2017 Best EMBAs: Renee M. Vieira, New York University (Stern)

Renee M. Vieira, Psy.D, MBA

New York University, Stern School of Business

Age: 39

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Thoughtful and compassionate person, who wants to positively impact others in small and big ways.

Hometown: Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

Family Members: Parents – Elizabeth & Richard; Sisters – Sonya & Rachel

Fun fact about yourself: I sang in an acapella group in college, On A Different Note, and recorded a CD.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Doctorate, Organizational Psychology (Psy.D) – May 2008

Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology, Piscataway, NJ

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Psychology Major & Sociology Minor – May 1999

Drew University, Madison, NJ

Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude

Where are you currently working?

Time Warner, Inc. NY, NY

Executive Director, Global Organization & Leadership Development

Columbia University – Teachers College (One course during the spring semester)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Social-Organizational Psychology Master’s Program

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • College: Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude
  • Dancing

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud that I was able to execute all of my Stern class deliverables as a student, while also teaching at Columbia’s Teachers College. Being a student again has made me a better teacher.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the way in which my doctorate in Organizational Psychology and now MBA, have allowed me to provide expert advice to senior executives. More specifically, I was promoted at work as I entered my second year at Stern. I was given increased responsibility and led several high-profile initiatives.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Sonia Marciano illuminated each of our Strategy classes with her wit and memorable stories. I admire her sense of humor, directness, and ability to challenge students to perform their best.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? NYU Stern’s Executive MBA program is highly-ranked and recognized in the business school world with top-notch faculty. I was immediately impressed with their admissions process and their rigor in admitting a diverse, thoughtful, and experienced group of people.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? I was able to juggle several priorities successfully by focusing on how best to manage my time and how to reach out to others for support. This was especially important when I was attending Stern, working full-time at Time Warner, and teaching a course at Columbia’s Teachers College. It was critical to carefully plan my days and determine when I completed which tasks. In addition, I enlisted the support of work/school colleagues and friends to help when they could.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s executive MBA program? Stern’s Executive MBA program focuses on creating a student body who embraces diversity of thought. They look at the individual from a holistic view; it’s not just about grades, it’s about who you are.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? During my first week at Stern, an alumna said, “This will be harder than you think.” Having an advanced degree already, I believed going back for my MBA would be hard, but very manageable. The alumna was right; it was harder than I thought it would be. The time spent in class and completing assignments took a tremendous amount of effort and focus.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Spending too much time studying vs. hanging out with my classmates; learning from your peers is what business school is all about. 

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One of my fellow classmates, Rachel, has her MD and worked in critical care. She always brought a unique medical perspective into class conversations, which forced me to challenge some beliefs and most important, to always keep things in perspective.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that I could make a more significant impact in my current role (working with senior executives managing change) if I better understand the strategic, financial, and operational aspects of the business world.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still happy in my current role at Time Warner.”

What is your favorite company and what are they doing that makes them so special? Dress for Success is a non-profit company that enables women to achieve their goals. Their mission is to “empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”

This company is so special because they focus on women and ways to help them realize their life goals.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the executive MBA experience? Given the wealth of experience and perspectives in the Executive MBA student population, I would create a class where students shared leadership stories and lessons learned. In addition to the stellar faculty, the students bring the content to life.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To become the Chief of Staff, reporting into the C-suite, for an organization or function undergoing a significant cultural transformation.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My sister, Sonya, who has always provided her support and wisdom throughout my academic career. Her perseverance, strength and intellect continue to inspire me.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Renee is a thoughtful and generous colleague, who is always there to listen, ask questions and provide guidance…and does so with a sense of humor.

Favorite book: The Great Gatsby

Favorite movie or television show: Best in Show

Favorite musical performer: George Michael

Favorite vacation spot: Bermuda

Hobbies? Dancing (ballet, tap, ballroom)

What made Renee such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Renee Vieira represents everything that an Executive MBA student should be. She has a senior-level job as Executive Director of Global Organization and Leadership Development at Time Warner Inc. At NYU, she was totally engaged and a thought leader. On Global Study Tours, Renee was there in the front row, asking questions of our hosts. Back at Stern, when the program asked for feedback on a given issue, Renee was there, giving constructive feedback and encouraging others to do so. She participated in the social life of the program, yet maintained her personal ties. Renee made something that is demanding of time and intellect look easy.”

MaryJane Boland
Senior Director
Executive MBA Student Services, NYU Stern