A strong network is the lifeblood of a thriving career as a business professional. MBA networking opportunities lead to better career outcomes, which is why the Sy Syms online MBA program is designed to facilitate meaningful connections—both personal and professional—between classmates who are, at times, thousands of miles apart. While the roots of the online MBA program are firmly planted in New York, its reach spans the globe.
Sy Syms online MBA students not only connect with their fellow classmates and professors via live online sessions and meaningful group projects, but they also have an exciting opportunity to participate in an optional five-day residency program, which is held in either New York City or Tel Aviv, Israel.
In a conversation with MBA Program Director and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Mark Finkel, he shared insights into the residency program and how it gives students hands-on experience with issues surrounding innovation, product development and scaling for a global marketplace. See how this exciting educational and networking opportunity elevates the MBA experience.
Residency Program Overview
The optional one-week residency program alternates between New York City and Tel Aviv and is an elective course in the online MBA curriculum. This immersive experience combines classroom work, visits with innovative companies and team projects to teach students how companies can innovate in a fast-changing world and how a new technology turned into a product can be scaled at a global level. Students have the opportunity to work with some truly cutting edge companies.
Ahead of the program, a company in its early stages presents to residency program participants with a series of problems they are facing. Then, during the residency, students work in teams to address those problems with the skills they have learned in the online MBA program and during the early days of the immersive experience.
“Generally, in the mornings we’re learning about how to grow an early stage company and very specific skills and applicable skills,” Finkel said. “And then in the afternoon, we’re going and visiting companies—accelerators and incubators—to learn what’s going on there. We’ve seen some extraordinary companies.”
At the end of the immersion week, students present potential solutions to the entrepreneur of the company they have studied during the residency.
Summarizing the residency program, Finkel said, “It’s very intense, very immersive. We go all day and then we usually go out and have fun at night. Students get a real sense of the early stage ecology in New York and Israel, respectively.”
Residency in Israel
Finkel outlined two reasons for Tel Aviv, Israel, being one of the locations for this residency program. First, he dubbed Israel as “startup nation,” noting, “So many companies have been started there in the last 10 years, in so many important fields, including medicine, nanotechnology, chips, autonomous vehicle technology and cybersecurity. And the energy level there is extraordinary.”
The second reason for basing the program in Israel is that Yeshiva University has deep connections in the country.
“Yeshiva University has 6,000 alumni living in Israel and deep connections to the business world there.” Finkel said. “So we're able to get an insider's view on what’s going on there.”
On one of the last trips to Israel, students worked with Mobileye, a principal supplier of autonomous capabilities in automobiles. The company, first founded in 1999, was acquired by Intel in 2017 for 15 billion dollars. Today, the company is focused on three technologies—automated driving, advanced driver assistance systems and mapping—and is dedicated to scalable go-to-market strategies, making it a perfect case study for Sy Syms MBA students.
“If you’ve ever been in a car where it warns you when you’re drifting into another lane, or there's a car passing you, that's all Mobileye,” Finkel said. “They're working on tremendous technology for the next generation.”
“Our students were able to go into Mobileye, see autonomous vehicles, see the technology in action, see how it was, see the future,” Finkel said.
Residency in New York City
In New York, students in the residency program also get to work with companies focused on future-making technologies. In the latest program in New York City, students spent time with Newlab, which is an incubator based out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Newlab is “home to over 800 entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors, solving the world’s biggest challenges with leaders and experts across industries and cities.”1
Like Mobileye in Israel, Newlab is a perfect fit for the MBA students to learn from as a startup and tech hub.
“Newlab is an incubator for amazing technology—all kinds of robotics and other kinds of technologies that are in early stages,” Finkel said. “We got to see an intimate early look at a lot of things that will be impacting the future of all of us.”
MBA Networking Opportunities Are Built Into the Online Master’s Program
Graduates of the online MBA program will find both the Sy Syms network and the broader Yeshiva University community to be crucial allies in their career journeys. The hands-on residency program is an excellent networking opportunity and puts invaluable skills learned through coursework into practice in the real world. This built in learning opportunity is just one aspect of the online MBA program that sets it apart.
“I think what we really try to do for the Syms online MBA program is first give students a real broad foundation and essentials of business, from data to marketing to accounting, and enable them to be confident using those languages in business,” Finkel said. “And secondly, we give them the opportunity to take a lot of electives and get more knowledge in specific areas like data, like entrepreneurship, like marketing, and work with some of the top professors in each of those fields.”
The residency program is one elective to consider to take the online MBA program to the next level, and to reap the rewards that this immersive experience has to offer.
To learn more about the online MBA program and all of the online master’s programs at Yeshiva University Sy Syms, including the online Master of Science in Accounting and the online Master of Science in Real Estate, visit our website or schedule a call with an Admissions Advisor.