Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Albert D. Williams Jr., New York University (Stern)

Albert D. Williams Jr.

New York University, Stern School of Business

“Just a nerd at the cool table, making room for others to sit.”

Hometown: The Boogie Down Bronx, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: Two truths and a lie edition! I once was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. I have caught four home run balls at Yankee Stadium. I once swam from New Hampshire to Vermont.

Undergraduate School and Major: Ohio University – Business Economics, Finance, and Marketing

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Program Administrator

What excites you the most about living in New York City and how do you see it enhancing your learning experience? Whether you’re of the belief that the world is round or you’re a proud flat-earther, it is undeniable that New York City is at the center of said universe. Aside from the unparalleled opportunities that the city can offer in the form of proximity to corporate headquarters and access to countless industry leaders, there is a certain je ne sais quoi that really separates it from any other place in the world. The unforgiving speed at which the city moves truly helps in developing one’s adaptability, resilience, and determination — intangibles that will prove invaluable as change is made inside and outside of the classroom.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? To say something in an attempt to allure a prospective MBA candidate is fair game, but to say something and deliver upon it, now that’s a game changer. That is what NYU Stern was able to do in highlighting its IQ+EQ value through the application process. Often during the MBA application process, the term “culture” becomes hackneyed. NYU Stern was able to impactfully infuse key components of EQ & IQ into its application and that thread wove its way through conversations with students, alumni, and faculty throughout the process, elevating the value from buzz word to community ethos. The prevalence of this value helped paint a picture of a collaborative and inspiring community environment that I was excited to be a part of.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at NYU Stern? I am eager to get involved with NYU Stern’s Association of Hispanic & Black Business Students (AHBBS). I am a big proponent of paying it forward and would be remiss not to extend great thanks to the many members of AHBBS who gave their energy and efforts selflessly throughout my application process. Now, I am prepared to do the same for others. I am excited about the opportunity and challenge of growing the impact that AHBBS has in the community, especially during this tumultuous time where inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity are at the forefront of many movements, and we as a community have such an integral voice in the conversation.

What does EQ (Emotional Intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? To me, EQ is our universal language. Where IQ is what separates us, EQ is what brings us together. The ability to genuinely connect with someone is imperative for the effective conveyance of thoughts and ideas. The presence of this effective EQ component aids in making our communication whole. I have seen the positive impact through my professional career in both the public and private sector. Sometimes, it is an organization winning a bid vs a competitor with a comparable product because of their people and relationships built. Other times, it is a community coming together to influence an organization to lower the price of its service. Either way, the value of EQ is indisputable.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Well for starters, I am being profiled in this Poets&Quants feature, and a few months ago, I was accepted into NYU’s Stern class of 2024! It seems that along this journey, opportunities are continually presenting themselves for me to demonstrate the continued growth and fortitude of my character and be a beacon of change going forward. All of these opportunities are being met with great excitement. One thing from my career that I am extremely proud of is my role in expanding the financial literacy program at a local nonprofit. Through partnership with the TJ Carrie foundation – and in collaboration with Boys Hope Girls Hope – we were able to grow the program from an introductory pilot of ten 11th graders, to its expansion across 9th through 11th grade, with an enrollment of almost 100 scholars. Being able to introduce vital financial concepts to these scholars while sharing parts of my professional and academic journey is a huge part of my story and me being the person I am today.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Growing up in New York City, I always had the dream of being a banker on Wall Street. I had gained finance experience working at a regional bank in the Midwest and then had the opportunity to manage clients in my role as a program administrator in the public sector. I knew that I would have to couple these learnings with relevant experience to transition into a role in the finance industry. Procuring a role in high finance allows me to have a seismic impact at work and in the world, through working on deals that will shape the future of organizations and land on the front page of the newspaper. My hope is that deals of this magnitude will have the reach to resonate with the scholars I volunteered to teach, propelling their interest and education in the realm of finance. NYU Stern places me in the finance capital of the world with the opportunity to bring my dreams to fruition.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell takes a holistic view at what comprises the formula for success, beyond intelligence, talent, and hard work, and the role these additional elements play in one’s journey to greatness. Through highlighting some of the nuances that influence one’s success, Gladwell inspires the reader to reimagine what the path to success looks like and in what unconventional ways they can contribute to their own success.

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

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into NYU Stern’s MBA program? 

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Ask yourself that question, answer, and then do it.

I remember reading P&Q’s “Meet the Class” profiles without a modicum of confidence. I hadn’t interned at the White House, flown a military aircraft, or been VP at my firm. I would sit discouraged wondering if an MBA was for me. I had to explain to my mother that “Stern” and “NYU” weren’t two separate schools, I had to help her pronounce “consortium.” I wore a durag to bed and Jordans on the weekends: an MBA couldn’t be for me. Oh, but it is — and it may indeed be for you as well. The mere fact that you, as a reader, are on this P&Q article indicates that you have the desire to grow academically and professionally and have identified an MBA as a potential option for you to address that desire. My biggest pieces of advice to an MBA applicant would be to not stand in your own way, invest in yourself by holding yourself accountable to the goals you have set, and most importantly just do it!

If you have any questions about the MBA process, NYU Stern or want to know the answer to my fun facts stated above, please feel free to connect with me. I’d be more than happy to share. Thank you.


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