2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Nathan Segal, Stanford GSB

Nathan Segal

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Government, Finance, Nonprofits but Always a student.”

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

Fun fact about yourself: I was once attacked by a pack of giant green sea turtles in Costa Rica during a research mission!

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.A., Yale University (History of Science, History of Medicine / Ethnicity, Race, and Migration), Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Assistant Director and Senior Policy Advisor, The Obama White House (Washington, D.C.)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? MBA Summer Intern, Bain Capital (Boston)

Where will you be working after graduation? Investment Analyst, T. Rowe Price (Baltimore)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Siebel Scholar (Awarded for academic achievement and demonstrated leadership), Co-Founder of First-Generation and Low Income at the GSB, Co-President of Government and Politics Club, Co-President of Private Equity Club, CFO of the Academic Committee of the GSB Student Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I helped found the first-ever club at the school focused on promoting discussion around First-Generation and Low-Income students at the GSB and more broadly throughout business school education.  We have attracted amazing speakers and brought more awareness to this community.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I created a program called “Startup in a Day” while at the White House which centralized all of the requirements small business owners needed to launch into streamlined, centralized platforms. Many cities and Native American communities joined the platform, and President Obama mentioned it during his 2016 State of the Union address!

Who was your favorite MBA professor? George Foster teaches a range of courses at the GSB including on the formation of new ventures, on sports management, and on entertainment and media negotiation. I have taken all of his courses, and I’m amazed that despite everything Professor Foster is involved in he always makes time for his students outside of class. I have learned so much from him both personally and professionally.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Stanford GSB for its focus on interpersonal development. To this point in time, I had focused a lot on building hard skills but had no focused as much on the softer side. I knew that the GSB would challenge me in ways I had not yet experienced in the classroom, and I wanted to embrace that challenge amongst my peers as a part of a strong community.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Just be authentic in your application and in your interview. Share as much of your real self as you’re comfortable sharing, and bring that authenticity to how you approach every part of the process. Write and speak from the heart and everything else will follow.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about the school is that you have to be a techie to be successful here. The reality is that Stanford has top professors in every area of business and management, and many students are pursuing roles after graduation that are not technology-focused.  Stanford GSB gives a great general management education and should be considered by all MBA applicants, not just those interested in working at Facebook, Apple, Netflix, or Google!

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have taken more classes “across the street.”  One of the amazing aspects of Stanford is that the university has a Top 5 program in literally every field. The MBA Program allows flexibility in the curriculum to take advantage of these opportunities, and I wish I had done more of that!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kelly Lacob, who leads many of the social entrepreneurship initiatives for our class.  I am inspired by Kelly’s commitment to service for others and her proactivity on engaging the class in these important discussions.  Despite her busy schedule, Kelly always makes time for others, and she also has a beautiful dog, Sami, who she is kind to share with many classmates!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My direct boss at the White House earned an MBA from Kellogg.  I saw how he tackled problems in an analytical way and how he was able to breakdown even the most complicated of situations very quickly.  He encouraged me to pursue a business degree, and who was I to disagree!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? 1) Make a long-lasting impact at any organization I am a part of; 2) Mentor someone so well that they eventually become my boss!

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like my peers to remember me as someone who cares deeply about them and will do whatever I can to help them be successful. 

Hobbies? Florida Sports, 1960s British Rock Music / Top 40, Coursera, Pop Art & Photography, Classic Hollywood

What made Nathan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Nathan is a joy to have in class.  I have had him for several of my courses now, and I and all of his peers benefit from his insightful comments and thoughtful discussion. His assignments are best in class, and I often show them on the projector after they are submitted so that his peers can benefit from his work. I have also enjoyed our conversations outside of class, and I am looking forward to seeing everything Nathan accomplishes.”

George Foster
The Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management


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