Swizz Beatz Dishes On Being Enrolled In Harvard Business School, Swizz Beatz have made millions of dollars, won numerous awards and hits under his belt, also served as Creative Director for companies like Reebok and Lotus Cars, but despite all of his success and achievement, he feels education is important as well. The producer is now enrolled in Harvard University’s Business School at the age of 35, where he is taking courses while living on campus in a small dorm room. This week, he sat down with The Breakfast Club Morning Show to drop some gems on his decision to return to school, as well as the valuable information he’s already received regarding true ownership. Outside of business school chatter, he also reacted to blogs making a big deal out of his recent vacation with wife Alicia Keys and ex-wife MaShonda. Peep the highlights: On why he decided to go back to school: I just felt like you have to keep graduating your brand. A lot of people get complacent with their success and things that they’ve done before and I just wasn’t comfortable with that because I started transitioning from producer to business owner. I would be in these rooms and, no matter how big the deal was or how good it is, people would still look at me like ‘Oh, he’s the rapper guy. He’s the rapper friend.’ I’m like, ‘We all in this meeting because of what I’m bringing to the table.’ But being that I didn’t really have any credentials to go with those different things, I didn’t feel like I was getting the respect that I deserved. So I said, ‘You know what, let me go and sharpen my pencil a little bit and really walk back in these rooms a different person and different man.’ Really invest that time into myself because I started when I was like 18. I was gone since then. And a lot of different things I would learn and do just off the cuff, but I really didn’t know the language. I didn’t feel comfortable with the language of doing business.
On now living in a dorm:
It was amazing to go from my crib to a dorm room. [Do you have a roommate?] Nah, they didn’t do me dirty with a roommate. My room so small, I can’t even have a roommate. Twin bed. I got my own shower. It’s just a humbling experience because that same small room could’ve been my jail cell. Coming from where I came from and the things I’ve been apart of it’s like, man I’m in this small room, but I’m here to educate myself and hopefully educate other people. It’s never too late because a lot of people say “Man, why are you going back? You got all this money.” I’m like, “Money doesn’t make you smart!” I could’ve definitely lived off campus but I wanted to be apart of the experience. It’s Harvard. I just really wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing no pieces. I didn’t want to come off as the big celebrity; this that and the third because I’m a small guy in my class by the way. There’s people in my class that businesses do a billion dollars a year. To be around all these people; they’re staying in dorms too. Just because I have celebrity status I didn’t want to separate myself and be some type of way. They didn’t even know I was Swizz Beatz. My tag says Kasseem Dean. This is the hardest class to get into in Harvard. You have to be successful already. So when you send your resume in they have to cross check it with financials and all the different things you’ve done in the business world. Then people on your staff have to fill out information.
On being on a scholarship:
There was a person in there that put money that they had from a scholarship towards my situation just because they got a scholarship, but that person’s business makes a lot of money.
On if he’ll have a degree when he is finished the program
When I finish I will be a Harvard Alumni so I’ll have the alumni status. I thought that was pretty cool because having the alumni status, I can always have access to the programs. So if I ever want to do something else or be invited to other things….I just wanted to have it.
On how he finds the time to run his businesses and still go back to school:
You just got to do it. This right here helped me so much. It let me know a lot of things because coming from the music industry, we would see how they would treat us. They were taught to treat us like this. Being that I’m in the owners’ program, they’re teaching you as an owner to run your business. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2