Mariandrea Villarreal

MBA 2020
  • Hometown: Mexico City
  • Pre-MBA: Management Consulting at BCG

Mariandrea Villarreal

Post Graduation Goals:

Work in the social impact space

Highlight of my Week:

Having drinks and painting with my friends on Monday evening. I love to have time to relax and catch up with them.


GSB Transformation:

At the GSB I have had the opportunity to learn more about social impact and create professional connections with leaders in the space.

Today I started my day at one of my favorite places in campus: Windhover. Windhover is a space specially dedicated to relieving stress. It is used as a meditation center. Today I went with two of my best friends to practice yoga. In my opinion, this is one of the best kept secrets at Stanford.
When I’m not running to class or a team meeting, I love to take my time to make breakfast for myself. This morning I did an acai bowl.
I love my commute to school. It’s only a 10 minute bike ride from Menlo Park and I cycle through streets with huge trees. Today I don’t have classes, but I always go to the GSB to meet with my teams and do work for my classes.
I meet twice a week with my Startup Garage at the CoLab. I love the view of the Monument to Change as it Changes. We are trying to develop a solution that will help combat loneliness among the elderly. We are developing a prototype that we want to test with seniors this Friday during our visit to a Senior Activity Center.
I’m the president of the Sustainable Business Club, and as part of the club activities, we host different kinds of events during lunch, for students who are interested in sustainability. Today, Rippleworks will be sharing the work they’ve done in the space. Next week, we’ll have a team from Apple sharing about their environmental initiatives.
Mafalda, a Portuguese friend, invited me to “drink and draw” at her house. Sofia, a Chilean friend, prepared the drinks, and Mafalda taught us different painting techniques. It was super fun!
TALK is my favorite tradition at the GSB. Every Monday night, two people from my class share their life story to the rest of the class. I’m always surprised how driven, caring, and empathetic everyone is. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a supportive community.
Today, I have a full day! I start classes early. My first class is Startup Garage. It is a hands-on, project-based course, in which teams design and test new business concepts that address real-world needs. My team is trying to create a solution to loneliness among the elderly, it has been an amazing experience so far!
Joel Peterson’s Managing Growing Enterprises - aka MGE - is one of my favorite classes this quarter. Every day we need to prepare a case about an entrepreneur that underwent different challenges - funding, hiring, conflict, etc. During the first half of the class, we discuss the case and role-play different situations, and during the second half, we welcome the protagonist of the case. Today, Joel cold-called the protagonists in the first part of the class and had them role-play!
I love to walk through Town Square and catch up with friends. Today I had lunch at Arbuckle. There’s always a lot of food options, but I’m a big fan of their sushi.
Acting With Power is a super fun class. We are preparing an act in pairs to present on the last week of class. The first half of the class, we did an exercise in which one person per table role-played a situation where they usually feel uncomfortable, and the rest of the table gave feedback on how to improve. The progress we made in a couple of rounds was impressive.
For the second half of the class, we were divided into small groups to rehearse our act without partners and get feedback and advice from professional actors. In this picture, me and my acting partner are implementing a strategy our coach suggested to us as practice, as we prepare our acting scene.
Today I had a SGD - Small Group Dinner. SGDs are part of the GSB traditions. They are a set of funded dinners hosted by students, where the guests are randomly selected. They are one of the best ways to get to meet random GSB people that you would normally not meet. Today, Beixi made dumplings for us, they were delicious!
I love to start my days with a morning run around campus. I have discovered amazing spots just by running around without a plan. Today, I went for a loop to the Dish. The weather couldn’t be better!
At 10am, I met with my Startup Garage team at an activity center in Menlo Park to do some user interviews. As we move forward with our project, we need to get user feedback. It was very useful listening to seniors’ needs and desires. We’re optimistic that this will allow us to come with a better prototype.
I don’t have classes today, so I decided to drive to San Francisco with a group of friends to end the week with a yoga class at the beach. I love being so close to the city.
My favorite thing about living in California is that I can spend a lot of time in the outdoors. After the yoga class we grabbed a sandwich and decided to go on a hike to Marin Headlands. It was the first time I did this hike, it was beautiful.
We drove back to campus and saw an amazing sunset. It’s crazy how easy it is to move around the Bay Area.
I had dinner with Santi, a first year MBA, and Maffy, a Master in International Policy student. They hosted me at their place at the Schwab Residential Center. Since they are first year students, they live just across the GSB. They were the best hosts, it was the perfect end to an amazing week.