Welcome back to another addition of Stern Singles! We are so happy to present you COVID cuties with April’s most eligible bachelorette, Kate Burke.
“ I’m so glad to have gone on this MBA journey with someone who perfectly emulates Kris Jenner energy.”
I am frightened AND intrigued.
“Kate has this sense of humor that sneaks up on you, but cuts right to the heart of things. She’s the only person who’s made me feel enlightened as beer shoots out my nose”
That’s the type of release we all need right now.
Kate graced the Stern Community emerging onto the scene in Fall 2017, as a proud Blue Block member. I had the pleasure of meeting Kate in Tel Aviv earlier this year on the Israel DBi…you know, before the world turned into a dumpster fire. Kate had just been hired to manage client relationships for a fintech & cybersecurity start-up headquartered in Tel Aviv. I will forever be in awe of Kate’s confidence and candor, and her dead-on roast of the Dollar Shave Club.
I tried to provide more background on Kate’s life and aspirations, but she’s better at it, so take it from her:
Hi! I’m Kate Burke and my original plan in getting my MBA at Stern was to get promoted, but I ended up switching careers entirely. I spent most of my career in luxury strategy but recently landed a job as an account manager at a fast-growing tech company.
I love that the bulk of my work now is focused on negotiation and growth strategy, which I’ve studied throughout my courses at Stern.
Kate describes herself as “extremely competitive” and played sports in her undergrad years. Team sports taught me a lot about strategy and the importance of putting in the work to get the results you want. I invest a lot in my relationships with family and friends; coming from a huge family (40+ first cousins and growing).
Wow. Family is obviously very important to Kate and helped cultivate her sense of empathy, as well as sarcasm. Those go together like peanut butter and jelly.
What’s been your favorite part about the program?
The network! I am constantly impressed by everyone I meet at Stern, and I’ve made some lifelong friends through the program. The sense of community is crucial, especially when you are working full-time and coming to class nights and weekends.
It really feels like we’re all in this together, and any sense of competition is overshadowed by the overwhelmingly collaborative nature I’ve encountered within our community. So many people are willing to make connections that have the potential to lead to bigger opportunities.
Are you involved in any Campus groups or clubs?
I’ve been most involved in Luxury & Retail Club and Stern Cellar. I planned events like the industry networking night at Sezane and the wine & cheese pairing class at Murray’s!
Favorite Professor (so far)?
It’s a tie between Amy Webb (Predicting the Future of Technology) and Jack Hanlon (Retail Strategy & Analytics) – both amazing classes, taught by incredible, insightful, and motivating professors. The way they both incorporate current, real-world examples into class discussions is exactly what I had hoped to get out of my classes at NYU.
What excites you?
Traveling! I’ve done every type of international experience that Stern offers: spring break in New Zealand, summer exchange at Copenhagen Business School, and the winter DBi in Israel. I’ve always had an interest in working internationally as well, so all of these experiences have confirmed that I want to make that happen at some point in my career.
What scares you?
I used to be afraid of uncertainty, but going through the process of quitting my job, without another one lined up, was an incredible experience that made me embrace all the opportunities that can come along with uncertainty. It also pushed me to develop a stronger sense of self-awareness and to identify the personal and professional goals I want to achieve.
Speaking of scary uncertainties, we’re living through a plague. How’s work been during quarantine time?
I spend the majority of my time in quarantine strategizing with my teammates and negotiating with clients via Zoom. I find that I’m a better negotiator when I’m wearing real pants (or any pants at all).
Love that, and how do you feel about remote classes?
They are honestly going better than I thought. It’s not ideal, but I think we’re all making the most of it. Having a glass of wine seems to make a 3-hour Zoom class go by a bit quicker *(preach)*, and you’ve gotta hand it to our professors who are doing their best to manage an unprecedented situation.
Any viral boppers we should add to our quarantine playlist?
I have been listening A LOT to Harry Styles’ new album while in quarantine. “Adore You” is my go to song for any situation lately.
Do you enjoy dancing alone?
Yes! Specifically when I’ve got a great playlist going while I’m making dinner. Sometimes, I’ll even pretend my spoon/spatula is a microphone and get really into it.
Are you taking on any new hobbies right now?
Yes! I ordered a keyboard and am teaching myself piano. My ultimate goal is to be able to play songs from my favorite shows and movies, like the one from Big Little Lies (September Song) and the soundtrack to Love Actually (can’t get enough of PM’s Love Theme – if you know, you know). Pretty sure quarantine will be long over before I make any significant progress on this, but I’m happy to spend a few hours a week not staring at a screen!
First bar you are going to post-quarantine?
Oh man, this is tough! I moved to Brooklyn Heights right before everything shut down, so there are a ton of places I want to try once we’re allowed back out. Also, I’m also really excited to reunite with my team at work. Obica and Flatiron Hall are solid after-work happy hour spots. I’m also dying to get back to any bar with outdoor seating…City Vineyard on the Hudson is high on my list as well.
Favorite date spot?
I like to hit multiple places in one night…I’ll start at a nicer wine bar, like Bar Veloce and then head over to a dive-y place, like Greenwich Treehouse. If you’re comfortable in both places, then I’ll know it was a successful night.
HUGE fan of Greenwich Treehouse. Big time theatre scene.
Alright, final question, describe your ideal first post-quarantine date?
As long as the weather is nice, any outdoor date would be amazing. Keep it simple! Long walk along the river or through the park and grabbing drinks somewhere with outdoor seating. Been a big fan of spicy margaritas lately, so if we end up somewhere that has them, even better.
You heard it here first crew. I’d tell you to look for Kate around the city, but instead I’ll tell you to STAY HOME AND WASH YOUR HANDS. Give Kate a shout out on Zoom, and hopefully they let us out soon so I can get out of my room. Until then, I’ll be dreaming of sundresses and outside dates.
If you would like to nominate a classmate for future features of the Stern Spotlight, please email the Oppy staff at [email protected].