Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Stefano Schiappacasse, Stanford GSB

Stefano Schiappacasse

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Funny and loyal friend that cares deeply for loved ones and is always curious to learn more.”

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun Fact About Yourself: I share a matching tattoo with 30 of my high school best friends.

Undergraduate School and Major: Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Commercial Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Inversiones Odisea, Investment Manager: Co-Investments and Direct Real Estate

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? Coming from a finance background, I was eager for a transformative experience that went beyond traditional learning. Stanford’s emphasis on leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship promised exactly that—a dynamic environment where these values are not merely taught, but embodied in every aspect of the MBA program. Having the opportunity to be at the epicenter of innovation, engaging directly with founders, venture capitalists, and pioneers who are shaping the future is unparalleled and represents a unique aspect of Stanford’s ecosystem. Additionally, as an international student, the appeal of Stanford’s tight-knit community was undeniable. The smaller class sizes and the on-campus life promised a chance to forge lasting connections. It was important to me to be part of a community where every individual truly knows each other, enabling a deeper level of learning and exchange.

What has been the most important thing that you’ve learned at Stanford GSB so far? The most significant lesson I’ve absorbed at Stanford GSB thus far is the profound strength in vulnerability. Coming from environments where vulnerability was often viewed as a weakness, Stanford has been a revelation. Here, I’ve learned to embrace vulnerability, to see it as a powerful tool for growth and connection rather than something to be shunned.

A pivotal part of this learning journey was the Leadership Laboratory course during our first quarter. This unique setup—meeting weekly in a small group of six classmates and a second-year MBA student, without a traditional instructor—created an environment ripe for deep, personal development. The course is designed ingeniously to spotlight our weaknesses, encouraging us to confront and refine them actively. The exchange of direct, unfiltered feedback among peers was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. It pushed us to look inward, to assess and articulate our areas for improvement, and to practice giving constructive feedback in return.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Stanford GSB? My favorite experience so far has been reigniting my passion for sports, leveraging the superb weather and facilities here. Rediscovering tennis and road biking after years has been exhilarating, enhanced by forming a dedicated training group with my closest friends. This camaraderie, where we motivate each other for daily gym sessions or runs, embodies more than just physical wellness; it’s about building a supportive community. This blend of physical activity and fellowship has been a crucial, enjoyable part of my Stanford journey.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far? Give an example why this is true. The defining quality among my Stanford GSB classmates is their universal “hunger” to make an impact, despite diverse backgrounds including former NFL players, Olympic athletes, founders, and veterans. This ambition is matched with a remarkable humility. Everyone shares a forward-looking perspective, focusing on how they can contribute meaningfully to the world after their MBA, whether through creating something new or joining an existing venture. This collective drive, tempered with humbleness, not only enriches our learning experience but also creates a deeply inspiring community, committed to making a significant difference in the world.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of the highlights of my career has been the chance to collaborate with some of the most brilliant minds in my country. Among these experiences, working alongside former President Piñera and his family stand out as particularly enriching. This engagement was more than an honor; it was a profound educational journey. Through this experience, I absorbed invaluable lessons about professionalism, work ethic, and the relentless pursuit of objectives, regardless of the challenges faced. I learned about the power of optimism and conviction, teaching that even in the toughest circumstances, maintaining a positive outlook and strong belief in one’s cause can lead to successful outcomes. This philosophy has reshaped my approach to both my professional and personal life, guiding me to act with purpose and dedication in everything I do.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? As an MBA student, my most significant accomplishment has been the profound expansion of my comfort zone. Transitioning from Chile to the USA was a daunting challenge, yet it has been an incredibly enriching journey. This leap has introduced me to a diverse array of new experiences and learning opportunities that were once beyond my imagination. Along this journey, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a wide variety of individuals, forging deep connections that will blossom into lifelong friendships. These relationships have become an integral part of my life, enriching my MBA experience with invaluable personal and professional support networks.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? My best MBA memory is a class trip to Hawaii, which was a standout moment for its mix of fun and relationship-building outside the academic setting. This trip allowed us to connect on a deeper level, highlighting the importance of engaging in such experiences. It wasn’t just about exploring a beautiful destination; it was a prime opportunity to forge lasting connections with classmates. This experience has reinforced my belief in the value of actively participating in extracurricular trips and events, as they offer invaluable moments to bond and create lifelong memories with peers.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2026? My advice centers on the importance of deep self-reflection. Before embarking on the application journey, take substantial time for introspection. Consider not just your strengths but also your weaknesses and how you aim to evolve these areas. Envision where you see yourself in 5, 10, and 20 years, and critically assess the skills and tools you’ll need to reach those milestones. Moreover, don’t hesitate to go through the application process. It’s an enlightening experience that reveals much about Stanford GSB’s culture and values. Regardless of the outcome, the application journey offers a valuable opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. Reflect, envision, and apply.


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