Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Value of a University Education....

You don't go to Harvard to get an education. You go to Harvard to meet other Harvard students. The whole point of The Facebook was to create an electronic equivalent of a Harvard print tradition. Initially, you could only join Facebook with a Harvard student email address and gradually the magic circle was extended first into other Ivy League colleges and then in an ever expanding arc in the greatest feat of brand stretching in history.

I recently had a similar conversation with someone thinking about going to an "elite" MBA school Stateside. They asked me what I thought about the value of an MBA that would cost them tens of thousands. I told them having MBA after your name doesn't mean a whole lot (especially if you already have an HBA and a law degree), the value comes from the people you meet in your MBA class at said "elite" business school. I know guys working at Goldman's who did their undergrad in sociology at Ivey league universities, and guys with business degrees from supposedly lesser schools who, ten years into their career, are still struggling to find jobs in key markets. It has nothing to do with what they learned and everything to do with who they met.