Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2024

NYU MBA students outside Stern School

P&Q: What have MBAs told you is the most memorable, signature experience they’ve had in your program? Why did it resonate so much with them?

Eggers: “Students consistently tell me that our travel courses are among their favorite electives. For example, our Doing Business in… (DBi) courses are extremely popular, so much so that we’ve even started offering offshoots for MBA alumni. These intensives enable students to explore how business is conducted in another country and develop a deeper understanding of the issues, opportunities, and challenges faced by businesses operating there. One or two weeks in duration, they include classes, corporate visits, speakers, and cultural visits and are taught in partnership with local MBA universities at the DBi destination.  DBi courses bring Stern students to countries all around the globe, and there are multiple opportunities to participate in a DBi throughout the academic year. Upcoming January 2023 DBi locations include: one-week programs to Costa Rica and Mexico; and two-week programs to Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Israel. Past locations have included travel to Morocco, Argentina, Germany, and Spain. And the list goes on.

Additionally, we offer a diverse array of faculty-led travel programs such as Craft and Commerce of Cinema, which enables students to attend and fully participate in the panels presented in the American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival in France; Operation in Entertainment: Las Vegas, which goes behind the scenes in Las Vegas to analyze the operations involved in performing this supply function; Operations in Panama, to study the major businesses in this country; and more. Brand new this year is a course called the Global Real Estate Immersion, for students to learn about real estate finance and investment analysis in non-US settings; students will benefit from direct interaction with global real estate developers, investors, lenders, and policy makers and includes a one-week travel component to London.”

Aerial view of Washington Square Park

P&Q: How does your MBA program infuse experiential learning into your curriculum? Give us a couple of examples of projects your students have done recently, including the company, scope, and results?

Eggers: “As pioneers in this arena, we have been offering what we call Stern Solutions experiential learning courses and projects for more than 20 years.

These courses are faculty-led, with students working in partnership with actual companies. They promote a three-party learning cycle: immerse, act, reflect.

To give you a sense of the scope, we have 30 academic course offerings, 100+ corporate partners, 100+ alumni volunteers, and projects spanning 11 industries. This includes projects in which MBAs helped provide real-time solutions for corporate partners, including The Wall Street Journal and Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. The course was designed and led by Stern Professor Andrew Breen, who helped support the creation of the  Tech Product Management MBA specialization. Professor Breen leveraged the “problem-solving sprint” approach used in Tech Product Management that was popularized by Google Ventures. The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones teams were focused on expanding the company’s membership base while the Rocket Mortgage teams were focused on increasing the company’s market share. After testing their solutions, the teams each presented their findings to C-suite executives from the corporate partners.

Other timely examples include projects in Fintech to help students structure their thinking when approaching fintech problems and several in real estate finance. This includes one working with a building rating system for commercial interiors to provide guidelines on how to design and operate healthier buildings and a project to analyze existing and novel approaches to tackle the affordable housing shortage in New York City.

Outside NYU Stern

P&Q: What have your employers told you are the two biggest strengths of your graduates and how does your programming bolster these differentiators?

Eggers: “EQ (emotional intelligence) with tech proficiency.

EQ is core to Stern’s values; we screen for it, we stress it in our admissions process. I can confirm that when I speak with employers (recruiters and hiring managers) and ask about what they see from our students that is different, this is 100% what they say – Stern MBAs are team-oriented, cooperative, fun to be around, different and unique, and possess high EQ. At the same time, Stern MBAs bring strong tech and quantitative skills to the table. Data analytics is part of Stern’s core curriculum and is built into so many classes throughout the MBA experience. In today’s global, tech-driven environment, it’s a cost of entry requirement for doing business.”

P&Q: Who is a standout in your faculty or administration – the kind of person who graduates talk about a decade after they leave? How does he or she personify your school culture and the best of your MBA program?

Eggers: “My colleague Professor Dolly Chugh. Dolly is an award-winning psychologist who studies how and why most of us, however well-intended, are still prone to race and gender bias. She is a world-class teacher who cares deeply about her students; she leads by example when it comes to EQ. Her research is cutting-edge, highly visible, relevant to the real-world, and accessible and translatable to the classroom.  She is an author of several books, and her work has appeared in outlets from Harvard Business Review to Goop!”

NYU Stern Interior


1) Focus On EQ: “Stern’s focus on EQ is a big draw for me. In my career, I’ve worked extensively in sales, political advocacy, and education. In these areas, our challenges are human rather than technical, and EQ was critically important for approaching them as people, not puzzles. Developing an emotional connection or an intuitive mutual recognition with a prospect, legislator, or student – or even a co-worker – is far more critical to surmounting challenges at the highest level than are issues of technical know-how. Stern’s EQ-forward program represents a broadening recognition of that fact and the necessity of EQ skills for rising executives.”
Joe Geoghegan (’24)

2) New York City: “NYC is one of my favorite cities, and the thought of living in the epicenter of corporate headquarters, diverse cultures, and the best food scene excites me! NYC exposes you to so many careers; it is the perfect place to explore what you want to do and learn what is out there. Being able to visit companies, network with like-minded peers, and have industry leaders a stone throw away will be a great learning enhancement.”
Lana Harfouche (’24)

3) Veterans Support: “NYU Stern objectively has the best MBA program for veterans. The Fertitta Veterans Program and scholarship are the only one of its kind in the country. This can be an intimidating time for veterans, but Stern prioritizes veterans and eases the transition from military service to the civilian sector.”
Thomas “Tommy” Jaeger (’24)

4) Entrepreneurship: “I specifically chose Stern because of their large entrepreneurship ecosystem. While researching Stern, I found out about a plethora of entrepreneurship resources that will help support my ambitions. The entrepreneurship resources that stood out to me the most were the following:

* NYU Entrepreneurial Institute: The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute leads University-wide initiatives to launch successful startups and commercialize technology created by NYU’s 60,000 students, faculty, and researchers. NYU Entrepreneurial Institute is a team of startup experts that offers funding, training, and guidance to current and future NYU entrepreneurs.

* The Leslie Elab: The Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab is a 6,800 square foot space where entrepreneurs from across NYU can connect, collaborate, and explore how to turn ideas and inventions into startups.

* Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship: Each year, the Berkley Innovation Lab serves hundreds of students, alums and other aspiring entrepreneurs through its venture competitions (which awards more than $200,000 in cash and services), venture mentor network, conferences, speaker series and technical assistance programs.

* The Stern Venture Fellowship (SVF): Supports NYU Stern’s high potential entrepreneurs in advancing their venture over a summer intern ship. Fellows will spend 10 weeks, full-time, developing their venture with guidance and support.
Pierra White (’24)

5) Programming: “I have often found myself getting bored with routine. In one of my earliest conversations with a Stern student, I asked him what he thought set Stern apart and he pointed me to the Change: Studio Program. From the moment I opened the YouTube teaser, I was hooked. Stern was teaching MBAs to embrace and drive change by learning to “thrive in ambiguity,” embrace lifestyle design principles, and promote inclusive leadership. The entire program is based on cutting-edge ideas being applied through on-the-ground experience that a program could only execute in New York City. I knew I had found a program with a philosophical approach to the MBA degree to match and challenge my own.”
Joe Geoghegan (’24)

“Books and podcasts have helped me learn about venture capital and impact investing, and I’ll very likely take a class on VC funding at Stern. However, I learn best through hands-on experience, and that’s exactly what the NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) offers. NIIF leverages industry expertise to support student investors looking to invest in social enterprises. Students source deals, speak with founders, and conduct due diligence. Having worked at a venture-backed startup prior to Stern, I’m looking forward to participating in NIIF and seeing the other side of the coin.”
Deshani Gunathilake (’24)

“Stern Speaks! This is a series of events where students are able to, in a confidential setting, share any part of their story in a vulnerable way with their peers. This tradition is another indication to me of the vulnerability and openness of the Stern community. Building your network isn’t just about professional connections, but about creating trust and understanding of one another’s lived experience. This tradition is such an amazing way of allowing our community to transcend those surface-level barriers. (And I am so honored to be a Stern Speaks Speaker at the next iteration of the event!).”
Shruti Nanda (’22)

“When the school year kicks off, the university (and the wonderful folks at Stern’s Office of Student Engagement in particular) puts on some excellent programming through Launch MBA Orientation to welcome Sternies to New York City. One of the more memorable and magical experiences is a private dinner for the class at Ellis Island, which was held outdoors in our second year. My classmates and I traveled by ferry, enjoyed stunning views from the water, and savored a great meal with each other; it was a good time. This was especially lovely for my class to do after spending so much of our first year isolated due to the pandemic. It is a really lovely evening that showcases two of the things that makes Stern so unique: our location and our people”
Khalil Zueh Romain (’22)

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Cesar J. Cepeda New York City, NY U.S. Naval Academy U.S. Navy
Mariam Doudi Dearborn Heights, MI University of Michigan Ford Motor Company
Joe Geoghegan Louisville, KY American University Divergent Solar
Deshani Gunathilake Seattle, WA Lynn University RoadSync
Lana Harfouche Chandler, AZ Arizona State University Boeing
Tommy Jaeger Denver, CO U.S. Military Academy U.S. Army
Ian Kim Seoul, South Korea Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Ottogi Corp.
Jason Ruifeng Zuo Beijing, China Harbin Normal University OPPO KSA
Pierra White Detroit, MI University of Michigan J.P. Morgan Chase
Albert D. Williams Jr. Bronx, NY Ohio University Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

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