Meet MBA Mikey. He’s the powerhouse behind Instagram’s premiere MBA meme account. Accounts like @mba_mikey offer a breath of comic relief in the otherwise stressful environment of business school and the corporate world. His content touches on corporate culture, MBA programs, the struggles of business students, ridiculous LinkedIn posts, Wall Street, co-workers and more.
But if you want to follow him and see these memes firsthand, there’s a catch. MBA Mikey is one of many influencers that keeps his account private. It’s a tactic used to create even more mystery around his anonymous-style profile and incentivise people to request to follow him.
While MBA Mikey’s true identity is unknown to his over 94,000 followers, Bullish was lucky enough to talk to the mysterious man behind the meme account and learn about his time at business school, his advice for those interested in pursuing their MBA, how he grew his account in the span of a year and whether his MBA or meme account has been a more valuable asset to him.
1. What made you decide to go to business school?
My applications said I was interested in pivoting careers and becoming a civically minded business leader. In reality, I wanted to take a break from school in my 20s, travel the world and make new friends – all missions accomplished.
2. What was the most challenging part of the application/admissions process for you?
Not getting into Harvard Business School. I didn’t really appreciate how much a story and career arc matter for admissions. You need to have a reason for schools, and in particular, for THIS school. That way the person on the other end has reason to believe you’ll accept and be a real contributor to the class if they admit you.
3. Walk us through a typical week in your life during your time at business school. What was the best part of your time there?
Class was about 15 hours a week. I wasn’t huge on homework because I walked around acting like I knew it all. I didn’t, and my grades reflected that. I also worked on organizing a conference, played hockey for one of the two years and spent a ton of time socializing. I hit somewhere between 15 and 20 countries in those two years, and it was a totally eye-opening and amazingly fun experience.
4. Do you think enrollment in business school will go up or down as a result of the pandemic? What do you think the overall impact will be?
I think this is already being seen. People don’t want to – or at least shouldn’t want to – spend $150,000 on tuition and incur two years of opportunity costs to attend classes on Zoom. It misses most of the value of the degree. I would recommend holding off unless it’s totally critical for your career progression that you go and go now.
5. What are the top factors people consider when deciding which business school to go to?
People will make up all sorts of BS; but realistically, 99% of people will go to the best school they can get into. Geography, industry focus of the alumni base matters and culture all really play a role, so people should consider those (surprise! Going to Columbia feels different than going to Camp Tuck).
6. What advice do you have for people graduating from undergrad right now?
Remember that there’s always a pivot point to something new, so don’t worry if your first job isn’t your dream job. I’ve watched kids with totally unenviable jobs out of undergrad get into a good MBA program and then pivot into consulting, investment banking or big tech. All that said, bust your ass and remember that this is a great time to lay a foundation for a fruitful career. Keep networking, be humble and respectful of people’s time and stay curious. It’ll make you a better employee and a better navigator of the corporate world/life in general.
7. Why did you start @mba_mikey?
I used to live in San Francisco and got so much pleasure from watching the Silicon Valley writers torch the clichés of the Bay Area tech scene. I observed so many ridiculous trends, fads and funny characters in school that I needed an outlet to make jokes about them.
8. What’s your favorite meme from your account?
I’ve been enjoying this one. But I’m 600 memes deep, so it’s hard to remember.
9. What are the top three meme accounts you follow?
@wallstreetconfessions brought me into my first little engagement group when I had less than 3,000 followers, and that seriously moved the needle on my growth. She’s still a meme-world friend. Besides that, @historyinmemes, @biglawboiz and @nonequitypartner are hysterical and witty. Since a scary number of my close friends are lawyers, the latter two help keep me relevant in those crowds.
10. What’s the bigger accomplishment: your meme account or your MBA?
Simply put, I didn’t go to the best MBA program, but I DO run the best MBA meme account. I think this fact speaks for itself.
Jokes aside, I love this account and have a blast engaging with people on there. I always appreciate the tips, meme submissions, etc. I hope to keep growing this and providing an outlet for people to crack jokes where they’re needed.