What A Post-COVID-19 MBA Looks Like

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Courtesy photo

Advice From The Stanford GSB Class of 2009

The graduating class of 2020 is reminiscent of another class that graduated during a time of uncertainty: the class of 2009.

11 years ago, MBA grads entered the job market as a global recession was well underway. Fast forward to 2020 and the job market looks strikingly similar with the global economy projected to shrink 5.2% this year alone.

In a blog piece by non-disclosure, an online magazine written by and for the Stanford GSB community, GSB ’09 grads discuss insights and learnings they’ve picked up as they graduated during times of uncertainty.

“PERFECT” IS LIMITING

Many MBAs graduate with high hopes of landing a dream job or securing a coveted position.

This was the case for Laura Jones, now Director of Product Marketing at Uber.

Jones, who graduated GSB in ’09, had high hopes of working at her dream company, IDEO.

Ultimately, that didn’t happen.

But Jones says she sees it more as a blessing that things didn’t align the way she planned them.

It’s something, she says, taught her the idea that “perfect” can oftentimes be limiting.

“I learned principle-based decision making provides me structure for evaluating opportunities, and the types of environments I like,” she tells non-disclosure. “I stopped romanticizing one specific path which is now a gift.”

POWER OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Back in 2009, grads entered an uncertain world. And for many, what kept them going was the desire to pursue entrepreneurship.

“The recession didn’t change anything at all for me, which I almost feel bad or selfish saying but it’s the honest truth,” Dana Mauriello, COO of Mighty, tells non-disclosure. “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and nothing would sway me and I feel so lucky that I wasn’t impacted like those in consulting or finance in my class.”

Mauriello says that uncertain times often bring about the best opportunities.

“For classmates who are losing opportunities: there are opportunities elsewhere that are growing,” she tells non-disclosure. “I can’t imagine GSBers not being able to find something, and remembering that a plan B can also be great.”

Sources: non-disclosure, The World Bank

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