what do you really do at the GSB? (and why…)

Spring Break is a great time to leave ‘the bubble’ and enjoy a week and half of free time. For me it was filled with travels around the US and unexpectedly (or maybe expectedly) answering a question:  ‘so what do you actually study at Stanford?’.

Over the last 10 days I’ve heard it about half a dozen times from different people. It wasn’t too hard to explain what I do at the GSB to Stanford students/alumni that I met along the way (yes they’re everywhere:))…but boy it is a challenge when after the words MBA, people keep starring at you with ‘SO WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU STUDY?’ written all over their faces.


Trust me – it does happen more often that one could imagine and at the end of the day the answer seems to be not as straightforward as with medicine / engineering / education or law.

That’s when a fun exercise comes in – some call it the ‘Grandma’ test. Can you boil down to 2-3 simple sentences what you do and why you do it (ie. study at the GSB)? If yes: you’re golden.

What I’m writing here is not revolutionary or even provocative, but I feel it’s a good way to think about studies, work or anything else we do. It really provides clarity and helps making tough choices.

I encourage everyone to put down those sentences, go back to them at least every quarter and ask yourselves: Are they still relevant? Are my daily/weekly activities supporting those statements?

I believe that after this year’s Spring Break I got mine down. Now I just need to call my Grandma and see if what I do at the GSB makes sense to her:)

On a separate note: Welcome Back. Let the Spring Q begin!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s