MBA News: HBS Students Becoming More Entrepreneurial?

As the financial crisis wreaked havoc on the global economy, many critics complained that business schools were turning out far too many managers who understood how to use Excel to eek out the narrowest of profits, rather than creating innovators who would start the next Intel or Google. However, the pendulum may be starting to swing away from banking and consulting, though it swung so far toward these fields that it has a long way to go to even out. Today, the New York Times’ Dealbook (“Rejecting Wall Street, Graduates Turn Entrepreneurs Instead”) profiles two HBS students who are starting an online baby-oriented business in Brazil. In this article, HBS professor of entrepreneurship William Sahlman tells Dealbook that 30–40 businesses were started by graduates of the Class of 2010 (presumably by 30–40 graduates), up 50% over prior years. For those who are unaware, HBS has approximately 900 students in each class, and these students are supposedly the best and the brightest business minds internationally … but less than 4% start their own companies. So, maybe not so many are really “rejecting Wall Street” after all.

Admissions note: The two entrepreneurs who are profiled, Kimball Thomas and David Smith, defy the stereotype that HBS accepts only “younger” candidates—Thomas is 31 and Smith is 32.

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