Davar’s message to Thiel is delivered online at BusinessWeek, in an article that originally appeared in Anderson’s student publication the Anderson Exchange. Davar’s piece is a response to Thiel’s public disdain for MBAs (Davar notes that Thiel characterized MBAs as “sheep” that act with “herd-like thinking and behavior.”)
Thiel fails to recognize that business school grads are jumping into traditional sectors such as health care, energy, and government eager for the chance to have an impact in these mature industries. Take Anderson School of Management grad Thomas de Fresart (’14). After he launched SolarWing, a clean tech startup, he decided to pursue an MBA. He wants to “transform the electricity market” by working at an established utility company, EDF Renewable Energy. Such pursuits are not sheep-like.
Thiel’s position on business school graduates is unfortunate, because a graduate business degree offers more opportunities to experience new fields than any other graduate program. MBAs seek access to this wide array of paths in part to do work that has meaning and not get pigeonholed into unfulfilling jobs.
Davar also notes that “the value of an MBA continues to rise, with the percentage of MBAs jumping 30 percent over the past five years,” according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. He concludes with a message to Thiel:
Mr. Thiel, you have an open invitation to visit Anderson and share more of your perspective with us. We love a lively debate. It expands our world and helps avoid groupthink.