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Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2019

Lian Boerma                                            

Stanford GSB and Stanford School of Education (enrolled in the Joint Degree MA Education/MBA)

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:

Huge fan of Dystopian Young Adult Fiction Novels

Avid Settlers of Catan player (I get quite competitive)

Easily distracted by the local wildlife (squirrels and giant hares – very interesting for a biologist)

Hometown: Born and raised in Assen, the Netherlands but lived in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, before school

Fun Fact About Yourself: Rowed the Ringvaart Regatta, the longest row marathon in the world (100 km) with 7 colleagues. It took us 10 hours and 20 minutes. The experience taught me a lot about perseverance and teamwork.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Bachelor’s in biology, dual major in Biomedical Sciences and Behavior & Neurosciences

Research Master’s in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience

Both from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: I worked as a consultant at EY-Parthenon in the Netherlands

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of the consulting projects I worked on was for a manufacturer of fries and other potato products. The company wanted to cut costs to be able to invest in an additional factory to be able to expand its global footprint. With our help in identifying cost cutting opportunities, the profits for the company more than tripled. The company has been able to invest in its growth opportunities and has been steadily growing since.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The best advice I got about applications is that every part of the application has to highlight a different part of you and that the entire application has to show the complete picture. So, if you talk about your amazing leadership abilities in your essays, make sure your recommenders focus on another aspect of you. If your GMAT Quant score is incredible, there is less need to showcase quantitative projects on your CV.

What I would recommend is to find a friend or coworker or family member who knows you very well and is willing to give very honest feedback on your application. A good friend of mine has read all 29 versions of my essays and has helped me tremendously in figuring out what my point is and how to get it across. I could not have written the application I have without his help!

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I choose to apply to Stanford because it is the only top business school that offers a joint degree with the School of Education; a program where education, business and technology meet. This program allows me to complete both a Master in Education and an MBA in two years.

I believe that to unlock everybody’s full potential, we need more a personalized and results-oriented approach to education. Technology will play an important part in making this possible in classrooms all over the world. I aspire to be a leader in this field and believe the joint degree helps me acquire the knowledge and skills needed to make that happen. The GSB has a strong focus on developing leadership abilities. Besides, Stanford’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley and its world renowned research centers allows me to be at the forefront of new technological developments.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I already consider this first year a success! I made a lot of new friends, have been able to show this amazing place to old friends, and learned a lot! Both from the courses I took, the people I met and the places I visited. I am very happy we have another year ahead of us!