This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now, introducing Michał Wiczkowski, a first year student at Stanford Graduate School of Business…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What other degrees do you hold? What is your favorite Polish food?
Michal: I’m Polish. Born and raised in Wroclaw. I moved to Warsaw to study at the Warsaw School of Economics – which I graduated from in 2008. As for food, just like everyone else that has ever tried them, I love the good old Polish ‘pierogi’. They are the best.
Accepted: How’s your Stanford GSB experience going so far? Has the program met your expectations? Are there any surprises or things you hadn’t expected?
Michal: As my old P&G boss used to say, it has met my expectations ‘left, right and center’. An amazing mix of great minds from all over the world. I mean, where else would you have a ‘Leadership Lab’ with a group of six people ranging from a TV producer from Ghana, a doctor from Zimbabwe with a Harvard Sc.D, through a PE analyst from China, a Public Finance IB analyst from the US, to a McKinsey consultant from Mexico. And to top it all, a dude from Poland.
Accepted: Which other MBA programs did you apply to? Why did you decide to pursue an MBA in the States rather than closer to home in Europe?
Michal: I applied to 3 MBA programs. I particularly wanted to pursue an MBA at Stanford because of the experiences I had with the program’s Alumni in Europe. I’ve never met people that would invest so much time and effort to help someone, selflessly. I mean, they couldn’t have cared less if I would’ve gotten in. And yet they did go that extra mile to help me. It was a good proxy for what I would find at the GSB. +400.
Accepted: How would you say you’re a good fit for Stanford?
Michal: I think curiosity and a great sense of humor is what I value the most in my classmates. I want to believe I have both of those qualities. Curiosity to challenge things that are sub-optimal or don’t solve a particular problem. And an ability to laugh at myself.
Accepted: What is your favorite thing about the GSB? Least favorite?
Michal: Favorite: classmates and surfing. Least favorite: rain in February and March.
Accepted: What was your most recent pre-MBA job? Do you plan on continuing in that industry post-MBA or switching to a new field?
Michal: I had worked in brand management at P&G for 7 years. Loved it, learned a ton, but I came to the GSB with a goal to leverage the proximity of Silicon Valley and to use my marketing skills in the tech industry.
Accepted: What do you miss most about your hometown? And what’s your favorite thing about living in the U.S.? Do you plan on returning back to Poland once you graduate?
Michal: Well I miss my girlfriend for sure. I love the proximity of the ocean and the opportunity to surf (semi) regularly. My plans at the moment reach as far as the next summer. Things change so quickly at the GSB that it’s really hard to tell what I will do in June 2015.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?
Michal: I started the blog in July 2013. Frankly it was a selfish attempt to store my thoughts about the upcoming 2 years of my life, so that in 20 years I can go back, remember all the fun times and laugh at all the ‘serious’ problems I had. And if anyone else finds it helpful, interesting or just amusing, that’s even better.
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You can read more about Michal’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, WICZKOATSTANFORD. Thank you Michal for sharing your story with us!