The traditional path of MBA students toward careers in investment banking and consulting have been based on a model of internships as a hiring tool. But in the tech and fashion and luxury, hiring is not predicated on the internship model. Reflecting this, Stern has established two new one-year MBA programs to create a different avenue to respond to the hanging nature of the job market, but also to the changing nature of the skill requirements of certain parts of the economy.
Over the summer, students in the new programs will complete a foundational business core with courses in subjects like finance, accounting, marketing, economics, and strategy. Most students in both one-year programs will sit together for the business core. In the fall, they complete a specialty core.
For Tech MBA students, there will be a choice of three master’s level computer sciences courses such as software engineering, tech product management, and emerging technologies.
Fashion & Luxury MBA students choose from courses like retail strategy, retail analytics, and luxury management. Electives will fill the spring semester. A fourth core of the new program will be an experiential learning component, putting students to work on real problems for real companies.
Stern Solution: A Branded Approach to Experiential Learning
Through a range of industry-specific immersions, courses, and projects, Stern’s approach has been to match students with faculty to work with companies ranging from the Union Square Hospitality Group to Jet Blue to ABC News. Student participation in these types of projects has increased by more than 130 percent in the past two years.
Once students have completed the summer semester business core, they work on two company projects, one in the fall and one in the spring. Working as part of three- to five-member teams, students help companies address a business issue over the course of each semester, meaning the experience functions similarly to traditional summer internships in two-year MBA programs. Unlike summer internships, though, students in the Stern program will receive academic credit for these experiential learning stints—not pay. Each will count as a regular three-credit course.
In addition, students in each program will participate in two, intense week-long immersions. For the Tech MBA program, the first one will take place in New York in August and the second, in Silicon Valley in January. Featuring classes in the morning and company visits in the afternoon. For the Fashion & Luxury MBA, the first immersion week will be in New York. The location of the second has not yet been finalized but will be either Paris or Milan.
Tech is already Stern's third largest area of placement, behind consulting and finance. One in every 10 Stern grads went into tech last year, up from just six percent two years earlier. That is less than many top business schools—HBS last year sent 19 percent, Stanford sent 33 percent, and Berkeley’s Haas School sent 39 percent—but it is more than uptown neighbor Columbia Business School’s seven percent. Stern hopes this new degree will only increase the school’s ability to place graduates in tech jobs. It also plays to one of Stern’s strengths. Though best known for its finance faculty, Stern has one of the largest collections of computer science and data scientists of any leading business school. The Tech MBA was preceded by the launch of a fintech MBA specialization last fall, likewise intended to leverage existing faculty strength and Silicon Alley proximity.
Where fashion and luxury is concerned, the new program also builds on the 2009-launched luxury marketing specialization for two-year MBA students. The NYU Stern Fashion Lab, a central hub for industry-related projects and networking, is now being created to serve all Stern students. The school currently sends between three and four percent of its two-year MBA grads into the industry, and the fashion and luxury page on its website is among its most often visited.
The Fashion & Luxury MBA is the first of its kind in the United States—and, especially amid technological disruption, those in the industry have increasingly viewed adding business-savvy professionals to their creative staff as a competitive advantage.
The application form that is similar to the two-year MBA program’s. The profile of students they will be looking for is similar in many ways to the two-year program, with a few key differences. Work experience, average age, competitive GPA and GMAT scores all will be the same, but applicants to the Tech MBA must demonstrate a substantial technological background.
If not computer science majors, applicants can be STEM majors with a decent coding background. The curriculum, developed in partnership with NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, is designed to prepare students to propel their careers in product management, fintech, and tech entrepreneurship.
The application process will begin with Round 1 applications due by September 15th. A second round will likely carry a mid-November deadline, and there may or may not be a third round.