Change. Dare it. Dream it. Drive it.
It almost sounds like a Broadway musical headliner or a motivational speaker’s motto. Together, these words convey possibility, a sense that fear and limits can be batted down with a mix of glee and grit. In reality, this motto is more academic than theatrical, the new brand expression and curriculum structure at the Stern School of Business.
Yes, change is coming to Washington Square Park this fall under the Change: Studio umbrella. Starting at orientation, students will explore change through exercises that enable them to become more self-aware, inclusive leaders who understand what brought them to NYU – and who they ultimately hope to become. From there, students choose from a series of opportunities in each of the Dare It, Dream It, and Drive It paths.
In Dare It, for example, first-years can choose Leadership Modules, an intensive menu of individual coaching, workshops, and classes. Here, students create personalized development plans to guide their growth, as well as practice techniques to help them wield greater influence and produce deeper impact. The Dream It pillar also demands risk-taking, as students run initiatives from start-to-finish. This may include everything from Stern Solutions projects with local businesses to international excursions. Finally, the Drive It curriculum prepares students to turn ideas into ventures.
In other words, the new structure trains students on the skills they’ll need to excel throughout their career: reflecting, creating, communicating, adapting, solving, and leading. How will it work? Time will tell, but this innovation will be something to watch.
“Stern is on the front foot when it comes to the rapidly changing global and tech-fueled business landscape,” Rangarajan Sundaram, the school’s dean, explains in a press release. “Today’s business world demands talent with the skills and mindset to excel in environments that constantly change – people who are nimble, adaptable and agile when it comes to dealing with ambiguity. As a school, we are role modeling this for students through our approach to innovation and by delivering a transformative experience.”
Of course, Stern’s size doesn’t hurt when it comes to staying on the cutting edge. Undergraduate and graduate populations combined, the school houses 5,400 students – along with 438 professors. The MBA program alone boasts 200 electives, 50 clubs, and a dozen student-run conferences. As a result, the school possesses the resources to respond to industry shifts and student demands quickly.
“At NYU Stern we call this our “size paradox,” says J.P. Eggers, the vice dean for MBA programs, in a 2019 interview. “Stern has a larger faculty than most business schools with a broad range of expertise. Our size gives us the flexibility to be nimble, to anticipate ever-changing market needs and to be first and fast to market. For example, our size and strengths enabled us to be the first U.S. business school to introduce a Fintech specialization, to create a new category of focused MBA programs and to offer an MS in Management online.”
Stern’s Manhattan locale only enhances the program’s appeal – and the opportunities that are available to MBA students. “New York City is a world capital of finance but it is also a world capital of fashion, luxury, entrepreneurship, tech, entertainment, media, and sports,” Dean Sundaram told P&Q in 2019. “This is an amazing place to be in for almost any industry today, especially given the transformation in the last ten years around technology and entrepreneurship.”