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What They Teach You at Harvard Business School Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141046481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141046488
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the son of an English clergyman and a Burmese mother, was born in Bangladesh, grew up in the UK, have lived in London, New York, Paris and Boston and now live in Northwestern Connecticut. I graduated from Oxford with a BA and MA in Classics, then spent ten years as a newspaper reporter mainly for The Daily Telegraph of London. From 1998-2002, I was the paper's New York correspondent and from 2002-2004 it's Paris Bureau Chief. During that time I reported on scores of events from more than 20 countries, led our newspaper's coverage of the 9/11 attacks on New York, and interviewed politicians, movie stars, religious conservatives and libertines. In 2004, I decided to leave Paris and go to Harvard Business School, where I received my MBA in 2006, an experience I wrote about in Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School. Since then, I have worked at Apple, developing an internal executive education program, as a writer at the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Education, and as a contributing columnist to the Financial Times. In 2012, I was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome, when I had the extraordinary experience of meeting and interviewing Silvio Berlusconi. I am married and have two sons and a dog.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Yass on November 21, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
This is an excellent book about one man's experience of the MBA program itself, which is very rare to find. Not only does he approach the subject critically and brings it down to earth, but he also magnificently captures some of the real nuts and bolts of having no influence over the classmates you will have - just the school. Noteworthy are also his observations and first hand accounts of the pressures to accept those high-flying post-MBA offers.
Anybody considering an MBA, or being just about to kick one off, this is a must read to warm yourself up. Two thumbs up.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. Elston on July 13, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
This book was never intended as a complete overview or guide to what Harvard teaches its MBA students, rather it is a personal journal of one student's journey through the Harvard MBA. Its original title: "Ahead of the Curve" was a definitely a better title and would likely have led to less confusion among some people expecting a textbook. The book is well written and an enjoyable read, it provides a broad brush overview of key topics covered in a top MBA as well as the general experience of attending a competitive school. It gives a good overview of the general MBA experience (especially for more mature students) and would be a good read for anyone considering / or currently doing an MBA. I am currently 3/4 of the way through my MBA and I definitely found that many of his experiences resonated with me. From the arguments over Unidentified Industries and Baron Coburg, to our own class Mindi. The book is probably aimed at those of us a little more cynical and as such I enjoyed the hours the book helped me pass on a plane. Again, I must repeat it is not an in-depth teaching or review companion to Harvard's MBA, but within its experiential niche it is a worthwhile read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roger @ Chronic Pain on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book is a story about a smart and sensitive male journalist and his observations of Harvard Business School (HBS), his trials to break free of the rut of many graduates, and how he put the education to personal use. In the process Philip Broughton teaches the unlearned many business concepts, and tells both what can be learned at HBS and the "teaching methodology" of the school. His information is intertwined with the story of his own life, giving the information a personal warmth and believable aspect, pulling the reader from page to page. If also instilled in me, a 66 year old reader, the desire to learn more of what is taught in an MBA program. I highly recommend Mr. Broughton's book for reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. A Netzley on July 1, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
If you are interested in Harvard or the MBA experience, then I would recommend this book as a good read during air travel or on summer holiday. Well written and easy to read, I completed the book in two evenings and along the way learned a few things. But I suspect the real reason some might enjoy this book is because it offers a glimpse into a world most of us will never know--the Harvard MBA experience. The read is a little bit voyeuristic, in this sense.

The author shares with us key ideas learned in both the required courses and also electives. Finance is about valuation, and in particular risk-adjusted valuation. If competitors can easily replicate what you are doing, then that is not much of a strategy. And of course we also get one person's perception of the faculty and students. At times this view leaves us impressed, as is the case with strategy Prof Felix (who I have met, and I agree with the author). At other times the experience seems like an bubble holding in the insanity as we see students chasing interviews with banks or when we understand just how debt is used (and business people take their cut).

My only real disappointment is that we don't get a clear answer to what the author decided to do after graduation. I won't ruin the ending, but perhaps the answer is deceptively simple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
The title is a bit deceiving, it is a biography about his years at Harvard. That being said, it is full of his experiences, feeling and emotions on his journey. I have talked to several friends and others who have told me that getting an MBA is not what they expected and I should really think deeply about if I actually wanted to do it. They tried to explain what it was like and their experiences, but I never fully understood their caution. I feel this book has explained what the others had difficulty explaining to me. I still want to pursue it, however I have a much better idea of what I would be facing and all the challenges academically, mentally, emotionally as well as what to do after I graduate.
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