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Real Humans of MBA Students: Stanford GSB Class of 2023

stanford mba class 2023

Monique Malcolm-Hay, Stanford GSB MBA Class of 2023

Age: 28
Hometown: London, UK
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Aston University, BSc Business and Management specializing in Accounting
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5.5 years, Consulting

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I really enjoyed working on “future of work” related projects and wanted to plug myself into the startup ecosystem to drive product innovation in the future of work and education space. 

Why did you choose Stanford GSB? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
“Change Lives. Change Organizations. Change the World.” – GSB’s mission strongly aligns with my purpose and, after speaking with alums, I was certain the GSB attracted other diverse global citizens who had empathy and a yearning for social change. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I’m an international Black student and have lived in different countries. 

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I’ve traveled to almost 50 countries across 6 continents and plan to visit every country in the world. 

Post-MBA career interests:
Driving product innovation in the future of work and education space, either as an investor or operator. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Reaching out to current MBA students and alums for advice! They coached, mentored, and pushed me to reach my potential, providing transformational tips and tricks that would have been difficult for me to come across elsewhere (e.g., helping me to redraft my MBA essay 15 times). After sharing on social media that I was accepted at Stanford, Harvard, London Business School, and Oxford to pursue further study, I was inundated with questions from aspiring applicants who wanted to find out more. I set up office hours over the summer, and then thoroughly enjoyed supporting around 50 prospective candidates from five continents with their applications.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I underestimated the workload required for US MBA applications and was not ready by the round 1 deadline, therefore I decided to apply in round 2. If I could go back, I would have definitely applied in round 1 to allow myself more time not only to prepare for business school but also to move to the other side of the world!

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the GRE! I wish I stuck to the GMAT exam rather than deciding to start studying for the GRE, only to return back to the GMAT months later.

What is your initial impression of the Stanford GSB students/culture/community?
Being part of Stanford Graduate School of Business means you develop a bit of a family-like feel with your classmates. I immediately felt welcome at the GSB and I knew it was an environment where I would be able to thrive among other students. 

What is one thing you have learned about Stanford GSB that has surprised you?
I was surprised how open people are compared to in the UK. An example of this is GSB’s “TALK,” where every week two students share their life stories. Being vulnerable is actively encouraged here at the GSB, and I have found it extremely inspiring to witness my classmates share their stories in a vulnerable and intimate setting. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Working at home during the pandemic meant the MBA application process was good in some aspects, but challenging in others. I was able to save on travel time and that meant I could spend more time on preparing my application, which helped. However, at the same time, the intensity of the pandemic and all that came with it was emotionally draining and extremely difficult at certain times.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Taking on too many extracurricular activities, as I love to say yes to opportunities! But I loved that Stanford protected students by having an “Academic Adjustment Period,” which meant student clubs and employers could not contact us during the first five weeks of school, allowing us to focus on academics.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
My role as an investor on the EdTech Deals team at the Stanford GSB Impact Fund. I’m focused on sourcing, evaluating, and investing in early stage companies in the future of work and education space, and our team is being advised by some of the largest edtech funds in the world (including Owl Ventures and Reach Capital). I get to work with classmates I admire, while also connecting with 100+ diverse social enterprise founders in my network!

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2023, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: Stanford GSB

About the Author

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Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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