Subscribe to our Rss Feed Follow me on twitter

TYRA BANKS To Graduate From Harvard Business School: Fun, Fierce & Financially Savvy!!

Filed under : Entertainment, Lifestyle

Tyra Banks is getting ready to graduate from Harvard’s Owner/President Management Program next month!

Go girl!

Last week the supermodel sat down with Harvard Business School (HBS)’s Associate Dean, Youngme Moon, in a casual 90-minute conversation which included students from the Business School for the school’s indie newspaper, The Harbus.

Tyra talked about her success and the reason she decided to attend HBS.

On why she decided to come to the Harvard Business School in the first place:

“There’s a difference between a career and a business”.  While Tyra loves her career, she wants to turn her brand into a sustainable, legacy business. Accordingly, she looks to Walt Disney and Virgin’s Richard Branson as role models.  “I’m not looking to build my company based on fans,” she said.  Rather, she feels a responsibility to spread her message of empowerment, self-esteem, and beauty in a way that’s consistent with her ethos and, hopefully, favorable to her bottom line.

On being compared to Oprah Winfrey:

 “The comparisons are extremely flattering, impossible to live up to and inconsistent with my goals,”

Tyra before the extremely expensive HBS’s Owner/President Management Program:

Tyra admits that her goals were “too audacious” and that business decisions often came from her gut.  After her first session of the program, she called an emergency whiteboard meeting for all of her Bankable Enterprises staff on the rooftop of Manhattan’s swanky Gramercy Hotel.  This, despite the fact that her Harvard professors had explicitly advised her to keep a two-week grace period post-HBS before making any drastic organizational changes.  Banks, however, was so “invigorated and energized” that she simply couldn’t wait.

Tyra now at the completion of her HBS education:

Banks understands that success is “not about being the biggest, but being the best.”

What does this mean?:

It means she is shifting her focus from scope to scale.

“Strategy is my strength, but I have too much diversification,” Banks admitted to the crowd.  Currently, she’s working with an executive coach to learn how to delegate rather than micromanage.

How she is as a TV personality vs being in the boardroom:

And despite having lived decades in the public eye, she’s still trying to toughen up.

“I wish I was hard,” Banks reveals.  “I have armor, but a strategic knife can still get in those creases.”

Tyra admitted to the crowd that the “character” she concocted for herself on America’s Next Top Model is quite different from who she is in real life, but that she “would love to have her in the boardroom” in all her fierce glory.

As a soon-to-be alum, Tyra couldn’t leave without dispensing a few words of wisdom for those wishing to emulate her successful career:

“It’s okay to be vulnerable.  Things don’t always have to be perfect.”

“You have a drive that the average person does not have.  I’ve just started to take care of myself, and you need to do that, too.”

“Don’t chase the money, even if you want to be a banker.  Chase the passion. Chase the dream.”


farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!