Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Katie Deal, Stanford GSB

Katie Deal

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Passionate about making our economy more resilient, sustainable, and equitable for the people it serves.”

Hometown: Johnson City, Tennessee

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love finding new music and am always in search of artists and genres I’ve never explored. Since 2017, I’ve kept the habit of listening to a new album each week.

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Virginia, where I graduated with a degree in Political and Social Thought. I’m also pursuing a master’s degree in public policy at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: T. Rowe Price: Vice President and Investment Analyst, Public Policy Research

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 is more than a platform for leadership development – it’s an active partner, providing the resources, coaching, and community required to help us reach our fullest potential within and beyond our time at Stanford. That emphasis on personal growth and mission-driven leadership brought me to the GSB. Even in a span of a few short months, I’ve been pushed far beyond my comfort zone to question limiting beliefs I once had and take bigger risks in the way I show up. Whether in classes like Leadership Labs or through programming driven by the Center for Social Innovation, the GSB is a place where students are deeply committed to becoming better than they were yesterday and where the broader institution invests in that commitment.

What has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about Stanford GSB so far? When I walk through Town Square, I’m always in awe of how lucky I am to learn from people as talented as they are humble, and as curious as they are generous. In a typical day, I’m in classes led by renowned CEOs, field-defining scientists, former public servants, and founders who have disrupted entire industries. My classmates and friends have launched companies; represented the best of their countries—as Olympic athletes, policymakers, and service people; and leveraged their skills to help their communities through moments of crisis, from the pandemic to climate disaster. The potential to have paradigm-shifting, life-changing conversations at any moment is totally surreal, and I strive to never get used to it—even though you could call it “normal” at a place like the GSB.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far? Give an example why this true. Mission-driven. When you ask a GSBer about their next job, they don’t name an industry or position. Instead, they’ll likely start explaining the critical problem they want to address and how they’ll use their career to help find a solution. That impact-oriented, people-first ethos is the common thread that unites students across the GSB, and it creates a culture that’s always in pursuit of “what matters most.”

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I joined T. Rowe without a background in finance and found myself solely responsible for the investments division’s public policy coverage during an intensely volatile era in political history.

Over the course of five years, I led the revamp of our policy research process. I took what was summary-based research and turned it into forward-looking, strategic guidance on the legislative, legal, and regulatory events that influenced our portfolio holdings. I analyzed thousands of pages of bill text, provided insights into industry fundamentals across multiple geographies, and built a team to ensure our capacity could serve investors across our global offices.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Above all else, I’m a fiancée to my partner (she’s also an MBA1 at the GSB!), a daughter, sister, and friend to those who have become my chosen family. This experience can feel all-encompassing at times, but I’ve tried to make sure that I never lose sight of the people who have made me who I am today – whether that means planning date nights, using breaks for trips home, or sending podcast-length voice notes between classes.

What has been the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started your MBA program? Community has always been pivotal to the way I’ve defined myself, especially as a queer person. But my experience at the GSB has underscored the importance of community – not only in shaping my definition of success, but in furthering the boldness with which I pursue it. My friends at the GSB have helped me dream bigger and pursue goals more audacious than I could have imagined alone –

whether in sourcing meetings with my team at the Impact Fund or in dinner party conversations with classmates that stretch into the earliest hours of the morning. I’ve especially found that true within GSB Pride, where I’ve watched my classmates come together in a commitment to be each other’s home-away-from-home and biggest cheerleaders from day one. At the GSB, I feel like I’m contributing to something bigger than myself: a team whose confidence, dedication, and joy keep me going when things get tough.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2024? There is no one “type” of MBA student! I never expected to apply to business school, and I’m one of many at the GSB who would say the same thing. One of the defining attributes of our school culture is the diversity and richness of the stories that bring people to the GSB and the very fact that extraordinary leaders can be found across every walk of life. Never count yourself out of a life-changing opportunity because you don’t fit “the mold” of a typical MBA student – it’s that difference that will make you remarkable.



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