Dull topics mean dull commentary. But the world of business school education is rarely dull, and discussions about events, issues, and people within the ecosystem hit highs and lows that might surprise people not familiar with the high-stakes environment of the top B-schools. When matters matter, people often speak their minds. This year, students, grads, professors, admissions consultants, and even one dean deployed language and ideas that stood out amid the near-constant stream of colorful statements emanating from the world’s B-schools.
In our list of the most striking quotes that appeared in our pages in 2015, you’ll find a couple of clever takedowns (one professor, one group of students); a reference to an infamous genocidal maniac; a sad-sack lament from a beleaguered Harvard Business School pupil; some possibly idle but still-chilling threats; wry opinions from admissions consultants; and, of course, some immortal words from Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner.
Wharton Prof Ripped For Allegedly Fraudulent Hipness
At 31, Wharton managerial economics professor Michael Sinkinson is often mistaken for an MBA student. Essentially of the same generation as many of his students, Sinkinson strives to link his teaching to students’ milieu, for example by having them analyze the business model of music-streaming service Spotify (on which, it should be noted, can be heard the music of pop star Ariana Grande). Sinkinson’s pedagogical tendency, however, opened him up to a probably tongue-in-cheek attack by a student in a faculty review: “Prof. Sinkinson acts all down with pop culture,” the student wrote, “but secretly thinks Ariana Grande is a font in Microsoft Word.” Sinkinson, generally described by students as engaging, read the critique at the Wharton Follies.
Nudes! Nudes! Nudes! But Not Till Later
Promises, promises. Dartmouth ’97 MBA Paul Ollinger, a comedian, claims to be writing a book called “You Should Totally Get an MBA: The Comedian’s Guide to Top Tier Business Schools.” In this purported publication, he says, we will find school reviews, interview advice, and “ridiculous amounts of nudity.” We were about to offer to do the photo editing for his book, then we read the next line: “Okay, maybe not so much nudity. Maybe in the sequel.” Ollinger, a former Facebook exec and ex-president of Shift, an ad-tech firm sold in May for $50 million to Brand Networks, publishes a comedic blog called Banner Ad Confidential. Of particular note on the blog are Ollinger’s doubtlessly spot-on predictions for the tech industry this year – although Business Insider has not yet, as foreseen by Ollinger, run a slideshow of “12 Geometry Teachers Who Look Like Hitler,” but they still have time before the New Year.