Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Louise White, Stanford GSB

Louise White

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“A Southerner passionate about climate solutions and social impact with a penchant for dancing and adventure.”

Hometown: Darlington, South Carolina

Fun Fact About Yourself: I grew up on a free range chicken farm. My first foray into business was at the age of seven when I ran an egg business with my sister – we earned enough to buy a horse!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of South Carolina, International Studies & Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Bain & Company, 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? I was first drawn to Stanford GSB because its mission statement deeply resonated with my personal values and ambitions: change lives, change organizations, change the world. I realized, through the application process actually, that what motivates and matters to me is making positive social change. Stanford seemed like the right business school to explore how I can best act on that ambition. Additionally, the GSB’s focus on personal development and growth – evidenced by its famous Touchy Feely course, TALK student experience, and other leadership development programs (Lead Labs, Arbuckle Fellows, etc.) – stuck out to me. I wanted to come to Stanford not only for a robust business management education but also to invest in my personal development.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? It’s been a learning opportunity to recognize that even Stanford GSB, as an institution, is working on evolving to keep up with the changing business and societal context we are living in. Even as the GSB works to stay abreast of changing expectations and implications for business in society, I’ve been blown away to see my classmates play such an integral part in enriching the learning environment and filling in the gaps. It’s been inspiring to see classmates take the initiative to host a panel discussion on Ukraine-Russia, organize and advocate for diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives, and drive conversations that grapple with the role of capitalism today.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Passionate. It is amazing how much passion everyone carries for something, which creates a rich and diverse learning environment. Whether it’s classmates hosting educational workshops for fellow students or launching new entrepreneurial endeavors, I am constantly inspired by how dedicated everyone is to sharing and pursuing their passions.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Contributing to the fight against climate change! While working at the Environmental Defense Fund, I worked with an incredible team to advocate for oil & gas methane emission reductions (methane is a really potent greenhouse gas). We made tangible progress in driving good policy and corporate climate action through collaboration across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. This experience showed me first-hand how I can play a role in addressing climate change, and it is ultimately what inspired me to pursue an MBA and explore how to leverage private sector tools (alongside policy) to drive climate outcomes.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? So far at the GSB, I am most grateful for helping elevate conversations around business’ role in society and addressing climate change. I am part of the new student leadership teams for the Corporations and Society Initiative and the Business & Environment Club on campus. I am excited to continue creating space and bringing in diverse perspectives that challenge (often) extractive business practices and consider how to build more sustainable and equitable corporate, political, and social systems.

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? The importance and power of personal stories has really stuck out to me since starting at the GSB. It is easy to under-appreciate the diversity of experiences and backgrounds that everyone brings to campus. It has been humbling and fulfilling to learn more about my classmates’ personal and professional experiences, motivations, and values. At Stanford and beyond, I hope to continue embracing the power of stories to better understand others and build stronger and richer relationships.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2024? Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about who you are and why you want to get an MBA. It is a large financial, professional, and mental/emotional investment and the time goes by quickly. Really understanding what you’re trying to get out of the experience (career and/or personal goals) helps with confirming whether an MBA is the right next step for you, crafting an honest and compelling application, and knowing how to prioritize your time once you’re here. Overall, this can support you in pursuing the MBA experience that you really want.

DON’T MISS: MEET STANFORD GSB’S MBA CLASS OF 2023

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