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financeguy 08-03-2008 06:18 PM

World's leading business school unveiled as academy of complete bullshit
What They Teach you at Harvard Business School: My Two Years Inside the Cauldron of Capitalism by Philip Delves Broughton - Times Online


In 2004, the journalist Philip Delves Broughton walked away from what sounds like a peach of a job, Paris bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph, to enrol in Harvard’s world-famous MBA (Masters in Business Administration) course. As a reporter he had managed to get himself blacklisted by the French foreign ministry for asking impertinent questions of the preening, poetry-writing Dominique de Villepin: surely a career high for any self-respecting hack. But he had serious doubts about his future in journalism, and indeed about newspapers themselves. “I wanted control over my time, my financial resources, and my life, and I imagined that a general competence in business would stand me in better stead.”

The result of Delves Broughton’s time there is this funny and revealing
insider’s view, revealing precisely because he is genuinely fascinated by the world of business, and his fascination is infectious. Yet feelings of unease emerge even before he arrives. He reads a student guide on What to Bring. “Don’t bring that guitar . . . Don’t bring any books from literature or
history classes
. . . Don’t bring your cynicism. Do bring all the diverse rest of you. We can’t wait to share the experience.” Immediately, his bolshie British bullshit- detector thrums into life: “Who were these people? And why did they talk like this? Why can’t I bring my cynicism? Or my books? Aren’t they a part of the ‘diverse rest of me’?” “Your calendar will be jam-packed with amazing, fun things to do,” warbles the guide.

The weirdest and creepiest episode is when a student writes to the entire school, confessing to a “regrettable property- damage incident”, a gorgeous euphemism for urinating against a neighbouring student’s door. “His behaviour had made him realise he still had work to do figuring out exactly who he was.” Ye-es . . . or maybe he should just resolve not to pee against people’s doors in future. Even more creepily, Delves Broughton finds that he no longer responds to such tosh with a healthy snort of laughter. “It was serious, right? Leadership. Core values. Transformation. Being true to oneself.” It takes his wife — his American wife — to inject some common sense. “These people are freaks.”

The final, oddly moving moment of epiphany comes to Delves Broughton as he is wandering through a rainy Boston and pauses to read the plaques on the Old North Church. One is to “Paul Revere, 1735-1818. Patriot. Master Craftsman. Good Citizen. Born on Hanover Street. Lived on North Street. Established his bell foundry on Foster Street and died on Charter Street.” The brevity and quiet pride, the pioneer hardiness and unshowy self-sufficiency of Revere’s plaque seem in powerful contrast to the bloated and blustery style of the town’s world-famous business school, its restless, rootless, money-driven alumni now “disappearing to the ends of the earth in search of opportunity, worrying about work and life”. On reflection, “I felt better not being among them.”
I always had my doubts about MBA's.:hmm:

achtung_girl 08-04-2008 05:14 AM

Ok, then I'm content with the BA.

A stor 08-04-2008 10:20 AM

Happy with my Liberal Arts Degree! :wave:

BVS 08-04-2008 12:05 PM

The title is a stretch...

So, one person's account of one school = MBA's are bullshit?:scratch:

anitram 08-04-2008 12:12 PM

The MBA has become a nearly meaningless degree in the last 5-10 years because of overdilution. Every accredited institution started pumping out MBAs and those which already had an MBA program inflated their enrolment to ridiculous degrees and charged massive tuition fees.

And Wharton is way better than Harvard anyway.

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