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What a Harvard Business School MBA Doesn’t Teach You

300px-Aerial_of_the_Harvard_Business_School_campusWith just days to go before he graduates, Harvard Business School (HBS) student Ben Faw compiled a list of things he didn’t learn at HBS into a compelling infographic that quickly became one of the most popular blog posts on LinkedIn earlier this week. Since Clear Admit readers often have HBS in their sights, we thought we’d share some of Faw’s insights here.

An army combat veteran, Faw had the idea to dispel some of the misconceptions he thinks people sometimes have about the MBA, and especially about the HBS MBA. With the assistance of fellow classmates and a local startup, he helped create an informative post to tackle the myths one by one.

Contrary to what many may believe about HBS, people matter more than money, Faw writes. “Prior to attending business school, I was warned that HBS was filled with people willing to do anything to make inordinate amounts of money and that it is not the place to meet or build true friendships.” His experience has shown just the opposite. “I will graduate from Harvard Business School in a few days with many authentic relationships that have already been incredibly rewarding and made me a better version of myself. These amazing bonds are priceless and define my experience here,” he writes.

Another popular misconception is that the only way to make an impact is by heading to Wall Street. Faw cites HBS data on placement locations for recent graduates to show that, in fact, HBS graduates are heading to the West Coast in ever greater numbers and are taking jobs in product management, marketing, sales and general management. “In a dramatic shift versus a decade ago, technology jobs are just as sought as roles in finance,” he writes.

Think more is better? Think again, says Faw. One of the things HBS did teach him is that he can’t have everything. At HBS – and indeed at most top business schools – students will be exposed to hundreds of classmates who would all be valuable additions to their network. But, pretending to get to know them all is foolhardy, says Faw. “We have to invest – fully and deeply – in the few people and things that make us the happiest. Only then can we make a truly meaningful impact as future business leaders,” he writes.

These are just a few of the takeaways Faw shares from his time at HBS. Read his complete post, “What my MBA at Harvard Did Not Teach Me.”