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September 2007 Archives

4 September 2007

Walking the talk on global and social impact

Some of you have asked what we'll do about the carbon emissions generated by students flying around the globe to fulfill their Global Experience Requirement.

We estimate that this requirement will generate up to 900 tons of CO2, which is about as much as 192 of the average world citizen would generate. In response, the Stanford GSB took a proactive approach and has partnered with TerraPass to offset the carbon emissions through project investments in wind power, methane capture, industrial efficiency, and more.

BTW, we also buy TerraPass offsets for Admit Weekend, making those events carbon-neutral.


5 September 2007

Just made my first loan through

A few weeks ago I finally took the time to read up on and ended up making my first loan to an entrepreneur in Azerbaijan who needed cash to increase and diversify her inventory. This was a great experience and more rewarding than getting myself more tunes or another movie.

Kiva has succeeded in changing lives by creating a way for people like me to loan $25 to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world.

Kiva was co-founded by Jessica Flannery, MBA 2007, and is a great example of the passion our students bring to the GSB.

10 September 2007

Extracurricular leadership opportunities at the GSB

Here's an interesting factoid:

According to my colleague Angie Wilcox, Asst Director of Student Life here at the GSB, there are over 500 extracurricular leadership opportunities at the GSB alone. This number does not include the wealth of opportunities available within the larger Stanford community!

More later,

12 September 2007

Just because applicants with less work experience are welcome doesn't mean applicants with more experience are unwelcome.

Thanks for your feedback and questions! Here's a great one for our Myth Buster Category:

Ahmed from Cairo asks: Many MBA Admission blogs are saying that Stanford MBA Adcom is not interested in applicants above 27 years old.

Allison Davis, Director of Operations, MBA Admissions Office, reponds: Not true! (I hope you took the opportunity to ask Derrick about this at his info session in Cairo earlier this week.)

This myth came about because we started reaching out to candidates earlier in their careers after realizing that many were waiting longer to apply because they thought schools wouldn't consider them seriously without 4+ years of work experience.

And even though candidates kept telling us they felt ready to apply after working just one or two years they tended to wait because the advice they got from co-workers, friends, and advisors was that more years in the workforce made them more competitive for admission. Again, this is not true.

Reaching out to candidates earlier in their careers also gave us the opportunity to attract more women to the GSB. While women apply to other professional schools in record numbers (everyone knows you don't need any work experience to get into law or medical school), many don't consider business school until after they have established their careers; a time when the idea of getting an MBA seriously competes with taking time out for children.

In addition, we found that some excellent candidates (both male and female) were so successful in their careers that the opportunity costs of coming to business school were too high with the result that they didn't apply. Yet they might have considered--and benefitted from--an MBA earlier in their careers.

I hope this explains why our efforts to reach candidates earlier in their careers created this myth. As Derrick Bolton frequently states: "Just because applicants with less work experience are welcome doesn't mean applicants with more work experience are unwelcome."

The most important advice we can give you is that since you know best when the time is right for you to enter our MBA Program, apply when YOU are ready!

With best wishes,
Allison Davis

Editor's Note: Back when Stanford GSB Dean Bob Joss entered business school, many of his fellow students came straight from college or had less than two years of work experience.

Looking at GSB alums such as Phil Knight (MBA 1962; founder of Nike), Jeffrey Bewkes (MBA 1977; chairman of Time Warner), and Ann Livermore (MBA 1982; executive vice president at Hewlett-Packard), you can see that this practice made sense.

For a great article about why it makes sense to come to Stanford with little or no work experience, read Dean Joss' article in the Stanford Business Magazine.

16 September 2007

Talent knows no borders

Today's question comes from a prospective candidate in Africa:

Sa'ad from Nigeria asks: I'm thinking seriously about applying to Stanford. Are prospective students from Africa with undergraduate degrees from non-US schools at a disadvantage?

Answer: Being from Africa (or any other continent) or having an undergraduate degree from a non-US school does not at all put you at a disadvantage. Our students have very diverse backgrounds which is, in fact, something we actively seek.

Let me illustrate this with a few statistics: The MBA Class of 2008 includes students from 48 different nations; members of this class went to 162 different colleges and universities around the globe (84 US schools and 78 international schools).

In addition to classmates from every continent, you will also find lots of support among the GSB student-run clubs, many of which focus on specific geographic areas including Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and even Texas.

Let me also quote Eric Abrams, Director of Outreach: "The Stanford GSB strives to build an intellectually diverse student body. We enroll talented leaders--and talent knows no borders."

I hope this answered your question,

LGBT conference "Reaching Out 2007" held in San Francisco

This year's conference is organized by a group of students from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

The Stanford GSB is represented by Out4Biz co-presidents Corey Harris and Brian Theisen, both MBA Class of 2008.

The 10th annual Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference will be held 11-14 October 2007 in San Francisco.

22 September 2007

We are your first point of contact

Several readers have asked if they may contact current students and faculty directly. The answer is no, please don't!

Faculty and students are incredibly busy. In addition, neither faculty nor students have the time to keep up with changing admission procedures or policies.

Questions about the MBA Program here at Stanford, or about the admission process are best and most accurately answered by counselors in the MBA Admissions Office. Call or email, we are friendly, easy to talk to, and happy to help you.

We have set up several programs to give you the opportunity to meet students via the GSB's on-campus outreach events . Class visits, in particular, are great ways to meet faculty as well.

Want to meet and talk to GSB alumni? Come and attend one of our worldwide information sessions.

We know it is easy to find contact information for our faculty and students but we ask that you honor our request and respect their incredibly busy schedules by refraining from contacting them directly.

Thank you!!

23 September 2007

The journey of the GMAT scores

Wu Yun Uei asks: How can I be sure that you received my GMAT score?

Yes, this process seems a bit mysterious, doesn't it?

When you take the GMAT (the same is true for the GRE and TOEFL), you will be asked which school(s) you want your scores sent to. The testing agency then sends the scores to us electronically.

It is the testing agency's responsibility to accurately distribute the scores, and you are not expected to track or follow up to make sure this happened.

Your responsibility is to accurately self-report your scores in the online application. If you took the test but don't yet know your scores, simply record zeros (after we upload the scores from the testing agency, our operations team matches them with your application).

In the rare case where we find a discrepancy between the self-reported score and the official score received from the testing agency, we will contact you for clarification.

You may also be interested to know that while we evaluate your application with your self-reported test scores, we do verify them for all admitted students.

I hope this helps,

24 September 2007

If you didn't hear it from us, it may not be true

A few days ago I received this email and wanted to share it with you because it is a great example of what can happen when you rely on hearsay*.

"I'm concerned to hear from people that adcom is interested only in what I am doing right now rather than what I have accomplished in the past. I struggled hard to achieve a gold medal in the national games when I was 14. Do these achievements lose value with age? Some people even suggested to make just a passing mention of my medal in the essays. But the journey was incredibly tough and my values come from that journey."

I'm so glad the writer of this email contacted us directly so we could tell her that what she heard was wrong.

I'm pretty sure the source of confusion was the fact that for Essay C we ask that applicants rely on experiences that occurred during the last 3 years. However, this is not true for Essays A and B.

In fact, her passionate email would translate well into Essay A "What matters most to you and why".....but now imagine the same essay where she follows the advice of her friends and gives the medal and the experiences leading up to winning it only a passing mention...

Many people claim they know our admission requirements and are only too willing to share. However, even friends who are currently enrolled at the GSB may not be able to answer nuanced questions or be familiar with the latest essay questions.

Everything you need to know in order to put together a compelling application can be found on the Stanford MBA Program website . If you need additional information please feel free to contact us directly. We'll be happy to answer your questions.

Researching the schools you're interested in can be time consuming but unfortunately there are no shortcuts. As illustrated above, you run the risk of putting yourself at a significant disadvantage by relying on hearsay.


* For you international visitors to the blog, I thought I'd explain what's meant by "hearsay" means a mixture of truths and untruths; word of mouth; gossip; or rumor