According to reports, entrepreneur and former model Tyra Banks will be graduating from Harvard Business School by next month. On Valentine’s Day, Banks sat down for a 90-minute conversation with Harvard Business School’s associate dean, Youngme Moon. During her candid, 90-minute chat, as excerpted by The Harbus, the school’s independent newspaper, the media mogul explained why she enrolled in the school’s Owner/President Management Program. Banks said that she made the decision to take classes at Harvard because she wanted to be taken seriously as a businesswoman. ”There’s a difference between a career and a business. I’m not looking to build a company based on fans,” Banks said. “Don’t chase the money, even if you want to be a banker. Chase the passion. Chase the dream.” Banks said that her time at Harvard has also taught her to strive to be at the top of her game, and that the key to success is “not about being the biggest, but being the best.”
Banks made headlines this spring when it was announced she would be attending Harvard Business School (do most people finish HBS in less than a year?) . ”In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best. So I went to the best,” she said in May. In less than ten years she has created a multi-million-dollar empire. She has America’s Next Top Model which draws about 3.8 million viewers regularly. She also had the Tyra Show which was on for five seasons and she runs the TZONE Foundation, which raises funds for groups that empower young women and girls. In 2009 she was named as the highest paid woman in prime time, with an annual income of $30 million. She also launched the beauty sitetypeF.com this past March. In 2009 alone she made $30 million. Tyra has a goal to become the next Walt Disney. She told Good Morning America host Robin Roberts on the show last summer,“I look up to Walt Disney and what he’s done. He was was a man with a message and a very clear objective about what he wanted to bring for family entertainment and that’s what I want to do for young women and women around the entire world and I feel like the message of empowering women and expanding the definition of beauty is bigger than me”. She went on to say she would someday like to create an amusement park for young girls with a message of female empowerment.
During the interview with Moon she also said that the person people see on her reality show and her public persona isn’t who she is in real life. ”I would love to have her in the boardroom,” Banks said about the persona she puts on during Top Model. “I wish I was hard…I have armor, but a strategic knife can still get in those creases.”