Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Financial Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.78
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10

Stanford GSB: “We Don’t Want To Be The Graduate School of Entrepreneurship”

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer will co-teach a course at Stanford this year

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer will co-teach a course at Stanford this year


Among the newest electives is a course that will be co-taught by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and economics professor Susan Athey called “Leading Organizations.” Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen is teaming with organizational behavior professor Huggy Rao for a course on “Scaling Excellence.” Jonathan Bendor, a political science professor, will teach “Problem-Solving and Creativity.” Lindy Greer, an assistant professor of organizational behavior, is teaching “The Psychology of Startup Teams.” Peter Francis, the managing director of an investment company, is teaching “The Yin and Yang of Family Business Transitions.” Marketing professor Harikesh Nair has a course on “Monetization,” while economist Guido Imbens and operations professor will team teach “Data for Action: From Insights to Applications.”

Given the popularity of entrepreneurship, and the fact that a higher percentage of Stanford MBAs start companies upon graduation than any other prestige business school–18% in the Class of 2013–classes that focus on startups and scaling companies are very hot. Purely on the number of students who take courses, the most popular electives at Stanford are “Interpersonal Dynamics,” “Formation of New Ventures,” “Managing Growing Enterprises,” “Building and Managing Professional Sales Organizations,” “Entrepreneurial Finance,” “Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital,” and “Negotiations.”

But Stanford says that the order of these courses would be different if it were able to offer additional sections. The best example is “Managing Growing Enterprises,” taught across multiple sections by professors Irv Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, David Dodson, Peter Kelly, Kevin Taweel and Jim Ellis. Demand for that course is exceptionally high, says Rajan, and it’s quite likely that the entire class would take it if they could.


“Students like the fact that we are very responsive to them. They may not like everything here but we are open and transparent. I meet students in the first week and show them how the GSB works. I show them our balance sheet and income statement and explain where the money comes from and where it goes. I explain what tenure means and what they can expect in faculty/student interaction.”

There is one area where the school has refused to compromise: its emphasis on academic research. It is one of the reasons why Stanford consistently lags such rivals as Virginia’s Darden School, Dartmouth Tuck, Cornell Johnson, Harvard Business School and others in having the best MBA teaching faculty. “Students dislike the fact that we are a research school,” concedes Rajan, “and they feel that we overemphasize research. We view teaching and research as equally critical to our mission, and we are not going to give up one for the benefit of the other. We bring in the best faculty in research. In the process. you are going to have friction. But students have to understand who we are when they come here. They get it but dislike it when it affects them directly. The fact that we have been upfront about it makes it better in terms of how we react to it.”

Less controversial, but also less provocative, were the school’s increased emphasis on global business and communications and leadership. Stanford added a new first-quarter course on The Global Context of Management with a required global experience during a student’s two years at the school. This can be fulfilled by a study trip, an international internship, an overseas service-learning trip, or a student exchange.

Stanford’s New & Innovative Course Offerings


New & Innovative Course OfferingsTeachers
Leading OrganizationsSusan Athey and Steve Ballmer
Data for Action: From Insights to ApplicationsMohsen Bayati and Guido Imbens
MonetizationHarikesh Nair
Problem-Solving and CreativityJonathan Bendor
Finance and SocietyAnat Admati
The Psychology of Startup TeamsLindy Greer
The Yin and Yang of Family Business TransitionsPeter Francis
China’s Financial SystemDarrell Duffie
Scaling ExcellenceHuggy Rao and Shantanu Narayen
Sustainable Energy: Business Opportunities and Public PolicyStefan Reichelstein, Dan Reicher and Don Wood

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.