MBA Student Insights: Q&A with the Black Business Student Association
Hello. And welcome to, our, webinar, with the BBS a, my. Name is Fumero Mensa and I'm a second, year here at the GSB and, I'm joined by two of, our incoming. Presidents. Of the BBS a as well I'm. Joined, by Elise in Ruth, like. Me they're also current students and as I mentioned, their incoming presidents, for the BBS a, we'll. Be talking about our personal journey, to, the GSB some. Of our career decisions, and then, life after, the GSB for me and answer as many questions as, we can during. This, time to, submit a question all. You have to do is click the Q&A button at the bottom of your screen. We. Won't be talking about the admissions process financial. Or financial, aid if you do have those questions we encourage you to reach out to. Admissions. Into financial. Aid to get those specific questions answered. Let's. Begin with introductions, Elyse. And Ruth can you please start by telling, us a little bit about yourselves, where. You are from what. You'll be doing what. You were doing before you're coming you came to the GSB and what you'll be doing after graduation at least let's start with you great thanks ooh meta hi, everyone, I'm Elyse Smith I am originally, from Chicago. As. The meta mentioned I am in. MBA. One I'm. Also a joint degree student and in pursuing. A master's in education prior. To getting to Stanford, I was at, IBM Watson, where I was developing early iterations of, Watson, for education, products and leading, EdTech partnerships, and more recently was that newschools, venture fund, a philanthropic, fund, that invests in the education, space working, in their diverse leaders portfolio. Great. Thank you Rick how about yourself hi everybody my name is Ruth originally. From Nigeria I'm an MBA one incoming president, like foam ed has said I started. My career at Ernst & Young where I audited, several, entertainment, and healthcare real estate companies in Los Angeles but. Have also spent a significant, portion of my career working. In different capacities on, the African continent, particularly, in, Kenya, and Nigeria in fin tech companies so I'm super excited to be here and, to answer you guys questions great, thank you guys.
Let's. Get started some questions submitted by the audience. Well. This one's a pretty easy one. What did why did you come to Stanford and what did she come to learn. Do. You want to start sure. So why did I come to Stanford I came to Stanford cuz I got in number one but. I'd. Always known that I wanted to, to. Get, my MBA because I knew I wanted to pivot my career from more finance focused to more tech focused like. I said in my introduction I am from, Nigeria and so, one of my life goals is, to help. Bring, African, owned products, to the rest of the world and I felt that Stanford, was the best place for that not just in terms of getting your MBA like you can at other schools but really, a hub for creativity. Like I've never seen before on any other NBA campus, and, then, it was the second question, would you come to learn I think oh yeah that's exactly what I learned and meet amazing people from, all over the world which has definitely been, check, off the of the checklist yeah. Similarly, coming, to Stanford for me was because of like, offered, something that no other school did so. The first it's the master's in education, joint degree program with the MBA you can do it in two years and. Which is a really positive experience, and part of why I came but, also I knew I was interested in social entrepreneurship, I knew, that I wanted to be in an area where ed reform and social justice were, part of kind of the fabric of the, environment, and, I think that paired, with kind of the entrepreneurial, spirit the VC, spirit here in the bay was something, that I couldn't turn down yeah. I think I definitely resonate, with you guys on just, the global experience for. Me it also was a lot of the soft skills the ability to do to you, know hone and invest in myself so. I think that's also a really unique thing that Stanford does bring whether, that's through interpersonal, dynamics it's, also known as touchy feely whether. That's coaching. And developing others and some of our peers I think that those are two important things as well. What. Made you I assume, Ruth you're, a pretty successful person, that you got, into some other schools. And same as you Elise you, know I think you guys talked about a little bit but can we really double, down on why, did you choose Stanford potentially, over, other opportunities. That you may have had. Yeah. I think I would like double touch on what you mentioned from Etta and that I think the Stanford program really focuses on becoming a leader, that others want to follow that, helps, you take time to think about what that means for your leadership style, and then, gives you a bunch of opportunities to practice that, and live through that and so you. Know whether it's giving a low-key note where you get to think about what's, a point, of view or perspective you want to share and then getting to give a ted-like talk to, the community I took, advantage of that opportunity this, year that was really powerful you, know whether it's taking touchy-feely, getting. To be a coach and a mentor for other students, or, going, through leadership labs, where you know that's your first quarter, you're working, with a team and kind of a squad is what they call them and getting to get feedback about how you come off giving, feedback to your other kind, of your peers and, this really exciting kind of collaborative environment, I didn't. See that in other programs, as much as an emphasis and that was something that was important for me knowing, that I'd want to lead my own venture. In the future yeah, yeah, I think, for me funny you know if I chose Stanford because I. Was, out of my comfort zone here, I'm, used to I used, to do audits so the process everything is really laid out for you and it's up to you just to kind of follow through all the rules and I, really felt like here you your, experience, is really, what you make it because. Administration really, wants to see people do as many different types of things as possible and I think in other schools, number. One it might be easy to get lost in the numbers and then you're just kind of following the process, that's laid out for you but here it's really about you, know yes you can do things like lead labs and low key notes but you can also be, working fully working on your company and getting funded for that and be one of many students getting funded for really, amazing things that like they're doing I know at least as one of those students getting funded for an amazing company so for me knowing.
That The school also. Focused. More on the individual, and less on clusters, really. Spoke a lot to me because I felt like I my, experience, would be different, than all other 400, students, and, I really felt strongly that I would get that here, also you can't be California's, weather, man. So all, of those things are the reason why I chose. Stanford yeah. I think Stanford has so many like. Niche opportunities -, yeah I think you know for, us there's so many students, doing different things from, some of my classmates who are beekeepers. And working. In agriculture act. Like there's, just so many things that people are doing and and especially, things I never knew before. Everyone. Is kind of doing their own thing, yeah but. Able, to utilize, the resources to, their advantage as you guys talked about and as you definitely, do now. And. I think that's that's, really unique about Stanford is you have all the resources of the broader University yeah, while. Still being able to be. Part of this this organization. And move. Forward with everyone else, so. Speaking of from. Your guys perspective, what is the Stanford community like, if someone were to ask you what, makes Stanford, Stanford, talk. About kind of the cultural element and what you've experienced. Yeah. I think I would say one of the things I love is this focus on kind of vulnerability, and being open and being your authentic self, it's. Something that I think is really highlighted. In the program talk where students. Get to talk about you know 45 minutes to share whatever they want oftentimes. It's personal, stories about their lives or. Things that they have thought about deeply, and. You're the whole community comes out MBA ones MBA 2s and I think that and you know people are just standing giving an ovation for like I don't know like five minutes it seems sometimes and I think that to me is like such, a like, hallmark, of the community and I think it comes out that in other places and just one-on-one conversations. And coffee chats. You. Know if. Someone, got a coffee chat with me the other day we were talking about media and new media but.
We Didn't get there until like the last 15 minutes and for the first 30 minutes it was just us learning, about each other getting to know what drives us talking about having, a partner at the GSB and so I think that to me the piece where it's like you're not necessarily, this like business, person where you're like I'm gonna get a coffee chat to learn about finance, and like I'm gonna only talk about that it's like we're people first and I think that's something that's really beautiful about, the community yeah so. I love about Stanford community is, actually, just the layout of the community, so, we have for, those who haven't visited Stanford yet, we have classes. Really on one side of the street and residential. Areas on the other side of the street so it takes all of two minutes it's again from your doorstep to, class and it's. Not even just about the distance it takes to get to classes more about the community that you have as a first, year where. You're, not driving. Extremely, far to see your classmates or you're. Not if you if you're going through something whether it's a homework assignment or something at home either, your roommates, or your or your 400. Friends, are there with you within, a really small radius and I think that that just I think oh so over 95%, of I would say first years live in these residences, they're. Pretty nice it does feel like a Golf Resort a lot of the days but I also think that it helps, to create a real, true sense of community because you're not worried about distance, we, do so many events in the residences, from birthdays, to, to, bridal. Showers, to you, name it we just hang out together we also definitely have time to go to the city but, I think that that part really just like creates, a natural space, for, people to get to know each other like outside of what might be a natural click in another area so for, example none of my friends friend, groups are a status quo group and I really like that and I think that the residents has really helped, to create that yeah, but even if you don't live in the residences, you still you, can still be a part of the community. Yeah. Yeah, great, we, have some more questions so I think. This is a great one for us so getting a little bit into more the pre application. Process. Have. Any of you've been involved in MLT, or other permits, through. These. School applications. And we're laughing because. Animal. TV was what I did. So. I'd only take a second to talk about that. Yeah, for. Me personally MLT, was a life-changer, coming, from LA I didn't really have a circle, of. Of. People. That were like-minded and ambitious, as I was and. I think the vibe that, MLT, provides you with just like amazing. People. Of color from, over the country, I think, almost 300, were in our cohort who, are who, have the same like, who have as. Ambitious, as you are that. Really helped me in terms of this whole application process, I. Also, was a rare. Case where I did MLT from Africa, so it was still it was still relatively. Easy for me to keep in contact, with my coach as well, as my as, well as well, as my MLG cohort, so in terms of MLT really being, just. Like your you feel like you're in the trenches together with other people to give you recommendations together, you're reading each other's essays I know one of my classmates helped. Me read my essay for Stanford we we're at each other's I say we both got in so.
MLC Was really. Amazing I know there are other programs like Forte for women and things like that but those, things really helped me feel like I had a community even before I got to Stanford and I still have that community today yeah. I think for me I'm, LT was he was really helpful and valuable but I think because I, wasn't, confident, that I wanted to go to business school and it was still something I was weighing I. Think I maybe got a little bit less out of the program I also you. Know I wasn't necessarily interested. In going to just. Any Business School and I think for me I really had my heart set on Stanford, and. So I think although it was really helpful to go through that kind of program and explore a bunch of different programs I. Think for me I I, knew I wanted to come here and I I wasn't, sure if, Business. School was the right thing you know I can't. Was coming most recently from the social sector and. So I think it, was a great network and a great experience but I think without it it also is possible, to apply and, get to school and, making. That work in community, here as well yeah. So. To clarify what, MLT, is. It. Is management leadership for tomorrow it's essentially, a program that's geared at. Filling. The pipeline. From the, CEO, suite the. The C suite all the way down to entry, into college and this. Specific program is, is. The. MBA prep so, what, that's one of the lines the pipelines, in there so. What MLT, specifically. Does is geared at. In Americans, Hispanics. And Native, Americans. Again, to fill that pipeline of. Traditionally. Underrepresented, minorities. In the space and, so it's just a coaching program you have a cohort as Ruth mentioned, is really just a support system for about a year before business. School starts so really understanding. The process, knowing what it takes to get in, knowing. You know what what your profile, needs to be and you get coaching and so it's essentially, a great program and highly, recommend it feel, free to look it up, I, also. Did MLT, and for me I think similar, to Ruth what she mentioned is my cohort, was very instrumental and even me coming to Stanford I. Already. Knew a ton of people who had gotten in round one I plowed. Applied, round two so it was great just having people, who I knew look. Like me who I had met who, were extraordinary, people, but also people. That you know I've shared. A drink with or gotten, to lunch with, actually. Having someone that I knew went to Stanford I think prior to MLT I didn't, know anybody that went to Stanford so it just made it a still. Aspirational. But, an achievable. Concept. For me. Let's, stick on. Applications. I love. This question. Were, you ever scared at, any point in time of, applying and, is. The school just full of nerds. To. Be in there. It. Is nerd nation. Yeah. Sure I think I I, think, scared, is an interesting word I think for me it was always it, always felt, like and you. Couldn't guarantee you're, gonna get in and then I think that's true for every business school and I think perhaps, especially, true for Stanford, and. So I think for me it was always a one, is is Business School right for me especially where I'm at now and my journey is this the, best step to take and then to, you, know is. This, you know it's such a time investment, to apply it's, like almost it felt like a different job outside of my regular job and.
Had, To get support from mentors, and advisors and it was like I'm gonna go through this I want, to make sure I'm putting there my time in the right place and so I think it was scary in that sense it was scary to invest. So much time into something that didn't feel for, sure and. Then also I, wasn't, sure and so a lot of those uncertainties. Were at play. Are. We all nerds that I don't I don't know how to answer that I definitely. Would aspire to be a nerd I I, enjoy. The classes a lot and then love learning and if that makes me a nerd then I guess, there. Am. For. Me I wasn't, scared because I. Really. Was applying to Stanford blind, in a lot of ways similar. To format it I didn't really know people that. Went to Stanford I knew, one person that went to Stanford before, I got, in and I know that there are people who might. Have known known dozens of people just based on people. That worked, with them or friends. Or family members and things like that so I don't even think I knew enough to be scared um to be honest with you guys but I think that I, really, just applied on my best foot and I think we might get into some questions about when, I'm when is it right to apply and things like that but I applied, knowing, that this is the best I have to offer and, thankfully. It, was it was good enough so, I'm, super, super happy about that, in terms of being a nerd here, and all we all nerds actually. Think what. I've noticed yet Stanford is that people really, aspire, to, to. Improve. Themselves. Intellectually. And that. It has become, sort of currency one. Of the different currencies and I don't actually don't think that that's a bad thing because in terms of having fun like fun. Is in you so if you can't have fun and you're, not a nerd that could be possible too so. I don't think that and I think that being a nerd might be a is actually a good thing personally. But that doesn't take away from having an amazingly. Fun and amazingly, great experience, so that's, how I see it I think, that's well said I mean I think exactly. What you said people here, have done, amazing things or, aspiring, to do amazing things I would, consider people aspirational. But. You know that also sometimes, is correlated, with wanting. To read a book and maybe, yeah. But equally we have a lot of fun I think if you want to be social there's, something, oh yeah every single day I, think.
I've Gotten myself caught, into that sometimes, yeah sometimes I have to just all back in read a yeah I some, Netflix can you can just to calm down but, I. Think the school is you'll find is over. 400, students in one, grade so once you kind of combine all the all the programs you have over eight eight hundred people, just. Naturally eight hundred people you're gonna have a range of, what, people do want to do and what they don't want to do so I actually consider, even the diversity, and people's, experiences and what they want to do and even on the nerd scale I say there's a diversity yeah yeah, for those who do want to come and nerd out though like there's definitely opportunity, that, you can be super focused on academics, you can nerd out in terms of like one of my favorite, groups, is this like political group we come together and discuss politics, once a month last. This past, month was superheated some, months it's a little more chill but that sort of thing like that's a community that I considered we all nerd out on different, facts like that so. Different ways to be a nerd and different, ways to engage in the community this might be a good time to you know to, ask or to tell people kind of your your favorite activities, I think you mentioned that or, clubs, I can start one of my favorite clubs is the wine club. Just. Because it's so amazing, we have Somali a so speaking. A little bit of nerdy, but. In the wine sense um, you, know they. Come they do tastings, we talk about the notes and the tannins, and all that and we've, had especially, with Napa, Valley be even right up the road we've had special, guests come in special wineries coming and teach us and and be, a little bit more educated, in the wine space so that's one of my favorites I, like. So many favorites, is really hard to. I'm. Sure we'll talk about the BBS later a later, so we can put that aside, I. Love. The social entrepreneurship, community, so, the social innovation there's. A club, there's, the Center for social innovation there's just like a ton of pieces. And ways to plug in to that community and they've not only been super helpful and starting, something of my own but also in just providing. Support. And guidance. And just, folks, to talk about different things and so, social entrepreneurship, kind of runs the gamut and social innovation runs the gamut but. Getting to learn from other students. Experience has been super valuable to me as, well as the advisors and the mentors and like venture studio you can go work on your idea they're just I should.
Stop Talking because I could go on forever. I. Think. One of my favorite activities here, is, traveling. And. And the funny thing is at the GSB traveling, can mean a ton of things so it can mean going, to Yellowstone, and spending a weekend hiking and and and and with your and with people that you know you've gotten to know or it, can be getting an academic, experience in another country, which we call gscs here or it, can be going to Indonesia. And making your own cultural. And academic experience. Or doing that in Cuba so I love, how just. Very, textured. Our traveling experiences, are here, you, can have a great time where you do nothing or you you, know you have a lot of alcohol, or, you can have a really great. Learning experience, and it's not just because the school mandates is because people have this drive, to, really immerse themselves in different cultures and in different experiences and, and, humbly. Get to know those cultures and experiences, so in terms of me all, the places that I've been to with my with. My Stanford whether friends or classmates, for. The purpose of a fourth purpose of the school or for the purpose of just like us planning a trip I've had just amazing. An. Amazing time and even in the the times that are not specifically, learning experiences, I've still learned something, because I got to know my classmates a little bit better because we were in the middle of Cuba, together or I got to know what. Business is like in Brazil and what the future of tech in Brazil is gonna look like in the next 10 years yeah, and I think your. Point about the, International, component too we, do have a big international presence, here at Stanford, and. So that also helps to is you get to go to your, classmates home, country, yeah Mexico. And. So, Mexico, and then even some South. Korea. Lebanon. It's. All over yeah all over. The. Bob way yeah, so. That's also a really. Cool experience, to is there, doesn't have to be an official, school. Sponsored event but through your classmates, you can still get that experience, matters Hauser and those have been some of the best experiences here, at Stanford for me. So. Another question is Stanford has an exceptionally, diverse class, look at that transition how. Is it being a person of color at the GSB considering. The environment at other top schools and. Low percentages, in the minority communities.
Mm-hmm. For. Me I would say that. Being. A minority here, in terms of me having, the identity of being African but also considering, myself black Merrigan I think. That it is different, from other schools from. Other, schools that have much larger classes, just, because of numbers so if you have like a 400, student class versus a 900, student class obviously, there will be more or, hopefully say there's, more there. Will be more people of color numbers. From a numbers perspective but, what I love about this. This. Community is that because, we are smaller, we have so, many more opportunities to get to know each other and in a lot of ways we feel like we're in the trenches together in terms, of continuing. To create more access for those coming after us. I will say that were, it. Makes, you feel like you have you, are more of an agent of change rather, than more of a cog. In the process I don't know if that's the right phrase, and. I, also love, the fact that in. Terms, of I'll speak within the black community where, so, there's so many different experiences within that community I've never met a diverse, group of black people like. I've met at Stanford and I, love. That because I get to see what life is like if, you are from the Midwest or what life is like if you're from the Upper East Side of New York or where life is like if you're from. Johannesburg. South Africa you, know and people get to understand what my life was like too so so, I love that in terms of, now. Looking, outward for the rest of our classmates I will say that I've, also. Never met a more set of intrigue, people who genuinely, want to know what my experience, is as a black woman and who, want to come into that with. With. Humility. As well as just a sense of wanting to learn, what my life is like and hopefully wanting, to connect. With me in that way and so, that's also something that I've seen, in a lot of my classmates and, I appreciate, from a lot of my classmates as well yeah. Yeah. I think kind. Of echoing what you're saying Ruth coming. To the GSB and being a woman of color being. A black woman I think is going, to be colored. By your experience as part of that so I came I went to a predominantly, white undergraduate. Institution, you, know have operated. In a business world which isn't as diverse, as I would like it to be and I think you. Know coming to Stanford was no different than those experiences, and if anything I found, the community community. To. Be focused, on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion here so I'm on the Diversity Committee it's, a hugely diverse group of students who are like we're out here just like pushing even, more advancement.
And In terms of what, experiences, could be like for students of color for students of historically, underrepresented backgrounds, for, students who are in different minority, groups or hold different identities, and so to. Me that's kind of part of my way of one doing something that I care deeply about something that affects me it's also related to the Social Venture I'm working on and so getting, to work, in a bunch of different ways on that has been really powerful, and. Working with the administration working with other student leaders on campus has, been really fun and rewarding I. Think. Personally like I would echo the black community at Stanford super diverse I think the whole community as a person I think I. Already. Mentioned talk but one of the things I loved about that is it exposes even, though you. Know this person might appear, a certain way and you might assume different identities, or experiences. To them and prescribe that I think what, is amazing about Stanford is people will surprise you what they've been through what they've been what, they've overcome and, that's true, across all backgrounds and so I. Think in many ways, I. Feel. Very, much one of so many different stories and it's in this larger community and I think my. Experience is one that people seek out and, I seek out learning, about others too so that's, been good yeah, and I would also add that I think being. Presidents. Of the BBS a also, provides, a unique opportunity yeah, so whether that's working with administration, on our diversity, initiatives, whether, that was someone, tapping, me on the shoulder to, do some moderating, work yesterday, evening, I, think. We, are in a very visible. Position. Both. Pun, intended and, not and. That. Allows us to get involved, and be part of conversations. And have a seat at the tables I think that's important, too all. Right. So. I, think speaking, of inclusion, this is this is I think a really important question, so someone. Mentioned they really want to apply to the MBA program but, the cost of the program is a really big hurdle. Was, that also concerned, for either of you and just, Stanford offer any financial, support, first. Before, they jump, in I will say I. Encourage, you to go to our financial, aid on, our website there's, some information there and financial. Aid as I'm sure this person asked, is a very personal. Situation. So take, what, we say you. Know with with the right lens for yourself but if you do reach out to financial, aid they will give you more specifics, but if you guys don't. Mind sharing, kind of personally for you. How. You thought about it yeah, I think definitely, the the, cost. Of attending, business school is one of the hurdles, for me to make get over mentally, and not, only applying but it you know once getting in if Business School was right for me. It's. Super, hard decision, and like the meta that super personal as well I. What. I can say is that since coming to the GSB I felt, like I'm getting. What I you, know I'm paying for in. Many ways and more. Than I could have imagined, and I think you. Know starting. This organization, starting this venture meeting. These people getting, to do these new experiences, that are so much more kind. Of scope. Expanding. In terms of how I saw my life what I saw is possible, for myself what, what, careers exist so like what, is it what is what could be has. Been such a valuable part, of the experience that I can't necessarily put, like a tangible, like this cost that amount and I'm therefore it's a return, on my investment, but I, can. Say that, you. Know you, that's something you're gonna have to decide individually for yourself but, have found my. Time, here to be so valuable already, we're only at kind of the beginning of our spring quarter of first year at least Ruth and I and so. You.
Know Happy. To, to talk, more about that one-on-one but, I think it's. Something you're gonna have to think deeply about for yourself yeah, I. Think, for me too coming I'm very, attentive, very risk-averse so I was thinking about you know what how. Would I pay this off and, and, things, like that but I think even. As a risk-averse person, it was very clear, to see that the ROI here, was, going. To was, going to be high I think, for me. Again. Everybody is gonna have a different financial, aid sort. Of offer if. And when you do when you do get into the school based on different scholarships that the school offers and and things like that, but. But I will say that even coming here and just. Expanding. My mind as to what my financial, future can even look like based, on my different classmates, experiences. And and what, I've learned from different professors, has, made the. Cost, seem so. Myopic. It makes me feel like I thought so myopically, about him whereas, I'm like actually, this is how I should even envision, what my financial, future should look like and this is how small this cost is compared to that so I would even encourage people not to necessarily, regardless. Of what school you're applying not. To necessarily see, this thing as a okay, once I graduate school I'm gonna have to be paying off my loans for the next two years because or the next five years or ten years because you know I'm probably gonna be making this much definitely, really just, understand. That your, your, financial, future really, is going, really is more, expansive, than probably, most. People think it is and this. Can, be a really small cost if you really take advantage of really, a lot of opportunities that you have just because you would have the Stanford brand on. Your name throughout. Your career, literally, for the rest of your career yeah I, will add that for folks who are thinking about going into nonprofit or, social sector, any sort, of perhaps less lucrative career, there, is a loan forgiveness program, that you should look into it's something that was a huge, part of my deciding, to come knowing that if I wanted to go back and work at an education, on profit or do something in that space you know the cost actually is perhaps, prohibitive, but with loan forgiveness it became a lot more reasonable and feasible, for me it's at least personally yeah and the school also offers to, at least this point, opportunities. For people who want to go into the social sector right after school. You, know offers, different sorts of fellowships which, again like for Metta said you guys can look online for but yeah three point so, I'm not gonna respond to that question because there there's, a special, area that's going, on I'm gonna try to get to all these questions before, we're out of time so, at least I'm gonna direct.
This To you. So. As someone coming from the social sector how. Have you viewed the business school experience. And. Then for, someone who's interested in the social social, sector what, do you say is the value of business school yeah. And so. I think coming directly from k-12. Education, which is extremely progressive I. Was, a little taken aback getting, into the business school realm and having people say things like fiduciary, responsibilities, and I was like but but the kids you know but. I think it has what. About the kids but I think it has been super valuable um I, think there's, classes like financial, modelling which is just skills that are important, to know accounting. Was like a struggle, at the beginning but I think it is important, to build that kind of business, acumen whether, you're in the social sector or the private sector, I, think there is you know I think having, that joint degree and being in masters, in education, is also a nice pairing, personally, for me um you know one of my ed classes we were like sitting on the floor like, legs. Crossed there was like a fire on like the projector, you know what I mean so different vibes but I also think that vibe can be found in the business school and so choosing. Classes like social, ventures practicum, or philanthropy. There's just like a ton of that, sort of energy in the community, and so I. Think. Although you might come here and be like everyone's gonna be doing like consulting and Finance like that's not true and in fact so many people talk about the impact they want to have and what that means in whatever career they're pursuing so. Yeah. Yeah, yeah I definitely heard that I think the other thing too really unique about Stanford that you alluded to is that there's so many social. Related. Classes, yes and then I know one of my good friends is, also a tool, in the education, program and he said that one of those classes, on just like the thought process, of instituting. Education. Reform, and coupling, that with policy. In the business school was a way that he even thought about that so I'd say get creative too yeah, on how you think about the social sector and what skills, on both sides so the private and the public sector, what you can do there yeah all right hmm, let's move on. So. I think related, on mentality, and and and mindset, I think this is a good one too. How. Is the MBA program transformed. Your perspective, on the issues you seek to tackle, as a leader in your field and have. Your interactions, with other MBA students made you consider collaborating across. Fields, in the near future. Yeah. I. Think. For, me I think. For me in terms of the type of leader that I want to be I think coming from a very corporate. Corporate. Role before the before the NBA made, me think of a, leader, as kind of had. This profile of what a leader look like and you had to say certain things and you had to act a certain way and you couldn't be vulnerable in a B C or D way whereas, here, we're. Literally turning the definition, of what a leader is upside, down and, vulnerability. Is is, shown, as a sign of strength and being, able to be honest about. What. Type of impact you want to have is not a bad thing and it's not just about the bottom line I think I don't even think I've ever heard that actually, in, terms of what people would consider a successful, run of any, sort of business or initiative. And so, for me knowing, what I want to do in knowing the type of impact that I want to have in Africa, I think that what. What. I've learned is that it doesn't have to be one way, the. Awesome thing is for example I'm taking a class right now in our design school. Which which is an awesome school by the way I'm called design thinking studio, and I'm, seeing how the, problems that I want to solve even, don't have to be through through, tech which a lot of people would be surprised about coming, to Stanford they probably think that we're, super tech focus and only tech everything is tech but we're really think we're really like breaking things down to the bare minimum, literally.
Using, Our hands, to build things and and and figure out how can we solve a world problem from, so many different ways in my class alone I'm working with the student from the medical school somebody from School of Education somebody, from the law school right we're all working on one. Project together, and so, I'm learning different things from how do I solve this problem through policy how do I solve it through through, journalism. I think there's so many different ways to think about solving problems and so, many different ways of what a leader looks like that, it's helped me to really again, break break, the stereotypes. Of what I thought I had, the path I thought I had to go and really, understand, that there's so many different innovative, ways to solve different problems and there's so many ways to do that as me. Not as a, profile, of somebody who I think people want to see yeah. I'll actually take this similar question. But to build on that I think it's also important, for me I'm realizing. As I'm heading out is that, leadership is a journey not a destination. And, so as we have classes, like leadership perspectives, we have prominent, people coming, in and yeah it's just a they, give, an intro and then they just stop and we just get to ask them questions and, thinking about Chairman's, of Microsoft. Yeah and all these other places just the ability to ask questions, like how do you manage your career how do you manage your career a dual, career how do you you know it's, it's been amazing and so really, recognizing, that even people at the top of the mountain are still, working on the next thing for themselves, the. Similar question here is people of color face unique challenges in the workforce would, you say the GSB gave you the tools to navigate the unique challenges, people of color face in the modern workplace, so. I'll take that I think, the answer is yes as, we mentioned you know through BBS a we get to have some of these you. Know tough conversations. And we, get to talk what's what is it like being a black woman and we get to talk with our male. Counterparts about here, are some of the unique challenges that we we face that maybe you guys aren't really as in tune with I, think the other thing that Stanford, has taught me is you know, I think using my voice and, really, feeling, comfortable, with my truth, whether. That's through talk whether that's through leadership. Labs, actually, getting the feedback that I. Think, sometimes as an african-american getting, the feedback that you're articulate, can be a little at but, then I actually realize, because one of my classmates is like nofa betta you're actually very are above. The average and I was like okay so for the first time actually, realizing, okay, this, is what this looks like so I think it's really important, to recognize that you're. Constantly getting feedback and, through that feedback there, is that self-reflection, yeah and recognizing, that okay here's, how I land. On other people or present to other people and therefore, here's what I can do as a business leader to either double, down on that or, I need to adjust some of my behavior, to seem more warm and more welcoming, or whatever that may be. So. I don't think there's like if there wasn't a class I'm like how to be a black leader but, through these experiences. And recognizing. And reflecting, I think has allowed. Me to recognize, there are challenges and, having. Conversations. With classmates having. The courage to speak up there's. A you know there is a way to address you know some things like hey have you recognized, that this makes me feel this way when you say this just. Really having the courage to speak up and then kind, of stand in my own truth I think is important, - yeah there is a class of the leadership from diverse perspectives, I'm. Gonna take it in the fall - I'm excited that I. Am building. Diverse organizations, so there are some diversity, related ones, okay. So this, is gonna be a rapid, one for you guys um, let's. Talk about the academic experience. What's, the curriculum, like. Maybe. High level case studies versus, experiential. Versus, lecture. They're. Different, there's. So many different ways to learn here which, I think are awesome so we do have classes that you, know you read a case each week and you kind of discuss it we, have classes, where, each. Week is your you, are getting. I'm. Taking a finance class for example right now and it's awesome I love my class so essentially. It feels like I have two professors who really it feels like they write a script the night before every, night and like feed, off of each other from their finance. And. So they they, make they helped me learn finance in a way that I've never learned it before it's, not about it's, not about just, equations, it's about actually understanding, why things happen, and and really when, I'm when I'm paying, attention in the class I actually can.
Apply It to whatever I'll be doing in the future and then they bring in professionals, from. CFOs, of Fortune. 500 companies who we can really ask questions, deep. And meaningful and applicable questions too so I'll. Let you guys talk about your experiences, but there's so many different ways to learn here it's pretty awesome yeah there is like a core curriculum around management, foundations, which as the title says it's foundational courses in business yeah but, I think, Ruth alluded to this earlier and, there's. Classes that you've taken the Business School you can take classes across the street one of my favorite classes was across. The street is and other programs, at Stanford, when my favorite classes was in the engineering school it's called the lean launchpad it's, a bunch of folks from all different schools coming together to like, explore. Product market fit it's taught by a bunch of folks in VC they. Bring in mentors from industry so that was a great class that's a super experiential, on but. I mean even at the business school I'm in a class that's all about social. Ventures practical I mentioned it earlier but we essentially go through what is needed in a business plan and. Each class is focused on one piece of that they bring in leaders who have, actually gone through that class and are now leading social ventures so someone came in from I think it was in Bob Way last week someone was, calling in from like Pakistan, or something you know what I mean it was like a lot of different people doing different things which is cool and so lots, of group projects, lots of different, ways to learn and, I think that's good since everyone learns differently yeah yeah cool, I. Know. There's, still some questions on here and career and professional development, so I'm just gonna go ahead and take those so. There's a question on structured, mentorship, programs and opportunities, I would say it's not structured, there are some things that we have with the Career Management Center. But. The Career Management Center, I also sit on that committee that. Has programs. Available to you if you're trying to transition. From social. Sector to consulting, there's a consulting, Club we, also have a finance, and investments, Club we have various clubs that take on essentially, the the mentorship, role and then when, you start at Stanford, you'll have a fellow and arbuckle fellow who's a sec year there's also there to help coach you as well so that's an opportunity, um. Oh. Question, for the president what's next for you after the GSB I'll take that, so. For me I will, be moving to Chicago and. Working at the Boston Consulting Group so. I get I get a nice little break so I'll probably do some travel and oh. Okay. So last question for everyone. Did. You pay a visit to campus before. Applying and, if so was the visit worth it and then, when. Would you recommend someone visit and. Yeah. So.
Like, I said my application, process was a little bit different I didn't know a ton of people before applying I did visit Stanford. But, I didn't even tell administration. What, my name was. Because, at that point I didn't feel like saying. Who I was was gonna move the. Needle and and I think that that that played out as I thought it would I think, visiting the Stanford campus campus. While, it is important, I do think that you, should have a reason as to why you're visiting if you really need to be here I do, think the pictures do a great justice. And California, is what people say it is so. If you if you are for example apply, from a different country don't, feel like you're at a loss because you can't be physically, on the campus, before. You apply but, I will definitely, say that if. You apply and you do get in definitely, obviously visit the campus for admin weekend to just get to see how the vibe is before. You before you actually come. So. I my, application, process was very long I most. Recently was in the Bay Area before, school but also was in New York before that and so I visited campus, when I was in New York I went I came for the, diverse like perspectives, day which, i think is coming up for, black students so historically. Underrepresented students, and that was actually a really great event I loved, meeting other folks who are applying hearing, different backgrounds, I also loved the alumni. Who came back and talked about their experience, at the GSB, met. Like admissions, folks that was helpful for me and kind, of building this in is what Stanford would be and. Then when I lived in the Bay it was easy to come down and check out campus, again yeah, I also visited. Sorry to interrupt you but we. Had what. I did get in I came for admin weekend which was also the conference weekend which, which. Were holding this year on May. 10th and 11th yeah and so, it, was an amazing experience for me because I think the the one of the keynote speakers that day was the. Person. Who heads of all of, Beyonce's. Casual. So. It was such a great experience to meet so many amazing professionals. So many amazing alumni from. Decades. To recently. So many amazing. Perspectives. And current students so that was a really great weekend for, me and that's where also meta meta I also met a lot of people who are my classmates now yeah so quick plug for that if you go to BBS, a conference, com, you can find all the information there, also will be prospective. Students day portion. On the 10th so. Look for all that information on our website and also as mentioned diversity, day will be on the 18th, and we'll also have kind. Of a deep dive with professors, and you'll probably see us yeah, in much many more of the current students as well yeah alright, so we're out of time. And. So I. Would. Love to give you guys like 10 seconds, before. We go to say any final words, advice. For people thinking, and applying to Stanford MBA, I would. Say that Stanford is, and, can be for you whatever, your, passions, are whatever you aspire to you can come here and make that reality, it's. A beautiful place where I've. Never felt like I could do whatever I wanted to until I came to Stanford and. I think it's partially because of the community because of the resources. But. I hope to see you here on campus soon yeah, I would definitely say Stanford is a one-of-a-kind place where you get an, experience, that can only be the best thing for you and I. Would definitely say that in terms of relationships, not just with students. But with professors, with companies, in the area it's. Definitely been a great value add in my life so I would encourage you guys to apply. And yes hopefully see you guys next fall yeah, you won't see me because I. Might. Come back to campus. Great, thank you both and. Thank you guys for joining us today and your thoughtful questions again, we encourage you, to reach, out, admissions. Can put you in contact with, anybody, in the BBS a if you do have any more specific questions that we didn't answer and we, look forward to seeing you for the conference, or diversity, day the. Weekend of the 10th or the 18th thank, you thank, you thank you.