Stanford MBA

Rankings | Class Profile | Employment Report | Sample Essays | Interview Questions

Stanford GSB MBA – Introduction


Applying to Stanford GSB is making a bet against the odds, and the odds here are daunting.

The school’s goal is ambitious: to only accept students who, in former Dean Garth Saloner’s words, “have the leadership capacity to change the world.” The tagline of the school? “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World.” This lofty mission is taken seriously by the admissions staff, which sorts through more than 7,000 applications from top-tier candidates. In 2015-2016, a record 8,116 candidates applied for a seat in Stanford’s Class of 2018, up 2.7% on last year’s 7,899. The school, which boasts the most selective prestige MBA program in the world, received 19.5 applications for each of its 417 seats. That’s nearly twice as many as the 10.4 candidates for each Harvard Business School seat.

Stanford MBAs typically land among the highest first-year pay packages in the world. And MBA startups at Stanford have been at near record levels in the past few years, making the school the place to incubate a business from scratch, search for capital from angel investors and VCs, and launch. School’s location–in the heart of Silicon Valley–allows it to have a near hands-off approach to entrepreneurship because the startup bug strikes naturally given the surrounding ecosystem of angel investors, VC firms, and company founders.

Good Facts:

  • A Stanford degree pays off—the median base salary for 2018 grads was $142,000
  • The class profile of 2020 has 42% of foreign nationals which shows a good acceptance rate for International students
  • The male to female ratio is of 59:41
  • An alumini said, “The Stanford GSB alumni network was crucial in funding my company right after the MBA. Within a few weeks I’d raised significantly more funding than my MBA cost, so the investment paid off immediately.

Not so good facts:

  • It is harder to get into Stanford than any other business school in the country. The school’s 6% acceptance rate is the lowest in the world.
Financial times
The Economist
US News ranking

Stanford MBA Sample Essays


Stanford: What matters most to you, and why? (750 word limit suggested)

What matters most to me is helping young people define their own success by  following intrinsic passions rather than external expectations. I’ve struggled with this  throughout my life – my teachers wanted the “perfect student”, my peers expected me to scale the corporate ladder, and my parents demanded grandchildren. I’ve learned to acknowledge outside expectations, but stay true to my heart. More importantly, I  realized I share this struggle an entire generation.

My Dad’s visiting professorship brought me from our hometown of Hyderabad, to  Singapore and Montreal. When I returned to India in 10th grade however, getting into a  top college was the only measure of success for students – and I was on the brink of failure. Struggling to adapt to the curriculum, the headmaster asked me to stay back a  year. Ashamed that I’d let my parents down, I refused to give up. Pouring over mock tests, I finished 2 years’ work in 10 months and scored top of my province in the College  Entrance Exam. Upon receiving the acceptance letter that validated my “success”, however, my sense of achievement was short-lived. That entire year, I felt reduced to a test score, a ranking posted in school hallways. I’d sneak out of study sessions to play cricket, but eventually gave up after repeated warnings from my teachers. I became  the “perfect student” but I’d lost myself in the process.

This “herd mentality” continued in college when investment banking became the new  benchmark for “top students”. Peers and alumni reinforced this expectation and by junior year, I was set to join Bank of America…until my internship with McKinsey. I sat  in a session where Daughter’s Hope (a non-profit dedicated to helping teenage mothers) shared how McKinsey’s recommendations helped save 2,500+ Indian girls every year. I was intrigued: I could see myself improving lives through nonprofit projects by doing  what I enjoy – solving business problems. Consulting felt right, but a part of me clung to investment banking. Struggling, I consulted my mentor at McKinsey: “Be honest with yourself…it’s your life.” She was right; I had been so focused on being seen as “the  best” that I forgot about what was right for me…Continue Reading Here

Stanford MBA Interviews


I was put in contact with a local alum and we scheduled it via email. All I provided him in advance was my resume, and otherwise it was blind – he didn’t have any other information on my application. The interview was at his office and last about an hour. It was different from other interviews in that we barely talked about my interest in an MBA or in Stanford, really until his last question. He asked specific behavioral questions, and asked a lot of clarifying questions throughout my response.

Questions included (paraphrased, of course):
What was the most challenging project you’ve worked on?
Talk about a time when:
– You went beyond the formal bounds of your role.
– You proposed an idea for a new project or piece of work – how did you make the case for it, were you ultimately successful, etc.
Why Stanford?

There were about 5 minutes of intro, 45 minutes of questions, and then 10 minutes of time at the end for me to ask him questions.

The whole thing was comfortable and conversational, though not informal, and the format really doesn’t let you get away with general statements. After he asked questions, a few times I had to take 15-30 seconds to think quietly before I started to answer, which was totally fine. It was better to take the time than to start an answer that I wasn’t prepared to provide specifics for, because he would definitely ask for specifics…Continue Reading Here

Open chat
This is Ameer
Can I help you?