Stanford GSB | Mr. Tech Startup Guy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Nigerian Investment Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 3.57
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Harvard | Mr. French In Japan
GMAT 720, GPA 14,3/20 (French Scale), (=Roughly 3.7/4.0)
Tuck | Mr. Army Consultant
GMAT 460, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. Investment Banker Turned Startup Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96
Wharton | Mr. Chemical Engineering Dad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.50
Wharton | Mr. Ignacio
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Psychology & Marketing
GMAT 700, GPA 68%
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Mechanical Engineer & Blood Bank NGO
GMAT 480, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Harvard | Mr. Investor & Operator (2+2)
GMAT 720, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. AC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.5
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Athlete-Engineer To Sales
GMAT 720, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. Competition Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Pipeline Engineer To Consulting
GMAT 750, GPA 3.76
Tuck | Mr. Aspiring Management Consultant
GRE 331, GPA 3.36
Stanford GSB | Mr. Certain Engineering Financial Analyst
GMAT 700, GPA 2.52
Columbia | Mr. Electrical Engineering
GRE 326, GPA 7.7
Foster School of Business | Mr. Automotive Research Engineer
GRE 328, GPA 3.83
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12

Advice To The Next Generation Of MBAs

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Advice to the Next Generation of MBAs  

“Too many tears were shed last year at the GSB,” Shirzad Bozorgchami wrote after his first year at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Many of my classmates and I went through what I would now consider to have been unnecessary pain and hardship – both academically and socially.”

Sound familiar? We learn many of our toughest lessons in school. Our best can always get better. There will always be peers who are smarter and more capable. And our deepest beliefs don’t necessarily stand up to scrutiny. When we enter an academic pressure cooker, such lessons can threaten our confidence and self-image. Some respond by becoming more open and less fearful. Others retreat into themselves, growing cynical and resentful, losing sight of their goals and the bigger picture.

Bozorgchami, who is now known as Shirzad Chamine, fell into the latter group as a Stanford MBA in the late 1980s. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Chamine’s epiphany came when his classmates told him that he was too judgmental during a class exercise on interpersonal skills. It served as an inspiration for a ‘What I wish I knew then what I know now’ letter, which has been passed around to Stanford and Wharton students for nearly a quarter century.

Written between his first and second years at business school, Chamine’s letter documents his regrets, the hopes dashed and opportunities lost. However, this personal reflection also details his transformation, the hard-earned wisdom that comes from an emerging self-awareness and the desire to seek redemption.

Now, the letter is circulated to first year students, as a way for second years to warn incoming students about the potential pitfalls awaiting them. “History has a way of repeating itself,” Chamine observed in his letter, “not just because people are stubborn and slow learners, but also because people may not know history well enough. I believe one of the factors that contributed to the problems last year was that a historical perspective was not provided to us.”

Alas, the letter was composed long before the internet and globalization shepherded the era of disruption. In 1987, Chamine probably couldn’t even conceive of crowdsourcing, the cloud, and social media. Back then, the cold war was winding down, while the crack epidemic was spiking. U2 and Whitney Houston dominated the airwaves, while Dirty Dancing and Wall Street had captured our imaginations. And six sigma principles were only starting to seep out of Motorola. Despite how technology and business models have evolved over the past 25 years, Chamine’s letter reminds us how little the important things have changed.

Like all first years, Chamine tells us that his class was also “unwise and immature.” They too crafted tough outward personas, while silently wondering if they truly belonged at Stanford. Some chased high grades and academic honors, not realizing how little they’d matter once they left campus. Stifled by ego, they sought comfort among their own, finding only mediocrity. And many feared challenging the norms, afraid of being cast out or found to be wrong. And all of them experienced setbacks. “You may want to prepare yourself for a lot of rejections,” Chamine warns, “something that you may not necessarily be used to.”

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