Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Richard Hamrick, Stanford GSB

Richard Hamrick

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Enthusiastic builder of authentic and inspiring consumer experiences, a new husband, and an avid golfer.”

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Fun Fact About Yourself: In my free time, I love mountaineering and have climbed three “14ers” (14,000-foot mountains) – with plans for a few more during my time in California.

Undergraduate School and Major: Vanderbilt University – Economics and European History

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: McKinsey & Company, Manager of Strategy & Operations, North America

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? What really stood out to me about Stanford GSB is the commitment to offering courses in a wide variety of formats and learning experiences. No two classes are taught in precisely the same way – in the span of a week, I might have a few case-based discussions, participate in a situational role-play with peers, tackle a business analytics challenge, and then hear a guest CEO share their approach to leadership in industry. GSB faculty choose the class format and learning experience that they believe best suits their course content based on decades of research and teaching experience. As someone who gets bored easily, I knew that I would constantly be challenged and pushed in the classroom. In my first few months here, I can confidently say that the experience hasn’t been a letdown in the slightest!

What has been the most important thing that you’ve learned at Stanford GSB so far? The most important skill I am learning at GSB is the art of being intentional with my time. Every day around Stanford’s campus, there is a ton going on beyond the classroom – from lunches with leaders across industries and sessions with employers, to club and organizational meetings and other informal gatherings. I often feel like a kid in a candy store: there are so many incredible things to do, but there are only 24 hours in a day!

While I can’t say that I’m an expert on time management yet, I have learned a few valuable tricks. One, I picked up in a session on prioritization hosted by the GSB Career Management Center. Every Sunday, I look at the calendar for the week ahead and categorize events – ordering them from the most important that I attend (e.g., class and interviews) to things that may be less important (e.g., trivia night). This helps me thoughtfully engage in events that I am most excited about without tiring myself out by saying yes to everything. Stanford GSB has a great phrase – instead of worrying about “FOMO,” the fear of missing out, we try to embrace “JOMO,” the joy of missing out, which happens when you make intentional choices about how you want to spend your time. JOMO is all about celebrating the choices that we intentionally make, recognizing that each decision contributes to a fulfilling experience.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Stanford GSB? Money & Banking with Professor Arvind Krishnamurthy has been a terrific primer on the inner workings of the United States financial system. Professor Krishnamurthy is an expert in financial systems and capital markets who regularly advises legislators on financial regulation and policy. Throughout our time in the course, we have gone through a deep-dive on how interest rate changes and investor expectations impact capital markets. At the same time, we have also looked at how policymakers and private entities collaborate to manage economic growth and inflation in countries around the world. We’ve also had an incredibly impressive set of guest lecturers visit our class, including the Presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City and the CEO of a startup in the fintech space.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far? Give an example of why this is true. I have been blown away by the authenticity of my peers. All of my classmates, both first- and second-year MBA students, have been incredibly welcoming, supportive, and transparent. They are genuinely excited to help one another and collaborate to achieve whatever it is they are working on – from tackling assignments and projects to building new student organizations or starting new businesses beyond campus.

One simple phenomenon that speaks to this amazing culture of authenticity that we have here at GSB: whenever you run into a classmate on campus and ask them how they are doing, you never get back a one-word answer. Instead, they will give you a thoughtful response that captures what they are working on, what they are excited about, and what they might be struggling with or looking for help on. Members of our community are never transactional; instead, they are excited to share their aspirations and find ways to help you achieve yours too.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far? Throughout my time as a consultant, I was privileged to serve several leading institutions as they grappled with the effects of the pandemic and sought to protect the lives and livelihoods of both their customers and employees. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to help a client implement a new financial management and monitoring system that helped them more efficiently manage spend to enable them to invest in their employees and customers. During the most straining moments of the pandemic, when consumer demand plummeted, our client was able to maintain financial solvency and avoid involuntary layoffs of their frontline employees. I am proud to have contributed, in some small way, to an effort that helped maintain employment for thousands of operations personnel.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I’m proud that I’ve been able to bring my former experience in management consulting to bear by helping several of my classmates break into the industry. Recruiting for consulting internships is highly competitive, and the whole process is known to be quite time-consuming and stressful. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with members of my class as they have honed their case interview skills and prepared for behavioral interviews. More than 20 of my peers have received offers to join management consulting firms this summer, and I am incredibly excited about the amazing experiences they will have!

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? The obvious answer is that there are so many to choose from! Here’s one from earlier this quarter: we don’t have class on Wednesdays – which we typically use to tackle our homework or group projects, participate in club meetings, and catch-up with our classmates. Wednesdays are also great days to get off campus and explore everything the Bay Area has to offer. Earlier this quarter, the GSB Golf Club organized a group trip down to world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most famous golf courses in the United States. Sixteen GSB students went down and spent the day playing golf and exploring some of California’s most beautiful nature. Some of the most meaningful and stimulating conversations that I’ve had at GSB happen outside the classroom during outings just like these. Having the opportunity to participate in such amazing experiences with my peers in the GSB community is a large component of what has made my time here so special.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the GSB Class of 2026? Don’t write an application that you think Stanford GSB wants or expects you to write. Applying to business school can be daunting, but the application process can be incredibly rewarding in and of itself. Before writing my application, I took real time to sit-down and reflect on the first few years of my career and on my professional and personal aspirations. Admittedly, I had not considered these questions in depth since my time in college, and the self-reflection was long overdue. I found the application was a fantastic way to reestablish goals for my career and personal life – and to express how Stanford could help me get there!

DON’T MISS: MEET THE STANFORD GSB MBA CLASS OF 2025

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