Like all graduate students, even MBAs can find the occasional late night to talk about their purpose in life. Many discovered theirs here at MIT Sloan. One classmate will help commercialize novel drugs and save lives, another will bring new technologies and services to third-world countries, and yet another will help grease the wheels of commerce by making sure our banking system functions better.
We found our calling at business school too: producing short-form video content and making fools of ourselves on the Internet each week. Our weekly web show, The MBA Show, tries — and sometimes succeeds – to take a humorous look at national news and lifestyle issues relevant to MBA students at top business schools. For 10 minutes every Thursday, two highly caffeinated MBA stereotypes react to the news stories that impact MBAs. One week we’ll talk about how McGill made the decision to raise tuition 1882%. Another week we might feature a guest who explains to the audience how they can improve their chances of landing a job by avoiding the mistakes of The MBA Show’s hosts.
We try to be mildly provocative. We think of the people we are on the show as characters. Unfortunately for us, our friends say that’s who we really are.
Like all good business ideas, this one was stolen. We interned this summer at Hubspot, a marketing software company in Cambridge that hosts an online TV show called HubspotTV. The whole company would assemble for the weekly tapings. At one recording session, we turned to each other and said, “You know, we could do that.”
Our first shows were furtive raids on MIT Sloan’s public spaces. We would sneak out of our internship, set up a laptop as a camera and deliver a show into the computer screen. The people at the tables around us thought we were crazy, but they clapped politely when we asked them to. Over time we became bolder, claiming more and more space for our impromptu set. Week by week our set up increased, first with a real camera, then lights, and then a backdrop. Following MIT hacking rules, we returned everything back to the way we found it. Each week, we waited for someone to tell us to stop. No one did. That was perhaps the best gift MIT gave us — leaving us alone to fail or succeed.
The question we get most often is: “What do you plan to get out of this?” We wish we had a better answer. For us, the show is the best part of our week. Arguing over the content, getting to goof around and know that people are watching, and thinking about what we can do better next week makes the rest of our MBA experience feel even more worthwhile. Hopefully, it also reminds the outside world that the stereotypes of MBAs are just that. Even more so, we hope it shows people that the stereotype of the nerdy MIT MBA is overstated. That said, we do perform detailed regression analytics on our traffic each week to derive strategies to increase viewership, but doesn’t everyone?
In MBA classrooms at MIT Sloan they teach the value of dominating an industry. In our innovation classes, professors emphasize the power of creating a new market segment that no one else has recognized. That’s why we are proud to graduate from MIT Sloan this spring as the leaders in the online video, short-form, MBA-themed, comedy, info-tainment industry.
Check out episodes of The MBA Show at www.TheMBAShow.com and subscribe to our newsletter while you are there for special bonus content.