This is admittedly an odd post to be publishing on a blahg selling services to help you get into business school, but there it is.
Go watch this Exhibit A video:
Of course, that advice is 100% sound. It’s what we help applicants do in positioning themselves for success in their apps!
But that video….
That video is SO polished. It is SO slick. It is so obviously intentionally produced as MARKETING.
Not marketing Harvard Business School. Marketing the companies that are featured in it.
You get three beautiful students who are so incredibly amazing that they made meaningful contributions in entirely new industries in only 10 weeks during summer internships.
Yeah, we know, that’s the premise behind the summer internship experience that most MBA students at all schools are supposed to be going through.
EXCEPT IT’S NOT.
An internship is where you’re an intern — someone new to the field who is learning how it works. Who by definition knows little to nothing about it.
Yes, the companies that hire interns are hoping to get a return on their investment and have the interns actually be productive.
But who are we kidding. In your first three months of any new job, did you really learn much more than where to find the restroom?
Yet this is touted as if these ah-ma-zing Harvard students are so fabulous that they hit the ground running and learned a full statistical programming language (R) and used it to product insights on a new industry they’d never worked in before.
We’re really not trying to harsh on these students. This is ALL the fault of the marketing department at Harvard Business School who came up with this ridiculous concept and sold it to the companies that come recruiting on campus.
THIS IS A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO TO EMBELLISH THE BRAND OF HARVARD AND BOOST UP SOCIAL MEDIA SIGNALS FOR THE COMPANIES WHO DO THEM A FAVOR BY HIRING THEIR GRADUATES.
No. Didn’t think so.
Instead we get taken on a tour of trendy offices with open-floor layouts and smart-looking people in white lab coats. The video is pretending that this is everyday life and how all interns breeze through their days. How brilliant they all must be! So successful!
This is so polished it’s ridiculous.
Truly, we apologize to those three HBS students — this is NOT directed at them. We know they must be incredibly accomplished or they never would’ve made it to Harvard!!!
But that’s kind of the point.
Why does HARVARD need to produce a video like this?
C’mon people, IT’S HARVARD!
We know your students are smart. We know they’re super accomplished.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS VIDEO?
Who is the intended audience? What is the reaction supposed to be?
The only thing we can tell is it’s intended to boost social signals FOR THESE THREE FIRMS in a modern-day quid pro quo.
They may all be wonderful companies.
This may have been produced with no conscious ill intent.
It’s just marketing. It’s just showcasing our students.
But puh-lease people. Why the need for this – what is it meant to actually convey?
Yes this struck a chord.
Because it just seems so disingenuous.
Like, Harvard Business School needs to market in this way?
They’ve already got 10,000 poor souls a year falling over themselves trying to get in.
This video, dunno, for some reason it comes across as really pompous and smarmy. The students are being taken advantage of, like they’re the product that this gleaming machine is spitting out.
It just feels somehow a teensy tiny bit evil, like we should be looking closer, opening up the hood, examining.
What is really going on here?
Is this our 2019 Stepford Wives???!?
And so, a challenge.
For any bschool admissions folks who may wander into this post:
Why not BE AUTHENTIC yourselves and share what the MBA really is like?!???
And for all of you interestd in bschool, for those of you wanting to change the world, for all of you professing your interest in making a difference, for those gearing up to this next exciting phase of your careers:
Maybe what the world needs is less spin and more real.