My first piece of advice to MBA students coming into our program is to take it seriously. The Stanford MBA program is a full-time job that will put demands on you. By design, the Stanford MBA program is something of an intellectual overload, the same kind of phenomenon you will face throughout the rest of your career.
Exercise Your Mind
Develop your appetite to think broadly about management education. The core courses that fill your first year are designed as a foundation that will give you the fundamental knowledge that every successful executive must be familiar with to work in today’s competitive, global environment. Think of the first year as basic training — calisthenics for a serious athlete. The core is designed so that the rest of your academic career and your managerial performance will be executed at a very high level of quality.
As you begin to select elective classes, you will face a predictable dilemma about whether to pursue electives that add to your strengths or shore up your weaknesses. Be adventurous and serious. You need to take intellectual risks to make the most of this program.
Take advantage of the diversity of the school. Your classmates come from a wide range of backgrounds and this intellectual and personal diversity is a defining characteristic of the Stanford Business School. Class discussions are richer because of the experiences of the people who participate. The contributions you and your classmates make are a valuable part of the experience here.