The School for Moguls

Three Moguls Who Never Graduated From College / AP

Three Moguls Who Never Graduated From College / AP

As much as I’m jealous of the first enrollees at the “Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation” at the University of Southern California, I remain skeptical that a college program can develop the next mogul.

But he and Mr. Iovine are betting that their instinct and keen ears — which helped Mr. Iovine find and sign Dr. Dre who, in turn, ferreted out Snoop Dogg and Eminem when they were budding musicians — will help them find future chief executives.

It doesn’t matter whether it is the next Gwen Stefani, Mr. Iovine said, whom he signed at 19, or recruiting and nurturing the next Marissa Mayer.

“Talent is talent,” he said.

Iovine is dead-on. Still, what birthed all of those artists-turnt-moguls was a lack of the very structure a traditional school provides. Neither Jimmy nor Dre went to college. They both admit the nuts and bolts of the program are “out of their depth.” An essential component of the lore we’ve built around such moguls as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, etc., is they all dropped out of school to get out on their grind. Moguls are born on the corners of their profession, putting in work.

A comprehensive Google Fact Check of the Times piece that bestowed celebrities the rank of “mogul” leads me to conclude that only one individual mentioned therein attended and graduated college.

Only apl.ed.ap finished with an undergraduate degree. And only Tyra Banks attempted to earn a graduate degree. But she dropped out of Harvard Business School.

Since I’m no mogul—yet—maybe my skepticism is misplaced. But will the guy or gal who creates the next Facebook really be able to stand USC professor Richard Dekmejian’s screeds against an artistic genius?

Southern Cal isn’t the Jedi Academy. It’s not designed solely to produce members of a certain profession, namely, ass-kicking. It still has required general education courses that accompany electives in record label development and fragrance marketing.

Peep Dekmejian’s Rate My Professor page:

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Moguls Beware

Why would an aspiring mogul want to be bogged down by “classes” and “exams” taught by a garbage professor like Dekmejian?