STUDENTS FROM GOLDMAN OUTNUMBER ALL THE COMBINED MBAS FROM THE BIGGEST TECH COMPANIES
Another surprise is how few of Stanford’s MBA students hail from Silicon Valley’s most prominent high tech firms. Given the school’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley, the school’s admission policies seem to be out of whack with the school’s reputation and image. In the Class of 2013, for example, there are more former employees from investment banking firm Goldman Sachs alone than all of the students combined from Apple, Google, Cisco Systems, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, and Microsoft. Consulting firm Bain & Co., with 20 ex-employees in the first year class at Stanford, had more than twice as many staffers in Stanford’s Class of 2013 than the combined total of the seven tech companies cited above.
The analysis of Stanford’s top feeder companies into its MBA program is based on a study of Internet records that allowed Poets&Quants to identify and confirm the educational and work backgrounds of 269 of the 397 students in the Class of 2013. We then estimated the total number of students from each feeder company based on the 68% sample of the entire class. Poets&Quants used LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and corporate internet sites to put together its profile of the class. Bain, for example, noted that it had 27 former employees in Stanford’s Class of 2012, not including six summer associates, versus the 20 in the Class of 2013. Bain identified 43 ex-employees in Harvard’s significantly larger Class of 2013 and 28 in Wharton’s Class of 2013.
FEW FROM SUCH BIG FIRMS AS GENERAL ELECTRIC, PEPSICO, KRAFT, SAMSUNG OR SIEMENS
Representation in the class by former employees of some of the best-known companies also was scant. Poets&Quants found just one former employee from each of the following major corporations: General Electric, General Motors, PepsiCo, Kraft, Merck, Samsung, and Siemens.
Despite the heavy emphasis on former consultants and investment bankers, there’s a wide variety of backgrounds in Stanford’s Class of 2013, ranging from a U.S. Army battalion staff officer and a Navy Seal to the brand manager for Oreo cookies and a Harvard Medical School-trained surgeon. Many applicants, of course, had several jobs before going to Stanford. One Dartmouth economics undergrad did a stint with McKinsey before moving on to the buyout firm Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts (KKR). A Yalie with a degree in ethics first landed a job with BCG before moving on to Bain Capital, while a Penn undergrad with a political science degree had first worked with Merrill Lynch before going to Open Table, the restaurant booking website.
THE MOST UNUSUAL ADMIT LAST YEAR? A PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER
The most unusual admit, however, has to be Galen Hall, a professional poker player who has a political science degree from UC-Berkeley. According to his LinkedIn profile, Hall must have spent most of the 2010 year online because he says he played one million hands of pokers in more than 8,000 online tournaments. Typically, Hall played 24 tables simultaneously. While he had little conventional business experience compared to most of his colleagues, Hall scored a 790 on the GMAT and according to some reports his total poker winnings come to $3.5 million.
A far more typical profile belongs to Dan Laufer, who arrived at Stanford last fall after having spent time at enterprise data and software company Mitchell International as director of strategy, analytics and operations. Before his 21-month stint at Mitchell, Laufer toted up three years and five months at Bain & Co., working as a consultant for clients in media and entertainment, telecommunications, defense contracting and meat processing. He graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in systems and information engineering.
Or consider Lu Ni who came to Stanford from McKinsey’s Beijing office after nearly three years with the firm. She did a double major in English literature and economics at Peking University. When she entered Peking’s graduate school, where Ni ultimately earned a master’s degree in English Lit, the university waived her examination due to her number one academic standing. Her grade point average at Peking where the grading standards are high: 3.8 on a four-point scale.
(See following page for table of the top feeder organizations into Stanford’s Graduate School of Business)