The self-aggrandizing (aka self-important) vs the self-discovering (aka self-actualized)…
It ultimately goes back to the question of “why?”. Like in any major undertaking, some people get MBAs for the right reasons, and some get them for the wrong reasons. Those who are searching for meaning and passion in their career endeavors are the ones who’d gladly get their MBA at Billy Bob’s Trucking School despite their admit to HBS if they felt the fit and connection was better at BBTS.
Most of the reason that HBS has so many billionaire alums is not because of the education itself – any number of schools can prepare you as rigorously as the crowned jewel of Boston. The reason HBS alums are so dominant is the type of people who apply there. Armed with an HBS admit (i.e. assuming a top tier candidate), I believe that person could attend any of the top 20 schools and become just as successful over the long haul (perhaps more so). My point is: going to the school doesn’t make you a profit-creating monster. If you’re capable of securing a top3 admit, you’re capable of nearly anything. Use your talents wisely.
But MBA people (from what little I’ve seen) are more wrapped up in going to the most prestigious school they can get into so they’ll have the name on their resume. Boo. You disappoint me… you who are supposed to be the great ethical business leaders of the information age. Go where you fit. This includes school, company, geography, church, circle of friends, etc. If you are not comfortable, you will not be operating at full capacity. Why is business school any different?
Maybe I’m wrong… there’s a first time for everything 😉