Meet The MBA Class Of 2020: Profiles In Courage

Nica Langinger

New York University, Stern School of Business

Social justice-minded Slytherin with high standards for both self and country.”

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: More than half of my wardrobe is thrifted!

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, B.A. International Relations ‘12, M.A. Latin American Studies ‘12

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Snapchat, Senior Business Operations Specialist

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Growing Snap’s first B2B support team from 1 to 40+ employees and launching live chat support for our advertisers.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Clear-eyed—they know what they like, what they don’t like, and what they’re working toward.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? A major selling point for me personally was Stern’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I chose to interview during Stern’s Diversity Weekend, where I got the chance to meet current members of AHBBS (Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students). Their deep love of Stern and the close-knit family they built there was both palpable and inspiring.

My incredible interviewer, a Stern alumna who now works as a senior director at Planned Parenthood, shared with me the many opportunities Stern students have to pursue social impact as a career. I left our conversation feeling inspired and energized to follow in her footsteps.

During that weekend, I also learned about the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management—an amazing organization committed to increasing the representation of Black, Latino and Native leaders in business—and was thrilled to hear that Stern was one of their 20 member schools.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Aside from my core curriculum, I’d say I’m most looking forward to improving my Portuguese and participating in Stern’s “Doing Business in…” program in Brazil.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After six years working in enterprise technology and digital advertising, I was eager to make the transition to a more mission-driven industry and function.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed school and new experiences. When I tried to imagine what my top regrets would be at age 80, I knew they would have certainly included not taking these pivotal years to dedicate to self-improvement and exploration.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Columbia Business School

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I definitely factored in location—living in a diverse and vibrant city was a top requirement for me. Being a SoCal native, the prospect of East Coast weather was a bit scary, so I made sure to visit New York in various seasons to get the full picture of what I was in for. Finally, I made a point to connect with current MBA students who shared similar backgrounds and career aspirations in order to get a feel for the kind of community and professional network each school offered.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? The 2016 election definitely changed me. Though painful, it forced me to reassess many of the truths I held about my country and the role I played within it. Seeking work-life confluence became my primary focus, as I could no longer justify sitting in the sidelines as the most marginalized among us were left behind by both the public and private sectors.

I have a lot of hope for 2020, our graduation year, and fully intend to apply my learnings to make this country the absolute best it can be for all who call it home.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? While I’m open to a variety of paths, I’d like to work in DC for a few years as a political consultant, campaign manager, or lobbyist for progressive policies.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.