John Ettinger, MBA ’19: Embrace It All

Whether handing out schwag at ballgames or running an investment portfolio, “you’ve got to love what you do.”

October 09, 2018



John Ettinger, MBA ’19, is one of five 2019 Siebel Scholars at Stanford GSB. | Photo by Stacy Geiken

One of five Siebel Scholars in the Stanford GSB Class of 2019, John Ettinger graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, where he studied economics, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received the award for best overall record in the school’s Department of Economics

He worked as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in New York before working on middle-market private equity at Lee Equity Partners. Ettinger is passionate about investing and is co-president of Stanford GSB’s Private Equity Club. He spent this summer working at Grocery Outlet, a Hellman & Friedman portfolio company. Ettinger is originally from New York City and is an avid sports fan.

What surprised you most about Stanford GSB?

Free time seems to evaporate. I had assumed that with no job commitments and a relatively light course load, I’d spend lazy afternoons on campus, taking naps under palm trees. But free time here gets gobbled up. It’s a great problem — from brown bag lunches to small group dinners, there’s so many amazing things to fill your schedule with. I’ve tried to embrace it all and stay as busy as possible.

What was your first job?

Working in game-day promotions for the New York Mets (only somewhat repulsive to me as a lifelong Yankees fan). I handed out free shirts and the like to the first 20,000 fans in attendance. It was the first time I learned that the day-to-day experience at a lot of jobs can be mundane, so you’ve got to love what you do and make sure you’re working toward tangible goals.

What’s your dream job?

At some point, I’d like to make the jump over to the public sector. I’ve always planned to end up in government after a lengthy private-sector career. I’d like to have a role at the local or state level, ideally with a finance focus. Perhaps New York City Comptroller?

What’s your personal motto?

Most of life’s problems can be solved by pushing F9.

— By Jenny Luna

About Siebel Scholars

Established in 2000 by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, the Siebel Scholars program awards grants to leading universities in the United States, China, France, Italy, and Japan. Following a competitive review process by the deans of their respective schools on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership, the top graduate students from 27 partner programs are selected each year as Siebel Scholars. On average, Siebel Scholars rank in the top 5% of their class, many within the top 1%.

About the Siebel Foundation

The Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, was established as a private foundation in 1996. Its mission is to foster programs and organizations that improve the quality of life, environment, and education of its community members. The Siebel Foundation funds projects to support the homeless and underprivileged, education and research, public health, and alternative energy solutions.

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