2022 Stanford MBA Employment Report Highlights Students’ Drive for Impact
Students and graduates leveraged a strong job market to find roles that matched their skills and passions.
The graduating Class of 2022 faced significant challenges as they started their MBA journeys in the midst of a global pandemic. | Elena Zhukova
Graduating students from the Class of 2022 started their MBA journey in the midst of a global pandemic, coming to campus at a time of great uncertainty. But they rose to the challenge, finding ways to forge meaningful connections with their peers and to pursue their goals with passion and persistence.
The class reported an increase in mean and median starting salaries for the eighth consecutive year. Nineteen percent of the class launched their own venture, and a record number of women pursued entrepreneurship by starting a company or joining a startup. Many summer internships returned to in-person, and some students took the opportunity to work abroad for the summer as pandemic travel restrictions eased.
“These students exhibited a relentless drive to pursue opportunities that would allow them to make an impact in the fields where they are passionate,” said Jamie Schein, assistant dean and director of the Career Management Center, “We could not be more excited for them as they continue their journeys.”
A Targeted Approach
Ninety-three percent of job seekers in the Class of 2022 received offers within three months of graduation, the standard window for capturing job outcomes. About 85 percent accepted a position in that time frame, a sign that some graduates persisted in pursuing opportunities that aligned with their personal values and interests. Graduates have continued to share exciting outcomes beyond the three-month reporting period.
Christoph Jamann, MBA ’22, worked as a consultant for Bain & Company before coming to Stanford GSB where he focused on three possible future career paths: aviation; technology; and Formula 1, the prestigious international auto racing competition. After seeing the decline of the airline industry due to pandemic travel restrictions during the first year of his MBA, Jamann decided to look for a position in the sport he has loved since he was a child in Germany.
“I promised myself I would stop pursuing the standard path and really follow the passions I have,” he explained. “Growing up near a racetrack as a child, and seeing the momentum for F1 in the U.S., I knew this was the direction that I wanted to go.”
Working closely with the CMC, Jamann landed two internships — at McLaren Racing and Angel City Football Club, a women’s professional soccer team — that helped him build his professional network. Jamann turned down an attractive offer in tech and, in June, started as director of strategy for Formula 1’s team in Las Vegas, organizing the first self-promoted Formula 1 race. In October, he rose to chief of staff, working closely with the chief commercial officer to make the event a success.
“An alum told me to see the GSB as a sandbox — to explore and find my passions,” he said. “I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve built a new life in the United States and, most importantly, am working for a company I’m super passionate about.”
Seeking Out Startups
Diana Ding, MBA ’22, worked in private equity and investment banking before coming to Stanford GSB, assuming that she would return to investing after graduation. But, after learning about search funds through a club on campus, she became fascinated by that form of entrepreneurship. Rather than coming up with an original business idea, search fund entrepreneurs raise money to acquire businesses that they then help run and grow.
Ding did an internship in the space and volunteered for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies’ Search Fund CEO Conference. Then, while training for an ultra trail marathon in the fall of her second year, she met Sydney Lehman, MBA ’22, who had worked as director of strategy and operations for Sunrun before coming to the GSB. Lehman thought she wanted to continue in the solar energy space until she learned about search funds from Ding.
The pair teamed up shortly thereafter, exploring the idea of a fund focused on women’s health through an independent research project and the GSB course Search Fund Garage. The classmates have complementary experience and skills: Ding had been an investor but wanted to work on the operations side of a business; Lehman had a background in operations but wanted to do something more entrepreneurial.
Last spring, they launched their search fund, Zone 2 Partners, which will acquire women’s health–related businesses and manage their operations for the long term.
“Historically, a lot of women’s health has been underfunded,” Lehman said. “We are passionate about our mission of actively supporting women throughout their lifetimes.”
Testing the Waters
As pandemic social distancing and travel restrictions eased, the MBA Class of 2023 conducted hybrid or in-person summer internships in the United States and abroad.
Jay Lee, MBA ’23, came to Stanford GSB with experience in product management at Rev.com, a startup offering speech-to-text services. Lee wanted to start his own software company after graduation, so he sought out a summer opportunity in venture capital to learn about the investing side of new business formation. Lee also wanted to explore a part of the world where venture capital funding is more nascent, so he specifically targeted southeast Asia.
“With help from the CMC and the Stanford GSB alumni community, I spent my spring break meeting every venture capital contact I could,” he said.
Eventually, Lee landed a position at Qualgro Partners, a leading technology-investing firm in Singapore focusing on technology investing. Through his summer experience, Lee confirmed that he prefers the operational side of the startup space, and is glad he had the opportunity to explore a region of the world that he was not familiar with.
“It was an invaluable experience,” he concluded. “It really crystallized some learning and thinking that is not directly career-related.”
Poised for Success
Paul Oyer, senior associate dean for academic affairs, said the classes of 2022 and 2023 are already “making their mark.”
“These students and graduates faced great challenges starting their MBA journeys in the midst of a global pandemic,” he said. “Now, they are pursuing careers that line up with their personal and professional passions, and their diversity of outcomes reflects their diversity of interests and experiences. They are well prepared to make a substantial impact in their organizations and the world.”
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