An Open Letter From the SA Presidents

To the Class of 2010:

We wanted to extend to you a heart-felt welcome to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. You are among an extraordinary group of people who have achieved incredible feats in their professional and personal lives. You have demonstrated that you could balance assertiveness with compassion and that you would not allow professional ambition to overshadow social responsiveness. Check also Help for students tuition fee and Building Career.

In the beginning of September as you prepared for the transition back to school, it would have been impossible to imagine the tragedy of September 11th. Many in the Stanford community were deeply impacted by the terrorist events. Shock and sadness were felt by all students, regardless of geography, political viewpoint or faith. For at least two years, all students consider the U.S. home and the GSB, their community.Therefore, this is a difficult time for all of us; but we are confident that you will find a network of support and friendship. We know of no other group of people who are as genuinely generous with their time and talents. Whether grieving the loss of loved ones or simply struggling to figure out which class to take, do not hesitate to reach out for help. You will find an amazing amount of support within your own class and from the second years. All you need to do is ask.

When you chose to come to Stanford, you made a conscious decision to join an amazing community of people from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. No doubt, the opportunity to be part of this unique group of individuals is one of the special things about the GSB. Please let us stress that although marks are important, friendships are lasting. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to meet classmates of different countries of origin, ethnicities, religions and interests. Find out who people are, not just how they analyze a case. Our school friendships have made a difference to us over the last year and in particular in the last few weeks.

Challenge yourself, have fun, be involved, seek friendship everywhere and if you need anything don’t hesitate to grab us in the halls.

By Steve Boord and Dan Langer, SA Co-Presidents

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To the class of 2009, and all faculty and staff, welcome back. To the class of 2010, welcome to our community; we look forward to meeting you all. Many of us already know that this is the start of yet another phenomenal experience. In our Palo Alto microclimate, days are longer and fuller (and not just because we sleep less!).

After a year-and-a-half hiatus, The Reporter has once again opened its cyberdoors for business. We encourage you to step right in and have a seat – we would like to welcome you to The Virtual Reporter. Our address is www.virtualreporter.org.

To the Class of 2010:

We wanted to extend to you a heart-felt welcome to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. You are among an extraordinary group of people who have achieved incredible feats in their professional and personal lives. You have demonstrated that you could balance assertiveness with compassion and that you would not allow professional ambition to overshadow social responsiveness. Check also Help for students tuition fee and Building Career.

Ten years ago, Peter Dumanian, MBA ’92, and a few of his GSB classmates envisioned the East Palo Alto Chapter of the “I Have a Dream” (IHAD) program, modeled after a famous program founded a decade earlier in East Harlem. Within a year and a half, a core group of 20 GSB students raised $450,000 from classmates, alumni, and corporate donors, and adopted a class of 58 3rd and 4th grade “Dreamers” from Flood elementary school. The program was a phenomenal success, as class after class of GSB students tutored and mentored the Dreamers through high school.

OK. For those of you who decided to leave the Bay Area for your lofty summer jobs in New York and abroad, you have truly missed a fun time. That’s right. We have taken Summer FOAM to a whole new level. Alternating every other week between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we have covered major ground and discovered some of the city’s best-kept secrets. Let me give you a taste of our travels.

“One time…in Math Camp!” Of course, we couldn’t help steal from American Pie to share our experiences in the Stanford GSB QPEP (Quantitative Pre-Enrollment Program, lovingly called Math Camp). Math Camp was a surprisingly memorable week that took place 4 days before most other first-year GSBers even arrived to campus.

Jen: The email arrived on a Saturday in early August. It contained the syllabus and reading list for my pre-term seminar with Dean Joss, “Issues on Leadership.” Summer wasn’t even over yet... a reading list?! What did I get myself into?

Fortunately, the books weren’t too academic. In fact, they were almost enjoyable. Shackleton’s Way taught leadership lessons as shown by an Antarctic explorer who was stranded on an iceberg in 1912 and kept his 28 men alive for 2 years. Leadership Pipeline examined different styles of leadership and the skills and values needed for each.

When 120 GSB students departed from Schwab to participate in their Outdoor Adventure Whitewater Rafting trip, many of them envisioned scenes from the movie The River Wild. However, due to a variety of circumstances, the search for whitewater rapids in Northern California was much more like Mission Impossible.

As the first-year students pile onto campus full of verve and optimism, trying to find their ways between S182 and S171, courageously ordering complex sandwiches and burritos in Arbuckle, the second-years ooze back to the GSB like an unsuccessfully eradicated slime mold, grimly noting the enthusiasm with which their junior colleagues snap up copies of Teamwork: A Guide for Suckers.

On September 10th, tomorrow seemed like just another day in the life of a first year GSB student. My biggest concerns about that Tuesday were standard orientation fare: Will I have a good hair day for that dreaded facebook picture? Who's going to help me configure my computer to the Schwab network? How on earth am I going to wake up for the way-too-early Excel review without an alarm clock?

My research suggests that when a system is threatened, proponents of that system tend to respond defensively, almost instinctively, to bolster support for the central tenets of the system. In part, this is what has happened in the case of last week’s terrorist attacks: some Islamic fundamentalists are fighting a holy war against the U.S. allegedly to defend the existence and purity of their system against what they perceive to be our military, economic, and cultural imperialism. Of course, this does not justify the attacks (nothing could), though it may help to explain it.

Tata Consultancy Services – eat your heart out. We’re on a GMIX at BaliCamp! While this is plenty of information to set the stage for second years, the first years will undoubtedly benefit from some additional background. GMIX, which stands for Global Management Immersion eXperience, is a four-week internship that SBS students can elect to take during the summer between their first and second years (see http://www-gsb.stanford.edu/gmp/opportunities/gmix.htm for more information). For additional info on Tata, you’ll have to wait and see…