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#111 MBA for Entrepreneurs – Worth It?

Alex Kubo, Burrow

“A lot of startups have this sentiment that MBAs are useless. I think that’s because traditionally MBAs have come in and said ‘I want to run the show.’ I think that’s a general misconception about what MBAs are like today. [My internship boss] said ‘of all the people we interviewed from Harvard, Stanford, MIT you were the most down to earth and willing to get into the details.’ I think that’s something people need to focus on. If you really want to get into the startup world, you have to be willing to pick up the scraps and take out the trash. And that’s tough. Coming from a very comfortable career earning a lot of money in the oil industry to earning next to nothing but gaining an incredible experience… it’s trying but it’s the ultimate insight into whether this career path is right for you.

-Alex Kubo, Wharton MBA

Many MBA applicants are interested in entrepreneurship, but have trouble reconciling the cost of an MBA with their goal of starting a business. Darren invites 2 recent Wharton MBA graduates, Alex Kubo and Renata Arauz De Stefano, to discuss if an MBA helps you become a better entrepreneur. Alex currently works at, a Y Combinator backed startup in New York City, and Renata started Mwayi, a fashion social enterprise that brings customized, African-print apparel to US consumers.

How helpful is an MBA for starting your own business? For joining startups? How can you make the most of your MBA experience if you have entrepreneurship goals? Is it tough to go this route when your peers are getting high paying jobs? Can entrepreneurship be taught? Listen on to get the perspective of 2 students who started organizations during their MBA.

  • Alex Kubo, Burrow (4:50)
  • Renata Arauz DeStefano, Mwayi (39:15)

Renata Arauz-DeStefano, Mwayi

“I had a team of brilliant MBA students working on Mwayi for the whole spring semester. Being a able to tap into that through a course structure…Having the free advice from the Professor who’s working as an advisor just for your company and having a team to inform and guide your decisions was very valuable.

-Renata Arauz DeStefano, Wharton MBA”

About Our Guests

Alex Kubo graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then worked as a Project Manager and Project Engineer for ExxonMobil before attending Wharton, where he majored in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing. After a summer internship and consulting role at Andela, Alex joined 2 of his Wharton classmates in the Fall of 2016 to help lead Burrow.

Renata Aráuz-DeStefano majored in International Relations and French at Tufts University and worked for 4 years at FINCA International in microfinance before heading to Wharton. In her second year, she started Mwayi, a fashion social enterprise. She will soon start at Bank of America – Merrill Lynch as an investment banker.

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