At some point in their first semester, some members of the next class of graduate business school students will get a surprise note with a long pedigree. The letter is the work of an MBA they’ve probably never met, who wrote it when he was a student and George Michael had just put out the biggest hit of the year.
Stanford Graduate School of Business alum Shirzad Bozorgchami penned the note when he was a second-year GSB student in the late 1980s, casting it as a survival guide for first-year students, rendered by an upperclassman with some regrets. The screed has been passed down through decades of business school students from Stanford and beyond. First-year students at the GSB and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School still get the letter—often courtesy of upperclassmen—via in-boxes early in their B-school career.