Meet The MBA Class Of 2022: Edwin Qian, Stanford GSB

Edwin Qian

Stanford Graduate School of Business

I am a passionate entrepreneur with a love for people, travel experiences, and soup dumplings.”

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I moved to Texas as a teenager not speaking too much English. When I first moved to the U.S., one of my favorite ways to learn English was watching American TV shows such as Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, The Amazing Race, and more!

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Texas at Austin, Management Information Systems

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte Consulting, Senior Consultant

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Stanford GSB’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? GSB’s focus on leadership development is one of many reasons that drew me here. Formal coursework and informal programming help students test leadership styles and get valuable feedback to grow. It is important to me because I want to not only grow my professional skill sets, but also learn more about myself, how I come across to others and how to become a better leader.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? The incredible and expansive network one can access being a student at Stanford. I knew the Stanford network was large, but I was still blown away. This manifests itself in mostly two ways: 1) Stanford attracts amazing speakers and thought leaders to classes, speaker series, and club meetings; and 2) fellow classmates bring in their extended professional network for other students to tap into. At times, it seems like everyone is never too far removed from some of the seemingly impossible contacts.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Passionate. Everyone I have met is passionate about something. It sure feels like everyone knows exactly why they get up in the morning. My classmates’ dedication to leaving positive impacts in the world is inspiring.

Invested. GSB classmates will go way out of the way to help one another. Everyone here is invested to help everyone else do well too.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It is hard to pinpoint a specific moment or project that I would consider as my single biggest accomplishment. What brings me great joy is hearing that the team’s mentorship helped a junior team member get recognized or promoted, or that when teammates who were not confident in their ability to contribute gained confidence because of the skills we helped them to develop. So, I am most proud of seeing my junior team members develop and achieve great results.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I co-founded a company with a friend I met at the GSB! While there is a tremendous amount of learning and work ahead of us, this symbolizes something more personal for me. I feel that with the support of my friends, mentors, and the Stanford community, I became more willing to take risks and put myself out there.

What has been the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? The culture of vulnerability at the GSB has allowed me to connect with classmates and reflect on my own life. The biggest epiphany I have gained through these interactions is that despite so many apparent differences, we all have struggles that other people can relate to. At a place like Stanford, sometimes one can feel like the least put-together person. By opening up and allowing others to hear your problems, you might just come up with answers you were looking for.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2023? I think it is easy to think that only certain types of people go to business school. I fell into that trap too. I thought that I had to come from certain professional or socioeconomic backgrounds or have some exact credentials or metrics to be considered. It is so easy for us to be comparing ourselves to others and doing so never feels good. Stanford is one of the best places to connect, reflect, learn, and develop skills that will not only help you in your career, but also empower you and others to navigate through life. Just know that your story is unique, and telling your story is powerful.