Scott Dunleavy, Tech MBA 2024
South Brunswick, NJ
- Pre-MBA Employer
KPMG - Technology Audit and Assurance
Tech Product Management, FinTech
Stern Technology Association, FinTech Association, Leadership Fellows
Why did you decide to pursue the focused one-year MBA program?
Given my background in technology risk consulting at KPMG, and my undergrad MIS degree from Villanova University, I knew that I wanted to remain in the tech space post-MBA. The one-year focused Tech MBA program has allowed me to pursue my MBA, and further develop my business and technical skills all within one year. Given the rapid changes in the tech space, I was not interested in a 2-year MBA program, as I wanted to get back into the tech space within one year of pursuing my MBA. While at KPMG I worked with some of the world’s largest financial institutions and helped my clients to identify and mitigate risks in their tech ecosystems. I discovered a passion for building and developing products as a consultant and wanted to make this my full-time career. Therefore, I decided to pursue the Tech MBA program at NYU Stern to develop the business and technical skills necessary to be a Product Manager in the FinTech space.
How did you find a sense of community and support within Stern?
From day 1 of orientation, I have felt a sense of community and support from my Tech MBA Cohort. The Tech MBA cohort is a tight- knit community of about 50 students. The Tech MBA experience is a unique one because you take classes with your fellow Tech MBAs throughout the summer. I have made great friends within the Tech MBA community, and truly feel at home here. I also feel a strong sense of community with my Leadership Fellows classmates. Leadership Ffellows is a yearlong course where you participate in experiential learning as it relates to Leadership. My class has 11 students and is a very tight- knit group that meets once a month on Fridays for full- day sessions from 10 am - 4 pm. Leadership Fellows has been an incredible experience, and I have learned so much about leadership, and myself.
How would you describe the culture and community within your class?
The culture and community of the Tech MBA cohort is great. The Tech MBA cohort is very collaborative and is always looking to help each other out. In the Summer we take courses ranging from core business classes such as Finance and Accounting, to more technical classes such as Dealing with Data (Python) and Databases for Business Analytics (SQL). Some students come from a business background and were always willing to help those who needed help with Finance or Accounting, and others came from a software engineering background and were willing to help those who had less SQL or Python experience. The community here at Stern, and specifically in the Tech MBA is a special one.
What was your favorite class at Stern?
My favorite class so far at Stern has been Networks and Mobile Foundations with Professor Taylor Valore. In this class, we are building a functional application using low- code tools. The exposure to APIs, Databases, and Product Development in this class has been second to none. This is a very hands-on technical class, and this was exactly the experience I was looking for in a Tech MBA. I had been working in the Tech / Financial Services Technology space for 5+ years at KPMG, but as a consultant, I was rarely getting hands-on experience building and developing products. This class is challenging, fun, and rewarding.
What has been a highlight of your Stern experience?
The Stern Solutions and Tech Solutions courses in the Summer and Fall Semesters have been the highlight of my experience. In the Summer, my Stern Solutions team was fortunate to work with Salesforce. We helped Salesforce to identify generative AI opportunities among their existing products and helped them to formulate a Go-To-Market strategy for generative AI- based products. During the Fall sSemester, my team of 3 Tech MBAs has been able to work with Klarna (Buy Now Pay Later Payment Solution) on their express checkout experience. Working with real- world clients and solving problems at the crossroads of business and technology has been an incredible experience. The experiential learning courses at NYU Stern, and specifically in the Tech MBA are second to none.
Why did you choose NYU Stern?
I grew up in New Jersey and had been working in New York City with KPMG prior to pursuing my MBA. I knew that I wanted to stay in New York City because I wanted to stay close to home, as well as the amazing career opportunities in Finance and Technology here in NYC. NYU Stern is a top MBA program, located in the heart of the greatest city in the world. The location and the pedigree of Stern’s Tech MBA program are why I chose NYU Stern.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Find the MBA program that feels like home. Have a good understanding of why you want to pursue an MBA, and what skills you want to develop, and find the program that will offer the best experience for YOU. Personal fit and comfort with the program is the most important aspect of choosing an MBA program.
How has Stern’s location in NYC impacted your experience?
New York City is an amazing place to be a student. When I left KPMG to pursue my MBA I was very excited about the prospects of being a full-time student again, and there is nowhere I would rather be than NYC. While the 1 Year Tech MBA program can be intense and demanding, there is also time to enjoy the city! From the amazing restaurants and bars, to live concerts, Broadway shows, and live sporting events, there is so much to do in New York. Also, Stern’s alumni network in NYC is amazing. The New York City Tech ecosystem is so diverse, you have alumni working in Big Tech (Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google, etc.), alumni working in FinTech (Mastercard, Amex, Fiserv, Capital One, etc.), Healthcare, Sustainability, the list really goes on and on.