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."