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Stanford MBAs Gravitate Towards Entrepreneurship

According to a May 29 article for marketwatch.com, graduates of Stanford Graduate School of Business have increasingly turned to entrepreneurship over the past 10 years. The article reports that 16 percent of the class of 2011 started their own companies, more than triple the number of Stanford GSB grads pursuing entrepreneurship in the early 1990s. With entrepreneurship at an all-time high among Stanford GSB alums, Assistant Dean and Director of Stanford GSB's Career Management Center Pulin Sanghvi sees the shift as a "sign of hopefulness."

"Despite an uncertain economy, more of our students are willing to take the risk of starting up new enterprises to solve problems, address unmet needs and positively impact society," Sanghvi said in the article.

This trending data may also indicate a generational shift among business school students toward entrepreneurship, the article states. Today's graduates value growth potential and early responsibility over job security and income and describe the ideal business culture as one that values mentorship, risk-taking, and non-hierarchical structure. The teachings of Stanford GSB are in line with these entrepreneurial values, the article states, and recent alumni have shown through their career choices that they take these values with them from campus to career.

The article reports that corporate recruiters are adapting their techniques in response to this generational shift, with some companies now offering opportunities for early responsibility, or flexibility to work on ideas and projects that appeal to the employee. In the financial sector, graduates are increasingly drawn to jobs in investment management and other areas that reflect entrepreneurial spirit and allow them to play principal roles.