The Stanford Graduate School of Business does not set out to make MBAs. Instead, we create an environment that transforms the brightest and most passionate people in the world.
At Stanford, we launch you into a career with impact and a life of meaning.
Here's how we do it...
Critical, Analytical Thinking
We help you understand what makes a strong, logical argument. Here, you practice different ways of thinking and hone your oral and written communication of analysis. You learn persuasion and criticism.
Every MBA student takes the Critical Analytical Thinking (CAT) seminar, which focuses exclusively on building these skills. CAT transcends any discipline or function of management. CAT enhances your ability to identify critical questions when exploring a new business issue, to parse issues, to develop reasoned positions, and to make compelling arguments.
Personal Leadership Development
If you can’t lead people, you limit your impact.
Since 1966, we’ve taught a course called Interpersonal Dynamics—known as Touchy Feely at the GSB—that builds awareness of how you affect others.
You learn how you function in small groups and how you relate to others from frequent, candid feedback and reactions of class members. Most alumni describe it as one of the most valuable courses they take at Stanford.
Building on our deep experience with the human side of business, we have integrated leadership experiences into the curriculum. All first-year MBAs participate in weekly Leadership Labs that culminate in the Executive Challenge. The Executive Challenge is a full-day event at which over 150 alumni return to campus to simulate situations that demand true leadership qualities.
Creativity and Innovative Spirit
Stanford is a center of innovation and a leader in trying to solve the world’s challenges. We create the conditions for innovation to flourish; it’s no accident that Silicon Valley surrounds Stanford.
You can take pioneering courses such as Biodesign Innovation, which brings together business, engineering, and medical students to create medical devices.
Design for Extreme Affordability challenges students to develop comprehensive solutions to challenges facing residents of developing countries. We embrace design thinking, an empathetic, user-focused thought process that incorporates humanity into every decision.
Stanford GSB Voices
"Going through this experience, I'm a lot more willing to take risks, challenge myself, and, honestly, not be afraid of missteps along the way, because I know that even though I might make a few mistakes, I'll only learn from them and it will position me better for future success."
Sandeep Kagzi, MBA 2012
" The GSB teaching methods give you a broad array of tools. From role plays to case studies to lectures, they all help shape my way of seeing a problem. The teaching methods are very different from what I was exposed to in Brazil. In my college, students would just take notes, and you would never question what the professor was saying. Here at the GSB, we learn to push back on people, even professors, and have a healthy debate. We also learn to be sure of your opinion and how to argue your points, and this was very helpful to me."
Flavia Deutsch, MBA 2012
São Paulo, Brazil