Ross W. Pedersen

Ross W. Pedersen

MBA Student Stanford Graduate School of Business

QX: You came to do an internship at QX from Stanford where you are pursuing an MBA. What brought you to Stanford and what brought you to QX?

Ross: I’ll start with Stanford because I think that’s a bit easier to answer. From the start of my bachelor’s degree, I knew that I wanted to eventually get an MBA. As I got more serious about applying and looked at programs, Stanford stood out as being in the heart of the innovation universe. For someone who wants to learn how to create wealth, I can’t think of anywhere better. I can’t complain about the weather either ;). I came to QX for a different reason. I am extremely interested in people. I love meeting them, talking to them, and learning about them. QX is the only company of its kind in the world and offered a unique opportunity to get an insight into how to build a network of extraordinary people. My internship has been, more than anything, a masterclass in people.

QX: Our members would love to hear a little about your project this summer. What were you doing at QX?

Ross: I spent my internship working on a way for QX members to give back. We are partnering with a non-profit called Lufthansa Cargo Human Care to provide members the chance to go to Kenya and conduct mentoring sessions with orphans there. The idea is that this will be a pilot program and, if everything works out well, we will be soliciting members for other organizations to partner with.

QX: You have a very unconventional path to an MBA. Why did you decide to go to business school so early?

Ross: I can certainly see why most people wait at least a few years to get an MBA. I went to business school essentially right after getting my bachelor’s because I have known for a long time the field I am interested in and I did not want to have to stop midway through my career and then rebuild what I had started. I think I am in a unique position in that regard.

QX: Stanford GSB asks each applicant “what matters most to you and why?” What did you answer?

Ross: Essentially, I said my legacy (though I was a bit wordier than that). I am very cognizant of the fact that we are only around for a very short period in the grand scheme of things. I want to create some sort of change in the world that outlasts my lifetime and, with any luck, the lifetimes of my grandchildren.

QX: You’re a student in one of the world’s best business schools, a world record holding rower, and a trained opera singer. How is it that you are still single?

Ross: Haha. I suppose I just haven’t found that special someone yet. Although, I think Germany might be a good place to look. Girls are a little harder to get to know than American girls, but once you break through the exterior they are very sweet.

QX: What’s next for you?

Ross: As was sort of implied in your last question, I like to have it all. I have goals in business, athletics, music… I even have a strong desire for military service. Previously, I interned at a small private equity firm located in Dallas, TX that made me a full-time offer. They would allow me to continue to pursue my rowing career as well as potentially enlist in the US Naval Reserve. I am weighing my options, but that seems like one that would keep me moving forward in many areas. I only fear becoming a Jack of all trades and master of none.

QX: What is your vanity?

Ross: As cliché as it is for an American to say this, I think its freedom. That’s the thread that runs through almost everything I do. My love of people, my desire to create wealth in business, my ideas of military service—all of these play into the impact I want to make on the world. I want to leave it a freer place than it was when I found it. I want to open up new possibilities for people to express themselves and pursue their happiness that did not exist before.