2024 Best & Brightest MBA: KJ Brown, New York University (Stern)

KJ Brown

New York University, Stern School of Business

“High-energy storyteller with a passion for people, art, and putting positivity out in the world.”

Hometown: Carmel, IN

Fun fact about yourself: I am writing a fiction novel, and I hope to publish it one day!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of South Carolina – Bachelor of Arts – Journalism and Mass Communications, French

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Signature Consultants, University Recruiting Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? New Balance – New York, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? I am actively recruiting for full-time opportunities post-grad, and I am excited to see where I will go next!

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-President, Entertainment Media and Sports Association; Vice President, Follies (Comedy Club); Vice President – Wellness, Management Consulting Association; Host, Stern Chats Podcast; Career Mentor

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of serving as Co-President of the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Association and having the opportunity to bring together diverse interests and individuals with unique experiences. It was a privilege to serve in a role that had a hand in meeting people where they were at, whether they wanted to pivot into the industry, wanted to be a sponge and learn more about this burgeoning space, or whether they were avid fans of anything from gaming to streaming to live sports, and everything in between. My number one aim in this position was to foster a welcoming community, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to learn from and support my peers.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of creating a new role for myself at my last company by pitching to the C-suite, and subsequently building out a strategic hiring program that helped the company get bought out; as a result, I was able to scope and scale the strategy to support the joint, $1 billion, global firm and work directly alongside firm leaders.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose NYU Stern because of the unparalleled access and opportunities the program offers as a result of its prime location in New York City. Coming to Stern gave me the opportunity to complete a semester-long consulting project for Warner Bros. Discovery, compete in case competitions for Paramount, Adobe, WeWork, and other companies, as well as attend company treks to TikTok, NBC Universal, YouTube, and Sirius XM.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Professor Jennifer Wynn. Professor Wynn teaches “Difficult Conversations,” and I was fortunate to be in her class and later serve as her Teaching Fellow. Professor Wynn cares deeply about her students’ personal and professional development and is always willing to lend an ear. She challenges students and encourages them to engage outside of their comfort zone. The content I learned in her course is something I am taking with me and using every single day. I am both a better professional and a better human being for having taken her class and having the opportunity to learn from her.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite course as an MBA has been Movie Marketing and Distribution – the entire course is hands-on, engaging, and offers in-industry experience. Our professor, Gary Faber, did an excellent job of discussing current events and bringing in media professionals. We also had the opportunity to participate in a marketing screening of an upcoming film. My favorite component of the class was the final project – creating a treatment, marketing plan, and financial strategy for developing a movie from pre-existing intellectual property and then presenting our strategic plan to industry executives.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA tradition at NYU Stern is Follies, our end-of-year comedy show, reflecting on the past year of our collective MBA experience. This event is put together by students, for students, and it is an opportunity to laugh and celebrate the end of our year, as well as fun and funny moments throughout the year. Last year, I had the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Vice President on the Board and perform in the show. This year, I am Chief of Staff for the club and I am writing sketches, producing, and performing. I am excited to end the year in the best way we know how – together, celebrating each other!

What did you love most about your business school’s town? It is hard to pick one aspect that I love about New York City – a shorter list would be what’s not to love. I love the people, the energy, the food, the culture, and the arts, but number one would have to be the hustle – it is hard not to be inspired by those around you and to be driven toward your goals, personally and professionally.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was most surprised at the personal impact of business school. Everyone, myself included, focuses heavily on the career aspect, obtaining an internship/job or pivoting into a new industry, and that is typically top-of-mind entering the program. But most people do not realize that if you are doing business school the right way, you will end up developing personally as much, or even maybe more, than you develop professionally. The best business schools bring the best out of you, and I feel fortunate that in my case that was NYU Stern.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate I most admire is Nashiya Moosa. I met Nashiya during LAUNCH (Orientation) but we became very close when we joined the Management Consulting Association’s Bootcamp Sessions. Nashiya is one of the most impactful individuals at Stern – she is a Graduate Ambassador, runs Stern Speaks (our version of student Ted Talks), and serves on numerous club boards, including Stern Women in Business, Stern Follies, and Stern’s Management Consulting Association. Nashiya is always willing to give her time and lend a hand to support a fellow or future Sternie – she is the epitome of the Stern culture. Nashiya is the first to send a “good luck” message before an interview and is the first one to celebrate any good news. Most importantly, Nashiya challenges her peers and brings the best out of everyone around her. For those reasons, and many more, I am thankful that Stern brought us together, and for the impact Nashiya has had on my MBA experience.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are the following:

-Work abroad!

-Start my own company one day!

What made KJ such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“What sets KJ apart is her unwavering dedication and tireless commitment to fostering a welcoming community and using her diverse interests to bring people together.

When KJ came to Stern, she had a mission – to explore her interests in Strategy, and Entertainment & Media and step outside of her comfort zone. In her first semester, KJ immediately became involved in the Entertainment and Media Solutions program, helping senior executives at WarnerMedia solve large-scale business challenges. This project provides students interested in entertainment with an experiential learning opportunity to help notable firms develop strategies. Without hesitation, KJ quickly immersed herself in her target industry and was not afraid to use her creativity and problem-solving skills to take on new challenges. As a participant in this highly-selective program, she now encourages other first-year MBA students to take advantage of the unique opportunities Stern offers for careers in the entertainment and media space.

It was no surprise to me when KJ was selected by her peers to be the Co-president of the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Association (EMSA) MBA student club. As Co-president, KJ ensures that students who are interested in a career in entertainment and media are well-informed and motivated to pursue a career in entertainment. KJ organized programming including panels, mini case competitions, career treks, and conferences to help students make meaningful connections and expose students to various aspects of the industry. For students recruiting for entertainment, KJ helps to provide structure in a fluid recruiting cycle and has built a strong support system for those going through the process.

Beyond her club involvement, KJ also serves as a Career Fellow in the Careers office and is consistently thoughtful in all interactions. In her role, she helps manage the front desk, books room reservations, schedules coaching appointments, and greets visitors including students, employers, and alumni. Even during stressful or hectic times, KJ maintains a warm demeanor and strives to help others feel prepared for exciting opportunities. I can always trust KJ to engage with peers in a kind and encouraging way. When students arrive at the front desk, KJ is likely to greet them by name or shout “good luck” before they head into an interview — ensuring each person feels seen and valued.

During our MBA1 Spring Kickoff Panel, KJ was a tremendous student representative and discussed her spring internship recruiting experience. KJ’s warm approach, positive sense of humor, and inspiring words helped first-year MBA students feel extremely supported in their recruiting process. Most notably, KJ reflected on how being resilient helped her navigate the recruiting process. She conducted her summer internship at New Balance as an MBA Strategy Intern, and shared how being open-minded and building genuine relationships were critical to her internship success.

It has been a privilege to work closely with KJ during her time here at NYU Stern — she truly makes our community stronger. I am so thankful that she is a part of this tight-knit community and proud of the contributions she has made.”

Fatim Lelenta
Career Coach, NYU Stern


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