Scholarship Spotlight: Financial Support Shifted Rebecca Whitney Into High Gear

Rebecca Whitney (MBA ’25)

Rebecca Whitney (MBA ’25) knows the ups and downs of professional sports, having spent eight years as a professional slackliner and trickliner. Slacklining is a sport similar to tightrope walking, and tricklining is the extreme version, involving bouncing, flipping, and spinning above the line. For a time, she was one of the best female slackliners in the world. The ups included paid world travel under contract to various sporting goods, magazines, and cosmetics firms including Reebok, People, and Mary Kay, among others, and an offer to join Cirque du Soleil as its first female slackliner. The downs included bruises all over and a nasty ankle break that ultimately convinced her it was time to move on.

A Salt Lake City native and psychology graduate of UC Berkeley, Whitney worked for the past several years as chief marketing officer for Tipsy Bartender, a do-it-yourself-cocktail recipe channel with more than 60 million followers, in addition to her slacklining commitments. Eventually she realized she wanted to return to sports, but in a business capacity. “I knew a formal business education was essential for the next phase of my career,” Whitney said. She applied to NYU Stern’s Full-Time MBA Program and was accepted with a full scholarship, the Kathleen A. Corbet Graduate Fellowship.


Receiving the financial support was “flattering and life-changing,” Whiney said. “It was exciting to be recognized as a woman in business. My long-term goal is to play a pivotal role in increasing the presence and influence of women in motorsports, both on the track and in leadership positions. The Corbet Fellowship eases my educational burden, allowing me to focus more on my studies and less on the financial constraints of graduate school. This freedom is enabling me to engage more deeply in my courses and extracurricular activities at Stern, each step bringing me closer to my aspirations.”


Rebecca Whitney (MBA ’25)


Whitney’s favorite aspects of Stern are learning and the warm feeling of the community. “I really love my classes, seeing where my skill gaps are and how to fill them,” she said. “The emphasis on EQ at Stern is real, with each student recognized for who they are, not just what they can achieve. I love being in a unique mix of fun, interesting, and motivated classmates.


She pursues a variety of extracurriculars as well. She belongs to the Stern Women in Business (SWIB) affinity group, and serves as an ambassador to the Forté Foundation, an organization aimed at encouraging women students to pursue business leadership roles. And she has not left sports behind. A lifelong athlete, she joined Stern Adventures on a ski trip to Mammoth Mountain over the holidays, runs along the West Side Highway, and organizes Formula 1 watch parties to introduce her fellow Sternies to the world of motor sports.


The ability to attend Stern with less financial pressure has introduced Whitney to New York City, with its intense pace, diversity, and vibrancy, and the long-time California resident especially relishes the access to major sports and entertainment companies, the restaurants, and generally the high-energy environment. “The Stern experience has surpassed my expectations in every way, and I’m starting to see the emerging mosaic of what my life could become, unveiling thrilling possibilities ahead,” said Whitney.