Business School Profile: Stanford GSB
The MBA Exchange features a series of articles showcasing graduate management programs that our thousands of clients have found most rewarding. Our content is compiled from a number of credible sources and articles and expanded with our own observations based on nearly two decades of advising applicants.
Many argue that Stanford GSB is the most selective — and most enigmatic — of all leading business schools. Fueling this image is the admissions application itself – featuring the infamous essay that asks, “What matters most to you and why?” prompting many an otherwise confident applicant to tremble. But when you come down to it, there could be no more meaningful, introspective or important question to be asked. And no school that offers the applicant more resources to pursue “what matters most.”
The Stanford MBA is distinguished by the variety of learning methods employed and a curriculum that focuses on leadership education. From day one of this two-year, residential MBA program, students are asked to assess their own leadership skills and identify the areas in which they need to learn. Leadership labs enable students to work with mentors, including second-year leadership fellows, so that through experiential learning, seminar-based discussion and traditional classes settings they pursue these essential leadership topics.
At Stanford GSB, the academic focus spans traditional case studies, global study trips, simulations and role-plays. Opportunities abound at “The Centers,” which support research and case writing, speakers, workshops and conferences, clubs and career opportunities in the following areas: Entrepreneurship, Global Business, Leadership and Social Innovation.
This MBA is further distinguished by the degree to which each student can tailor his or her business school curriculum, calibrating this to individual backgrounds, goals and interests. We have been inspired by the videos “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World.”
Student guidance is provided from career advisors and a word-class faculty, including such distinguished leaders as Nobel Prize winners Myron Scholes, William Sharpe and Michael Spence. The GSB faculty translate management ideas very effectively; through their research and writing, they are also are thought leaders in their industries.
“The Stanford Dynamic” is comprised of three central principles.
- Management is a “noble calling,” and the Stanford culture cultivates innovative, knowledgeable, global leaders.
- A strong community and a selective MBA are important; because there are fewer than 400 students per class sizes, there is great opportunity for individual focus – a bonus given Stanford’s abundant resources – and an incredibly strong, active alumni network of over 25,000 around the globe.
- The problems and the solutions of tomorrow are still unknown; therefore, at Stanford GSB, the focus is on the future. Students graduate with strong management skills but even more importantly, they acquire the capacity to manage despite uncertainty.
The competition among top b-schools to have the “best building” intensified with the Knight Management Center. This state-of-the-art facility, LEED platinum certified for environmental sustainability, is a centerpiece of student and faculty life.
No description of the Stanford experience would be complete without mentioning its idyllic location in northern California. The incredible energy of entrepreneurial-mecca Silicon Valley, the charms and cuisines of San Francisco, and the incredible extremes of topography and climate that make the region unique await those fortunate enough to gain admission to Stanford GSB.
If this is an MBA program that appeals to you, please request a free evaluation of your candidacy. If you’ve decided to pursue admission, then contact The MBA Exchange for a dialogue with one of our admissions consultants – including former admissions officers and MBA grads — who can help you develop a strategy and tactics to maximize your chances for admission at this and other top-tier b-schools.