Reasons Why the
GSB at Stanford Matters Most to So Many

Reasons Why the GSB at Stanford Matters Most to So Many

Innovation and collaboration lie at the heart of GSB, the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Its two-year full-time MBA program prepares students to “change lives, change organizations, change the world” while studying at Stanford’s 8,100-acre residential campus near Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley, by the hip Bay Area. Don’t forget the moderate 60-70 degree-weather and beautiful sunshine all year.

Sounds like a dream?

Read on to find out if GSB Stanford is The One for you

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Why we love the GSB Stanford MBA Program

Stanford MBA Students Enjoy a Close Collaborative Community

GSB’s small class size (around 400 students) fosters a highly collaborative culture that gives GSB MBA students the freedom to think boldly and focus on cultivating strong relationships.

Stanford MBAs deepen their relationships through a mix of mall groups seminars, team-based challenges, simulations, role-playing, and hands-on experience. First-year students engage intellectually and emotionally with their diverse peers through meaningful conversations in GSB Pods led by second-year MBA students.

Every week, TALK helps bring the GSB community even closer together by giving a platform to two students to share their personal story with the entire GSB community for 30 minutes each. Student-run coffee chats also offer an opportunity for participants to expand their personal and professional network by bringing two classmates together to talk about whatever is on their minds. For a closer glimpse of what student life looks like, check out GSB’s “Week in the Life” series.

GSB’s activities are centered at the recently-built and environmentally-conscious Knight Management Center (12.9 acres with 9 buildings named after GSB alum and benefactor, Philip Knight, founder of Nike), which is designed with plenty of meeting spaces to foster collaboration. There are 50+ student clubs where folks can bond over common interests, identities, career goals, and passions. Let’s not forget that living in close quarters in residence halls on campus or in nearby subsidized student housing also fosters a close-knit community at GSB.

Alumni report that by the end of two years, everyone in the Stanford MBA program gets to know one another pretty well.

Stanford GSB Brings Innovation and Big Ideas to the Classroom

Stanford GSB is constantly innovating its pedagogy and revising its curriculum. It makes sure to incorporate cutting-edge ideas in tech and business to better equip its MBA students with the skills necessary to lead our ever-changing world. Professors have the freedom and flexibility to explore and create new pedagogical styles that work best for their given subject matter and teaching goals.

One of the most recent additions to the GSB’s teaching methodology is the Action Learning Lab, which kicked off in the 2019-2020 academic year and is led by Faculty Director Yossi Feinberg, Adams Distinguished Professor of Management and Professor of Economics. Through a set of immersive 10-week-long courses guided by various faculty members, MBA students gain hands-on learning experiences in small groups to solve real business challenges faced by real organizations.

Stanford MBA Students Are Fearless!

By emphasizing creativity, collaboration, and innovation, it’s no surprise that Stanford MBA students are not only super-smart and uber-accomplished (see Class of 2022 profile here), but they also have really big ideas for how they want to change the world. They are not afraid to think boldly or make mistakes when testing a new idea; the only true failures are missed opportunities to make the world a better place.

Check out the personal stories of diverse GSB students, alumni, and faculty at Voices of GSB to learn how they want to change the world in bold new ways!

GSB’s Culture is the Epitome of Cool – Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

GSB’s mission is to “create ideas that deepen and advance the understanding of management, and with these ideas, develop innovative, principled, and insightful leaders who change the world.”  

This drive to create change in the world also allows for a dynamic learning environment where ideas and people are in constant motion. With its focus on innovation and change, it is little surprise that GSB ranks as the leading MBA program in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship.

Through GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies MBA students can network at various entrepreneurial workshops and events, attend the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series, or join entrepreneurial-focused clubs. Also every year, around 10% of the MBA class  intern at an early-stage company (between 5-50 full-time employees) through the Entrepreneurship Summer Program (ESP) and 65% of those internships take place in the Bay Area.

Finally, budding GSB entrepreneurs can select from over 60 Entrepreneurship courses, the most popular being Formation of New Ventures and Managing a Growing Enterprise. They can also sharpen their skills through experiential courses like the Startup Garage, which is a project-based course that offers intensive, hands-on training in developing, prototyping, and testing a novel product or service, a business model, and a company creation plan. Another popular experiential course is Stanford Venture Studio, which is a self-directed and unstructured program offering students a trusted network of advisors, alumni, and mentors and 24/7 access to a coworking space in NGB CoLab, equipped with all sorts of tools and tech required for prototyping and experimenting with new products.

Stanford MBA Students Are Touchy Feely - Leading from the Heart

Not only are Stanford MBA students cool, but they are also heartfelt and principled leaders. GSB places heavy emphasis in its curriculum to teaching students how to lead from the heart—that is, leading authentically and ethically.

Through the extremely popular emotional intelligence course, affectionately known as Touchy-Feely Class (formally titled, Interpersonal Dynamics), MBA students learn how to communicate effectively as leaders and managers, but with warmth and compassion through small, T-group sessions of 12 students led by two facilitators. Many GSB alumni say Touchy-Feely was the most important class they ever took at Stanford because they develop greater self-awareness by seeing how their communication style affects others through peer feedback, and learn to better connect across differences and engage authentically with others. For more info on Touchy Feely, check out this Poets & Quants article and this Wall Street Journal article.

Stanford GSB Students Make the World Better as Strong Social Innovators

This ethos of creating strong, compassionate leaders also makes the GSB at Stanford the leading MBA program in social innovation and social impact. In fact, GSB was the first US business school to establish a center dedicated to supporting MBA students to pursue social and environmental change through research, education, and experiential learning.

Though GSB’s Center for Social Innovation, students can take specialized courses and earn a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation. They can also choose from a variety of experiential learning options such as: the Social Entrepreneurship Program and the Stanford GSB Impact Fund, or intern during the summer at a purpose-driven organization through the Social Impact Immersion Fellowship.

YouTube video

For more information on how social impact and social entrepreneurship at Stanford has exploded, check out this Poets & Quants article.

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What does the GSB at Stanford Believe in and Stand for?

Change lives, change organizations, change the world” is the GSB at Stanford’s motto. With its emphasis on innovation accelerated by collaboration, the only constant you can expect there is change.

As a world-class business educational institution, Stanford GSB’s mission is:

“to create ideas that deepen and advance our understanding of management and with those ideas to develop innovative, principled, and insightful leaders who change the world.”

True to this mission, GSB is constantly innovating and revising its teaching methods including the new Action Learning Program and Action Plan for Racial Equity. GSB encourages students to lead from the heart and always displaying empathy and compassion, which is emphasized in GSB’s infamous Interpersonal Dynamics (aka “Touchy Feely”) course. Further, it expects its graduates to change the world around them for the better with its strong social innovation focus.

GSB also values the entrepreneurial mindset focused on innovation and transformation:

“At Stanford GSB, we believe in the spirit of endless possibilities. So, together, we take chances. We challenge conventional thinking, invite and embrace diverse ideas, and collaborate to change the world.

This entrepreneurial mindset makes innovation and transformation possible. Growing up with Silicon Valley, this mindset is forever a part of our DNA. It’s our secret sauce; it seems somewhat intangible until you experience it firsthand — when you step on campus, take a class online or across the world, meet with faculty, talk to a student, or pitch an idea.”

Setting the bar high for itself, the GSB at Stanford also has high expectations of its students. In shaping its incoming MBA class, the GSB Admissions committee evaluates candidates on three main criteria:

  1. Intellectual vitality
  2. Demonstrated leadership
  3. Personal qualities and characteristics

What will you learn in the GSB at Stanford MBA program and how?

Stanford GSB divides its academic year into a quarter system. Students take classes during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, then pursue an internship over the Summer. During the first year, MBA students complete required core courses. In their second year, students can take a broad range of electives tailored to their interests.

First-Year Curriculum

First-year students learn to understand the larger context of management and gain insights into the perspective of a senior manager through core courses and one or two electives.

Autumn Quarter
  • Ethics in Management
  • Finance 1
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Skills
  • Managing Groups & Teams
  • Optimization and Simulation Modelling
  • Organization Behavior
Winter & Spring Quarters
  • Data Analysis and Decision Making
  • Finance II
  • Human Resource Management
  • Macroeconomics
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Microeconomics
  • Operations
  • Strategy Leadership
  • Strategy Beyond Markets
First-Year Global Experience Requirement

By the end of the Spring quarter, first-year Stanford MBA students must also complete the Global Experience Requirement through participation in at least one of the following opportunities:

  • Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX)

During the summer, students spend four weeks or more working on projects for (a) a sponsoring organization, or (b) a project that GSB sources, or (c) create their own GMIX tailored to their specific interests.

  • Global Study Trips

With a group led by student leaders, MBA students spend over a week in another country meeting various business stakeholders on the ground (CEOs, small-business owners, young professionals, government officials, and entrepreneurs) to understand their wide range of perspectives on a global issue.

  • Stanford-Tsinghua Exchange Program (STEP)

GSB students collaborate with MBA students from Tsinghua University in China and travel to Beijing for around nine days to participate in a variety of academic, business, and cultural activities with their host Tsinghua MBA students. GSB students then reciprocate the experience by hosting Tsinghua students when they visit Stanford GSB for nine days.

  • Self-Directed Experience

MBA students can also opt to either complete a global internship or an independent study course with a GSB professor on a global topic or issue of interest to them.

Second-Year Curriculum

When students return to campus in the fall, they can choose a variety of electives based on their interest from a selection of over a hundred courses (browse course descriptions here).

The Stanford GSB also offers compressed two-week long courses (two credits) for students who either want to maximize their exposure to a broad range of subjects or build a deeper knowledge about specific business topics while maintaining flexibility in their schedules to pursue career development or other interests.

MBA students can also cross-register with other Stanford schools and graduate departments. Up to 12 class-units outside GSB can be applied to your MBA degree requirements. Stanford d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford) is a big draw for many GSB MBA students. Project-based and experiential learning classes bring together Stanford students with explorer and experimenter mentalities from all seven schools across the university, to collaborate on creatively solving real-life challenges using design thinking.

Leadership Development at Stanford GSB

We already mentioned GSB’s philosophy of leading from the heart and developing emotional intelligence as a leader through the Touchy-Feely class. Here are some other cool GSB initiatives where MBAs learn strong leadership skills through hands-on experience.

 

Leadership Lab

Stanford MBA students are divided into 6-person teams or “squads” that engage in exercises and simulations solving real-life leadership challenges. Students build greater self-awareness at the end of each simulation by analyzing their decisions and behaviors with their coaches (second-year Arbuckle Leadership Fellows). They also receive feedback about their leadership style with the opportunity to experiment with new approaches and refine their own model of leadership.

 

Executive Challenge

The Autumn quarter culminates in a one-day Executive Challenge, in which nearly 500 students divide into 6-person squads to role-play three business case challenges. A three-personal panel of judges, comprised of accomplished alumni and faculty, judge the students’ strategies and leadership skills and provide thoughtful feedback and coaching to each student.

 

Arbuckle Leadership Fellows Program

Established in 2007 during Stanford’s MBA curriculum redesign, the Arbuckle Leadership Fellows Program focuses on helping students develop personal leadership awareness and skills. Students apply to become Fellows during their first year. Then, as second-year students, they receive training for two quarters to deepen their interpersonal skills so that they can effectively coach and mentor first-year MBA students in both small team settings and one-on-one.

 

Learning from Inspiring Real-Life Leaders

Stanford GBS’s famous View From the Top Speaker Series allows students to learn from well-respected leaders from around the world. A student interviews a famous guest speaker, who shares personal insight on effective leadership, their core values, and lessons learned from their own career and life journey. You can check out past speakers on GSB’s YouTube page.

Here are two of our favorite talks:

YouTube video

Bozomia Saint John – Global Chief Marketing Officer, Netflix

YouTube video

Tony Xu, Cofounder and CEO of Doordash

Communication Training for Leaders at GSB

As part of its mission to create leaders of change, GSB provides a variety of communication training programs to help students learn how to inspire others with their visions.  First-year students can get communication coaching focusing on three key areas: business writing, class participation, and impromptu speaking. Studio On Demand provides videotaped one-on-one presentation coaching for all MBA students. There are also several workshops offered throughout the year on various communications topics. Furthermore, students can deliver a 9-minute presentation on a topic that aligns with GSB’s mission in front of an audience of peers, faculty, and staff in a Ted-Talk-like program called the LOWkeynotes program.

Joint Programs

GSB students are highly curious and often explore interdisciplinary approaches through cross-registration with other Stanford schools. But 20% of GSB students are so passionate about another field that they pursue one of Stanford’s joint degree programs.

  • JD/MBA
    • Candidates must apply to each school separately, and be admitted into both. Most JD/MBA students start their first year in the law school.
  • MA Education/MBA
    • Candidates don’t have to apply separately to each school. They apply to GSB, which forwards the candidate’s application to the Education program.
  • MD/MBA
    • Candidates must apply to each school separately, and be admitted into both.
  • MPP/MBA
    • Candidates don’t have to apply separately to each school. They apply to GSB, which forwards the candidate’s application to the MPP program. If a candidate is not admitted to the MBA program, then they cannot enroll solely in the MPP.
  • MS Computer Science/MBA
    • Candidates must apply to each school separately, and be admitted into both. It is recommended that these candidates apply to Stanford GSB in Round 2 and submit the GRE, not GMAT. Admitted candidates can start either at the Stanford School of Engineering or Stanford GSB.
  • MS Electrical Engineering/MBA
    • Candidates must apply to each school separately, and be admitted into both in Round 2 only. Admitted candidates can start either at the Stanford School of Engineering or Stanford GSB.
  • MS Environment and Resources/MBA
    • Candidates don’t have to apply separately to each school. They apply to GSB, which forwards the candidate’s application to the other program. Candidates cannot enroll solely in the MS Environment and Resources if they are rejected by GSB.

Super ambitious MBA students at GSB can also pursue dual degrees with these other schools:

  • Harvard Kennedy School (MPA, MPA-ID, or MPP)
  • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (MA)
  • Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (MPA)
    • Must spend five quarters of full-time study at Stanford GSB.
  • Yale Law School (JD)
    • Must spend five quarters of full-time study at Stanford GSB and complete at least one year at YLS first.
  • Yale Medical School (MD)
    • Must spend five quarters of full-time study at Stanford GSB and complete at least one year at YMS.

Top 5 Must-Knows Before You Apply to the MBA program at Stanford GSB

  1. In the past couple of years, GSB has been moving closer to gender parity with 47% of the classes identifying as women, which was an increase from 41% in the Class of 2020.

  2. Stanford GSB takes in a significantly higher percentage of Humanities & Social Science majors (44-50%) than other top MBA programs. Its competitor Harvard Business School only takes in around 14% in Social Sciences and 4% in the Arts & Humanities). This seems to indicate that GSB strongly values a broader understanding of the world and ways of relating to people that come from a liberal arts education.

  3. GSB also has some inspiring artwork on campus, to remind students of its values and commitment to educating innovative change-agents including:
  • “Monument to Change as It Changes” by Peter Wegner – a wall panel mosaic in Zambrano Hall consisting of 2,048 brilliantly-colored flip-digit squares that make a fluttering sound as it evolves into different patterns of colors
  • “Monument to the Unknown Variables” – an X and a Y structure in the McCoy Family Courtyard
  • “Ways to Change” by Peter Wegner – located near the TA Associates Café, it’s a panel of 300 adjectives that can be used to modify the word “change”
  • “Footprint” – a shoe imprint with an inspiring quote from Nike founder and alum, Phil Knight…”There comes a time in every life where the past recedes and the future opens. It’s that moment when you turn to face the unknown. Some will turn their back to what they already know. Some will walk straight ahead into uncertainty. I can’t tell you which one is right. But I can tell you which one is more fun.”

  1. GSB is centered in the new, modern Phil Knight Management Center which lies on 12.5 acres and consists of 9 buildings and 2 dining facilities, all of which are designed to foster collaboration with lots of meeting space. The Center is environmentally conscious and LEED-Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. 50% of the site consists of open space and is landscaped with native plants that are more resistant to drought. The underground car park provides a friendlier alternative to asphalt parking lots that create a “heat island” effect and carpool and low emissions vehicles receive priority parking. It also generates 12.5% of its own electricity through photovoltaic panels.

  2. Every summer Stanford GSB compiles a reading list of interesting books recommended by their faculty. The lists usually include a broad range of titles from business and marketing books, to humor or novels. Just for funzies, check out the GSB’s 2020 summer quarantine reading recommendations and 2019 Summer Reading List.

In addition to that list, here are some cool titles by GSB alumni and faculty that are super cool and interesting:

Based on Stanford GSB’s famous Interpersonal Dynamics class aka “Touchy Feely.”

  • Acting with Power: Why We are More Powerful than We Believe – by Deborah Greunfeld

Based on the popular GSB class of the same name, this book offer a new paradigm for thinking about power drawing from theater practice and the concept of playing roles.

A NYT’s bestseller and memoir by one of GSB’s most successful alumni that offers a glimpse at the media-shy man behind Nike and its famous swoosh.  Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his top 5 favorite books in 2016.

A colorful read to inspire the budding female entrepreneur of any age by showcasing the profiles and success stories of 31 boss-ladies, who run some of coolest companies like PopSugar, Rent the Runway, and Soul Cycle…and the world!

This GSB alumna shows you how to reinvent your company in order to adapt to the growing subscription economy.

And here’s a book recommendation especially for applicants interested in design thinking at Stanford’s d.school:

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Is Stanford GSB MBA a cultural fit for you?

GSB community

Stanford GSB’s vibe is cool, creative, and collaborative. Because of the sheer intellectual horsepower and passion its students bring to campus, many MBAs at one point wonder how they even got there in the first place and question whether admissions made a mistake in admitting them. But GSB’s rigorous and competitive admissions process ensures that the best and the brightest comprise its MBA community and that all students are purpose-driven to change the world by pursuing the thing that matters most to them.

Being around a bunch of high achievers all the time can cause a lot of anxiety and fear of competition. But GSB’s strong collaborative focus and emphasis on building strong connections and relationships – especially in classes like Touchy Feely, which 90% of Stanford MBAs take – helps roots out any potential cutthroat and ruthless competition amongst students. Instead of worrying about being “good enough,” MBA students can focus on accelerating positive change through collaboration.

For inside information about the collaborative culture at GSB, check out these threads by former Stanford MBAs on Quora:

But of course, the best source of information for what Stanford GSB culture is really like is a current student or alumni. So take what you read on the public internet forums with a grain of salt.

Action Plan of Racial Equity

Diversity in the classroom and community is important to Stanford GSB. In order to effectuate its mission of helping students “change lives, change organizations, change the world,” it too must change with the times. Diverse perspectives strengthen big ideas and accelerate change in ways that are mindful and beneficial to a broader swath of humanity. GSB’s emphasis on collaboration also means fostering a truly inclusive community.   

Having recognized the urgent need to step up and act now, GSB created a detailed Action Plan for Racial Equity (APRE) in July 2020. Within the next few years, GSB commits to:

1. Increase Representation 

    • recruiting more black and underrepresented students and offering more need-based scholarship 
    • hiring more faculty from diverse backgrounds 


2. Cultivate a Culture of Belonging and Inclusion 

    • introducing two new courses: Leadership for Society: Race and Power and Blocking Bias in Academe
    • devoting more resources to engage new guest speakers from underrepresented groups

3. Make Positive Change Beyond GSB

    • creating a Stanford GSB Racial Equity Initiative in partnership with alumni
    • Support the Alumni Consulting Team to undertake 50 projects over the next 5 years for organizations committed to diversity
    • creating a Supporting Black Business Leadership executive education program

4. Hold GSB Accountable 

  • through the its new Diversity and Inclusion Council
  • by publishing the Stanford GSB Annual DEI Report to promote transparency about its progress on its diversity goals

To find out more about GSB’s diversity efforts, check out the school’s video with Professor Sarah A. Soule, Professor of Organizational Behavior the senior associate dean responsible for overseeing GSB’s effort to strength DEI in its community.

YouTube video

Will a Stanford GSB MBA increase your salary?

MBA Recruiting and Employment Statistics for the Class of 2020

According to Stanford GSB’s Class of 2020 Employment Report, here are some interesting trends to note:

  1. 72% of the class had lined up jobs by graduation.
  2. By 3 months after graduation, 91% of the class had secured full-time employment.
  3. 68% of the class had been seeking full time offers while 18% decided to start new ventures. 
  4. Of those not seeking jobs, 7% were sponsored and returning to their pre-MBA companies while 2% were continuing their education. 2% decided to postpone their job search and 1% decided not to look for employment for other unreported reasons. 
  5. More than half of its MBA graduates landed in Finance (mainly Private Equity and Venture Capital) and Tech immediately post-graduation. 
  6. Consulting came in at third place at 15% (Compare that with Harvard Business School where 24% of their Class of 2020 went into Consulting immediately post-MBA). 
  7. The average base salary for a Stanford GBS graduate in 2020 was $156,000 with Finance, Consumer Products, and Tech earning graduates earning the highest base salaries.
  8. 59% of New Venture startups remained on the West Coast; 12% of new ventures was in healthcare
  9. 74% of the class found their summer internship through school-facilitated activities (events, job boards, GSB network, etc.), while 26% found theirs through outside sources and personal contacts.

Here’s a closer look at the Class of 2020 profile 3 months after graduation:

Percentage of Class
Avg. Base Salary
Students who had jobs 3 months after graduation
91%
$159,544
Chose a socially responsible role after graduation
19%
Students starting new ventures
18%
Post-MBA Career Industries
Finance
34%
$182,706
Technology
28%
$144,500
Consulting
15%
$156,222
Healthcare
4%
$155,619
Consumer Products
4%
$169, 435
Real Estate
3%
$154,880
Media/Entertainment
3%
$165,500
Transportation & Logistics
1%
N/A
Clean Tech/Energy/Environment
1%
N/A
Hospitality/Travel
1%
N/A
Gov’t/Edu/Nonprofit
1%
N/A
Retail
1%
N/A
Other
4%
$129,088
Post-MBA Career Functions
Finance
32%
$157,497
Consulting
16%
$185,014
General Management
23%
$142,947
Marketing/Sales
24%
$148,273
Supply Chain/Logistics
0%
N/A
Other
2%
$142,461

Career development resources

The Career Management Center at Stanford GSB helps MBAs customize their career plan. It divides the career planning in three phases: 

  • Explore

Students take can an online assessment to understand their strengths and values, then use design thinking methods in small peer groups to evaluate multiple plans for different career opportunities. Students can also work one-on-one with career advisors to shape their career plan and network with GSB’s strong alumni base to gain industry, function, and company insights.

  • Prepare

The Career Management Center hosts a range of career workshops and also helps with interview prep. 

  • Launch

MBA students attend employer networking events and presentations, apply to opportunities from the job board, and attend student-organized networking and recruiting club events as well.

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Intimate Secrets of the GSB at Stanford MBA Program

Looking for the real inside scoop to all the little secrets of the MBA program at Stanford GSB? Get off Reddit and the online forums overflowing with trolls and unverified gossip. Or just take those things with a grain of salt! 

Your best bet for the real deal is to reach out to current students and alumni. Connecting in-person or on the phone/video-chat with a member of the community will expand and strengthen your professional network. Who knows? You might even meet your new best friend. 

The Stanford Business Magazine is a great place to check out some of the cool thing happening on campus.

8 Famous Stanford GSB MBA Alumni You’d Love to Be Like

Stanford GSB’s collaborative approach and intimate MBA class size fosters a strong alumni community of over 30,000 GSB alumni and over 220,000 University alumni. GSB alumni can continue forging strong Stanford relationships throughout their lives though 60 alumni regional chapters all over the world, through several diversity chapters (Asian, Black, Latinx, and GSB Pride), and alumni interest groups like Entrepreneurial Commitment, GSB Military Veterans, and Project Redwood.

Here are some of the GSB at Stanford’s most prominent alumni:  

  • Phil Knight – cofounder of Nike
  • Penny Pritzker – Secretary of Commerce during the Obama administration
  • Mary Barra – CEO of General Motors
  • Victor Koo – founder of Yukou, China’s dominant video platform
  • Jeffery Skoll – former president of eBay and filmmaker whose production company, Participant Media, produced An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, and Spotlight
  • Jacqueline Novogratz – founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty
  • Sam Yagan – cofounder of OKCupid and Sparknotes
  • Miriam Naficy – Founder and CEO of Minted.com and cofounder of Eve.com

Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want these awesome folks in their network? To learn about more famous GSB alumni, check out this Moneyinc.com article and Business Insider article.

Infamous Stanford GSB MBA Alumni and Why You Don’t Want to Be Like Them

Of course, in addition to boasting some rockstar-status alumni, the GSB at Stanford, like every good school, also has its share of nefarious characters and tragic tales of brilliance taking a wrong turn. 

  • Matthew Martoma – Stanford rescinded his degree after he was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to nine-years in jail. He was a portfolio manager that illegally traded pharmaceutical stocks benefiting SAC Capital Advisors. For more on this character, see this Forbes article.
  • Zachary Katz – a once promising star student admitted to Stanford GSB at the young age of 22 with a strange condition of falling into episodes of smelling burning rubber and hearing classical music was sentenced to time behind bars for felony vehicular manslaughter under the influence (for more on this tragic tale see this Poets & Quants article.)

Famous Stanford GSB professors and their books

Stanford GSB Faculty are Award-Winning Mental Rockstars

Stanford GSB has 111 faculty featuring Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are experts in a wide range of subjects including Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Organizational Behavior, and Political Economy.

Some notable GSB faculty you might have heard of include:

  • Paul R. Milgrom (Nobel winner in 2020), who is best known for his contributions to the theory of auctions and for his contributions to the practice of auction design. 
  • Robert Wilson (Nobel winner in 2020), an expert on game theory research, as well competitive bidding strategies and the design of innovative pricing schemes in the oil, communication and power industries.
  • A. Michael Spence (Nobel winner in 2001), known for his contributions to the analysis of markets with asymmetric information.
  • Myron Scholes (Nobel winner in 1997), who every undergraduate Econ major knows from the famous Black-Scholes options pricing model!
  • William F. Sharpe (Nobel winner in 1990), who is one of the originators of the Capital Asset Pricing Model. He’s also known for his work on macro-investment analysis, equilibrium in capital markets and the provision of income in retirement. 

Wowza, how’s that for some strong inspiration to study hard at Stanford?!

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What Writing the Stanford GSB MBA Essay Will Teach You About Yourself

The Stanford MBA Essay A is one of the hardest MBA essays to write because of all the things in the world that matter to you, in Essay A Stanford seeks to know what matters to you MOST and WHY. It’s an unsettling question because it forces you to dig down deep to uncover your core. Whatever matters most to you reveals a lot about your character and values because it’s one of the biggest choices you have to make in life. Arguably, a lot of things matter to you. But how exactly do you prioritize all the things that matter to you in order of importance and key in on just one? Do you choose something that makes you look like a better MBA candidate (i.e. something teamwork or leadership-related)? Or do you write about something that authentically means the most to you, but may have no seemingly apparent relation to business (like laughter or family or singing your own unique song)? 

For most applicants, the hardest part isn’t the what, but the WHY. How do you even explain why something matters the most to you? You have to mine your life for stories and anecdotes demonstrating the origin and evolution of that value, then tie it in to who you are today. Once you’ve figured that out, you then face the challenge of explaining it all within the recommended limit of 650 words. 

But don’t worry, Career Protocol has got you covered for the discovery and brainstorming part. For more tips on writing the Stanford MBA essays, check out our Wednesday Workshop video, “How to Answer Stanford’s ‘What Matters Most to You and Why.” 

Want to apply to the MBA program at Stanford GSB? We absolutely LOVE helping our students get into Stanford. It’s one of our favorite schools to work on because our process so uniquely equips our students to shine authentically through their essays and project confident humility and executive presence in their interviews. 

Sign up for a free MBA strategy call to begin the journey with us today.

Want to apply to Stanford GSB? Links For further stalking and exploration

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Applying

Stanford GSB MBA Admissions website

My Stanford MBA Dashboard

GSB Admissions Evaluation Criteria

Stanford GSB MBA Application

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