Philip Delves Broughton is not your average Harvard Business School graduate, said Louis Lavelle in BusinessWeek. At 32, when he resigned as the Paris bureau chief of the London Daily Telegraph to join HBS’s Class of 2006, Delves Broughton had never operated a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and he considered businesspeople the world over to be “gin-swilling, golf-playing, dull, predictable slaves to money.” His two years in Cambridge, Mass., only deepened that bias. In his new memoir, Ahead of the Curve, he calls his new alma mater “a factory for unhappy people” and portrays his slightly younger classmates as ethically challenged narcissists who party like frat boys when they’re not attending to their future marketability.
Delves Broughton won’t blame all the bad behavior on personality traits, said Warren Allen in the Boston Herald. “If you’re a 27-year-old who spent five years at Goldman Sachs,” he says, “two years at business school is kind of like a vacation.” Though HBS students expect big paydays after graduation, they also know that they’ll be working 100-hour weeks until their youth is past. “I think that’s where the real stress lies,” he says. Delves Broughton, who had two young kids at home by the time he got his degree, has so far avoided that treadmill. When graduation rolled around, he was the only member of his class who had failed to land a job offer.