Visited GSB campus

Ok, got back from my trip to Palo Alto!

Virginia and Sally answered all my questions and arranged a class visit for me. Most pressing for me: If you have any pets, you will need to find off-campus housing (unless it is a certified service animal). So we will definitely be looking for a rental house or apartment that is dog-friendly.

I got to sit in on Prof. Aaker’s Marketing class (this is part of the Sloan core curriculum). This class was dominated by guest speakers which had interesting perspectives on modern marketing methods. The Sloan students had also prepared “elevator pitch” style marketing solutions to assigned case study problems. Since I don’t know the context of the overall course, it’s hard for me to comment on how this day factors in to the overall goal — but I can say that the class was engaging and interesting.

I was surprised that the Sloanies weren’t more outspoken as there were relatively few questions, but clearly they were paying attention. Some were sitting back and absorbing the presentations and others were taking notes furiously (either handwritten or laptops open). I was also surprised that there weren’t more laptops open — I only counted 6 active laptop users (a few more closed) and a couple tablet users.

Guest speakers represented these firms:

  • Klout (social / media analytics specifically measuring influence)
  • Gilt (e-Commerce specializing in high-end / exclusive brand products)
  • Edelman (PR firm specializing in tech clients)

The lecture hall (classroom) is reasonably comfortable. This particular room has a 3-part front wall that is slightly angled inward and the entire wall behind me was glass. The front wall can be any combination of whiteboards and projection screens. The room is tiered — each row is one step higher than the row in front. The chairs were comfortable, but could be better…


I also had lunch in the Arbuckle Dining Pavilion — the sushi is actually quite good. But it can be difficult to find an open table…

Overall, the new GSB campus is beautiful. The buildings are inside out — there are no interior hallways. I was surprised by this, but it totally makes sense in a climate where the weather is so nice most of the time. Simply no reason to force people to stay indoors. Almost every classroom or office suite is directly accessible to the outside. The upper floors are connected with balcony-style walkways and open stairwells. Solar panels on most of the roofs and signs proudly stating use of reclaimed rainwater for flushing toilets.

Although the GSB campus is at the periphery of the other Stanford academic buildings, it is a short walk to the rest of campus. I was able to walk from GSB to the Huang Mechanical Engineering building in less than 15 minutes. It was easy to see when classes let out — a throng of bicycles would appear in the streets and sidewalks. Clearly bikes are probably the most common mode of cross-campus transportation.


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