facade of the Stern School of Business building

Structured Flexibility

When I first started at NYU, I only knew one thing: business intrigued me.

So, I joined the BS in Business program. With this program, I could select up to two business concentrations from 12 options. The path was mine to choose, from marketing to sustainable business and operations to finance.

While this was an amazing opportunity, I also felt challenged to figure out exactly what I wanted to study. I took a general economics course in high school, but my exposure to business matters was limited. However, this challenge fueled a desire to explore and discover my likes and dislikes. What did these different concentrations actually mean? How did they really operate?

Still, I wanted to use my time wisely. I’m an ambitious student. Who wants to waste valuable credits by being indecisive?

The Stern Core Curriculum was really helpful in my academic journey and exploration. One of Stern’s curricular requirements includes core coursework for at least four of the 12 concentrations. These courses make up the Functional Business Core.

I went through three concentration changes while learning the Stern Core Curriculum. Now, as a senior, I can confidently say I likely wouldn’t have found what I love without NYU Stern’s encouragement to explore different concentrations. Consequently, I would not have found the career path I was really interested in.

Where Do I Begin?

My first year, I pressured myself to declare a concentration. I was immediately drawn to finance, since it is one of the most common concentrations. Additionally, as an international student, the global business concentration interested me. I wanted my work to be globally-focused even if I did not know exactly what I wanted to pursue. It was an easy choice to make, since I was studying at one of the most international universities in the world.

While I loved the classes I was taking, I was also curious what else was available. In comparison, my peers explored very different concentrations from me. I wondered what else I might discover out there within my major. Accordingly, I added variation to my classes and used NYU’s job-seeking platform, Handshake, to find some practical experience.

A group of students formally dressed and smiling
My business fraternity my first year at Stern
Experience and Discover

In my sophomore summer, I participated in an exploratory internship at a fintech start-up. I loved the flexibility to learn and that interns could get involved in projects. Through this experience, I discovered and fell in love with marketing.

At the start of my junior year, I spoke to Stern advising and changed my concentration to finance and marketing. I was so happy to be a true marketing concentration. I even kept my summer internship throughout my third year. At the same time, the summer before my senior year felt like an opportunity to try something new before committing to full-time work.

Once again, Handshake came to the rescue! I filtered opportunities by all the details I wanted and found a summer banking internship.

A group of students holding swag bags and wearing hats
The group at my marketing internship
Changing Course My Senior Year

My last summer in college, I worked as a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) intern at an investment bank. I can positively say that it was the experience of a lifetime. M&A was the perfect combination of finance and marketing. Plus, I learned a plethora of new skills surrounding data analytics.

That summer, I realized it might be a better use of my time to learn some analytical skills. I loved marketing, but to succeed in M&A, I wanted to learn more about data science.

The problem? I thought, “I’m a junior…isn’t it too late to change my mind AND my major?”

Luckily, Stern advising is also available over the summer. In a matter of hours, I was speaking to my adviser. He told me there was no reason why I couldn’t switch my concentrations to finance and data science. I was stunned!

To double check, I told him that I was a senior and wanted to graduate on time. Again, he assured me that I could pursue data science. I could even graduate early if I wanted! 

Time to Reflect

Arriving in my senior year at NYU Stern, I am now a Business major with concentrations in finance and data science. While my path was not straightforward, I investigated different fields to find out what I’m genuinely passionate about.

If not for the encouragement, flexibility, and support of the Stern Core Curriculum at NYU, I would not be graduating certain of my major and excited for my path forward.

Annabelle is a Senior at the Stern School of Business concentrating in Finance and Computing & Data Science. Born in Germany, Annabelle has spent time all over Europe in Switzerland and England, which makes the US the fourth country she is taking on in her lifelong adventure. When she is not giving tours, you will be able to find her people watching in Washington Square Park or trying the newest bakery around campus. Annabelle is involved in NYU’s Greek Life through a Panhellenic Sorority and a professional Fraternity, as well a social-impact consulting club, 180-Degrees Consulting. Throughout the last 3 years, she has learned to make NYU her home and aims to help others find theirs.