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Nikki Novak, Tech MBA 2024

Nicole Novak
  • Pronouns
  • Hometown
    Chicago, IL
  • Undergraduate
    Marquette University - Marketing and Information Technology
  • Previous Industry/Company
    Strategy & Consulting (Accenture)
  • Specializations
  • Clubs/Involvement
    Social Impact and Sustainability Association, Management Consulting Association

Why did you decide to pursue the focused one-year MBA program?

After 7 years in consulting, I knew that I wanted to continue my career at the intersection of business and technology. I loved the focused program because it is innovation driven and had a strong connection to leaders in tech. However, the Tech MBA program still prioritizes core business acumen to ensure a well-rounded experience. For the reason that an MBA is truly an investment in yourself, I aimed to maximize my return on investment. I was confident in my ambition to pursue tech-focused career paths, so I knew that the Tech MBA program's 1-year curriculum would enable me to be the business leader, thought leader, and people leader I want to be.

How would you describe the culture and community within your class?

The culture within my Tech MBA class is definitely “pay it forward.” During your first day on campus, you will notice that your new classmates, faculty, and advisors genuinely want to be a part of the Stern community. My classmates are my teammates, when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. There is an honest willingness to teach, connect, and cheer on one another. I believe this culture comes from my class’s commitment to Stern to our personal growth, and dedication to relationship building.

What was your favorite class at Stern?

My favorite class at Stern has been Sustainability for the Competitive Advantage with Alison Taylor. This class opened my mind to the existential environmental and social challenges in business. This class focused on developing us as future leaders to proactively anticipate ESG issues and develop innovative solutions across people, processes, and technology in our future companies. It shifted my perspective that sustainability can be a tool to unlock new levels of success for a company while simultaneously building value for people, society, and the planet.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

When looking at MBA programs, I suggest you get clear on your personal and professional goals. Think about what these goals are for you during and after your program because this will steer your decision-making. An MBA is an investment in you, so maximize your investment. I’d also look at the core curriculum as it relates to your desired industry after graduation. For example, I knew I wanted to be in technology, so NYU’s Tech MBA program fit that criterion. Lastly, be yourself! As you talk to alumni and current students, and during your interviews, show up as your genuine self and ask the questions that matter to you. Get ready to lean into your MBA, because that’s what makes it worth it!

How has Stern’s location in NYC impacted your experience?

One of the most compelling aspects of NYU is its NYC location and connections with the community. One of my goals for my MBA program was to push myself and expand my horizons. Moving here from Chicago in May 2023, the NYC experience has exposed me to diverse communities, new professional connections, and of course new friends! NYU is uniquely positioned to create connections for students in NYC. For example, we were able to do in-person visits to innovative companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, and Uber. The opportunity to build my professional network in person around NYC is something that cannot be replaced. I have also enjoyed exploring NYC museums, the unique neighborhoods, Yankees games, and the pizza!