Snapshots from hell: the making of an MBA.



Transcription of Annotations

Notes on front endpaper: Conor who was he/what was he like. Poets/nonPoets. $160,000 full cost of business school. Underlinings/notes: Underlinings: Author's reason for writing the book, how he disguised people. Reagan suggests that he get in touch with Milton Friedman. Author's education, background, description of campus, selected Stanford because wanted to live in California. Lamb notes class composition and statistics and Stanford's methods of instruction, the grind of study, pressure of exams. Notes: "Reagan meeting," "Berlin," "W.H. six years," worked for Bush," "lawyers bored," "spreadsheets vs. words." Class included "financial director of a presidential campaign." "Portasol," "27 hours a day," "foreigners," "Help sessions," "Pass/Fail," "Michael Dukakis," "332 of 333 graduated," "most important people ever encountered."


Robinson, Peter, “Snapshots from hell: the making of an MBA.,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed November 29, 2022,


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Snapshots from hell: the making of an MBA.


Robinson, Peter


Program air date: December 18, 1994.


Each year tens of thousands of America's best, brightest, and most ambitious consider going to business school. The enticement is the chance to earn an impressive credential, the highly touted MBA degree. To be crass, they all want to make money. And if they don't flunk out, go crazy, or otherwise crash, some of them may even get their heart's desire. As his thirtieth birthday loomed and his friends began to acquire such grown-up possessions as homes and European cars, Peter Robinson, then a presidential speechwriter, decided the time had come to embark on a different, and more lucrative, career path. To this end, he applied and was accepted into Stanford business school's prestigious MBA program. What he quickly discovered was that business school was a more confusing and overwhelming experience than he had expected.During his first year at Stanford, Robinson began keeping the journal of day-to-day impressions and experiences that evolved into this book, the writing of which he began to see as "a simple act of decency, like going back to the last calm bend in the river and nailing up a sign that reads 'Waterfall Ahead!'" Unlike any previous book or glossy catalogue, it dares to answer, honestly and insightfully, the paramount question of every prospective student, the only question that matters: What is business school really like? In Snapshots from Hell, we follow Robinson from his first harrowing days at "math camp" through his valiant, sometimes triumphant, sometimes futile attempts to navigate his way through a dizzying phalanx of core courses. We experience the horror of a "cold call," the frenzy of exam week, the challenges of learning the language of a strange new world, and the pitfalls and triumphs of the interview process. We see what business school does to Robinson's up-and-down, long-distance romance. We are also introduced to a remarkable cast of characters, ranging from Robinson's fellow "poets," students who lack a business background, to "jocks," such as the 25-year-old future Captain of Industry who has entered business school to "position himself for a quantum leap in financial services." We see Robinson not only survive business school, but go on to be wined and dined by some of the biggest and most prestigious companies in the world. We experience Robinson's unforgettable vignettes from the phenomenon of corporate recruiting, including an almost surreal interview he had in London with the late media baron Robert Maxwell. Raising fundamental questions about the true value of a degree in business administration, Peter Robinson's soul-searching, no-holds-barred adventure does for business school what Scott Turow's classic One L did for Harvard Law. It is, in short, everything you wanted to know - and need to know - about how to succeed in business by succeeding as an MBA.


"Robinson, Peter, 1957-"
"Stanford University. Graduate School of Business."
"Business students--California--Stanford--Biography."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Warner Books
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


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