In fact, building a diverse network is one of the biggest advantages of going to business school.
Business school graduates can not only build lifelong friendships with their classmates, but also have the chance to build relationships with alumni across different programs and cohorts.
A strong alumni network is one of the most enduring benefits of attending business school, and it’s a robust source of mentorship, support, and opportunities to collaborate.
Bloomberg ranks Stanford’s Graduate School of Business as the best MBA alumni network. In a survey of over 15,000 MBA alumni, Stanford came out on top for the quality, range, and responsiveness of its alumni network.
Graduates of Stanford GSB have access to alum-to-alum job postings, events and networking opportunities, and alumni career services. They also have access to the alumni network from the wider university.
This helpful and engaged network plays a huge role in the success of Stanford alumni. Across geographies and sectors, Stanford’s MBA alumni stand out as entrepreneurs, executives, philanthropists, and more.
Below are 16 incredible alumni from Stanford’s MBA program.
1. Penny Pritzker
MBA Class of 1984
Former US Secretary of Commerce, businesswoman and philanthropist
Before serving a four-year tenure as US Secretary of Commerce under the Obama administration, Penny founded five companies including PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group.
She is also co-founder of Artemis Real Estate Partners, and is known for her philanthropic work centred in her hometown of Chicago.
Forbes estimated Penny’s net worth at $2.4 billion in 2015.
2. Mary Barra
MBA class of 1990
CEO of General Motors
Starting as a co-op student on the General Motors assembly line in 1980, Mary has been CEO since 2014.
Fortune named her the most powerful woman of 2017, and in 2018 Forbes named her the second most powerful woman in the world.
3. Victor Koo
MBA, class of 1994
Founder of Youku
Victor founded video website, Youku, in 2006 and became a billionaire when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2010.
After incorporating rival Tudou in 2012, Youku became one of China’s dominant video portals. Today it has more than 500 million monthly active users, and 800 million daily video views.
4. Jeffrey Skoll
MBA class of 1995
First President of eBay, filmmaker and philanthropist
Soon after graduating from Stanford, Jeffrey drafted the business plan that would take eBay from a start-up a multibillion-dollar corporation with operations in 30 countries.
Jeffrey is now a noted philanthropist, and his company, Participant Media, produces highly acclaimed films and documentaries such as Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth and 2016’s Oscar winner for Best picture, Spotlight.
5. Jacqueline Novogratz
MBA Class of 1991
Founder of CEO and Acumen
Jacqueline demonstrates how business expertise can make a difference. Her non-profit Acumen Fund promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty.
To date, Acumen has invested $124 million to build 122 enterprises across the world, and leveraged another $611 million to bring basic services to 260 million people.
6. Miles D White
MBA Class of 1980
Chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories
Miles joined Abbott in 1984 and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1999. As of 2019, he’s one of the longest-tenured CEOs of an S&P 100 company and has created approximately $200 billion in shareholder value.
He is a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
7. Sam Yagan
MBA Class of 2005
Best known as the co-founder of online dating site OKCupid, Sam also co-founded SparkNotes.com and Excelerate Labs.