On Sunday’s episode of CBS’s Undercover Boss, Sheldon Yellen, CEO of Belfour Property Restoration, went undercover to meet and work with his low-level employees. One employee Sheldon met was a young carpenter named Drew. In a fashion repeated numerous times on the show, the boss and the employee share a snack after the boss tries (and fails) to do the work of the employee. At snack-time, the employee usually shares a tale of unimaginable woe or seemingly unachievable aspirations (“I work sixteen hours per day to pay for my disabled son’s medication” or “I want to go to school for art, but I will never have the time”). This time, the conversation (starting at 13:30) went a little differently:
Sheldon: Why you do this? Young guy–you could do anything. You go to school?
Drew: I got my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree
Drew: Business, my MBA.
Sheldon: You got an MBA?
Drew: Masters in business administration.
Sheldon: So why are you doing this?
Drew: Student loans. I owe a lot–I pay over 500 dollars per month. I can’t take off of work to find other work.
In the end, Sheldon gave drew $15,000 to pay off his student loans, which the show said he used to pay off just 30% of his student loans. Now assuming that this bonus was taxed at a 33% rate, Drew had at least $30,000 in student loans from his MBA. Question: if an MBA puts you more than $30,000 in debt with no better job prospects than a carpenter, is it worth it?
- Pwn (v.) Slang term derived from the verb own, as meaning to appropriate or to conquer to gain ownership. The term implies domination or humiliation of a rival.