business school anecdote


This little story is from when I was a graduate student at the New York University School of Business.

In one of the required, non-technical courses, we had to break up into groups, do a project, and then produce a report.

Quite a few of the students were business people getting their MBA’s.

A couple of the students in our group seemed to look down on me, perhaps because I wasn’t (as has always been the case) a good dresser and I wasn’t what one would call prepossessing.

We came up with a report, but it had to be wordsmithed for submission. I said I would do it. I can’t remember whether I was drafted or volunteered.

There was an overbearing, nattily dressed guy in the group, one of the business people pursuing an MBA. We had had no prior relationship, but it was apparent that he didn’t think well of me or trust me.

He kept saying: the report is due next week (next class). Do you understand that? Are you sure you’re going to do it in time for the next class?

I said yeah, yeah.

I wrote the report; it was ready the next week and was duly turned in. Nobody in our group said anything one way or the other.

At the next class on the following week, the report was returned back to us, graded. Our group got the best grade, an A+.

The professor wrote on the front page: “This reads exactly like a professional consultant’s report.”

I hadn’t spent that much time on it.


— Roger W. Smith

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