Meet The Stanford GSB MBA Class Of 2025

Stanford GSB Campus

P&Q: Two years ago, P&Q asked you to share how you’ve integrated AI, STEM, analytics, and digital disruption into your programming. Since then, what types of enhancements have you made in these areas?

Oyer: “Our faculty are at the forefront of cutting-edge research developments in these areas, and they bring their insights and experience into our classrooms every day.

In addition, as I shared earlier, Stanford GSB is integrating an understanding of the relationship between business and governmental institutions into the educational experience through our Business, Government & Society initiative. One of the areas of focus of this initiative is how we can create, deploy, scale and govern technology to improve people’s lives. Stanford GSB is bringing together experts from across the social sciences, technology, and organizational and market design to develop insights into solutions that benefit all.

In terms of new courses, while it would not be possible to capture them all in one answer, some new elective courses in these areas of focus include:

Professor Kuang Xu’s and Lecturer Luis Voloch’s AI and Data Science course, where our students examine companies at various sizes and stages, from seed to IPO. They study real-life cases to understand how companies can leverage AI, data science and machine learning to build effective teams, core competencies, and competitive advantages. Several AI entrepreneurs, executives, and investors also join the class discussions to share their perspectives with our students.

Professor Andrew Hall’s course: Building Trustworthy Products in a Divided World. This class examines how leaders can design and build new technology products, make decisions, and develop and enforce policies that society can trust. A variety of leaders from the tech space visit the class to share insights on how new developments in AI, AR/VR, social media and web3 can maximize good outcomes, minimize harms, and rebuild trust between technology and society.”

Stanford MBAs meeting after class

P&Q: What is your biggest student-run event of the year and what does it reflect about your school?

Oyer: “Because so many of our amazing student-run events touch hundreds of members of our community, we can’t define just one as the biggest. One thing that makes Stanford GSB unique is the breadth and variety of student-run programming, both large and small.

Students gain valuable experience by owning these events, from conception to planning to implementation; and the events themselves are marked by students coming together to build community, educate themselves and others, and celebrate accomplishments.”

P&Q: What makes Palo Alto (and the Bay Area in general) such a great place to earn an MBA? How has Stanford leveraged local resources to provide opportunities for students to learn and gain work experience?

Oyer: “Stanford GSB shares a special relationship with Silicon Valley, as a place where people, potential, and ideas come together to achieve the unimaginable. In this unique environment of inspiration, innovation and collaboration, our students develop the passion to lead, the courage to take risks, and the motivation to strive to make a positive impact on the world.

There is undoubtedly an entrepreneurial mindset that can benefit students from all industries, and regardless of their particular post-graduation plans. Interdisciplinary collaboration, rich conversations, and the spirit of challenging conventional thinking are a crucial part of our school experience. The GSB is an open-minded institution that inspires optimism and is eager to tackle any problem, big or small.

In addition, our Career Management Center helps students with career planning and developing personal and professional skills to achieve their goals, both while they are a student and beyond. This includes offering career resources, providing one-on-one advising at every stage of the process, and helping them leverage an extensive network.”

Stanford GSB Entrance

5 REASONS TO CONSIDER STANFORD GSB

1) Entrepreneurship: “As a GSB student, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the abundant resources and active entrepreneurial culture at Stanford. The “Founders” Slack channel was initiated by our classmates from the beginning of school, with numerous founder meet-ups across various industries taking place. Stanford offers many entrepreneurship courses that teach you how to develop your ideas, with successful startups like Doordash emerging from these programs. Talks from venture capitalists or founders are organized by clubs nearly every day. Additionally, there are many cross-school opportunities to connect with entrepreneurial talents from other departments such as the School of Engineering and School of Medicine. All these programs and connections have proven extremely helpful as I navigate my entrepreneurial journey.”
Avis Chan

2) Social Impact: “Stanford GSB’s offerings in the social impact space were the deciding factor for me. It’s one thing to talk about impact in an academic setting, and there’s plenty of great impact-related classes here. But as someone who learns best by doing, I wanted a place where I could dive into social impact in a hands-on way. In courses like “Analysis and Measurement of Impact”, students partner with local governments, NGOs, and other organizations on social impact projects aligned with the course’s learning goals. That is exactly the kind of field-specific learning experience I was looking for from business school. Stanford GSB also puts its money where its mouth is and has multiple ways to fund social impact-oriented summers—from Seed internships in emerging economies to SMIF grants.”
Catherine Lacy

3) Philosophy: “Stanford GSB’s programming stood out to me because of its intentionality with developing the student as a whole person, rather than simply imbuing them with the requisite skills for a high paying career. GSB’s emphasis on personal and interpersonal development is important to me because I know I’ll reap the benefits for the rest of my life, in and out of the office.”
Nicholas Tobin

“Ultimately, what made me choose Stanford was realizing it is a campus that fosters innovation by bringing together different minds and disciplines. Here you don’t have to be – shouldn’t be – one thing. You are encouraged to be many. To me, Stanford is not only a university, but also an incubator to brainstorm and execute what’s next. A place where I can be a former banker, turned anchor/writer/actress, soon to be anything I dream of.”
Patricia Fernandez de Castro

4) Leadership Lab: “My favorite course at Stanford GSB has been the Leadership Lab. It’s a first-quarter course where theory meets practice. In small groups of 5/6 MBA1s and an MBA2, we engage in role-playing exercises and simulations that mirror real-life leadership challenges, complete with urgency and ambiguity. After each simulation, we reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what new approaches we want to try either individually or as a team. This experience has deepened my understanding of my leadership style, taught me how to further master the art of adaptability, and provided valuable insights into how others perceive me. But what I treasure most are the lasting friendships formed during the Lab—relationships I know will endure far beyond my time at Stanford.”
Patricia Fernandez de Castro

5) Traditions: “The weekly TALK sessions, where classmates share their journeys, have become a highlight of my GSB experience. It’s like listening to concise yet captivating autobiographies delivered with humor and authenticity. I’ve enjoyed them because they remind me that despite our different backgrounds, we share common hopes and dreams. They have helped me develop stronger connections with my classmates and an appreciation for their stories. I hope to give a TALK before I graduate.”
Mubarak Alliyu

“View From The Top. It’s not every day that you get to hear from people whose work impacts millions of lives. 2-3 times each quarter, Stanford GSB students interview leaders on the lessons they have learned throughout their career. The most powerful part of View From The Top is realizing that ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
Kailash Sundaram

GSB at dusk

APPLICATION ADVICE

“Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and dream big in your application. As Steve Jobs said, it’s the “round pegs in the square holes,” the ones who see differently, that change the world after all.”
Kailash Sundaram

“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.”
Stefano Schiappacasse

MBA Student Hometown Undergraduate Alma Mater Last Employer
Katharine (Kate) Adams Louisville, KY Indiana University Bain & Company
Mubarak Alliyu Ede, Nigeria University of Lagos Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Avis Chan Hong Kong, China University of Hong Kong Bain & Company
Rakiya Cunningham Mesquite, TX University of Texas at Austin Shell
Patricia Fernandez de Castro Mexico City, Mexico University of Notre Dame Televisa and Amazon Studios
Stephen Flynn Tullamore, Ireland University College Dublin NA
Richard Hamrick Richmond, VA Vanderbilt University McKinsey & Company
Catherine Lacy Darien, CT Yale University Capital One
Salome Mikadze Kyiv, Ukraine Georgetown University Movadex
Stefano Schiappacasse Santiago, Chile Pontificia Universidad Catolica Inversiones Odisea
Kailash Sundaram Boston, MA Harvard University Altos Ventures
Nicholas Tobin Windsor, Canada U.S. Military Academy U.S. Army

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