Columbia | Mr. Neptune
GMAT 750, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Education Management
GRE 331, GPA 9.284/10
Columbia | Mr. Confused Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Yale | Mr. Lawyer Turned Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr Big 4 To IB
GRE 317, GPA 4.04/5.00
Stanford GSB | Ms. Engineer In Finance – Deferred MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.94
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Second Chance In The US
GMAT 760, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Harvard | Mr. Harvard 2+2, Chances?
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
GRE 309, GPA 6.75/10
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Wharton | Ms. Negotiator
GMAT 720, GPA 7.9/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
MIT Sloan | Ms. Physician
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Ms. Globetrotting Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 ENG Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.82
Harvard | Mr. 2+2 Filipino Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Deferred Admit Searcher
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. General Motors
GRE 330, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Sustainability Consulting
GMAT 710 (Q49/V39), GPA 3.39
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.99
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Real Estate IB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Mr. Virtual Reality Entrepreneur
GRE 326, GPA 3.87
Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
GMAT 730, GPA 95.8/100 (1st in class)

Meet the Class of 2020: The Complete Series

Every MBA program promotes its selling points. Take a Wharton or a Stanford. Their brand names alone acts as a stamp of approval that grabs attention and opens doors. Reputation alone doesn’t drive candidates to leave steady paychecks to return to campus, however.

For some, there is a certain allure to studying and networking in dream destinations like New York City, Austin, and Seattle– home to NYU Stern, Texas McCombs, and Washington Foster respectively. Other applicants crave resource-rich programs like MIT Sloan and Michigan Ross, which traditionally attract diverse employers and generous pay packages.  Of course, the experience is paramount, whether that involves deeply international cohorts (INSEAD), rigorous academics (Chicago Booth), intimate small communities (Washington Olin), intensive coaching (Indiana Kelley), or rabidly supportive alumni (USC Marshall).


These are all true signatures. In the end, they pale in comparison to every program’s lifeblood: talent. That’s why Poets&Quants profiles these promising MBA candidates each year as part of our “Class of” series. Launched in 2015, the series highlights dozens of first-years who have overcome adversity, notched impressive achievements, and set ambitious goals for themselves. Chosen by school administrators, these students are the leaders and culture setters who reflect the values of their classes. More than that, they are sources of inspiration to future MBAs – proof that candidates “just like me” can get into the best MBA programs.

This year, P&Q doubled the size of its student profiles. The reason: Our readers wanted more insight into how these first-years landed their seats. As a result, we asked the same questions that applicants wrestle with every day: What motivated these students to pursue an MBA; how did they calculate the return on a degree; and what sold them on their program’s “fit.” In addition, we examined the school itself, focusing on their cultures, resources, advantages, and experiences that set these programs apart. Of course, we reported class stats and recent developments so readers can see which direction programs are headed.

This fall, P&Q reviewed over 30 MBA programs, ranging from Harvard Business School to UCLA’s Anderson of Management. In 2019, we’ll look at another dozen programs, including Stanford, IMD, Notre Dame, HEC Paris, and McGill. Want to get beyond the websites and promotional material to learn if your target schools really fit your needs? Click on the links below to learn about the students who make your programs tick.


Meet the Class of 2020: Profiles in Courage


MIT’s Sloan School of Management. MIT photo


Harvard Business School

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Columbia Business School

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Yale School of Management

New York University’s Stern School of Business

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Babson College’s Olin Graduate School of Business

University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business


Go to the next page for Class of 2020 stories for schools in the Midwest (Booth, Kellogg, Ross), South (Fuqua, McCombs), West Coast (Haas, Anderson), and International (INSEAD, London Business School)