Magazine article Management Today

Business Lifeforms: The MBA Student

Magazine article Management Today

Business Lifeforms: The MBA Student

Article excerpt

Miles Knight hopes that a part-time degree course will bring full-time wealth.

In case you didn't know, Miles Knight is doing an MBA at LCE. Yes, after 10 glorious, thrusting years as a consultant (plus an ill-advised foray into dot.commery that we don't mention), Miles has persuaded his company to fund a part-time MBA. Two-thirds of his time is spent at Apela Consulting (one of the big five or four or three) and the remainder at the LCE (best or second-best or fifth-best European school, depending on which survey you believe). The workload, he'll tell you, is pretty onerous. But worth it, definitely. 'Yah, you see, with an LCE MBA, you can add pounds 40k to your salary, minimum. I think of it as taking Me plc to the next level.' At least, this is what the LCE faculty has told him and he's not about to be disabused of the notion.

To say that Knight is self-possessed is to understate the obvious. Watch him swagger across LCE's Palladian lawns among Europe's soi-disant future business leaders; marvel as he buys a round in the pub next to the school on his Amex gold card; gasp as he defends laissez-faire economics, an Economist op-ed made flesh - and with the steadfast conviction of one who has never been poor; thrill as he motors back to his swanky Notting Hill flat into the arms of his tall, blonde girlfriend, herself a high-flying corporate lawyer.

Miles is one of those people whose entire life has been one effortless glide upwards: public school, Cambridge, consultancy, that - ahem - dot.com, and now an LCE MBA! Envious colleagues joke that one of the shortest books in the world would be My Struggle by Miles Knight. Perhaps it's unsurprising that he and his LCE chums strut around with a sense of place that would make an American heiress blush. Miles believes that he richly deserves it all: he is the kind of person who finds the second half of Bonfire of the Vanities profoundly depressing.

Among the LCE crowd, Miles is not atypical, nor even worst among equals.

Take his mate Piers. The photo on Piers' LCE application form showed him in front of his Ferrari, the effect rather like one of those Athena posters from the 1980s. Piers boasts that this was the key to his successful application: it 'differentiated me upwardly'. It certainly differentiated him - faculty still refer to him as 'that wanker with the Ferrari', and his successful application was despite this and entirely down to pots of money and connections.

Miles considers Piers something of a role model. …

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