Man standing on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Celebrities–they’re just like us! They even earn MBAs.

Many perceive money and fame to be the ultimate indicators of success. However, for many celebrities who have already acquired notoriety and wealth, success is measured differently—it is through education.   If you are interested in earning an MBA to further your career, you may be surprised to find out that, in this way, you are just as successful as these celebrities. Below are a few notable celebrities who have earned an MBA:

Shaquille O’Neal

As a 7-foot-tall basketball star, Shaquille O’Neal towers over most of us. While he has earned much of his wealth and star power through his incredible professional basketball career, he also made a name for himself in the rap music industry and film.  In addition to being a pro athlete with a net worth of about $350 million, Shaq (as he is more commonly known) is a lifelong student. He earned his MBA degree from the University of Phoenix and later completed an educational doctorate from Barry University. Shaq’s commitment to learning, growth and development demonstrates that his success is not limited to the court or the studio.

George W. Bush

Former President George W. Bush was born into the fame that accompanies an American political dynasty. While he worked in the Oval Office from 2001 until 2008, he led an entirely different professional life prior to getting into politics. President Bush is the only United States president to hold an MBA degree. He earned his MBA from the prestigious Harvard Business School. He would use the knowledge and skills that he acquired in that program to pursue a career in the oil industry. In addition, he spent time on the administrative side of professional baseball as the co-owner of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

Sheryl Sandberg

While not a celebrity in the traditional sense, Sheryl Sandberg has become a bit of a household name. Over the last decade, she was a powerful player in the development and success of Facebook. She left Google in 2008 in order to work with Mark Zuckerberg and serve as Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure, she’s helped grow Facebook into a social media powerhouse with revenues exceeding $22 billion. It’s likely she called upon the skills she acquired earning her MBA from Harvard Business School to help guide Facebook to the success it experiences today.

Ina Garten

Ina Garten earned her fame by working on the Food Network Channel. Her successful show, Barefoot Contessa, allowed her to expand her reach far beyond the TV network. She has written cookbooks, worked as a columnist for a magazine and even spent time as a talk show host. With a net worth of about $44 million, it’s clear that Ina Garten has achieved a great deal. However, in addition to her fame, she also has earned an MBA degree. She worked on her degree program at George Washington University, and her professional experience combined with her graduate degree gave her the skills needed to analyze nuclear policy for White House officials prior to her career as a well-known TV personality.

Lisa Leslie

Shaquille O’Neal isn’t the only basketball star who believed that an MBA degree would be a career benefit. Lisa Leslie is one of the most famous WNBA stars the league has seen. She earned four Gold Medals at the Olympics and explored opportunities in modeling and acting. In fact, when she competed on Celebrity Apprentice, it was clear that she had the skills to succeed both on and off the basketball court. She also holds an MBA, which is one of many reasons why she did so well on the show. She, too, earned her MBA degree from the University of Phoenix.

These are just a few of the celebrities who have earned an MBA degree in addition to acquiring fame and fortune. There are many other celebrities who felt that a business degree was the best starting point for their careers. Here are some celebrities who earned a business degree prior to getting into acting, music and politics:

  • Lionel Richie—This music legend earned an economics degree from Tuskegee Institute before he launched is music career.
  • Wanda Sykes—Known more for being a hilarious comedian these days, Wanda Sykes actually began her career with much more serious aspirations. She earned a marketing degree from Hampton University and launched a career as a contractor for the National Security Agency.
  • Kevin Costner—This movie star attended California State University Fullerton and earned a BA in Business before launching his acting career.

Whether they wanted to step into the political arena or they were looking to improve their ability to manage their musical careers, these celebrities all felt that earning an MBA was worth it. It can be worth it for you, as well. An MBA degree will give you a leg up in your career, regardless of the industry that you are in or the niche that you want to pursue. Through your MBA degree program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, you will develop the skills you need to take your career to the next level.

For more information about the different MBA degree programs that we have available, contact us today.



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