What does it take to get into a premier B-school like the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)? Derrick Bolton, assistant dean, Stanford GSB, says, “The written application, the essays, recommendation letter, resumes, test scores and a good work history help us shortlist candidates. But, the 45-minutes interview of these shortlisted candidates with our alumni help us assess the experiences of these applicants. Eventually, we weave these feedbacks from the alumni based on the interview to choose our candidates.”
The United States is the most represented country in a Stanford GSB class comprising almost 60% of the batch strength. Out of the remaining 40% international students, India typically is at the top, sometimes replaced only by China.
Stanford also runs the Stanford Ignite: a certificate programme on innovation and entrepreneurship in Bengaluru, a nine-week certificate programme on innovation for those who are interested in entrepreneurial ventures. “All students of this programme meet up during weekends in Bengaluru and MBA faculty from Stanford also flies down to interact with them,” says Bolton. He is in India for relationship building meetings with alumni and prospective candidates.
Stanford has a keen focus on entrepreneurship development. In fact, the Stanford Biodesign, a health technology innovation community attracts students from medicine, engineering and business courses for creating healthcare solutions. “The students come together to convert concepts to actual companies. While the medical doctors detect problems they see in Stanford Hospital, engineers in the team figure out ways to build devices to solve that problem and business students turn that into a company. They are mentored by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors,” Bolton says.
“Stanford has a huge role to play in India’s startup boom too. In fact, we have several Indian alums who have started their own company in the US itself,” he says. On new initiatives for Indian students, Bolton says, “Stanford at the graduate level has announced 100 Knight-Hennessy scholarships. These scholarships will fund applicants for three years and cover tuition fee and cost of living. Two-third of the grants will be aimed at international students.” The scholarships have been announced for 2017 for the 2018 intake.