Welcome to the MBA Class of 2009

Students come from nearly five dozen countries and include an avocado farmer, two bodyguards, and investment managers, among others.

September 01, 2007

They come from 54 countries, have worked in more than 60 industries, and include former managers, reporters, bodyguards, a sixth-generation avocado farmer, and the national flamenco champion of Taiwan.

Members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA Class of 2009 began their journey this week with a welcome from Assistant Dean and MBA Admissions Director Derrick Bolton, MBA ‘98, who praised their accomplishments and diverse backgrounds while urging them to take full advantage of opportunities on the Stanford campus.

“In a word, Wow!” Bolton told the 362 new students in his welcome speech September 17. “There were 5,700 applicants who wanted to sit where you are today. We offered admission to about 8 percent of applicants, which again places Stanford among the most selective business schools in the world, and makes us the most selective school within our peer group.”

“For every seat in the class, there were 16 applicants,” Bolton said. “Virtually any of them would do anything to be sitting where you are today. To admit the class here today, we were also forced to turn away incredible people who, like you, have achieved amazing success in life and who have compelling prospects for the future … It is my goal to remind you of the incredible privilege you were given and the responsibility you accepted by joining the Stanford community. So with every decision that you make, please think not only of yourself and of your classmates, but also of the folks who would love to be in that seat today.”

Aside from the United States, members of the Class of 2009 come from nearly five dozen countries including Mexico, China, India, Canada, Turkey, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Bulgaria. Many of them worked in consulting, investment management, telecommunications and technology, and consumer-retail.

Others come from non-business backgrounds. Two provided bodyguard services — one at a private firm in New York City and the other in Iraq. One worked for the United Steelworkers Union, while another was a former game show production assistant on Irish television.

The Class of 2009 will also likely be known for its athleticism. Class members played in at least 29 intercollegiate sports including archery, baseball, basketball, water polo, and ultimate Frisbee. One class member has won two world champion gold medals in swimming while another is the national sailing champion of Chile.

The Class of 2009 will witness what promises to be the most exciting school year in recent memory as the Stanford Business School embarks on a new era highlighted by a fresh, bold approach to teaching management and leadership with a new curriculum.

For the first time in the Stanford Business School’s history, students will receive personalized instruction and will be required to gain meaningful international experience during their studies either through a global study trip, overseas service-learning trip, or international internship.

David Kreps, senior associate dean for academic affairs, urged class members to savor the challenges and learning opportunities in the next two years.

“The goal here is to learn as much as you can,” he said at the welcome assembly. “You’re here to become a general manager and leader.”

By Ben Pimentel

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