Meet The NYU Stern EMBA Class Of 2021

Jessie Spielvogel

NYU Stern Executive MBA Program

Location: Washington, DC

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Texan in DC in the social impact space. Love oceans, mountains, ramen, and great stories.

Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I like adventure travel and have summited Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest Base Camp, and enjoy scuba diving.

Undergraduate School and Major: Texas State University, BA in Journalism

Current Employer and Job Title: Vice President, Digital and Marketing, Fenton Communications

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Making the transition from working with general businesses to working in the international development and social impact space, which aligns with what I am passionate about, has been one of the most important and impactful accomplishments of my career. During this transition, I have learned about the inner workings of development and causes that truly require business solutions, and I have been able to engage with people and build communities around the causes I care most about. My work with Fenton is heavily steeped in social impact and positive progressive change. It has been an incredibly fulfilling experience that I would not have had without previous steps taken earlier in my career.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the MBA programming that led you to choose this business school – and why was it so important to you? Reputation was the biggest factor for me when making my decision on where I wanted to go to business school. I am very drawn to the entrepreneurial hustle of the NYU Stern community, and I was excited to learn that the program had made its way to where I live in DC. Stern has a stellar reputation. As someone who is self-funding my academic journey, it really mattered to me that I select a school with a solid reputation and network to tap into during and after my EMBA program.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have been working in digital and social media since 2010 when I graduated with my BA in Journalism. I felt the need to broaden my skill set to other areas of business if I am going to succeed and get to where I want to be long term. I think it’s important to have a full understanding of a business from the ground up if I am going to be an effective leader. The EMBA experience will help give me a wider breadth of knowledge to become an even better communicator, stronger leader, and more holistic, well-rounded asset to the company.

What has been your biggest difficulty in incorporating MBA studies into your professional and personal responsibilities? I am fortunate to work for a company that has been very supportive of my academic career and views my participation in the program as an asset. The most challenging part has not been on the professional side, but more on the personal side. My friends and family have been very supportive of the fact that I am heads-down studying if I am not at work, which has made this experience much more manageable. The hardest part has been saying no to some things I want to do (like some vacations and long-weekend activities)! But I remind myself that I’m investing in my future and that my friends, family, and job support me. That’s all that matters for the next two years.

What do you enjoy most about business school so far? The professors and the administration have been incredibly supportive when it comes to helping me and the full cohort navigate this new chapter of our lives. Many of us have been out of school for 10+ years, and they have been so wonderful to work with. The cohort itself is incredibly inspiring – everyone comes from a very different background. Our class profile is beautifully diverse, and everyone bonded really quickly with each other since the first week at orientation. When you’re going through something intense like grad school, you learn quickly that it’s a much more enjoyable experience if you take it on in solidarity with your peers. Very thankful to have the DC Class of 2021 with me through the program.

What percentage of your program cost is being paid by your employer? 0%

What is the top item on your career bucket list? A bucket list item for me would be starting a for-profit company centered around a cause that can and must be solved through savvy business solutions. Non-profits are crucial for spurring change, but ultimately, we need private sector support to see real social impact.

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