MSOMS Program Directors Interview

To better understand the newly launched MS in Organization Management & Strategy (MSOMS) program, we sat down with the program's academic directors, Professor Joseph PoracGeorge Daly Professor of Business Leadership at NYU Stern, and Professor Christina FangAssociate Professor of Management and Organizations at NYU Stern. They both share details about the program development, unique and relevant curriculum, and career trajectories for the students in the program.

Can you tell us about the MS Organization Management & Strategy program. What makes it unique from other MS programs?

Professor Porac: Our one year intensive program leverages NYU’s New York and Shanghai campuses to create a cross-cultural dialogue about organization management across East and West. Successfully navigating global business requires understanding management fundamentals and then adapting them to local environments, and our program is unique in its ability to do just that by exposing students to experts and theories in two different global hubs.

Professor Fang: Learning, debating, and practicing the principles of management among peers in a challenging multinational program is a first step in this journey. We have designed the program to help students take this first step.

Walk us through the design of the program. How did the curriculum come together? Are there any courses in particular that you think are especially relevant?

Professor Porac: We designed our program to target recent college graduates with little to no prior business education or work experience. Students start the program with a Summer term in NYC, where they cover core topics on Leadership, Strategy, Communication Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Flows and Budgeting. Added to this coursework is a series of cultural and experiential events in and around New York City that will amplify and extend classroom takeaways. Students then take their learning to China and spend the Fall and Spring semesters at NYU Shanghai, where they delve into more advanced courses such as Interpersonal Influence, Team Skills, Strategic Thinking, Innovation, and Design Thinking.

Professor Fang: A particularly relevant course is the Capstone Project, which is a key feature of our program. This hands-on team project during the Spring semester in Shanghai focuses on solving a real world challenge, whether for local firms or multinationals operating in China. The Capstone not only provides students with the opportunity to put their classroom learning to use, it also exposes students to accomplished executives in a wide range of industries and companies. We’re really excited to see the students work together on these projects and navigate communication and collaboration with each other and their corporate client.

How does the new MSOMS program compare to a one or two-year MBA program?

Professor Porac: Our program is designed for new university graduates who don't necessarily have much business education or work experience. It’s a bridge between where they are now in their education and a first or second job in an existing business organization or start-up. Our focus is on providing students with the organization management knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their first job in business. Typically, top MBA programs are targeted toward slightly older applicants who already have four to five years of work experience and may even have a business-related college degree. Their focus is on educating students for general management positions through courses in a wide range of business disciplines. Our MSOMS program is complementary to top MBA programs. An MSOMS degree will help our graduates land a good job in business, which can then be used as a career platform for gaining the work experience and practical knowledge necessary to apply to the best MBA programs.

Tell us about the Advisory Board. How is their expertise incorporated into the program?

Professor Fang: Our Advisory Board is an outstanding group of seasoned executives and entrepreneurs with deep knowledge of the global business environment - both East and West. Our Advisory Board includes executives from companies like PwC, FedEx, Microsoft, AIG, Visa, CICC, Beike Financial and more. Their insights and wisdom have already and will continue to help shape the direction of the program in many ways, such as course content, case development, and Capstone projects. They are our sounding board, and a key link to important industries and companies.

This program takes place in both Shanghai and New York. How is the dual location incorporated into the curriculum and program experience?

Professor Porac: We view our dual campuses in New York City and Shanghai as a highlight of our program. We offer a world class education and distinctive cross-continental experience.

Professor Fang: In the classroom, leading faculty from both NYU Stern and NYU Shanghai encourage students to delve into complex organizational issues, such as how to organize and promote innovation across geopolitical boundaries, and attain skills necessary to drive innovation in today’s business. Courses will also include topically relevant case discussions, exercises, simulations and projects which have a dual country focus - how management and innovation from both East and West can learn and benefit from the other.

What are some of the skills that students will obtain during the course of this program?

Professor Fang: Today’s business environment is increasingly complex and uncertain, as geo-political forces of the world are being reshaped. It is not clear how the future competitive landscape will look. First and foremost, we train students to embrace this fundamental uncertainty, to fine tune their ability to acquire new skills, and to lead with confidence, agility, and conviction.

Professor Porac: More specifically, students learn how to analyze strategic landscapes, how to organize internal functions to handle external challenges, and how to manage team innovation and creativity for their respective organizations. In a capstone project, they will also apply and practice what they learn in the classroom in order to solve a real life problem faced by an organization, whether local or multinationals.

Can you say a little more about the program’s faculty?

Professor Porac: The Management and Organizations Department at NYU Stern is one of the largest and most distinguished management faculties in the world. We have economists, sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, and political scientists on our faculty, as well as individuals who span one or more of these disciplines in pursuing their research and teaching.

Professor Fang: Our expertise covers the full range of organization management and strategy topics, and our faculty are active in publishing in and editing some of the best social science journals. Faculty at both Stern and NYU Shanghai are also deeply involved in the key academic associations, and have earned distinctions and awards among their peers. A particular expertise of our faculty is the study of innovation and creativity in organizations, and we bring this expertise to the MSOMS program.

What are some of the jobs/positions/industries that you think students may pursue after this degree?

Professor Fang: Graduates of the MS in Organizational Management and Strategy will possess the organizational and innovation skills necessary to succeed in so many different industries. Some potential industries include consulting, health care, energy, manufacturing, logistics and banking, but the list goes on, as there are various opportunities that this program could lead to. Graduates will also join an NYU alumni network of more than 500,000 in over 180 countries, which is a huge benefit as they launch their careers.

What kind of students are you interested in recruiting to the program?

Professor Porac: We look forward to engaging with students who are early in their post-university careers, don’t necessarily have a business degree, but are looking for an edge in the job market. For example, you might be a new computer science graduate interested in starting your own company but you are not confident about your management skills. We can help build your confidence and would be interested in talking to you about what our program can do for you.

Professor Fang: Or, you might be a recent graduate in psychology who would like to move into management consulting. We can help increase your business knowledge and skills to make you more attractive to future employers. Or, you may have your sights set on working for a global multinational, but, as a recent chemistry graduate, you are concerned about fitting in and working in multicultural teams across geopolitical boundaries. We can help you acquire team skills and sensitize you to different ways of doing business in different parts of the world.

Professor Porac: Think of our program as a springboard, or a jumpstart, to a successful entry into the competitive job markets in Asia and throughout the world!