Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Andrea Epelbaum, Stanford GSB

Andrea Epelbaum

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Idealistic and ambitious Argentinean with dreams of improving the world through technology and education.”

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fun Fact About Yourself: I starred in an airport commercial in Argentina when I was a child.

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Industrial Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked as a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Before that, I worked in Financial Planning and Analysis at MercadoLibre

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? Aspiring to leverage technology to improve lives, I was attracted to the GSB primarily because of how the school is always on the frontier of how things are changing. GSB is immersed into the technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem, but at the same time focusing on introspection and developing leaders that will have a lasting positive impact on society. Moreover, as an international student, I had always wanted to live my MBA as a life experience and dreamed about the opportunity of living on campus. The Stanford campus is amazing and allows you to connect with other students not only in the classroom but also in endless social activities in the residences and sports.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? I expected my classmates to be smart, but it really surprised me how open everyone is to sharing their stories, being vulnerable, and caring for each other. Every Monday, we meet to hear the personal stories of two of our classmates in a GSB tradition called “TALK”. The first time I went, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I definitely didn’t think that it was possible to feel a strong connection with someone in 20 minutes. Getting to know each other’s childhood stories, families, and challenges has been one of the most enriching experiences at GSB. This would be impossible without having classmates who are so open to stepping out of their comfort zone and being vulnerable.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far? Give an example why this true.  It’s hard to find the perfect words to describe such a diverse group, but one thing that stands out for me is the combination of a high level of ambition and being laid back and humble. Every GSBer I know is really thinking about changing the world, each in a different way and in a different region and industry, but all looking for positive impact. Their achievements so far are spectacular, from participating in the Olympic Games to working in government and founding well-known startups. However, they are all vulnerable, open to learning, and getting to know you, and growing together.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Looking back at how much I have grown in the last few years fills me with pride. Helping Latin American companies implement technology to develop new markets and better meet the needs of the people has been extremely rewarding. In my work, I had the chance to work with the main leaders of Argentine companies and entrepreneurs that are trying to change the reality of many. At the same time, it surprised me how I transitioned in less than three years from a new junior associate to an advisor and mentor of many of the new hires, helping others make the most of their experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? My biggest accomplishment at the GSB so far has been learning to feel more comfortable being outside of my comfort zone. Before coming to the GSB, I had lived in Argentina almost all my life and didn’t even imagine myself being on the other side of the continent surrounded by such a diverse group of people. Now, I feel extremely proud of having connected with classmates from more than 25 countries (and counting…) and sharing Argentina’s culture, perspective, and fun facts with them. I am very excited to be planning the next Argentina trek!

What has been the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? Achievement and success can mean very different things to different people. Being around so many extremely accomplished people and openly discussing what we seek in our lives made me realize that there is no one way to define success. The key is to understand what is important to each of us and prioritize and make decisions based on that. There is not one single type of leader, and there is not one single type of successful person.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2024?  My first piece of advice is: apply, you will not regret it. Second, take the application as an opportunity to introspect and think about what you want to achieve in life. Not only will you be able to tell a better story in the application, but it will be very useful for your MBA experience (prioritizing what you want to do here is key!).


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.