With yet another academic year drawing to a close, we congratulate the NYU Stern Class of 2015 as they graduate and embark on a new career in business. Though NYU Stern has traditionally been known for its strength in finance, accounting and consulting, we’ve worked with students who boast backgrounds in all different fields. Here’s a quick sampling of some of the projects we worked on with students in the past year:
- With Alicia Miller (MBA ’15) and Sarah Manning (MBA ’16), the Center is seeking to bring the riskiest, most dangerous garment factories out of the shadows and mapping their existence…literally. This first-ever map of the industry will provide important context for policy solutions geared at reforming garment factories in Bangladesh and around the world.
- Peter Leahey (MBA ’15) was, in some ways, a typical NYU Stern student specializing in finance and accounting. A former Marine, he served as Co-President of the Graduate Finance Association and will join Goldman Sach’s Investment Banking division in the fall. But by working with the Center, he was also able to cultivate his interest in human rights work while feeding his interest in finance. He helped conduct a survey of university and pension fund activity in ethical investing and researched efforts to quantify and compare returns from more sustainable companies. His quantitative skills also came in use when he penned an op-ed for the Dhaka Tribune, looking at export data and industry trends to project the growth of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
- For Nayantara Banerjee (Gallatin ’16), who has also helped to lead the mapping project, visiting a small unregistered garment factory on a visit to Bangladesh with the Center provided valuable context for her work. The factory had been humming with business until the larger, registered factory that had been supplying it with their excess orders panicked and ended this arrangement in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse. Now empty, the employees laid off, the factory serves as a poignant reminder that hiding subcontracting relationships leaves workers even more vulnerable to the harsh unpredictabilities of the garment industry.
We’re grateful to these students, and others like them, who have brought their unique blends of knowledge, business savvy and passion for human rights to the Center. Thank you for enriching our work! To the new students who will arrive in the fall, you’ve got some big shoes to fill, but we look forward to meeting you and hearing new perspectives on our work. In the world of business and human rights here at NYU Stern, there is never a dull moment.
For opportunities to get involved, check out our fellowships page.
April Gu is the Center's Associate Director. She earned her B.S. and J.D. from NYU.