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Archive for December, 2009

The executive challenge which was held yesterday, was one of the most exciting experiences at the GSB so far. For those unfamiliar with the challenge, it’s basically the final exam for the “leadership labs” component of first quarter at Stanford.  Influential alumni from all around the world fly in to Palo Alto to serve as judges while students are paired up into two person teams and presented with a challenging assignment like pitching a merger opportunity or recruiting someone to a firm where the alums play the roles that you have to pitch to.

Although the assignments are done in two person teams each student is also part of a leadership “squad” who have been your friends and role play partners for the whole quarter in leadership labs. The squad helps each team prepare and supports their presentations.

It was amazing to see CEOs and heads of firms take the entire day to show up at the GSB and help out with the executive challenge: a wonderful demonstration of the power of the GSM alumni network.

At the end of the day, there were several hours dedicated for casual conversations and mingling with alums and awarding of prizes to teams that won. Although my team was not one of the winners, the experience of presenting to such a challenging audience and acting out the role of a CEO or a chairman in front of them was outstanding. Definitely a little scary at the beginning too but a great learning opportunity.

I was sad at the end of the day because that signaled the last formal event that our leadership squad and amazing leadership fellow would meet.

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