Graduation is here. That means saying goodbyes and tying up loose ends. That is, unless you’re a Columbia Business School MBA. Here, graduation is all about settling scores.
That’s the impression you might get from “7 Dings,” a video from the latest CBS Follies. Created by Columbia MBAs Jaya Prasad and John Wolfe to promote the CBS Follies, “7 Dings” is a parody of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” The lyrics poke fun at MBA applicants’ obsession with the M7 – otherwise known as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, and (yes) Columbia.
Only in the Ivy League would you find MBA graduates bellyaching about being rejected by higher-ranked business schools. The song and skit captures the roller coaster process of applying to schools, convincing yourself you need to go to an elite school, then once you get rejected, convincing yourself your safety schools were actually your top choice and that the “M7” title is completely arbitrary.
Without former Dean Glenn Hubbard to kick around anymore, the CBS Follies chose to pick a new target (aside from the ever-dowdy Uris Hall). Forget that Columbia Business School ranks #8 in U.S. News – and looking over its shoulder at an increasingly-viral NYU Stern. No, CBS Follies is more than happy to air all the dirty laundry of their peer schools.
YALE GETS IT THE WORST
Wharton? The singer promises not to support Liz Warren among this bastion for bankers (even if Wharton seems more embarrassed by alum Donald Trump than threatened by a 1/1024th capitalist). In this parody, Northwestern Kellogg is a safety school, one where you lay down a deposit in hopes of flipping to Harvard. Speaking of Harvard, they were the ones “who let in the dude who did Enron.” A bit unfair? You bet, especially since HBS boasts alums who also “did” Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.
Alas, the CBS Follies saved their best lines for their true peer schools…the programs that rank just outside the M7. Virginia Darden? It’s “the Harvard of Charlottesville.” USC Marshall? You couldn’t pay these Columbia MBAs to apply there. In the CBS Follies world, UC-Berkeley Haas is reduced to being “right across from the projects” (just like CBS’ Kravis Building and Riverside Heights in two years). And the Follies aren’t any kinder to Cornell Johnson, Michigan Ross, and NYU Stern, either.
The best line? That was slung at Yale SOM:
“Yale grads have less chance outside public sector than Wharton marriages past first semester.”
VIDEOS MADE FOR A GOOD CAUSE
At the same time, the CBS Follies manage to needle Stacey Blackman Consulting, GMAT Club, and even Poets&Quants (We’re flattered). In the end, the point is that an M7 designation really doesn’t matter…which is easy to say when you’re an M7 (however fleeting). “7 Dings is the creation of two second-year MBAs at CBS, John Wolfe and Jaya Prasad.
Despite our nitpicking, “7 Dings” is an impressive addition to the CBS Follies catalog, which includes landmark comedy like Bitch in Business and MBA (Married But Available). That doesn’t include this year’s most imaginative addition: “Vest Song.” Let’s just say a fleece sleeveless vest is the uniform for douchebag wannabe bankers who dream of “Living La Vida Coca” (and end up repelling women). Who knew?
Stretching back to 2009, CBS Follies is a student-run comedy troupe that consistently has produced the best MBA satirical variety shows of any business school in the world. Held at the end of the fall and spring semesters, these video skits – accompanied by a live show – provide laughs with broad strokes and inside jokes. This year’s version, put together during the pandemic, was co-directed by Elana Gurevich and Halle Morse. Before entering CBS, Morse, not surprisingly, had been an assistant director at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and a production stage manager for the Actors’ Equity Association.
Not surprisingly, the “7 Dings” video was the work of true entertainment professionals. Jaya Prasad is a professional actress who starred in Netflix’s “Family Party,” along with national ad campaigns for ad companies ranging from Fitbit to Apple. Her comedic partner, John Wolfe, is a satirical rapper who goes under the recording name of Weston Gates Kennedy). In his spare time, Wolfe is also selling meme t-shirts at business schools across the country to raise funds for COVID-19 relief.
On May 16th, John Wolfe and Jaya Prasad are competing to represent Columbia Business School in the MBA Battle Royale for Charity. They will be competing against nine other MBA programs, which are also represented by two students that were elected by the respective student body. Thus far, the MBA Battle Royale for Charity has raised over $6,000 in ticket sales across the various schools for Doctors Without Borders.
To support this worthy cause and enjoy gut-busting MBA humor, click on the link below…
Here’s the full lineup of this year’s CBS Follies:
Song: Cash Flows (Jai Ho):
A cheerful and fun Bollywood-style tutorial on how to calculate DCF! You’ll never need a CorpFin study guide again.
Skit: Mean Girls:
Our take on the seminal classic Mean Girls, where Cady Heron goes to Columbia Business School….on Zoom. Watch as she infiltrates “the Sponsoreds” and learns how to navigate the MBA jungle.
Song: Turnin 30:
Being an MBA in your 30s isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!
Skit: Love is Blind, MBA Edition:
Our take on Netflix’s Love is Blind, where quarantined MBAs representing different schools go on dates and agree to get married, without ever having seen each other! Watch out for HBS though, he may be making promises he can’t keep.
Skit: Cribs, CBS Edition:
For fans of MTV’s Cribs, come see what the digs look like for a Columbia Business School student in quarantine. Just make sure to stand six behind the protagonist.