Farmhand - Stanford GSB 2008

An insiders view of the Stanford GSB class of 2008

Location: Stanford, United States

hitching a ride across the galaxy with my towel

Sunday, November 05, 2006

On grade non disclosure and the collaborative culture

It has been sometime since I have written on this blog. The euphoria
associated with the joy of midterms ending, coupled with the doom
associated with results coming in, caused my cognitive skills to come to
a grinding halt (I know Im not selling myself right now).

When I came to stanford, I did not know what the big deal surround grade non disclosure was all about. I mean, c'mon it makes sense, you work for grades, it makes you perform better academically, and yeah business
schools seemed to be too much like a country club anyways. Right?

WRONG! And I could not have been more wrong about it. There are several things that Id like to point out here.

The grade non disclosure at Stanford is not a department enforced policy. It is completely supported by the students. It comes from the student academic council. During our orientation week, we are advised about the grade non disclosure policy, which is an entirely voluntary act on the part of the students. We are not obliged to stick with it, yet the compliance rate is higher than 99%. Why?
I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life that I don't care about grades at all, and it is an extremely liberating feeling. Strangely enough, this is also the first time in my life that I care a lot about what I am learning in class, and how it will apply to my future career. Because of the absence of the grade phobia (or philia as may be the case), I find myself extremely open with my classmates. Here
is a classic, we had to study for an OB exam. In our section of 60 odd people, 10 people volunteered to make short notes (one student per session), and these abridged notes were freely distributed along the entire class, even to students who did not help prepare them. The logic, well, Im going to make the notes anyways, why not share it with someone else? This is such a refreshing feeling, that its really hard to
Also, I find myself NEVER holding back ideas with friends. Not just classwork, but even business ideas in my head, I trust my friends and classmates to honour the bond we share. The bottom line, the culture is way collaborative.

Another example, I was chatting with my buddy Aly today (his only flaw, he is Canadian, just kidding!). And he told me about this spreadsheet he
maintains to help him figure out courses and electives and all, and keep track of units and requirements for graduating, etc. I just asked him for it, and I kid you not, I have contributed nothing to this (at this point, I hope that you don't think Im a freeloader, modesty causes me to be humble about my charitable acts here), and he is like sure. Not only does he send me his sheet, but he also makes a separate tab for me, customizing things for me. Now if that's not collaborative, then I don't know what is!

Other fun things done recently 1) Mid term breakfast, our seniors were kind enough to calm our nerves by organizing breakfast just before mid terms
2) Post mid term brunch - and then ended the mid term celebration with a
huge brunch following the night of drinking and merry making....perfect

I could not be happier being at any other school! Stanford does embody a truly collaborative and helpful culture and we would love to have more
folks who are like minded. If you would like to explore more, or ask me
more about this culture, shoot me an email. For this college and
program, I can and will make the time to ensure that every email is
answered! (ashblog ,,,,a t,,,,gmail)