Stanford GSB Is a Good Fit for You If...

Stanford GSBStanford GSB sits at the top or right near the top of most major publications’ business school rankings. If you’re gunning for a top-tier MBA, chances are that you’ve at least considered sending an application to Stanford. But, besides knowing that it’s a small, top-ranked school with strong ties to Silicon Valley, how well do you really know Stanford? 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 things that might make the Stanford Graduate School of Business a perfect fit for you:

You were a humanities major in college.
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, 47% studied humanities or the social sciences as an undergraduate. This compares with 36% from engineering, science, or math backgrounds.

You did not work in technology and do not intend to do so later.
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 important, 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 are interested in 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 GSB. For the Class of 2011, 20% were consultants before business school.

You are interested in 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 interested in entrepreneurship.
This probably goes without saying: Stanford is a great place to launch a business. Over 40 graduates of the Class of 2009 (almost 20% of active job seekers, or 12% of the overall class) struck out on their own after completing the program — and this during the economic downturn! The numbers have been even higher in more abundant times.

You want to change careers.
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.

Thinking about applying to Stanford? Read more in our Stanford GSB Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Stanford and other top business schools, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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