…if your goal is to leverage the degree into a high-paying corporate job, then the “brand name” truly matters. The idea of putting yourself into debt can be intimidating, especially if you’re not from a wealthy family. But the extra expense of a prestigious school will usually pay off
…Alumni network. Most high-powered executives simply won’t make time for an ambitious young professional—unless he or she is a student at his alma mater.
…Peer network. The best schools usually attract motivated, ambitious students—so if you attend one, in 10 or 15 years your peer network is likely to be orders of magnitude better than it would otherwise be.
…Recruiters. Finding excellent job candidates can be hard—therefore, many top firms take the short cut of recruiting from a limited number of high-calibre schools, which have essentially done the screening for them.
…Turbocharging your resume. There are certain powerful signals of professional accomplishment. If you become a Rhodes Scholar or attend Harvard or an IIM, that’s a permanent fact that most people will remember—and it will influence their perception of you. For the rest of your life, you’ll be marked as exceptional, because a high-quality brand has embraced you as one of its own. That alone is often worth the price of admission.
Chan joins a group of Silicon Valley billionaire spouses who are achievers in their own right rather than kept women or arm candy.
Laurene Powell Jobs earned an economics degree at Wharton then put in time at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before completing a Stanford MBA the same year she married the late Apple mogul Steve. She’s the co-founder of natural foods company Terraverra and education nonprofit College Track, and a mother of three. She also serves on the boards of the New America Foundation and Teach for America.
Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google billionaire Sergey Brin, has a degree in biology from Yale and co-founded biotech firm 23andMe, a genetic testing company that gives customers an analysis of their DNA for a relatively affordable price.
Then there’s Melinda Gates, the ultimate power partner. The former Melinda Ann French earned undergrad and MBA degrees from Duke before joining a young computer company called Microsoft in the late ’80s. She helped develop well-known products like the Encarta encyclopedia and the Expedia booking tool — and met the man she’d eventually marry, Bill Gates. Since, she’s taken the lead with the couple’s Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and earned a reputation as one of the world’s foremost philanthropists.
I hope to be half of a power couple some day…