Poets&Quants, the leading news source for graduate business education, has released its 7th annual “Best & Brightest MBAs” feature, which honors 100 of the most accomplished full-time MBAs from the Class of 2021.
“When you think of Best & Brightest, they are the leaders and innovators,” writes Jeff Schmitt, Poets&Quants’ senior writer, who launched the series in 2015, “Their instinct is to serve and solve. That’s what was needed amid the pandemic. There was a lot of uncertainty and disappointment for MBA students. The Best & Brightest stepped up. They worked with faculty and administrators to give their peers the best possible experience. It would’ve been easy for MBAs to splinter off into their own worlds. The Best & Brightest were the ones who never left a classmate behind.”
This year’s class includes Joshua Young Yang, a Stanford MBA and Johns Hopkins Ph.D. candidate who has already raised $5 million dollars for his biotech startup. At Accenture, Shoshana Seidenfeld was part of a four-person team that raised $650 million dollars for President Obama’s Partnership for Refugees initiative. Before joining the University of Chicago, Theodore Lim worked as a project manager in real estate. His credits include overseeing building projects on Microsoft’s Redmond campus, such as designing treehouse conference rooms and the largest pedestrian bridge in the Puget Sound region.
On campus, the Class of 2021 was equally impressive. At Georgetown, Leena Jube developed a course on innovation with one of her professors. At MIT, Riana Shah and Olga Timirgalieva co-founded the First-Generation, Low-Income (FLI) Club to address the needs of students sometimes overlooked in business school. Justin Speller even authored a case study, one that will be the subject of Indiana University’s next MBA diversity case competition.
To compile this year’s Best & Brightest MBAs, Poets&Quants reached out to 73 top graduate business schools to nominate their best candidates for the honor. Responses were judged by P&Q editorial according to three criteria: extracurricular activities, academic and professional achievements, and overall insightfulness. Ultimately, P&Q received 239 nominations from 68 programs, including nearly every MBA program ranked among the world’s best. The 2021 list includes representatives from the most prestigious programs, including Stanford, Wharton, MIT, INSEAD, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago. By gender, Best & Brightest women outnumber men by a 60-to-40 margin, with 38 students hailing from outside the United States. This year, Deloitte hired the largest number of Best & Brightest MBAs with seven, followed by McKinsey with six.
As part of this feature, each MBA receives an in-depth profile, which covers items like their proudest achievement and favorite classmate. It also includes a testimonial from an administrator or faculty member. Over the coming months, Best & Brightest will also spotlight the best student responses related to their favorite faculty members, biggest school myths, and most interesting school traditions.
The “Best & Brightest MBAs” is the second of a four-part series recognizing the world’s top business students. In April, Poets&Quants For Undergrads unveiled its Best & Brightest Business Majors for 2021. This summer, Poets&Quants will recognize its “Best & Brightest Executive MBAs” and “Best & Brightest Online MBAs.” In the fall, P&Q will continue its series on the top incoming full-time MBA students at over 40 top business schools.
Poets&Quants is the leading resource for complete coverage of graduate business education. We feature multiple tools and authoritative content, including: consolidated B-school rankings, news and in-depth features, videos, podcasts, two searchable directories and events, empowering our community with information needed to make decisions along their journey from pre- to post-MBA.