Pilar Landon

Pilar Landon
MBA 2017
  • Hometown: San Diego, California
  • Pre-MBA: Stanford Law School; High school math teacher

Pilar Landon

Post Graduation Goals:

Finding the sweet spot of law, science, and business

Favorite GSB Memory So Far:

Touring Coco Chanel’s apartment during the Retail Club “Luxe Trek” to London and Paris

Hitting the gym early today. I’ve got a packed schedule so I’m squeezing a workout in where I can! I go to the Equinox in Palo Alto, where I’ve been a member since I moved here. The new Arrillaga wasn’t built yet when I started law school in 2013, and I’ve come to enjoy the break from being on campus that going to Equinox affords me.
I’m using time before class to catch up on reading. I’ve been traveling all weekend, so I haven’t had a solid chunk of time like this in a few days. I am most productive in the mornings so I try to schedule my classes after 10am when I can.
Pilar and classmate in finance class
My base finance class today covered bond pricing and equity valuation. I’ve seen these concepts once before, but they are still pretty unfamiliar to me. There is a good mix of abilities in this class; some people, like me, have little to no experience with these topics, while other classmates have some banking or private equity experience. I do enjoy all the math, having been a math teacher in my former life, and I enjoy the challenge of its application.
View from outdoor table at Arbuckle cafeteria
I pop over to Arbuckle to work for a bit on my managerial economics assignment for tomorrow. We’re learning about price elasticity and markups - again, lots of math (lucky me!) - but I’ve never taken an econ class in my life. Professor Kreps is consistently a contender for the Nobel Prize and has high expectations for student contribution, so I dedicate proportionately more time to this class than others.
I’ve recently become involved with a life science angel investor group, so I meet with a co-founder for one of their portfolio companies. It’s a bio-engineering company focused on developing control mechanisms for new cancer therapeutic technologies, and I’m assisting them with intellectual property diligence. I’ve had a few summers’ worth of experience with patent law, so it’s nice to keep the skills sharp.
My marketing class today was on pricing, which seems to have aligned nicely with managerial economics. We discussed the bases of different pricing models, including cost structures plus margins, consumers’ value of the product, or competitor-driven pricing. It’s a small class so it’s very easy to be a regular contributor to the discussion.
Pilar listening to a voicemail
I check my phone after class to find a voicemail from BCG extending me an offer. Cue celebrations!
I squeeze in a sushi dinner with a good friend from undergrad who recently moved to the area to be a corporate lawyer at Orrick. We like to go to Jinsho on California Avenue, which was apparently a favorite of Steve Jobs.
There’s a panel discussion on investing in healthcare that’s been on my calendar. The speakers are three venture capitalists raising funds for investments in medical devices and bio-pharma. I’m curious to learn how they approach later stage investments compared to the early, seed stage companies I’ve been seeing with the angel investment group.
I run into some of my friends from law school who are hanging out in my Munger quad living room with my roommates, who are also in law school. I chat with them for a bit - I don’t see them nearly as much since starting at the GSB - and then it’s homework time. I’m finishing up a finance assignment and taking a first crack at a Data and Decisions problem set. I have a Goldman Sachs interview early tomorrow so I need to get a good night’s sleep!
I have an interview for an investment banking position at Goldman Sachs. The pressure’s off after the news from BCG yesterday, but I still want to do my best. The two interviewers are GSB alumni and are very accommodating of my nontechnical background. After our great conversation, I head back to Munger to change out of my suit.
Calculus on the classroom whiteboard
Today’s class is on marginal revenue and marginal costs, which means calculus! My favorite. In my pre-Stanford life I was a Teach For America corps member and taught high school math, including calculus, so I am relishing the familiarity and comfort of today’s material. I hope there’s a lot of this on the final, because I’ll crush it.
Admit Weekend planning committee
I have a weekly meeting with the MBA Admissions Office for Admit Weekend planning. Admit Weekend starts this Thursday so we’re just putting the finishing touches on things.
My energy markets and policy class is covering swap derivatives and futures contracts in the electricity market. To see how these instruments shape incentives we play a trading game in groups.
I have Data and Decisions in the afternoon - it’s a long day of class. We’re learning about statistical sampling and margin of error today. As a biology major and a math teacher, I don’t know how I squeezed by without ever having taken a formal stats class. Midterms are around the corner, so everyone is asking lots of questions.
Group meeting with Apoorv and Caroline
I’m finishing up a weekly Data and Decisions problem set with my friends Apoorv and Caroline. We’re all thankful for the opportunity to work in a group - three heads are definitely better than one for these tricky assignments.
I attend a meeting with the life science angel investor group - not the investors, but the medical students and residents helping source the deals. We discuss strategy for how we’d like future screening meetings to go and which companies we’d like to move forward in the funding process.
Dinner table with classmates
Dinner reunion with my Global Studies Trip crew! A small group of us made it to Rome for a few days before the start of the official trip in Athens, and we’ve been planning a get-together ever since we got back to school this month.
Google calendar showing a busy day
Just sending out some calendar invites for a group project that’s coming up. My friends and I affectionately call it “calendar art.”
Second managerial economics class of the week. Today’s math application is price elasticity. Less calculus today and more ratios. I’m starting to get the hang of the vocabulary too. Still enjoying feeling really smart in this class … at least when it comes to the algebra.
I head back to my room in Munger to eat lunch and check out the spring electives registration process. This quarter, I am determined to get into beginning golf (not a GSB class!). I’ve tried and failed now for eight quarters!
Today’s energy markets and policy class is covering dynamic and time-of-use pricing models in retail electricity markets.
Head down in frustration in Data and Decisions class
Data and Decisions class. We’re learning about linear regressions from data series. Specifically, we’re calculating the effects of different variables on being single. Yes, you read that right. The good news is, the higher my income, the less likely I am to be single. The bad news is, the more educated I am, the more likely I am to be single. We then add in the effect of owning cats. Thank goodness I don’t own any, or things would be looking pretty bad for me.
I prepare for tomorrow’s finance case. And also watch an episode of Friends on Netflix. Maybe at the same time.
It’s Small Group Dinner night at Admit Weekend! My co-host, Tolu, and I gather our nine admits and their SOs and head to a local restaurant for dinner and conversation. Looks like next year’s class is going to be great!
We end the night at The Patio...of course. It’s an indoor/outdoor sports bar that is currently overrun with law students at “Bar Review” (law students are soooo punny).