Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Officer
GRE 325, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mx. CPG Marketer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.95
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Reform
GRE 331 (Practice), GPA 2.92
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Against All Odds
GMAT 720, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Champion Swimmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Auditor
GRE 332, GPA 3.25
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)

What I Learned About A Harvard MBA

Harvard Business School - Ethan Baron photo

Harvard Business School – Ethan Baron photo

Graduation day is fast approaching for business school students, which means most are asking: What’s next? What is my life going to look like after school? Or should I go back and attend more schooling? These were questions I was asking myself two years ago as my own graduation from HBS approached. Now, two years out of the program, I have some perspective, and I think it’s useful. If you are considering an MBA or other graduate level education, keep reading.

1. Not All Harvard MBAs Are Raking In The Dough  

While some graduates do command incredible salaries eventually, none that I am aware of made millions their first year after school. Furthermore, in many anecdotal cases, those who choose jobs making less money than their peers were often the happiest and found their jobs most rewarding.

2. Prepare To Hop Jobs

I changed jobs less than two years after graduation. Many of us did. Some people changed for personal reasons (geographic preference or relationships), and others moved after being exposed to unexpected opportunities for learning or places they could leverage their expanding skills. Moreover, many dozens of my peers found something amazing, unexpected, and risky, and yet were comfortable making a leap into the unknown given the confidence in their future  derived in large part from graduating from HBS.

3. A Harvard MBA Is Not A Ticket To Easy Street

Some people believe a myth that with a Harvard MBA you can start slacking and still succeed. The truth is the opposite. No matter your education, your work ethic will be the  deciding factor in your success. Someone else without your academic background may feel they have something to prove, and they could be prepared to work rings around you.  Putting in the work, even after a grueling education,  is still required for  success, as well as gaining the trust of others for increased responsibility and authority. Your  MBA sends a powerful positive signal. But it does not show up in the morning and work. Only you can do that.

4. Your network is everything

The combination of your proven abilities and your access to influential people in their fields matters. Regardless of the industry or function you enter, there is a strong chance that at some point early in your career another alum will be able to help you out in a meaningful manner. In my own case. a friend of a friend from HBS helped me secure a call with a potential client only a few months into my first job after school. Without his support this prospective client might have never spoken to me (as they had turned down calls with other sales representatives from my company for months). With this kind introduction a relationship was formed, and eventually a deal was closed, and later on this client was one of the largest revenue drivers for my entire business unit.

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.