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Did you go through the new curriculum? If so, what did you think of it?
I'm still deciding whether to apply this fall or next fall, but I was in Palo Alto and decided to visit. I hadn't really looked at Stanford much because I'd rather end up on the East coast, so I kind of visited on a whim. I'll have to admit that after I heard about the new curriculum I was ready to take it off my list almost as fast as it went on. They can say that recruiters don't know about that information, but as a recruiter I know I'd want the more "advanced" students and as a student I'd want to use that to my advantage. I know there were a couple of other people in the info session that didn't seem sold and I was wondering what it was like, especially from a recruiting perspective.
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy
ashaker, visit before the end of the school year if you can. Stanford starts the visit program early October, and their R1 deadline is late October, so you wo'nt have much time to really get a feel for the school to incorporate anything into your essays if you visit later.
high hopes: To help terry12 out here, he hasn't started yet. But when I first heard the curriculum, it was what made me *want* to go to Stanford because of their emphasis on soft skills first and understanding the big picture before learning the detailed foundation classes (finance, econ, statistics). They also really push critical thinking and have a class where you get challenged by 16 other peers on your research on a topic. From your post, I'm really not sure what you meant by "not being sold" on their new curriculum. Could you be more specific? I think Stanford's flexibility with allowing you to take more advanced courses, and their reshuffling of soft and hard skills during the 1st year is one of the biggest plusses of the program. My 2 cents.
I'm terribly sorry I didn't have a chance to respond to your questions until now. I've been out of town for the past week and had ~30 minutes of internet access.
Ashaker- Kryzak was kind enough to answer for me, I don't have much to add there. Don't feel compelled to visit Stanford if it'll be difficult to get to the West Coast... they don't track visits closely, and I know several people (myself included) who hadn't been to the GSB until admit weekend. It's much more important that you're able to talk about how the Stanford curriculum (see below), entrepreneurial programs, small size, etc. will benefit you. The information sessions are terrific and the website has a wealth of material on classes and programs that should help you with essays.
Highhopes- Kryzak's right, I haven't started school yet so I can't comment too specifically. But in general, I agree with Kryzak. The new flexible/tailored curriculum allows you to choose what you want to focus on and concentrate your efforts in that area. I'll use myself as an example. I'm pretty sure I want to do something related to medical devices/biotech (either start-up or VC). So my curriculum would prominently feature courses from Biodesign Innovation, Bio-X, and other programs allowing close collaboration with students and faculty from the medical and life sciences schools. I'm pretty sure I don't want to go into finance... so I'd take the "basic" finance and accounting courses. Conversely, I know some folks from PE who want to get back into that area. They'll take a bunch of heavy-duty advanced finance courses and stay as far away from Biodesign Innovation and Bio-X as possible. That's the beauty of the program. We all get a general grounding in basic underlying principles but get a jump start on what we "really" want to do. Assuming you know what you want to do, this sort of education should (hopefully) look pretty attractive to employers.
As kry mentioned, the new curriculum has placed a lot of emphasis on critical thinking, with the Critical Analytic Thinking (CAT) seminar and the capstone seminar at the conclusion of second year. Along these lines, each student is assigned a writing coach to improve his writing skills. Pretty cool, I think.
Finally (I hinted at this above), the collaboration between the various graduate schools at Stanford is incredible. Remember, we're talking a top-3 law school, top-3 engineering/CS school, top-3 education school, top-10 med school, and top-5 in pretty much everything else. So if you want to go into biotech, etc., you can collaborate with the medical and life sciences schools. If you want to go into entrepreneurship, there are some terrific courses covering the patent process in partnership with the law school. If you want to get into education administration, take education courses or go ahead and get the MBA/M.Ed. And I won't even get started on the tech entrepreneurship collaborations with the engineering and CS schools.
I hope I answered your question... let me know if anything's unclear.
Sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling. As usual, kryzak beat me to the punch in any event
As kry pointed out, around 200 out of 370 first-year students live in Schwab, a pretty sweet dorm. It's about a five-minute walk from the current GSB and is across the street from the new GSB, to be completed in 2 years. A lot of the socializing in the first-year class occurs around Schwab. There are actually too few spots to meet demand there... places go on a first-come/first-serve basis, another reason to apply in the first round! (Note: Schwab is limited to single students.)
There are other on-campus possibilities, for single and married/family students. The most popular is Escondido Village, about a ten-minute walk from the GSB. Kry mentioned the usual places for off-campus housing.
With respect to a car... you can get by without one, especially if you live on campus. You'll just have to be willing to take trips to the grocery stores, etc. with friends who have cars (not much in the way of Safeway or Target within walking distance).
Must be a great feeling once u graduate. To brief about me, i am a chartered accountant from India (equivalent to CPA in US). Of late i have been doing a lot of research on US Bschools. i m more inclined towards PE post MBA. my hunch is stanford is strongly focussed towards finance private equity. Just want to know whether my assessment is correct. May i know what percentage of your batch got into PE post MBA and whther it was through internship there or some other way and what is the typical profile of a person who gets into PE. Thanks
Here to answer any questions about Stanford. I'll do my best to help!
Deepak- I haven't graduated (I've barely begun), so take what I say with some caution. I don't know that Stanford is as focused on finance as other schools like Wharton and Chicago, but we tend to do well in finance placement. For the past several years 10-15% of graduating students have gone into private equity with a similar number entering investment management. By comparison, ~5% head into traditional investment banking. I don't know how the numbers will look this year after the market shake-down. Regardless, my impression is that most of the people getting PE jobs have either prior PE or high-profile IB experience, or exceptional expertise in a desirable area (tech, cleantech, healthcare, etc.).
H- I'm not totally sure I understand your question. I was able to get into pretty good detail in the essays using the space allotted. You just have to make sure you restrict yourself to a single "selling point" with each essay. Does that help at all?
hsampath, for the mini-essays (I'm assuming #3 and 4), I focused on one topic and wrote about 2-3 paragraphs for it. very short intro, give one very good and detailed example, and conclude. That's all you have space for.
Could you please give me some guidance on how to best address the essay A. As I started to write about it, I seem to veering away from my business experience.
Is that what the school is looking for? Do I need to tie in my core values to business ethics/acumen/post-MBA goals or even to essay B?
Thank you. sanjay
I don't think the school is looking for a particular topic or approach. I would simply write the truth, and wouldn't worry at all about relating it to business. Goals and experience can be written about in essay B.
FYI, most of the classmates I've discussed this with addressed personal, non-business topics. Write about what really matters most to you.