MBA Front Lines

Professors, faculty members, and second-year students at ten of America’s most recognized business schools contribute survival advice and lessons.

Balance. Teamwork. Vision.


Every day, tens of thousands of aspiring MBAs strive to define and achieve the meaning behind these oft-used, yet seldom grasped buzzwords. They attempt to prioritize the competing interests of homework, club activities, and recruiting. They struggle to collaborate and learn with virtual strangers. They continually reevaluate and redefine their goals and aspirations for the future.

Business-school professors unanimously agree that self-discovery is just as significant as the case studies, cold calls, and problem sets associated with traditional classroom work. Unlike those tangible tasks, however, there are no correct or incorrect answers to the everyday questions that bombard B-school students.

Fortunately, coaches, survivors, and gurus abound.

In honor of the classes of 2001, Fast Company has compiled the following MBA survival guide. We have spoken with professors, faculty members, and entering second-year students at ten of America’s most recognized and respected business schools in order to glean from them lessons, advice, and insight concerning their individual schools, and the MBA experience in general.

The Anderson School at UCLA

Columbia Business School


The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Harvard Business School

Kellogg Graduate School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management

Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • Advice from Sherrie Taguchi, assistant dean and director of the MBA program
  • Advice from George G.C. Parker, assistant dean for academic affairs and director of the MBA program

University of Chicago Graduate School of Business


University of Michigan Business School

The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania