Jack Armstrong

MBA 2020
  • Hometown: Keswick, United Kingdom
  • Pre-MBA: Business Recovery Services, PwC UK

Jack Armstrong

Post Graduation Goals:

Pursue a Search Fund or join a Private Equity Operations team to help drive value in growing businesses

GSB Transformation:

Outside of all I have learned in the classroom, I think the way in which the GSB is helping me grow the most personally and professionally is the culture or feedback and support from classmates. Everyone is truly exceptional and goes above and beyond to help in anyway they can. Whether that's providing feedback on a role play in class, a coffee chat where they help you think through a challenge, or just inspire you to reach for something you may have previously thought was unattainable. Being around my classmates is helping me grow!

Monday is a busy day with three classes. As a morning person I tried to get as many 8:30 starts as possible. Mondays and Fridays start with Microeconomics and today we had some amazing alumni guest speakers. After finishing at the GSB they set up Pando Pooling, a financial tool that empowers clients to manage their future earnings by pooling future earnings across a group of individuals. They are currently testing this with NBL players.
After finishing my second morning class I rushed to the Gym for a quick lunchtime workout. I have several standing gym dates with friends during the week. I find it is a great way to work out and catch up at the same time!
I am taking an "across the street" class at the d.school. I was lucky enough to get into the Design Thinking Studio, which is a quarter long course guiding you through the design thinking process. This week was our final presentation back to real clients. I have loved the project and really enjoyed getting to work with two fellow MBAs, Will and Steph.
It is only 2 weeks until my Global Study Trip to Rwanda and Ethiopia is well and truly underway. I am super excited to learn more about our topic of scaling innovation in emerging markets. This afternoon I went for a coffee catch up with one of my MBA2 trip leaders. This was an awesome chance to sit in the sun and get to know each other a little better before the big trip.
With a spare 30mins - I decided to jump in at a table outside Arbuckle with my fellow Brit, Will. Writing emails always feels more enjoyable sat in the sun.
For part of our Data and Decision course we have a group project due at the end of the week. Our team met up for a couple of hours this evening to work on our final regression analysis and pull together our recommendations report. One of the great things about group projects at the GSB is working with classmates with such diverse backgrounds!
After a busy day I spent my evening reading my cases for tomorrow. I am excited to discuss the financial crisis in my Finance class followed by an interesting case on organizational change in my HR class.
Before bed I like to run through my emails and make sure my calendar is up to date for the week. With lots going on for the rest of the week, a relatively relaxed Monday has started the week of right!
This morning started strong with a quick interview followed by our penultimate finance class of the quarter. Today's topic was the financial crisis. It was fascinating to hear more about the background of the financial crisis and what ultimately lead to the collapse of banks such as Lehman Brothers.
After Finance it is a quick dash across to my HR class. Organizational Transformation is the topic of the day and I am super excited to hear from our guest speaker - Lori Goler. Lori is Head of HR at Facebook! It was fascinating to hear her journey having joined in 2008 she has been part of Facebook as it has gone through multiple years of rapid growth. One of the best parts of the GSB is the chance to ask questions to real business leaders inside and outside of classroom. Whether that be career advice, what it's like working at Facebook or how to drive large scale organizational change.
I head over to the squash courts which are right behind the GSB. I have been teaching one of my classmates to play squash in return for tennis lessons. It's a great way of getting in some quick cardio in during the day and doubles up as a nice catch up over a post match lunch. I used the time today to test some of my thinking around internship opportunities. At the GSB you have the luxury of being surrounded by wonderful classmates who are always happy to help you work through anything on your mind. And they always have your best interests at heart (even if you do beat them at squash)!
One of my favorite places to work on campus is the MBA Lounge. It has the coffee shop vibe with people coming in and out and excited conversations happening sporadically throughout the room. I set myself up at a standing table, fired up my classmate Nathan’s awesome Spotify playlist, and spent a couple of hours churning. I am currently working on finding my summer internship so this afternoon I have been sending several cold emails to alumni, following up on existing opportunities and preparing for interviews later in the week!
One of my favorite classes of the week is the PE Overview class. It is taught by Professor George Parker who is a hero! Each week he gets in amazing guest speakers from various parts of the PE world to talk about their firms, their career paths and open the floor to our questions. This week we had a GSB Alum who is a General Partner at Serent Capital. He talked about the importance of operational involvement in order to drive differentiated returns in the current climate.
Lean Launchpad is an amazing course at Stanford. It is an immersive program where teams of entrepreneurs and engineers work together to build cool and exciting new businesses. Tonight was pitch night. So after weeks of hard work many present their journey. After our PE class me and a classmate headed across campus to watch some of our fellow classmates present their ideas. One particular team, led by a fellow section mate, is reimagining condiments (which we luckily got to taste test)!
Time for a quick dinner with friends. One of my close friends at the GSB had her brother visiting so a handful of us gathered in her room for wine and a quick bite to eat.
A rock in my calendar every Tuesday is PGPG. This stands for Pretty Gay Pre Game and is a casual pre-meet / catch up for the Pride community at the GSB. Tuesday night hosts the GSBs happy hour event (known as FOAM) and this is a chance for the pride community to catch up and meet on a weekly basis in an informal setting before potentially heading off to FOAM.
Late winter/early spring are busy recruiting seasons. The GSB does not have classes on Wednesday so I find it's a good day to fit in interviews. My day started with two skype interviews with potential companies I am hoping to work for over the summer.
With finals around the corner I spent the second half of my Wednesday morning in a Data and Decisions review session. The professor kindly took the time to run a session going over key concepts and answering any questions in advance of the upcoming final exam.
The sun is back out in Palo Alto so I took the time to catch up with a good friend, Laila. We are squad mates from our Leadership Labs program in the first quarter. As a pair we crushed the Exec challenge getting the best overall score for our case. Executive Challenge is a GSB program that gives you the chance to go head to head with alumni from around the globe. Winter quarter has been busy so we carved out sometime to sit in the sun and catch up.
D.School Dream Team. Today was our final d.school class so to celebrate our success my team met up in Town Square to debrief in the sun before heading over to our final reflection to work through how we can take all the amazing design thinking skills with us back into the business world.
Leaving time for serendipity is something I try hard to do. On my way back from the d.school I ran into a fellow classmate and we ended up going for an impromptu walk and talk. He is currently working on several pitches for accelerators so it was nice to help talk through his pitches and get him pumped up for the next couple of days. With so many classmates doing so many amazing things, the GSB is such a great place to get energized by the people around you.
One of the companies I am targeting for the summer was on campus today, so I took the opportunity to grab a coffee with one of the VPs who was visiting. It was great to talk in more detail about the type of opportunities available and the skills they are looking for in interns. It was great to spend sometime getting to know more about the company as a whole and dig into the culture and values of the team I could potentially be joining.
Something that never ceases to amaze me is how generous my classmates are with their time. In preparation for our Data and Decision final next week one of them decided to host a Data Dinner. We spent some time catching up over dinner before he helped me work through a sample final. Whenever I feel like I am lost at the GSB there is always a classmate who is willing to extend a helping hand.
TALK! A Wednesday night staple is a GSB tradition known as TALK. TALK is the opportunity for classmates to work with a coach to develop their story. They then have the chance to share this story with classmates in a relaxed setting every week. It is often seen as a transformative experience for people to really dive into their personal story before then sharing this with the class. Every week, it's a chance to get to know your classmates at a deeper level, whilst getting inspired by the incredible people I am fortunate enough to be able to call classmates and friends.