Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) is one of the most prestigious graduate business schools in the country. They are located right outside of Palo Alto in California, in the Bay area south of San Francisco.

The school is currently realizing an intriguing problem: the double-edged sword that is their distance from, and the strong appeal of, San Francisco. This close relationship to San Francisco is certainly beneficial in a certain number of ways; many M.B.A graduates from the school have joined or started tech companies in the Bay area and created a strong network of connections for future GSB graduates to utilize in their job searches. This powerful network is a boon for GSB, but in some ways, it is a curse.

The close ties of GSB’s alumni network, while strongly concentrated in the Bay area, might have a limiting factor in the future for the school’s future alumni. For example, GSB alumni of the future might find that their alumni network is useful when trying to find positions and opportunities in the Bay area, but may find it lacking in other areas of the country and world.

That’s not to say that all of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business alumni stay in the Bay area. For example, William Ford of General Atlantic (a global growth equity firm based in NYC, with a headquarters in Greenwich, CT) is an alumna, as well as a member on the board of advisors for the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ advisory board.

In fact, according to the school, more than 25 percent of the school’s alumni, roughly 7,500 people, live in the Bay area; and Raphe Beck, executive director of the school’s alumni association adds that this proportion is much higher when examining only recent graduates.

While the sky is not falling now, it is important for the GSB to be cognizant of this phenomenon if they want their alumni network to continue to thrive in the future.

What do you think of the GSB’s dilemma? Do you think it is important to have strong alumni connections in many different locations? Let us know in the comments section below!

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