2016 MBAs To Watch: Samantha Thiel, New York University (Stern)

Samantha Thiel-NYU-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Samantha Thiel


New York University, Stern School of Business

Age: 23

Hometown: Toronto, ON

Undergraduate School and Degree: Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I enrolled in the MBA program at NYU Stern immediately after graduating from college. I’ve secured a variety of internships in the non-profit space, communications, political consulting, and marketing.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Deloitte LLP (New York) – Strategy & Operations Practice

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company – Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

William R. Berkley Scholarship Recipient – Covers full scholarship/fees, and housing/living stipends; chosen based on combination of stellar academic performance and exceptional potential to contribute to business and society

Deloitte National Case competition – Member of NYU Stern’s winning team, second place at national finals

Management Consulting Association – Mentor for first-year students interested in the industry

Stern Cellar – President

Board Fellowship program – Opportunity to act as non-voting member on board of a New York-based non-profit, while completing a strategic governance project for the organization

Stern Consulting Corps

Teaching Fellow for Stern’s Undergraduate College – Business & the Environment (Spring 2015), Consumer Behavior (fall 2015, spring 2016)

Nominated for Stern Service Award (recipients not yet announced)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my team’s performance in the Deloitte National Case Competition (NCC). It was an inspiring moment to be able to represent Stern on the national stage at Deloitte University and to have the opportunity to meet students from a variety of other business schools in a competitive but fun environment. I was particularly proud of the way that our team was able to work together, building off one another’s strengths and shoring up each other’s weaknesses, to produce really fantastic presentations in both rounds of the competition.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As I chose to pursue my MBA directly after graduating from Princeton, I do not have any full-time work experience as of yet. I think I am most proud of the chances that I have taken to do things outside of my comfort zone, interning at organizations in a variety of different fields to develop my personal skills while also improving my self-awareness and understanding of my career goals.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Dolly Chugh, with whom I took the core course Leadership in Organizations last year, and with whom I am currently taking Managerial Skills. She is a truly amazing teacher, passionate about her students and the material. This shines through in her energy and her level of engagement on a daily basis. I appreciate the humanity that she brings to the classroom and the dedication and openness that her students bring in return.

Favorite MBA Courses? Brand Strategy with Professor Scott Galloway; The Financial Services Industry with Professor Charlie Murphy; Power & Politics with Professor R. Kabaliswaran; Managerial Skills with Professor Dolly Chugh

Why did you choose this business school? I chose NYU Stern because of the incredible people I met through the application process, the emphasis on both IQ and EQ, and the location — you can’t beat it.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I have most enjoyed getting to know my classmates in class and outside of it, through various activities and treks around the world. They will be friends for life, and have added a level of depth to my day-to-day experience that I had not expected.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The biggest lesson I have learned while at Stern is perseverance in the face of challenges and failure. The recruiting process, in particular, can be quite grueling, and it is helpful to remember that you have an amazing support system behind you.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? The camaraderie and support that I discovered amongst my classmates surprised me the most. My peers have always been there for me, whether I needed help with an assignment or someone to confide in. I am incredibly thankful for the way that I have been pushed to fulfill my own potential by the intelligence, ambition, and above all, compassion, of other Stern students.

What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school is balance. There are so many things you might want to explore, but you can’t possibly do it all! From experiential learning opportunities to clubs and classes, you have to find a balance that allows you to maintain your sanity while also getting the most out of the experience.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? The best advice I could give to an applicant to Stern is to know yourself. Self-awareness is so important to being able to give candid and personal answers to essay questions, and to enable you to choose a school that is right for you.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I was in high school and dreaming of running my own hotel or restaurant. I was also always fascinated by the challenges my father faced in running his business.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… a professional chef — maybe with a show on the Food Network à la Gordon Ramsay.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Elon Musk, for his constant push for innovation and excellence.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long-term professional goals are quite varied. Over the course of my career, I hope to be able to work in the variety of industries that interest me, from healthcare to hospitality, and to also eventually spend some time working in politics and public service.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. Without their support (and tough love) throughout my life, I would never have gotten to where I am today. They have pushed me to be the best version of myself, to expect more, while also instilling in me the values that will get me there.

Fun fact about yourself: I may be the most accident-prone person in the world; I once tore the ligaments in my ankle while playing mini-golf.

Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favorite movie: Inside Out

Favorite musical performer: Ed Sheeran, Adele

Favorite television show: “Game of Thrones”

Favorite vacation spot: Croatia and the Dalmatian coast

Hobbies? Alpine skiing, cooking, word games (i.e. Boggle, Scrabble), SoulCycle

What made Samantha such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Samantha is part of our inaugural class of Berkley Scholars, a group of exceptional college seniors selected to begin their MBA following graduation and selected — based on a combination of stellar academic performance and exceptional potential — to contribute to business and society.

“Since graduating from Princeton and starting the MBA, Samantha has been an invaluable and active member of the Stern community. Samantha was part of a Stern team that won second place out of 200-plus teams in the Deloitte national case competition, leading her to a summer internship in consulting at Deloitte. Additionally, she sits on the board of Border Crossers, as a participant in the Board Fellows program; serves as a mentor to first-year MBA students through the Management Consulting Association; and is a teaching fellow for two undergraduate business courses. Following graduation, Samantha will begin her career as an associate at McKinsey & Co.

“Samantha exemplifies the perfect blend of IQ+EQ, a true formula for success among our students. She takes applicants to lunch on a weekly basis to share her untraditional path to the MBA and her success in the program. She also serves as a mentor to first-year Berkley Scholars and is actively involved in recruiting future students from college to the program. She understood that coming in as one of the less-seasoned members of the class would be both a challenge as well as a tremendous opportunity, and she rose to the occasion to leave a lasting mark both on the Stern community and the organizations for which she worked and consulted. Although very early into her career, Samantha is well on her way to making a tremendous impact to both business and society.”

Rabia Ahmed

Senior Director

MBA Admissions

New York University, Stern School of Business