Sunday, June 28, 2015


I was at a business networking event some time ago and got talking to a guy whom I'll call Leon.

He was born in Malaysia but grew up and studied in America, worked in Silicon Valley within the IT industry, then decided to come back here and begin his own tech startup company (at the time of speaking they'd had a number of apps under their belt and had built a couple of online retail platforms.)

We were talking about some of the inner works of running a lean startup and he shared that one of their ways of getting manpower while keeping costs low was to hire interns.

He told me that he personally screened through all resumes and interviewed all candidates (oh the things you do as an lean startup, even as the Founder and CEO!). At the interviews, one question he asked in partly in jest and partly of curiosity was why each candidate chose to go to the university they were at.

He received varied responses to his question, such as 

  •  Ranked number XX standing among local private universities in Malaysia.  
  • Partner of XX university in Australia / America / UK hence able to obtain an overseas degree upon graduation.
  • Good reputation among employers / better employment advantages.  

I asked him what he thought of those responses.

   " Honestly as an employer, on paper all these universities are the same to me. Only unless you went to some Ivy league school like Harvard I'd sit up and take notice. " 

   " But do you know what's the true value of a Harvard education? It's not the ranking or the reputation or the prestige or the employer credibility. They're nice to have, but not the most valuable. "

   " They say that you become alike the people you surround yourself with. Most people at Harvard go on to become very successful in life. If you are a part of that circle, you are likely to go on to be very successful yourself. "

   " The network, contacts, and lifelong relationships that you build and develop - that is the highest value of a Harvard education. "

   " Unless you're aware of this, you will have lost out greatly and going to school at Harvard will be a waste of your resources, time, and money. "

No comments:

Post a Comment