Expand your mindset

Essays and exploration

Your Stanford GSB journey starts with a deeper look at what matters to you and what inspires you. Your journey of self-discovery continues on campus as you explore the core curriculum, various electives, and extracurricular clubs and activities. And all along the way, our Career Management Center coaches will help you carve out the career path best suited for your interests and strengths.

It all starts with a few purposeful words

The blank page. So much promise. So much potential. Our application essay questions are designed to help you kickstart your self-exploration process. Be honest. Be open. Be willing to write more than one draft. There is no right answer — just your truth. 

Essay 1

What matters most to you and why?

We know this is a big question — and we expect some big thinking. Reflect, dig, meditate. For this essay, we would like you to think deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help us understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you? What people, influences, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?

Essay 2

Why Stanford?

Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. Don’t worry if your goals are not 100% set in stone yet — they needn’t be! Think big — your GSB journey will help you define them.

Finding yourself on campus

Once you’re here at Stanford GSB, opportunities to explore new passions, interests, and disciplines abound:

Students in Myanmar preparing a meal outside with local residents

Discover new cultures and different types of business challenges through our global experience programs.

Student writing on a whiteboard

Our wide array of elective courses, refreshed every year, lets you discover exciting areas of interest and career growth.

Students sitting outside in modern, well-designed courtyard

Access to courses from other Stanford schools gives you a broader perspective outside of management.

Students biking and walking in front of Hoover Tower

Take a deeper dive by pursuing a joint or dual degree that reflects your diverse interests.

Using self-reflection to find direction

Our Career Management Center coaches will help you explore different career paths. Self-assessment tools give you a better understanding of your talents and strengths, and small group sessions use design thinking methods to help you plan for multiple possibilities.