B-School Follies

PT.pngBrazen Careerist and smartest woman in the world Penelope Trunk has a new piece of advice for you: screw business school. Now, we know you’re thinking, “Because Ms. Trunk is the same woman who once instructed the ladies to “dress like hookers, solicit co-workers, expect harassment, and stay cool” and people in general to switch rapidly from job to job, make it clear to prospective employers that they require a lot of time off, and live with mom and dad, doesn’t her latest pearl of wisdom mean I should run to B-school immediately?” Our snap judgment is “yes,” but let’s put that off for a sec and see where Penelope, Girl Genius is coming from. Her reasons for not going to business school are as follows:
1. Only the top business schools have high value.
This is true. And since you’re reading a Penelope Trunk original, girl’s got a pretty good idea of your level of intelligence. Wharton-material it is not. Probably not even Drexel University LeBow’s School of Business, either.
2. Business schools are compromised by a lack of female applicants.
Wait a second—is Penelope Trunk, the woman who is singlehandedly tearing down the strides made by the feminist movement with tips like “don’t report sexual harassment” and “let’s blow off that assignment to gets manis and pedis and talk about The Hills and what a jerkface that Spencer is girls, omg it’ll be totes awesome just like it is being a functioning human being without a brain!” about to suggest that you should take a stand against MBA programs because they don’t have enough women? Nah, she’s just making the circuitous argument that because some women want to be able to have children before they go barren and are therefore not working for as many years before going to business school as in the past (when it was “baby or b-school, you can only pick one”), and places like HBS are making concessions to those with such pipe dreams, the quality of education is being diluted. That’s right Harvard et. al.—shape up. Until then, no more Penelope Trunk endorsement for you.
3. Business school is like buying a high-priced recruiter.
That sounds like a lot less work, so why don’t you just do that?
4. Hotshots don’t go to business school anymore.
Tim Sykes didn’t go to b-school. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t even graduate from college. Mine is not a tenuous argument!
5. People go to business school for the wrong reasons.
Penelope says that “If you’re not a star performer before b-school, you probably won’t be one after you graduate. And if you just want to make a lot of money, the odds of you of doing that are only as good as the odds of you getting into a top school — currently about 1 in 10,” which circles us back to reason No. 1 not to go to b-school, which is that you can’t get in. Makes sense, if dumb yourself down enough to think about it like that. (NB: Penelope would like you to know that going to business school to find a husband is never wrong, totes obvi.)
Recommendation: go to business school today. Now. Right this second.
Earlier T-A (Trunk Advice): Junk in the Trunk of the Week – College Advice
More Junk in the Trunk
B-school Confidential: MBAs May Be Obsolete [Yahoo! Finance]
Bye-Bye B-School [NYT]

thomasrobertson.jpgNew Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson is apparently pretty tight with erstwhile W professor Scott Ward, recently sentenced to fifteen years in prison for some sexual misconduct with young boys, according to the kids at IvyGate, who apparently track that kind of thing. Not only have Robertson and Ward co-published and co-edited books (in which children are prominently figured) together, but the duo co-owned a house on Cape Cod for twenty-five years, beginning in 1977. Scandalous! (Or maybe not “scandalous” but “potentially shady.”)
Penn spokeswoman Lori Doyle commented that the University has determined (scientifically, one assumes) that the friendship will have “no bearing on Dr. Robertson’s ability to lead the Wharton School.” IG, however, is skeptical, and we’re inclined to agree—everyone knows that pedophilia is a communicable disease, and it’s a slippery slope (/less than 20 minute walk) from here to Drexel University’s LeBow School of Business. (And this is not a snap judgement in any way, but does that smile say “I love children” or does that smile say “I love children”?)
New Wharton Dean Kinda BFF With Disgraced Pederast [IvyGate]

The Softer Side of Wharton?

Thomas Robertson was named the new dean of Wharton late last week. Some details on the marketing man, myth and legend, from the Penn press release:

Robertson, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Marketing at Emory, is an expert in marketing strategy and innovation with extensive international experience in higher education and the business community. He was dean of Goizueta from 1998 to 2004 and is widely credited with building it into one of the strongest schools at Emory, positioning it as a leading international business school.

Robertson was a professor at Wharton for 23 years and head of the Marketing Department before taking the Emory post, after a brief stint as deputy dean of London Business School. During his tenure the endowment of Emory’s B-school doubled.
Does Robertson’s appointment and marketing expertise signal a shift in Wharton’s focus from corporate finance, or at least from bankers who correct you when you say they went to Penn (it’s WHARTON, alright!)? Robertson is already talking about fluffiness like becoming more “global” and bolstering the school’s position in the international market, which does not bode well for people who prefer a few more hours of default swap price modeling to intramural basketball.
Wharton is ranked #3 behind Harvard and Stanford in the very meaningful U.S. News and World Report Rankings.
Thomas S. Robertson Is Named Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School [University of Pennsylvania]

Wharton Follies: They All Start So Innocent

We’re not sure why but we never really get tired of the PC-Mac parodies. This is from this year’s batch of “Wharton Follies.” It’s a first year Wharton student comparing his “big night” with a second year student. They all start so fresh faced and eager. Not exactly “funny” but probably at least “Wharton funny.”
The rest are all here (via BankersBall).
[Editor’s note: the best bar in Philadelphia is McGlinchy’s on South Fifteenth Street. Pints of lager for $1.65 and hotdogs for a quarter.]