Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where in the World is the MBA Show?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Episode 49: Is Harvard Making Conjugal Visits?

It is September 7th and this is the MBA SHOW!

i am lieutenant MBA - Sean Bonawitz

and i am International MBA of mystery - Stav J. Davis

We usually save our Business-Porn section for the end of the show but this is just too huge!

What is it?

HBS is in love with Bernie Madoff!


yes - the New york Times finally got HBS to admit that an "anonymous" professor is working with the Wall-street con on a case study based on this life.

have they got no shame??

I actually think its brave of them to look the root of the problem in the eye.

Well, to me it seems like a populist move. it smells bad.

Well, I think this is out of the box thinking of HBS part. In any case, I have the feeling a big storm is brewing around this story.

Anyway - on to our main topic: B-school branding vs. reality!

Many times b-schools brand themselves very aggressively around a certain message, but how does that message come out in practice?

Well, lets take a look at the recent hot topic of entrepreneurship. Many schools brand themselves as entrepreneurship meccas, but a new study published by may suggest otherwise.

They used 120 million linked in profiles to measure how many graduates of each b school actually went on to found a company. And the results are:

1. Stanford
2. Harvard
3. MIT-Sloan
4. Haas
5. Tuck

Wow. I didn't think of Harvard and Tuck as entrepreneurial.

yes. There are no surprises with Stanford and MIT, but HBS and Tuck are a positive surprise. on the other side of the scale we have Babson which only reached number 8 on this ranking and Kellogg which isn't even in the top 10.

Babson always emphasizes it's entrepreneurial direction, but this study shows it may be no more than a successful copyrighting campaign.

But then again - this study may be skewed too. You have to really look into the data to know the truth.

So - our tip of the week should be pretty obvious - don't listen to slogans! Go search for the raw quantitative data concerning your areas of interest! And don't rely only on one data point like this survey - because it may be flawed. This is your life - don't let people control it with creative branding.

So - Stav, what are you up to this weekend?

i'm going to try to license a patent for my startup. What about you Sean?

I'm going horseback riding in Maine!

Great! I am Stav j. Davis - international MBA of Mystery.

And I am Sean Bonawitz - Lieutenant MBA, and you've been watching -


Friday, September 2, 2011

Episode 48: Strengthening Your MBA Core Term

Tom: It is August 31st and this is episode 48 of the MBA Show! I am TheRealTomRose.

Christina: And I am Christina Johnson! We have a great show today. We are here to celebrate the beginning of yet another MBA year by discussing the issue of CORE TERM (print).

Tom: The Core term, which in some schools can be spread over more than one term or even a whole year, is a horrid idea that means that your school is trying to cram business fundamentals into the first few classes you take.

Christina: Like what classes?

Tom: You know, basic accounting, finance, marketing, statistics, love making.

Christina: I think that is a wonderful thing! I sure need those fundamentals. I think this will increase my chances of getting recruited for an internship!

Tom: As a matter of fact, I have a quote here from a senior associate dean at Darden: ““These classes are vital to performing well in internships.”

Christina: I bet they are so much fun! Something so important must be a lot of fun!

Tom: Oh, you poor little MBAby (pronounced: em-bi-ey-bi = MBA and baby in one word, get it?). As a veteran, I can tell you that the core courses are designed to destroy your life and eat away at your sleep-hours like little Gremlins. It is definitely not fun!

Christina: So you mean there are things in the MBA that I will not like to do?

Tom: There are plenty of things, but this will be the first of them.

Christina: Come on, is it really that bad?

Tom: That really is up to you. The core classes alone are not that bad, it’s how you mix it with all the other stuff – recruiting events, social events, group assignments. You know what they say – you have to choose two out of three: sleep, social life or studying.

Christina: Oh, well. I better get into them books right away then! Tom, what are you up to this week?

Tom: (Fill in whatever). And what about you Christina?

Christina: (Fill in whatever). I am Christina Johnson.

Tom: And I’m theRealTomRose! Don’t forget to subscribe…

Together: You’ve been watching The MBA Show!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Episode 47: Why MBAs Can't Mention Their Past

Miro: Welcome to the MBA Show, We’ve got a new school year here in Cambridge,and we’re here some brand new eager, yet terrified first years!


I’m MiroKaz.
I’m The International MBA of Mystery.
I’m Lieutenant MBA.

Miro: We’ve got a special show for you today, celebrating the

We’re here today to talk about the issue of Personal Branding.

(1) MBA Tip of the Week:


We have some fresh MBA’s here. What is worrying you right now?

Stav: I’m worried about being pigeon holed.

Sean: Well, what did you do before school?

Stav: Well, I used to be a great engineer in my home country. I was like johnson from johnson&johnson. And that’s where i want to take it. medical devices, energy, web. Whatever. But my problem is that i got involved in film production too, and that’s what everyone remembers, because there are 100 engineers for each film maker.

Sean: wow. Filmmaker

Tip 1: You only get one thing.

Stav: Well, what if I’ve done two things?

Miro; No! You get one thing.

Stav: But, I used be the president of my home owners association!

Miro: NO. You only get ONE thing. The great thing is that you get to pick what that one thing is.

Sean: You know Miro, we just got done filling out multiple applications showing what multi-faceted, accomplished individuals we are. Are you suggesting we now reduce ourselves to a one-dimensional description?

Miro: I know it’s counter-intuitive, but you should NOT take credit for everything you’ve ever done. And you only get one message


Stav: Great tip. So what’s tip number 2?

Tip 2: Focus on the future, not the past.

Sean: I have a classmate who just completed a PhD in physics. But he wants to go into the entertainment industry. Obviously very different fields, but a PHD in physics!

Miro: Great example! This person should brand himself as sports-management guy. Drop the physics thing. It’s amazing to have a physics phd, but if you don’t want to be remembered as physics guy - just don’t mention it.

Stav: So that’s tip number 2: Focus on the future, not the past.


Sean: Guys, I have to be honest, I really haven’t experienced this problem.

Stav: what do you want to do after B-school?

Sean: Management consulting.

Christina: BORING

Stav: Then how can you make your brand more interesting?

Sean: Well, I know this contradicts the previous tip, but I was a bomb technician in the US Navy.

Stav: [Excited.] Like “The Hurt Locker”?

Sean: Yes, just like “The Hurt Locker”.

Miro: Wait, wait, wait. You were a bomb tech and now you want to be a management consultant. [prompt for story].

Sean: Well Miro, the last time I was in Iraq, it was hot, I’m wearing the bomb suit, looking for this bomb on the side of the road, and all I could think about was becoming a management consultant.

Miro: Seriously?

Sean: Yes, I named my rifle “McKinsey”.

Miro: This is actually a great example of tip number 3, which is actually an exception to tips 1 and 2. IF YOU NEED A BOOST OF INTEREST IN YOUR CASE, YOU CAN TALK ABOUT YOUR PAST ONLY IF THERE IS TRUE AND CLEAR CLOSURE. if you were in the army and are now in b-school, it is obvious you’ve closed doors. Same thing If you got your PhD and are now in b school. It is clear you’re not going back and you won’t be pigeonholed.

Tip 3: Exception. It’s okay to mention the past if the door is clearly closed.

Stav: just a short disclaimer: all these tips are relevant only for new admitted students, who are bombmarded with many new people and introductions

Sean: But if you’re still an applicant - you are in a different position. You are being evaluated by professionals who know how evaluate your past wihtout pigeonholing you.

(2) Radar
Miro: Packing for my trip down south
Stav: i’m meeting with a web 2.0 start up, to see what i can do for them.
Sean: 2-day baking class.

International MBA of Mystery
Lieuntentant MBA
Miro Kaz

Friday, August 19, 2011

Should You Go To Harvard?

Stav: Welcome to the MBA show!!!!

I’m MiroKaz

i’m international MBA of mystery

[Miro & Stav intorduce themselves.]

Christina: And I’m TheRealTomRose!

Miro: So today we’re going to talk about pre-term. But first - Tom, do you want to introduce today’s headline?

Christina: (excitedly!) YES! Let’s get to it! “Should I go to Harvard?”

Stav: So there’s this guy who was admitted to HBS, but he’s arrogant enough to publicly debate his decision to accept the offer or not. He put up a website, Should I Go To, with two buttons on it and allows the public to vote Yes or No.

Christina: What? Why is he doing this?

Miro: Obviously, this is a publicity stunt for his startup! His press release mentions that he’s the CEO of The

Stav: As a mater of fact, I have a quote here from the CEO: quote: “I don’t consider this a publicity stunt.”.

[Group laughter]

Stav: Wait, wait, wait. I have another quote here. “It has been a meaningful way to get feedback.”

[More Group Laughter]

Christina: Well what’s the latest news with it?

Miro: This just in! Harvard just opened their own website: ShouldWeRejectThisDoucheBagOrNot....Dot EDU.

Stav: Seriously though, as of last week he had 25,000 votes. This seems to have been a good venture! But now - his domain reroutes to

Christina: Well clearly he’s made a decision!!!

Miro: Well, that’s one possible explanation. I think someone has been receiving some pressure from the Admissions Committee.

(2) Jargon: Pre-term

Miro: Anyway, so - many of you are starting you MBA. Many schools offer some kind of “PRE-TERM”... For those of you who don’t know. Preterm is a special week of classes that occur before real MBA classes start. It’s a change to learn topics that you might not have skills in.

Christina: Yay! Class before class! This couldn’t get any better!

Miro: Are you going?

Christina: No (dead-pan face).

Miro: Why not?

Christina: Well I spent the whole summer going back and reviewing through my old economics notebooks, so I’m ready! I don’t need pre-term to learn the stuff again!

Stav: I hate pre-term for exactly that reason. I have been brainwashed to not participate in these things.

Miro: Are you going?

Stav: Of course! I’m not going to miss out on the strong american tradition of paying a bunch of extra money for something I have already paid tons of money for.

Miro: I have been to pre-term. I think that the value of pre-term has nothing to do with academics. It’s entirely a social event. A chance to meet people and start making friends.

(3) Business School Tip of the Week: Go to Pre-term

Miro: So what do you think about this?

Christina: Well you can never have too many friends! But what’s this thing I’ve heard free-term.

Miro: Actually this is great. If it doesn’t exist, you can start a free-term program. It’s a better socializing experience. Plus, if you can teach one of the topics at free-term, you can build your brand of being a smart, capable person.

(3) Radar
Miro: Emma’s baptism
Stav: Pre Pre-term.
Christina: Movin in.

International MBA of Mystery

Friday, August 12, 2011

Will the US Downgrade Take MBA’s With It?

Welcome to the MBA Show.

Today we’ll unpack what the US credit down-grade means to MBAs.

[you creep up]

Ah! Who are you? How did you get here? This is a closed set. Security.

It’s me guys

Why the disguise?

I’m from over seas and I want to hide my true identity.

Ooh, that doesn’t sound like a good sign.

How do you feel about being an MBA?

I love it! I’m not going to work for the next two years.

Why would would you be embarrassed about that?

Well, I haven’t told my friends I’m an MBA yet.

Why not?

They’re engineers. Being an MBA is the ultimate sin.

Okay “vaguely international MBA”, what are our headlines for today?

(1) Headlines: US Gov’t Credit Downgrade

As you know Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded the credit rating of the United States government. In case you don’t know, Standard & Poor’s evaluates how risky different forms of debt are. Until recently the US government had (and has always had the highest rating). They are saying that US goverment is now risker than it was last

That’s bullshit! US debt is the safest debt in the world. Down grading it is ridiculous. S&P is just looking for a way to indicate that something has happened, but I think they’re just hurting their own credibility at this point.

GE is AAA rated. Does that mean my money is safer with GE than with the US.

Actually, there is a separate rating for sovereign nations. So you wouldn’t compare the US and GE’s bond rating. You would compare different countries with one another.

For example, it would be interesting, to note all the other countries which currently have a higher debt rating than the United States:

The Netherlands
Swiss Confederation
United Kingdom
New Zealand

New Zealand! You’re telling me that I’m better off loaning money to Frodo Baggins than I am with the United States.

In my country, Hobbits are considered to be quite trustworthy.

So, Interest rates are about to go up. Althought, if you have fixed rate student-loan debt, then you’re solid.

Who’s going to give me a fixed rate student loans?

Well the US gov’t gives fixed rate loans.

Fantastic. That’s really useful for me. I got all my loans from the mother land.

It’s good. With the us currency about to collapse, or at least downgrade. soon, you’ll be albe to buy an MBA with one month’s salary. Unless we have to political will to fix this, and I think we’ve proven we don’t, the US economy is busted.

The old school US economy is busted. But I’m buying a ticket into the new world of innovation, and for that - an american business education is still the best and still worth it. There is a reason New-Zealand didn’t come up with Apple, Google and Facebook all emerging from the US and not from all the other AAA rated countries, including New-Zealand.

(2) Business Porn

Recent HBS Grad Brian Thorne, and his friends John Lewis, Alex Scott, Ed Foy have created the wildly popular website

This is guys taking photos of themselves jumping into pools in poses that look really relaxed and casual.

Four of the worst stereotypes of HBS grads all coming to roost at once.

White guys,
White names
no redeeming value
Summering in the Hamptons.

If they’re doing this as a joke, then this is great, but if they are deluding themselves into thinking this is a legit business.

I love this! This is one of the first sports where bankers have an edge. Finally an athletic activity where I can participate in business attire.

I hope these guys are self-aware. I’m pretty sure

[Showing Pictures]

Give me an example of a leisure dive.

I think it’s better shown with a picture:

One raised elbow

A killer leisure face

An item that indicates leisurely attitude (in your non-raised elbow hand). Some acceptable items include: Red Stripe, White Russian, Paperback novel, Croquet mallet

(3) Radar
Miro: Wife’s away
Tom: Scam condo tour for a mythical free cruise.
Stav: I’m writing a business plan.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Your Salary = Your Business School Ranking

We have a great show this week. We’re going to tell you how one tweet can get your a free MBA.

but first...

(1) Headlines: Forbes Ranking

Forbes released it’s rankings this week.

More rankings? I’m so sick of rankings I don’t even care... Who won

Harvard, but that’s just a control. If it’s not harvard at the top it’s obviously just a calculations error.

Otherwise people start to get suspicious.

As tired as I am of rankings, I actually really like the Forbes rankings.


They are based entirely off of salary earned 5 years after graduation. I like it because there is no subjectivity. Cold hard numbers. And let’s be honest. Salary is the best proxy we have to day of measuring the value of a person.

which brings us to this weeks’

(2)Business Porn

Let’s find out, who’s making what, five years out.

Graduates of Harvard made an average of $230K 5 years after graduation.
Wharton grads made $225: and then things start ot drop off pretty substiantially.

They barely even cleared $200k. I don’t even understand why they get up in the morning.

The poverty stricken Stanford grads made a mere $205K which is down $20K from the same cohort two years ago.

Startup loving, west-coast hippies.
(3) The Tweet That Won A Free MBA
John Yates earned a a free MBA degree with just one tweet.

University of Iowa’s Tippie business offered students the chance at a free scholarship for creating a tweet on “What makes you an exceptional Tippie Full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire?”

Tell ‘em what the tweet was.

“Globally minded (5) 
Innovative and driven (7)
 Tippie can sharpen (5)”

For those of you who are interested in profit, but not poetry, I should point out that that tweet was also a haiku!

[Someone does counts on hands] Globally minded

Ah the universal symbol of haiku interpretation

I love how he included a syllable count in the tweet. Because there is no way the admissions staff would detect haiku-ness on their own.

So how many tweets were there overall?


What? Wow, applciations took the entire GMAT, wrote a full application and still couldn’t get their applications in early enough to write an additional 140 characters.

This should be a lesson to MBA applicants everywhere. If the admissions staff decides to hold a creative, out-of-the-box, experimental application stunt. You should definitely play along!

Because no-one else will.

MBA’s are so freaking conservative! Write a damned tweet! Good lord.

(3) Jagon: A-Player

Here’s a term you might have heard before that you’ll be hearing often in business school … and in banks … and consulting firms … and basically everywhere that hires MBAs.

An A-player is that top notch worker who does what it takes to get the job done. A-Players become the drivers of your business. They’re the people that you can’t let go. Or as I think of them … bankers.

(4) Business School Tip of the week:

A-players hire A-players and B-players hire C-players

Well, I haven’t been working out lately. so I would say that I’m currently employing a pair of A players down there.

No, what I’m saying is that really good people hire other really good people. Mediocre people, hire losers.

The idea here is that mediocre players are afraid to hire people that might make them look stupid, so they only hire people that they know they can intellectually dominate.

You only have to let one mediocre person in the door and its’ a downward spiral from there.

Can I have one??

No. Not even one.

Tom, I’m going to have to let you go.

Well if we fire all the C-players too, then it’ll just be an empty table.

Tom: 6-Flags.
Miro: Meditation workshop