There are over one billion active Apple products in the world right now. Extensive supply chain management enables this continued reach. Being part of the supply chain teams can also require advanced management and analytical skills, like the ones Andrew Kwan honed during the MBA program at NYU Stern. In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, hear from Kwan regarding why he pursued an MBA, what prepared him the most for Apple, and what about the work culture there appeals to him the most.
Andrew Kwan, NYU Stern ’19, Supply Demand Planner at Apple
Hometown: Summit, NJ
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Southern California – Accounting, Business Administration, & Sociology
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: NYU Stern School of Business, 2019
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 5 years in financial services
Post-MBA Work Experience: 1 year in technology
Why did you choose to attend business school?
Having only worked in financial services, I wanted to explore other industries and functions. I knew that business school would allow me to build upon skills attained in my previous work experience, while also providing plenty of opportunities to develop and explore other areas of interest as well. Most importantly, I wanted to meet a new group of people who would challenge and inspire me.
Why NYU Stern? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
NYU Stern provided the unique opportunity for me to apply my MBA education to the real world through its extensive experiential learning opportunities. Being based in NYC, Stern has many opportunities to interact with people and companies of all sizes and industries through formal consulting projects and informational coffee chats. I was fortunate enough to participate in many of these opportunities, including Stern Consulting Corps, Operations in NYC, and a “Doing Business In” course in Milan. This was a vital part of my decision making process since I knew I wanted to explore opportunities outside of financial services during my MBA.
What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
The biggest impact my MBA experience had was learning to become comfortable dealing with the unknown. The Stern curriculum encourages students to explore areas that interest them and pursue a tailored set of classes that matches one’s own goals. As such, I was able to advise different companies, study abroad in London, and engage the student body through different clubs. Few things had stringent rules or expectations, which allowed me to decide what my personal goals would be and how to get there.
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned at NBCUniversal Media in Los Angeles in Product Development & Strategy for their Digital Distribution team. Spending my summer at NBCUniversal solidified my interest in working in a changing industry where the team I’m on is making an impact on the future trajectory of the overall company. My team entrusted me with several projects where I could explore both historical and current trends affecting their business as well as providing actionable items to help guide future opportunities.
Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Two main factors were most critical in my decision: the people on my team and my ability to create meaningful impact in my role. The people I met at Apple were all incredibly intelligent and showed a genuine interest in getting to know me and what I wanted to achieve. Additionally, my role as a demand planner continuously challenges me to make decisions that impact the entire supply chain.
Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Find other students with similar interests and goals to help hold each other accountable and provide support.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
Start engaging with alumni earlier.
–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
Apple wants to know who you are beyond just your resume.
–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Get out of your comfort zone and say “yes” as often as you can to new experiences.
What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?
Everyone’s viewpoint is listened to equally, regardless of tenure or level.