Wednesday, January 07, 2015 at 5pm

Young MBAs Featuring in Forbes’ New 30 under 30 List: MBA News

MBA graduate examples in Forbes' 30 under 30

A new list of some of the highest achievers and brightest minds who are under the age of 30 has been released in Forbes’ 2015 30 under 30 list.

Last year, 450 people were named across 15 categories. However, this year the 30 under 30 list has been expanded into 20 categories where as many as 600 bright young things have been earmarked by Forbes as game changers in everything from finance and retail to manufacturing and venture capital.

As you might expect, there are a fair few MBA graduate examples in the 2015 30 under 30 list. But where did they attend business school and what have they done to merit their place? Here are a few examples that stem from a cursory glance across Forbes’ choices, and remember – they are all under the age of 30:

In the realm of finance, economics graduates dominate proceedings but there are a couple of Harvard MBA graduates to be found. One of them is Brij Khurana, a vice president at PIMCO, who is said to be managing (with three others) around US$100 billion on behalf of the company’s financial institution clients.

In the venture capital section, we find a Stanford MBA graduate from its class of 2014, Arun Matthew. Matthew joined Accel Partners as an investor in 2009 – three years before enrolling in his Stanford MBA - and has sourced deals including with the likes of Dealer.com (acquired last year for US$1 billion) and Symark Software since then.

Another Stanford MBA, albeit a current dual degree student, is listed in the law and policy section of the 30 under 30 list. Joy Basu worked with both the World Economic Forum and McKinsey before commencing her Stanford MBA/JD degree.

Startups provide strong MBA graduate examples

Elsewhere, there are a number of MBA graduate examples in the 30 under 30 list who have been chosen for their work - in varying industries - with startups.

The CEO and cofounder of a food business platform and incubator, Local Food Lab, features in a category designated for social entrepreneurs, for her work in encouraging growth in local food systems.

Krysia Zajonc is an MBA graduate of Columbia Business School, where she specialized in entrepreneurship, and her startup traces its origins back to her time at the school.

“Local Food Lab was one of the first in food to use the startup language. We say you don’t have to be a tech company to be disruptive. It’s possible in food as well,” Zajonc says in a Forbes feature. She also draws on her Columbia MBA training to provide business plan pointers for those signing up to classes held by Local Food Lab.

Another startup founder, Olga Vidisheva, and member of the 30 under 30 category of retail came up with her company business plan during her time on the Harvard MBA.

The resultant Shoptiques platform is an e-commerce firm that aims to collate items from boutiques around the world – some of which would not otherwise be available online.

A fellow Harvard MBA alumnus, Erik Eliason, also features in the retail section. Eliason and his cofounder in Storefront, an online marketplace for retail space which raised over US$7 million in funding last year, were both named to the new 30 under 30 list.     

A further startup founder and MBA graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business makes the section reserved for manufacturing.

Konrad Billetz is behind the eyeglass company, Frameri, which makes glasses designed to allow customers to interchange their lenses and frames as often they wish. Billetz was president of Notre Dame’s entrepreneurship club during his time there.

This is by no means a definitive round-up of MBA graduates featured in Forbes’ 2015 30 under 30 list. Instead, it simply shows some of the ways in which MBAs have been able to make a name for themselves in their respective industries even before they have reached the tender age of 30, and the great potential that Forbes feels awaits them.   

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).