On my way to work this morning, as my brain was on cruise-control while wishing today was Friday instead of Thursday, I was rudely brought out of my stupor when I heard a Creepy Old Man on the radio loudly say a word many of us use for male genitalia. And I remembered I have heard him say it before, many times actually. This morning, however, after a Wednesday night of too much vodka, it was especially annoying.
Then I realized what it was. Of course. Yet another puffed-up, ridiculously pretentious-sounding SMU Cox School of Business MBA advertisement. And fortunately for me, it is always laced with a bit of ironic humor as I think about how some stuffy, 50-year-old director of marketing at SMU likely wrote these ads, and even more likely implored Mr. Creepy in the recording studio to over-emphasize the “powerfulness” of the name SMU Cox, ignorant to the genius comedy he or she was producing for the rest of the Metroplex that very day. And powerful it certainly is. Yikes. Like nails on a chalkboard.
But that isn’t even the entertaining part to me. As I continue to listen to exaggerated statements about how powerful this education is, and how it is the only place where the “Dallas Business Elite” have gone to obtain their MBAs, I'd say my CEO of a $5B company would disagree, and I have to wonder just how “elite” the likely 20-30% of those who graduated last May feel as they continue to search for that elusively prestigious, high-paying job they were promised upon acceptance.
I can just see it now, as each one of them received their acceptance letters many months or years ago, so excited about the promise their careers held as Creepy had conveyed to them on the radio before they accidentally stumbled into a 670+ GMAT score. Then came the whirlwind of Harvard case studies, lectures from professors with no real-world experience all day, and adderall-induced dreams of future CEO fast-tracking all night.
And then, Creepy surprised me. He finally, at the end of the ad, spoke truth. He let his listeners know that the kind of education you choose says a lot about who you are as a person. And he is so very right.
And those are the exact same sentiments I might have to assume the CEO of my company had when choosing his MBA… SMU = $85,000? Or almost any other public school in Texas, one just 15 miles up Central Expressway, for half the price and a better ranking?
I’m not sure what the latter decision might do for me during a chat over cocktails at Fearings, but I do know what the former would do for me as a CEO one day whose decision to spend twice as much on something I could have gotten for half the price would likely send me into retirement by my board much earlier than anticipated.
So, yes, Mr. Creepy Old Man. The education you choose does say a lot about you. And for your non-scholarshipped graduates, it boldly proclaims their proud foray into the wonderful world of Dallas Debt, in an effort to actually monetize & purchase social status and business acumen.
I guess I’m just not so sure that is a selling point you want to over-emphasize… maybe just stick to the male genitalia line. That at least woke me up this morning more than coffee ever could. And I’d pay a lot more than $85K over my lifetime for that to happen each day… mainly because I’m debt-free, so I can, Coxsuckers.