Pay is also on the upswing for Stern graduates. Median pay jumped from $120,000 to $125,000 for the Class of 2016. Median signing bonuses also increased, by $4,500 to $30,000. That doesn’t count other guaranteed compensation, where the median again rose, by $5,000 to $25,000. Overall, consultants banked the most base, starting out with a $140,000 median — $15,000 more than financial services professionals. However, this difference was made up in starting bonuses, with finance topping consulting at Stern by a $41,707-to-$26,904 margin (with finance’s advantage cemented in other guaranteed compensation: $38,202 to $25,433).
STERN REAPS REWARDS OF BEING IN THE BUSINESS CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Thus far, it has been a year of highs and lows for Stern. For one, the program dropped from 11th to 20th in the 2017 U.S. News MBA rankings. Of course, this ranking comes with an asterisk, as it stemmed from the program unintentionally failing to send one of the 300 data points required by U.S. News — an omission that didn’t stop U.S. News from ranking Stern in the top 10 for accounting, international business, finance, marketing, and information systems. In other words, in the coming year the program should return to ranking among the top dozen programs.
Stern also set the pace in the emerging fintech industry, becoming the first elite MBA program to offer a specialization in the area. At the same time, the program’s entrepreneurship program, through the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab, continues to build momentum with its emphasis on disruption and innovation. For Esslinger, the school’s renowned Entertainment, Media, and Technology (EMT) program was impossible to beat, as was Stern’s resources and its location. “It offers so many concentrations and clubs that will allow me to explore opportunities in a city with so many intersecting industries,” she explains. “Indie film still reigns here. And there’s still a lot of room to grow in terms of the tech scene and VC funding.”
Like many urban schools, Stern is deeply entwined with its home city. The school’s tagline, “An education in possible,” takes its cue from New York City, a business and cultural epicenter where everything seems possible. Straddling the outskirts of Greenwich Village, NYU is best known for its outstanding faculty, including Aswath Damodaran, a global authority on corporate finance and valuation, and Scott Galloway, a strategy guru who originated the Digital IQ Index, which measures brand prestige. The program’s prime location between Madison Avenue and Wall Street also enables Stern to attract luminaries to campus. Look no further than their recent list of guest speakers: PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Foursquare Executive Chairman Dennis Crowley, and Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt spoke at Stern’s 2016 graduate convocation.
The New York location also provides students with unparalleled access to leading firms and decision-makers. “For internships and coffee chats,” Kantor notes, “I don’t have to travel at all to be at the center of the business world.” New York offers a dizzying array of opportunities, Larsen adds. “Almost every potential company and career path is represented in the Big Apple, as well as Stern alumni willing to help you along your path to your next career.”
THE GOAL: GET BETTER AT MAKING IT ALL LOOK EASY
In fact, students will find over 100,000 “Sternie” graduates in nearly every industry and corner of the world. No doubt, the Class of 2018 has big plans when they join them as alumni. Mohnish Zaveri, a chemical engineer and astronomy buff, intends to transition to asset management on the investment side. Maxwell Gove, who admits that he can’t go a day without ice cream, plans to join a small company in the tech sector that has an exciting and impactful product and a fantastic team. And Aldrey is looking to move into consulting to specialize in sustainable business strategy. “I want to help companies adapt to the new status quo with regards to efficient energy and material consumption,” he says.
In the meantime, the incoming class hopes to leave a mark that their classmates won’t forget. Aldrey, for one, wants to be known as the guy who was everywhere at Stern. “I want to immerse myself in the Stern community and take advantage of the myriad of professional and cultural clubs, activities, and trips.” Coming directly from the undergrad program, Gove would like to be seen as a valuable addition by his older classmates. “I hope my peers will say that my drive and dedication more than made up for what I may have lacked initially in work experience.” Esslinger also craves the respect of her peers. For her, the next two years will be about growth and consistency, as she hopes that her peers remember her for being the one who was “never afraid of hard work and kept getting better at making it look easy.”
To read profiles of incoming Stern students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.
Sohnhwa Lee / Namhae, South Korea
Mohnish Zaveri / Mumbai, India