stern’s MBA application stood out compared to many others, as it offered more of an opportunity to express my creativity. Here’s some guidance on approaching the essay questions:

  • Essay Question #1: Change: _____ it.

For this question, I really tried to reflect on what change meant to me. I aimed to select a tagline that not only resonated with an experience I had lived but also one I could plan to continue embodying through active involvement in Stern’s academic and extracurricular offerings.

Change: Chase it.

I chose “chase” for my verb to highlight my belief that you must proactively seek opportunities to build the life of your dreams. I described how I had previously demonstrated my commitment to actively seeking new ways to challenge myself and grow as a leader and how I plan to continue doing so during my time at Stern. I even mentioned specific courses and extracurriculars I was interested in participating in that aligned with my growth goals.

More than the actual verb you choose, what matters most is the “why” behind that choice and how effectively you can convey that rationale through your past experiences and future aspirations. 

  • Essay Question #2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

This question quickly became my favorite to put together! It can seem very broad at first, so I started off by making a list of things that were important to me. This can be anything from influential people in your life, your favorite hobby, your life philosophy, to things you are passionate about personally and/or professionally. From there, I narrowed my list down to 6 and tried to find a photo or image that best captured each of those concepts. Personally, I drew from my camera roll, but you have a wide array of options, including photos, infographics, drawings, collages, or any visual medium that resonates with you. 

I chose to highlight (1) the importance of family in my life, (2) my obsession with books, (3) my passion for learning and performing new dance styles, (4) a creative venture I started with my sisters, (5) my love for adventure and travel, and lastly, (6) my aspirations to develop innovative solutions to address healthcare challenges.

Keep in mind that your caption can only be a sentence long and this is another good opportunity to gut check with a friend that the image you chose does indeed convey the meaning you intend it to. Have fun with this one! It’s a great way to add some more color to your application (literally) and highlight what makes you, you!

As you embark on this journey, remember that it’s not solely about perfecting your professional persona; it’s also about showcasing your individuality and what sets you apart. Don’t underestimate the significance of introspection and creativity in this process; they can be your most powerful allies.

And enjoy the ride! It’s a chance to not only gain admission to a prestigious institution but also to embark on a transformational experience that will shape your future in profound ways. Best of luck as you take the next steps towards your MBA dreams!

The Summer Semester in the Tech MBA

Barak is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Tech Product Management, Leadership, and Change Management. Before Stern, Barak led a team of Product Managers at a FinTech firm in Tel Aviv, Israel where he helped the top financial institutions around the world to provide custom financial insights to their customers. At Stern, he is involved in the FinTech Club as the VP of Alumni Relationships and enjoys organizing pickup basketball games and swimming activities with his classmates.

As a new student in NYU Stern’s Tech MBA program, I recently relocated from Israel to New York in May, accompanied by my wife, our 2-year-old son, and our beloved dog. As I approach the end of my summer semester, I find myself eager to share valuable insights and tips that I’ve gathered throughout this semester. The goal of this post is to help future students and prospects make the most out of their time in the program.

A One-Year Tech-Focused MBA Program

The NYU Tech MBA program is exciting and innovative, lasting from May to May. In just half the time of a traditional two-year program, we achieve a full MBA degree through a unique approach. During the summer semester, we complete the core courses of the first year of the general MBA and seamlessly transition to the second year in the fall. 

Design Sprint Workshop at Google

 

The Summer Semester: A Sprint to Success

The summer semester is divided into three intensive sprints, each lasting four weeks. Picture this: Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 4:30 PM (with a refreshing lunch break from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM),  dedicated to immersive learning experiences. With 3-4 courses per sprint, we efficiently cover an expansive range of crucial business concepts, successfully completing the 11 core courses within a single semester.

Tailored courses for Tech leaders

As someone who thrives in high-pressure environments, this program has impressed me thoroughly so far. The opportunity to immerse ourselves in numerous fascinating courses in one semester, while also mastering the foundational principles of each subject, is simply extraordinary. The university’s creation of dedicated courses tailored for tech-enthusiastic business leaders ensures we receive precisely what we need. Additionally, the incorporation of pre-work, in-class practices, and post-class assignments and quizzes enriches our learning experience.

Communication Course Final Presentation

A Cohort of Family

The people in this program are its greatest asset. With an intimate group of approximately 50 students in the Tech MBA and 25 students in Fashion and Luxury, ​​the quiet summer campus provides the ideal setting for us to come together and form strong bonds. Collaborating on group projects and rotating through different groups for each class allows us to truly know our classmates on a personal level. We don’t just feel like classmates; we’ve become one big family.

Google Office Visit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A short pencil is better than a long memory

The summer semester can be intense and overwhelming with multiple deadlines, but it’s manageable with the right tools. Stay on top of your game by utilizing effective tools like calendars, to-do lists, and time-blocking techniques. These organizational aids will keep you on track and ensure you never miss a deadline.

Entrepreneurship Course Final Pitch

Prioritize one task at a time

Concentrate on the present importance and avoid getting overwhelmed with future concerns. Trying to handle everything simultaneously leads to accomplishing nothing. Identify high-priority tasks and tackle them first, maintaining control over essential assignments and preventing last-minute rushes.

Embrace the academic opportunities 

Take full advantage of the academic opportunities that the program offers. With captivating classes, experienced industry-proficient professors, and motivated teaching fellows, make the most of these opportunities to learn from some of the best educators in the world. 

Engage in Active Learning 

Take an active role in class discussions, team projects, and case studies, as this will not only enhance your understanding but also enlighten your classmates. The class comprises a diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds, and the beauty lies in how we enrich one another’s learning journey through shared experiences.

Uber Office Visit

Avoid lagging in the material

As classes build upon previous concepts, make it a priority to keep up, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance if needed. Like a snowball effect, staying ahead ensures a smooth progression without overwhelming yourself

Your friends are your best resource

This is always true, but particularly during learning sessions. Embrace the diversity within your cohort to leverage each other’s prior experiences and enhance your understanding of the material. Never hesitate to seek assistance when needed, as everyone is eager to support one another. It’s also a wonderful chance to deepen your connections and get to know each other better.

Multiple Support Options are available

Bear in mind that you have access to various forms of assistance to aid you along the way. If you require help, don’t hesitate to contact the faculty for support. The university offers a range of resources, such as extra office hours with professors or teaching fellows, additional practice sessions, and personalized accommodations, all designed to ensure your academic success.

Sternies Play Basketball in the John A. Paulson Center

If you only get A’s, it means that you’re doing something wrong

This is the thought-provoking statement that one of our professors began his lecture with. While academic excellence is important, a fulfilling graduate degree encompasses more. Invest time in networking, coffee chats, socializing, sports, and other activities that contribute to your overall growth and enriching experience.

Enjoy!

This year is too short to do anything other than enjoy the opportunity to live in one of the best cities in the world and embrace every aspect and moment of it!

The NYU Stern Orientation Experience

AJ AlbaneseAJ Albanese is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Strategy and Technology. Prior to Stern, AJ held sales and fundraising roles at for-profit and non-profit companies. Post-MBA, he plans to pursue consulting to help businesses achieve technological transformations. At Stern, he is a Tech MBA Cohort leader and enjoys playing ice hockey and cooking when not in class.

This week, MBA Admissions sat down with new Tech MBA student, AJ Albanese, to chat about the NYU Stern Tech MBA Orientation!

Tell us a little about the experience at Orientation. What did it include, and what was the best part?

Orientation was a great way to get introduced to Stern, my classmates and the community at NYU. It included keynote speakers from Estee Lauder and Microsoft, introductions to our program leads, and provided a lot of time to connect with our cohort. It was really focused on getting to know the MBA program and how the year would be structured for us, as well as answering any questions we had. The best part were the two social events we had after the on-campus sessions. It was amazing to get to talk with so many of my classmates and learn more about their backgrounds. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, so it was really cool to connect with everyone!

What did Orientation teach you about the Stern community?

Orientation taught me about how supportive and welcoming the Stern community is. The staff/faculty members and previous students were all so nice and were willing to help in any way. It felt like I got turned around and lost in the building when I would have to move rooms, and I could always find someone to kindly point me in the right direction! Dean Grennan talked a lot about the strength of the community at Stern – this became more apparent than ever as I got to know my new classmates and students in the graduating class. 

What was it like making new friends at Orientation?

Like any first day of school, I was definitely nervous about meeting so many new people and worried about fitting in. Within minutes of getting to Orientation, I had been introduced to people and was immersed in easy conversation – everyone was so open and happy to be there. The social events after the on-campus sessions really helped as well. We went down to One World Trade for an event and were able to get to know my new friends on the train ride down there. Having already lived in the NYC area for 4 years, I found myself giving so many suggestions for things to do, restaurants to try and places to visit around here to the people that had just moved here. I’m excited to take my new friends to some of my favorite spots in the city!

What did Orientation make you most excited for in the coming year?

Orientation made me excited for the experiential learning opportunities at Stern and in our Tech MBA program. I am most looking forward to the experiential course known as “Stern Solutions,” where student teams get to partner with real companies to work on solving real business & technology challenges. I am also really excited to get to know my classmates even more. Everyone is awesome and this year is going to be great! 

Beyond Borders, Beyond Expectations: Reflections of an International MBA Student

Omotoke is a recent Tech MBA graduate with specializations in Strategy & Business Analytics. Prior to Stern, Omotoke worked with KPMG as a Technology Assurance Consultant and is now looking to pursue Technology Risk & Strategy Consulting. At Stern, she was on the Board of the Association of Hispanic & Black Business Students and a member of the Management Consulting Association. Omotoke enjoys listening to good music and attending dance classes.

It’s graduation week as I write this, and nostalgia has begun to creep up on me. I have really enjoyed a great time since I arrived in New York from Nigeria a year ago to start my MBA. As I think back on the year-long experience that now feels like only a few weeks, these are tips I would give a prospective or newly admitted student.

1. Start your visa application immediately 

Backstory– I got my admission offer in January 2022, but as of May 2022, one week from orientation, I was yet to secure a visa interview appointment – let alone a visa. Even though I already resigned from my job for school, it didn’t seem like I was going anywhere 😅.

By divine providence, in that final week, I was called to interview. I finally received the visa, one day behind the official resumption for International Students. I hurriedly packed and made the 20+ hour trip within the next two days. You can imagine the rollercoaster this was, yet the saddest part was having no time to say goodbye to all my loved ones in person.

There are not many things I could have done differently in my case; however, securing my admission in round 1 instead of round 2 probably may have saved me the headache. So, if that is what it will take for you to get your visa ahead of time, by all means apply in round 1.  

Along the same lines, if you want your family or other guests present at graduation, start their visa applications very well ahead if they are from countries with long wait times. I started  making arrangements for my parents’ graduation trip 3 months ahead and by then it was too late.

2. Ensure you’re capturing all the important expenses in your budget planning

No one forgets rent, food, entertainment, utilities etc. but two expenses I find can be easily omitted are: loan interest repayments and co-curricular/leisure travel expenses.

Private loans are often very helpful for international students to cover some of their cost of attendance; however, a common oversight is to not plan interest repayments into estimated monthly budgets. Some forget this expense and some assume that it would be trivial.

Depending on your loan amount and terms, it may not be trivial, and you may need to start making payments early on. Get your estimates and factor it into your monthly budget and estimated cost of living.

Next, travel! You need to have a budget for travel. There will be lots of travel opportunities for coursework and for leisure with your classmates; planning ahead for this will allow you to take on these great experiences without much pressure.

On a road trip to Stamford with class friends

Additional tip: Request and review the school calendar for the year before starting the program to note the school holidays and make your own holiday plans.

3. Pack the right outfits

I wish someone whispered to me in the middle of my frantic packing, “Toke, you’re packing all the wrong clothes.”

I remember being unsure about how formal I would need to dress for classes and eventually settling for business based on my quick Google search. I brought in work clothes and a number of pumps…haha, but it only took a day or two to know the pumps were going back into the box. 

There’s a lot of flexibility around the dress code for classes. You can be as formal as you would like but you’ll find most people dressed in smart casuals. There will be company visits, corporate presentations and interviews, for which you could be required to be more formally dressed. 

Pack accordingly and whatever you do, make sure your shoes are “subway and walking friendly” because you can’t miss those. 

4. Start preparing for recruiting from Day 1

Depending on your target, recruiting activities may kick off really early in the programme, with applications opening in June/July and interviews rolling in by August.

As part of your early preparation, my recommendation is to make a long list of companies (not three or five) within your target industry that do not have a permanent work authorization hiring requirement (if you are an International student within this category) and get the timing of their recruitment. 

While many companies hire on a rolling basis, some have specific times of the year when they do MBA recruitment and missing that window could mean waiting another 6-12 months. 

Making this list upfront helps you identify many prospects and pace your interview preparation. Stern has very helpful databases for this research on the Careers Portal gathered from previous  years. The Careers team will be ready to help you when you arrive, but it’s nice to begin planning ahead anyway.

5. The communities really want to be helpful, ask for all the help you need

You’ve heard how fantastic the NYU clubs are 99 times already so I’ll try not to make it a hundred. The recommendation I have here is to join at least one, very early, before you travel down, if possible. You would be unable to register as an “official” member until the clubs open up for admissions in Fall but you could join the Whatsapp groups of some affinity clubs anytime after you accept your admission offer. Joining before you travel down will allow you leverage the community for the help you need with onboarding, settling in, temporary accommodation, renting, finding housemates, choosing courses and all the initial hard stuff. 

So find a community, join, and ask for whatever help you need. Sternies are always willing.

As a final note, immerse yourself and enjoy the diversity of NYU and New York. You will do great.

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing the MBA Decision Process

 

Mariana Ruiz Allende is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Product Management, FinTech and Strategy. Prior to Stern, Mariana worked in the FinTech industry for more than 4 years in Mexico City. Post-MBA, she plans to continue her professional development as a Product Manager. At Stern, she is involved in the Stern Adventures Club, the Latin American Business Association and the Stern Softball team. She is currently working on a personal project that will use Machine learning Sentiment Analysis to provide help through a mental health approach.

Deciding where to go for your MBA is not an easy decision. In my case, the decision affected not only me, but also my husband. 

Before the pandemic started, I knew I wanted an MBA. However, being all settled in Mexico, with my husband and me each thriving in our professional careers, having my family and friends close, and traveling a lot, it seemed like there was no real need for me to go through the MBA application process, which we all know is a lot of work. Everything seemed so well planned in my life, and I was happy living it that way; why would I consider changing it? Unfortunately – or fortunately- I am very ambitious and really wanted to have the experience of an MBA. 

I talked to my husband about going for it, considering I wanted to have my experience abroad, and he was very supportive from the beginning. Honestly, we both knew it was a long shot to be accepted into a top school, but I knew I had to go for it. However, there were two considerations I needed to make this work. First, he would have to come with me, which was non-negotiable for me, and second, it would have to be in a place where he could continue to work, and as a barred lawyer, New York was the only option. 

So yes, in my decision, there were more variables to consider. Nevertheless, those variables quickly reduced the scope of my options, and fortunately, the narrowed option was the best city in the world. 

After narrowing it to New York, I researched all possible programs in the city, which were many more than I imagined; considering each School has multiple MBA programs, my options by then were between 6 and 10 different programs. To narrow this further, I reduced my scope to only 1 year programs – working in tech, I knew being out of the “being employed game” for a long time wouldn’t have worked for me, so this filter narrowed my options to 3. Although applying to three programs might seem like a good number, I soon fell in love with the tech-focused programs.  I really liked the syllabus each one had, and coming from another business school, adding the technical courses made a lot more sense to my profile. Although there were some other one-year programs in the city, the tech focus for me was the cherry on top, which narrowed my number to two.

I reached out to people from both business schools. I spoke with at least ten people to get a sense of what their experience was, what they would recommend during the process, and to verify I clicked with their culture. I was shocked to see people actually answered my messages on LinkedIn without even knowing me.

When applying to Stern, I immediately stumbled upon the first challenge, which was a “change” in the application style the school has compared to the rest. The application had a twist since it was basically a mini-essay and a photo collage. The saying “less is more” is very applicable in this case. Less was more work since you need to be yourself, show what you bring to the table, show you are different and delightful, and show you can embrace change, all in two or three short deliverables. 

My two cents to anyone in the application process are:

1) Talk to people from the school you are applying to. The insights you get with quick chats not only fuel your motivation but also help you show the qualities you share with the people you talk to. 

2) Review your essays after clearing your head for a few days. After having more than 30 drafts on one of my essays, I can assure you the Mariana that started the process was not the same once I finished it. Yes, my last essay was a killer one compared to the classic cliché one I started with. 

Lastly, embrace learning through this application and school selection process, be humble and not too harsh with yourself, and reach out to people to mentor you or cheer for you throughout this process. And in case you doubt yourself, I can tell you all the effort is worth it. 

Things I’m Happiest I Did in my Year at Stern

Steven is a recent Tech MBA graduate, specializing in Financial Instruments & Markets and Management of Technology & Operations. Prior to Stern, Steven was at Deloitte in tech consulting where he was implementing financial software to complete full-cycle digital transformations. At Stern, he was involved in OutClass and enjoys traveling with classmates.

Bringing My Authentic Self

Coming to the end of what I consider the most fulfilling year of my life, there are countless experiences that I am grateful for, and they all fall under the category of “Things I’m happiest I did in my year at Stern.” To begin, I have to give credit to bringing my authentic self to NYU. The community at NYU is exceptionally lively, and it thrives on intelligence and emotional intelligence (IQ/EQ). This was ultimately the reason I chose Stern. One of the defining characteristics of the Stern community is its embrace of diversity. Sternies recognize the value of different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, and it is this openness to diverse ideas and opinions that makes the community so special. For me, it was clear that showing others who I truly was would only enhance my experience at Stern, and this proved to be true. By being authentic and true to myself, I was able to connect with others on a deeper level and build meaningful relationships that will last beyond my time at Stern. Moreover, this experience allowed me to learn from my peers and gain a broader understanding of the world, which has been invaluable. I was able to immerse myself fully in everything that Stern has to offer by being open, honest, and having an open-mind to whatever came my way. By doing so, I have grown both professionally and personally and feel more confident in my abilities.

Worldwide Travel & Relationship Building

In addition to bringing my authentic self to NYU, one of the most enjoyable experiences I had during my time at Stern was taking part in numerous trips. Not only did they offer a welcome break from the rigors of academic life, but they also provided me with an opportunity to connect with my classmates on a more personal level. As a result, I have forged strong bonds with these individuals, and they have become my closest friends, whom I can count on without hesitation. Given my desire to build my network and establish relationships with like-minded individuals, I have made a concerted effort to cultivate and nurture these friendships, recognizing that they are a valuable asset both personally and professionally. By surrounding myself with individuals who share my goals, aspirations, and outlook on life, I have gained invaluable insights and perspectives that have helped me grow as a person and a business professional.

Summer break in Aruba
Spring break in Colombia

Club Involvement

Another experience that brought me immense joy during my time at Stern was getting involved in professional and affinity clubs. As a VP in OutClass, AVP in Cellar, ally in Stern Women in Business (SWIB), and member of the Management Consulting Association (MCA), Private Equity & Venture Capital Club and Stern Adventures, I had the opportunity to connect with students from all programs, including the Two-year Full-time, Executive, and Part-time programs. This allowed me to broaden my network and make friends with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Among these clubs, my most fulfilling position was as VP of Careers and Conferences for OutClass, where I had the chance to contribute to the queer community and build a network of queer professionals who will be future leaders in the workforce. Through this role, I organized professional events for networking and connected classmates with employers who prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion. This experience not only allowed me to make a positive impact on the community but also sharpened my leadership and organizational skills, making it an integral part of my time at Stern.

OutClass at ROMBA in Washington, D.C.
Stern Adventures at Ski Week in Steamboat, Colorado

Connecting with You!

Last, becoming a Graduate Ambassador was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at Stern. Sharing my personal experiences with future Stern students has been particularly gratifying, and being a trusted source of advice for prospective students has been incredibly fulfilling. Witnessing students who I have mentored successfully gain admission to the program has been the ultimate reward, and knowing that I played a role in their decision to pursue a similar transformative experience as mine was truly exhilarating.

 

Reflections on Graduation

Bárbara Argeri is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Tech Product Management and Management of Tech and Operations. Prior to Stern, Bárbara worked as a Product Strategy Manager at Mercado Libre in Brazil. Post-MBA, she plans to work as a Tech Product Manager. At Stern, she is involved in several student associations such as Stern Technology Association, Stern Women in Business, Latin American Business Association and Management Consulting Association. During her free time, she enjoys strolling around New York searching for new places, and spending time with her friends.

Reflecting on Graduation

It’s hard to believe that I’m already reflecting on my year at Stern for this blog post. However, the exercise of looking back on everything I’ve experienced fills me with gratitude. Pursuing an MBA had been a goal of mine for a while, and after years of preparation, the feeling of accomplishment still hasn’t completely set in. That said, I can confidently say that my time at Stern has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

A Year in the Best City

One of the biggest draws of attending Stern was the opportunity to live in New York City. It had been a dream of mine for almost 20 years, and despite having high expectations, the city exceeded them. The sheer diversity of experiences is staggering, and after a year of exploring, my list of must-visit restaurants, bars, shows, and other attractions has only continued to grow. Professionally, being in New York has opened up countless doors, allowing me to visit a variety of offices and experience different company cultures firsthand.

New Knowledge

Another reason why I chose the Tech MBA program was because it met my needs as a business school student. I was keen to refresh my undergraduate knowledge with a more mature perspective, learn from my experienced colleagues, and enroll in classes that would allow me to improve on certain areas. Looking back, I’m glad I made that choice. The program’s focus on data-oriented classes and discussions of disruptive innovation, as well as the mix of colleagues with both business and technical backgrounds, provided me with the academic and experiential learning I was hoping for.

Participation in Clubs

Through my involvement in four student associations at Stern, the Stern Technology Association, the Latin American Business Association, Stern Women in Business, and the Management Consulting Association, I had the opportunity to connect with MBA students from other programs. As a leader within the Stern Technology Association, I was able to coordinate visits to the offices of two tech companies in New York, providing students with a unique opportunity to gain insights into the inner workings of these organizations, learn about their operations, and network with their employees.

Everlasting Community

Lastly, one of the most enriching aspects of the MBA has been the friendships I’ve formed. I knew coming in that I would make lifelong friends, but I never expected our cohort to be such an amazing group of people. The experiences we’ve shared together are ones I never could have imagined. We went to upstate New York to enjoy the 4th of July by the lakes, had a blast at a Brazilian bar with a live band, danced at an Indian brunch, celebrated Chinese New Year at a Chinese restaurant, had several potluck dinners with food from all over the world… Those are experiences I would hardly have had had I not come to an MBA, and the ones I’ll never forget.

To those considering pursuing an MBA or starting one soon, my advice is simple but genuine: make the most of the experience, because it truly goes by fast. Engage in student associations, spend time with friends, visit companies, try different foods, and take classes that interest you. At the end of the day, your MBA experience is what you make of it, and it’s up to you to ensure that it’s as remarkable as it can be.

Exploring the Startup Ecosystem in the United States through EFL

Nilesh Ramnani, CFA is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Strategy, Product Management, and Entrepreneurship. Prior to Stern, Nilesh had his own consulting firm and has also worked in Investment Banking and Private Equity. At Stern, he is a board member of Private Equity and Venture Capital Club; Business Analytics Club; Graduate Marketing Club and Adventure Club and enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures and cuisines.

I was standing in the queue for the most adventurous Velocicoaster ride at Universal Park Orlando during my spring break. I asked my wife – Are you scared? She said, “yes I am, but it will be so much fun! The excitement and a bit of fear makes this adventurous.” Once we were on the Velocicoaster, we were thrown upside down four times and all the moves were unexpected. The start-up world is no different. You just need to find your own balance of facing fear, uncertainty and enjoying the ride. You are pulled in different directions and you need to find your own path. 

Before joining Stern, I had experience working with many startups in India through my own consulting practice. But I wanted to get a deeper dive into the start-up ecosystem in the United States. That’s when I found the Endless Frontier Labs (EFL), taught by Professor Deepak Hegde. The course is a mix of lectures, working with a start-up and also meeting industry experts who mentor the companies in EFL. 

I was paired with OPTT health, a company that is trying to solve some of the biggest challenges in the mental health care space in the US and Canada. We read a lot about telehealth companies trying to make mental health accessible to everyone, but the facts are shocking. 55% of adults (28 million people) in the US with a mental illness do not receive treatment. This is partly because mental health treatment is highly subjective and labor-intensive, and treatment outcomes depend mainly on the skill of the clinician. We need efficiencies in the system to enable doctors to treat more patients and OPTT is trying to do this using a proprietary algorithm to capture and analyze patient data. It plans to transform the treatment of mental health using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. 

I worked with founders Mohsen Omrani and Ali Omrani on the go to market strategy in the United States market. In our meetings with mentors, we identified a crucial goal: to develop a quantitative model that OPTT Health can use to effectively communicate its value proposition. I mapped out the patient journey and identified areas where OPTT can create value that could be quantified. Based on these findings, I developed a financial model to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for potential customers. OPTT plans to use this model to determine a suitable pricing strategy for the company, ensuring that the value they offer is commensurate with the price. My work will be used to communicate the value to all the stakeholders including customers, investors and partners.

Through EFL, I also learned a lot about other startups. We had multiple group sessions where we discussed the issues faced by EFL startups and brainstormed ideas to solve these problems. EFL provides a platform for students, mentors, and the EFL team, to discuss the problems startups are facing.

I think the EFL course gave me exactly what I was looking for. I got a flavor of the startup ecosystem in the United States and also learned frameworks to solve problems faced by startups.

Career Resources & Recruiting

Zoish Pithawala is a current Tech MBA student, specializing in Tech Product Management. Prior to Stern, Zoish worked as a Solutions Architect focused on startups interested in using cloud technologies. Post-MBA, she plans to move into a technical product management role specifically focused on data analytics. 

 

 

When I quit my job to go back to school, I was left a little nervous wondering what recruiting for a new role would be like. With the Tech MBA kicking off in May, it felt like there was barely any time before I had to start recruiting. Luckily, Stern has a ton of resources that helped me with my career development and recruiting process that made the whole process a lot easier.

Office of Career Development

The Office of Career Development is one of the first resources you’ll hear about when you start the program. They provide tools, events, and 1:1 meetings for any stage of the recruiting process. Here are some of the resources I found especially advantageous to me. 

  • Resume Reviews:  Before the program even began, we had access to a resume editing tool to help us start on our journey, followed up with some individualized feedback. This was a great starting point for me, because it got me into the mindset of what gaps I had in my resume that I wanted to fill throughout the year. Through the rest of the year, I scheduled appointments with the Careers Team team to continue editing my resume as I added more experiences. 
  • Recruiting Events/ Presentations: The Careers Team hosts several company recruiting presentations throughout the year. I signed up for the companies I was interested in applying to and it was a great way to hear more about the roles and find out about the recruiting process. My favorite event was the Tech Alumni Mock Interview where I got practice on how to interview for a technical product management position and got to network with  alumni. 
  • IGNITE: Over the summer, there are a few mandatory IGNITE sessions that help with general career development like working on your pitch, resume writing, and how to create a target list of companies. This really helped me get the ball rolling over the summer and I continue to utilize the provided workbook today.
  • 1:1 Appointments: This was the most valuable resource for me! I frequently scheduled 1:1 appointments with the Careers team to discuss more on my strategy and any questions I had about recruiting. The Careers Team even offers mock interviews that can help you practice interview questions.  I found everyone on the Careers team extremely helpful and I plan to have a few more mock interviews and offer negotiation strategy sessions before the end of the year!

Club Resources 

Outside of the social events, clubs can also help with your career development. As part of the Stern Technology Association (STA), I found their resources extremely helpful. They have consolidated resources including a handbook that has great notes on the types of interview questions, what to expect when interviewing, and tips for different tech companies.

Professional Opportunities

The Tech MBA has built-in professional opportunities as part of the curriculum. Over the summer, the Tech Immersion course gave us hands-on experience working with KPMG and in the fall, I got the opportunity to work with PayPal in Tech Solutions. These professional opportunities gave me a lot to showcase on my resume and helped me tailor my resume towards my career goal in product management. These professional opportunities also give me the chance to network and work with professionals in companies that I have always wanted to work for, like PayPal. 

Networking 

Networking is a big part of your life as an MBA student and for your recruiting process.  All of the resources I shared above involve networking with peers, alumni, and professionals. There are a variety of other ways that Stern helps you network. 

  • Networking events: There are a variety of networking events hosted through OCD, clubs, etc. throughout the year. These events range from alumni events to multi-school events that give you a great opportunity to meet new people.
  • Guest speakers: A majority of my classes at Stern have featured incredible guest speakers. These speakers range from experts in Blockchain, product managers at large tech companies, CEOs, founders, and more. Not only is it incredibly valuable to hear their insights and learn about their backgrounds, but you get the opportunity to connect with them and network. I have loved getting to connect with a lot of these speakers after the session!

As I continue to network and apply for jobs, I utilize these career resources frequently. These are just some of the career resources that I have utilized throughout this year as I recruit for a full-time job, and I know they will be immensely helpful for you if you end up at Stern!