Benjamin Stanzl, '02

 Picture will follow.


    7 years
    Stanford University, BS Chemistry & Economics 2006
    Harvard University, MS Chemistry 2008
    Stanford University Graduate School of Business, MBA 2014           
    Chemistry and Math


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GISNY MEMORY?  There were many. Being part of the basketball team. Our Abi-Streich 2002. Our Abi-Trip to Maryland for a week after our Abitur exams.

WHAT CLUBS AND/OR AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH DURING YOUR TIME AT GISNY?  Captain of the Basketball team, Chemistry AG, Volunteering in the Sprachschule, Tutoring Math

WHAT CLUBS AND/OR AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH TODAY?  Playing golf, Stanford Alumni Mentoring, Harvard Club of San Francisco, Stanford Business School Global Study Trip to Germany Leader, Stanford Graduate School of Business Energy Club, Organizing Reunions for DSNY Class of 2002


WHAT LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK REGULARLY TODAY?  English and German (daily), Spanish (occasionally)

WHAT HAS BEING MULTILINGUAL MEANT TO YOU?  It provided me with a unique perspective that I don’t think I would be able to get any other way. I can look at a situation or a problem from at least two different perspectives generating invaluable insights.

HOW DID YOUR GISNY EDUCATION PREPARE YOU FOR UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND?  The German education system taught me how to be self-motivated, independent minded and solve problems on my own. It also taught all subjects at the highest level. I was able to skip freshman chemistry and math at Stanford because of my coursework at the DSNY.

WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WANTED TO BE WHEN YOU "GREW UP"?  A successful chemistry entrepreneur (it actually says that in my year book).

WHAT DO YOU DO PROFESSIONALLY TODAY?T  Currently finishing business school at Stanford. Will start at URS Corp (large engineering construction firm) in their management development program in August 2014. Previously, I worked 4 years at Chevron Energy Solutions, Chevron’s renewable energy and energy efficiency division, started a cleantech company called Trophos and worked in energy venture capital for a summer.

WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO CURRENT GISNY STUDENTS TO HELP THEM MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR EXPERIENCE?  Take advantage of the community of the GIS. The student body is incredibly diverse with a broad range of international experiences that are truly unique and a great source of learning. Further, take advantage of the independent minded German educational system and make the most of it. 

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH, EITHER PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY, IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?  Change how our society consumes energy and natural resources, start a family (I’m already married), buy a house.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE YOU HAVE LEARNED SO FAR?  Perseverance – the only certain way to fail is not to try and when you do try and fail, keep trying again

IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?  Bill and Hillary Clinton – they have accomplished so much from humble roots; I’d love to ask what drives them. I am also curious to hear some of their stories. I have had Condoleeza Rice as a professor multiple times and she had some great stories. I’m sure the Clinton’s stories are even more interesting.