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Program Spotlight: NYU Stern Consulting Corps and the New York City Fashion Industry

Courtesy NYU Stern and CFDA

New York University’s Stern School of Business created its hugely successful Stern Consulting Corps (SCC) in 2002. Since then, numerous Stern MBA students have offered their time and expertise to companies in need of pro bono growth and support, including the William J. Clinton Foundation, Accion USA and the World Wildlife Fund. Stern students work for ten weeks during one semester and, in exchange for their work, receive invaluable real world experience in their focus industry.

SCC’s relationship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) began in 2011 and has been an enormous boon for both students and up-and-coming fashion designers since. Stern students work with a CFDA program called {Fashion Incubator} which offers crucial financial guidance to ten up-and-coming fashion designers based in New York.

Stern MBA students assigned to the {Fashion Incubator} project are each paired with a designer or designers and, for 10 weeks, lend their insights into how raw design talent can be translated into revenue and financial success. Their tasks range from creating business plans to conducting market research to identifying new growth opportunities.

Ten Stern MBA students recently completed the CFDA/Stern workshop, a ten week stint working with {Fashion Incubator} and professional mentors in their target fields. All ten students were women and most came to Stern with a background in and passion for fashion, luxury retail and marketing strategies. Their pre-MBA professional backgrounds ranged from real estate management at Walt Disney to marketing at Chanel, but all shared a common interest in the intersection of business and the New York fashion scene.

The CFDA/Stern relationship allowed these ten women to connect their MBA education to the industry they love, augmenting their classroom experiences with on-the-ground industry insights and connections.

The Stern Consulting Corps was designed to benefit both Stern MBA students and the businesses they work with. Student and industry feedback suggests the SCC/CFDA partnership has achieved this goal, providing valuable creative exposure to NYU Stern MBA students and strengthening the business side of the fashion industry.

[Photo courtesy NYU Stern and CFDA]

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