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STANFORD -- The folks who make up the Stanford University MBA Class of 1993 are a hardy bunch. In fact, they survived the most competitive year ever for admissions, said former Director of MBA Admissions Karen Nierenberg.
Nierenberg on Sept. 16 welcomed to the Graduate School of Business 342 matriculating students chosen from 4,592 applicants.
Ranging in age from 23 to 40, the class averages 27.7 years; 20 percent are 30 or older. Thirty percent are women, 25 percent represent ethnic minorities, and 25 percent are from 34 different countries outside the United States. At least one member of the class of '93 was born and raised in a hippie commune.
Students come from 94 U.S. colleges and 48 undergraduate institutions outside the United States. The largest numbers come from Stanford, Harvard, UC-Berkeley, Brown, Princeton, MIT, Dartmouth and the U.S. Naval Academy, followed by a four-way tie between Cambridge, Duke, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania.
Engineers make up one-third of the class.
All have been out of undergraduate school for at least a year -- many for much longer. They include former marketing managers, consultants, analysts, product managers, physicians (nine in all, including a psychiatrist, a surgeon and an internist), teachers, chief financial officers, economists, store managers, university administrators, a geologist, a sawmill supervisor and the executive director of the Iowa Soybean Association. Eight students owned their own ventures.
Many worked in the public sector. Some were legislative assistants and press secretaries; others worked for the National Commission on Children and for budget committees in both the U.S. House and Senate. They came from non-profit agencies like the Children's Defense Fund, the Fresh Air Fund, the Woman's Finance House of Botswana and Teach for America. The armed forces contributed a nuclear submarine officer, a helicopter pilot and a jet pilot, among others.
The class includes a national horse champion, a Junior Olympics gold medalist in diving and a female triathlete of the year who is also ironman triathlon world champion.
Nierenberg, who left the admissions office last summer to become director of development and corporate relations for the school, calls it the most diverse class she had seen in her three years as admissions director.
"Each of you was admitted because we perceived you added value to the class -- you had something special to offer," she told the new students. "Now, that special quality is not always immediately visible nor does it necessarily announce itself. In fact, I remember one fellow two years ago, from the class of '91, who came up to me after this meeting and said 'Karen, I'm so depressed. These people are so talented. And I'm not like that. I'm boring.' And I answered, 'I know. That's diversity!'"
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