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Stanford Business School welcomes record-setting MBA class

STANFORD -- After more than a week of orientation, Stanford Business School's largest-ever MBA class settled down to work Sept. 26. The class of 374 was drawn from an all-time high applicant pool of 6,336. Traditionally the most competitive of the major business schools, Stanford was able to offer admission to only one applicant in 14.

Aside from its numbers, the MBA Class of 1998 looks much like the class that preceded it. Women make up 29 percent of the class as they did last year, while international students compose 28 percent, up from 25 percent. Members of ethnic minorities are down slightly, from 25 percent to 24 percent.

New students come from 33 countries, including the United States, and from 142 undergraduate institutions. Top feeder schools are Stanford with 39 graduates; Harvard with 37, the University of Pennsylvania with 24, the University of California-Berkeley with 14 and MIT with 10. Nearly 30 percent of the class majored in economics, and more than a quarter of the students studied engineering and computer science as undergraduates. These disciplines were followed in popularity by business and accounting; behavioral and social sciences; humanities; applied and natural sciences; and mathematics. Of the 54 students who already hold graduate degrees, three are J.D.s, three are M.D.s, and two are Ph.D.s.

The Class of '98 studies hard (seven of their number scored a perfect 800 on the Graduate Management Admissions Test) and works hard. The average class member had 3.9 years of work experience at the time of application. The students come from 246 different companies: 26 percent held jobs in management consulting, 17 percent in investment banking, and 3 percent each in venture capital and computer-related fields. Ranging in age from 23 to 38, they have an average age of 26.3.

Little else about them is average. Among their number are several Olympians. There is a gold medal water polo player, an Olympic rower and a swimmer who was given the honor of carrying his country's flag in the opening ceremonies at Atlanta. There is a project manager for a national labor union, a financial analyst for the NFL (try telling him about negotiating salaries!), a finalist in the Sundance Film Festival, a record company founder and a platoon commander in the U.S. Marine Corps who lists among his hobbies such macho pursuits as pro endurance racing, spear fishing and knitting.

Said MBA Admissions Director Marie Mookini in welcoming them: "You are an incredible group of men and women. It is our hope and expectation that you will share your gifts and talents with one another over the next two years."



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