We invite you to register for this free, eight-week course, which begins 14 October 2013. Taught by Stanford GSB Professor of Finance and pension expert Joshua Rauh, the course focuses on the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management and how to be a more informed decision maker on your own personal portfolio.
Many alumni are angel investors or institutional investors who fund student-developed businesses. There may be a misperception among some applicants that this is a Bay Area phenomenon. Our alumni are even more responsive in regions far from California. If you contact an alum in any location outside the San Francisco Bay Area, they will be very responsive because they love helping Stanford MBAs and hearing what's happening back at the GSB--one of their favorite places on the planet.
Stanford GSB 2010 Application Deadlines and Essay Questions
I recently toured the GSB's new , which opened this past summer. Created by the GSB's , the Venture Studio is a place for graduate students across Stanford University to practice the entrepreneurial skills and concepts they are learning in the classroom. Early-stage entrepreneurs often complain of isolation, and the Venture Studio provides an instant community where teams can share skills, test ideas, and get feedback and inspiration. In addition to peer-to-peer interaction among the teams, the Venture Studio offers practical workshops, peer feedback sessions known as Start-up Mob, small-group Q&A with company founders, one-on-one advisory sessions, and practice pitch sessions. The Studio serves as both a hub for the entrepreneurial community to participate in events open to the entire student body and as a dedicated workspace for graduate student-led teams from any school at Stanford. There is an application process to use the Studio, and student teams are then given 24/7 key card access. The Venture Studio is not an incubator; it does not take an equity stake in return for services and does not accept teams who are currently selling products or services.
During the summer, 17 multidisciplinary teams (about 50 students) worked on ventures spanning multiple sectors, including healthcare, education, hospitality and tourism, media and entertainment, financial services, big data, real estate, consumer products and service, energy, and agriculture. Katie Fifer '13, an entrepreneurial student who worked in the Studio this summer, commented, "I've learned a tremendous amount not only about tactical things (user interface design, SEO, etc.), but also, more importantly, about managing team dynamics. We're all figuring out day-to-day how we build our teams and all the most interesting challenges come from trying to get those teams to operate at a high level. I know I'm learning far more because I'm surrounded by people trying to figure out the same things."
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Janet Abrams: The Social Innovation Fellowship is for graduating Stanford MBAs who have a well-defined vision for a new social venture and are ready to dedicate the year after graduation to launching that venture as a nonprofit organization. The GSB's Center for Social Innovation is piloting the Fellowship over the next three years. Beginning in spring 2009, a limited number of second-year students will be selected to receive a stipend for the following year as well as access to the many non-financial resources--information, professional networks, etc.--that the Center can provide.
Rita Winkler: What purpose does this fellowship serve and why is it necessary?
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Janet Abrams: Many students come to the GSB with great motivation to make a difference in the world. While at Stanford, some develop specific ideas for how they might apply the knowledge and skills they're gaining here to solving serious social problems.
During their first year after graduation, the Fellowship allows MBAs who are starting a new venture in the nonprofit sphere the freedom to focus all of their energies on securing funding, personnel, partners, and other assets that will be essential for success.
Rita Winkler: Who is eligible? Is there an application process?
I never heard of this right earlier
On December 3rd, 370 first-year students showed up for the final exam for Strategic Leadership, one of our core classes. But unlike most testing situations, everyone was wearing a suit. At the same time across campus, more than 160 senior level alumni and executives were being drilled on how to judge student performance. The all-day test is not a written exam, but is something called the Executive Challenge, and while it does count as a final exam for the class, it also serves as a unique opportunity to gain real-world learning from some of the most influential global leaders today.
The judges included current and former CEOs from multiple Fortune 500 companies and high-profile startups, managing partners of well known VC firms, and senior executives in finance, consulting and a myriad of other industries. Most flew in for the day - many from international destinations - excited to engage with students one-on-one and participate in a uniquely Stanford experience.
Working in teams of eight, students had to complete four experiential leadership challenges throughout the day, each simulating a typical situation faced by senior executives. One challenge required students to play the role of Chairman and CEO, working to convince reluctant board members to pursue an acquisition. A successful effort required both good business analysis and strong interpersonal skills. Alumni judges played the board members, each of whom had objectives and personalities that could have derailed the meeting if mishandled. One of the judges, Stu Francis, an alum from 1977 and Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital, told us, "It is very interesting to watch the students deal with things that come up in a day-to-day context in business. You do not learn it until you do it, except at Stanford. You learn it here."
The student response was overwhelmingly positive. One explained, "The Executive Challenge was terrific, particularly as it put learning in a real-world context where we were graded not on specific frameworks but on actual efficacy." It also served as a vehicle for connecting students with the deep alumni network. Many students and the alumni they met have since exchanged emails, or arranged to get together for coffee or dinner. Most students were floored to see how many high-profile alums made the time to stay connected to the school, making themselves accessible and providing valuable feedback.
The final exam ended as uniquely as it started, with a party-like atmosphere, as hundreds of students, alumni, faculty and GSB staff packed in an auditorium to honor the day's winners. But the biggest winner was clearly the Stanford GSB community as a whole, and everybody there feeling like a real part of it.