So I should probably have some things to say about this, especially following a conversation I had last night about how fucked up the business school experience is, but I don’t have it in me right now. Here are some things that I would maybe discuss if I did:
- the compulsion during business school to pretend that everything is great and you’re having the best two years of your life, which a) makes you feel like a fraud and b) prevents you from IDing who in your class might make for a good support system until about midway through second year (thank God for my roommate though because there was no hiding that shit at home)
- the role of other women in reinforcing bro culture
- that you can simultaneously feel like you are surrounded by the best people you have ever met on an individual level and the worst GROUP of people you’ve ever met
- the rampant across-the-board insecurity (seriously I have never met a group of adults so afraid of themselves in my entire life) and how it leads to a variety of bizarre behavior including dudes trying to make up for being nerds in college 10 years later and mean girl shit the likes of which you have not seen since junior high — AND how it plays into the dynamics of the relationships between (fratty) white American dudes (who used to work in finance in Boston) vs. everyone else
- how much classroom dynamics can fuck with your feelings of safety in contributing to a discussion. I had never been afraid to speak in class but when there’s a bro in your section who, during a marketing class discussion about Super Bowl ads, responds to every example of (blatant) racism or sexism with his view that it’s not a problem, a class that should be one of the few places for people with liberal arts degrees (read: critical thinking skills) to confidently express opinions becomes decidedly less so.
NB that I didn’t go to HBS, which essentially means I went to school with a lot of people who didn’t get into HBS, so I also have a few thoughts on how that contributed to the rampant insecurity piece of the puzzle.
MBA programs are, for most people, little more than an expensive 2-year networking and self-discovery vacation under the guise of “learning”. It’s elitist almost by definition. I think an MBA still makes sense if you’re going into Big Corporate management or Finance, but that’s it. Just about anything else you might want can be had by joining a startup, where you get paid to learn.