Take a Breath, You Got This.

Courtesy of Wallpaper Studio.

Written by Catherine O’Connor

Hopefully you find what you’re looking for, or maybe these things will keep inspiring you to look for something new at NYU and Stern no matter how many semesters you spend here.


Today, it’s officially six and a half weeks until my NYU career comes to an end (and when this issue is released, only a few days). As much as I have loved, hated, struggled, celebrated, and learned during my NYU experience, I am leaving with an incredible sense of gratitude. I could bore you with the long list of people, things, and experiences for which I’m grateful, but I thought I would try something different—because as grateful as I am feeling today, I felt equally as confused and lost when I stepped onto this campus four years ago. I asked fellow upperclassmen to share with me what they wish they had known sooner in their NYU Stern experience. Now, I want to pass it on to you. Hopefully you find what you’re looking for, or maybe these things will keep inspiring you to look for something new at NYU and Stern no matter how many semesters you spend here.

  1. “I wish I had known how easy it is to get caught up in the two-mile radius around NYU (and how much there is to do outside of it)! Looking back, most of the craziest and funniest experiences in the past four years have happened outside of the confines of WSP to Union Square. NYC is one of the most exciting places with some of the most eclectic people and extends far beyond Manhattan. So I encourage everyone to go visit another borough, another city or even another country during your time at Stern!” -Jessica Ma, Class of 2018
  2. “I wish I had known: 1) Your GPA can only take you so far. 2) It’s okay if you’re not passionate about the same things as everyone else. 3) It’s more than okay to forge your own path.” -Kristin Wang, Class of 2019
  3. “I wish I had known that going abroad a different semester than “everybody else” is still better than not going at all. I went to NYU Berlin my junior fall instead of my sophomore spring, and I got to experience many European cultural events that don’t happen in the spring!” -Michelle Enkerlin, Class of 2018
  4. “I wish I had known that mentors, either young professionals, professors or students, are one of the greatest resources you can have for school, career, and life advice!” -Alexandra Grieco, Class of 2019
  5. “I wish I had known the importance of networking earlier on in my Stern career. You realize how small the world is and the connections you make that open doors to so many opportunities for you! As a senior now, I’d have to say the most important thing I’m taking away from Stern is the network of amazing people I’ve met!” -Mary Bunatal, Class of 2018
  6. “Before coming to Stern, I wish I had known that, if you’re not a finance or accounting kid, it’s going to be OK, and actually kind of exciting. You may feel lost in the beginning if you’re doing something different from everyone else (marketing and management are massively less focused on) but you will find your place and niche in Stern. And, when you do, it will feel so rewarding and exciting to step into something that’s not the same as all of your classmates. Long story short, the shakiness you feel in the beginning won’t last forever—take it as a challenge to really push yourself to find what you love to do.” -Maddy Pagnucco, Class of 2018
  7. “Revenue and net income are not the same thing.” -Pedro Tenreiro, Class of 2018

So from all of us to you: Take a breath, stop focusing on what everyone else is doing, and invest in yourself and your passion. You got this.

Wishing you all the best,

Catherine O’Connor

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