The VICE Guide to Business School
Justin Dett is the pseudonym of a graduate of a top-tier business school who wants to remain anonymous because he’d like to work again at some point in his life.
The people who make up your typical business school class come in all shapes and sizes and colors, but the one thing they have in common is their attraction to money. They fucking love it, and they love making it. They’re also probably quite a bit further along in terms of tangible life developments than the stereotypical aimless 20-something who is still struggling to hold down an apartment, a job, and a relationship at the same time. I’m not here to judge anyone’s chosen career path, and if making artisanal mayonnaise in Brooklyn is how you’d like to eke out the rest of your existence, more power to you. I will eat the shit out of it. But if you want to actually afford that fancy mayo, along with a host of other fun luxury goods that will—I don’t care what anyone says—make you happy, you need to get your ass to business school and get a Master’s in Business Administration.
It should come as no surprise that an MBA is way more financially valuable than the degree you have in gender theory or media studies or whatever piece of paper you get after writing long essays on Deleuze. Forty of the 100 best-paid American CEOs have MBAs, and believe me, those guys are some rich assholes.
The MBA is the biggest loophole in corporate America. The hardest part is getting into business school, but once you’re in, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want: It’s virtually impossible to fail, and employers don’t ask for your grades. When you graduate, and find a job—it’s pretty much inevitable that someone will hire you—you’re guaranteed to make boatloads of money; and remember, that’s what this whole thing is about. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the median salary of a newly minted MBA was $90,000 in 2012, and MBAs made, on average, $40,000 more than lowly peons with mere bachelor’s degrees.
You can’t fight the rich, so why not join them? Here’s how:
Getting admitted to business school is the hardest part. If you can’t get into a “top” school, you’re wasting your time. For obvious reasons, more and more people want to get an MBA, and more and more shitty schools have started offering shitty MBA programs, so MBAs are a dime a dozen in the US. You have to focus on one of the 25 or so best schools and ignore the other ones, because your prospects of getting a top job on Wall St. diminish rapidly when you graduate from Northern Eastern Southern Cocksucker State. Only 10 to 20 percent of applicants get into the worthwhile institutions, so you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Business schools are obsessed with statistics—namely GPAs and GMAT scores—because that’s how they convince saps like you to spend $100,000 on tuition. The higher the average GPA and GMAT score for an admitted student, the “smarter” the student, and therefore, the more exclusive the school. That means that if you fucked off in college, or if you suck at standardized tests, I can’t help ya pal. Sorry. Time to go back to mopping floors and playing scratch cards.
The next thing schools look at is your work experience and extracurricular activities, which are difficult to quantify, but almost more important than grades and GMAT scores. The good news is that business schools pride themselves on the diversity of their student bodies, and most of the bros and hos who apply to Business School are investment bankers and consultants—so your experience interning for a digital fashion start-up and “helping” with your friend’s music video will be a breath of fresh air for the admissions committee, as will your recommendation letters from people who aren’t your fraternity brothers.
Paying for It
Uh-oh. You got into a dope business school and have enjoyed a hazy week of showing up to experimental music shows and drunkenly telling people you’re getting an MBA to watch their facial expressions, but now you face the challenge of coming up with the $75,000 per year required to cover tuition and living expenses, and you aren’t rich just yet.
Unfortunately, most scholarships are probably off the table for you. If you’re a white male who hasn’t invented a perpetual motion machine and volunteered in several African countries, you’re completely screwed, and though there are typically more scholarships available for women, minorities, and the foreign-born, at most elite institutions, these will be taken by super-achievers who have already accomplished more with their lives than you ever will. Even if you luck out and get one, very few will cover all of your tuition, not to mention the money you will continue to spend on rent, deli salads, partying, and, as you go through business school, actual clothes a grown-up wears to work.
Some of you will have the luxury of hitting up the Bank of Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Stepdad, Rich Uncle, or Wealthy Suitor, etc., but if that isn’t an option either, don’t fret. Just getting into business school means that you’re already part of the 1 percent in the eyes of our nation’s financial institutions. That means you’re eligible for loans so large and uncollateralized that they would make even the most spendthrift subprime Floridian homebuyer splooge his pants. With only an admissions letter, yours truly was able to borrow almost six figures, even without providing a Social Security Number.
I remember hearing this word a lot when I was at b-school, so I though I’d include it as a section. Upon further reflection, I have no fucking idea what it means, so let’s move on.