Stanford GSB | Mr. Mountaineer
GRE 327, GPA 2.96
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Stanford GSB | Mr. SpaceX
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
Darden | Ms. Inclusive Management
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
Columbia | Mr. Oil & Gas
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Harvard | Mr. Deferred Admission
GRE 329, GPA 3.99
NYU Stern | Mr. NYC Consultant
GRE 327, GPA 3.47
NYU Stern | Mr. Brolic Bro
GRE 305, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Running To The Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Kellogg | Mr. Pro Sports MGMT
GMAT GMAT Waived, GPA 3.78
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Real Estate Developer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.12
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Commercial Lawyer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Tech Impact
GMAT 730, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Data & Strategy
GMAT 710 (estimate), GPA 3.4
INSEAD | Mr. Dreaming Civil Servant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Mr. Tech PM
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future MBA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78

Our Favorite MBAs Of 2015

Our favorite MBAs of 2015

Our favorite MBAs of 2015

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

Those words were originally penned by Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist in 1988. Since then, more than 65 million copies of the book have been sold in nearly 60 languages. And those words helped guide Poets&Quants as we plucked our favorite MBAs from a deep list of highly capable and impressive individuals we were honored to get to know in 2015.

Take a group of MBAs from the very best business schools in the world and you’re sure to get a potpourri of wit, tenacity and gumption. No doubt, it’s a top-minded smorgasbord of backgrounds and passions. Truly the only challenge in choosing a list of our favorites is whittling down a booming group of bright, heartfelt and impressive people. So we considered those MBAs working from the heart and the brain.

And what we came up with is a list comprised of adventurers, athletes, a magician and an Ironwoman, among others. They come from around the world. They’ve already worked on Wall Street. They’ve been deployed. They’re social activists. They’re game-changers, and, yes, even disruptors. They’re on the list not just because of what they’ve already done, but what they envision themselves doing. And they’ve gotten back up eight times. At least.

Philip Blackett. Courtesy photo

Philip Blackett. Courtesy photo

Honorary Mention: Philip Blackett, Harvard Business School

Philip Blackett’s story came to Poets&Quants right as our Favorites List was being published. We wanted to include him but not bump off an already chosen top ten. Blackett lost his job with Goldman Sachs during the Great Recession. A series of events including a failed residential real estate venture, disinterest in finance and a stagnant economy caused Blackett to be unemployed and unable to afford his Jersey City, NJ, condo.

Blackett moved to a vacant home, once inhabited by his grandparents, to work himself into Harvard Business School. Five years after moving to his grandparents home in Memphis and a previous ding from HBS, he enrolled as a full-time MBA.

10. Daria Danilina, London Business School

Daria Danilina, a first year MBA at London Business School trekking on the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal. Courtesy photo

Daria Danilina, a first year MBA at London Business School trekking on the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal. Courtesy photo

If this were a list of “MBAs Most Likely To Survive A Week In The Wilderness,” Daria Danilina would be on top. The Russian-born MBA from London Business School was attempting a three-month long hike of the Great Himalayan Trail when disaster struck. Literally. It was April 25, and a 7.8 magnitude smacked Nepal, leaving thousands dead and millions displaced.

Danilina was about 110 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter and only about 10 from the Mount Everest base where 12 mountaineers were killed in earthquake-triggered avalanches. After the earthquake, the 23-year-old was faced with the decision to turn around about a week into her trek or risk a very unknown and potentially dangerous remainder of her hike.

It wasn’t easy, or quick, but Danilina eventually made it out of the country and is now in her first year in the full-time MBA program at London Business School.