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Degree From Harvard Business School Hot New Accessory For Budding Fashionistas

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Time was, the MBA candidates at Harvard were by and large white boys of debatable attractiveness looking for a cushy gig at Goldman upon graduation. Those guys are still there. But know who else is too? Chicks! Good looking ones! Who don't give a rat's ass about working on Wall Street. What praytell are they doing at HBS? Looking to get a leg up in the fashion world. For example, former model Olga Vidisheva. This her story.

...the 25-year-old Russian model with piercing green eyes and a 24-inch waist, struts into class, her fellow students at Harvard Business School snap up from their laptops. The 5-foot-8 stunner, who loves labels like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, stands out in a sea of crew-cut, khaki-wearing nerds. After graduating from Wellesley in 2007, the beauty from Moscow logged two grueling years working at Goldman Sachs. "I really gave it a shot," she sighs. Upon realizing that finance wasn't for her, she enrolled at HBS for an unlikely reason—to get a leg up in the fashion world. She spent this past summer in a coveted internship with Chanel's marketing department in New York and hopes to score a plum job in fashion after graduating in 2011.

And Olga's not just some sort of freak accident. Apparently there are lots of Olga's running around campus.

They are a growing breed of well-groomed, well-heeled women who know as much about modern capital markets as they do about hemlines; who strive to work in chic lofts in Dumbo rather than a trading floor on Wall Street; and who claim that forgoing a "serious" career as an i-banker to hawk beauty products and designer dresses marks them as a new breed of feminist. With their perfectly blow-dried locks and lip-glossed smiles, these women lend a new glamour to the fusty business school, famed for churning out financial eggheads like Michael Bloomberg, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain.

But why Harvard? "Stanford's too small, Kellogg [at Northwestern] is too far from any fashion hub and Wharton has such a focus on finance that I don't know if you'd find enough people interested in retail," Alexandra Nelson, class of 2010, told Page Six Magazine. "Harvard Business School is becoming the place for fashion."

Harvard Goes High Fashion [NYP]


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