The truth is, if you’re an Ivy League MBA student chances are, you’re going to be a great employee in a strategies firm that focuses on regional economic turnaround or international expansion processes but you’re dreaming if you think you’ll spearhead a campaign or sit at the negotiation table and lead. It’s simple; you just won’t have the skills.
The minimal relevance of the archaic formulas you memorize from self-proclaimed scholars stuck in the bubble of classroom economics will get you nowhere. The internship that you battle for in NYC or Boston or some other international hub is just a name on a resume but it will be validated by your contact portfolio and the right brain negotiation gifts from god which, if you’re reading this from Yale or Harvard most likely are missing from your abilities as you’ve kept your nose stuck in the binder of your text book while simultaneously lacking the motivation to get out there and get your head kicked in by people that have a well versed comprehension of ‘street economics’ (if you’re dying to comment and tell me that this was a run-on sentence, point made). You can’t learn how to fight if you’re afraid to walk into a dark alley alone.
Street Economics and Text Book Economics is a matter of theory and strategy. The pie in the sky theories so prevalent in your education will clash with the reality of street economics. Formulaic theory is great if you exist in an corporate high rise cubical and want to pound the keys of a calculator all day without looking up but if that’s the rout you want to take, pack up and move to India as those technical mind numbing jobs are always outsourced.
The world looks to US M and A Firms and international alliance facilitation firms for innovation and the ability to put the pieces of the puzzle together for those with left brain ailments and inability to comprehend concepts that step outside of a calculation and into the negotiation room. When I say negotiation I’m not talking about a used car salesmen or some Long Island intellectual automaton living in a condo talking big and name dropping to make up for their lack of track record.
By negotiation I mean the ability to sit down in a conference room with stadium seating with ten different groups and one hundred different demands and come to a conclusion that leaves everyone in the room feeling as if they got exactly what they wanted and you carry those contacts with you to the next project to strengthen your position and expedite the results for whatever economy needs reason and strategy to arise out of the chaos that is so typical in regionalized economics on the global scene.
EU strategies won’t work in the US. MENA region processes will not work in BRIC nations. Your education centers around overgeneralizations and ancient concepts not even remotely applicable to the ‘street economics’ you’re going to need if you actually plan on becoming a force in this industry. When a regional government under the scrutiny of the IMF comes to you for economic turnaround, what does your professor tell you from his nitwit, text book mindset? He’ll hand you a book of theory (untested of course) which talks about various stimulus programs which will never get to the root of the problem, therefore the issue remains and grows like cancer.
Regional and national economies are a matter of enforcing trade, piggybacking off of legislation, lobby support and contacts with precision focus, US Congressional influence, UN pressure point mechanics, EU participant influence with countries that matter (Britain, Germany, France etc.), rapport based alliances (Yes, it’s the good old boys club, get over it. You’re either inside or your outside.) and corporate contacts that can contribute to a think tank on how a district can capitalize off of localized elements in the ground, companies carrying the economy and strategies to offshore and bring in jobs. Offshoring works in reciprocating situations where a win/win is relevant and realistic.
You’re most likely angered by this enlightenment. Your professor will tell you not to worry and that your degree from a school considered to be ‘prestigious’ by mind midgets will take you places. You’ll try to take away from the contents in this post by telling yourself “I’m different, my last name is……” or “my father is………”, but at night, when it’s just you and the voice in your head, you’ll know that what I’ve said is valid and what you do after that will dictate how far you are able to go.