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Posts published in “Stern Spotlight”

The Graduate: Mark Smukler

“Find the intersection of what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at, find an opportunity that fits that intersection – and then pursue it. And don’t give up.” – Mark Smukler

The Oppy is reconnecting with some prominent NYU Stern alumni with our ‘Graduate’ series. Each month, we’ll interview notable alumni that have made an impact on their community and industry.

This month, The Oppy is featuring Mark Smukler (‘12), CEO and founder of Flow, a location-based app that makes it easy to discover and access the best coworking spaces, gyms, spas, and experiences around you. Mark and I sat down, virtually, to talk about his journey from finance to entrepreneurship, proptech, future of work and the challenges of building a marketplace business.…

Stern Faculty Spotlight Presents: Professor Marc DeBevoise

“You want to be engaged in what you do. Passion can be a hobby, but engagement ensures you’ll be excited about it, so you’ll work harder and network better.” 

This month’s Stern Faculty Spotlight is Marc DeBevoise, who has had an illustrious career in digital media and technology. He received his MBA from Stern, where he specialized in Entertainment, Media and Technology. He then went on to build a career in digital media, first as an executive at CBS and ViacomCBS through the digital revolution and into the current age of direct-to-consumer streaming, and more recently as the CEO of CBS Interactive and Chief Digital Officer of ViacomCBS.…

Stern Somebody: John O’Rourke – From Wall Street to Hollywood

The Oppy staff is proud to continue a feature called “Stern Somebody,” telling the stories of remarkable classmates and how they became the exceptional people they are today.

Meet John O’Rourke, a first-year Langone student from North Jersey who works and lives in Los Angeles and travels back and forth to New York for classes. I got the chance to speak with John last week when we bonded over watching movies in the theater (the only true way to enjoy films) and our love for Hans Zimmer, and I learned about how a guy who once dreamed of working on Wall Street went on to become a Director of Motion Picture Distribution at a Hollywood studio.…

Stern Singles Presents: Matt Givner

Meet our December Stern Singles bachelor, Matt Givner, a full-time MBA 2 student from California. Matt traveled a unique path before Stern that took him from teaching and living in China, to starting a digital marketing consulting firm in Denver, to working in the cannabis industry where he became Snoop Dogg’s close and personal friend. Okay, maybe not close, or personal, but he did work with Snoop which in itself is a rarity. Keep reading to learn more about our bachelor this month! If you would like to nominate a classmate for future features of the Stern Spotlight, please email the Oppy staff at

Stern Singles Presents: Sara Mitchell

Welcome back to another edition of Stern Singles. We are excited to introduce you all to another eligible Stern bachelorette, Sara Mitchell. If you would like to nominate a classmate for future features of the Stern Spotlight, please email the Oppy staff at

Hello Sara! Thank you for being this month’s bachelorette! Let’s start with an easy question. What brought you to Stern?

I went to undergrad for nutrition and was working as a registered dietitian ever since. I loved it but came to realize there wasn’t much career growth. When Covid hit I kind of re-evaluated everything and decided business school was the best way to make a career switch.…

The Next Step: Ross Gordon of Sounder

‘The Next Step’ is a monthly series that features recent graduates who’ve made exciting moves after Stern. We hope that their stories will inspire you and excite you about what’s next.

This month, The Oppy is featuring Ross Gordon (Dec. ‘21), soon-to-be tech MBA and chief of staff at, a podcast company that is shaping the future of audio. As a former colleague of mine from our LinkedIn days, I was delighted to sit down with Ross and to have the opportunity to share his story. Read on to learn more about Ross’ professional journey and his non-traditional path through the Tech MBA and to Sounder, which involved ingenuity, hard work and a touch of serendipity.…

Stern Somebody Presents: Josue Gonzalez

The Oppy staff is proud to continue a feature called “Stern Somebody,” telling the stories of remarkable classmates and how they became the exceptional people they are today.

​​Josue Gonzalez is an MBA2, Bronze Star Recipient in the U.S. Army and small business owner. He’s also going to McKinsey in the fall after a successful summer associate internship. What an underachiever. Joking aside, Josue is among the most genuine and helpful people at Stern, with an easy laugh and quick sense of humor. I had the pleasure of first meeting Josue through consulting prep. Despite my clear lack of experience and comfort with casing, he patiently guided me along and helped me work on my frameworks.

Stern Singles Presents: Khalil Romain

Meet our November’s pick for Stern Singles, Khalil Romain. Khalil is a MBA 2, the co-president of AHBBS, VP of Corporate Relations for SGov, VP of Corporate Relations for GMA, and VP of Club Partnerships for Canna Business. Not only is he an extremely active member of our community, he is one of the most genuine, optimistic people you can meet, as a group of MBA 2s puts it, “Khalil is the heart and soul of Stern, you would be lucky to have him.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

So as I told you earlier, I consulted with my group of girlfriends, you came very highly recommended.

Stern Singles Presents: Sanjana Shankar

It’s hard to get the full picture of someone in just a 30 minute Zoom interview, but I think I’ve got a great one for you this month, Sternies. 

Sanjana was nominated by a fellow full-timer who gave the literal quote: “Sanjana is great, dynamic, and into it.” That’s the strong and short delivery to describe November’s bachelorette. See below for another testimonial: 

Sternie Testimonial: 

“WOW WOW WOW. Sanjana is the Wonder Ball of people: you already love what’s on the outside, but you’ll be captivated by the inside. Sanjana is a cross-functional friend: a confidant, a phenomenal karaoke partner, a helpful hand to a classmate in need.

Stern Faculty Spotlight Presents: Simon Bowmaker

This month’s Stern Faculty Spotlight features Professor Simon Bowmaker, Clinical Professor of Economics at Stern. His most recent book, When the President Calls: Conversations with Economic Policymakers, features interviews with many of the top economic policymakers in recent U.S. history. He is currently writing a book about the U.S. Federal Reserve. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Hi Professor, thanks for agreeing to be our Faculty Spotlight for November. Let’s start off by introducing yourself, where you’re from, and what you teach at NYU.

I’m from a city called Sunderland, which is in northeast England. That’s where I was born and raised, and I’ve been in New York City since 2007.…

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