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Real Humans of MBA Students: Stanford GSB Class of 2024

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Taylor Harris, Stanford GSB MD/MBA Class of 2024

Age: 27
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Stanford University, Biomechanical Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Medical school for the past 3 years! Biomatics Capital Analyst Intern (2019); Health Advances Analyst Intern (2017)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I’m a dual degree MD/MBA candidate. When I was applying for medical school, I knew I wanted to go to a program that had the option to pursue a dual degree with business school. While I have dreamt of being a physician for a long time, I realized through my internships that I also enjoy thinking about the business aspects of healthcare. I love interacting with patients, yet I saw the numerous ways that business can also improve health – be it through innovation or creating more affordable channels for healthcare access. I felt that taking an extra year to include business school into my medical education would provide a richer understanding of the nexus between business and healthcare, and would position me well to tailor how my future career will look.

Why did you choose Stanford GSB? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I applied to medical school before I applied to business school, but I hoped to attend a program that offered a dual degree. Once the time came to decide where to attend medical school, I weighed both the medical school and the business school in my decision. Stanford was an easy choice. Both the medical school and business school are world-leading institutions. The GSB itself has a reputation for producing entrepreneurial big thinkers – as someone once told me, Stanford creates leaders who build rather than follow the status quo. I’m interested in physician entrepreneurship, so the entrepreneurial culture was really appealing, not to mention the opportunities to attempt to build a company in low-stakes settings (think Startup Garage or Lean Launchpad). I also love the interdisciplinary nature of Stanford in general, which I got to experience while completing undergrad here. For these reasons, it was always my dream to return for graduate school.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I’m a woman of color who hopes to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery and physician entrepreneurship, which I think helps to challenge the stereotype of what surgeons look like and how doctors can contribute to the business of healthcare. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I once got lost in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.

Post-MBA career interests:
I’ll be applying for an orthopedic surgery residency! In the long run, I’m hoping to be a practicing physician with concurrent efforts in healthcare entrepreneurship. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Everyone will have a different opinion, but I think it’s imperative to talk to as many people as possible about business school before attending. Talk to current students, alumni, and people who have careers in the industry of your interest. Getting others’ perspectives on different institutions, as well as the broader concept of business school generally, helped me crystallize why I felt business school would be a worthwhile investment.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would have started my application earlier. The essays alone required lots of time in order to a) reflect on who I am and what my goals are, and b) distill my thoughts into a cogent, compelling story. It’s easy to feel rushed in the application process if you aren’t careful to budget enough time.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped trying to guess when or if I would get an interview. It was completely counterproductive and provided an unnecessary level of stress! I had to keep reminding myself that whatever was meant to happen would happen.

What is your initial impression of the Stanford GSB students/culture/community?
The GSB culture is extraordinarily open. I’ve been struck numerous times by my peers’ willingness to be vulnerable and get deep with others, even early in the year. I’ve never been in a group with this level of openness before, and I’m not sure when I will find it after. I think that has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being a part of this community.

What is one thing you have learned about Stanford GSB that has surprised you?
The future goals that my classmates have are extremely diverse. I have friends here who are interested in everything ranging from media/entertainment to climate tech, so it’s been awesome to hear a little bit about so many potential paths.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.