Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Myrel Iturrey, Stanford GSB

Myrel Iturrey

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“I’m the proud daughter of Cuban-American immigrants – equal parts talker, dancer, and technology-enthusiast.”

Hometown: Miami, FL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I once co-judged a start-up competition with Pitbull in Miami.

Undergraduate School and Major: Dartmouth College – Political Science and Government

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Prior to coming to the GSB, I was a Vice President on the investment team at Insight Partners, a software-focused private equity and venture capital firm based in New York. At Insight, I worked on late-stage growth and buyout investments in B2B SaaS and FinTech companies.

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? The GSB affords its students countless opportunities for introspection. Prior to coming to the GSB, I found myself in highly structured and competitive professional environments with little time for self-reflection. I thought that the GSB programming would push me to define my interests and goals, as well as my strengths and weaknesses, in order to put myself on the best possible path towards a fulfilling life and career. I have not been disappointed. One of my first assignments at the GSB asked me to write a statement of my core values that would guide me “through my personal life and as a leader of organizations.” I have revisited my responses several times as I selected courses, recruited for summer internships, and considered how to approach my relationships in business school.  Internalizing my core values has allowed me to be more thoughtful as I make important decisions at the GSB and beyond.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? When I came to the GSB, I expected to encounter a group of individuals who knew exactly what they planned to do after business school. I was surprised to learn that many of my classmates came to the GSB to experiment and explore. Outside of a few core classes, the GSB curriculum is flexible and encourages students to “choose their own adventure” as they consider potential career paths. It’s the perfect playground for curious people to delve into their passions and figure out how to apply their talents and interests to become change agents in the world.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why?My classmates at the GSB are some of the most creative people I have ever met. Each of us decided to go to business school in the midst of a global pandemic, not knowing what that would mean for the experience. At every turn, my classmates have come up with unique ways to ensure that our first year did not go to waste. One classmate hosted a weekly virtual wine-tasting, randomly assigning attendees to small groups to encourage new friendships. Other classmates worked tirelessly with the administration to devise a model for hybrid learning, enabling a safe return to the classroom this quarter. I’m extremely grateful for my classmates’ ingenuity, which has helped us form a closely-knit community despite the circumstances.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was a founding member of the Synergist Network, a national network for female investors. As a first-year investment banking analyst, I was frustrated by the lack of senior female representation at my firm. Over breakfast with other women in my class, we discussed how despite many banks’ efforts to hire gender-balanced analyst classes, few women rose to leadership roles in the industry. This trend was even more pronounced on the buy-side. We decided to create a network tailored towards women in the first decade of their careers in investing in the hopes that the relationships we forged early would continue to propel us throughout our careers. Over the next five years, the Synergist Network evolved from a breakfast club to a 501c3 non-profit organization with more than 500 members, as well as active boards in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston. I am extremely proud to have played a small role in cultivating a community that elevates women in the industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School.

What has been the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? I’ve realized that there are few born leaders. Instead, leadership is a skill that can be taught and must be practiced. While I hope to graduate from Stanford with the tools and frameworks to help me become an effective leader, I now understand that honing my leadership style will be a lifelong journey.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2023? Be honest and be open. Everyone has a story to tell, and there’s no faking yours.