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Would you go to Harvard Business School For Free?

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Andy Black

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Its interesting ... we're all contemplating a FREE education at perhaps the most prestigious university in the world, and we're turning it down. That tells you something.
It’s not free though. There’s the time commitment, which means time not spent on something else.

It’s nothing against Harvard in particular @BizyDad. I’m repelled by the idea of sitting through a long curriculum.
 

thechosen1

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Wracking my brain but can’t figure out what CRT is…
On one hand I envy you for not knowing what this is.

On the other hand, you need to know what it is because if it becomes widespread, you're going to be punished too...
 

humananalytics

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I think a lot of you guys might not fully understand what MBAs are for. In general the curriculum is not difficult, it's not super time consuming, and it's primarily for the brand/connections/pay. I'd choose Stanford over Harvard though for entrepreneurship.

There are 4 reasons why I'd do it in a heartbeat:
1) You'd have a ton of free time to work on business ideas and fundraise. The curriculum is very light. It's known to basically be a mini-vacation for most people.

2) You get access to connections that help you raise tons of money, if you want to "go big" with your start-up. MBA VC Funding. Last year 39 startups came from Stanford, raising $1.4B. Almost all venture capital investors have very significant ties to Stanford, you can raise money so much easier as a Stanford MBA.

3) You get access to some of the best possible co-founders. If you go to a place like Stanford, you have some of the best computer scientists in the world at your finger tips, and you'd be able to start things with them (especially the undergrads) before they get used to huge salaries all the Big Tech companies will offer them

4) You'll have a salary floor for the rest of your life. Post-MBA pay is pretty standardized at around 200k/year for the top schools. If you fail your start-up and need to work a job, you'll still be living in style.

Overall, what's there to lose? Unless you already have access to all of these things, it's a no brainer. There's actually so much investor money out there and investors are itching to deploy capital, BUT it is often gated behind connections and prestige.
 

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I think a lot of you guys might not fully understand what MBAs are for. In general the curriculum is not difficult, it's not super time consuming, and it's primarily for the brand/connections/pay. I'd choose Stanford over Harvard though for entrepreneurship.

There are 4 reasons why I'd do it in a heartbeat:
1) You'd have a ton of free time to work on business ideas and fundraise. The curriculum is very light. It's known to basically be a mini-vacation for most people.

2) You get access to connections that help you raise tons of money, if you want to "go big" with your start-up. MBA VC Funding. Last year 39 startups came from Stanford, raising $1.4B. Almost all venture capital investors have very significant ties to Stanford, you can raise money so much easier as a Stanford MBA.

3) You get access to some of the best possible co-founders. If you go to a place like Stanford, you have some of the best computer scientists in the world at your finger tips, and you'd be able to start things with them (especially the undergrads) before they get used to huge salaries all the Big Tech companies will offer them

4) You'll have a salary floor for the rest of your life. Post-MBA pay is pretty standardized at around 200k/year for the top schools. If you fail your start-up and need to work a job, you'll still be living in style.

Overall, what's there to lose? Unless you already have access to all of these things, it's a no brainer. There's actually so much investor money out there and investors are itching to deploy capital, BUT it is often gated behind connections and prestige.
This is a good point, but I will add I know another Harvard MBA who works for the city government here in my small Texas town who is certainly NOT making 200k, hahaha.
 

humananalytics

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This is a good point, but I will add I know another Harvard MBA who works for the city government here in my small Texas town who is certainly NOT making 200k, hahaha.
Fair enough - but I do think it's probably by choice he's working in a lesser paying field.

My old firm would probably hire a Harvard MBA and pay at least 150k, even if this person barely has a pulse.

It's interesting I pulled up the Stanford MBA employment report. For 2020, 21% are starting their own business post-grad. I think that's a huge percentage for the general public, I imagine it would be an amazing place to meet entrepreneurs. 21% is also huge in light of the huge pay packages being offered to them.
 

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See title.

Also, swap in whatever [X] elite business school (or even include law school, since lots of powerful people, including entrepreneurs and major investors, seem to have studied law).

Why would you take that opportunity, or why would you decline it?

What might change your decision?

Do these programs unlock anything in your life's journey as a businessman, fastlaner, etc? Or just a waste of time?
I already did! :rofl: I gained a lot of some of the lectures on there a few years ago. I felt it helped me a lot for the goals at the time. There are business and other courses with Yale, Cambridge, Harvard, I watched many of them on different subjects. There's many of them on You Tube on different subjects.

I thought I seem some Entrepreneurs made some video's I watched a month ago talking about transforming the system to meet more life long learning and more Entrepreneur stuff. I don't remember where that video is though at the moment.
 

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What about an ivy leaguer who worked their way through school and is hungry to learn? Why wouldn't you want someone like that over the high schooler or JC kid?

Generally, no. The kid who worked through JC doesn't *expect* anything. They learned some skills and want to go apply them now.

Someone who works their way through an Ivy League school, self evidently, is expecting a payoff for attending (or else, why go there?)

--
So, I'd rather take the person without the pretentiousness. Who worked hard, because working hard is what they do (with no expectations at what it will do for them).
 

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As a side note, if engineering school or science school was included in the question, I might have considered it. Business and law is the real downer here. Business schools seem to want to train people to fine tune giant companies and shave pennies off the massive scale. People coming out of them sound like idiots sometimes. "Hey if we do this thing we can increase revenue by 2%!" Great if the company already makes 100 billion, but completely useless if you need to get it from 100k to 1 million. They'll make a spreadsheet for it either way.

To be fair, maybe Harvard or some other elite school is an exception. I don't actually think it is, but I don't often interview Harvard grads to find out what they understand about business. I also don't know enough about "entrepreneurship" degrees to guess whether they're any good.

Law school gives me shivers just thinking about it. I'm actually interested in law, I like it, and I have some non-lawyer experience in it. But going to the expense of law school is a terrible idea for most people. You'll make more money as an insurance agent, software developer, probably as a plumber. But none of those requires an extended education. A friend of mine who was a lawyer actually died before he could pay off his law school debt.
 

BizyDad

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Generally, no. The kid who worked through JC doesn't *expect* anything. They learned some skills and want to go apply them now.

Someone who works their way through an Ivy League school, self evidently, is expecting a payoff for attending (or else, why go there?)
It sounds like you think all Ivy Leaguers are lawyers and business school types.

But Harvard offers 97 different degrees.

How is it self evident that all of them are pretentious folks out for themselves?

(And the JC kid doesn't expect a payoff? Then why is he or she paying the money? Out of the goodness of their heart?)

So, I'd rather take the person without the pretentiousness. Who worked hard, because working hard is what they do (with no expectations at what it will do for them).
If we want to make generalizations, aren't the GC people are slackers who have to get their grades up in order to get into a "real school"?

The hard working kids got scholarships, either athletic or scholastic.

Of course my generalization isn't any more true or false than yours. Gosh, it sure sounds true, doesn't it?

(Just so we're clear, I was both the slacker who needed to get his grades up and hard worker who paid his way through school. I'm not here to judge anybody. It took me 10 yrs and 4 colleges to get my 4 yr degree...in finance - because of course I wanted to get something for my money )

But the person you describe sounds like almost every Ivy leaguer I know. The scientist who desperately wants to study the oceans for next to no pay. The two running not for profit endeavours. The one working on refugee issues in Africa, who I'm really afraid will just get kidnapped or worse one day. The nuclear physicist that's trying to find new uses for nuclear waste. The researchers, the bearucrats, the historian, the writers. The two who went into a career in the armed forces.

Most of these people know they're going to go into a low salary position, at a largely thankless job, and have higher school debt than than a junior college kid.

These are the hard workers who aren't afraid of tackling big problems. That's not pretentious.

And these Ivy Leaguers are going to be generally smarter. Not always, but generally.

That's not the kind of person you want on your team, cool. Just please don't write off someone's resume because you see an Ivy League school on it. That's all I'm really suggesting here.

--------

I don't want to argue with everybody. I just can't help but see how many assumptions about Ivy Leaguers are on here that aren't actually 100% gospel true.

So I'm just trying to provide a different point of view.

I texted a sophomore at Harvard and asked what they thought about critical race theory. They said what's critical race theory?

I guess Harvard sucks at indoctrination.

Sounds like a bunch of people on here are parroting what right wing media wants you to believe. Maybe. Or maybe it will destroy society.

The left has C0VlD the right has CRT. And everybody's getting all angry and up in arms again.

I'm no expert on any of it, because I'm not really plugged into the news or doing research.

I did find this though.

"A search of the Nexis database finds that the term “critical race theory” appeared in U.S. newspapers 1,361 times in the 21 years between January 2000 and New Year’s Day, 2021. It has appeared 6000 times in the six months since." source

Brainwashing is bad fam.

Like I said, I don't want to argue. Especially since I have a ton of respect for the posters on here who I happen to disagree with on this. Everyone is entitled to their preferences, opinions, and there is no right and wrong. Obviously no one is going to make Andy Black enjoy sitting in a class.

I just wanted to provide some counterpoints with the goal of achieving a more well-rounded discussion.
 

BizyDad

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As a side note, if engineering school or science school was included in the question, I might have considered it. Business and law is the real downer here. Business schools seem to want to train people to fine tune giant companies and shave pennies off the massive scale. People coming out of them sound like idiots sometimes. "Hey if we do this thing we can increase revenue by 2%!" Great if the company already makes 100 billion, but completely useless if you need to get it from 100k to 1 million. They'll make a spreadsheet for it either way.

To be fair, maybe Harvard or some other elite school is an exception. I don't actually think it is, but I don't often interview Harvard grads to find out what they understand about business. I also don't know enough about "entrepreneurship" degrees to guess whether they're any good.

Law school gives me shivers just thinking about it. I'm actually interested in law, I like it, and I have some non-lawyer experience in it. But going to the expense of law school is a terrible idea for most people. You'll make more money as an insurance agent, software developer, probably as a plumber. But none of those requires an extended education. A friend of mine who was a lawyer actually died before he could pay off his law school debt.
Ha!

Your comment made me reread the original post. Apparently, my speed reading comprehension isn't so good.

I'm not one to edit posted comments, but I see several points I made in my previous post are irrelevant to this discussion.

My bad, Fam.
 

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As a side note, if engineering school or science school was included in the question, I might have considered it. Business and law is the real downer here. Business schools seem to want to train people to fine tune giant companies and shave pennies off the massive scale. People coming out of them sound like idiots sometimes. "Hey if we do this thing we can increase revenue by 2%!" Great if the company already makes 100 billion, but completely useless if you need to get it from 100k to 1 million. They'll make a spreadsheet for it either way.

To be fair, maybe Harvard or some other elite school is an exception. I don't actually think it is, but I don't often interview Harvard grads to find out what they understand about business. I also don't know enough about "entrepreneurship" degrees to guess whether they're any good.

Law school gives me shivers just thinking about it. I'm actually interested in law, I like it, and I have some non-lawyer experience in it. But going to the expense of law school is a terrible idea for most people. You'll make more money as an insurance agent, software developer, probably as a plumber. But none of those requires an extended education. A friend of mine who was a lawyer actually died before he could pay off his law school debt.
This is the most insightful comment here.

especially the part about gaining 3% vs going from 100k to 1 million.
 

Raoul Duke

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Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Black holes suck.

Isn't capitalism itself racist? So not sure how that works at a woke business school.


nA6fxnH.gif
 

WJK

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Have I used my education in my business life? YES! Everyday.

Harvard? Not at this point in my life. But, when I was younger I really, really wanted to have an experience like that.

I went to college over the years -- including graduating from law school. No, it sure was NOT free. I have 4 college degrees including my Juris Doctorate. I also have also completed a few thousand hours of professional classes for my career. Formal education was the only way to make progress when I was young. Now I use the internet to continue my education. I have found Harvard classes available online for free or just about free. The one that interested me the most incorporated business case studies. It was kind of a "what would you do IF..."
 

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Have I used my education in my business life? YES! Everyday.

Harvard? Not at this point in my life. But, when I was younger I really, really wanted to have an experience like that.

I went to college over the years -- including graduating from law school. No, it sure was NOT free. I have 4 college degrees including my Juris Doctorate. I also have also completed a few thousand hours of professional classes for my career. Formal education was the only way to make progress when I was young. Now I use the internet to continue my education. I have found Harvard classes available online for free or just about free. The one that interested me the most incorporated business case studies. It was kind of a "what would you do IF..."
I’ve heard that the case study model is one of the best to learn business.

I believe those are all online for free now.

This is probably one of the best online free resources for anyone who wants to learn business or improve their knowledge.

Experience is the best but there’s a reason we read books, too.

Some topics took other people decades to uncover, so it’s better to read about them than to figure it out yourself.
 

WJK

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I’ve heard that the case study model is one of the best to learn business.

I believe those are all online for free now.

This is probably one of the best online free resources for anyone who wants to learn business or improve their knowledge.

Experience is the best but there’s a reason we read books, too.

Some topics took other people decades to uncover, so it’s better to read about them than to figure it out yourself.
I'm like you. I'd rather learn from other's triumphs or mistakes rather than muddling through the muck. Why reinvent the wheel???? I spend a lot of time reading and interviewing other people. I try to get at least 3 opinions and/or options before I make a decision or take a new direction. And I try to make sure that I ask someone who has been there, done that. It doesn't matter to me if they succeeded or failed. Both situations have valuable lessons.
 

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If this was really how we chose representatives, all the sociopaths and zealots would change their names to Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaron Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaronson. With however many a's the phone book allows.
 

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College education is bad? Why? Because of the big debt and the fear of becoming woke? I think this is especially an American problem.

If you live outside North America, Europe and Australia, which most of the world population do, a college degree is the best way out of poverty.

A Lebanese relative of mine who has graduated with a Master's degree in civil engineering, is now working in VAE. I think between 12 am and 4 pm it is not possible to work, so the work "officially" has to be stopped due to the sun heat. So his normal working day expands from 8am to 8pm. There is no such thing like workers rights, occupational safety and you have to share your room with 10 other people.

After the deduction of his living cost, he goes back to home with $300 in his pockets. Now his is a well respected man in his community and he provides for his family. Especially in these days where the Lebanese Economy has collapsed.

I understand it is easy to forget how the world actually works when you live in one of the wealthier countries. But maybe 80% of the world population will never have the chance to achieve the same minimum living standard like we do.

So why would you hinder yourself from your success to get a degree from one of the most prestigious universities? Because you don't like that they also offer social studies or because the whole campus is now woke? This is just an obstacle you have to overcome. Think bigger.
 

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College education is bad? Why? Because of the big debt and the fear of becoming woke? I think this is especially an American problem.

If you live outside North America, Europe and Australia, which most of the world population do, a college degree is the best way out of poverty.

A Lebanese relative of mine who has graduated with a Master's degree in civil engineering, is now working in VAE. I think between 12 am and 4 pm it is not possible to work, so the work "officially" has to be stopped due to the sun heat. So his normal working day expands from 8am to 8pm. There is no such thing like workers rights, occupational safety and you have to share your room with 10 other people.

After the deduction of his living cost, he goes back to home with $300 in his pockets. Now his is a well respected man in his community and he provides for his family. Especially in these days where the Lebanese Economy has collapsed.

I understand it is easy to forget how the world actually works when you live in one of the wealthier countries. But maybe 80% of the world population will never have the chance to achieve the same minimum living standard like we do.

So why would you hinder yourself from your success to get a degree from one of the most prestigious universities? Because you don't like that they also offer social studies or because the whole campus is now woke? This is just an obstacle you have. to overcome. Think bigger.
I agree. I grew up in a rural, poorer area of the USA. My people are Hillbillies. I was 19 when I moved to downtown Los Angeles to go to college. . I was just a leggy, awkward girl. The other students treated me like a second-class citizen. I didn't care. I was there. I sat on the front row of the classes. I did twice what was asked of me. I had a 3.9-grade point average -- 4 is perfect straight As. I made friends with all the teachers and profs. I walked away with a fabulous education that I use every day. And then I went to college 3 more times over the years until I got my Juris Doctorate from law school. I worked full time or close to full time each time I was in college. And I took professional classes between my times in college. Education and the application of that education have been my leg-up to a better life.
 

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I agree. I grew up in a rural, poorer area of the USA. My people are Hillbillies. I was 19 when I moved to downtown Los Angeles to go to college. . I was just a leggy, awkward girl. The other students treated me like a second-class citizen. I didn't care. I was there. I sat on the front row of the classes. I did twice what was asked of me. I had a 3.9-grade point average -- 4 is perfect straight As. I made friends with all the teachers and profs. I walked away with a fabulous education that I use every day. And then I went to college 3 more times over the years until I got my Juris Doctorate from law school. I worked full time or close to full time each time I was in college. And I took professional classes between my times in college. Education and the application of that education have been my leg-up to a better life.
Great story! You have overcome your own obstacles and now you can show something you can be proud of!

I think the course should be understood as an increase in knowledge on a scientific basis, how things work. If you only study to study, you may find in the end that studying is unlikely to bring you anything. In my opinion, this is also the reason why there are dissatisfied graduates. You also have to use the opportunity to study to gain access to industries or branches that are likely to remain with you. I know that this forum demonizes working in large companies. But there is a big difference between working for the money or using the work to get paid for the experience. You could use this knowledge later to start your own company more successfully. That's why I am of the opinion that your studies do not necessarily have to be bad if you make the most of your potential.
 

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Great story! You have overcome your own obstacles and now you can show something you can be proud of!

I think the course should be understood as an increase in knowledge on a scientific basis, how things work. If you only study to study, you may find in the end that studying is unlikely to bring you anything. In my opinion, this is also the reason why there are dissatisfied graduates. You also have to use the opportunity to study to gain access to industries or branches that are likely to remain with you. I know that this forum demonizes working in large companies. But there is a big difference between working for the money or using the work to get paid for the experience. You could use this knowledge later to start your own company more successfully. That's why I am of the opinion that your studies do not necessarily have to be bad if you make the most of your potential.
I agree. I have taken jobs over the years that have taught me a bunch of different truths and skills. I've also worked for free to learn how it all works. I like to follow the person doing the job to watch what they do and how they view the different situations. And I ask LOTS of questions to test my understanding.

I once read a study based on basketball. I'm not interested in sports, but the conclusions were fascinating. They gave a list of plays to two groups of people. Their job was to group them. The laymen, who didn't play basketball, grouped them totally differently from the professional athletes. The laymen grouped the plays where they dribbled into one pile and the plays where the basket was attempted into another. The professionals grouped the plays totally differently. Their groups were based on these differences in the step-by-step plays -- how the ball was passed and dribbled from player to player as they moved it down the court and make the basket as a team. It was a totally different point of view.

What I learned from that study is that every profession and craft has its secrets and shortcuts. Professionals see their job differently from the inside out. The person doing the job doesn't break it down into individual step-by-step actions. They group those small steps into an action plan that has a natural flow supported by experience and well-ingrained habits. It is very result originated.

And that's the difference to me between having a useful education and being an over-educated idiot who needs help to tie his own shoes.
 

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See title.

Also, swap in whatever [X] elite business school (or even include law school, since lots of powerful people, including entrepreneurs and major investors, seem to have studied law).

Why would you take that opportunity, or why would you decline it?

What might change your decision?

Do these programs unlock anything in your life's journey as a businessman, fastlaner, etc? Or just a waste of time?
It is under my impression that the content in mba programs are largely designed for executives and managers in large organisations so the short answer is no.

But let us say if you have already decided to do a mba/master/degree, there is certainly benefit to be in a good school to meet a good future co-founder or business partner. Higher chances in places where smart, hardworking people with network around them congregate in a small place.

It is also important not to over exaggerate the effect of network and relationship, that you end up paying a lot (money of time) for it. Because to be put bluntly relationship is built on being useful and mutual exchange of value. If you are valuable in a strategic way people with resources will look for you. If you are not you become 90 percent of the people who graduated from huge brand names but live ordinary lives.
 

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It is under my impression that the content in mba programs are largely designed for executives and managers in large organisations so the short answer is no.

But let us say if you have already decided to do a mba/master/degree, there is certainly benefit to be in a good school to meet a good future co-founder or business partner. Higher chances in places where smart, hardworking people with network around them congregate in a small place.

It is also important not to over exaggerate the effect of network and relationship, that you end up paying a lot (money of time) for it. Because to be put bluntly relationship is built on being useful and mutual exchange of value. If you are valuable in a strategic way people with resources will look for you. If you are not you become 90 percent of the people who graduated from huge brand names but live ordinary lives.
I can tell you that a lot of these relationships were forged way before the students got to college. They went to prep school together. They vacationed together. Their families belonged to the same social clubs. They lived as neighbors. I was once a "trophy wife" to a man who landed a long-term consulting contract with a large oil company. I learned that almost all of their executives had graduated from Brown. They had known each other since they were little kids. They all dressed alike at work and dressed in their conforming way even on their days off. At work, they socialized together like an extended family. And I had to go do all that socializing with them. It was horrible. The truth is, I felt like a red-headed step-child at a family reunion. I looked the part, but my heart wasn't in it. I had completely different ideas on the world that they found to be repugnant. So, my husband divorced me and my life went on. Since then, I've developed an "interesting character" type of personality rather than being a conformist. I'm saying it's almost impossible to be accepted in that world.
 

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Thousands of people graduate from Harvard, and 99% of them don't do anything remotely like this.
Quotin'

Plus they start their young adulthood with $200k in debt.

Plus 2, don't know if anyone here knows it but Harvard is just lending company with own "lectures" attached.

Imagine Youtube guru telling you that he can make you rich with his course - pretty standard.
Now he tells you - But its $200k.
You say - Gosh i would have to sell my house!
No worry! - he tells you - I will lend you the money with which you will pay for the course!
That make sense.

(I hope i just didn't invent new kind of online scam here)



Hot topic these days.
"Hot 'insert anything' these day"
reminds me of:
furby.jpeg
 

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Depends on where you are right now in your life and how you use it

For me, my answer is "YES". Because I don't have any business knowledge background.

If I get the opportunity, I will take it to pursue fastlane. Some people taking MBAs because they just want better pay etc in slow lane.

Founder of Palo Alto Software mentioned that MBA is useful for his career in entrepreneurship.

Take a look at his thread there - Does getting an MBA make someone a better entrepreneur? - Quora
 

WJK

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Depends on where you are right now in your life and how you use it

For me, my answer is "YES". Because I don't have any business knowledge background.

If I get the opportunity, I will take it to pursue fastlane. Some people taking MBAs because they just want better pay etc in slow lane.

Founder of Palo Alto Software mentioned that MBA is useful for his career in entrepreneurship.

Take a look at his thread there - Does getting an MBA make someone a better entrepreneur? - Quora
I use my formal education everyday. I use it with the education I got in the school of hard knocks. It's amazing how two sources work together. I think that the math, marketing, accounting, and technical formal education has meant the most. The practical part of applying that formal education has been shown me the real value of those classroom hours. It gives me a starting point and framework for where to take a project. And best of all, I understand. My education gives me a list of built-in questions. and assumptions.

For example: I use my law school education all the time -- even though I don't practice law. This week I wrote up the assignment paperwork to record my purchase of a trust deed -- and an addendum to our purchase agreement which reflects a title problem that came up. I've hired an attorney to transfer the money through her trust account -- BUT, I'm handling the paperwork. Think of all of the legal fees I am saving.
 

Antifragile

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See title.

Also, swap in whatever [X] elite business school (or even include law school, since lots of powerful people, including entrepreneurs and major investors, seem to have studied law).

Why would you take that opportunity, or why would you decline it?

What might change your decision?

Do these programs unlock anything in your life's journey as a businessman, fastlaner, etc? Or just a waste of time?

When I was in high school I interviewed with them, applied for a scholarship because I had no money and … didn’t get in.
I would have gone in a heartbeat. It would help launch the me 2.0 entrepreneur faster than anything because of connections. Access to capital from the elite etc. It’s a no brainer.

today, very different, it’s a no from me. I only see it as a ticket to get a business going but I already have that. So what’s the point? Maybe if I was retired and bored!
These days when I choose to waste some time, I post replies fo your posts! Haha
 

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