Capitalize on the Impact of an Ivy League MBA

by Olive Sundwall

If You've Got It, Work It: Get that Ivy League MBA.

Do not act shy, polite or naive. An advanced degree from an ivy league school puts you in the fast lane to the pinnacle of the corporate ziggurat Ivy on the diploma always has converted to cash value—sometimes to the power of ten. The roads to Wall Street and Washington go only through Ivy League whistle-stops. Read the writing on the wall, literally: If your grad school admits only the upper one tenth of one percent in grade averages and test scores, then your degree and regalia prove you belong among the elite. An Ivy League masters degree in business, government or economics testifies not only to your exceptional intellect but also to your competitiveness and determination. Your ivy-covered diploma represents your admission ticket to the corridors of power.

Advantages of an Ivy League education

Do not let fees and finances discourage or deter you. If the Ivy League school admits you, it will help you find money to attend. Fellowships and "assistantships" abound. Set aside concerns about cost and focus on the value of Ivy League intangibles. Your Ivy League program comes with all the most desirable options built-in--high standards, great expectations, demands for rigorous scholarship and relentless peer pressure toward exceptional achievement. Consider the undeniable benefits of an Ivy League experience:

Smart classmates make you smarter. Business school curricula do not vary dramatically, but students’ competitiveness and collegiality do. Ivy League students frequently say, “You can just feel electricity in the air, and your classmates bring out your best.” Ivy Leaguers master the subtleties and intricacies of being simultaneously fierce rivals and fast friends; their careers will demand both.

Difficult classes demand better preparation. In Ivy League MBA programs, a B-plus represents a failing grade. Faculty demand exhaustive, detailed research and reporting. Professors expect their students to read the famous books and the books about the famous books. One of the first women to graduate from her alma mater’s business program, now a high-powered corporate executive, honestly reports, “All the stereotypes of pioneering women working doubly hard to prove themselves against the men applied in my case. At the time I hated it; now, I feel grateful for it. Everything since grad school has seemed easy by comparison with the work I did for my MBA.”

The Ivy League enforces high standards. Ranking elite schools against one another, the College Board and U.S. News and World Report assess not only the quality of faculty research, publication and leadership but also the power and prestige of alumni accomplishments. Evaluators expect alumni of elite universities to claim their places among the corporate, political and academic elite. Therefore, “tradition of excellence” translates to exceptionally high expectations for scholarship and even higher standards for performance. Most Ivy League alumni agree their diplomas open doors that might otherwise remain barred, “but the pressure to excel never goes away,” they say. One Ivy League alum says with mixed awe and joy, "Last year, one of my classmates was a candidate for the Nobel Prize. He was just another nerd when I knew him."

Low-income students especially benefit. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The rich are different.” The Princeton flunk-out suggested the elite carry themselves with self-assurance others cannot master. The Ivy League provides proof of Fitzgerald's postulate. For a student from Compton, Newark or Tehachapi, time at an Ivy League graduate school combines coursework with a cultural plunge. The student learns salad forks with forecasting, soup spoons with supply and demand. Ivy league students especially learn to read their competitors' "tells" so they know precisely when to go all-in. When “Jenny from the block” occupies the corner office, she will need these skills and insights.

One executive recruiter says candidly, “On the giant corporate 'Monopoly' board, where you start has huge influence on where you finish. That ivy league degree sends you past 'start' already a lap ahead of the competition with houses and hotels on all your properties.”

This post was written by Olive Sundwall

Olive Sundwall writes full-time for education blogs nationwide. She writes for where you can find out more about their masters of science in finance.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Josefina Odon June 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

Keep working ,remarkable job!


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