meet our members
Stories from the SWIB Community
Meet: Jessica Wong
Her Story: I'm a NYC native but I've spent over 10 years away from New York for school and my career, so attending NYU is a homecoming for me! I have an undergraduate degree in engineering and previously worked in the aerospace and industrial goods industry in roles in operations/supply chain, and technology.
Outside of school activities I love to teach group fitness. Les Mills Body Pump is the most popular program I teach but I am certified in other formats such as Yoga and Mixed Martial arts. I also enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures. I'm including these interests in my Stern experience by participating in a Stern Signature Project with students and a client team in Israel, and also learning Russian through NYU's Speak Freely program.
What advice do you have for women thinking about pursuing business school? Attending business school has been one of the best decisions I've made in my career, so I’d absolutely advocate for women to go to business school. I will also add that I considered pursuing my MBA for sometime and after finally deciding to apply, I appreciated the additional work experience I gained while considering full-time or part-time. There are definitely successful students who transition immediately after their undergraduate degree but I would recommend gaining full-time work experience prior to attending to extract the most value from this 2 year journey.
What advice do you have for prospective students? My advice for prospective students is to speak to as many current students as you can to get a feel for the school culture and community. In the end, many top business schools will be able to offer you many of the same programming or experiences but it's the community that makes all the difference. Stern's focus on Emotional Intelligence or EQ has positively affected my MBA experience and is not just a marketing ploy. Find what factors are important to you and get hints for them in your conversations with students.
What are some ways you’ve been involved in supporting women? I am a life member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that supports girls considering engineering as a career and supports women in the field of engineering.
Fun Fact: I have traveled to over 65 countries!
What’s your favorite part about being a student at Stern? Of course the community :) But another huge perk that might be underrated is being located in downtown NYC! To give two examples: Professionally, it has been so easy to meet face-to-face with professionals and the NYU alumni network, whereas, students from schools outside NYC often have to take day trips to NYC for a single meeting. Socially, the comedy club recently went to the Comedy Cellar and saw John Mulaney perform - where else does that happen, but New York?!
Pre-MBA Industry: Aerospace and Industrial Goods; Operations and Tech
Post-MBA Industry Goals: Consulting
Meet: Alexandra Friedman
Her Story: I grew up in Westchester, New York, and I attended Barnard College where I majored in Anthropology. Prior to Stern, I spent 5 years working in education. This includes 2 years teaching with Teach For America as a Corps Member in the South Bronx, as well as 3 years working in client services in education technology. This summer I will be headed to Seattle to intern at Amazon in their Retail Leadership Development Program. At Stern, I'm an AVP of Corporate Relations for the Management Consulting Association and an AVP of Collaboration for Stern Student Government. Outside of school, I mentor a high school student every Saturday through Minds Matter.
What advice do you have for women thinking about pursuing business school? My advice is to go for it! Business school is a fantastic opportunity to grow personally and professionally and to build invaluable relationships with classmates. The women I've met at Stern have been incredibly impressive, diverse, and supportive. The fact that I now have this extraordinary network of women I can go to and ask for advice and support is truly unique and specific to the MBA experience. The women at Stern truly believe in supporting one another and lifting each other up. Whether its through women's brunches, SWIB activities, or just general friendships, I feel so lucky to have built this network of future women leaders.
What advice do you have for prospective students? My advice is to use business school as an opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You should pick activities that you're interested in pursuing, but also ones that you may not naturally choose to be involved with outside of the safe space of business school. For example, if you're not very quantitative, you should choose classes that will force you to develop these skills. If you fear public speaking, take on a leadership role where you'll need to present in front of groups. Business school is a unique experience and should be used to develop in different ways outside of what one typically might choose.
What are some ways you’ve been involved in supporting women? Women's leadership is incredibly important to me and has been since my undergraduate experience at a women's college. Prior to Stern, I co-founded a women's leadership group at my former employer. Within this group I organized programming, led conversations about the wage gap and women's leadership, facilitated book clubs on these topics, and built strong relationships with other women within the organization. I also mentor a high school girl interested in pursuing computer science in college.
Fun Fact: I was a competitive cheerleader in high school!
What’s your favorite part about NYC? I live in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and I absolutely love it! I encourage everyone to step out of Manhattan and explore New York City's outer boroughs.
What’s your favorite part about being a student at Stern? My favorite part of Stern is my classmates! Students at Stern are unique in their constant desire to help one another. Whether it's organizing an accounting tutoring session the night before the final, prepping for interviews, or celebrating each other's successes, Stern students are always there for each other!
Pre-MBA Industry: Education, Education Technology
Post-MBA Industry Goals: Technology or Consulting