Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Anthony Kayruz, Stanford GSB

Anthony Kayruz

Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School

“A creative, a lawyer, and a businessman. But above all, a son and a friend.”

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was one of three judges in a country music competition.

Undergraduate School and Major Yale University (Ethics, Politics, and Economics)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Summer Associate, McKinsey & Company. Before Stanford, I was a journalist and producer for NBC.

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? I love the GSB’s culture of entrepreneurship. It’s infectious. The school offers classes like Startup Garage, Lean Launchpad, and Biodesign Innovation, where students can incubate their own ideas and connect with other students, mentors, and investors. I took Startup Garage this year to work on an idea that would help young people, who lost parents, navigate post-death logistics and administration (shoutout to my teammates Devyn and Alex!).

I wanted a program that emphasized entrepreneurship. I was on the founding team of NBC News Now, NBC News’ streaming network and loved the experience of developing and launching something new. My dad and grandpa were also entrepreneurs, so maybe it runs in the family.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? Professors and administrators at the GSB take mentorship seriously. They dedicate much of their time to furthering their students’ academic, career, and personal goals. They listen. They are empathetic. They want the best for GSBers—in their career, but more importantly, in life. In my entrepreneurial acquisition course this quarter, the professors begin and end every class with reflections on how to live a meaningful life. And that’s just one example. I am lucky to count many professors and staff members at the GSB as mentors and friends.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Generous. Generous with their time. Generous with their resources. The GSB is intensely collaborative, and students are excited to help their classmates. The GSB feels like the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter. You can always find what you need.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Receiving the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship from Stanford to study at the law and business school. I was awarded the scholarship the month after my dad was killed. I wish he had been alive to see it. I love you, dad.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Being part of the teaching team for the course “Humor: Serious Business.” Two of the professors, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, wrote a book titled Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life. I read it in 2020 (before I started at the GSB), and it soon earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf. My dad was killed in 2019, and I wanted to prioritize humor and levity in my life despite the overwhelming tragedy I had experienced. Jennifer and Naomi had such a positive impact on me through their book. I couldn’t have imagined that less than two years after reading it, I would be teaching alongside them. Jennifer, Naomi, and Connor—if you are reading this, I want to tell you I am so grateful to know you beyond my bookshelf.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I only applied to the GSB. I’m a JD/MBA student, so my process was a bit different!

What has been the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? The GSB teaches students to not defer their dreams too long. Professors like Graham Weaver (who teaches one of the GSB’s popular Managing Growing Enterprises courses) lead workshops on career and purpose. They teach that it’s okay to take risks. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to go for it and miss. In fact, it’s something to be proud of.

That celebration of risk-taking changes the way that students, like me, think about their careers. We are lucky that we get to choose our journeys. It is an incredible privilege, a privilege we hope to exercise well. 

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2024? Let your passions and personality shine in your application. The GSB asks the infamous essay question “What matters most to you and why?” because the school doesn’t just want impressive students. It wants individuals — people with unique motivations and aspirations. You are unique. You have a story worth telling. Find it and put it forward with pride.

My first year at the GSB has been one of the best years of my life. I hope you get the opportunity to come here. If you do, don’t be afraid to find me on campus. I can’t wait to meet you.


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