Monday, November 14, 2011

Recently, I have been asked by a prospective Stern MBA student about pursuing my degree, and I thought my response may benefit other applicants:

Prospective Student (PS)> I essentially just wanted to know what your NYU Stern experience was like. I know its a great school so I am more interested in knowing if you have any regrets at all from the school?

Adam Aronson (AA)> I attended the part-time Langone program, and it was only one of two programs I applied to. I was accepted to both, and NYU was my first choice, and I was thrilled to enter. From that point forward I drew tremendously on the available resources at NYU, especially the Berkley center for Entrepreneurship and their focus on Social Entrepreneurship.

That being said, I have absolutely no regrets. Often while attending the program people asked if I would recommend they do it as well, and I had three different phases of responses. Through the first half, YES!, from half-way through until a couple months before graduation, I was slogging and said people really needed to want it, and from that point onward, it wholly solidified how amazing the program was and what I had gained from it. Was it tiring? Yes. Was it absolutely worth every minute of it? Yes.

PS> Anything that you wished was different or done differently by the school?

AA> Nobody has figured out how to expand the day beyond 24 hours, but were that to happen, I would want to do the program again because there were so many opportunities, I was limited by time to participate in the activities I wanted most. There are numerous students clubs on campus, with varying degrees of activity levels, which are student led, then the academic departments themselves also provide great programming. All of this is in addition to the degree's extensive academic offerings. I belonged to the Social Enterprise Association, Technology and New Media, and Strategy and Operations clubs. They all had field trips, brought in industry specific guests, participated in national conferences, and provided resources like job listings to keep members abreast of what was available.

PS> Also what kinds of opportunities does Stern offer for aspiring Strategy Consultants and Entrepreneurs?

AA> Some of the clubs I mention above are great ways to constantly look past school's walls. In addition there's also a start-up competition with three different content areas, there's a consulting corps program, which provides short-term consulting teams to external firms , and both areas as well as so many others are available as specializations with extensive course options. Professors very often bring in speakers from the subjects' industries as guest lecturers, and then there's time for Q&A to ask how to get more involved, or what the guest's path had been like to that point giving great first hand exposure.

PS> Which industry are you in currently?

AA> Professionally, I started in the non-profit world serving in several technical roles for an international development organization. From there I switched into Education with a couple software start-ups. Since September of this year I have been with the College Board working with their Corporate Strategy team. I would not have been prepared for this role without my MBA degree from Stern.

PS> Did you feel like Stern gave you enough time to explore your career prospects and be sure of your career choice?

AA> I was working full-time and spending 10-20 hours per week attending school, participating in clubs, the start-up competition, and all other life/extracurriculars. Note that this is a very different experience than of a full-time student, where quite often the summer internship parlays into a full-time position the subsequent year.

Regardless of full-time or part-time Stern has innumerable resources, and you need to make the best use of them that you can. The single greatest lesson I learned while pursuing my MBA was time management. And, beyond the time that you're in the program, the networking and institutional resources around career development are indefinitely available. Managing my career is an ongoing process, and whenever I want to check-in with the NYU community, I know that they're there to support me.

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