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Home > Blog > How Harvard MBAs Define Success
Out of Our Minds
Thursday, June 15, 2006 6:00 PM
How Harvard MBAs Define Success
Anita Sharpe on Making a Difference

What are the top job priorites of MBAs today and how has that changed over the last decade?

A Harvard Business School professor and a 1996 graduate of the school asked 140 grads in 1996, 2001 and this year how they defined sucess.  In '96 and '01, the grads ranked, in descending order of importance:
 
* Personal satisfaction or "balance"
* Respect of their peers
* CEO or CFO post at a major company
 
High salaries ranked last.
 
This year, balance, financial security and corporate power were the top three goals, with "respect by peers" ranking last. But here's what's especially interesting: many grads said they were looking for "impact," which they defined as "making a real difference or a positive difference to society."
 
What do you make of this? I interpret it as further validation that the world of work and business is in the midst of a fundamental change (for the better.)
 
For the full story, go here.




3 comments

hidar - 9/8/2006 3:57:42 PM
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Greg Lumpkin - 6/16/2006 11:23:17 PM
I'm sorry, but the goals for this year seem "disjointed". They want:

1. Balance

2. Financial Security

3. Corporate Power

But at the same time they want to make a positive impact on society.

Most working people want (need) balance. The same goes for financial security. But it's been my experience that the type of person who lists Corporate Power as their third highest priority or goal in life isn’t exactly the kind of person who cares about society.
Cory - 6/16/2006 9:36:07 AM
Sorry but i dont believe this. Certainly not back then. It rings hollow, like the kind of stuff I would have said to a professor if he had asked. Do we really think that balance would be anywhere near the top in 1996? Ha. Or 2001 after dotcom boom? As for now, I give it a maybe at best. Have kids really changed much from my generation?

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