2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Luis E Luy, New York University (Stern)

Luis E Luy

New York University, Stern School of Business (Washington, DC)

Age: 34

“Family man and curious professional focused on seeking and delivering value-driven and impactful contributions.”

Hometown: Douglas, AZ

Family Members: Spouse (Vianka) and three children (Micah, Ever, and Jude)

Fun fact about yourself: I played cribbage with Gerard Butler while underway on a fast attack submarine.

Undergraduate School and Degree: United States Naval Academy; Bachelor of Science, American Politics and Law; French Minor

Where are you currently working? United States Navy, Acquisition Manager

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: NYU Stern Student Ambassador: I serve as a representative for NYU Stern and share my experience as an executive MBA student to help prospective applicants determine how the program may be a good fit for them. It is a privilege to be able to represent Stern and to meet great minds that may become lifelong connections through the Stern alumni network.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of staying true to my objective of ensuring that I maximized my learning experience during this graduate education endeavor. Back in 2010, after realizing that I had a clear path to graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, I determined that at some point I wanted to achieve a higher level of personal and professional growth, likely through the completion of a distinguished MBA program. EMBA graduation in July 2023 will not only memorialize my completion of the program requirements, but also the successful fulfillment of a personal commitment to become a graduate-level educated professional in the area/sector that most aligns with my core identity: business.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Being ranked as the #1 Supply Corps Officer (CHOP) in my submarine squadron since that recognition represented several excellent achievements by the two divisions in my department. My culinary services division executed effective training and achieved a nearly 100% promotion rate, and my logistics division achieved and maintained exact financial operations and was selected to represent the U.S. Pacific submarine force during a corporate level assessment. My logistics division controlled over $6M in operational budgets and a repair parts inventory valued at over $16M, also achieving repair cost savings valued at $3M.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor was Anjolein Schmeits, who teaches Valuation. Professor Schmeits is an exemplary professor, thanks to her positive, relentless, and energetic approach to teaching Valuation. She also went above-and-beyond by providing varied resources that cover a wide gamut of learning preferences so that all students could gravitate towards the tools that best compliment their learning needs. Her review sessions were excellent and an invaluable resource that helped me reaffirm concepts and succeed in her course.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I chose NYU for its earned and respected place in higher education. From there, I chose the NYU Stern Executive MBA program in Washington, DC because it was the best fit for my needs: a strong finance/quant program with exceptional staff and flexible format that supported my demanding work and home commitments. Once a month, in-person classes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have been manageable with my work travel schedule and weekend kids’ sporting events.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The biggest lesson that I gained during my MBA is that business is a multivariate challenge with many tested management strategies, mechanisms, and tools that do not assure success. The dynamic world of business consistently challenges the viability of achieving and maintaining the status of “growth/profitable star” or “cash cow.” Thus, my mindset evolved and I am now more comfortable with flexible solutions that leverage both the known and known-unknowns. Further, I am now more convinced that decisions should be evaluated for effectiveness on a periodic basis.

At work, I more aggressively pursue timely decisions over seemingly permanent solutions that are subject to longer decision timelines and greater potential for being overcome by events. The strategic and timeframe-sensitive lens that I have developed over the course of my MBA facilitated this approach and is an invaluable risk-mitigation measure in a more fluid decision-making process.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? My EMBA journey challenged my productivity and time management limits, especially as my work responsibilities increased and as the EMBA curriculum filled in. Though I’ve had a handful of surges to support all my work, family, and education demands, my most daunting juggle occurred in the last half of the second year of my EMBA. I had a final due on a Monday night, but also had two C-suite level meetings scheduled within about a week from each other, the second meeting being on the same day of my final. I had several late nights leading up to both meetings and didn’t make the progress I wanted to achieve by the second meeting.

My wonderful wife, Vianka, agreed to take on the full family load, inclusive of supporting the needs of three kids (e.g., soccer/ballet practices and more), but I was unable to squeeze out the hours needed to finish the final with margin. After my second meeting, Vianka took care of dinner, and I ate my meal as I worked my final. My efforts continued until the late hours of the night, and I eventually submitted the final and leveraged my telework agreement to catch up on some sleep the next day. As a full-time employee and EMBA student, be ready to test your limits. Lastly and of note, for the grand majority of my Stern EMBA experience, the professors and staff were understanding and supportive of my pursuit of work, life, and school harmony.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? I recommend considering the following when deciding which executive MBA program to apply to: (1) identify programs that offer your preferred course material and/or overall intended objective; (2) identify programs that cater to your preferred learning style (e.g., in-person/online, synchronous or asynchronous); and (3) identify programs that provide the resources, environment, and network that will facilitate your growth within your company/sector or pivot into a new opportunity.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? One of the biggest myths about going back to school is that it is a nearly impossible feat as a seasoned working professional with family demands. The reality is that we all have limited bandwidth and endless reasons why “now is not the right time.” Having a career and a family are all factors, but we can all achieve harmony by exercising discipline and commitment and adhering to whatever system works for each of us. Getting to the finish line will require sacrifice and grit, but having a supportive system around you (for me: my supportive spouse and patient children) is one of the most important aspects that enabled the completion of a demanding program like the NYU Stern EMBA. The people around me, my family, and classmates, have been a key facilitator in getting me out of the rough and through the most trying times. I am proud to say that the NYU Stern EMBA DC Class of 2023 always pulls through for each other.

What was your biggest regret in business school? There are many resources that I wasn’t able to experience, but wish I could have. For example, I would have liked to have overcome bandwidth constraints and participate in more of the seminars that are available to Stern MBA students or to have afforded myself the travel flexibility to attend Stern EMBA events in New York (a bit challenging with a family of five!). Yet, I did take advantage of other great events in D.C. (e.g., cohort dinner at Elizabeth’s On L and the EMBA DC 5 Year Celebration) and am very excited about the upcoming Stern EMBA DC Boat Cruise and EMBA Graduation.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Katie Truong, because she is an outstanding class leader, student, and colleague. Katie not only takes amazing class notes but consistently provides valuable insights and balanced perspectives based on facts or nuanced with specific qualifiers. She is an excellent communicator and professional but is also fun and a joy to be around. She is the subtle social butterfly that brings all together.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? I chose an executive MBA program over part-time because of its format. The once-a-month class session allows me to have the personal and physical engagement that I wanted out of an MBA program while allowing me to also tend to family life and work commitments. I also chose an executive MBA program that offered in-person class sessions because I prefer in-person interaction over virtual/online.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to achieve the highest ranks of leadership where my work and ideas can impact the greatest number of people. This may be in the form of an executive role in a public or private organization, company, or at the helm of a start-up of my own. My passion is in brokering deals that benefit all parties, i.e., “win-win” transactions, and I am keenly curious about technology and its advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. I look forward to becoming increasingly involved in the technology sector, where I can apply my experience and learnings drawn from NYU Stern.

What made Luis such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“When I first heard that Luis Luy applied to be a NYU Stern Student Ambassador, it came as no surprise. Luis is a true representative of the NYU Stern Executive MBA community and one of the most friendly people you will meet – a reason why he is named one of the best and brightest in his class. He is a strong academic performer and deeply committed to learning, and as class ambassador, he is constantly connecting with his peers and prospective students interested in the program. As a member of the US Navy, Luis’ military background has provided him with a unique perspective on leadership, strategy, and decision-making and he brings this extensive experience to enrich the EMBA community-both inside and outside the classroom. We are proud of Luis’ accomplishments and confident he will continue to have a positive impact in all areas, both personal and professional.”

Alanna Valdez
Assistant Dean of NYU Stern Executive Programs


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