Every single one of us reading this post definitely looks up to at least one of these above individuals, if not more. Apart from being ultra-successful in business, they do have a lot in common, but the factor that I want to look at is their education. Dhirubhai Ambani, the least educated and the other three being college drop-outs. Well is education needed for entrepreneurial success or is education actually a hindrance to entrepreneurial success? Well no one has a perfect answer to this question but based on my experience at London Business School, I observed how students from my school, one of the best in the world dealt with entrepreneurship and how these schools prepare you to succeed or fail in the entrepreneurial world?
How does an aspiring entrepreneur get lost in B-School?
It is often said risk is best taken by a man who has nothing to lose. When you have a lot to lose you really cannot risk so easily and that’s what primarily happens at Business School. Day 1 you see 20% of the student community passionate about entrepreneurship, building on ideas but as time progresses this number reduces. Why? Because when you go to a top B-School you have invested a large amount as fees and that the other 80% people around you have come to the school to advance their careers. So as time moves forward and people start applying for jobs, the aspiring entrepreneur the 20% apply too, they might get an offer in the early 6 digit USD figure and that offer seals his entrepreneurial fate then. His response to entrepreneurship is then that with a couple of years of experience at a job I will move into entrepreneurship later.
How do schools indirectly affect aspiring entrepreneurs?
What do people largely look at when applying to B-Schools? Prospective jobs on graduation, salary jump etc. These figures decide most people’s choice and thus it is natural for schools to put a thrust on getting their students job so as to build the school report card well. So when you land the first day in school, an army of professionals called career services welcome you whose only job is to get you the job of your dreams. They are equipped with everything you can ever need, cv guidance, cover letter guidance, contacts. So the first week you land these genies make getting a job feel like the best feeling in the world and the ideal next step.
These 2 factors are they reasons as to why aspiring entrepreneurs get killed or lost in B-School but if someone is very keen and goes with a set mind he has a lot to gain.
How can an aspiring entrepreneur benefit from going to a top B-School?
What is the message I would like to give from this article? (Not preaching these are just my thoughts based on my experience)
To end on a funny note if you ever eavesdrop on two business school students talking, the most common questions/discussions you might end up hearing.
1) Are you looking at finance or consulting?
2) What are the bonus rates going on for investment banking jobs?
3) What is your exit strategy? (In a job world)
4) Oh you work at a start-up? Do they pay you?
5) Does that company sponsor work visas?
6) He got McKinsey/Goldman Sachs, he is set for life.
7) Lets go for the networking event, free drinks as well!
8) Where are you travelling for the summer?
Nice govind..Even I'm thinking of MBA this year but at the same time I'm very skeptical about my entrepreneurial dream once I passout from B-school.
thnx for the post!!
Very true and nicely put Govind... I traded b-school for entrepreneurship. Simply putting it, real time on task experience is irreplaceable.
Though hindsight entrepreneurship post b-school would have been ideal but one never know if that would have ever happened...
Now am at cross-roads of doing something new or taking a sabbatical for b-school. Undecided, Unsure, Confused to sum it up.
Nice Post Govind!!
Like many i too had this doubt whether to start up directly or go for a masters in a top uni and then start up..since one would get great exposure & cushion/back up if they do a masters in a top uni...
Yet to decide which way to go :(
Btw, how would it be if i start up and the leave after an year for masters, leaving the responsibilities to a partner??
i would also have some exp and this might help me during admission..your opinion on this plz??
My advice will be to Start-up right away. You need to feel/experience it before you enter a business school. Will help you in many ways including:
* Having this experience will make you a lot more clearer as far as your goals from a business school are concerned
* Everything you will learn in the B-School, will automatically start relating to implementing the same in your start up - BIG ADVANTAGE
* Look at these 2 situations, which one sounds better (quite evident) :
-> " Going to join a B-School, learn/meet great people and start my company post that"
-> " Joining a B-School, to learn scale for my company, learn stuff from other budding entrepreneurs, what stuff can i implement from them"
Like the way you have expressed the dilemma of a student. The main issue is most students focus on a high paying job and a good brand to work with, this is where most of them lose their focus on their long term plans.