Having finally made it to business school after a year of thinking about it, planning, applying etc., I’m going through information overload. To say it’s a lot different then I envisioned would be an understatement.
Last September when I started thinking about going back to school, an article came out in the New Yorker talking about why girls shouldn’t go to business school. Here it is!
There are a lot of points in that article that I could spend plenty of time agreeing or disagreeing with. However, right now I’m talking about this idea that b-school has an inherent “frat house” mentality. The writer in the New Yorker phrased it very eloquently by referring to a “kill, marry… ” game that I’ve heard being played and rolled my eyes thinking “boys will be boys”.
The notion that B-School is a hostile environment for women is pretty prevalent. I heard that sentiment echoed over and over again in articles, the news, from friends and family.
So, I arrived at b-school and was disappointed to find that our class actually only has 13 females. This induced a major eye roll and I geared up for non stop uncomfortable situations where I, as a woman, would not feel that I belonged.
I’m now in my third week and this is just plain WRONG. Coming from the technology sector, I know what being the only girl in a “boys club” feels like and this is not it. The men in b-school are some of the most professional, considerate, polite, and respectful men I’ve ever met. And they aren’t presenting a facade that falls when the females are gone.
These are forward thinking idealists. I have discussed the subject with several men in our course who recognize the benefit of having females in the classroom and the business world.
They are here to develop a better version of themselves and, I believe, they can see that self development includes respect in the face of any and all diversity. On that note, I’m recognizing much more inclusion and acceptance of international students than even 6 years ago when I started undergraduate business school.
I predict that the “frat house” mentality of B-School will not be characteristic of millenial MBAs. Communication tools have made the world a smaller place to do business, creating the benefit of greater diversity. This has created an environment of acceptance and tolerance, which includes woman.
The boys in this program are not the stereotypical b-school meatheads I was expecting and I genuinely think that that stereotype will soon be a thing of the past.