I am starting this final blog post on a plane from Italy to California, ready for my post-MBA job at Netflix after a long summer vacation. It’s unreal to think that two years at Stanford already flew by. At the same time, I feel glad to go back to the “real world” (and earning a salary again!).
I wish that I had found more time to write on this blog, but the experience at Stanford was intense. However, I hope that I managed to summarize some useful information, in particular for future applicants and new admits. Here are some final reflections on my experience.
This month I got selected by Stanford GSB to be included in “Best & Brightest, Class of 2017” by Poets & Quants. Besides feeling honored for being part of the list, it was a good occasion to reflect on my MBA experience, as it approaches its end. If you are interested, here is my interview.
In the next few months I will add some more reflections on this blog about these fantastic 21 months at the GSB!
The most time-consuming part of writing the essays for me came before and after the act of writing. Jotting down an answer to the questions took me a few hours at most. By then I had already selected some stories fit for the purpose, after building my profile and doing my research on the schools. However, after the page was filled up with words, I spent even more trimming down, editing, refining and getting feedback on the first draft. With hindsight I believe that this exercise helped me turn a good draft into a much better essay. [Side note: how you should interpret this series of posts on the application process.]
A critical phase of my MBA application, concurrent to researching your target schools, is “researching myself” and building my profile. What are my unique traits? Where do I want to be in five years? And in twenty years? How would my personality, experiences, passions add value to the class? This introspection exercise might come naturally to some people, including myself, whilst for others it might appear to be daunting at first. Either way, and regardless of the outcome of the application, it was a useful moment of self-reflection. [Side note: how you should interpret this series of posts on the application process.]
After some preliminary reading, I understood that the key to a successful application was to articulate a clear fit between my professional/personal path and my target school. In other words, my application needed to demonstrate two things. On the one side, how the MBA program will represent a solid bridge between my past/present and my declared future goals. On the other side, how the unique attributes of my profile could add value to the program and the community. Easier said than done! My first step towards this complicated goal – before I even read the essay questions – was to do a thorough research on target schools (focus of this post) and, at the same time, build my profile (focus of next post). [Side note: how you should interpret this series of posts on the application process.]
I received the fantastic news of admittance at both Harvard and Stanford MBAs on 9th/10th December 2014. A wonderful position to be in for sure, but at the same time a difficult choice to make.
Stanford! End of the dilemma. I have been lucky enough to be admitted to both Harvard and Stanford MBA programs, and the choice has often felt impossible in the last few months. Thanks to Harvard for the truly humbling interest, but after spending a few days in both schools at admit weekends, I clearly realized where my future path lies. And here is a little story from my past to explain it.