2017 MBAs To Watch: Stacey Han, New York University (Stern)

Stacey Han

New York University, Stern School of Business

Ambitious, curious, world-traveling, scuba-diving, French bulldog loving, yoga instructing, food-obsessed, future brand manager!”

Age: 26

Hometown: San Diego, California

Fun fact about yourself: I teach yoga at Y7 Studio in NYC! Come flow with me to some heated, sweat dripping, candle-lit, beat bumping, hip hop Vinyasa.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Babson College, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Strategy & Global Business Management.

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Kaiser Associations, Senior Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Colgate-Palmolive, NYC

Where will you be working after graduation? Colgate-Palmolive, Assistant Brand Manager – Global Marketing Development Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-President, Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students
  • Student Representative, NYU Stern Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
  • Member, Consortium
  • Fellow, Stern Leadership Fellows

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The extracurricular achievement I am most proud of during business school is the event AHBBS (Association of Hispanic & Business Students) hosted in November of 2016: Black is Beautiful. After the murders that occurred over the summer and political tension around the election, our student organization wanted to put on an event that would cause our community to challenge their own perceptions, implicit biases, and try to see the world from someone else’s perspective. With the help of fellow students and event speakers Joe Mehari, Joseph Garcia, Fabienne Brookman-Amissah, and Calvin Mack (along with the rest of our AHBBS community), we successfully hosted a packed event. As business school students, we’re often so busy and have tunnel-vision focus on getting a job and graduating that we sometimes forget to take a step back and think about how other people may be affected by what is going on politically around us.

The event featured three of our own second-year students who opened up about their own personal experiences. They were vulnerable about when they’ve been treated negatively because of the color of their skin, where they grew up, or the socioeconomic environment they were raised in. Through their talks and spoken word, they forced the room (packed with students and faculty) to feel what they have felt, and to leave thinking what else can we do to challenge these social injustices? How can we be better allies? How can I stand up for others? What can we do to be better co-workers, managers, and leaders? In marketing the event, we were also able to inspire AHBBS members and allies to open up about why Black Lives Matters is important to them. Seeing that there are people who care about the cause and about you as an individual makes such a big difference.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m most proud of the year I spent working in Malaysia with my previous employer. I was chosen as part of a team of three people to expand our business into the APAC region. In that year, I was challenged in many different aspects – from adapting to a new working environment to making friends to building a brand new support system (not to mention long distance with my fiancé!). I learned so much, not just about doing business in a different region and working across cultures and time zones, but about resilience, adapting/being flexible, and working independently.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Dolly Chugh was one of my favorite professors at Stern. I took her Managerial Skills class as the only first-year MBA student in a classroom full of second-year students, and this course helped prep me for my summer internship at Colgate. I learned how to run effective meetings, deal with conflict, coaching, and giving and receiving feedback – all things that helped set me apart. Not to mention, she is highly respected in her field and is able to bring in speakers like Tommy Kail (director of Hamilton) and Josh Davis (author of Two Awesome Hours).

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? One of my favorite courses is an experiential learning course that I am currently taking in my final semester: Stern Signature Projects. This course, designed by the Office of Student Engagement at Stern, was created to partner students and faculty to solve real-world problems in a global capacity. As part of a five-student team, I began my semester-long experiential learning project with a week in Nepal to do some field work sponsored by a company we are working with in NYC. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting to explore Nepal’s culture, people, food, and business opportunities. One of the project’s components is social impact, so it was humbling to visit a few foundations and CNN’s Hero Pushpa Basnet to see the life-changing work they are doing. The biggest business insight I gained from our trip to Nepal was about resilience and work ethic. Despite everything they endure, such as political turmoil (they recently just signed their constitution), being landlocked between India and China, massive earthquakes, poverty ($689.50 GDP per capita), the Nepalese people are so open, welcoming, opportunistic, and resilient.

Why did you choose this business school? First, I chose NYU Stern because I wanted to be in an environment that would help me flourish. The culture, community, and resources at Stern helped me do just that and I’ve grown so much in the last two years. I realized Stern was the right school for me when I attended Stern Perspectives Weekend to interview. I met many current students and alumni that were so open and welcoming. I could tell that EQ + IQ was something Stern truly valued, and I fell in love with the potential. I also knew that I wanted to work in brand management in the NYC area, so it made 100% sense.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I enjoyed getting to know my classmates the most. Everyone is so inspiring – even though my classmates are pursuing completely different things than me, I am inspired by their passion, intellect, curiosity, and persistence. I see students pursuing dual degrees, starting their own businesses, and making real changes to improve their lives and the lives of others around them. Going to business school is also a great time to do some self-reflecting and to pursue personal growth. I can’t imagine how many years of working it would have taken me to learn as much as I have in the past two years – not just from a professional standpoint, but from a management and leadership perspective as well.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? The most surprising thing about business school for me is how busy it can actually get. I think what happens when people graduate from business school is that they forget how much hard work it actually is, and only remember the socializing and fabulous trips. One thing I’ve been doing, as a Graduate Ambassador in the Admissions office, is to be honest with prospective students about what to expect. With classes, networking, recruiting, clubs, and your social life, you really have to prioritize what is most important to you and allocate your time where you’ll get the most return. Business school is so rewarding, and time flies, so make the most of it!

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? If you’re serious about coming to Stern, you should do your due diligence! With any program, the admissions committee is looking to see if you’ve done your research to tell that not only are you a good fit for the school, but that the program will help you get to your end goal. With Stern, they really stress the EQ + IQ aspect as well as community and collaboration. Yes, you can have a great GMAT score, impressive undergrad track record, and great work experience, but if you can’t fit into Stern’s culture, it’ll be harder to reach your full potential.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I would say the biggest myth is that Stern is still a Finance only school. Stern, especially in the past few years, has made many investments to build and expand their Entertainment, Media, and Tech (EMT), Luxury & Retail, Entrepreneurship, and Social Impact verticals. Not just in terms of class offerings, but in speaker series, competitions, and experiential learning opportunities as well. The school works closely with the professional clubs to see how else these “less traditional” tracks can expand at Stern.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I think my biggest regret was not experiencing a Culture Trek or Doing Business In (DBi) course at Stern. Culture Treks are put on by the student affinity clubs every spring semester to places like South Africa, Japan, Brazil, and Israel. Stern also offers a ton of DBis as short off-shore courses in Singapore, Australia, Argentina, and Italy just to name a few. I studied abroad a lot in undergrad (six countries within 2 years), so I thought it wasn’t for me. However, I realized I missed out on the bonds and relationships I could have further developed by traveling with classmates I didn’t know as well.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Ugh, this is so tough! There are two MBA students that inspire me the most: Joseph Mehari and Fabienne Brookman-Amissah. Joe and Fab work with me as a part of Consortium, AHBBS, and the Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce, and the level at which they perform, get things done, and influence their community is astounding. Not to mention, they are going to such amazing companies post-graduation! I know I can count on both of them to make a serious impact on whatever industry, community, and company they are a part of.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized I wasn’t going to make a direct impact on the lives of people as a consultant.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…I would probably still be in consulting, to be honest.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? This is a tough question to answer, since I know how much work goes into being the Dean of a top business school. If I were Dean for a day, I would focus on building a more diverse faculty and administrative staff. This isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish and definitely takes a lot of time, resources, and good timing. However, I think it’s important for MBA students to learn from a whole variety of perspectives and backgrounds and to feel like they can see themselves in their professors, academic advisors, admissions officers, etc.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term goal is to be working in a capacity (whether senior executive or running my own business) where I can positively influence the lives of others. I want to continue to lift up those around me as I grow, and I want to be able to make long-lasting contributions to my company and to my community. For me, it’s not about what industry I end up in, it’s more about the portfolio of skills I can build over the life of my career and the impact I can make doing good business.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My family and fiancé. Thank you mom, Chris, and Kevin for always believing in my potential and pushing me towards happiness and success. Without your sacrifices, none of this would be possible for me. Matt, thank you for being my rock, for going through this journey with me, and for continuing to support my dreams.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope my peers remember me as an adaptable, inclusive, and driven leader with an impeccable ability to solve problems, build teams, and leave the world a better place.

Favorite book: The Alchemist – easy to read, yet so many great life lessons!

Favorite movie or television show: Game of Thrones – I may hold the binge-watching record for re-watching the entire series…

Favorite musical performer: Beyonce and Drake are two favorites that I’ve seen perform live. I know it’s typical, but who can deny their greatness?!

Favorite vacation spot: Kapalai, Malaysia – a scuba diver’s heaven of wooden huts in the middle of the ocean – I would have never known about had I not lived in Kuala Lumpur.

Hobbies? Yoga, scuba diving, eating, and traveling – follow my adventures on Instagram! (@stacey.han)

What made Stacey such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Always going above and beyond, Stacey has three main mantras that she follows:

  1. Love openly and approach life with an open mind…all opportunities and possibilities will find their way to you.
  2. Create memories and live life to the fullest.
  3. All things happen for a reason.

We are lucky that Stacey has applied all three of her life mantras to the benefit of the Stern community as a full-time MBA student and engaged member of the student body. From the moment she arrived on campus, Stacey has brought her positive energy and can-do spirit to everything she has done.

Stacey embraced her passion for diversity, inclusion and connecting people by serving as a co-President of the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS), one of Stern’s MBA student clubs. Under her leadership, AHBBS continued to create opportunities for all students through diversity case competitions and a speaker’s series that allowed students to talk together about challenging topical issues.

Stacey has a background in strategy and management consulting. Prior to Stern she worked at Kaiser Associates and spent time in their offices in both Washington D.C. and Kuala Lumpur, Malasia. In these roles she supported business development, project management and geographic expansion.

Since coming to NYU Stern, Stacey has been focused on a transition to Marketing, Brand Management and Corporate Strategy. Stacey spent her summer internship working at Colgate-Palmolive as an intern in their Global Marketing Development Program. After graduation she will be returning to Colgate-Palmolive as an Assistant Brand Manager.

In her spare time, Stacey teaches yoga at a prominent NYC-based yoga studio and spends time with her fiancé and her French bulldog.”

Beth Briggs

Senior Director, Office of Career Development, Full-time MBA Program

NYU Stern



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