Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2021

Allan George

New York University, Stern School of Business

Dream chaser with strong Caribbean roots aiming to give back to my community.”

Hometown: I was born in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis but lived most of my childhood in St. Thomas, USVI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I co-own a travel company that organized a trip of 100+ young professionals to Greece last May.

Undergraduate School and Major: Rochester Institute of Technology, B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Gilbane Building Company, Project Engineer/Assistant Project Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: On my first project with my previous company, my role allowed me to impact thousands of homeowners affected by superstorm Sandy through the rehabilitation and repair of their homes. Personally, speaking to hundreds of those homeowners and listening to their stories then ultimately seeing them back in their homes with their families was extremely meaningful and reinforced my drive to perform well at my job.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? All my MBA classmates I’ve met so far have been nothing but supportive and authentic. Everyone has shown their true colors in all our interactions leading to complete candidness and laughter. Also, no matter the circumstance, we’ve all gone out of the way to support and encourage each other through navigating the pre-MBA space.

What is the best part of coming to New York City to earn your MBA? I’ve lived across the bridge in New Jersey for the past five years, so I’m pretty familiar with NYC. With that being said, the energy in NYC is unmatched. Both on and off-campus, it’s a cultural melting pot that brings an unlimited amount of new perspectives to every scenario. When individuals with a variety of experiences, opinions, and cultural backgrounds come together to solve a problem, the solution is always more creative and thoughtful. Studying in NYC and embracing that diversity is an environment I’m eager to continue taking advantage.

Aside from your classmates and location, 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? Another key factor that led me to Stern was its core values, particularly its emphasis on “IQ + EQ.” Every single interaction I’ve had with someone in the Stern community, from the Dean to our second-year MBAs to alumni, has exemplified both intellectual and emotional or interpersonal intelligence as one of their strongpoints. I think mastering both is crucial to succeeding in both the business world and our personal lives and I hope to sharpen both attributes in my time at Stern.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? One of the things I’m most excited to experience is a Stern Solutions project. It’s a semester-long course where student teams are paired with faculty to help tackle some of the most pressing global issues of the 21st century. Past projects have included students supporting the restoration of Haiti’s communities and providing recommendations in Guyana to capitalize on its abundant natural resources to drive economic growth. Being born and raised in the Caribbean, I’m hoping for the opportunity to do something similar. Other than that, getting involved with the Association of Hispanic and Black Students is at the top of my list. The organization is extremely active on campus and in recruiting and played a large part in my decision to attend Stern.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I think the most challenging question was probably Stern’s “Pick Six” visual personal expression essay. We basically had to provide six images that illustrated who we were to our future classmates. The challenge came from trying to summarize my life and the essence of who I am into only six images, especially since it could include photos, infographics, drawings, etc. In the end, I tried to not overthink it and just have fun with the question, using my current friends as a soundboard to whether it accurately summarized who I am

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? A combination of things triggered my pursuit of an MBA at this point. Though my career in construction management has been fruitful, ultimately, it wasn’t quite preparing me for the life I envisioned and the impact I wanted to have. I also always knew I wanted a graduate degree but the exact what and when were a bit hazy. After some deep reflection and conversations with close friends, I decided that there’s no better time than now to make the jump and realign my career with my goals.

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

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I knew at the start of my business school search that I wanted to be in the NJ/NYC area to take advantage of my living situation, which keeps my general cost of living low. Other than location, the school needed to have a strong enough brand to help open as many opportunities as possible. The third factor was that I needed to know that I would feel comfortable with the faculty and my classmates if I was going to take advantage of all the opportunities in business school. I evaluated this by speaking to as many current students and attending as many events as I could. This gave me a pretty good sense of the culture at my final schools and from there the choice became pretty clear.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Moving from the USVI to Rochester for my undergraduate degree really shaped me as a person. Even though I was nervous, I was also extremely excited to step out of my comfort zone and have the opportunity to experience so much more and that’s exactly what happened. (I even still remember the first time I ever saw snow!) As a result of taking that step, I began the road to tremendous growth and am now a much more patient, strategic, and well-rounded individual.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In 10 years, I see myself in a role where I’m impacting the Caribbean through consulting. I hope to couple my MBA from NYU Stern with a consulting career working through operations and strategy solutions across an extensive set of industries to be better equipped to have a measurable impact. Ultimately, I hope to help Caribbean-based businesses handle their unique challenges and be in a better position to grow, create jobs and give back to the community.

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