Our Favorite MBAs Of 2017

Katie and Colin Robertson began school at Carlson School of Management this fall after both left the military. Both are West Point grads an officers who were in combat — and both have a pair of Bronze Stars. Courtesy photo

Katie & Colin Robertson, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

Katie and Colin Robertson are the first of two MBA couples we’re featuring. After being married 11 years, the Robertsons enrolled in the full-time MBA program at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. At the time they took the GMAT and began the application process, the two had three children all under the age of four.

“Everybody here was great with working with my schedule and our schedule,” Katie said September. “It’s a whole family and everyone has been completely supportive.” Added Colin: “Just about the only challenge we faced was trying to balance both taking the GMAT and travel time and coming up for the in-person interviews, trying to work out the schedule for all that with the kids. Carlson was really supportive.”

Victoria and Oren Yunger on a trip to Belize. The Yungers began their MBA together at the Chicago Booth School of Business this fall. Courtesy photo

Victoria & Oren Yunger, Chicago Booth School of Business

Mission statements can be helpful. In the case of attending the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business as a married couple, it helped Victoria and Oren Yunger keep a focus as a married couple in an elite full-time MBA program. “Grow individually without growing apart,” was the mission.

“When I suggested the idea of getting an MBA to Victoria, she laughed it off,” Oren recalled last September. “She went to a few MBA panels and conferences as my partner, (but) because of her unusual background in fashion blogging and digital marketing, she felt that she did not fit the classic profile of MBAs. Victoria rejected my MBA idea, but I asked her to at least think about it.”

Victoria decided it could be the best option for her and obliged. The two applied to all M7 schools before eventually enrolling at Chicago Booth.

Dan Moor, an MBA at Oxford Saïd competing for the national Canadian rugby team in November 2017. Photo courtesy of Rugby Canada

Dan Moor, Oxford’s Saïd Business School

The typical MBA makes traveling while in B-school a priority. Trips for pleasure. Trips for business. Trips with classmates. Recruiting trips. Trips to visit family. The list goes on. And while Dan Moor probably made similar trips, his travel also included competing for Rugby Canada, his home country’s national Rugby team. It also included spars with the likes of the Maori All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, photographed above.

In 2016, Dan Moor left his rare and prestigious private equity job at Toronto-based firm, Birch Hill Equity Partners to train full-time for the Canadian rugby team and enroll in the one-year MBA program at the Oxford Saïd Business School. ““It was really tough to go through the decision and leave my job,” Moor told us earlier this month. But what would it feel like to not pursue a dream he’s had since competing for Ottawa University? “It would have been like getting 100 meters from the summit and turning back,” Moor said.

So Moor spent his year at Oxford continuing to compete — both for the Canadian national team and Oxford in the annual Varsity Match against Cambridge. “Oxford is a special place,” Moor told us about making the decision to attend Oxford Saïd over the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “It has been the epicenter of Western thought for thousands of years.”

Upon graduation, Moor plans on signing with a U.K.-based professional rugby team and training and competing full-time to make the Canadian team for the 2019 World Cup.

Stanford MBA Anna Frances Wood has launched Brains Over Blonde

Anna Frances Wood, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business

Sometimes, our favorite topics and people to write about are the ones that will stir the pot. That’s exactly what happened when we featured Anna Frances Wood, an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, who started her own company, Brains over Blonde. The venture is a community-based internet platform to empower women through video and written content and one-to-one mentoring and coaching. Despite the deluge of comments — that called out everything from white privilege to what is “true” feminism — that ensued from our readers, Wood has some serious business and entrepreneurial chops. After graduating from the University of California-Berkeley in undergrad, she spent four years at Google where she grew and managed about $450 million as a strategic account manager. But even before that, she grew up in Palo Alto as a daughter of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Stanford lecturer.

“Attractiveness is a double-edged sword,” Wood told us back in August. “Either you are beautiful or not beautiful enough. I was judged a lot. My capabilities were underestimated or credited to other things like my looks and I thought that was very unfair. That has become a societal norm.

“Even in business school we touched on the characteristics that make up a good leader. A lot of them are stereotypically male. I tried on these characteristics and they didn’t always fit. I learned that I am a much better leader when I am myself. I don’t think women should have to adapt to societal definitions of leadership or success.”

DON’T MISS: OUR MOST READ STORIES OF 2017 or 2017 EDITORS’ PICKS OF OUR FAVORITES