Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Season Opener: Why Business School Sucks: 5.01

Somewhat inexplicably, people turn to me for advice. So I thought I'd share of my thoughts and advice on business school. If you don't want to read the whole post, here's the point: it sucks and it's stupid.

Recently, I spoke with my little brother, who has recently finished his third year as a double-majoring business school student at a respected Midwestern university. I was wondering if maybe business school would've better prepared me for the world of work. I mean, after all, even Lloyd has an MBA from Stanford.

Relating my problems with my job (more on that in later posts) I asked my fledgling-CEO bro's advice on dealing with my issues in handling corporate structures.

As I told him, much of an assistant's job is deciding what exactly to tell one's boss-- and choosing what not to tell him/her. I asked if business school might've helped me in this regard. I asked if there was a 'Managing Your Manager' class taught at his prestigious business school.

"Not really," he said, "Business school's kinda focused on managing people. Like, below you. The point is that you train to be an executive, not a biyotch, I guess."

"Fair enough," I reply. After all, he's in one of the top business schools in the world. Surely, those business professors must know something, right? Doubtful. . . and stop calling me Shirley.

"Dude, seriously," I said to my brother, "that's what people really need-- a class that teaches you how to handle bosses and to both make them feel important and connected, without revealing enough that they want to micromanage anything."

Business stinks.
"No, they don't really have a class like that," he says. He adds: "It sounds helpful, though."

"They totally should," I say, "That's what you really need, you know? That and lessons on like, manipulating people into doing what you want them to do."

"Um, they don't really teach manipulation in business school," he says, but I can picture his smile.

"Because, Bro, that's what I need to know. I need to know how to get people like my boss to do what I think they should do. And they totally should because it would make them tons of money."

"That probably would be a useful skill," my little Bro admits.

"Maybe I should've majored in psychology or something," I wonder.

"So, um, seriously. What's going on with you?" my little brother asked, a note of concern creeping into his voice. This is unusual as my brother isn't a big concerned type of guy. I'm the sensitive brooder of the family, he's the big shy guy's guy.

"I'm just so fed up with this stuff, you know, all the corporate BS with my company and all that. I just want to say 'F**k it', you know? Start my own media empire."

"So, can I be CFO of your media empire?" he asks.

"Yes," I say, smiling. "You can totally be the CFO."

"Awesome," he says. "I'm in."

"Sweet. Now I just need like four million dollars in venture capital."

"I'll get right on that," he says.

And actually, he will be taking an upper-level business course in venture capitalism next year, per my advice. So I told him he'd need to learn how to manipulate the people on the other side of the table into giving me/us money. And that's why I should've majored in psychology.



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