B-School Problems

Apart from finding a job that will justify the hefty price tag of the MBA, the greatest challenge of the modern business school student is financing now the lifestyle that we think we deserve post-MBA. With the average MBA student taking on some $120,000+ in loans over two years, the common strategy entails paying less for the b-school basics (lunch, books, and beer) so that we can afford the real reasons we quit our day jobs: wining and dining at Alinea, re-enacting scenes from Aspen Extreme at a ski resort where beer flows like wine, and lazing on the beaches of Fiji, Brazil, and South Africa on school-organized treks designed to help us make friends before classes begin (aww!).

It’s a hard-knock life, to be sure, but thankfully after surviving a year with no income, we’ve learned a trick or two that we’d like to share, on how to spend more than we’re worth.

Tip #1: Share everything.

“If you live like a CEO when you’re a student, you’ll live like a student when you’re a CEO.”
— Priscilla Parker, Director of Financial Aid

When our class listserv started up the summer before school started, we learned to use it liberally. In a persistent effort to make or save a few extra bucks, everything on the planet was put up for potential sale, rental, or share: sublets of our own apartments for idle cash-burning long weekends, cabs from airports in cities where people might be going for winter break, textbooks and calculators by the hour, a shark costume, wifi across apartment units, babies, etc. Okay, maybe not babies. But invariably, everything discussed landed in a shared google spreadsheet. For us, the listserv turned into part-Craigslist, part-oversharing-party (regarding very particular personal needs in order to find the one person who can relate/help) for our community of ~600 students.

Through the list, our class actually got so communal and so close that practically an entire apartment building occupied by Booth students agreed to share one stellar, state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner. Together, 600 of us learned who in this building was allergic to dust, why a HEPA filter was strongly favored, and better, what floor everyone lived on. Thoroughly bemused, someone followed up:

To: Class of 2012 Listserv
Subject: Toothbrush share / recommendations

Hi all,

Anyone interested in going in on a toothbrush?

Manual only, not Sonicare, as my debt-financed budget cannot allow that extravagance. I’m open to whatever brands, have heard / read good things about Oral B, GUM, and Reach. My only preference is for the softest bristles because my dentist perpetually chides me for brushing too hard.

Perhaps we can involve a google spreadsheet, find potential local matches, consider buying two toothbrushes, possibly three, and a 5-pack of floss from Costco as well? I bet we can get a deal on that, if we buy in bulk. Maybe on the vacuum cleaner that our entire class is sharing, we can attach a toothbrush holder for convenient transport.

Oh and I live in Wicker Park, probably a ten minute drive from most of you, but for the right brush and share arrangements, I’m willing to commute at least twice a day, though ideally after every meal.


I was really concerned about the dust that would get into the bristles during transport, but most people seemed to get it. However, I later learned the note may not have translated well, as I heard some international students found this “Toothbrush Girl” exceptionally dirty.

Tip #2: Capitalize on student loans to add “Avid World Traveler” to the “Additional” section of your cosmopolitan resume.

#1: Okay I have to go. Take the bus. Booo.
#2: Gross.
#1: I know.
#2: Plebeian.
#1: Yeah I’m realizing I’m a plebeian. I went to the loan office to tell them I wanted more money. I didn’t want to sell stocks. They were like, “It doesn’t work that way.”

#1: So now I have to sell equities to finance beer drinking? Seems very 2008.
#2: Ha. But wait — really? But I’m financing my equities with loans.
#1: I want to also! That’s exactly what I want to do.
#2: How come they didn’t let you?
#1: Well I want more than the standard, whatever that is.
#2: Oh, okay.
#1: I want, like, more funds. So I can do a bunch of stuff. Like fly around Asia.
#2: Ha …NetJets? Why not?

What is this? A Goldman Sachs Elevator??

Nope, this is business school. We save, we sell, we share, we even scalp on occasion … and importantly, obviously, we sure know how to spend.

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

68 Responses to “B-School Problems”

  1. wahoo says:

    As long as that toothbrush vibrates, I'm in.

    -L. Tilton

  2. HAM05 says:

    thanks for ruining my afternoon by bringing up dex :(

  3. Guesto says:

    The average B-school student has closer to $50-60K loans, not $120K. So far so good w/ the advice.

  4. Comicbook Guy says:

    Worst. Post. Ever.

  5. Guest says:


    Boo motherfking hoo!

    Point of story – MBA college kids do not have a lot of money and have student loans so they borrow each others things.

    How is that different from any other college? Guess what, it's not !

  6. Doug Masters says:

    Aspen Extreme broke my heart when that guy died in the avalanche.

  7. Bandersnatch says:

    creative writing would not appear to be your strong suit

  8. Guest says:

    Sharing a vacuum cleaner so you can save trivial amounts of money for that exorbitantly expensive Spring Break trip to the Caribbean? Well, I suppose if nothing else, it's good preparation for a long life of screaming at the checkout lady at Costco over the price of frozen strawberries while making payments on a half-million-dollar McMansion.

    • Guest says:

      Funny because it's true.

    • Guest says:

      Alinea, Aspen and the Caribbean? Bravo cupcake, you hit the new money retard trifecta. Bonus points for leasing a white BMW after B-school.

    • Guest says:

      I am new money, I live the flashiest life possible, I live in a neighborhood full of car rich individuals that live life with no limits, I only buy things because they are expensive, not because of principles, my family has less money in their savings account than the 1995 Powerball winner in Arkansas, I will someday file for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

  9. Guest says:

    Well, a strong 0-2 so far. Time to shut the experiment down.

    • Laxbro says:

      I thought the first one was funny. That said, for her third try I am certain she will go with a predictable sex-sells theme to drum up responses, e.g. how she banged some Chicago Blackhawk's defense man she met while blacked out in Lincoln Park.

    • Ray Finkle says:

      Does this mean the Jamie Kennedy experiment is coming back!?

  10. guest says:

    More bullet points on a powerpoint chart and in color.

    -DeVry Class of '2012 MBA Candidate

  11. Ralph Wiggum says:

    I know this girl at Booth – Her face looks like it caught fire and someone tried to put it out with an axe…..True Story

  12. PhD in results says:

    This post is exactly like most B-students I meet. Long winded and uninteresting.

  13. merkin_capital says:

    I can now sympathize with witnesses to the Hindenburg.

  14. pazzo83 says:

    You : blogging :: Mets : baseball

  15. VandelayCapital says:

    Great post. For your next break, I recommend the Beverly Hills Hilton. You and your classmates can coordinate on Listserv for room service/ group tub.

  16. Real Alt-EST says:

    Uninterested studying : CFA :: Uninteresting reading : You

  17. Dexter Rutecki says:

    Re: Guesto – Avg B-School are certainly around $120k….At least for me they were and I am pretty average.

  18. VonSloneker says:

    Surely someone at Booth is drinking, taking drugs, getting laid, cheating, working his/her way through Booth as a stripper, sabotaging other teams at a case study competition, or regretting not taking the easy way out i.e. CFA. Know your audience. Try writing about some of those things. Preferrably in a way that combines two of the above…

    – Ed.

    • Guest says:

      Stop sending me information and start getting me some Buddy.

      – guy who couldn't resist and now furiously fears a tasing

    • Guest says:

      "Surely someone at Booth is drinking, taking drugs, getting laid, cheating, working his/her way through…"

      Dude, it's the University of Chicago, i.e. literally no one there is doing anything exciting. A kick-ass weekend for them is 20 nerds putting in $50 each and getting bottle service at some club nobody goes to anymore.

  19. UBS MD says:

    cheaper to get MBA from a booth than a business school

  20. ForunateSon says:

    That why only kids with money are suppose to go to b-school because the things you listed are normal occurances in our everyday lives.

    • Brantford says:

      I thought the point of B-school was so your family could justify giving you a position you were decades away from actually earning. So, your Grandpa sneaks you in to Harvard by donating enough to build a new rotunda and you get to spend two years giving your Dad's Amex a workout and letting the gunners handle most of the challenging stuff on group projects. In contrast, this slam makes her B-school experience sound like the fucking Peace Corps.

  21. relevant says:

    UBS Sucks

  22. Random MD says:

    What the fuck are you people wasting your time on now?

  23. RBS recruiter says:

    Positive attitude, creative problem solving, AND a great sense of humor !

    What size chicken suit do you think you take?

    • Guest says:

      "Positive attitude, creative problem solving, AND a great sense of humor!"

      That's cool and all, but more importantly, does she swallow?

      -Everyone that reads Dealbreaker

  24. guest says:

    what's "no income"?

    – Stern part time MBA '12

  25. Laxbro says:

    I don't know why, but I automatically hate anyone that chooses "cheers" as their go-to closing. It's not hip, douchebag.

  26. Guest says:

    Spending 2 years of the prime of my life living like a welfare baby, while racking up $120,000 in debt to get a piece of paper that illustrates I'm really sick at making PowerPoints sounds awesome. No it doesn't.

    • Carthagius says:

      Spoken like someone sorely lacking powerpoint skills. I bet you don't even know how to make a fade that looks like a moose ejaculating out the new slide.

      Seriously though, I'm in b-school and feel like I'm learning a lot of content (accounting/finance/econometrics) as well as some meaningful "soft skills" like networking with hedge fund managers, pitching stocks etc. As a career transitioner, I'm find it very valuable.

      • blablabla says:

        go away

      • Guest says:

        Seriously though, I learned those things during undergrad. That said, I'm sure you'll make a really good $100k/yr consultant who enjoys the prestige of.. potential bumps to Delta business class and upgrades on your Hertz rental car. Dream big.

      • Guestalicious says:

        Accounting/finance/econometrics are undergrad classes that can be had at any $5k/year state school in a much more sexually liberal environment. How about I "pitch" that trade to your "hedge fund managers" that you are hob nobbing with? Short Cathagius because he/she is willing to eat $120k at 6% to network with a bunch of people that also didn't have fun in college. Long state school business undergrad who has already lived the college years and is ready to work to get paid.

  27. CowboyJones says:

    I liked the post. Not the funniest thing I've ever read, but pretty funny. Y'all are hating on the author too much.

  28. blahblahblah says:

    [youtube UxmaR_qzPy0 youtube]

  29. thezissou says:

    CFA looking like a pretty good relative value play….

  30. National says:

    Business Pro:

    Did you know that you ca pick any car in the row and go?!

  31. Kirk says:

    Cant get a job ? Go to Stanford for an extra year then get a job in a "boutique" start up…

  32. Guest says:

    Love this. Don't worry about those negative posts. Those people are either idiots or are idiots and don't got to a good b-school.

    This post is so on point.

  33. Guest says:

    Love this. Don't worry about those negative posts. Those people are either idiots or are idiots and don't go to a good b-school.

    This post is so on point.

  34. Everyone says:

    Dealbreaker's Business School Bureau Chief went to Booth?

    Shit.. If I knew it was going to be that kind of party I would've stuck my dick in the mashed potatoes.