Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02

The Biggest Surprises Awaiting You At Business School

Dartmouth’s Kiz Syed

At the University of Chicago, Joanna H. Si didn’t expect to like operations management — despite working as corporate counsel to Amazon Web Services before starting at Booth. To her, the biggest surprise is how infectious a professor’s passion for a subject can be to students. “I was very entertained when Professor Ozan Candogan taught us about the dangers of the Bullwhip Effect through an in-class board game, complete with T-shirts for the winning team,” she quips.

STUDENTS GIVEN A SEAT AT THE TABLE

Ohio State’s Tada Yamamoto

Think you have the MBA life figured out? The Class of 2017 is more than happy to buck conventional wisdom. Think graduate schools are plagued with starving students? Don’t tell that to Ohio State’s Tada Yamamoto, who gushes about all the free food available from speakers and activities. Contrary to popular opinion, Dartmouth’s Kiz Syed claims that the second year is actually busier than the first. For those who assume that business schools follow a corporate model — where students are cogs or commodities there to fill a seat — Rice University’s Caitlin Crotty has experienced the exact opposite.

“As a board member on our student association, my job is to help collect and funnel student questions, concerns and requests through the appropriate channels,” Crotty outlines. “The staff and administration have truly treated us as partners in enabling and enacting change, regarding everything from the curriculum and faculty to clubs and activities. I believe this level of responsiveness is unique in education, especially since students turn over every year, and I’m grateful for it.”

Those weren’t the only myths that were surprisingly dispelled over the past two years. At Indiana University, Paul Jin Carlson, a decorated Naval Officer, realized that successful military and civilian leadership are based on the same formula.

DEEPLY TRANSFORMATIVE AT ALL LEVELS

“The only difference is the language and terminology used,” he reveals. “In both the military and business school you are taught strategy, planning, execution, effective communication, budgeting, and leadership. You build your technical proficiencies and hone your leadership skills that you can be a competent leader. Both teach that you must be a good follower to also be a good leader. There are differences in the mission and purpose, but they essentially teach the same things.”

Columbia Business School’s Tiffany Yu Chia Chen

Another unexpected twist is that undergraduate business majors can still learn plenty from returning to school to pursue their MBA. That was the case for Columbia Business School’s Tiffany Yu Chia Chen, who earned a B.A. in Finance from National Taiwan University. “I learned a lot during the core curriculum,” she concedes. “I thought I would not gain a lot of new takeaways in these classes. However, I really enjoyed different approach our professor adapted and their valuable insights, as well as the depths and widths of knowledge and experience my fellow classmates contribute during discussion. The learning experience is completely different and it provides me a different way of thinking.”

For MBA students, this change in outlook — on business, life, and themselves — may be the biggest surprise of all. “For me, the most surprising thing about the MBA really was how deeply transformative it was and not just from a knowledge perspective,” asserts the University of Toronto’s Alex Walker Turner, a former cheerleader and trumpet player turned McKinseyite. “It has really forced me to re-evaluate the way that I approach all kinds of problems and how I envision my future. It has genuinely changed me academically, professionally, and personally. Having my life transformed was not something I anticipated when I applied, but I couldn’t be more pleased that it has been.”

DON’T MISS: THE CLASS OF 2017 SHARES THEIR BIGGEST REGRETS AND MBA ADVICE FROM THE CLASS OF 2017