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Real Humans of Stanford GSB’s MSx Class of 2020

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Maya Dhir, Stanford GSB MSx Class of 2020

Maya Dhir, Stanford GSB’s MSx Class of 2020

Age: 45+
Hometown: Boston
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Western Australia, Electrical Engineering; University of Pennsylvania, MS, Electrical Engineering. After completing graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Computer Engineering, I started my career on Wall Street working on a Fixed Income analytics tool, The Yield Book. I then went on to work as a Fixed Income trader and a Derivatives Salesperson at Credit Suisse helping banks and pension funds manage their interest rate risk.

Why business school? Why now?
I wanted to pivot from Finance to Social Impact and Entrepreneurship. The rich, generous, and generative atmosphere at Stanford is providing me with the tools that I need to make this transition.

Why Stanford MSx? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Stanford’s strong culture of reinvention was the single most important factor in my decision. The length of the program and the opportunity to learn from other highly experienced professionals were also compelling reasons for choosing MSx. Stanford’s stunning campus and the California climate didn’t hurt either!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
My history as a bi-lingual, internationally-educated career woman who took a pause in her career to raise her children differentiates me from most of my classmates. I’ve spent more time both in and out of the professional world, and these experiences have left me with a certain wisdom and perspective.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I ride my Peloton everyday (almost).

Post-MSx career interests?
I’d love to have a definitive answer, but I am still in the exploration process. My future will definitely be in start-ups, with one already underway or on my own.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
I would advise prospective applicants to take the Stanford admissions question of what matters most and why to heart, as answering this is an invaluable way to determine your motivations and aspirations. By figuring out what you hope to gain from the experience, you will arrive with a game plan (although be open to the possibility of that evolving in unanticipated ways).

–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I was glad that I spent the requisite time and energy articulating why I wanted to be a part of this experience. I was able to distill what was truly important to me and how the GSB would help me achieve it. I glanced at my application the other day and was shocked at how on track I was in terms of accomplishing what I had envisioned on paper!

One thing you would change or do differently?
I’m not sure that I would do anything differently.

Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The MSx application is long and asks for highly detailed information on previous employment experiences. This was a laborious and tedious, and so I filled out a portion of the form each day over the course of a month, giving myself time and space for this exacting process.

What is your initial impression of Stanford’s students/culture/community?
I was surprised and happy to discover that my fellow students were down-to-earth, friendly, and genuinely as interested as I was in the collaborative nature of this experience. The culture of Stanford feels similarly welcoming and supportive: It’s an interesting dynamic–we all recognize that we are surrounded by hugely intelligent and highly competitive people–but this plays itself out as mutual enthusiasm for the process of learning. We are grateful and glad to be here, and hoping to find ways large and small to contribute to the overall success of the program.

One thing you have learned about Stanford that has surprised you?
I think I am most gratified and surprised by the fact that all of my classmates seek to make time for fun and community. Weekly dinners, TGIF, and in impromptu bike rides keep us energized in different ways.

Thing you are most anxious about this year?
Course selection is anxiety provoking. There are so many good courses and they are not always easy to get into. There is certainly an art to the enrollment process that I haven’t quite mastered.

Thing you are most excited about this year?
Without a doubt, my Stanford MSx cohort and the courses I’ve been able to take and will be taking including Touchy Feely and Startup Garage.

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.