Advice for Stanford MBAs

It’s reunion weekend at Stanford Business School and one of my classmates (thanks Lan!) dug up some words of advice i wrote to the incoming class of 2001. 

From: Walk, Hunter E.
To: Harrington, Lan T.
Sent: 7/1/99 4:20 PM
Subject: RE: Tapping your Wisdom

Lan- Hey there- here are some suggestions… I like anonymity so leave my name off please.  Hope that your summer is kickin it.

Get to know your classmates.  Relationships are what the GSB is about and in 10 years you’ll value those friendships much more than the fleeting skills you might have absorbed from a solo all-nighter cranking away on some problem set.

An Odwalla and Jamba Juice each day for the entire school year does cost close to $1000.  Multivitamins are cheaper.

Don’t freak out the first time you find that you’re not “cc:’ed” on the original e-mail for some cool social function.

Be inclusive in what you do.  Throw dinner parties and invite different people.

Get to know people deeply.

Never underestimate a classmate’s abilities.  We weren’t part of the 7% as a fluke.

When you feel like blowing off your study group remember that this team has as much mental horsepower as any group you will ever encounter.  It would be a shame not to benefit from that.

Asking for help is okay.  Refusing to give assistance is not.

Housing panic for 2nd year goes like this: Single Schwab women will starting making plans in December, Single Schwab guys will start talking in March, off-campus people won’t think about it until April.  You can’t do anything until May so why worry about it.

Somewhere along the way hearing about IPOs and VC and founder shares you can get the feeling that if you’re not an Internet Billionaire by 30 you’ve somehow failed the GSB.  If you’re 30 and not happy (or trying to
be) you’ve failed the GSB.

Stretch yourself when selecting classes.

Those undergrads you were ogling were born in 1982.

You can be a guy and join WIM just be serious about their mission (and respect safe space events)

If you don’t max out on 390 credits you’ve missed a great opportunity

When some students accept their summer internships in January and February remember that some really really cool opportunities come across the wire in the spring.  Don’t be pressured to take a job just to have one.