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Current Chicago Booth Student Touts Value of MBA for Entrepreneurs

An MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business this week shared her perspective in Forbes on why an MBA makes sense for entrepreneurs. Stella Fayman, who is concurrently launching a startup while pursuing an MBA at Booth, wrote in part in response to an op-ed earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal advising startups not to hire MBAs.

Rattling off 12 successful companies all started by MBAs from top business schools – Angie’s List, GrubHub, Warby Parker and Yelp, just to name a few – Fayman offers three main arguments in favor of the MBA: They attract top talent, they can be a “sandbox” for starting a company and they provide structured support.

“MBA programs are intensely competitive, with top 10 programs having an acceptance rate of less than 10 percent,” Fayman writes. “This means that by taking part in a program, you’ll be exposed to people with experiences that will blow your mind.” These classmates will become your future network and may even include future business partners, she notes.

Surrounded by these smart, ambitious people, in an environment where you can recruit for a job in the event that your idea doesn’t pan out, and with the structured mentorship and access to resources that many top schools provide through entrepreneurship centers – that’s business school, Fayman writes.

The decision, for an entrepreneur, of whether or not to go the MBA route is personal and should depend on your own experiences and goals, Fayman acknowledges. “So the best first step is to talk to people who you admire on both sides of the fence, analyze the alternatives and look at your long term goals,” she advises.

Read Fayman’s complete Forbes article, “Should Entrepreneurs Get an MBA?”