Six Reasons to Consider Stanford GSB

If you’re gunning for a top-tier MBA, chances are that you’ve at least considered applying to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. But, besides knowing that it’s a small, top-ranked school with strong ties to Silicon Valley, how well do you really know the school? How do you know if it’s a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the admissions committee will decide you’re a good fit for Stanford?

Today we look at six reasons why you might want to apply to Stanford:

You do not come from a technology background.
Despite a common belief to the contrary, Stanford does not have a high number of students who were in high tech either before or after going through their program. Only 6% of the Class of 2010 came from this industry, and even fewer were hired into technology firms upon graduation. Now, this does not include entrepreneurs who launched high-tech companies at Stanford, so the numbers are undoubtedly higher — and even more importantly, this does not mean that if you are a technologist, that you should in any way be discouraged from applying to Stanford. Your expertise would likely be highly valued on campus with so many erstwhile tech entrepreneurs around!

You earned your undergraduate degree in the humanities.
Stanford admits far more students who come from a liberal arts background than any other major — and far more of these humanities types than many other top schools. For the Class of 2011, nearly half (47%) studied humanities or the social sciences as an undergraduate. This compares with 36% from engineering, science, or math backgrounds.

You want to pursue a career in consulting.
With such a strong general management program, for over a generation, Stanford has been sending more graduates into consulting than any other industry. In 2009, almost a third of the class became consultants, with the majority of them moving into management consulting and a fraction going into strategy. This is at least partly attributable to the relatively high concentration of consultants entering the program. For the Class of 2011, 20% were consultants before business school.

You are interested in entrepreneurship.
This probably goes without saying: Stanford is a great place to launch a business. More than 40 graduates of the Class of 2009 (12% of the overall class) struck out on their own after completing the program — during the economic downturn, no less! The numbers have been even higher in more abundant times.

You’re thinking about a career in venture capital.
While fewer Stanford students go straight to venture capital than consulting or investment banking — less than 5% of each graduating class became VCs the past few years — it’s still more than at any other school.

You are a career switcher.
In years past, the GSB reported high numbers — well over 50%, and possibly as high as 80% — of graduates who landed in a new industry, and/or an entirely new functional area, than where they started before beginning their graduate education. The resources and format of the Stanford MBA can support those changing direction in their lives, and the environment of change even encourages it.

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