I recently watched the CNBC special “The Money Chase: Inside Harvard Business School” and would like to share some of my reflections. I’ll start by saying that I have the utmost respect for HBS and the students who choose to attend. The title comes directly from the special and almost directly quotes the brotherly “advice” given to a friend before he made his way to HBS last fall.
This special nails the MBA experience on the head and I think it would be advantageous for future B-schoolers to watch this regardless of the program you ultimately attend. The first year anxiety, time pressures and classroom behavior is as universal as the vacant front row.
One of the ways Harvard appears to differ from Ross is the competitive shark tank kind of atmosphere. Harvard students are pushed hard by each other and the faculty to always be better than their neighbor. In contrast, Ross is highly collaborative and dare I say laid back. Sometimes “Michigan time” gets old and I secretly wished for more cold calling (I know. I am strange), but I love the genuine friendships our culture builds. We are so supportive of each other that before a final we circulate study sheets to the entire section and put together review sessions so we can at least be lost together. I just can’t imagine that happening all the time at HBS.
I think if CNBC came to do a piece about Ross the school would have showcased different things. Of course, we would show a classroom full of engaged students ready to deliver insightful commentary at the drop of a hat and powerful alum, but there is much more to be proud of. Design + Business is helping create the face of a new generation of MBAs. We are fun, passionate, unique, creative and totally normal. Companies like Amazon and Deloitte appreciate the Michigan difference and firms who traditionally don’t hire MBAs have opened their doors to us. We might show off the plethora of dual degree programs available including the newest addition, entrepreneurship. Lastly, you can bet there would be a bit of airtime showing off Michigan Football pride, but please don’t drop by the bus without a little warning.
When you tell friends and family that you are on your way to Ross you won’t hear “ Congratulations, don’t become a jerk” and they won’t waste their breath telling you not to become a Wolverine. It’s impossible not to bleed blue when you're at Ross.