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Real Humans of Stanford GSB’s MSx Class of 2020

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The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is the cream of the crop of elite business school programs worldwide and is considered go-to institution for building “an entrepreneurial mindset, a spirit of innovation, and effective personal leadership skills.” While you may have already seen our Real Humans of the Stanford GSB MBA Class of 2021, we also wanted to introduce you to members of their MSx program, a full-time, one-year degree tailored to experienced mid-career professionals seeking an accelerated MBA.

As MSx candidates come to Stanford GSB mid-career, they enter with far more professional experience than those students who took the traditional MBA route. With an average of nearly 13 years of career experience, the 85 members of the incoming Class of 2020 also averaged 7.6 years of managing others.  Nearly half had also attained an advanced degree.  Altogether, they averaged 696 on the GMAT; the median landed at 700.  Thirty-six percent of the latest class are women—a 10 percent increase over last year.  Nearly 62 percent of the MSx Class of 2020 are international, with students holding citizenship in 30 different countries.  Thirty-eight percent of the class are U.S. citizens, and overall, 22 percent are U.S. minorities.

Coming to GSB with more than a decade of career experience, the Class of 2020 has much to offer to the program and one another. In addition to noting their wealth of industry-specific insights, candidates also bring valuable life experience from both “in and out of the professional world.” Post-MBA career plans include moves into entrepreneurship, venture capital within cybersecurity, consulting in the social sector, product innovation in tech, and interest in joining or supporting start-ups. With the MSx motto “reflect, connect, refine, and transform,” incoming candidates are certainly right at home in this program.  When asked why they chose to pursue a business management degree at this stage in their careers, some candidates cited their desire to either pause or pivot from their current trajectory, while others sought to enhance their industry-specific leadership skills. MSx students highlight a desire to actively engage peer collaboration, fill knowledge gaps, and renew their knowledge base to prepare for “tidal shifts” in industry.

It may not be surprising that several candidates chose Stanford GSB for its well-known focus on entrepreneurship and personal skills. Read on for what else drove the latest MSx students to the program, their advice for the admissions process, and more.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.