- Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Pre-MBA: International tour management, Czech Philharmonic
Post Graduation Goals:
Orchestra management with a major international orchestra; also thinking about starting a nonprofit that facilitates cultural exchange through music.
Favorite GSB Memory So Far:
I have gone on a number of great hikes with fellow GSBers that I have really loved. I love being outdoors and hiking has been a fun and unique way to get to know my classmates better.
It’s President’s Day! I woke up in Mendocino County, about three hours north of Stanford, where several GSB classmates and I are spending part of the long weekend. We cooked a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs with fresh asparagus and cinnamon-bread French toast and spent some time lounging in the sun – it’s February and about 75 degrees! – before heading out.
After cleaning up and on our way out, we snapped a quick photo of some of the ladies. I knew all of these girls well before the weekend, but it’s great to have the chance to spend time with GSB friends off-campus and in a different setting. We all left our schoolwork at Stanford and took advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without any interruptions from our busy GSB schedules.
Before driving the three hours back to Palo Alto, we checked out a few of Mendocino County’s beautiful vineyards. The weather and the scenery were both perfect. I’m not from the west coast and haven’t spent a lot of time in California, and I love the outdoors, so I have really appreciated the opportunities to explore the area around school!
I’m a violinist and one of the first things I did when I got to Stanford was to audition for the Stanford Symphony Orchestra (SSO), which is made up of undergrads and grad students from all disciplines – I’m the only GSB student. Fitting the 2.5 hours of rehearsal into every Monday and Thursday evening is tough but doable, and being in an orchestra is important to me so I happily make the time for it. One huge perk is getting to rehearse in Stanford’s beautiful, brand new Bing Concert Hall twice a week. It’s easily the nicest hall I’ve ever played in!
The GSB’s flexibility in allowing us to take classes “across the street” (in departments outside the GSB) is a huge asset. Many of Stanford’s extracurricular activities beyond the GSB are also open to us if we seek them out. My across the street experience in the SSO has been a great way both to stay involved in classical music and to get outside the GSB bubble and meet other students who share my non-business school interests. A few hours of playing classical music twice a week is also a nice change of pace and a good way to wind down a busy day.
Had a quick catch up with my suite mate Ivana over brownies in our Schwab apartment kitchen.
After rehearsal, I finished up some homework and did a few miscellaneous things to get ready for the week.
Headed off bright and early to Supply Chain Management. The class is very technology-focused and although I don’t have a background in this topic I'm glad to be expanding my business vocabulary!
Base Managerial Economics with Professor Andy Skrzpacz is my second class of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After spending the first half of the quarter with supply and demand curves and setting marginal cost equal to marginal revenue, the second half of the course has taken a turn and we are currently looking at incentives and motivation in the workplace. Andy is a very engaging and funny professor, and Econ has turned into one of my favorite classes of the quarter.
It’s another beautiful day in sunny California without a cloud in sight. When class is over, lots of students head to Town Square, which is at the center of the GSB’s campus. It’s a great place to touch base after class, catch up with friends, and sit down for lunch outside on a nice day. I had lunch plans in a friend’s room, so I stopped to say hi and chat with a few classmates, and then continued on my way.
In an attempt to reflect and think about the future, my friend Jess and I occasionally block out chunks of time for “pancakes and goals,” which involves getting together, making a few batches of different kinds of pancakes, and talking about our goals and what’s going on in our GSB lives. It’s really helpful to set aside the time in advance to think about these things in a fun way since there are so many things going on at the GSB to process.
Had a meeting with my Personal Leadership Coach, or PLC. PLC’s are MBA2s who meet with MBA1s nine times over the course of fall and winter quarters to talk with us basically about whatever is top-of-mind for us: professional issues, school-work-life balance issues, navigating the GSB, etc. I always enjoy my conversations with my PLC.
Had a quick dinner in the kitchen with Ivana before heading out to rehearsal. We don’t see too much of each other during the day but we cross paths a lot in the kitchen, which I am glad for because it’s nice to catch up with her even over a quick meal.
I went the long way on my way to orchestra tonight because I was running a few minutes early, and stopped to snap a few photos of non-GSB parts of campus as the moon rose. Stanford is pretty at every time of day, but early evening is my personal favorite. And even after five months here, I still get a kick out of seeing palm trees in February!
Rehearsal with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra in Bing.
Met with Jess to work on an assignment for Data and Decisions. I don’t usually like to figure out statistics at 10 pm, but our schedules are so busy it was our only bet.
Another full morning of Finance at 8 am followed by Data and Decisions at 10. Sometimes all of the quantitative classes on top of each other can get a little overwhelming, but other times it’s actually a great feeling to be learning so many new things all at once. Needless to say, I’m glad it’s Friday.
I’m an “ambassador” for the Admissions Office and today I served as a student panelist at an info session. It’s fun hearing and answering prospective students’ questions and nice to be giving back in whatever small way I can.
Ran back to Schwab to make lunch before my next class.
Marketing class – always a breath of fresh air after a quant-heavy morning. Today we talked about Olympic Rent-A-Car’s loyalty program, and what the costs and benefits of having a loyalty program are from the marketing perspective.
My friend Jennifer is a fellow musician with a non-traditional business background, and she and I have become study-buddies this quarter to keep each other on track with all of the quantitative classes. We meet up regularly in study rooms around campus to work on finance, econ, and D&D together. It’s always nice to have company and to talk through tough cases and problems together. We decided to attempt to be productive and get a few things done Friday afternoon before the weekend starts.
After Jennifer went her way, I stopped by Coupa Café to finish a bit of reading. Naturally I ran into friends and didn’t get quite as much reading done as I had intended. After catching-up we headed over to one of my favorite GSB traditions, the hilariously named Liquidity Preference Function (LPF).
Every Friday from 5-7 pm everyone comes out to Town Square for free food and drinks. The weather is inevitably great, and it’s a really nice way to wind down the week and kick off the weekend together. A different club hosts LPF each week, and this week’s happened to feature live music and tons of food to kick off the silent auction for the GSB’s upcoming charity fundraiser. There were tons of people around and I had a few really nice chats with some friends with whom I hadn’t had a chance to catch-up with earlier in the week.
Another GSB custom is the small group dinner. Students sign up to host small group dinners and a computer algorithm randomly assigns guests who have indicated they are available. The Student Assembly then covers a cost-per-head for the dinner (or you can host your own without the algorithm and without the funding). Small group dinners, especially those through the algorithm, are a great way to get to know classmates in an intimate setting. The small group dinner I went to tonight was hosted by two friends in their on-campus room.
Some of the other guests at the small group dinner were classmates I only knew by sight. The conversation was so great that we stayed until 1 in the morning! Great start to the weekend.