Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. LatAm Indian Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. MBB to PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Soldier Boy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 3.48
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Angel Investor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.20
Rice Jones | Mr. ToastMasters Treasurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
Said Business School | Ms. Creative Planner
GMAT 690, GPA 3.81 / 5.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Wedding Music Business
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45

Going to B-School For A Husband?

Are women going to business school purely to find husbands–the kind of seriously ambitious husbands who earn six-figure incomes and built multi-million dollar portfolios?

That rather insulting notion has gathered some momentum due to a blog post yesterday (Aug. 28) on The Grindstone, a snarky career website.  Entitled “I Went To Business School To Get My Mrs. Degree,” writer Meredith Lepore claims that “for some women, attending the male-dominated business school (more so than law and medicine) is a great place to find a husband.”

The article appears based on little more than a song in a two-year-old satirical video from Columbia Business School’s follies show. In the video, Columbia MBA students enthusiastically sing:

“I’m in business school to get me my M-R-S

The returns on a marriage are worth the debt

Findin’ a man in the markets’ not happened yet

So I’m gonna’ find my hubby at CBS”


But, of course, the whole thing is a joke—and a funny one at that. Yet, like too many inconsequential things on the Internet, the post quickly went viral, picking up the scorn of a critic at Jezebel who called the Grindstone post “a patronizing, poorly written and infuriating piece on how a good number of these women probably just want to find a husband.”

The story is already the most-viewed article on the Grindstone. The Jezebel rebuttal is also prominently featured as one of the newer stories along with such other gems as “How Much Would You Pay To See Ryan Lochte’s Alleged Penis?” And today, the author of the Grindstone piece, who happens to be the website’s editor, felt obliged to defend her piece in yet another post.

Grindstone’s Lepore correctly points out that in the past decade women taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) have risen by 10% and that women now account for 31% of business-school classes, up from about 26% in 2001, according to the Forté Foundation. Several schools have significantly increased the number of women in their incoming MBA classes, including Harvard and Wharton, which hit a record 45% last year.

But are they going for their careers or for their husbands? No more so than men. “What I know to be true is that there is a tremendously insular culture at business school, such that pre-existing relationships are often put under pressure and frequently collapse,” says Lindsey Mead Russell, who earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000. “I was told that there is no way my boyfriend at the time (currently my husband) would still be in the picture by Thanksgiving.”


But she certainly didn’t go to Harvard for a husband and met few women who did. “I imagine there are certainly women who view meeting a potential husband at business school as a nice perk,” says Russell, who blogs at A Design So Vast.

“I honestly believe the uptick in numbers has more to do with the slowly-spreading appeal of the degree and sector as well as other efforts the schools have made like lowering the average intake age. It was not my experience that women in my class were on campus purely to find a husband. Absolutely not. It is true, however, that the intensity of the two years lends itself to internal romances, and there are more than a handful of inter-class (and even inter-section) marriages.”


Betsy Massar, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 1982, has a similar point of view. “Most women want an MBA for one reason — to enhance their careers,” maintains Massar, who now helps men and women get into Harvard and other business schools as the founder of Master Admissions. “Still, business school is fun.  You’re ‘on’ 24/7 — working hard and playing hard are expected. If women and men hope to come out of the experience with a life partner, why not? If we cannot laugh at stereotypes of ourselves, as women, and as business students, then what’s the point?”

Massar says she was at Harvard when women represented only about 20% of the class—a different era entirely. “Of course, I loved the ratio, especially since I had come from Vassar, which at the time, was lopsided the other way. And no, I never ended up with an HBS mate. Real life just took over.”

Funny how that happens.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.