2018 MBAs To Watch: Jack Marzulli, Stanford GSB

Jack Marzulli

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Passionate about education and public policy, with strategic and management skills as weapons of choice.”

Age: 27

Hometown: New York City, New York

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve lived in China three times – summer of 2005, summer of 2010, and 2012-2013.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Princeton University, A.B. in Public and International Affairs

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Bain & Company (New York), Consultant;

Coursera (San Francisco Bay Area), Business Strategy Analyst;

Natural Resources Defense Council (Beijing), Research Fellow

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, D.C;

The Marine Megafauna Foundation, Mozambique

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • 2018 Siebel Scholar
  • Chief Investment Officer, GSB Impact Fund
  • Impact Labs Associate, Owl Ventures
  • Arbuckle Leadership Fellow
  • Global Study Trip Leader, New Zealand

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m proud of the work our team has done on the GSB Impact Fund this year. The Fund offers ~40 classmates the chance to write an investment thesis, then source, diligence, invest in, and support early stage ventures that we believe will be socially impactful and financially successful. Leading the Fund has been a leadership challenge and an opportunity to grapple with the role impact investing can play in bringing about social good.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In 2015, while working at edtech startup Coursera, I helped drive a six-month sprint to increase the amount of career-relevant content on our platform. I’m proud of the way we worked across the entire company – engineering, product, partnerships, business development teams – to orchestrate what amounted to a big change for the company. It was gratifying to see that change result in a spike in our revenue and user metrics, and knowing this meant we were meaningfully expanding access to education.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Keith Hennessey, Lecturer in Economics. Keith teaches fascinating courses focused on policymaking in Washington, D.C. His courses cover fiscal and social areas, challenging students to “get smart” and develop their own opinions on the most relevant policy questions of the day. As a lecturer, Keith hits it out of the park – he constantly revises his curriculum to stay relevant (sometimes on a weekly basis to react to current events), he holds students accountable for backing up their opinions, and he facilitates the room expertly to explore differences in opinion.

What was your favorite MBA Course Stanford’s flagship Interpersonal Dynamics (“Touchy Feely”) course. The course is dedicated to helping students better understand how to deepen and strengthen relationships through intense hands-on experience. The course taught me how powerful being vulnerable and honest can be in building a more powerful connection to another person – in a professional or personal context.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Stanford’s GSB for three reasons:

  1. The school’s focus on personal growth. The Stanford experience is built to help students understand not just how to achieve our goals, but what our goals actually are. It’s as if the whole experience is an extension of the admissions essay question: “What matters most to you, and why?”
  2. The unique joint degree program offered between the business and education schools. The program has allowed me to explore the two fields in conjunction – along with a cohort of ~20 like-minded peers.
  3. The access to Silicon Valley and California. I’ve spent most of my life in the American northeast. I was curious to explore the outdoorsy culture and startup mindset of Stanford.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Don’t think of your application as a chance to sell yourself – think of it as a chance to reflect! Find recommenders who really know you well as a person, and use your essays to explore what motivates you. Don’t worry too much about your accomplishments. Those will shine through naturally.

What is the biggest myth about your school? There’s a general perception that at Stanford (… and in California, generally?) everyone is relaxed all the time. I’ve loved Stanford, but beneath the surface folks are definitely struggling with some of the same questions of balance and stress management that I know our east coast counterparts are!

What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I had taken more advantage of resources outside of the business school. Stanford University has amazing people, classes and opportunities that I never fully explored.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Hansae Catlett’s public service orientation inspires me. He backs up his passion for making the world a better place with action, and simultaneously knows how to be the life of any party.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents taught me that learning to manage and lead others effectively might be the most valuable skill I could ever acquire.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working full time in education technology – trying to make K-12 or college education more affordable, accessible and effective.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?I worry that we live in too much of a bubble. I’d try to increase professional, socioeconomic and demographic diversity in the class. I’d develop programs to push students to interact more with non-MBA students. I’d find ways to have students spend time working with people who are not interested in management or business administration.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Hike to Everest base camp (or maybe beyond?)
  2. Read every book ever written

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Committed to self-improvement and making the world a better place, but knows how to (occasionally) have fun.

What is your favorite movie about business? Office Space – office culture matters!

What would your theme song be1612 (Vulfpeck)

Favorite vacation spot: Avalon, New Jersey. To me, this quiet beach town symbolizes relaxation and quality time with friends/family.

Hobbies? I’m running my first triathlon this spring! Playing in a band and acting in the annual GSB musical have been two of the most fun things I’ve done at school.





Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.