Ben Levick

MBA 2012
  • Hometown: Ada, Michigan, USA
  • Pre-MBA: Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company

Ben Levick

Post Graduation Goals:

Returning to consulting short-term but hope to start my own venture in the short-to-medium term as well.

A favorite GSB memory:

Touchy Feely class really helped me understand how I'm perceived by others and by myself. Also, the Global Study Trip to China and my subsequent GMIX there were extremely eye-opening in better understanding how I interact with different cultures.

Wake up after a fairly big night out and get my bearings. This is my room in my MBA2 pass-down house.
Coffee from Starbucks in Menlo Park. Read some papers for class on Tuesday about leadership decisions.
Set up our garage so bands can practice. I'm the head of the GSB Band Club, and I want to make sure that the bands in new first- year class have a place to play. Our club has a lot of equipment, so our garage is a good space where it can all sit and then bands can come over to practice.
Brunch with classmates at a Menlo Park house - it's awesome to see some people I don't get to spend a lot of time with and the food is delicious.
I drive to the NGP CoLab to meet with S356 Group to brainstorm start-up ideas. We're trying to pick a topic in e-commerce that we're interested in and think can produce results over the course of our class. We settle on a research plan going forward.
Doing a little work at the sunny Knight Center.
Have to stop by another second-year house in downtown Palo Alto to pick up drums. A couple of pieces of equipment are missing, which is kind of annoying, but you have to chalk a few of these things up to the fact that there's so much turnover in who lives in these houses.
While it's on my mind, I head over to my friend Abe's house east of Palo Alto, and he gives me a drum lesson that I won at the White Party last year. The White Party is a major charity auction we do at Stanford. Abe and I are both in the band club and have played a lot before, so it's fun to get some good advice from a pro. My stick holding technique can use some work, but at least my rhythm is pretty good.
I'm still kind of tired after Saturday, so I decide it's time to head home. Me and my housemate Atit order Thai food which we go to pick up. It's a relaxing night, and we both realize we don't eat at home often enough.
I don't normally get a chance to fully relax, so I spend an hour and a half indulging in some mindless TV and fall asleep for half an hour at some point. Given another busy week ahead, I feel justified in enjoying a little bit of downtime this Sunday.
I'm hosting a BBL tomorrow about music at the GSB (it is called a Brown Bag Lunch, although nobody brings brown bag lunches). I put together my Powerpoint presentation, which consists of both my own slides plus info submitted from several of my classmates who are interested in underground music, DJing, Jazz and more.
Catch up on email for the day and plan for the morning, where I have a golf class and then some other meetings before my BBL.
Shower and drive to class.
Drive from Casablanca to the GSB.
Write some of my MGE midterm paper and quickly prepare for S356: Creating a Startup.
Hear from some of last year's S356 entrepreneurs as they talk about Social Finance, the venture that they are still working on today. Jake Stahl (right) and I are getting ready for Irv Grousbeck's Managing Growing Enterprises class.
Managing Growing Enterprises with Irv Grousbeck. The speaker today is a tenured CEO in the telecom industry, and we role play some of the tough conversations he had to have with his partners and board members during his career.
Pick up a delicious Asian salad from Arbuckle and take it to a small group Q&A with the MGE speaker. I ask him how he managed being the CEO of multiple successful enterprises at the same time, and his response was "very badly."
For Formation of New Ventures (yes, my third entrepreneurship class of the day) the speaker is a GSB alum who is building the world's first and most successful unregulated sport aircraft. We talk about the difficulties of raising funding for such a long-term project, and he gives us some advice on how to keep a team motivated despite significant risks and setbacks.
Me, Ilya Abyzov (left), and some friends take a break in upper Arbuckle to make travel plans for the winter break, but I have to go before we're able to get much work done. We reschedule for tomorrow.
Run into Maria Lambert who is also documenting her week for this "Day in the Life" feature.
Working on the fourth floor of the Bass Center, which houses the library.
I hop in my car and drive up to San Francisco. The 101 is faster but the 280 is more beautiful so I do the latter. Downtown San Francisco.
I have a meeting with my former summer employers, a couple of GSB alumni who are founders of a B2B mobile technology company located in downtown SF. It's my first time back since the summer and it is fun to see the team again. I talk to the founders about the company direction, plus ways that my S356 startup team can collaborate with them.
Back at the GSB for a GSB Show kickoff presentation. The GSB Show is a huge satirical musical we put on every Spring which involves 150 classmates, 1000 audience members and a major budget. I'm the Music Director this year so I talk to some of the first years to see if there is interest for an Assistant Musical Director position.
Head home at last and catch up on emails, plus say hi to some housemates I haven't seen in a couple of days.
Head to Redwood City for this week's FOAM open bar night - it's Oktoberfest theme so a couple of German beers are in order.
Wake up.
Golf class on the Stanford driving range. Working on my long irons and woods today.
Coffee from Starbucks again.
Returned home to do a little bit of schoolwork for tomorrow and to eat lunch. Also booked some of my plane tickets for winter break - New Zealand, Australia, and India. The state of the sky that Wednesday. Not bad for late October!
Picked up a sandwich from Village Cheese Shop in the Town and Country mall near campus, but was in a rush to get to a meeting for which I was already late.
Ate my sandwich while we did more ideating on my startup. We had lost some potential partners but got some good ideas from my former employers so we spent some time "ideating" - listing potential solutions to the problems we were trying to solve.
In a tribute to Steve Jobs we compile all of our Apple products.
Met with my friends to continue working on travel plans for winter, and then had to rush to finish a powerpoint presentation that was due by 7pm. I had to skip my afternoon Computer Science seminar in order to do this, but usually there are good notes so hopefully I can read them and catch up by next week. Doing some last minute S356 work with Jason Lee (right).
Celebration dinner for the Entrepreneurial Summer Program. It was great to hear all of the lessons learned by classmates working in startups this summer. I took the time to re-evaluate my entrepreneurial ambitions and to recognize what an interesting network of people I'm around here.
Grabbed a second dinner with friends at a Singaporean restaurant in Menlo Park. We hadn't caught up in a while and one of the friends who was Singaporean wanted to show off the food. I lost track of time and had to rush to get back to campus for Talk12.
Talk12 is a weekly event where a classmate gets up in front of a group of peers and "tells his story." It's amazing to see the diverse experiences of classmates, the adversity many of them have had to overcome, and the thoughtfulness everybody takes in thinking about their life journey.
After Talk12, I stayed around to talk to friends, and then went to the Bass Center to print assignments for the next day.
The GSB Epicurean club was hosting a kickoff event at Schwab Residential Center, the first year dorm. I spent 20 minutes catching up with one of the Schwab staff members so I only made it to the tail end of the event, but there was still some snacks left for me to devour. Looking a bit confused at the E@T club event in Schwab.
Finally drove home close to midnight, and settled in to do some readings for classes that start bright and early on Thursday. I decided to put off a few of them for lunch tomorrow since I was falling asleep.