The Making of an MBA
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 A funny and frenetic account of Robinson's crucial first year in Stanford's MBA program, offering an education in itself as well as a cautionary tale. Stanford's atypical MBA program combines Harvard's case-study approach and Chicago's business theory but has a much more diverse, laid-back student body. With graduate work at Oxford and a career as a White House speech writer behind him, Robinson was a ``poet''- -in Stanford lingo, accepted to add variety to the management consultants and number crunchers. Like most of his peers in 1988, his motive for getting an MBA (which one professor called a ``yuppie union card'') was to secure an insurance policy for a lucrative career as an investment banker, financial consultant, or the like. Robinson found himself struggling to understand not only supply-and-demand curves, but also decision trees and influence diagrams. He also discovered his classmates' appalling ignorance of economic philosophy, whether Adam Smith or Karl Marx, and the persistence of gender issues in the B-school's race-blind meritocracy. His book is an album of late-night studying, random ``cold calls'' by professors in class, impossible exams, competition, and camaraderie. Robinson got a job with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, from which he was fired less than a year later in the recession. His peers likewise graduated to diminished expectations, but all got the credentials and contacts to improve their careers or change their lives. Todays business schools, with enrollments declining, have begun to expand their programs' ties to real business experience and to balance professors' teaching responsibilities with their research, but these problems are beyond the scope of Robinson's own vivid experience. Not the ultimate B-school survival guide, but a genial description of everything about getting an MBA that you wanted to know but were afraid to find out. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 14th, 1994
ISBN: 0-446-51786-0
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994


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