Classwork sure beats catching crappies: "The Stanford MBA community of students and faculty believe the sky is the limit and prepare accordingly. What a shock, what a positive motivational shock, to upgrade from fishing license limitations to no limitations at all. At Stanford, the community of smiling overachievers, the students treat each other as if success is not a zero-sum game. They are nice people."
It wasn't all smiles: "What I disliked the most was interviewing for jobs. I had never worked in an office before. I wore an ill-fitting pinkish Pierre Cardin suit and had a big galoot mustache, so most campus reps wrote me off before question one. In the end, I threw away my résumé and created a 'Do-ers Profile' featuring myself landing an eight-foot shark and sharing my most recent accomplishments. I found some kindred spirits in advertising, and that helped me organize my last year of studies."
Favorite class: Organizational behavior.
Biggest influence: Peter Keen, then a professor, today an IT consult­ant. "One class, he stopped in the middle of a lecture and said, 'You are all going to make plenty of money, even though it doesn't feel like it right now. What would you really like to do if money wasn't the object?' My answer was to try to create an adult Disneyland where people could role-play with computers instead of with actors on a set."
Was the education worth the expense? "There is no substitute for a deep understanding of maximizing profits by pushing until marginal revenue equals marginal cost. But the most important opportunity Stanford gave me was to reset myself in the rich potting soil of Silicon Valley."
Bottom-line recommendation for prospective MBAs: "It's a very hefty investment of money and opportunity for anyone who already loves their job. But it's a great way to change tracks for someone who is bored or dead-ended."